SoundBlaster Audigy 2ZS or 1616M for S/PDIF *ONLY*?
Hi. I am trying to decide which soundcard to use in my car. I have a mini PC in the trunk and right now I'm using Creative's SoundBlaster Audigy 2ZS card. The card is connected to an Alpine PXA-H701 dsp processor. It sounds very good. But I can't help but wonder if the 1616M would yield even BETTER SQ, even through an all digital S/PDIF TosLink connection?
OK....let's say they'd both be about the same, since they'd both output an digital toslink signal....what about their respective software? That's right, I'm talking about Creative Sound Mixer vs Patchmix software. Which of these two software applications would you say gives better sound quality?
Creative's Sound Mixer gives you the following:
2)A single Bass slider
3)A single Treble slider
6)A few other funky things like pitch control, THX settings, CMSS, etc
Patchmix gives you:
1)A main volume slider
2)A separate strip you can create strictly for ASIO or Wav output
3)A ****LOAD of effects and processors ranging from different EQs to reverb effects to peak meters and so on
4)You can mix and match several of these "effects" to create your own "sound" per'se....something Creative's Mixer doesn't do.
The one BIG advantage of using the SB Audigy 2ZS, is the fact that the cardbus itself already contains a lineout jack that also doubles as an S/PDIF digital out connector. All one needs is a Toslink to mini-male adapter and you can enjoy an all digital s/pdif signal directly from the card.
The E-MU 1616M however, requires that you connect the cardbus daughter card to an external Microdock via an RJ45-like cable. This Microdock contains a "true" Toslink S/PDIF output, as well as about a dozen line-in/line-outs. Not to mention requires an external power source. I would need to power it through the cigarette lighter.
So my main question is, if I'm running *ONLY* a digital S/PDIF output to my Alpine processor, which card should I go with if I want the absolute best sound quality in my car? Should I continue to use the SoundBlaster Audigy card or should I connect the E-MU 1616M and couple it with the external Microdock? And is Patchmix better than Creative SoundMixer as far as SQ goes?