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Thread: Soundcard suggestion for 4 way active setup!

  1. #1
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    Soundcard suggestion for 4 way active setup!

    Hi,

    Nowadays I began to buy new goodies for my new setup. I bought two DLS A3's and one DLS A6. I found a DLS A2 and probably I'm going to buy it. With two A3 and one A2 I'll be setting up the front speakers as 3 way active. I'll be using Helix Rs6.3 as speakers.

    For the new system I need a soundcard which have 8 outputs and is asio compatible. I found ESI gigaport Hd; but I read a post that its signal voltage is low so users could need pre-amps... I don't want to use preamps. I normally use usb soundcards but I have pci-ex slot also.
    ---------
    I want a soundcard which is compatible with asio, can be used with audiomulch and console without asio4all, has 8 channels, has sufficient output voltage (not in a need in extreme high), has bright, clear, high sound quality and compatible with hibernate and sleep.
    ---------
    Is there a soundcard like I want? If you can help me out I'll be very happy...

  2. #2
    Constant Bitrate simplex's Avatar
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    m-audio delta 1010LT

    8 rca outputs, PCI, ASIO, internal routing
    Check my worklog:
    Corsa + Atom + Gentoo Linux + 9" capacitive touchscreen

    Lord of the boards: DFI CP100-NRM

    "Or you can try Ubuntu, but than don't tell everyone you are using linux,
    because it's just a secret unreleased prebeta of Windows 3829" :P

  3. #3
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    A good option; but I only have pci-express, not pci. So I can only use pci-express cards and usb cards...

    And also I want to set up my system in windows 7. Asio drivers, audiomulch etc. is windows 7 compatible right?

  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate simplex's Avatar
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    For PCIe:

    -Asus xonar hdav 1.3 deluxe, has ASIO, but dunno about internal routing.
    -2x ESI Maya44e
    -ESI ESP1010e
    -RME HDSPe, with 2 output expansion cards, a bit overkill/expensive tough.
    Check my worklog:
    Corsa + Atom + Gentoo Linux + 9" capacitive touchscreen

    Lord of the boards: DFI CP100-NRM

    "Or you can try Ubuntu, but than don't tell everyone you are using linux,
    because it's just a secret unreleased prebeta of Windows 3829" :P

  5. #5
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    to add to the gigaporthd problems--its asio driver package only has outputs, no inputs, so i haven't found a way to get sound into AM without using either a4a (if using a4a, do not install the asio drivers for the gigaport-- they mess with a4a, and a4a will show a sound card error), or using the windows drivers...

    otherwise, after adding my cl-rlc preamps, i am very happy with the sound of the gigaport.

    also, make sure that if you do upgrade to win7, to use the 32 bit version-- most plugins are 32bit, and, from what i have read, don't work the same on a 64bit system.


    on a slightly related note, if you have any ideas on how to get audio into AM while using asio output drivers, i would be happy to hear them.

  6. #6
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    I saw that problem of Gigaport Hd. So I'm looking for another card. I have only one pci express slot. I can use usb cards though; but until now I couldn't find a card that can do my job... At least in the price range of Gigaport Hd... I liked Onkyo 200; but it uses pci...

  7. #7
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    If you're open to alternative solutions, you might think of using a cheap soundcard that has bitperfect digital output along with MiniDSP . You can find more info on other audio forums eg here.

    For a cheap soundcard with bitperfect output, i would suggest a cheap cmi8738(like Terratec Aureon, I got it for around 10-15 Euros, so I'd expect that you could get a similar soundcard for less than 15 USD). You'll need these third party drivers, although I believe newest cmedia divers work also. Careful that cmi8738 is 16-bit, so if you're doing a volume control in the digital domain (windows volume control) and especially if you're using windows xp, you might better look for a 24 bit soundcard. MiniDSP gives you the ability to control volume also, but I'm not sure on how it works. You can find info on the links I've given above.

    Hope this helps

  8. #8
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qpwoeiruty999 View Post
    If you're open to alternative solutions, you might think of using a cheap soundcard that has bitperfect digital output along with MiniDSP . You can find more info on other audio forums eg here.

    For a cheap soundcard with bitperfect output, i would suggest a cheap cmi8738(like Terratec Aureon, I got it for around 10-15 Euros, so I'd expect that you could get a similar soundcard for less than 15 USD). You'll need these third party drivers, although I believe newest cmedia divers work also. Careful that cmi8738 is 16-bit, so if you're doing a volume control in the digital domain (windows volume control) and especially if you're using windows xp, you might better look for a 24 bit soundcard. MiniDSP gives you the ability to control volume also, but I'm not sure on how it works. You can find info on the links I've given above.

    Hope this helps
    hmm, i am really on the fence on this one-- it seems that the minidsp is similar to a rf360, or a bitone, which, imo, isn't as good as a soundcard/AM setup in terms of flexibility.

    the biggest issue for me is that you are limited to their plugins, that they charge $10 each for. granted, it is not much, but for me, it is a disadvantage because of the idea that you need to buy extra stuff to get this card to work the way it is intended..

    but at the same time, even buying all the plugins, and a minidsp puts you back only about $160, way less then a rf360, or bitone.

    but it only has 4 outputs.. most setups that go to the length of needing a dsp, are usually going to need on average, 5-6 channels(at least 4 front active channels, and a sub output, or 4 front/rear channels and sub), so needing anything above 4 channels up's the purchase to 2 units-- around $260, assuming that you can reuse the plugins on both units... but if you can't reuse the plugins, and have to buy a plugin for each unit, that puts the price at about $320.

    google tells me that rf360.2's are going for about $380 new...

    so the question i guess i have is how does the minidsp compare to the rf360, or other external sound processors? not just quality, but also configurablility.

    for comparison, my setup-- audiomulch, gigaport, and 4 cl-rlc preamps were about $350-$450 all together, but i can use any vst plugins that i want-- in fact, i have never had to buy a plugin--all the ones that i use are free from kvraudio, and i have 6 outputs (8 on the soundcard, but only 3 pairs connected to the cl-rlc's). if a plugin doesn't work the way i want, i can get another free one that does the same thing-- last i checked, i have over 15 free crossover plugins...

  9. #9
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    I agree about the flexibility, since you're only limited to the offerred plugins. Price wise I believe should be close to a "quality" soundcard (including the VST Host application). I currently own an Auzentech X-Meridian (doesn't have internal routing so I can't suggest it, unless you have the time/will to make it work) and It's about the same price (+- 50 USD).

    You need roughly 2 miniDSP boards (2x100 = 200 USD) + 1 miniDIGI (70 USD only if you need digital input). Plugins need only be purchased once, but I'm not sure how many you need. I guess you need 1 or 2 (had a look on just 4Way PEQ plug-in and it seems to do "most" of what someone might need).

    It's certainly a rough decision and I certainly do not have a personal experience with miniDSP. I had a hard time making my X-Meridian work. I'm quite flexible now but if i had the money I'd propably give miniDSP a shot. Reasons is that miniDSP has an interface that "looks" more user/touchscreen friendly, it seems that other users of it get great support, it relieves my processor since all processing is done on hardware, it gives you the ability to use a pot for volume control (if it's analog then this is evan better - I'm currently using windows volume control with X-Meridian and this certainly puts me off bit-perfect principles) . Of course, I'd wait some time to let others test it and review.

    On the other hand, my X-Meridian has replaceable opamps and it's certainly more flexible (as you mentioned)

    Really hard decision .

    BTW, Auzentech is going to release a new version of X-Meridian. For sure, it won't occupy a cmedia chipset. I've send them an email proposing that internal routing is really important for clients I also send them a big list of problems concerning their current drivers and hardware and they agreed that they should correct them.

  10. #10
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    sorry HuseyinOzsut, kind of hijacking the thread..

    for the volume control-the windows control is horrible--i am one that tries to keep my stereo in check at stoplights, and then let it loose while moving, and in chicago, it was a horrible distraction--it usually took over the span of a red light to get it turned down, an then it took another 15 seconds leaving the light to get it back up to what i wanted it to--and 15 seconds after one red light in chicago is enough to hit another red light-- and the process continues until i get *****ed, and leave it down... that is the reason i went with the cl-rlc's--i needed a preamp, and a volume control, and preferred not to run the audio all the way to the front for volume control, and then back to the trunk... the cl-rlc's have a remote mountable knob that tells the preamp how loud to go(jl didn't want to tell me if it was digital or analog control), and works great-- if only my speakers could handle the power...

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