Looking for a new PC Soundcard

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james73_2008
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Looking for a new PC Soundcard

Post by james73_2008 » 13 May 2017 21:40

I do the occasional vinyl rip, but that's not the main reason. I need to replace my
current Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2. This is an older PCI card but that's not the
major problem as my motherboard has 2 PCI slots. The Audigy 2 doesn't work very well
with the 64-bit version of Windows 7. I've had to use 3rd-party drivers to get the card
to record from Line-In sources. The official Creative drivers don't work.

I'm considering the Creative Sound Blaster Z. I've pretty much always had Creative
soundcards in my PCs down the years but I'm happy to hear other suggestions. Kinda
looking to save a few quid with this as well, and you can get the OEM Sound Blaster Z
for a reasonable price.

Any suggestions?



James H

lini
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Re: Looking for a new PC Soundcard

Post by lini » 14 May 2017 03:40

James: Do you really want a soundcard again, or could external USB and/or FireWire sound-interfaces apply as well? And what are your exact requirements?

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

james73_2008
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Re: Looking for a new PC Soundcard

Post by james73_2008 » 15 May 2017 21:15

I'd rather have a good internal soundcard. My PCs pretty decent. I'm looking for something to listen to audio files, listen to the line-in from my turntable, rip the odd LP, and occasionally play some games.


James H

lini
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Re: Looking for a new PC Soundcard

Post by lini » 16 May 2017 13:37

James: The Esi Juli@ (or Juli@ XTe for PCIe) is a pretty good, albeit not exactly cheap card - from a look on their Chinese web-site it would seem that the current ones were discontinued last December and that they are planning new ones for this year, though...

Anyway, the Juli@ is a nice Envy24HT-based card with good performance and driver support - and still competitive today, although it's quite an old design already. Speciality is the reversible upper section of the card, so one can choose between RCA and TRS I/O. The optical SPDIF output as well as a jack for the break-out cable with electrical SPDIF I/O and Midi I/O are on the lower section.

I'd still suggest you to think about one of the prosumer USB sound interfaces, though - because pretty decent ones have become comparatively cheap (if you can live with a rather spartanic driver and software bundle, a Behringer UMC202HD only is ~ 70 Euro - otherwise you'd better spend a bit more on something like for example the Steinberg UR22(II) or the Focusrite Scarlet 2i2...), and these thingies all sport proper input level/gain controls on the analogue side.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

josephazannieri
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Re: Looking for a new PC Soundcard

Post by josephazannieri » 16 May 2017 15:22

Yo james73_2008

I had a Dell computer with a Creative Audigy 2 soundcard that I used from 2002 to 2016. Computer was Windows XP and only 1 gig of RAM, and it finally died. The Audigy 2 software was great, but low RAM made computer unreliable when I began to put together large playlists. I wound up buying a brand new Asus computer, thinking that I would need a soundcard, but it was totally unnecessary. I am using Audacity, which is a free download that works fine with new computer. Geek Squad took all my music off the Dell and ran it onto the Asus.

I experimented with a SoundBlaster Z but found that the control software was pretty crude, and way less usable than the Audacity. My experience was that when I tried to download the SoundBlaster Z software into a Windows 7 computer it just did not download at all.

My suggestion is use Audacity, and use the card that came with your Windows 7 computer. I use it to record vinyl and 78's. There is a reverse equalization feature that will let you back the RIAA off 78's and old pre RIAA LPs. Of course you can't do an instantaneous download "rip". You have to record in real time. You can use the line input on your computer and record anything you want and set levels in Audacity. Just plug the CD player or the "tape out" of your amp into the computer line input and listen as you record by using the tape monitor switch on your amp or receiver (Use "play through software" to monitor as you record). The only minor problem is that you have to export the file out into your library, wherever you have it. I use Windows Media Player.

And good luck from that audacious old guy,

Joe Z.

JoeE SP9
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Re: Looking for a new PC Soundcard

Post by JoeE SP9 » 18 Aug 2017 21:33

I agree with JoeZ except for Windows Media Player. There are any number of free applications that IMO are a lot better than WMP.

FWIW: I use Music Bee

audionut
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Re: Looking for a new PC Soundcard

Post by audionut » 02 Nov 2017 11:26

Sorry if I am late with this reply but I suggest the Creative Soundblaster ZxR. I have one and it is the best internal soundcard I have had so far for sound quality and ripping vinyl in high definition. It works with Audacity on my 64 bit Windows 10 PC (and Windows 7 before that).


https://us.creative.com/p/sound-cards/sound-blaster-zxr

JDJX
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Re: Looking for a new PC Soundcard

Post by JDJX » 02 Nov 2017 13:20

FWIW..

I have an older computer, dual booting( XP-Vista) with a a SB Audigy 2.

My now main computer is a Win 7 system and that just uses the "Realteck" sound chip on my Asus MB..... no additional sound card.

I much prefer the sound of the Realtech chip ..... even midi files are much better.

Of course, it all depends on what you want from a sound card- chip. :)

james73_2008
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Re: Looking for a new PC Soundcard

Post by james73_2008 » 16 Nov 2017 02:40

Thanks for the replies to this thread, as I still haven't solved the problem. :D

@josephazannieri - I don't really have the option to "use the card that came with your Windows 7 computer" as I built the PC myself (something I've been doing since 1998). The motherboard is an ASUS Z97-A, but of course the first thing I did was turn off the in-built sound chip because I already had my PCI soundcard. Here we are on a hi-fi forum and people are suggesting using built-in components rather than branching out for separate parts? That always sound wrong to me.

@audionut - yes, the Sound Blaster ZxR is more the sort of thing I'm looking for opinions on, though the Sound Blaster Z also looks like it would do the job as well, as I'm not really interested in an external control thingy.



James H

Dimal
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Re: Looking for a new PC Soundcard

Post by Dimal » 16 Nov 2017 08:13

There's a lot to like about the "ASUS Essence STX II" bundle...
High quality components throughout coupled with excellent flexibility.


Mal.

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Re: Looking for a new PC Soundcard

Post by praxiteles » 02 Dec 2017 00:48

the asus xonar dg is recognized as the best sound card. it has the lowest s/n ratio. I had a soundblaster which generated hum. took me a little time to find see: :D

http://www.dvautier.com/audio/humfind.htm

lini
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Re: Looking for a new PC Soundcard

Post by lini » 02 Dec 2017 01:04

praxiteles wrote:the asus xonar dg is recognized as the best sound card. it has the lowest s/n ratio.
I'd not only highly doubt the former, but also wonder why the latter should be desirable.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini

KentT
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Re: Looking for a new PC Soundcard

Post by KentT » 29 Dec 2017 03:04

ESI Juli beats Creative anything in every area possible. ESI Juli is also accurate enough for StereoTool processing for on air broadcasting use, and is broadcast grade in every way. Creative is for gaming and content consumption. Not for audio creation for professional purposes.

james73_2008
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Re: Looking for a new PC Soundcard

Post by james73_2008 » 07 Jan 2019 21:53

Just to close this off, I went for the Creative Sound Blaster X AE-5. Just installed it and it sounds pretty good so far, a big improvement on my old card, which really didn't like Windows 10 much.



James H

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Re: Looking for a new PC Soundcard

Post by bbr620 » 10 Jan 2019 20:32

Looking for a new card myself to replace a failing Tascam US-122mkII. Was looking at the Focusrite 2x2 but maybe pull the trigger on this now ;)

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