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Headphone Aficionados / Personal Audio Snobs

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Hello :) [May. 25th, 2006|04:16 pm]
Headphone Aficionados / Personal Audio Snobs


[music |Liquid Tension Experiment - When the Water Breaks]

G'day, mates, nice to find you.

While trying not to start another holywar 'bout headphones itself, I'm interested in your choices of audio source. I personally spend most of my time at work, so relatively old Terratec Aureon 5.1 PCI is all I have for now. At least it can power my Grado SR-125 well enough for a workplace.

But for some time now I suspect these cans needs a better couple - I hear background noise passed through tracks' silent parts, and worse. Looking for card with better caps I have found cheap enough M-Audio Revolution 5.1 (I do not see any noticable advantages in 7.1 version, especially for headphone use :)). Looks pretty cool - separate headphone jack and all that.

So what do you use, and what you have to say 'bout this one?

[User Picture]From: msondo
2006-05-25 04:52 pm (UTC)
I have a theory that external factors can influence the output quality of a soundcard. I've noticed that on several computers with identical hardware and software configuration, some will have very noisy sound output while others sound fine. The reason I say this is that you may notice the same noise even after purchasing and installing the new hardware and the source of the problem may be a bad PCI port or a loose cable somehow interfering.

The M-Audio card looks very decent. Let us know how it sounds if you do get it. I'm especially curious since I also listen to Grado SR-125s. :)

I use the Hercules Game Theater XP which is a large bulky external card. There are two main reasons I bought it: The first reason was that it had a 1/4" headphone jack and was the only card at the time that feature. I figured it was cheaper than buying the $70 Grado extender/jack converter. The second reason was that it has an external rack that sits on your desktop which was nice considering I also wouldn't need the expensive Grado extender. The down side was that it only does 20-bit audio, but considering I've seen $20 sound cards that claim to do 24-bit audio, I figured I was at least getting an accurate spec listing. I think the new Sound Blaster externals have 1/4" headphone jacks (which was really the only reason I didn't buy one back then). Whenever I get a new system that will likely be my next soundcard. I'm very happy with my Game Theater XP, though. The sound that it sends to my Grados is simply better than any other source I have tried them on (with the exception, perhaps, of the insane stereo system the salesman had me try them out on when I bought them). I love the large volume knob on the rack but that brings up the only issue I have... and that is when you change the volume very fast you hear tiny momentary cracks. It's not a big deal because they go away as soon as you stop twisting the knob, but I'm guessing it is something to do with the internal audio decoding or whatever goes on inside.
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