AD900 onboard sound card?

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Drubbing
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Re: AD900 onboard sound card?

Postby Drubbing » Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:44 am

Righto. Trying to follow that... so potentially an onboard card sould still have some input on output, but not if you are using USB?
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Re: AD900 onboard sound card?

Postby dc » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:18 am

yes, in my experience, just about ALL digital outputs on on-board sound cards re-sample to 48kHz

while re-sampling in itself is not a big issue (some argue for its benefits) the problem is that the re-sampling is done by a poor quality algorithm

and some soundcards, like soundblaster audigy, even though they may output at 44.1kHz for CD audio, re-sample to 48kHz first and then convert back to 44.1kHz providing 2 layers of awesomeness!

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Re: AD900 onboard sound card?

Postby Night_watchman » Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:32 pm

just to throw another option in the mix.... unlike the "xonar essesnce STx" ( pci-express 1.0 ), The "xonar essence ST" is pci v2.2 ..or above, bus compatable. :D - should solve your issue of your sli cards getting in the way :smirk:
... post your motherboard model ... it should definitly have those slots : )

don't let me stop you from getting something like the 3move or similiar solution though.. .just my 2 cents :cool:
Asus Xonar D2X >>> AD-900
icrap sauce >>> B2's???
>>Audioengine A5's

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Re: AD900 onboard sound card?

Postby bkpr » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:10 am

Hey all. I'd like to hijack this thread, if you'll allow…

I'm looking to get an internal sound card for my (original) Mac Pro to drive my AD900 headphones. My questions are:

1. As these are easy to drive already (and sound great), will there be much benefit to purchasing a dedicated sound card?
I wouldn't call myself an 'audiophile' but I being an ex-musician I can appreciate and enjoy better sound quality if it's there. How much benefit would there be over the onboard sound? All of my digital music exists as MP3 256kbps or higher.

2. What card would you recommend?
I'll need it for 95% listening to music, 5% editing music and sound for film. I'd prefer not to have an external box, just to keep my work space clean. I don't need any special in/out options — I'll really only use the headphone plug.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance.
Barto.

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Re: AD900 onboard sound card?

Postby grevillea » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:22 am

When I first arrived in these parts, many were interested in the Lynx cards, but the Essence seems to have swept all before it since it was released.

http://www.lynxstudio.com/product_detail.asp?i=13

As a muso, you may find more of the Lynx feature set to your liking than the average punter would. Some of the regulars may be able to fill you in on the details re playback performance differences between the Lynx and the Essence - I admit that I have heard neither.
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Re: AD900 onboard sound card?

Postby bkpr » Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:53 pm

Hey thanks for your quick reply. It appears the Xonar Essence's drivers are only available for Windows, otherwise it looks (and reads) really nice.

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Re: AD900 onboard sound card?

Postby bkpr » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:54 am

Ok, having spent some time looking around the net, it appears Lynx, M-Audio, and RME are the main players. E-MU also look appealing but I can't find any Mac specific info on their site. If anyone has any first hand info, please share it :)

Another thought occurred to me: The Mac Pro had optical in/out. Are there any good quality optical to Analogue converter cables available? I say cables because I'd like to avoid any extra hardware boxes cluttering up my system.

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Re: AD900 onboard sound card?

Postby Drubbing » Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:36 am

Cables don't convert signals, they just carry them. You'll need an external box (DAC) or a soundcard in the Mac
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Re: AD900 onboard sound card?

Postby bkpr » Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:21 pm

True. True.
Hmm, looks like I may going an external option. The Asus Xonar Essence cards look perfect, but PC only.

Can anyone confirm a dedicated sound card would be a major improvement over the built-in sound on the Mac Pro with my AD900 headphones? Especially with 256kbps + MP3 files? Just in case I'm looking to spend money where perhaps I should be buying my wife a nice gift instead?

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Re: AD900 onboard sound card?

Postby Drubbing » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:05 pm

bkpr wrote:True. True.
Hmm, looks like I may going an external option. The Asus Xonar Essence cards look perfect, but PC only.

Can anyone confirm a dedicated sound card would be a major improvement over the built-in sound on the Mac Pro with my AD900 headphones? Especially with 256kbps + MP3 files? Just in case I'm looking to spend money where perhaps I should be buying my wife a nice gift instead?


Everyone on here can confirm an aftermarket card is better than a stock one. I proved it with my iMac -> DACmagic.

So long as your phones are of higher quality/more capable than a stock card, there will be a difference. Which will be the case with a pc/mac and the AD900.

But it is unlikely to be an FOMG! difference. My DT250 still sound ok, and like a DT250 with the std Mac onboard, but with a better source they open up and have more life and are more involoving. Better instrument separation, and better dynamic range.
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Re: AD900 onboard sound card?

Postby bkpr » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:40 pm

Drubbing wrote:…they open up and have more life and are more involoving. Better instrument separation, and better dynamic range.


That's exactly what I wanted to hear :)

…well that, and a recommendation for a PCIe card with headphone jack out :P Or a great optical out to headphone jack thingamajig…

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Re: AD900 onboard sound card?

Postby bkpr » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:52 am

After giving up on the internal PCIe card option, I'm looking at the Apogee Duet. Anyone have any experiences they like to share?

After reading the reviews it seems perfect for me; I only really want a high-quality analogue output — multiple output options are not needed. I also much prefer the way it looks compared to other products, like the RME babyface. Yes, I can be that shallow :P

I think I've read a little bit about FireWire having latency issues vs USB. Is this true? And if so, is latency an issue when playing back music, or just when audio recording/mixing?

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Re: AD900 onboard sound card?

Postby Drubbing » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:11 am

bkpr wrote:I think I've read a little bit about FireWire having latency issues vs USB. Is this true? And if so, is latency an issue when playing back music, or just when audio recording/mixing?

Only in the land of the audiophile, where theoretical jousting is the name of the game. USB is said to suffer from potential jitter too. I don't know anyone whose actually experienced it.

EDIT; The Apogee appears very much a made for Apple music app's product, with a price tag to match. Not heard one, but I'd suggest there is far better quality and value available for $600.
Last edited by Drubbing on Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AD900 onboard sound card?

Postby Riverback » Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:25 am

Don't you just love audiophile crack theory? :D
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Re: AD900 onboard sound card?

Postby bkpr » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:17 pm

Drubbing wrote:Not heard one, but I'd suggest there is far better quality and value available for $600.


If anyone can make a suggestion from experience, please feel free :)


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