AuzenTech Forte vs Prelude

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by sovietdoc, May 29, 2009.

  1. sovietdoc

    sovietdoc Master Guru

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    Thinking about picking one of these up in replacement for my outdated Audigy 2 eX that is lacking support now.

    I hear Prelude is a regular soundcard while forte is for headphones?

    I don't care about headphones at all, but I might care about the MIC amp as I have a studio mic and the audigy isn't enough for it w/o the mic boost. Plus forte has all the speaker connections too.

    Just wanna know if anyone already did the research on the differences and can tell me which one is a definite winner for speakers.
     
  2. inklimited

    inklimited Ancient Guru

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    Prelude supports OPAMPS, Operational Amplifier. After looking at the prices, the big one is pretty much the same price as far as I'm concerned. But it's these things here below (the OPAMPS) which caught my attention.

    http://www.auzentech.com/site/products/opamp_intro.php

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2009
  3. bp9801

    bp9801 Ancient Guru

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    The Forte can have upgraded opamps too. Basically, one card is low profile and PCI-Express and the other is standard size and PCI.
     
  4. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    Also Forte has a headphone amp, wheres the prelude doesnt. thats the main diffents.Also forte comes with full size and low profile brackets.
     

  5. sovietdoc

    sovietdoc Master Guru

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    I've been researching on Forte vs Prelude vs Xonar STX and I am sold 100% for the Forte.

    Xonar is better if you don't use anything but the headphones but seeing how I don't use headphones at all, I don't care. Forte is based on native PCI-E XFI chipset (latest revision) and it rocks for games. Xonar performs better for music but who cares if you can't use speakers with it? Plus Forte has a mic pre amp for my pro mic so finally I'll be able to hear what I record without "mic boost."

    Both cards have their ups and downs but my current setup favors the Forte hands down.
     
  6. PETEY

    PETEY Master Guru

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    I just went through the same thing a month or two ago. Between the Forte, Prelude, and STX - I went with the Forte. The Forte, from what I researched back then, had better hardware, more features, and simply sounded better than the Prelude. The STX doesn't have analog 5.1 - pretty much making it a waste unless you exclusively use headphones or digital speakers.
     
  7. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    Actually you can use speakers, but for the analog you have to use 2.0/2.1 speakers, the only way for Surround sound on it. Is to use Digital out on the card plugged up to a reciver or some digital pc speakers.

    As for op-amps theres other ways to get them without paying for them as samples. but certain ones.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  8. sovietdoc

    sovietdoc Master Guru

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    Yeah, though Asus is supposed to come out with Xonar ST that is basically an STX except with an expansion board for 7.1, plus some hardware revisions. That one might sound better than the Forte, but it still won't have any of the hardware eax acceleration, so for games it will be worse with its higher CPU load and absence of those fx.

    It should rock for music though.

    Btw some of tose op amps on Auzentech's site are 250bux for a pair. Lol they better make the card sound unbelievable for that kind of price. Though forte only supports that for L/R channels.
     
  9. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    The OPA627AU's are 20 dollars less some where esle, as for the 200 dollar ones. Those are prolly 100-150 alone with no adaptor. I been hearing they supposly very good. Tho I not made out of money and I personally wouldnt get them for there price along, other then me getting free op-amps. As well as using op-amps in a I/V+buffer combo that I like.

    But Auzentech way is prolly easier to do, other wise your gonna have to go and pay i think 100 each since you only get one of those SM models for 100 and not both. Then buy the adaptor for them which converts them to Dip8.

    As for EAX, one of GX mode functions is to emulate EAX5, its not perfect as it depends on the game.But it still can do it. But you dont buy these cards if you have EAX useage on your mind. Since it can only emuate eax5 and not eax3-4. As for the Cpu useage, I never really notice it effecting my gaming performance.

    Tho people usually buy these cards for pure audio quailty in music, or want something other then creative and or dont really care about having only emulated eax5 or dont care about eax.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  10. bp9801

    bp9801 Ancient Guru

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    Yeah, if all you care about is having EAX for your games, then get the Forte or Prelude or one of the other Auzentech X-Fi cards. If you only play games, then an X-Fi chip will work just fine for you. If you play games, listen to music, and watch movies, then you should look at the Asus Xonar cards. They may not have EAX and CMSS and all that, but they do produce a wonderful sound for music and movies.. just because you play games, doesn't mean someone else won't like the Xonar lineup of cards for music and movies. I use to play games only on the PC.. but now I'll listen to music for hours or watch some movies as well as play games. It just depends on your usage. I was going to get an X-Fi card before, but now that I don't play games as much as I use to, I want a good, all around card to make my movies and music sound great as well as give good performance in games. I may not be able to turn on EAX, but when I had my Xtreme Gamer card, I barely used it. Why buy a card for something you may not use?
     

  11. sovietdoc

    sovietdoc Master Guru

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    I am picking up both Forte and Xonar STX thursday this week. Obviously I will only keep one card but at least I'll get a chance to play around with both of them and see which one I like best.

    Also picked up a pair of OPA627SM's, so I will be able to tell you guys how much difference it makes compared to the stock. I will post up again probably around friday/saturday just so I have enough time to thoroughly mess around with both cards and their various configs.

    :)
     
  12. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    Give the op-amp time to burn in. also dont forget the I/V's on the STX can be changed to better op-amps also. and combo of I/V+buffer op-amps comes into the factor too. Unless your just using the headphone amp on the STX.

    Then the buffer isnt used just the Two I/V dip8 socket op-amps are. in this case is the Two JRC ones.

    So when you try the OPA627SM's on the STX if you use the headphone amp replace the Two JRC's on the I/V with the OPA627SM instead.
     
  13. bp9801

    bp9801 Ancient Guru

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    I wish I could have that much money to buy two 150 dollar plus sound cards and a pair of opamps that cost just as much. But then again, I am pretty stringent with my money when it comes to expensive items and don't see a need to blow it all on electronics. I've moved past those days and now I save everything I get.

    Let us know how they perform with and without the opamp though, I'm thinking of getting one of them and would like to see more input on which is the better overall performer in real world testing.
     
  14. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Audio is like anything else on the PC, if you want the performance you have to pay the piper.
     
  15. bp9801

    bp9801 Ancient Guru

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    I know, I'm saying I wish I had the money to buy two sound cards that cost 350 dollars total in order to see which one I like better. I can barely get the money together to buy one sound card, let alone two. The good General just informed me that op-amps can be had for free for college students, so I will have to take advantage of that since I'm in school. But now, I need the money for a sound card. I'll be sticking to buying one card, not purchasing two for fun.
     

  16. sovietdoc

    sovietdoc Master Guru

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    Hell no dude, I ain't got that kind of money either. That's why I will be returning one of them once I played around with both and made a decision.

    As replacing opamps on STX, yeah I am not sure they would "just fit" so I am looking for an adapter that will let me run it on the STX. Also as of testing them out, it's gonna be kinda hard because STX doesn't support anything over 2.1 speakers. So I guess I would have to play around with mah headphones instead. Hopefully my Pioneer HDJ-1000 are good enough to tell the difference between the two. But in any case, I will see what I can squeeze out of each one of the cards. Can't wait :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  17. bp9801

    bp9801 Ancient Guru

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    Yeah, I'll warrant I was a little hasty. Its just been a really stressful day and week.. I'm dealing with a death in the family and the closing of my site. The first heavily outweighs the other, but both of them combined are just making me a whole mix of emotions. I apologize.

    Still though, give us updates when you get the two cards.. with and without the op-amps. And I wouldn't mind some of that return money :p Or having the option to purchase two at the same time haha.
     
  18. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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