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Creative Launches its Sound Blaster AE-7 and AE-9 Audiophile Sound Cards

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Alessio1989

    Alessio1989 Maha Guru

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    So you buy an "expensive" dedicated audio card just for DTS/DDL software encoding? Than you are probably using a crap digital speaker set without a proper receiver.
    outside the possibility to pair it with a decent analog speaker system or good headsets, onboard down-mix and up-mix capabilities suck, that's the main reason for me. Yes, there are tons of free and paid mixing software solutions, but outside simply graphics equations most of them suck, or add noticeable CPU overhead or additional audio latency. Best onboards audio chip-set have more or less the same analogue quality of an old midrange X-FI, good yes, but only on high-range MBs...

    EDIT: additional reason: most of today's motherboards, outside full-ATX high-range models, do not provide analogue multi-channel output, but only stereo.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  2. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    I used to have good internal souncard (PCI). Not usable with new system. But I will likely get new one in time. But this time USB (likely 3.0 or higher) because one can always run into situation where Notebook is being used. Or next system does not have that good built in sound card.

    And while MBs today often have very acceptable sound cards, not all have. And as need for it arises, one should not limit its choice by component that is not that important and can be used externally.
    (Especially with all those improvements to USB ports.)
     
  3. JamesSneed

    JamesSneed Master Guru

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    Obviously from someone who has never had a great sound setup. It is hilariously funny how many people have never heard really good sound systems. I convert people all the time just from having music playing on my home theatre system and it isn't even audiophile grade stuff but it is a bit higher end. Love my SVS sub btw :)

    I'm not a fan of this setup though I would much rather have just the DAC and Amp nothing internal to the PC.

    For the very entry level of audiophile grade gear look to decent quality headphones like the Sennheiser HD 58X sound pretty good on a low power DAC/Amp setup which does not take to much of an investment. These are also pretty darn good for gaming as there ability to allow you to place sounds in 3D are very nice like to the point people may think you have a wall hack.

    Aso fairly cheap speakers like Audioengine A5+ aren't bad but are night and day better than most PC speakers.
     
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  4. Denial

    Denial Ancient Guru

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    To be fair it does get pretty placeboish at the high end, especially when people start getting thousand dollar power conditioners, speaker cables, DACs, etc.

    I don't think these soundcards are in that range but yeah.
     
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  5. warezme

    warezme Member Guru

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    I used to buy Soundblaster cards and kept an old PCI Xfi Fatl1ty going for years until PCI slots went away. I loved it had a front panel break out box for my headphones and volume controls. I miss that and it sounded way better then built in. I would probably pull the trigger on a newer model but Creative needs to be realistic about their prices. Maybe they do spend a lot of time on developing their cards but their prices for a sound card are cray cray. With the prices they ask they guarantee a very small audience. Enthusiast are already a niche and when you consider the price Enthusiast/audiophile is a sub niche. I don't see how they stay in business. If the card was around $100 or less I would grab one. I have no doubt that 9 series model will probably retail around $250.
     
  6. SHS

    SHS Master Guru

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    But I said my Quote Toslink input must not die you refer to toslink in general sense both input and output work on same electronica circuitry chipset

    Well that not true in June 2005 came Auzentech, which with its X-Mystique PCI was the first to support DDL then some C-Media card, Realtek had support for DDL on ALC882D even Nvidia SoundStorm which had real-time encoding found certain nForce2 motherboards but later decided to drop DDL support in their motherboards due to the high cost of involved royalties.
    How ever all the AC-3 has already expired.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  7. Andrew LB

    Andrew LB Maha Guru

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    And why is that? You can output both a pure untouched signal or one with the positional enhancements and have been able to since the X-Fi Titanium HD.

    The difference between my Titanium HD and onboard sound is night and day. I'm using Sennheiser HD650's with an amplifier.
     
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  8. Andrew LB

    Andrew LB Maha Guru

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    And fyi, the AE-9 retails for $323 and the AE-7 for $220. When they hit store though, i'm sure they'll cost $299 and $199.
     
  9. SHS

    SHS Master Guru

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    Doesn't matter even that way to much I much rather put that toward new Killer Fast GPU which all lot more beneficial.
     
  10. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    As for headphone users, you can buy quality dedicated DAC/AMP for that price.
    DAC : Topping D10 / D30
    AMP : JDS Labs Atom, Liquid Spark or Topping A30

    No need to worry of video card frying soundcard, internal electronic interference or bad grounding. Also better components and versatility.

    Speakers can be run of the DAC, so yeah, I don't really see a reason to buy soundcard for myself. For someone who needs soundcard features, might want it.

    Edit: These sound cards should be aimed for audio producers who actually need features for the work and not mere consumer who needs soundcard for fake surround effect (aka: bathroom effect).
     
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  11. Order_66

    Order_66 Master Guru

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    I do, my onboard audio is decent with my 5.1 speakers but using the Soundblaster Z analog the difference is night and day in both sound quality and positional quality.

    I also have a couple of decent headsets, hyperX cloud 2 and a Logitech 533 for when I need quiet gaming time but they are simply no match for for a good 5.1 with a good sound card.
     
  12. Silva

    Silva Master Guru

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    There's a big difference from onboard sound and having a dedicated sound card.
    Personally I'd never buy these "audiophile" bs, but a generic sound blaster is a huge upgrade and offers allot of features for the money.
    A must have for anyone with more than 2.0 sound and wanting decent quality.
     
  13. SHS

    SHS Master Guru

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    For me I go with FX Audio DAC-X6 if my Sound Blaster Z ever die as I need some way pass audio from Roku and Sat box optical cable into PC
    I know there are HDMI DAC but way out my price range
     
  14. Mesab67

    Mesab67 Member Guru

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    Like many, it's been a fair while since I used a sound card and I've used a bunch of Creative cards going some years back. I'd be very interested to see what difference one of these new Creative cards makes to audio quality in comparison to current motherboards, particularly using the newest embedded audio solutions. In the past that difference was huge.

    I've been part of the live band scene for many years and also have a keen interest in recording/mixing, using an RME Fireface 802 for audio interface duties. There will be lots of folk unaware of the very significant differences in audio perception and resolving, particularly when using headphones, between different set-up's. For a very simple test, let anyone listen to an uncompressed music track (some real/organic instruments will help) using any low-end pair of headphones and then let them listen to the same track using a higher end pair (you don't need to spend hundreds for this). The vast majority of folks will instantly hear a significant difference. Their ability to resolve different instruments and their spacial placements will be greatly improved, together with an increase in tonal fidelity. It's easier to spot this with headphones but the same conclusions can be seen with speakers. Crucially, each section along the signal path contributes very significantly, and when take a current look at comparing embedded motherboard solutions to add-in cards - what do we see(hear)? Add-in cards most certainly used to make a big difference...can they still do? I suspect yes, due simply to the associated costs, providing that cost hasn't gone on secondary components.
    Some Google research is due.

    As for the cost of these new Creative cards, many folk have been patiently saving up /waiting a long time pondering updating their systems. With Zen2 just released, there's going to be a lot of those folk now able to finally justify an upgrade. I'm definitely changing to Zen2 from my old X58 system.
    With all this spending, it's perhaps no wonder any new releases at this time might look to 'be part of' this upgrade/new build movement. Remember also that in time, things have a tendency to lower in price.
     
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  15. Inquisitor

    Inquisitor Active Member

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    Better buy these quick.... driver support for them expires in about 10 mins :rolleyes:
     
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  16. Only Intruder

    Only Intruder Maha Guru

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    I would say if you're using analogue output, soundcard is a must but it also depends on the sound system you're using but if you're full digital, then it only matters at the amplifer/receiver stage as that's where the audio processing would be occurring (a dedicated soundcard would essentially be redundant with digital aduio unless you're using specific encoders not available on motherboard audio).

    In my case, I have a SoundBlaster Z along with a pair of Focal.JMLab bookshelf speakers and a rotel amplifier.
    I'm still using an X-FI Fatal1ty Platinum Series with its Front Panel drive bay, had it since 2005 :D But for this 4690k system, it's for input only, my SoundBlaster Z is handling audio output (as mentioned above). I'm going to be a bit sad when I upgrade my PC in a few months as I'll most likely have to retire the X-Fi with PCI no longer supported on motherboards (unless I find a suitable pci-e to pci adaptor).

    Edit: A thought has just occurred to me, a possible reason as to why soundcards can be so expensive is because of their longevity, graphics cards are often made obsolete because of the demands required on them as new games often push the limits of cards with new techniques but sound on the other hand sees little innovation, particularly with the advent of digital audio which is why we see little improvement on analogue solutions.
     
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  17. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

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    Huh? Almost every one I've encountered that had an output also had an input. They practically never give you the socket for it (probably too expensive for something very few people use), but the pin headers usually exist.
     
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  18. azraei97

    azraei97 New Member

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    Pesos? Uh... SGD is Singapore Dollar.. Dah....
     
  19. TheDeeGee

    TheDeeGee Ancient Guru

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    Explain, cuz i have a great Creative Experience since the early SoundBlasters.
     
  20. JamesSneed

    JamesSneed Master Guru

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    Not sure why you say that. A majority of motherboards have onboard sound with a toslink(optical S/PDIF) output. However they are usually inferior due to having to convert digital to analog to optical with usually the cheapest components possible. A USB output to an external DAC works wonderfully well so in a sense you already have your wish like a decade ago.

    We have had this output for years. The connector is called USB. For example:https://www.amazon.com/Xonar-U7-MKII-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B06X3RGC8Y

    That header is usually another S/PDIF output not an input. Its actually extremely rare to have an input S/PDIF header on the motherboard.
     

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