Difference between HT Omega Claro Halo vs HT Omega eClaro?

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by Aura89, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    I will be upgrading my CPU and motherboard soon to a Ryzen processor, and my current HT Omega Claro Halo is PCI. Personally, i love this soundcard, but all x370 motherboards i have seen but one has no PCI slot, and that one was a biostar. I don't really want to get a biostar motherboard, so i'm looking to get a PCI-Express sound card.

    Anyone have experience as to the real-world difference between the Claro Halo and the eClaro? Or suggestions on some PCI-Express cards? i have not really had good luck with creative, and i have eyed Asus for awhile bit this latest strix cards do not seem to get good reviews...
     
  2. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    Just for a bit more information, i have the Bayerdynamic DT 990 Pro 600ohm headphones, and i mostly game, some music
     
  3. DW75

    DW75 Master Guru

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    Hey Aura89, I am the one who convinced you to purchase the Claro Halo a few years ago. I may as well dive into this thread here as well to help again. Yes, the cards are similar, however, they do have a couple differences. They both have the same AK4396VF DAC, which is a 120dB part. However, the Claro Halo has the AK535BVF ADC, and the EClaro has the CS5361 ADC. The CS5361 is a Cirrus Logic A/D Converter, and is a 114db part. The AK535BVF is an A/D Converter made by AKM, and is a 120db part.

    The headphone amp chip on the Claro Halo is the TPA6120A2. This is a 128db part. The headphone amp on the EClaro uses the JRC4580 for the headphone amp, which is a worse part. Both are good cards, but the Claro Halo is better. I have heard both cards. The Halo is better sounding, and has better components on it.
     
  4. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    Is there a different option then? different brand of soundcard? I do really like this soundcard, but unless i want to get a brand of motherboard i don't really want, or get a B350 chipset (which i think would be the better of both worlds), then i need a PCI-Express 1x card

    The fenix from what i've seen is not a card i want to get and that's the only other pci-express 1x card from ht omega

    I guess there's always USB options as well.

    Do you have any input on say the HT Omega Halo USB? or any other USB options?

    I guess there's always the option of getting a PCI-Express to PCI Expansion....

    Something similar to this

    https://www.amazon.com/PCI-e-Adapte...&qid=1488562663&sr=1-6&keywords=PCI+Expansion

    Not entirely certain i want to go that route or if it'd be a good route to go in the first place..
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017

  5. DW75

    DW75 Master Guru

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    Well, this is unfortunate. As I am sure you are aware, most sound cards will end up being a downgrade. The only option for PCI-E soundcards would be getting the Xonar STX 2. This is a great card. If you want a USB DAC/AMP combo, I would recommend the Aune X1S. It costs 260 US, and has the awesome ES9018K2M DAC in it. This is a 32bit/384khz DAC and supports DSD. You would be impressed. I have heard it before, and it is a great sounding unit. It is sexy in the looks department as well. You can get it in black or silver.

    https://www.amazon.com/Aune-X1S-384...88569812&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=aune+x1s&psc=1
     
  6. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    I want to make sure we're on the same page when it comes to the xonar, as i don't see it listed as a xonar, but as an Essence, is this the correct card?

    https://www.asus.com/us/Sound-Cards/Essence_STX_II/
     
  7. DW75

    DW75 Master Guru

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    Yes, that is the same card. I was just calling it Xonar STX 2 for short. This card will actually be a bit of an upgrade from your Claro Halo.
     
  8. Aura89

    Aura89 Ancient Guru

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    Well i purchased it for $210, we'll see how it goes.
     
  9. DW75

    DW75 Master Guru

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    That is a great price. The card used to be 300 bucks. It has the Burr Brown PCM1792 DAC on it. This is a great sounding chip. It is detailed and spacious with nice depth. It has the same TI6120A2 headphone amp that is on your Halo. However, it has Muses opamps, the 8920 and 8820 in the analog output stage. These are a very nice upgrade from the JRC4580 used on the Halo. You will be impressed. It will give you a noticeable sound upgrade from the already very nice Halo.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  10. thezfunk

    thezfunk Member

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    I am kind of in a similar boat. I just upgraded to a Ryzen with the Asus ROG x370 motherboard. I have an Auzentech Bravura 7.1, which I love. However in Windows 10 I can't get the headphone jack to work correctly. The onboard sound is driving me nuts.

    I was also looking at the eClaro. The other option I found was the Power Color Devil Soundcard http://www.powercolor.com/us/products_soundcard_features.asp?id=1

    I read that Power Color card is just a rebadged Aim sound card. http://www.aimpro21.com/prod_sc808.asp

    I can't get the Aim card without ordering it from Ebay and the Power Color card has good reviews but I have been reading about issues.

    I won't touch Creative stuff.

    I want PCI-E, swappable opamps, 1/4" headphone jack and 5.1 for my M-Audio Speakers.
     

  11. DW75

    DW75 Master Guru

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    I will be upgrading to a Ryzen platform in the next couple months. I had the HT OMEGA Claro Plus, which was PCI. It is an awesome sound card, so I did not have many internal sound card choices with 5.1 analog outputs which would actually be an audio upgrade. I ended up selling it, and I bought the Creative ZXR card. Shortly after, I upgraded the 4 replaceable opamps in it. I now have 2 of the LME49860NA opamps in the I/V stage, and two of the LME49710HA TO-99 Metal Can opamps on adapters in the buffer stage. Honestly, the card sounds bloody amazing now, and has superior audio to my previous Claro Plus card. It is expensive with the opamp upgrades, but totally worth it.

    I have had negative experiences with Creative in the past as well. However, I have not had one issue with this card. No clicks, pops, crackles, distortion, driver crashes, nothing. Another new driver came out in February as well, which greatly improves support for Windows 10. I am very particular about what sound card I am willing to accept using. I use the analog RCA outputs to my M-Stage headphone amp. I also use the 5.1 analog outputs to my analog inputs on my Marantz receiver. The sound quality is fantastic. I have no regrets with this card at all. With the stock opamps, I was not totally satisfied, but I am hard to please. Once I upgraded the opamps to the LME49710HA in the buffer, and LME49860NA in the I/V stage, it literally sounds like a different card now. I don't think you will have any issues with this card if you decide to go the Creative route.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2017

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