Upgrade path from X-Fi Prelude...

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by vf, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. vf

    vf Ancient Guru

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    Been reading around and came across a lot of discussions here plus the fact I only discovered today from an old thread/post that the Prelude is in discontinued state. So I can't see new drivers coming from Creative or whatever newer issues with Windows 8 or drivers and create issues with drivers that aren't any newer than mid 2011. Or any problems with games and so on.

    I originally went the Prelude when it was first released since I had my sights on the X-Meridian but Rob recommended the Prelude for the best of both worlds. Got a good run out of it. Never really had issues but it feels like it's showing it's age? due to lack of newer driver support. Feels like I'm back to where I started with the Audigy 2 ZS and Windows Vista.

    Obviously all cards are PCI-e 1x now? got a few spare.

    So where do I go for a good gaming card plus sound card for music, exactly what the Prelude was. Plus the fact I'm really out of the loop when it comes to sound cards.
     
  2. Sajittarius

    Sajittarius Master Guru

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    im using a sound blaster Titanium HD, its pcie x1 but it only has optical and headphone outputs. Sound pretty much the same as my Prelude did.

    The new sound blaster Zx or ZxR look good, but i havent tried them so i couldnt tell you if they sound much better. Alot of reviews I've read say they do sound better than the X-fi though.

    I will say i went from a Prelude to an Asus DX when i switch motherboards (no PCI on the new one) and i had lots of problems with blu ray playback in PowerDVD.
     
  3. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    The thing is the X-FI Titanium HD does have op-amp sockets which you can use to swap the op-amps. If you do not like the defaults that come with the card. When the headphone out is used on the titanium HD, Only the I/V op-amps are used which are the JRC's. Not many people like those op-amps and usually change them to2x LME49720NA, or another poplar op-amp.

    The prelude does have a op-amp socket as well just one.
     
  4. ESlik

    ESlik Ancient Guru

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    I really like my Phoebus. I had quite a few Creative cards,including the Prelude and X Meridian,which are Creative as well. The Phoebus out shines them all. IMO.
     

  5. Tacoboy

    Tacoboy Master Guru

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    Do you have a budget for the sound card upgrade?
    As the Sound blaster Z series is Creative's newest, it should be a good investment as it's likely to get driver updates for the next several years.
    And it comes with a true headphone amplifier :)
    If your into older (EAX 5.0) games, then a Titanium HD with an external headphone amplifier (Schiit Magni head amp $99) would be a good investment.
     
  6. vf

    vf Ancient Guru

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    I have my sights on this. Could be what I'm going to eventually go for. Plus I still have a somewhat sour view on Creative.

    Not really apart from I'm not interested in their cards that fits the add-on to the drive bays.

    Thats the problem, few years and likely are not on Creatives side.
     
  7. Plug2k

    Plug2k Maha Guru

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    I previously had the prelude + even better opamp installed.
    upgraded to the phoebus and what a mistake that was, the hardware is excellent, but the drivers are piss poor, and the control pannel is lacking..
    though its dolby theater v4 software was the + point of that card without it it would have just been like any card more of a sidestep upgrade vs the prelude.

    i sent it back and got the creative zxr, better hardware and build compared to the z standard cards, its software and updates are a lot quicker and you would get better support from creative than asus any day of the week.
    sound quality is better aswell and the dac is much better, also the cards software is better, dont get me wrong they both have there +`s and -`s or +`s and cons but the zxr is the definitive card if your looking for a card for the future zxr i highly recommend + it has socket opamp upgradablilty aswell. that was a + over the phoebus to as it does not come with sockets you would have to have soldering skills to swap em out, what if you dont like the opamps sound and you wished to keep swapping to find the correct one to your liking, your board is going to be a soldering mess.

    overall i made the right choice and will not look at another sound card for the years to come ;)

    though the phoebus is 7.1 and the creative zxr is 5.1 thats the only + the phoebus has over the zxr but if that is not a issue then its a no brainer.

    and VF the zxr has eax5.0 compatibly to ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  8. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    If you purchase a Prelude when first relased, I would say you had a good run as that card is quite dated now as IIRC, the Prelude was released around 2008.

    I though the Phobeus was a good card and had no issues with drivers or controls panels when using. I should have a ZXR here soon to check out...

    This is a great time tobe sound card shopping as there are some great cards that were just released, and a few more that have been out for awhile so you have many to choose from. If you are interestedinthe ZXR, I should be reviewing it here soon.


    No, the X-Meridians -both G1 and G2 have nothing to do with Creative Labs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  9. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    The main problem with the phoebus is that it does not have a op-amp socket, so you are stuck with what ever op-amp they put on the board. Wheres a prelude and the X-merdian which both has op-amp sockets, that you can swap out the default op-amp. Then put in a much better one, or Two single channel ones on a dual to single op-amp socket.

    If I was going back into sound card's I would get one with a op-amp socket in it, that way you be able to change the sound signature of the sound card. without having to get tools to remove it off a sound card that has no sockets and has the op-amp fused on the pcb.
     
  10. vf

    vf Ancient Guru

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    Yeah, I had it on pre-order in 2007. September 2007 it was released to be exact upon checking my archived invoices. It went up for pre-order in July.

    I have my sights set on this now. Seems it's two cards? one for the PCIe slot and another just for the case chassis slot....
     

  11. Plug2k

    Plug2k Maha Guru

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    the 2nd card is mostly for spdif in and out and rca in and out daughter board does not plug into the motherboard attaches to main board via ribbon cable also another good thing about the zxr over the phoebus it does not require the insaine power that the phoebus requires so no plugging in 6 pin cable from psu with the zxr its powered only by the pci ex bus.
     
  12. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    To tell you the truth, I would have prefered the Molex power connector over bus power.
     

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