Question Replace Xonar D1 with PCI-E equivalent - Xonar DX, AE, something else?

qwsazx

Junior Member
Dec 7, 2018
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0
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Hi all.

I'm looking for advice. Recently changed mobo for a nem one without PCI slot. So my Xonar D1 is not usable anymore. I was perfectly satisfied with its sound quality.

As mobo sound card is really poor (Realtek ALS1200), I'm currently looking for a replacement with PCI-E slot. I consider Xonar DX (as closest equivalent - but it's old card and not so easy to find), Xonar AE and AIM SC808. Do I miss anything important? I'm not generally a fan of Soundblasters, as they do not sound well enough. But last SB card I've have experience with was old Audigy F<something>.

- I use Audiotechnica ATH-M50x headphones ONLY. No external speakers.
- 30% gaming, 70% music. No movies, maybe except YouTube and similar.
- Don't care about sound recording at all.
- I really liked Dolby Headphones mode in Xonar D1 Control Center. Don't know if it's hardware related or just software function.

Please share some ideas. Thank you!
 
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qwsazx

Junior Member
Dec 7, 2018
12
0
36
Hi.

I've checked the site, but it's not what I'm looking for. I prefer internal sound cards, as Xonar D1/DX.

Thank you for your suggestion though.
 

CU

Platinum Member
Aug 14, 2000
2,365
33
91
What about the ASUS XONAR SE? I will be in the same boat when I upgrade my MB. So, I will either need to get a MB with good onboard sound or figure something out also.
 

qwsazx

Junior Member
Dec 7, 2018
12
0
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Well, I can't tell anything about quality of Xonar SE. If I can, I wouldn't ask, right? :)

So I'm curious too about this one.
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
4,590
1,169
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I've checked the site, but it's not what I'm looking for. I prefer internal sound cards, as Xonar D1/DX.
If you're really, really serious about audio quality, an external DAC is the way to go. An internal sound card will always suffer from being internal. I.e. inside the EMI nightmare that is a PC case.
 
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Muadib

Lifer
May 30, 2000
17,191
541
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If you're really, really serious about audio quality, an external DAC is the way to go. An internal sound card will always suffer from being internal. I.e. inside the EMI nightmare that is a PC case.
Yup, especially for headphones. Getting a DAC & amp was the best thing I've done for pc sound.
 

CU

Platinum Member
Aug 14, 2000
2,365
33
91
I prefer internal also. I have enough on my desk now. Plus external DAC / AMP cost way more than a $40'ish sound card. Unless someone knows of a cheaper one. I guess it really just depends on how much you want to spend.
 

qwsazx

Junior Member
Dec 7, 2018
12
0
36
@Insert_Nickname, @Muadib

Well, I never seriously considered external DACs and amps - pure lack of knowledge on my side. Seems worthy to take a look and read something about it.

Are there any reasonable options within 100$ range or should I prepare more money? I've seen for example Schiit Magni headphone amp for 99$. Is it enough? Just to plug into my rig and have good sound on headphones? Yes, really noob question, but as I said, I have to get at least basic knowledge about this topic. I have none at the moment - sorry for being lame :) I hope to know a bit more soon.
 

Muadib

Lifer
May 30, 2000
17,191
541
126
@Insert_Nickname, @Muadib

Well, I never seriously considered external DACs and amps - pure lack of knowledge on my side. Seems worthy to take a look and read something about it.

Are there any reasonable options within 100$ range or should I prepare more money? I've seen for example Schiit Magni headphone amp for 99$. Is it enough? Just to plug into my rig and have good sound on headphones? Yes, really noob question, but as I said, I have to get at least basic knowledge about this topic. I have none at the moment - sorry for being lame :) I hope to know a bit more soon.
Hey, I was a noob too, and not that long ago. The Magni is a great amp, but you need a DAC too. The Modi will get you started. It pairs well with the Magni, and the stack will sound great with your ATH-M50x headphones.
 

qwsazx

Junior Member
Dec 7, 2018
12
0
36
The Magni is a great amp, but you need a DAC too. The Modi will get you started. It pairs well with the Magni, and the stack will sound great with your ATH-M50x headphones.
Schiit products are hard to find in my country, so I'll need to buy it online on Amazon or something. I don't want to make a blind shot and spend 200 bucks for these devices at the moment. So I've ordered Fiio E10K in my local shop. I'll take it home, plug to my rig and test sound quality. I can return this device in case I won't be satisfied - so if the sound will be noticeably better than my old Xonar D1, I'll return the Fiio and look for these Schiit stuff to buy.

Thank you for your help!
 

Muadib

Lifer
May 30, 2000
17,191
541
126
Schiit products are hard to find in my country, so I'll need to buy it online on Amazon or something. I don't want to make a blind shot and spend 200 bucks for these devices at the moment. So I've ordered Fiio E10K in my local shop. I'll take it home, plug to my rig and test sound quality. I can return this device in case I won't be satisfied - so if the sound will be noticeably better than my old Xonar D1, I'll return the Fiio and look for these Schiit stuff to buy.

Thank you for your help!
Schiit ships to internationally, and they also have distributors that you can order from. Either way, good luck with your choice!
 

qwsazx

Junior Member
Dec 7, 2018
12
0
36
Let us know if you think the E10K sounds much better than your Xonar D1.
So I have E10K plugged in and tested for two days, I can share some thoughts as requested. Please note - I'm not audiophile (not even close) and I can't compare with D1 directly. Last time I used D1 was about three weeks ago. Let's get to the point:

1. E10K sound is softer. I don't mean "weaker", but its bass is more smooth and general feel is just as said - softer. D1 sounded more harsh. It was good for the type of music I prefer (thrash and death metal mostly). E10K sound is clear and precise, but not so aggresive as D1. Let's compare E10K to AC/DC bass, and D1 to Motorhead bass sound :)
2. E10K seems to be deeper and more dynamic. I can't describe it inprofessional way - I have an impression of hearing more sounds than using D1. Especially in games. And the loudness is more balanced.
3. Loudness is lower on E10K. D1 on headphones was set to 17%, E10K works at 60%. I don't know if it has any importance to sound quality.
4. Gain and bass switches on E10K have weird effect, I don't like them. Maybe I have to get used to this or get to know what they are for ;) . It's something like activating BBE and Viva mode on JetAudio. Everything sounds muffled and flat.

One a bit funny impression. My choice of audio player on D1 was JetAudio with some options switched on (Wide and X-Surround). I didn't like Foobar, sounded much worse in my opinion. With E10K JetAudio does not fit me at all. Foobar output seems to be perfect. I can't really explain reasons behind it. All setting are the same.

Generally, E10K has noticeably better sound quality than D1, but sounds softer. Sorry for lame description, I'm far from being professional audio expert. Did my best though :)
 
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CP5670

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2004
5,055
305
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I use a X-fi titanium HD. They are $80-100 on ebay and work fine on modern Windows. I like its environmental reverb effects, which subtly "smooth out" music and sound really good to my ears. I haven't seen anything else that sounds quite like it, and it pairs well with my headphone amp. The CMSS-3D audio also works very well in some games. I have an E10 dac/amp and prefer the x-fi over it, but use the E10 for office/travel.
 
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Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
4,590
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Generally, E10K has noticeably better sound quality than D1, but sounds softer. Sorry for lame description, I'm far from being professional audio expert. Did my best though :)
Glad to hear you found something with a sound you like. It's kind of hard to give recommendations, since everyone has different ears with different preferences.
 

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