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floppy Constantinople


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Asus Xonar D2 Sound Test Preliminary Result floppy Jul 17th, 07, 06:47 PM #1

Hey guys, as all fo you might have known, a bunch of us spent last Saturday at a private gathering at Burlington Square. We pitted the Asus Xonar D2 against offerings by Auzentech, Audiotrak, Tokyo Style and Creative.

Platform used:

- Asus P5K3 Deluxe
- Intel Core 2 6400
- 2x 1GB DDR-1333 Kingston HyperX
- Asus 8600GTS
- Verudium VortexHE 500W

Soundcard tested:

- Auzentech X-Meridien
- Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1 XT
- Tokyo Style Envy24 HT 7.1
- Asus Xonar D2
- Creative X-Fi Elite Pro
- Creative X-Fi Fata1ty
- Creative Audigy 4

Speakers used:

- M-Audio Studiophile BX-5 Studio Monitoring Speakers
- Acoustic Energy Aego M 2.1 Multimedia Speakers

Software:

- Foobar2000 via ASIO

Testing methodology

A group of us gathered together at the Burlington Square Multi Purpose Hall, which is a room that's about 4 metres by 5 metres in area. Pictures below!



Equipment used lined up!



The soundcards. We were supposed to test the onkyo SE-90 as well but we forgot the cable, at the end of the day we ommited it from the test. ^^



The testing platforms lined up





Xonar in action



Selecting the songs



Eventual Test Setup

Songs Tested (in 1411kbps WAV):

- Olivia Ong - So Nice
- Cai Qin - Those were the days
- Cai Qin - Just Like your Tenderness
- Eagles - Hotel California
- Olivia Ong - Fall in Love

Eventual Comments compiled by the group

- Asus Xonar: low and high extensions, Mids is recessed compared to the Prodigy XT and X-Meridien. The 118dB claims is justified upon hearing the card in action.

- Asus Xonar: much better soundstage, speration and instrument details are much better compared to competition

- X-Meridien: Good Mids & average soundstage, Extensions is narrow compared to Prodigy XT and Xonar

- Audiotrak Prodigy XT: neutral, soundstage significantly narrower than xonar, good separation, slighty less high frequency extension. Mids expresses well especially with vocals

- Tokyo Style Envy 24HT: narrow soundstage, poor separation, poor extension, forward, poor depth

- Creative X-Fi Elite Pro: Muffled mids and highs, muddy lows, worse soundstage of the lot. the xfi was sibilant on vocals as well, we should have had the photo of domho7's cringing face

The Creative cards were crippled by lousy Operational Amplifiers and Capacitors and the tokyo style is crippled by lousy opamps, but the Tokyo Style, like the prodigy XT comes with a interchangable OPAMP sockets. Overall, The Xonar comes out top in the looks (bling!) factor and soundstage, but the mids seems to be lacking a little, and domho7 and yantronic pointed out that most audiophiles might prefer the sound that's coming out from the Audiotrak Prodigy XT. The X-Meridien isn't too bad but loses out to the Audiotrak Prodigy XT in terms of Mids.

The Creative cards sounded really muddy on my pair of studio monitors, many of us shook our heads when we compared it neck to neck with the rest of the cards. Some says even the onboard sound of the Asus sounds better.

Some of the users have pointed out to me that the X-Meridien's ASIO drivers are buggy and have suggested that I conduct the test with another alogorithm. I will, as I will be recieving the X-Fi Prelude tomorrow! Please keep a lookout of our soundcard shootout.

More testscoming up, including Gaming and Hardware acceleration and most importantly, RMAA tests coming right up!

This post are general opinions gathered from our users, including myself, and is not a review! i guess most people didn't realise that this is just a forum post.

Some videos that booest took.

Video Clip 01

Video Clip 02

Video Clip 03

Many thanks to Tensor, yantronic, Dreamslacker, booest, domho7, dreamie, Eugene, firespark, scyeige for their inputs! and Enegizer for loaning us the X-Meridien for the day!!!


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Last edited by floppy; Jul 25th, 07 at 01:31 PM..
extr3mus
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Shake!


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extr3mus Jul 17th, 07, 07:08 PM #2
Asus PC

Live the way you want it to be, don't waste it.

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DarkEgle Registered User


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DarkEgle Jul 17th, 07, 07:40 PM #3
nice!! so which card is better?
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Watdayaknow Registered User


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Watdayaknow Jul 17th, 07, 08:14 PM #4
Mind telling me the japs song on the 2nd vid?
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floppy Constantinople


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floppy Jul 17th, 07, 08:27 PM #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Watdayaknow
Mind telling me the japs song on the 2nd vid?
Koini Ochite
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gmail
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gmail Jul 17th, 07, 10:04 PM #6
what's the name for the song in the 3rd video??
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dan carreras
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dan carreras Jul 17th, 07, 10:05 PM #7
owned
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gyver1985 Registered User


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gyver1985 Jul 17th, 07, 10:17 PM #8
How much does the Asus Sonar Cost???? Looks good....
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gyver1985 Registered User


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gyver1985 Jul 17th, 07, 10:17 PM #9
Hey, is the Razor Barracuda AC 1 soundcard good?????
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belansing Registered User


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belansing Jul 17th, 07, 10:37 PM #10
Good job.
OS & driver will ... ...
How about AudioTrak Prodigy HD Gold?
booest (admin) has this sound card.
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Last edited by belansing; Jul 17th, 07 at 10:42 PM..
TangoA Registered User


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TangoA Jul 17th, 07, 11:21 PM #11
Prodigy got so many series? newbies like me see also blur.. which is which??

if prodigy hd gold good, may i know why u still using HD onboard audio, booest?
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master_audio Registered User


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master_audio Jul 17th, 07, 11:24 PM #12
How did you connect to X-Fi Elite Pro? Mind to show what setting is used for this setup?
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yantronic
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yantronic Jul 17th, 07, 11:30 PM #13
The BX-5s are relatively neutral monitors within its price-range, so basically what went on upstream was easily heard downstream via the monitors. The differences were quite obvious to those present at the event IMHO. Each card had its own characteristic signature. Hours were spent evaluating the cards, some basically went out of the window the moment music started playing. =X

Safe to say, most of the time was spent on testing out the contenders. After spending half the day swapping cards around, it was time to relax!

Guess what did the job at pizza-hour?

Note: the OPAMPs on the Xonar are supplied +/-8V, totally DC coupled with no capacitor (often blamed for colorations) in the signal path. This voltage headroom also allowed the Xonar to swing more voltage on the output without distorting/clipping. The Xonar also had a considerably "hotter" output than most of the cards in the test.

The X-Fi was also evaluated along with the Crystalliser function as it comes with the package.
Quote:
The opinions expressed above do not represent those of VR-Zone (VR Media PTE LTD Singapore) or any of their affiliates.

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yantronic Jul 17th, 07, 11:31 PM #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by extr3mus
Asus PC
AOCC 2007 leftovers.
Quote:
The opinions expressed above do not represent those of VR-Zone (VR Media PTE LTD Singapore) or any of their affiliates.

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Gollum Registered User


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Gollum Jul 17th, 07, 11:35 PM #15
mmm looks fun
"Now, now, my good man, this is no time for making enemies." -- Voltaire His last words on his death bed when asked by a priest to renounce Satan.
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