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Old 10-01-2012, 09:13 PM   #1
prerich prerich is offline
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Well it's almost here...I'm thinking about getting rid of my AV receiver! I've played with ambiphonics this weekend as a plugin to jriver and I was quite pleased. Now I'm considering the HTomega Claro Halo (Lexicon) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829271005 as my new sound card... What do you think?

I'm also learning about Covolution and using it to setup DRC. My PC can already perform bass management and serve as a crossover if I wanted it to. If I'm successful it will be bye-bye to the AVR forever! I real hope this works because I was amazed at the numer of people that did everything via a Mac or PC at audio show this year.

This would mean I would only have speakers, amps, and my PC in my system.
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Essence Evolve 7.1 HDMI DAC, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:11 PM   #2
pentatonic pentatonic is offline
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Sounds interesting. That looks like a really nice sound card, great specs. You're getting the sister 7.1 analog board also?
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentatonic View Post
Sounds interesting. That looks like a really nice sound card, great specs. You're getting the sister 7.1 analog board also?
Yes, I'm getting the bundled daughter card as well (it comes with the XT version). This is only going to happen if I can master DRC in a PC (or if some one comes out with a good, easy to use plugin). I am excited about losing the receiver altogether though. Can you imagine - never having to buy a receiver or preamp again? Better yet, being able to repair your audio gear and to customize it yourself, add processing when needed, and upgrades won't be as necessary (yearly) - I've been running a Quad core extreme here for a minute and I have no desire to upgrade, I just get new programs (and the programs dictate the need to upgrade).
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Essence Evolve 7.1 HDMI DAC, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:31 AM   #4
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Well I have only one source in my receiver now and that's my HTPC! Installed new firmware on my HD Homerun Prime and disconnected my cable box ( I believe once and for all). TV audio is much better from the pc than the cable box! I can't wait for my Claro Halo XT to arrive. I thought that not having Audyssey would keep me from trying this but I read an interesting article over at Sound and Vision by Brent Butterworth, he states that EQ is most needed for bass signals - I'm going to use REW and audio tool to help me in my room.

This is more fun than buying equipment to me, it feels like I'm part of the construction process - its my doing! Never knew that having a pc and being a tech would ever be this fun!
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Essence Evolve 7.1 HDMI DAC, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:13 PM   #5
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Ok I'm going to start experimenting with an older card that I have. I'm going to do this so I can test JRiver's bass management, room correction, and PEQ. If it can fly with an older 7.1 card and sound descent, I'm all in for the Claro Halo XT!!!!
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Essence Evolve 7.1 HDMI DAC, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:54 PM   #6
rarredoa rarredoa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prerich View Post
Ok I'm going to start experimenting with an older card that I have. I'm going to do this so I can test JRiver's bass management, room correction, and PEQ. If it can fly with an older 7.1 card and sound descent, I'm all in for the Claro Halo XT!!!!
Those look like some impressive specs. I am thinking of dumping my X-FI card. It's too buggy and creative does not have any more support for it anyway. Whenever my computer restarts, my sound card defaults are not loaded.

It's as pricey as a good quality pre-amp! I wonder if it will take analog inputs from my technics record player?
Pannasonic BD65/Yamaha RX-A700/Viera 50PZ85U
POLK RTi12 (Bi-amp), CSi5, 2-pair FXi4
Definitive Techonology Supercube Reference (LFE)
DIY Sub with Dayton Audio Reference 15" HO driver
External amps, Gemini XGA3000, Behringer EP4000.

MSI A75MA mobo, AMD Hudson D3 chipset
Radeon RD 260x 2GB GDDR5/16 GB RAM/AMD Quad Core A8
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:14 PM   #7
prerich prerich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rarredoa View Post
Those look like some impressive specs. I am thinking of dumping my X-FI card. It's too buggy and creative does not have any more support for it anyway. Whenever my computer restarts, my sound card defaults are not loaded.

It's as pricey as a good quality pre-amp! I wonder if it will take analog inputs from my technics record player?
No, it won't take the analog inputs of your record player...but what you could do is use one of the inexpensive UAC Behringer models, go out of your turntable, into the UAC, then back out via spdif into the Claro Halo (optical).
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Essence Evolve 7.1 HDMI DAC, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:18 PM   #8
jlafrenz jlafrenz is offline
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From everything I have read, it is necessary to have the volume set to max on the player for bit perfect. If you only have your computer to control the volume, this would not be possible.
-Speakers: Monitor Audio Silver RS8's, RSLCR, RSFX, Dual Epik Empires
-Powered by: Dual XPA-5's & MMC-1
-TV: Samsung 52" A750
-Sources: Pio Elite BDP-05fd, Toshiba HD-A30, XboX 360, DirecTV HD, HTPC, Music Hall MMF 5.1
-Extras: Music Hall 25.2 DAC, Goldpoint SA4, JoLida JD9, Harmony 1000, Panamax 5100 (x2), BFD Pro DSP1124P
-Cables: Blue Jeans, Audioquest, Monster, DIY Cat5, Belden, DNM
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlafrenz View Post
From everything I have read, it is necessary to have the volume set to max on the player for bit perfect. If you only have your computer to control the volume, this would not be possible.
That's only when going through a receiver or preamp, I can bearly turn my system up passed 50% before it gets painfully loud with my present sound card.

All d/a conversion is done in the PC and output as analog. I'm going directly to my power amps, bypassing the need of processing by my prepro/ receiver. However, I would like to know where you received your info, (computer audiophile, head-fi, ect).
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Essence Evolve 7.1 HDMI DAC, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.

Last edited by prerich; 10-18-2012 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlafrenz View Post
From everything I have read, it is necessary to have the volume set to max on the player for bit perfect. If you only have your computer to control the volume, this would not be possible.
I found an article and it states, if you are using an external DAC or a receiver, you must have the volume at 100, if you move it it goes to Static. That's like my old configuration, I'm not using an external DAC nor a receiver any more, just outputting analog to my amps - preserving signal integrity.
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Essence Evolve 7.1 HDMI DAC, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlafrenz View Post
From everything I have read, it is necessary to have the volume set to max on the player for bit perfect. If you only have your computer to control the volume, this would not be possible.
Further investigation uncovered the fact that the application's volume must be set to max...not the O/S's volume control (application set to max...check) its the o/s volume that I can't turn up very high...because my apps are set to 100%
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Essence Evolve 7.1 HDMI DAC, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:00 AM   #12
jlafrenz jlafrenz is offline
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Yes, my references were based upon stereo playback using a DAC. That DAC could be stand alone or in a receiver. Setting the volume to max should be in the actual player you are using to play the file. There are typically plugins for each player for allowing bit perfect output. The issue that I think there still is here is that when you set up the player properly, you bypass any Windows involvement in processing the signal. This would include volume control. When I am playing music, I can adjust the master volume on my PC and there is no change in the volume. I am not sure how this works with the particular sound card you have when put out analog. You may also be doing this for movies, not necessarily music. I control my volume on the DAC itself. Does your sound card have its own control panel that would allow you to adjust volume?
-Speakers: Monitor Audio Silver RS8's, RSLCR, RSFX, Dual Epik Empires
-Powered by: Dual XPA-5's & MMC-1
-TV: Samsung 52" A750
-Sources: Pio Elite BDP-05fd, Toshiba HD-A30, XboX 360, DirecTV HD, HTPC, Music Hall MMF 5.1
-Extras: Music Hall 25.2 DAC, Goldpoint SA4, JoLida JD9, Harmony 1000, Panamax 5100 (x2), BFD Pro DSP1124P
-Cables: Blue Jeans, Audioquest, Monster, DIY Cat5, Belden, DNM
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:15 AM   #13
prerich prerich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlafrenz View Post
Yes, my references were based upon stereo playback using a DAC. That DAC could be stand alone or in a receiver. Setting the volume to max should be in the actual player you are using to play the file. There are typically plugins for each player for allowing bit perfect output. The issue that I think there still is here is that when you set up the player properly, you bypass any Windows involvement in processing the signal. This would include volume control. When I am playing music, I can adjust the master volume on my PC and there is no change in the volume. I am not sure how this works with the particular sound card you have when put out analog. You may also be doing this for movies, not necessarily music. I control my volume on the DAC itself. Does your sound card have its own control panel that would allow you to adjust volume?

Yes it does ! Jriver allows for bit perfect playback without a third party plugin. I use WASAPI so yes I bypass windows kmixer altogether. When I used to go through my receiver it was just like yours - change the volume from the receiver. I'm using mine for both music and movies, and everything else
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Essence Evolve 7.1 HDMI DAC, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:34 AM   #14
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Good. I was going to ask what OS you were using and recommend WASAPI if possible. Sounds like you are on your way.
-Speakers: Monitor Audio Silver RS8's, RSLCR, RSFX, Dual Epik Empires
-Powered by: Dual XPA-5's & MMC-1
-TV: Samsung 52" A750
-Sources: Pio Elite BDP-05fd, Toshiba HD-A30, XboX 360, DirecTV HD, HTPC, Music Hall MMF 5.1
-Extras: Music Hall 25.2 DAC, Goldpoint SA4, JoLida JD9, Harmony 1000, Panamax 5100 (x2), BFD Pro DSP1124P
-Cables: Blue Jeans, Audioquest, Monster, DIY Cat5, Belden, DNM
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:42 AM   #15
ianvillaceran ianvillaceran is offline
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I have the same setup using my HTPC as the prepro then to receiver (for now.. will get a dedicated power amp) using HT Omega Claro Halo XT..

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Old 12-16-2012, 04:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianvillaceran View Post
I have the same setup using my HTPC as the prepro then to receiver (for now.. will get a dedicated power amp) using HT Omega Claro Halo XT..

How would you compare the halo to the Asus essence? I wanted the halo and would have pulled the trigger, but I wound up with Klipsch Cornwalls instead.
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Essence Evolve 7.1 HDMI DAC, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:48 PM   #17
rarredoa rarredoa is offline
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I just purchased an Asus Xonar DS sound card. One of the features of the card is an OPAMP socket that allows me to swap out the stock chip with a better one.

Anyone have any experience with this type of card and what OP AMP circuits out there are upgrades from stock?
Pannasonic BD65/Yamaha RX-A700/Viera 50PZ85U
POLK RTi12 (Bi-amp), CSi5, 2-pair FXi4
Definitive Techonology Supercube Reference (LFE)
DIY Sub with Dayton Audio Reference 15" HO driver
External amps, Gemini XGA3000, Behringer EP4000.

MSI A75MA mobo, AMD Hudson D3 chipset
Radeon RD 260x 2GB GDDR5/16 GB RAM/AMD Quad Core A8
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Old 03-08-2013, 01:13 PM   #18
prerich prerich is offline
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Surprise, surprise!!!! It seems like I'm not the only one looking at the HTPC as a replacement for a prepro. Check this link out if you have time http://blog.acousticfrontiers.com/wh...processor.html

Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Essence Evolve 7.1 HDMI DAC, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:56 AM   #19
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Ok everybody...it's back on!!!! This time I'm not going for the halo Claro card, I'm getting the Asus Essence ST Deluxe. I'm also using VST plugins with jriver for room correction. I've purchased the H6, I will get the ST week after next!
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Essence Evolve 7.1 HDMI DAC, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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Old 04-03-2013, 01:35 PM   #20
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My Asus Essence ST is out for delivery as we speak!!!! We are in for some possible severe weather in the P'handle so I may not get to test this puppy out until tomorrow evening.
Klipsch Cornwall L/R, Klipsch Heresy center, Definitive Technology BP2's (x4) rear, Wharfedale sw380 Subs (x2), 2-8 inch transmission line Subs (rear), Yamaha power Amps mx830 (x2), Adcom 5503 3 channel power amp, Behringer EP4000 Power amp, BD HTPC, Essence Evolve 7.1 HDMI DAC, Da-lite 16:9 106" Screen, BenQ 3D Projector, LG 55 inch LED TV.
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