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clarkma5
Goal: Getting the most out of my audio system on my computer for listening to music without spending a gajillion bucks or moving to headphones. (aka, I'm not gunning for surround sound or EAX support or anything that might please the gamer, just good audio quality for listening to music)

Current setup: Denon DRA-295 stereo receiver driving a pair of Klipsch SB-1 bookshelf speakers connected to my Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P's onboard audio. Using standard-issue device drivers with kX project 3rd party audio drivers. Running windows 7 Pro 64-bit.

Backstory: I used to run a Creative SB Live! Platinum 4.1 card (purchased in 2000) on my machine when I was still on XP. When I built my new machine a few months ago and went to 64-bit 7, I couldn't use the card anymore because there are no 64-bit drivers for it, so I went to onboard audio because it works. The reason I had stuck with that same old sound card for so long is that I found its audio quality so superior to any onboard audio or even any other sound card I'd ever tried (granted, they were all creative products too, I've tried a Live 5.1, an Audigy 2 ZS, and one other card I can't remember). When I built my new machine, the decreased separation of sounds, the increased muddledness, the dulling of the bass response were all noticeable with the switch to onboard sound.

I'm trying to find a sound card or something that will work for audio quality instead of just having a feature list for gamers. I'm not about to invest in anything Creative sells because my ears have told me that everything they've put out for the last decade has been as crappy as onboard audio. What other options are there? I don't know a whole lot about the subject, so I'm hoping someone here might have a clue...
fiber optic
I've got an old as the hills Turtle Beach Santa Cruz that shames the Creative cards I used in the past. These days I primarily listen through my headphones and may just give up on the 5.1 speakers.
Flaw
One of the most highly regarded music-oriented soundcards is the M-Audio Audiophile 2496. It doesn't do 5.1, and with Win7 you have to use old kernel streaming output in foobar as the WASAPI output. Other than that, the quality is top notch to this day. A newer option would be the Asus Xonar's, but they do seem to be geared more towards gamers.
b0mb3r
since you have a receiver... would it be fine just to use an existing card and output the sound via optical/coax cable?
clarkma5
All the receiver's inputs are RCA...
b0mb3r
ohhhhhhhh... i should have clicked on a link.
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