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Creative Sound Blaster X-fi external sound card for the "Budget-not-quite-audiophile's among us"

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Because of severe budget restraints, I've been a digital audiophile wanna be for quite some time; but I have recently added something that has significantly increased my listening enjoyment. I've been sending my analog music signal over a cat5 wire to my media room from the office until the headphone jack on my laptop began to fail (loud hum resulting), and my local tech recommended the Sound Blaster X-fi external sound card, which I purchased from Amazon for about $60, Amazon.com: Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB Audio System with THX SB1095: Electronics.


I'm now outputting "Direct Sound" from JRiver Media Center via USB to the X-fi, out RCA jacks over the cat5, and the increase in sound quality is breathtaking. My next project will be to pull an optical cable through the existing conduit and eliminate the cat5. I'm very curious as to the next increase in sound quality and will do some A/B tests between that signal and cd's once I've made that change. I don't know the spec's on the X-fi and whether it is bit-perfect, all I know is what my ears tell me and they are very happy indeed. So, for the cash-starved music lovers among us, I'd highly recommend this very modest upgrade until we can afford more expensive gear. Hey, maybe Chris can start a C.A.S.H-Starved section on the site...;-))) I'm open to receiving any suggestions to tweaks on JRiver settings.


"It's all about the music" Chuck H.


Happy listening...


Levovo TP1/XP-Pro>JRiver>USB>SoundBlaster X-fi>RCA/cat5>Denon AVR-3808CI>Paradigm mini monitor v.4

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