Thanks to a sweet deal from CompUSA, I'm now listening to MP3s on a brand-spanking-new M-Audio Revolution 7.1 sound card. 65 bucks for amazing sound is hard to beat. I had hoped to get Geoff to give up the Terratec 6fire card, but he balled up into a fetal position and sobbed uncontrollably at the thought of parting with it. It wasn't something a grown man should have to see.

So far, the Rev sounds great. I'll offer more impressions once I've had the chance to listen to it for a while.

The Rev's bass management feature has me flummoxed, though. I'm using a Logitech Z-560 speaker set. When I turn on bass management using the Z-560 presets in the Rev's control app, I lose some of my bass. The thing kind of acts like it wants to send a signal to a sub/center channel, but my speakers don't have such an input. I take it bass management is useless with a 4-speaker + sub system?

I do wish I would have left my Turtle Beach Santa Cruz card in my PC for a little comparative listening action before pulling it out. If you ever have the chance to do a back-to-back listening test with a good set of speakers, I recommend it; it can be very enlighenting. Without a direct comparison, it's not always easy to pick up on sound quality differences between cards. Once you hear a back-to-back comparison, you'll be amazed at the amount of difference between cards.

You might want to roto-rooter your ear canals before serious testing, though. Just like us pros.

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