Comes the digital age and I find that I no longer really need expensive amplifiers (audiophiles will definitely disagree on this). This is because most of the time I would listen to my collections on my PC or Mp3 players. I always buy the latest creative series of soundblaster cards for my PCs as they are really good. My Audigy card just died recently so I switched to the onboard audio (those came with the motherboard)to save some money(since got one inside mah). Too my horror (Maybe I am just too fickle) but I find the output is not good at all. Bass and tonality is not there at all.
Went down to Simlim and bought the latest X-Fi series (Gamer edition). Since I might used it to play some games and its only $40 more than the standard edition. I bought it and wow.. the advertised X-Fi really works leh. Bass is deep and clear. Treble is sweet and sharp (not over piercingly like those on the motherboard). The quality is definitely better than my Audigy. Paid $135 for it and really worth it.