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Audigy - Buy or not?

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Old 06-05-02, 04:41 AM Thread Starter   #1
moonunit
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Audigy - Buy or not?


At present I am using a SoundBlaster 128, and it makes noises, mostly fine, and with a hint of stereo. Its a couple of years old, and was a budget buy at the time (they're no cheaper now). Value goods are fine for those who have no money (like me as a 1st year undergrad). I want good stuff now.
So some questions for you Audigy owners or vocal opinionated types:

1) Will I notice any audio quality improvement from an Audigy given that my speakers are not exactly premium?

2)What does EAX actually do? Is it fun and funky?

3)I plan to use my PC as house DVD player, so Dolby 5.1 will happen eventually. Should I make do until nearer the time and get whatever is out then (within about a year)?

I have plans to rig my digital piano to it eventually, so
4)Does the Player brand come with any useful recording software? (or is it all silly-mix-your-own-dance-album stuff?)

Thanks noise enthusiasts!
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Old 06-05-02, 12:50 PM   #2
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Audigy = big waste of money IMHO.

I have some very, very nice speakers and a great amp/preamp system. An Audigy sounds exactly the same as my old Live! to me.

EAX is really pretty neat, although I hardly ever use it. It puts a fake 3D effect into your game's sound. You have to use headphones to really get the most out of it, which is why I rarely use it- I don't like headphones. If you don't mind 'phones, EAX is totally worth leaving on.

In you want to get your MIDI on, Audigy is pretty much like any other card. No really neat special features for musicians, and you'll probably replace the spftware for it immediately to something more useful. Creative products are aimed more at the total beginner, especially their MIDI stuff.

2 main reasons I would skip Audigy:
1, Creative is a shady underhanded company these days. One of the few corps who actually charges you $$ for new drivers!

2, Audigy is the same as a Live!. They both use the exact same DSP chip, with the same features. A bit of hacking with the drivers turns a $30 Live! into a $200 Audigy.

Free bonus reason: Creative products historically do not play well with VIA chipsetted motherboards. Everything from refusal to boot, to data corruption.

All of this is just my opinion. If I had to buy a card today, I would probably get one from Philips or Turtle Beach.
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Old 06-05-02, 01:11 PM   #3
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here is a interesting review that i read awhile ago, and it may answer some of your questions about the uses of the card. and it also may provide a card that is better for you...
http://www4.tomshardware.com/video/0...115/index.html
hope this helps some...

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Old 06-05-02, 04:45 PM   #4
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A also think Audigy's are a waste. A SB Live! 5.1 is $32 at Newegg.com right now, and you'd be hard pressed to hear any difference in games between it and an Audigy.

I'm not sure about specifics, but perhaps the Audigy has better encoding/decoding for music. $32 is nothing for a really nice card. =)

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Old 06-05-02, 08:01 PM   #5
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Bah, screw Creative...Turtle Beach Santacruz's are nice, for like right in between the audigys (excluding OEM) and Live 5.1, and if you want to really get spiffy, hercules gametheater xp will do it for you, with an external sort of thing but cheaper than audigy platinum/platinum eX....as for Dolby 5.1, things seem fine to me now, so its up to you if you want to buy or wait.

Sorry, I kno nothing about recording, so I cant help u there
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Old 06-05-02, 08:09 PM   #6
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I use the Audigy......... Live......... SB16.... Turtle Beach..... Hercules Game theater pro and i like the Audigy and Hercules the best- they give a deeper richer sound then the others i have.
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Old 06-05-02, 08:20 PM   #7
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sound advice?


i like the game theater xp, so i bought one. if it is too much money for you, go with the live 5.1

if you want the audigy in thr platinum flovors, more so, buy thr game theater xp for half the price.

if you insist on spending the rediculous amount of loot for the audigy platinum flavors, go for the terratec....see link above.....

http://www4.tomshardware.com/video/0...115/index.html


if that's still not enough, terratec can take up to a grand or more if you want.....i don't thik you are looking for proffesional recording though.

dollar for dollar, i saw the game theater xp as the right choice for me and you can find it online as cheap as 100 shipped....or less....112 at newegg and 87 for the oem.

i like headphones when i don't want to interrupt the family's tv time. so the game theater's amplified headphone output is nice. it is not a cheap amp from what i've read, it's supposed to be an A/B amp. either way, the proof is in the pudding.....the headphone output sounds great
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Old 06-05-02, 08:57 PM   #8
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the Tom's Hardware review is some good stuff, good links guys!

It pretty much spells it out: Creative is great for very light pro use, along with Windows and gaming, and terrible at recording. I mean look at this, this is the Audigy tested for freq response:

:edit: oops, no linking to images at Tom's. I'm referring the bottom graph.

It's supposed to be a straight line. This is just totally unacceptable to me. The Terratec really isn't too much better, either. A 'decent' pro card for recording starts at around $500, and goes up from there.

But most folks don't do recording I suppose, and if they do it does not need to be super high quality. So an Audigy would suffice for most, but why spend the $$ when you can get something just as good for less than half that?
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Old 06-06-02, 12:21 AM   #9
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yeah, chooseing sound cards is all about what you are going to use it for, like if you need a sound card for only headphone use, then something like the terrac or the audigy would be overkill, but if you needed recording and home theater, a 2 channel sound card just wouldn't do. so you really have to look around and see what fits your needs, and when you do that, you really wouldn't need to upgrade your sound card for a long time (atleast till they stop putting on them old pci slots )
for some more alternatives,
http://www4.tomshardware.com/video/0...925/index.html
that is talking about soud cards, and some compairsons of a few, and...
http://www4.tomshardware.com/video/0...130/index.html
which are 2 interesting sound cards,

i hope this helps you some in your search for a sound card...

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Old 06-06-02, 12:42 AM   #10
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OK I am going to recommend a whole diiferent card at a whole different price

Zoltrix Nightingale Pro 6

http://www.inpax.com/acatalog/Inpax_...d_Cards_5.html

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Old 06-06-02, 12:57 AM   #11
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I have an Audigy... the EAX 3 is kinda cool but it's hard to say if it justifies getting it over the Live! Personally I really like it....
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Old 06-06-02, 02:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by scoobydoo
OK I am going to recommend a whole diiferent card at a whole different price

Zoltrix Nightingale Pro 6

http://www.inpax.com/acatalog/Inpax_...d_Cards_5.html
That little kiddie card only has a 16 bit DAC, and an SNR of 85 dB!

Compare to 24 bit DAC, SNR 94 dB for SoundBlaster Audigy's, 16 bit DAC, SNR 96 dB for SB Live! 5.1's.

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Old 06-06-02, 09:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by scoobydoo
OK I am going to recommend a whole diiferent card at a whole different price

Zoltrix Nightingale Pro 6

http://www.inpax.com/acatalog/Inpax_...d_Cards_5.html
ah yes, one of the many c-meida CMI8738 based cards, i will admit that it is a decient chip, and depending on what he wants, it may surfice. the CMI8738 audio chip is also the audio chip that more and more motherboard manufactures are putting in their built in audio, which is what i am useing right now, the built in c-media audio. it isn't bad, but to be honest, what he has is probably going to be about as good good, with the only other real improvement being that it has more output channels.
atleast that my opinion,
good luck getting a card...

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Old 06-06-02, 02:05 PM   #14
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Re: Audigy - Buy or not?


Quote:
Originally posted by moonunit


3)I plan to use my PC as house DVD player, so Dolby 5.1 will happen eventually. Should I make do until nearer the time and get whatever is out then (within about a year)?

Use 3 in his original post mentions setting it up as a HTPC

Creative has horrible drivers issues with alot of programs aimed at a HTPC, this is why I suggested this card as a cheap, but effective alternative.

Also for only $45 and you get numerous digtal in's and out's! When passing S/PDIF through this card the sound quality is excellent and obviously much better than the analog output. I'm sure the difference in passing a digital signal from this card and the Creative Audigy isn't going to much, but the price difference is!

If you want to go even cheaper than the Zotrix and still have excellent sound quality(just as good as Creative's or Hercules) then get this $10 card:

http://www.svcompucycle.com/aurvorsqpci41.html

I have it and can tell you the sound quality difference passing S/PDIF to my Denon receiver is every bit as good as the Hercules GTXP I used to have, which was better than anything Creative IMHO.

*Note:* This card has no driver support in XP, it will work, but you will not be able to use the digital output, if you use Win98 it works excellent though.

Realize I am talking digital here, not analog. I don't deal much with analog anymore

Also, the above are just my opinions! If it were up to me I would just skip through the bull and get my self an Audiophile 24/96 or a Delta 410 and be done with it for a reasonable price

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Last edited by scoobydoo; 06-06-02 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 06-06-02, 07:23 PM   #15
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I had a SB Live Value PCI 512 that I got in 1999 that was replacing a Diamond Monster Sound MX 300. I wish I didnt do that... but when Aureal went belly up... the rest was history. GOD, I loved that MX 300.

I had the SB live until last summer when it started giving me problems with a KT 133a VIA chipset. Had unexplained system crashes even with motherboard BIOS updates and drivers that were suppose to fix this. Well... none of it did.

I decided to go with a Hercules Game Theater XP unit in the fall and I've been VERY happy with it ever since. I've noticed a BIG difference with sound playback in games and including MP3's.

The Live always had sound popping and skiping issues. Even when I had that card in an Abit BH6 Intel BX440 board.

Nice features of the XP is the headphone jack with volume control and the 6.1 speaker support. I live in an apartment with thin walls... so the Headphone jack was a MUST. Playing UT at 2 in the morning with a SUBWOOFER brings a LOT pounding of my landlords feet above my head. LOL!

Added...

The Herc XP is a breakout box with a 4 foot cord that runs to the installed card. You have all the connections on the box. MIDI, speakers, MIC, USB, Digital... etc.. etc...

Some dont like the cord... But due to the fact my PC is hiding under the table, the breakout box makes it MUCH easier to un/hook connections without pulling the PC from under it.

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Old 06-07-02, 06:48 AM Thread Starter   #16
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Holy cow!

I go away to write my dissertation for a few days, and BANG! A bazillion responses appear. Thanks for your feedback everybody.
I shall be buying OEM then.

A friend of mine also has designs on such things, (but he only has onboard sound) so I'll be sure to direct him here.

Quote:
Playing UT at 2 in the morning with a SUBWOOFER brings a LOT pounding of my landlords feet above my head. LOL!
The echoes of MMMMMMonster Kill! must raise a few eyebrows with neighbours hmm?
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Old 06-07-02, 09:49 AM   #17
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Re: Re: Audigy - Buy or not?


Quote:
Originally posted by scoobydoo
Realize I am talking digital here, not analog. I don't deal much with analog anymore
lucky! i wish i could go all digital, and if i were coming from the same perspective that you are. also, the c-media chip is actually better than the audgy in some areas, and just as good as in others, one way it is better is that it is able to send a true 44.1 khz signal, this is good because all the audio that you are going to listen to is in 44.1 khz, not 48khz. the 48 khz is only useful for like professional recording, and the c-media chip can do both which is good. but the audgy can *only* do the 48khz output/input, which causes problems at times because it has to convert a 44.1khz signal to 48khz. and sometimes it just doesn't work right....

Quote:
Originally posted by scoobydoo
Also, the above are just my opinions! If it were up to me I would just skip through the bull and get my self an Audiophile 24/96 or a Delta 410 and be done with it for a reasonable price
heck yeah!!! although reasonable price? i thought they were rather expensive..?

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Old 06-07-02, 12:12 PM   #18
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you guys are thinking the audigy is WAY more than it is.

Audigy OEM=50$

its just the card and driver CD. anyone paying 200$ for a platinum ex is insane in my book.

and Im using the Audigy just fine right now with a KT333 board, and before this it was in my 8KHA+ KT266a board.

ill admit the original drivers sucked big monkey nuts, but if u just extract the update to a folder and load the drivers purely from the newest update, than it works great. (also using winXP)

and any of the crap that u want off the CD without crap drivers, do this:
copy audigy CD to HDD.
go into the audio folder and edit audio.ini to only install what u want. u can ustomise the install totally from in here. than save the .ini and run setup.

no ads, registaration, or any other crap, and this card sounds WAY better than any onboard. it sounds noticably better than the C-Media on my old Dragon+.

if u want the best u need to mes with it

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Old 06-07-02, 01:46 PM   #19
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I say get a Delta 1010, decide it's to much for your needs, then sell it to me for a reduced price. No? Well, I tried.

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Old 06-07-02, 01:51 PM   #20
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My personal opinion: go with Turtle Beach Santa Cruz

I've had a SB Live! 5.1 and the crackling, popping and skipping just about drove me insane. So I thought I would go a different route and get the Santa Cruz. I think it was an excellent decision in my book. That's just my 2 cents, though.

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