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alternative sound cards......

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Feb 23, 2002
St.louis area
Hello.. can some people sound off who have sound cards other than soundblaster/audigy cards.. I would like some feedback of how they like them, how are the drivers, pros and cons, etc

any help any of you can spare will be greatfully appreciated :)


On a string I was held Senior
Jul 11, 2001
i live
well i use the hercules game theater XP, to me it is the best. I think the sound quality is awesome and i really enjoy the breakout box and its design because it can be moved around my desk with ease. Not only does the box bring audio to you away from the back of the case- it also has usb ports and a game port. This is simply loaded and i persanlly would take this card over any other on the market. But if you are looking for something a little cheaper (XP is 87 on newegg.com) then i would suggest the santa cruz which is huge bang for not so much money.


Captain Random Senior Evil
Nov 8, 2001
Santa Cruz

I'm quite pleased with my Santa Cruz, although I've yet to hook it up to some serious speakers. It's sound is very clear and crisp... ie sythetic which some people do not really like, but it sounds great to me. Especially classical music. Huge difference from AC97 which I had previously. Not too bad on the price... No driver problems.


I'm a little teapot Senior
Dec 17, 2000
Montana, USA
I love my santacruz. I got it because the SB live didnt like my via southbridge, and i think the sound quailty is actually better than the SB live. I dont think its better than the audigy, but its pretty good.


Senior Member
Jun 16, 2001
i have also heard some good things about the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz and how its sound quality is amazing


Feb 28, 2002
Columbus, IN.
I also have a hercules, a Fortissimo. It's priced relatively the same as the sb live 5.1 oem, and has great sound. It is specifically made for gaming, but I haven't had much opprotunity to test it there.

It also has digital input jacks, not your normal jacks, but true digitals for hooking up to digital systems. I'd have to say that I am very pleased for the price, $32

Hercules also has a great rma rep with me, you just have to start things through their website, then your off and running. They replaced my 32 meg vid with a 64 meg after it got fried by a psu from h*ll.

Have had no problems at all with it in either XP or 98SE.

repo man11

Dec 28, 2001
I'd heard about problems with the Creative cards and Via chipsets, so I bought a Phillips Acoustic Edge 5.1. I was happy with my old SB ISA card in my socket 7, and I was just hoping it would sound that good. I have my sound card connected to my stereo. I was very pleased with it. I only read the good reviews after I bought it. (I don't recommend this, I was in a hurry) And it's performance was further improved when I updated the drivers. It seems to be less CPU intensive, it used to skip sometimes when I was web surfing and listening to music. Not after the driver update.


Jun 19, 2001
All these problems with SB lives! I never had a problem, but my buddy has the turtle beach sants cruz and loves it!


Mar 12, 2002
Toronto, ON
got the herc gtxp for a project i was doing for school. the purpose was to transfer vinyl to disc. the card meets my standards right now for what i am doing with it. nice break out box with tons of provisions for analog devices etc. sound is just sick and i plan to mate the card up with a logitech z560 setup. right now i am running 2 different subwoofer systems with the card and the sound is clear at all levels. had some issues with drivers but they have since been worked out. i would strongly suggest running this card with windows 2000. had it running with xp but i had some issues. could have well been my setup as i was using the machine for recording and for everyday use. i have since built a system solely for music purposes and have had NO isssues since that time. running win2k and i will stay with it. if you end up getting this card don't install the drivers that come with the card. just get them off the site. the latest drivers are totally stable.
good luck and i am sorry for the rambling.