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Sound Card Distortion Issue

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August 31, 2013 11:04:31 PM

So i'm about at wits end with this issue i've been having with my Creative Sound Blaster ZxR. I've already replaced my sound card 3 times with the same model and all of them apparently have the problem. The problem is that roughly every minute there will be a very noticeable distortion of the audio that is playing. It doesn't matter what the audio is. In the first unit I tested, this was prevalent in both the headphone and stereo mode, but in the second and third it only distorts the sound while in headphone mode. I have swapped headphones and the problem persists, so it must be the sound card unit. I have updated, installed, and re-installed the drivers as well as trying swapping the slot for the card. This is driving me nuts and I really don't know what to do at this point. Should I ask for a refund and choose another card or what? (note it's been 2 months approx since the original purchase. It took a long time to get 3 replacements to test in)

Thanks in advance, and all input is appreciated.

My system:
i7 4770K
ASUS z87 deluxe motherboard
Win 7 x64 home premium
8GB patriot DDR3
August 31, 2013 11:17:18 PM

Hi, just to start off, have you tried on board audio to rule out os/software?

Its odd, 3 different sound cards, all doing the same thing. Unless every time its been the same card returning, and if not operating system, look the motherboard mounting screws around the pci slot the card is in and check to make sure the screws aren't overly tight as they can cause a bow in the motherboard and if that happens can cause insert cards to not connect properly at the contact level.

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September 1, 2013 9:07:10 AM

boju said:
Hi, just to start off, have you tried on board audio to rule out os/software?

Its odd, 3 different sound cards, all doing the same thing. Unless every time its been the same card returning, and if not operating system, look the motherboard mounting screws around the pci slot the card is in and check to make sure the screws aren't overly tight as they can cause a bow in the motherboard and if that happens can cause insert cards to not connect properly at the contact level.



On board audio works fine for both stereo and headphones. I just re-adjusted the mounting screws and still the problem persists.



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September 1, 2013 6:27:39 PM

ok we can assume its not the motherboard and all the pcie x1 slots are sharing the same symptoms so lets look elsewhere, the way the sound card is setup and software configuration - something might need to be set apart from default settings.

Where is the headphones connected to exactly? Back of the sound card? Front audio plate of the case?

Sound cards that support front panel audio if the case has one (or bought Creative front plate) needs a wire connected, is this wire connected properly on the correct pins on the sound card.

If using the back plate of the sound card or even front panel audio, make sure the software; Creative and Windows is set to stereo/headphones.

Disable onboard audio through the bios and see if that helps, if not try uninstalling/updating Reaktek audio as their could be conflicts.

Can retain onboard sound drivers from Realtek if you ever need it direct from Realtek: http://www.realtek.com.tw/
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September 3, 2013 9:36:32 AM

boju said:
ok we can assume its not the motherboard and all the pcie x1 slots are sharing the same symptoms so lets look elsewhere, the way the sound card is setup and software configuration - something might need to be set apart from default settings.

Where is the headphones connected to exactly? Back of the sound card? Front audio plate of the case?

Sound cards that support front panel audio if the case has one (or bought Creative front plate) needs a wire connected, is this wire connected properly on the correct pins on the sound card.

If using the back plate of the sound card or even front panel audio, make sure the software; Creative and Windows is set to stereo/headphones.

Disable onboard audio through the bios and see if that helps, if not try uninstalling/updating Reaktek audio as their could be conflicts.

Can retain onboard sound drivers from Realtek if you ever need it direct from Realtek: http://www.realtek.com.tw/


Thanks for responding. I will be busy until this weekend, but i'll try out what you said and post a response back.
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September 5, 2013 4:08:24 AM

Try a cable without an in-line mic & it should be ok - I didn't try a 3.5mm to 1/4" converter - it may work though... I had the same issue with the ZxR, only on Headphone mode - sound was distorted & pretty much mono - updating drivers & reseating the card didn't fix the problem. I narrowed it down to my headphone cable (3.5mm iPhone compatible) as it's got an in-line mic the ZxR's Audio Control Module screws up the sound by not making proper contact on the 3.5 mm jacks. Hope this helps :) 
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September 5, 2013 8:07:49 AM

Well my headphone that I want to use with it is my pc350 and that has a built in mic
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September 7, 2013 6:31:43 AM

I know the PC350 has a built in mic - but the cables are split - in my case it was an in-line mic - my 3.5mm jack has 3 segments to cater for the mic - so it's a single cable for both mic & headphones - this caused the Audio Control Module to not make proper contact - I would try a 3.5mm to 1/4" converter - then plug your headphones into the 1/4" (big one) jack. Hope this helps.
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