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24-Bit Crystalizer facts from Mark Dolson of Creative

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June 17, 2006 12:36:04 PM

I'm often tempted to use the Creative's 24-Bit Crystalizer (24bC) that is a feature of the SB X-Fi family, but the tiny amount of audio purist in me leads to feelings of guilt at coloring my music and thus I can never listen to it for long. Funny, given my choice of PC speakers (sig).

Anyways, I was doing some reseach this AM (6/17/06, GMT -5) into the 24bC wanting answers.

Here's some information for any who might be interested:

Maxim Liadov, reviewer and editor of RMAA & RM3DS asked Mark Dolson, Creative's Director of Audio Research, some pointed questions about 24bC and received some direct answers about this technology:

http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/multimedia/creative... 8O
June 17, 2006 1:29:58 PM

Audiophile purists tend not to like the 24bC and he was a bit harsh.
June 17, 2006 1:53:45 PM

Isn't it ironic that a post ranting and raving about the evils of the X-Fi has posters who all have that very card? Surely, it can't be THAT bad. If you're a true audio purist, you should be listening in a sound-proof room... if you're not doing that, why sweat over the small things like a sound card's feature?
June 17, 2006 2:23:40 PM

Quote:
Isn't it ironic that a post ranting and raving about the evils of the X-Fi has posters who all have that very card? Surely, it can't be THAT bad. If you're a true audio purist, you should be listening in a sound-proof room... if you're not doing that, why sweat over the small things like a sound card's feature?


Rodney dude, you've got to read!! What are you talking about? I LOVE my X-Fi and wouldn't currently consider purchasing any other audio board. In fact, I'm considering buying another XM so my headphones and speakers can each have their own mid-fi cards. Doesn't sound like a rant to me. I posted the aforementioned because of the perceptions and opinions I've heard about 24bC, I was trying to illuminate the topic, that's all. ...not because I don't love my audio card. 24bC is simply a feature that one can enable/disable with almost telekenetic ease.

There's a tremendous amount of sound quality, power, and utility built into the X-Fi. I'm sorry that my attempts at objectivity caused you to be mis-lead.
June 27, 2006 2:58:22 PM

Is there such a thing as an audiophile soundcard? a soundcard that is just that.. Pure, simple 2 channel hifi output.
June 27, 2006 9:27:20 PM

Crystalizer =

-96db soundfloor extended to -144db

(Is this really audible?)

-24KHz digital filter extended to 48KHz

(Do your PC speakers really have audible output at 24KHz anyway? The filter noise might not exist for PC speaker owners!)

-Smiley Face Equalizer

(Welcome to 1980s JBL speakers! West Coast Sound here I come! Too bad the IMD/HF distortion shoots up the roof. The digital filter extension from 24KHz to 48KHz was originally meant to *remove* some HF noise, now more is added. Seems redundant here. Still some might enjoy this equalizer preset. On PC speakers that are totally inaccurate, it might push them to be more neutral. On more accurate loudspeakers, this will lend a bit of exaggerated boominess that might come off as "more volume")
June 27, 2006 10:06:04 PM

Astrallite, its always a pleasure to read your posts. The Crystalizer seems like, pretty much a gimic. I guess if you apply it for its intended purpose (making poorly compressed music (<=160kbps MP3) listenable) it probably helps. I imagine that if one has encoded their MP3's @ 160kbps they're not concerned about accuracy anyways. As long as they keep it something we can turn on/off with nearly telekenetic ease why not have it as a feature? The kids love it.
June 29, 2006 8:18:15 PM

I actually like the crystaliser.

Maybe im different from many audio purists, but personally coming from a music technology (production) educational background I love to tweak the sound the way I like it!

My current MP3 listening path is:

MP3 ->
Winamp ->
Izotope Ozone Winamp Plugin (AWESOME) w/bass compression etc ->
X-Fi Crystaliser @ 50% ->
X-Fi 'Rock' EQ preset
X-Fi CMSS upmix to 'Surround' (duplicates stereo channels in rear) ->

= Sounds cooool...

I HATE reverb (eg EAX amphitheatre), but the 'mastering' type plugins and equalisation I love and think makes the music of all qualities sound much better. This goes for anything from a shoddy MP3 to DVD audio.
June 30, 2006 12:15:30 PM

I do not find it boomy after I calibrated 5.1 speakers.
Except for movies, but then this might be what some people like.
Anyway there is THX yoke for that in X-Fi software.
I refused to use it for long but it has improved sound.
June 30, 2006 1:16:36 PM

Good article...and a good find...nice job.

Meh...sounds like another "value added" gimmick and fodder for Creative's marketing department...just seems to me that if Creative put all that talent, time, and energy to producing a real and true audiophile sound card they wouldn't have to rely on a crysatlizer to tweak the sound...I'll stick with my M-Audio 7.1 Revolution, thank you...
June 30, 2006 1:36:34 PM

I read that some of their professional gear (EMU-X) is competitive but know very little about that line.
April 13, 2009 9:57:14 PM

Tom,
Have tried just about everything to get rid of the pop on my monitor it shows 24-bit crystalizer with a percent sign. Very annoying and i don't know why it occuring. Can you help me get rid of it. Please reply by email if you can help me
Thanks
John Meyer
April 14, 2009 12:53:29 AM

seaswirl71833 said:
Tom,
Have tried just about everything to get rid of the pop on my monitor it shows 24-bit crystalizer with a percent sign. Very annoying and i don't know why it occuring. Can you help me get rid of it. Please reply by email if you can help me
Thanks
John Meyer


Inferring that you have some flavor of X-Fi, have you tried uninstalling/re-installing the drivers? Also, it would help to know more info, like your system's specs, your OS, and what driver version you're actually using.
!