Which card would YOU reccomend?

I want to buy a new sound card, and I have narowed (yeah right) it down to three choices: SB Live! X-Gamer, Voyetra Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, and Philips Acoustic Edge. Which would you reccomend/or have you had experience with? What are your comments on these manufacturers? ANY thought, comments, and other information IS appreciated.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by ast15 on 02/16/01 11:10 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
30 answers Last reply
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  1. Well, the only sound cards that I've tried out of your list is the Creative ones... I had a Soundblaster PCI 512, and recently upgraded to the Live Platinum 5.1. I have never had any problems with them and am quite satisfied with the quality and performance (especially my new one:) ) I really like the Enviromental Audio feature... really cool when playing games!!!! Personally, I wouldn't get anything else than creative for a sound card, but as I said before, I haven't tried Voyetra Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, and Pilips Acoustic Edge so I can't compare the ones I've tried to them. Hope this helps!
  2. Thanks. I've heard alot of bad stuff about creative labs lately,though. Isn't the chip emu10k1 like 3 years old? The Santa Cruz and Acoustic edge just came out late last year. Even though theyre gone, I do like aureal's A3d. EAX is good too, I guess. I want to know what sets these cards apart?

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by ast15 on 02/14/01 06:47 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  3. I can tell you from my own experience that SB Live! does not produce deep basses. I even tried Ensoniq (AW32-64) and it gives much richer low and high frequencies sound than SB Live! with upped all the way mixer they have when playing MP3s in Winamp. I am not talking about MX300, that thing is the best there is for me (I said for me). I have bought the SB Live! Platinum 5.1 and after frustrating “trial” (the difference with MX300 was so obvious) I have sent it back to Creative. If I have not tried the MX300 I would think the SB Live! Is the best thing was ever made, but now not. I would have something that produces rich sound amplitude than the name. SB sounds like in an empty barrel for me, especially in games.

    K7 + KT7 + MX300 + VD3000 = :smile:
  4. Well that wipes creative out of the picture. Ive done some more research and found that Turtle Beach's drivers are a bit unstable and that it doesnt have real 5.1 support, its only virtual. So I think I'll go with the Acoustic Edge also because it has better API support. By the way, has anyone had andy experience with that card? My machine has a VIA chipset (kt133), and I know that they sometimes have compatibility problems (like with some aureal cards.)
    Hey Blah, your right, creative does sound like an empty barrel because thats all their crappy eax can do.(reverb!!!)A3D WAS king...
    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by ast15 on 02/16/01 05:03 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  5. This 'no deep bass' on the SB Live 5.1 is pure and utter nonsense. Blah, I tried to help you resolve the possible problem with the lack of bass, but you were clearly more interested in bitching about Creative than solving your problem. I use my SB Live Platinum 5.1 on a 5.1 analog system (with an active subwoofer) and games using EAX (Deus Ex especially) sound absolutely awesome. This "empty barrel" sound problem just doesn't hold water.

    That being said, one of my friends does have an MX300 and it does sound good, but certainly trying to say the SB Live!, or Philips, or MX300 is better than another is a waste of time. Most of the cards in the $50-200 price range all have similar sound quality. The REAL sound cards (24-bit with 192kHz sampling, etc) cost more in the $500-2000 sound range.

    And A3D is king? Umm...A3D is dead...it may have been better, but it is a dead dog nonetheless.
  6. Well, I guess since it "doesn't really matter" which card I get then I think I'll stick with the Philips. Anything would be an improvement over what I have! (It's a SB128 chip (ct5880) that's integrated sound on the motherboard!Yuck!
  7. ast, please post your findings with the Phillips card. I'm in the same boat as you...tbird on a kt133 running win2k and using onboard sound because my mx300 wouldn't work! Thanks.
  8. Sure, just as soon as I can get 'em.
  9. You are right, it is nonsense… Yer help was really helpful – “get a 5.1 speaker set”, thanks a lot. I am not bitching about the Creative, they have an excellent service, even refunded my money back (I did not hope for that one), but the card is not close to MX300 as you say, I can argue about it with any body, heard the difference with my own earz. No body on this forum is going to buy any wow $2000 card, and you know that, but in the range of 1-200 bux I would prefer to find the best there is. And the best there is for me (I said for me) is MX300. Friends of mine are telling me that it sounds much better than their SB Live!s.
    So, you can yell any much you want, it does not mean you r right. Even MX400 (which should of being better) has less (softer) bass than MX300, so argue with some body else for that matter.

    Thank you very much... heh

    By the way, A3D is not dead until I am (and all there are) playing UT with HeyItsReal's boards, which will be for a loooong while.

    K7 + KT7 + MX300 + VD3000 = :smile: <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by blah on 02/19/01 10:25 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  10. I have to agree with blah. I also have an MX300 (preorder) and it has been great to me ever since. It's followed me from my K6-III 450 to my new Duron 800 on an ASUS A7V133. There are no multimedia extensions out there right now that sound better that A3D, you have to hear it to believe it.
    If Creative get's their butts in gear and uses some A3D in their next chipset, I actually may jump ship. But until then it's Aureal all the way!
  11. I have both the Creative SB Live! (Dolby Dig version) and a Phillips Acoustic Edge.

    Both run perfectly on my AMD T-Bird 800 on an Asus A7V (KT133), using out the box drivers (Win2K, Win98). I have a Harman/Kardon Amp, wired to 5.1 Tannoy MX4/MX3/MXc speakers, and a Yahama DX160 active sub.

    Phillips Accoustic Edge
    + Surround is more natural using EAX2 than Creative
    + Does a good job converting Sterio to 5.1
    + Connecters are not cluttered, like on SB Live
    + Full support for A3D, EAX, EAX2 etc.
    - Drivers for Linux ?
    - Driver update requires web access (phillipsusa.com) this sucks.

    Creative SB Live!
    + Industry standard. (Guarenteed compatibility)
    + Drivers for most OS, including Linux
    + Great control pannel, for changing mixer settings etc.
    + I got pretty kewl games with my bundle (MDK2, Thief2, Deus Ex)
    - Sucky digital I/O (without Live Drive/Optical IO upgrade)
    - Creative drivers for new operating systems (eg Win ME)
  12. No BASS on a SB Live! ??? Er nope ;) I can 'rattle the pictures' in Unreal Tourney with my SB-Live!

    Hmmm ... Sounds like someone has the Bass-Redirect option turned on, and no subwoofer connected.
  13. Gee, blah, doesn't carl's advice sound really, really familiar?
  14. My favorite is the Aureal SQ2500. It has the same sound chip as the MX300, and uses Digital Coaxial instead of Digital Optical output so you can use a cheaper cable on it. Some people have problems with them in Windows 2000 and ME, especially Win2K on VIA Athlon chipsets. This is a driver problem that affects ALL Vortex2 cards (including the MX300) do to the fact that Aureal went out of business before finishing their Win2K drivers.

    Suicide is painless...........
  15. Hey, sparhawk, did you hear anything about MS Digital Sound System 80 2.1 with 80 watt output (it is not a 20 - 40 that you get with 5.1 speakers they have these days), or if this is not enough, did you hear about Technics 5.1 with 6'th sub out (I mean separate one specifically for sub with 3 frequency adjustments for it) with 600 watt total. That is what I use... heh
    And I have tried to turn on, off, in, out any adjustments on Live! there are, so you guys can argue with any body but mine.

    Thank you very much.

    By the way, CarlM, I am not ‘rattling my pictures, they are jumping down from my desk which has a sub underneath it when I play UT… heh

    K7 + KT7A + MX300 + VooDoo3000 = :smile:
    P3 + CUSL2-C + MX300 + Asus7700 = :smile:
  16. Try the Audiophile 24/96. This is what I have in my htpc and the sq is unmatched ... and only $159! I also own the Philips Acoustic Edge, its a nice card. Here's the link for the Audiophile....

  17. blah, I actually don't have a "computer speaker" 5.1 set. I have a 5.1 "shelf" stereo system by Panasonic. It is 330 watts RMS. 70W center (2-way) + 2 35W surround (1-way) + 2 95W main speakers (4-way.) It's the SC-AK57, a rather rare 1999 model that took a fair bit of searching to find at the time. I have the sub off of an Altec Lansing ACS-45.1 hooked up to the sub out from the SC-AK57. I'd far rather build a "real" component system, but finances prohibit that.

    I still don't entirely believe your no/little bass problem. If anything I know you had a very isolated case, as I've never heard of any such problem before with a Live! or pretty much any (decent) sound card before.

    And I hope you still get at least usable MX300 drivers for future OSes. I've been down the "unsupported product" road and it's no fun at all.
  18. I have had MX300 for 2 years already, using ME and W2k at this point without any problem. Have no idea what kind of future OS you are talking about, the ones I have mentioned were just released within last year, nothing in the near 1 year mark will come out. So I am fine for at least a year or so with my baby Aurial...

    By the way, I am glad you are having nice sound system, are you using it with yer pc?
    And did you ever try Aurial card for that matter? I have a feeling you did not, that's why you are so jumpy about the Live!... hehe

    K7 + KT7A + MX300 + VooDoo3000 = :smile:
    P3 + CUSL2-C + MX300 + Asus7700 = :smile:
  19. Hey, _Creative_ was the one that left me out in the cold before with the Wave Blaster. Creative never released Windows 9x drivers for it -- even to this day you can find the Wave Blaster in the support section but only with DOS/Win3.1 drivers. How's THAT for future OS support -- and the WaveBlaster/WaveBlaster II era was _immediately_ prior to Win95. :P

    And you are correct in your assumption that I never have used this system with an Aureal card (see why below). However, I DID use it with a (pre-Creative buyout) Ensoniq AudioPCI and the Live 5.1 is a great deal better than the Ensoniq was.

    And, yes, I do use that stereo system with my computer. That was why I got a 5.1 capable sound card. :) And if you wondering why I didn't get an Aureal-based card, it's because I don't buy components made/supported by companies no longer in existence. IMHO, it's just not a good idea. I will be genuinely surprised to see any Aureal support in "XP." (Where will it come from?)

    And heck, who can resist the Live! Drive? :) (especially people who love gadgets: me!)
  20. Oh, that’s different, I bought the card when the company was still alive, and have no regrets for it. Same with VooDoo cards. About XP stuff, I did not try it with MX300 yet, but as far as VooDoo cards, they are supported right away. The only thing is that there is no support for Glide in XP, and I could not get drivers for W2k to work on XP, DX is fine though. So I assume that MX300 will work on it, but without any fancy stuff, just like on W2k, which still gives really nice sound.

    K7 + KT7A + MX300 + VooDoo3000 = :smile:
    P3 + CUSL2-C + MX300 + Asus7700 = :smile:
  21. I kind of want to buy something from a company that exists. I know diamond does exist but, well I've has some very BAD experiences with their products (Savage4-need I say more) and support. As for aureal, I guess they were good, but now theyre gone, so I'm not going to buy something from a company that is non-existant (it's like buying a voodoo 5 now.)
  22. For that matter, I just bought voodoo 3000 again after I sold one I had with the system. It's the best thing for playing UT for me, even 4500 could not beat the 3000 one in image quality. GTS with GL does not give me the image as good as vd3 does in glide too. So as long as I play UT, I care less if the company is dead. The product is still alive and will last in my box for as long as I'll play UT.

    K7 + KT7A + MX300 + VooDoo3000 = :smile:
    P3 + CUSL2-C + MX300 + Asus7700 = :smile:
  23. SB Live X-Gamer or SB Live X-Gamer 5.1 Depending on what you plan on doing with it

    Lets face it people, there are stupid people and stupid questions! :lol:
  24. Don't forget answers!
  25. Forget the Creative Labs junk; get the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz.

    It has great gaming API support, solid drivers (I use it under Win2K), sound that is definitely superior to the Live!, mp3 accelleration, a 10-band equalizer in hardware and a 10db S/N ratio advantage over the Live!, all for less money.

    I had a Live! - I ditched it after one month. It sounded high and thin, crackled, made internal PC noises audible (I could **hear** my cd-rw running when I used it) and in general was just a badly engineered solution. You should also know that the digital out of the entire Live! line is broken. I switched to the Turtle Beach product and all the abovementioned issues disappeared. It also has a much richer sound.

    Now **THAT** is a sound card.

  26. Um, sorry but I beg to differ. I've owned a Live! I switched to a Santa Cruz after one month. Not only did the bass improve, the whole quality of the sound did as well. The fact that the Santa Cruz has a 10db S/N advantage over the Live! may, oh I don't know, just kind of have something to do with it.

    The sound quality coming out of the Live! just doesn't cut it, neither analog nor digital especially in light of what else is available today. In fact the digital out of the Live! is demonstrably broken (check here for corroborating evidence: http://www.pcavtech.com/).

    In my opinion, the CL **stuff** (and I use the term as a useful euphemism for what it really should be called) is a waste of money: much better sound can be had for less money, especially in light of the fact that the entire Live! line is essentially **the same card**.

    We won't even get into the driver and customer support issues - there isn't enough room on this board.

  27. Right on!
    A3D will always live on for Aureal fans! UT + MX300 = :smile:
    (un)Creative Labs should go to hell for what they did to a technology far more superior to theirs!

  28. I will go with Phillips Acoustic Edge. It sounds better than Creative Labs' card and it is not expensive.
  29. Like gadgets? Get the game theater xp

    Your Signature Sucks
  30. I have to agree with Roj. The TBSC is the way to go for all of the reasons he listed.

    Plus, it just plain sounds better.

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