Until I bought my Creative Audigy, Creative had always been my choice. What made Creative so different in the first hand was not quality products, or fancy packages, it was their support. If a system failure was caused by a creative product, you where always met like a king at the support desk. The hardware where quickly replaced, and you got a small form by mail that asked you if you liked their support.
Creative was the "this thing will never have problem with drivers" choice. Go creative, No hassle with drivers. They where the frontiers to have a awesome website with new and working drivers. You knew that when you had Creative, you wouldnt have any problems finding the software.
With Audigy things changed. It started when the swedish Creative helpdesk was discontinued. Then the talk started about non working drivers for xp, with serious problems (killing of the entire os), bad sound quality, etc.
Then they dropped their support for their graphicboards, they where not even meant to create new boards.
It took awhile until a fix for Audigy where available for download, so a couple of months later I sceptically decided to pay the full price for a Soundblaster Audigy EX with a 5.1 inspire set of loudspeakers.
I have never used a driver CD from the package. I have always went to the website to download the latest updated driver package for my product. Not in this case. All available drivers requires the original CD to be played. The content of the CD may not be moved on and run from the harddrive. If that CD gets lost, or scratched, Im in trouble. I am extremely nervous every time I am forced to pick up that CD, that only CD with no backup... But thats not all!
The Audigy Drivers installation procedure is critical. At first the driver installation is the longest one ever. The complete package takes 15-20 minutes to install on my x40 cdplayer 2100+ system. If anything happens, ANYTHING happens that disrupts that installation, the chances are VERY high that the entire system is corrupt, OR making it impossible to finalize the installation. I have been forced to reinstall the entire system four times becouse of this "dangerous task".
Then we have the custom software. I actually payed everything to get that remote control. I had no use at all for an EX, except for the remote. The grand price goes to the fact that you must PAY for an update for the Remote Control software! Even if it is really bad, and nearly only work for Creative's own products.
So far I only use it for volume up/down. The rest of the control is useless since it cannot control any of the programs I use.
At last, let me tell you about the "annoyances" creative offers you with the drivers.
a) You get three new system tray icons, of wich you probably only use one.
b) You get an extra taskbar at top of the screen that at first isnt easy to turn off.
c) You get an "virtual remote" control (In case you want to use the remote control when you are sitting in front of the computer ?!) that pops up when you move your mouse to far into a corner. Guess what? This also functions IN GAMES... That means, in the middle of your sweaty counter strike, you are suddenly sent into windows when you looked to far up to the right... This is also not to easy to turn off.
d) In every boot there is a creative splash screen, that is 100% incompatible with XP. It launches BEFORE the XP desktop comes up, so you can hear the sound. In a system failure the system requires some extra reading from the harddrive wich makes the startup take a bit longer. When the splash screen is active, this extra time will take EVEN more time, causing the system tray to update before the desktop. This means, that once you are into XP, you will see less than half of your system tray icons, forcing you to logoff/login again to see them all.
This is creative 2000. They dropped everything they where good at and famous for, except for the hardware that cant work without drivers. I say this, if they got ONE serious competitor (like AMD to Intel), Creative would loose their market quicker than you can say aloha.
Boy you hit the nail on the head with your comments. I tried to update my computer from a Live X-Gammer 5.1 card to the Audigy card.. What a nightmare.. The software gave me NOTHING but trouble. (this was in win98 SE) I had a Creative cd rom go funny. I could not get any support. I had to sent the tech center an e-mail about 6 weeks ago. I still have no response. WTH? Sombody better wake up in that company. I am sorry to here about your troubles, but I am glad that I am not the only one. Take care. Good luck.
It sounds like new people in control that ignored the companies old profile of being the most supportive company in the world. Or maybee Creative have had financial problems. Whatever it is, it is not the creative we once knew. Two years ago I voted for their products in every scenario. Today, I cannot reccomend people to pay for the "upperclass" soundcards from creative, and reccomend other labels when it comes to their graphiccards.
Hehe when I was installing my new Audigy, I only checked essentials to be installed (driver + Audio HQ + mixer + sound font management, if I remember right), no players, taskbars, and other alike [-peep-]. Installation went ok, but my system started to crash regullary (what was that name? "squeez of death"?). But oh ok, I play not that much, I can stand a crash once every 2-3 days (BTW while Diablo 2 and UT were crashing, my recently bought Tribes 2 failed to crash even once...). But what really got me pissed off, was figuring out how to turn on effects in midi (like reverb), without actually hearing them applied to all windows sound . By default, you have those efects off, so your midis sound like big crap. Due to poor sound fonts, even with effects midi sounds like crap, but with BOTH : effects on + decent sound font installed I finally get some good midi out of this card .
BTW found on net how to disable that nice splash screen by Creative Labs. It's tricky, but possible. Search the net .
I agree, I finally went with the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, put my Creative cards in my file cabinet, and left the problems behind, that long install you were talking about with the Audigy, you're so right it takes so long you begin to think something is wrong with the computer. Right on post!!! Ryan
Details, Details, Its all in the Details, If you need help, Don't leave out the Details.
Creative will not repeat the Audigy disaster with Audigy2 but they will certainly come out with new and worse disaster instead. This is a common problem in market monopoly company. They think they own the best technology, no one can compete with them so they become more and more arrogant e.g. Microsoft, Sony etc. They have the money and they think they can settle everything by money. If a company possesses with threat to them ,first they try to purchase the company, if fail, they'll sue them for anything they want. And it is kind of sucks as current law always in favour to the rich. So Creative is in this position: I have the best technology, you take it or leave it, I don't care, there are still plenty of fools will buy my product.
Well there aren't maybe lots but there are quite a few. Maybe their names aren't as big as the ol creative(don't take that litteraly)
They are viable and good products to go with whether it's the cheapo low end or the more demanding consumer high-end. There is option to the creative brand
it's funny, i've used loads of creative soundcards with out ever having any problems, SB 16 AWE 32, AWE 64, Live! Platinum, never a glitch, i don't understand all these problems, I punish my cards with duplex recording sessions all day long and they never quit. my next card could well be a audigy 2...
November 22, 2002 7:17:32 PM
I think musician work is where you have the least trouble with the CL stuff. It's the games where they suck some dog.
I just threw a TBSC in my machine to replace my old SBLive classic, and everything is good now. I won't say that I noticed a huge sound quality increase, in fact the bass seems somewhat weaker, but I can compensate for that. The real bonus is the games, everything sounds like it is supposed to for a change.