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Connectors on Creative Soundcards

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January 12, 2005 7:55:52 PM

Does anyone know (or noticed?) why on Creative's newest soundcard models they only feature two internal "direct" input connections on the PCB?

Examples I have noticed this on are the SoundBlaster Audigy LS, the SoundBlaster Live! 24-bit and even the top end Audigy 4 Pro only has a 4 pin AUX and a 2 pin SPDIF conector.

Anyone know why Creative has done this? On my SB Live! 5.1 Digital and Audigy 2 ZS cards I find the full range of TAD, AUX, CD and SPDIF really useful.
January 13, 2005 1:26:47 AM

Easy answer! It's to promote their "Live Drive" on the Platinum and higher cards.

You may have noticed there is NO place to connect your case's front panel audio connectors on an Audigy. None. Well, there IS a workaround: You could have used the TAD connector for a mono Mic/Headphone connection. Once Creative figured out that people knew this, the TAD connector HAD to go!

As for the CD audio connector, newer OS's use DAE rather than analog audio, so they got rid of that too.

And so it goes, that when Creative found out their users had found a workaround in order to use their front panel audio, rather than buy a version of the card with the Live Drive, they had to eliminate that workaround, in order to further sales of the Live Drive.

How else are they going to get $100+ for a $6 part (the Live Drive II)?

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January 13, 2005 5:13:12 AM

So horribly true. Damn Creative and their need to make more money, what is with that? lol. I'm glad my Audigy 2 ZS can still be rigged to use front audio :)  Once I decide on a good way to extend the front audio connections the extra inch they need, lol.

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January 13, 2005 6:01:07 AM

Creative and ATI with both be in serious trouble if nVidia decides to combine their audio processor with their video processor. It's the kind of trouble I like too!

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January 13, 2005 6:33:46 AM

Hmm, thanks for that. I was wondering if I could get my front panel to work with my soundcard.

Its odd though because for example the Live! 24-bit only supports a single AUX connector, and the only upgrade path is some external digital breakout box, kind of cheeky me thinks.

I recently saw that trick for getting an SPDIF input on the Live! Value 2 by using the AUD_EX header as by standard the card didnt feature a dedicated connector!

So to get FP audio, I just plug in the mic/speaker header onto TAD and it should work?
I have the same situation in both my computers, one with Audigy 2 ZS, one with SB Live! 5.1.

Cheers

Oh, and btw, what is the white connector on my SoundBlaster cards for? its long and thin with about 8 pins and retention notches? Another expensive breakout connector lol?<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by mendipjohn on 01/13/05 03:39 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
January 13, 2005 7:31:02 AM

I see, I am still investigating this further ;) 
January 13, 2005 7:54:07 AM

Let me know how it goes. I have been unable to try this yet due to my front audio cables being to short. When you get it working could you please list where you plugged everything in?

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January 13, 2005 8:42:32 AM

All I can say for now is it is extremely fiddly and difficult. Once you have identified which connector is which, you have to get them to stay on!

Apparently according to this there is a Dell OEM connector which can bridge the sound card connector and your FP audio pins. Waiting to hear more on that in the forum you linked me too :) 
January 13, 2005 9:58:17 AM

According to what I've read, the connectors on all Audigies are always digital. A microphone and headphone are analog. You could use a TAD connector if you have one, but you'd have to make the heaphone and microphone jacks mono. In other words, you'd have to bridge the left and right on the mic, and connect that to the TAD IN line. The same with the headphone on the TAD Out line. And the grounds go to the grounding pins.

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