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Old 21st January 2003, 01:26 PM   #1
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Default Creative Audigy 2

I have just tested the Audigy 2 so called 192kHz sound card as the price was very good for the claimed performance. The card cost me 90 as opposed to the much simpler Terratec 2496 at 150. The Terratec performs very well on measurement and auditioning, although still lacking in sonics I believe because of poor output opamps and coupling caps. The unit was bought because I wanted to build a measurement/ ripping/burning computer.

Before buying the Audigy, I carefully researched performance, particularly as the dual gain controls on the SB16 card have poor overload and distortion characteristics. I thought that this would be minimised in the new Audigy due to the high perforamnce Crytal chip used.

Guess what I have found; the same poor overload and thd charcteristic on 16/44.1, barely -90 down at 80% volume with thd rapidly rising due to clipping on a standard CD signal. Clearly the card is using the inferior AC97 chip for CD play. This is a legacy device!

Some people never learn and are only interested in specmanship. Creative is No 1 and have completely wasted the Crytsal chip's superior performance on 2 channel stereo CD playback!! The same chip has digital volume control which should have been used.

If you want a decent sound card, go elsewhere and do not believe the computer reviewers like Tom Hardware.
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Old 25th January 2003, 02:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: Creative Audigy 2

I have just tested the Audigy 2 so called 192kHz sound card as the price was very good for the claimed performance.
------------------------------------------------

I have discovered other oddities about this card

1. It mutes the cdrom spdif output even for CD . I assume the sound is extracted from the bus.

2. The spdif output is the worst I have seen anywhere, half a square wave with massive ringing, and no substantive -ve cycle. Some weird underperforming circuit here.

3. From CD, the sound is much better from an external DAC.

4. The analog performance is almost as good as the digital perfromance, with harmonics at around -90dB - strange.

5. The claims for the performance of the card is unjustified ; specmanship only.

6. The instructions are useless in allowing one to understand what the card is doing.

If you are a gamer and want a free firewire, go for it, but not if you are serious about your music.
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Old 25th January 2003, 03:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
The spdif output is the worst I have seen anywhere, half a square wave with massive ringing, and no substantive -ve cycle. Some weird underperforming circuit here.
The S/PDIF is also way too high a voltage. It sends out something like a 9 volt signal.

Stu
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Old 25th January 2003, 04:12 PM   #4
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by maczrool
[B]

The S/PDIF is also way too high a voltage. It sends out something like a 9 volt signal.

---------------------------------------------------------

I haven't yet worked out how to activate the spdif in. There is no sound whatever I do. Can you help?

The thing also picks up noise from a mouse click even when palying music. Have you found this and how to get round?
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Old 25th January 2003, 04:24 PM   #5
halojoy is offline halojoy  Sweden
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Default Re: Re: Creative Audigy 2

Quote:
Originally posted by fmak
I have just tested the Audigy 2 so called 192kHz sound card as the price was very good for the claimed performance.
------------------------------------------------

I have discovered other oddities about this card

1. It mutes the cdrom spdif output even for CD . I assume the sound is extracted from the bus.

2. The spdif output is the worst I have seen anywhere, half a square wave with massive ringing, and no substantive -ve cycle. Some weird underperforming circuit here.

3. From CD, the sound is much better from an external DAC.

4. The analog performance is almost as good as the digital perfromance, with harmonics at around -90dB - strange.

5. The claims for the performance of the card is unjustified ; specmanship only.

6. The instructions are useless in allowing one to understand what the card is doing.

If you are a gamer and want a free firewire, go for it, but not if you are serious about your music.
This is not what We should expect of
a card of the "world leading" distributor.
Not with that massive advertising about the performance.
The price is also rather high.

Does anyone know about which cards are BETTER
alternative for us concerned with Good Audio Quality?

/halo
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Old 25th January 2003, 07:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Re: Re: Creative Audigy 2

This is not what We should expect of
a card of the "world leading" distributor.
Not with that massive advertising about the performance.
The price is also rather high.

Does anyone know about which cards are BETTER
alternative for us concerned with Good Audio Quality?

---------------------------------------------

I have learnt not to trust computer hardware and software companies. If it's a washing machine, then they would have been prosecuted.

To answer your question, the Terratec EWX2496 is a good AUDIO card, but costs more than the Audigy. The RMEs are supposed to be excellent but even more costly.

They put very impressive digital ICs in sound cards, but crap opamps and caps. The Audigy uses 4558 (improved 7410) and the Terratec 5280, a bit better; so called pro spec.
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Old 25th January 2003, 07:40 PM   #7
djdan is offline djdan  Romania
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Yes I know a lot :

http://www.sekd.com/product_main/prodif_88_info.htm
In my opinion it is the best afordable souncard for every purpose.

Other very good soundcards ( same manufacturer )
http://www.etcetera.co.uk/products/MED010.shtml
http://www.etcetera.co.uk/cgi/show_b...=Marian&class=
http://www.sekd.com/product_main/prodif_t_2496_info.htm
http://www.sekd.com/product_main/pplus_info.htm
http://www.sekd.com/product_main/prodif_a_info.htm

Prices for USA :
http://store.yahoo.com/sekd-store/marsoun.html

Other very good souncards:

http://www.etcetera.co.uk/products/AAR035.shtml
http://www.etcetera.co.uk/products/AAR032.shtml
http://www.etcetera.co.uk/products/s...hoontech.shtml

It just a small sample .

I have in my PC a state of art souncard http://store.yahoo.com/sekd-store/analogarc88.html
and I am very pleased about performance and quality of sound.
It is something else. In my opinion Creative make medium class products for game or regular use. If you need something better go and buy a real souncard with a real AD - DA converters.
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Old 25th January 2003, 07:42 PM   #8
halojoy is offline halojoy  Sweden
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Default Terratec Cards should be an alternative.

To answer your question, the Terratec EWX2496 is a good AUDIO card, but costs more than the Audigy.
---------------------

Thanks fmak

I have also seen Terratec Soundcards
mentioned as good for real audio quality.

I will go see, if I can find the website of Terratec
for more info about their products.

/halo
##################################
Here is Terratec website
In many languages.
http://www.terratec.net/
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Old 25th January 2003, 07:50 PM   #9
JBL is offline JBL  Canada
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One good card is the m-audio audiophile 24/96.

The sound quality is excellent and the performances stated are what you get whitout compromise.

I love the mixer that come and replace the standard windows mixer. It' have vu meter and full control over the output and input format on either the dac/adc or s/pdif.
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Old 25th January 2003, 08:05 PM   #10
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Hi!

One thing a lot of people forget is the influence the driver has on the parformance and the capabilities of a soundcard.

Wait until the kx project starts supporting the Audigy 2 (at least I hope that they will, and they have announced support). Creative is known fro crappy drivers.

Via the drivers nearly every aspect and signal routing on soundcards can be altered (ok, not something as false a a wrong spdif voltage), and I could not believe what my Audigy was capable of until I started using kx.

I threw away the rest of my soundsystem, nowadays it's just two computers, two amps, three speakers, no pre-amp, and SB Audigy / SB Live with kx... and I have yet to encounter a better sounding active solution...

Those cards are being build for mass market and the common joe on the street, who does not know the difference between RMS power and PMPO power... and so are the drivers... maybe idiot-proof, but lacking in any other aspect...

Good night (in Germany...),
Arndt
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