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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!


I know this subject has already discussed very often but i wasn't able to find some satisfying facts about my model.


My SB Model is called "SB Live 5.1 Player" (European), Model No. SB0060.

So can anybody please tell me if this model is concerned by the out of spec spdif out? Unfortunately I have no oscilloscope so I can't measure myself. The soundcard is connected to my Receiver Onkyo TX-DS575. Until now I had no problems, DD worked fine but I don't want to damage my receiver.

So if the output voltage is too high I will probably get the Hoontech SB DBIII to solve this problem.


Would be glad to hear some good comments.


Greetings


Mike
 

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It was only certain cards in the original Live! series that had the problem. I believe it was fixed before the 5.1 cards even came out.
 

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Ut oh, I am going to have to disagree with someone that has 1700+ more posts then me. I think the only in-spec cars were SOME early Sound Blaster Live!'s. When I was using my Creative 5.1 it was highly suggested to get the hoontech or the live drive.
 

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I thought it was just the Live! too, but according to 3dsoundsurge the out-of-spec voltage affected the 1/8" mini-jack S/PDIF output for both the Live! (CT4760, CT483x released fall of '98) and the Live 5.1 (but did not affect S/PDIF output from the Live Drive).


According to the reviews, the spec is .5V - the actual voltage was up to 5V for the Live! but wasn't nearly as out-of-spec (but still was out-of-spec) for the Live 5.1 (though it either did not say what the actual number was or I missed it).


Here are the links to their reviews:

http://www.3dsoundsurge.com/reviews/Live/Live-p3.html

http://www.3dsoundsurge.com/reviews/...inum51-p2.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@Sherbona

Thx for the links.


I tested the output-voltage with a simple multimeter and got something between 1,5-1,8 Volts. Don't know if this is a trustable result.

Perhaps I can ask a friend who owns a oscilloscope to measure the output for me.


So long

Mike
 

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Here is what I am going off of. I used an original Live card that supposedly did have the problem and never had an issue.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=134881


I found multiple references to this thread when searching on this issue...


I briefly skimmed the 3d sound surge article and it seemed to say the problem was only with the original series (MP3+, X-Gamer and 1024)
 

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Namlemez,


The 2nd 3dsoundsurge article had the following paragraph:


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It’s worth noting that the 1/8" mini-jack on the Live 5.1 cards (Platinum 5.1, X-Gamer 5.1, Player 5.1 and MP3+ 5.1) outputs more than the 0.5V the COAX SPDIF out spec calls for. However Creative Labs has confirmed that there is no risk of damage with this connection their decoders and some other sources have given similar responses for use with the decoder they market (e.g. VideoLogic Digitheatre decider and MidiLand ADS-2000). Having said that, if you are at all concerned with the higher power output you should consider other options. In terms of the Live!Platinum 5.1 it just means you should use the RCA SPDIF output found on the Live!Drive that follows the standard output of 0.5V. [Edit] We should also note that while the mini-jack output is above 0.5V it doesn’t appear to be as high as the 5.0V the previous Live retail boards used which means it won’t work with the now discontinued Digital Output Module.

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That's quite funny...the review of the original cards has the EXACT same wording except for the "5.1" dropped in. I'm not sure if when they recycled this article with the new cards that really intended to carry this over!


Nevertheless, I found a post from a member here saying he used his 5.1 card with a Denon receiver ( the brand with problems) and had no issues. I'd personally trust someone who tried it out themselves, rather than an article that is reused everytime a new card comes out!


Actually, personally I'd stay away from Soundblaster products period, but those are my personal feelings.
 

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Hi Namlemez,


Lol, no argument from me on that! :) I have a bunch of cards including a creative audigy, among them my fav is an Maudio (1010LT). Also, I've read elsewhere of some folks (Denon owners) who had problems caused by the out-of-spec Live! S/PDIF, and know of someone (Denon owner) who had no problem with Live!5.1 S/PDIF-out. This agrees with the posts you found.


Finally, *me so silly* ... in my last post I cut-off the key sentance of the quote about the 5.1:


"We should also note that while the mini-jack output is above 0.5V it doesn’t appear to be as high as the 5.0V the previous Live retail boards used which means ..."


My take on this is that the Live!5.1 may be out-of-spec, but not nearly as much as the original Live! (which would agree with multimike's results so far). The 3dsoundsurge reviews are generally among the most helpful I've found on the net as far as level of detail and such, but they take a long time to come out since they are so detailed, and they are oriented towards gaming (but they don't ignore audio/music quality either). With their audigy reviews, they have a 'base review' and then specific mini-reviews for the different audigy models.


Happy Friday!
 

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Mike if you can get your friend with the oscilloscope to check the output, could you post the results please. I would like to know how the results compare with the 1.5-1.8 you got with the multimeter. I have a sblive 5.1 model sb0100, this is only a few months old, I got the impression from some posts, that the newer models were not as far out of spec as the older ones. This idea seems to correspond with our test results.


I have tested mine with a multimeter and it reads 1.02 volts. I have read discussions before about weather or not you can accuratly test with a multimeter, or if you need to test with a oscilloscope, but I have never seen a comparison of the two results. It would be interesting to see if the oscilloscope confirms the results you achieved with the multimeter.


I don't understand why we have been lead to believe that we shouldn't trust the multimeter reading. It is the extra voltage that apparently damages receivers, that is what the multimeter is designed to test, if we were testing the voltage on anything else there would be no doubt about the results.


Also, surely creative has done somthing to address the problem on current cards, they'd be pretty stupid not to wouldn't they ?
 

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Keo,


I'm not an EE so I will probably phrase this wrong.


The digital out is a sine wave form and does not have a constant voltage like say DC power. If you use the multimeter on the dc power supply for example, you can only get one result. The digital output on the other hand is not rated 1v DC but 1vpp (peak to peak.) This is obviously something you can only see on an oscilliscope with its 2d view of everything. You could get by with the multimeter but you can't be sure at what point on the sine way you just measured.
 

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gday namlemez


that makes sense, I understand what you mean,I suppose because I dont know very much about this stuff im looking at it from a very simplified point of view.


I suppose Im hopeing that mike's readings of between 1.5 and 1.8 were the top and bottom of the peak. and mine is similar to his, that would mean our cards are a lot improved from the ones with 5v. But like you say, we would have to verify this with an oscilloscope, and I dont know anyone who has one.
 

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dlsl


Im not qualified to answer that question, Im basically trying to figure out the same thing. The evidence in previous posts, as namlemez pointed to above, seem to indicate that the 5.1 is safe.


I don't have any testing equipment so I can only judge by what I read.
 

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My Live 5.1 Player (European) with Digital Optical I/O kit does not work using coaxial spdif with my receiver, Marantz SR5000 OriginalSE: during dvd playback every 2-3 minutes the digital stream gets lost for 1-2 seconds.

With optical connection works fine... tried different hq cables and sources seems a problem of the Live.


Bye
 

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mannix,


I had a similar problem with it dropping out and I traced it to the cable I was using...a decent one that came with a DVD player but was causing problems.


The problems people always had with this excessive voltage were the receiver burning out. I wouldn't think excess voltage would cause dropouts (as that is a lack of signal, not too much :) )
 

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I'm wondering if your meter allows 'Measuring AC Voltage on a DC BIAS' is the same as using a oscope, prob will try it later. It just says test like its a regular AC. Time to test my scope mode on my meter. Someone have a spec on the spdif on the older Live so I know which pins to try?
 

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chemmajic


No my multimeter doesn't appear to have that function, I just read the entire instruction manual and no mention of measuring ac voltage on dc bias.


I'v noticed that there are some software oscilloscopes for windows on the net, does anyone know if there is any good software that can be used to measure the spdif output. My guess is it cant be tested with software because it would be looking at the signal internally, not after it leaves the spdif output.


any ideas ?
 

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Rat Shack has a $79.99 probe-style oscilloscope (special order # 910-4905) that connects to a PC by serial cable (software and cable included).


The bandwidth is only 5MHz but that is enough for testing S/PDIF voltage and grayscale ramps.
 

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I too had this very same concern with the voltage on my SB Live 5.1 card and have also searched this forum high and low. Even though it worked going into NAD receiver during my initial testing, I have since added a full HT including a Rotel Processor. I didn't want to take a chance on a $50 soundcard blowing up a $2K processor so I sprung a few dollars and got the Creative Digital I/O board and use the optical output. For me, the 80 some odd dollars is worth the piece of mind.
 
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