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Some facts on Creative SB Audigy

1101 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  pham
For those who are considering a new multichannel audio card for their HT/gaming setup, here is some of the info I've been able to gather on SB Audigy that might affect your purchase decision:

1. The card does not do 24/96 i/o EXCEPT pass through. All digital inputs at 24/96 are resampled to 48kHz internally (as per PC99 spec). Also, you cannot sample at 24bit @ 96 kHz (but 48/16). Only digital passthrough via SPDIF is bit-perfect (i.e. unaltered) - everything else is resampled, just like in the SBLive series

Ref: http://www.3dsoundsurge.com/cgi-bin/...b=5&o=0&fpart=

2. The card's claimed 100 dB s/n ratios are false. A/D stage is c. 82 dB, D/A stage c. 89 dB, D/D 89 dB (remember that it is resampled!)

Ref: http://www.3dsoundsurge.com/cgi-bin/...b=5&o=0&fpart=

Ref2: http://groups.google.com/groups?selm...ws.prodigy.com

3. Card does NOT have any HW compatibility problems with VIA chipsets as long as Via 4-in-1 drivers 4.33 or later are used. The situation should be the same with Live cards now. Latest Playcenter may still cause problems to some (so if you don't need it, don't install it).

Ref: http://www.viaarena.com/?PageID=26

4. The card has a measured drop in 300 Hz range in it's D->A conversion stage of about 20 dB. Also, the high frequencies start to attenuate at between 16-18 kHz and drop sharply after that, reaching a -6dB point at 20Hz:

Ref: Stereoplay germany, 10/2001, page PC2

5. Both analog and digital output cannot be active at the same time (you need to buy a separate digital i/o card for that).

Ref: http://www.3dsoundsurge.com/cgi-bin/...b=5&o=0&fpart=

6. Game speed is good as cpu utilization is even lower than before.


7. Bass redirection and selectable x-over points with internal DD decoding (but only if you use the internal decoding - of course)

Ref: http://www.3dsoundsurge.com/reviews/...Audigy-p7.html

8. No *major* compatibility problems have been reported yet (AFAIK!)

Ref: too many to mention

In conclusion, would I *personally* buy this card as a replacement for my current SBLive! card? No, it doesn't offer wide enough features for home theater (dd, dts, dts es, thx ex decoding, bass management), it's audio capabilities are still lacking and the gaming advancements are currently theoretical (not too many new games suport the new features).

Still, is it a bad card? No, I don't think so, but having personally spent so many hours researching and learning it - I just wanted to share some of my finding with others who might be considering purchasing it.

I'm still waiting for the new Terratec DMX 6fire 24/96 with EAX/A3D support and hopefully closer to true audiophile quality.

Ref: http://www.terratec.de/produkte/6fire/6fire_details.htm



PS If you just want the best game experience and a digital pass through from you ht computer to you decoder, then this is probably the best card currently on the market (or very close to TB Santa Cruz and Herc Game Theater XP).
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Thank u so much.

I've always wanted to know if the Audigy would be a good replacement for my 6 months old SB live platinum 5.1 !!

But now i will just wait untill new sound cards with 6.1 or even 7.1 channels with good game support and with REAL 24/96 ANALOG and DIGITAL output.

Thanx again.
Thanks for a great post. It's always nice to see ppl put their sources: saves a lot of aggro in the long run :) It's a shame the SB cards still downsample, but I guess that's why it's still a lot cheaper than 'real' 24/96 cards.
thanks for th great post!

do you have any idea when the terratec dmx will be available?
As you may know, there's been some controversy about SB Live cards and the voltage being passed via the S/PDIF when hooking up to an external amp.

What about the new Audigy?
Throughput voltage is still high from the card itself, (2.5V into a 75 ohm load) but it is standard SPDIF (.5V) from the coaxial output on the external "Drive".
OOps. Mistyped before. I meant to say output voltage is still high, not throughput voltage.
Could this high voltage be causing my cracks and pops on my reciever? I am going to measure it tonight. What is the nominal value for the digital output?
SPDIF standard (IEC 958) specifies .5V P-P. The Live! and Audigy deliver this level correctly through the Platinum versions' "Drive" output, or through the expansion panel of the original Live!. The digital output on the card itself is TTL level, and is intended primarily for the Creative and CSW speakers with digital inputs, not as a universal SPDIF output. The pulse transformer used to get the standard SPDIF level is on the accessories, not on the card itself. I have no problem plugging Live! or Audigy directly into my Harman Kardon, but it is conceivable that the card output level could cause crackling and noise with some digital inputs, depending on how wide the acceptance range is on the particular receiver.
I would wait for driver updates from Creative before purchasing this card. As far as I know, nobody (including myself) has gotten DTS output through SPDIF working using WinDVD.

Another note, it DOES seem to be compatible with Hoontech adapters. At least mine worked with my DB-1 adapter.
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