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Thread: The SB Audigy series are not really true 24-bit sound cards?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vwestlife View Post
    That thread reminds me of why I don't spend much time on Vogons.
    Oh? I think it's a fantastic example of how futile the presentation of facts and measurements can be, and how it often feels extremely pointless to even bring-up certain topics.

    So, yes, the card might technically have a 16-bit DAC, but on my own CT1740 I can hear the ugly quantization noise at low audio levels and aliasing noise at high frequencies that I don't hear on more modern sound cards (such as my Audigy 2 ZS). Even cheap onboard Realtek HD Audio blows it away in terms of audio quality.
    Quantization and aliasing noise are both a consequence of the sampling phase of given source material though. That later DACs or CODECs handle or mask these errors better isn't surprising - compared to even the earlier Sound Blaster cards, the SB16's low-pass filter just isn't very aggressive concerning lesser-quality material. What would be surprising is if you're experiencing this type of noise during the playback of 16-bit/44.1kHz material.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloudschatze View Post
    What would be surprising is if you're experiencing this type of noise during the playback of 16-bit/44.1kHz material.
    Older CDs from the '80s and early '90s often use a very steep "brickwall" filter at 20 kHz to compensate for the poor quality of the analog anti-aliasing filters in early CD players. But newer CDs often don't, and may contain audio going right up to the Nyquist limit (22.05 kHz), which can cause audible aliasing in older CD players and sound cards.

  3. #13
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    Early CDs had all kinds of issues because the original analog recordings had imperfections that would not show up when played back on record or tape. You also had much of the mixing done in analog before the final digital conversion compared to later recording where it was done digitally.

    People get so caught up on 16 bit vs 20 bit etc when the quality of the chip being used greatly affects the output. I was happy as hell when Technics came out with 1bit DAC and MASH (multi stage noise shaping) making CDs sound so much better then on poorly tuned 16 bit DACs of older players of the same price range. The capacitors used in the Audio circuit also make a difference in sound.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by vwestlife View Post
    Older CDs from the '80s and early '90s often use a very steep "brickwall" filter at 20 kHz to compensate for the poor quality of the analog anti-aliasing filters in early CD players. But newer CDs often don't, and may contain audio going right up to the Nyquist limit (22.05 kHz), which can cause audible aliasing in older CD players and sound cards.
    Unless the Nyquist theorm has been violated somewhere along the way, there really shouldn't be any legitimate aliasing-type noise below the output cutoff frequency. I'm not suggesting that the high-frequency noise you referred to isn't there; it's just that I'm not able to explain it, and the RightMark testing that I performed against several SB16 variants (using generated test output) doesn't indicate similar problems.

    This is all rabbit-hole discussion though. The underlying point of the Vogons thread is that a properly-configured SB16 isn't as nearly as bad as it's often made out to be.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    I stopped buying Creative products after the Daniel_K fiasco.

    https://www.wired.com/2008/03/creative-fixing/

    For those that weren't there, Daniel_K made custom drivers for I think the X-Fi cards to enable features that were advertised by Creative, but disabled or broken in the Vista drivers and only worked under Windows XP. He was publicly threatened on their forums by corporate execs at Creative for nonsense like IP theft, and only they were allowed to make drivers for their products. They further said stuff like "if we want to push crippled drivers, it's none of your business." But the X-Fi wasn't the only Creative card with broken drivers, the Audigy series was in the same boat, I dumped all of mine because they only worked right in XP and were crippled under Vista/7.

    It of course caused an explosive backlash, I remember when the thread started, it grew to 50 pages of angry people in less than 24 hours vowing never to purchase a Creative product again. I haven't, and I hope those people did the same because Creative is a disgusting company.

    Integrated audio from Realtek is just as good as any Creative audio card, and the drivers are a whole lot better. I remember buying a 5.1 Creative surround sound system and the center channel never worked with the Audigy as advertised, it just made static and garbage noise. I moved it over to the onboard Realtek and it worked fine.
    So that was for Vista... I wonder why making crippled drivers is a "business strategy" Maybe they wanted people to use XP and forget Vista until a later OS was developed. Anyone know if the Windows 7 drivers are any better? Does such software exist that can tell you the true bitrate and etc. used with the OS and your sound drivers so you can compare?

  6. #16

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    Do the other sound card manufacturers such as Turtle Beach have quality drivers matching their hardware specs? Creative seems to rule the sound card market and I can't find many alternate brands on Ebay.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by computerdude92 View Post
    Do the other sound card manufacturers such as Turtle Beach have quality drivers matching their hardware specs? Creative seems to rule the sound card market and I can't find many alternate brands on Ebay.
    M-Audio sound cards are pricey but highly regarded.

  8. #18
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    Asus makes sound cards under their Xonar brand name. They use customized C-Media sound chips.

  9. #19

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    I remember my Soundblaster X-Fi cleaned up audio when played. Know any non-HD 24-Bit audio chipsets that support Windows 7, so I can hear natural, unmodified audio?

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    If you can and want to do USB, the FocusRite Scarlett series are sweet. They're professional audio interfaces.
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