View Full Version : We need a new soundcard

6th April 2003, 09:18

we need a new soundcard. The Terratec 512i digital is capital CRAP.

We only have stereo speakers and aren't planning on any surround stuff, but want to be able to listen with our Sennheiser HD497 headphones without our ears falling off (which is not possible right now). We play some games, but not too much, and we don't need EAX. We would want to record some of my girlfriend's vinyl recordings to the computer, we have a HiFi amp with built-in phono preamp, so no need for that, but we need good input quality.

So we want a card with stable drivers (98SE and XP), no distortion, good sound quality, and a moderate price.

I though of the Audigy 2 player, but have heard horrible things about creative's drivers.
The Terratec 6fire LE (the 6fire 24/69 without the rack) looks good, but terratec has let me down with the current card's drivers and sound quality (both are shitty), and it's not exactly cheap (120 eur).
The new Terratec cards might be good, I haven't seen any reviews of them yet, though.
Any other cards?

Priorities are: good sound quality (analog in and out), hassle-free, drivers that work and don't trash the system for both 98SE and XP. No need for any fancy 3D, EAX, effects or whatever else there is.

Any suggestions? I'd love to hear from owners of the Audigy and the 6fire.


6th April 2003, 09:38
What happened to my crappy SBLive?

6th April 2003, 09:59
It's in my machine, which is in my flat, not my GFs - we still haven't moved to a bigger home, cause we still haven't decided if we go to Berlin or stay in Bielefeld :)


6th April 2003, 10:11
M-Audio Revolution 7.1

6th April 2003, 10:18
Oh, btw, you have a 6fire now - how much better than the live is it, and why?

Given that we use headphones quite often on this system, sound quality is more important than for my home rig (that one's too loud to reall listen to music anyway because of a failed fan bearing).

And come to think of it, a front panel would be nice, if it doesn't cost too much, since we frequently switch between headphone and speakers.


P.S.: Thank you again for the Live, Indiana :)

6th April 2003, 10:22
For some tests on the DMX 6Fire 24/96 (the LT is technically identical and uses the same drivers - it's just the great front module missing):



The 6Fire has MUCH better soundquality than the old SBLive (as you can also see from online tests measurements). It has generally a much "clearer" and more "defined" sound, with harder bass and better trebles. Where the SBLive always sounded a bit "muffled" the 6Fire is crystal clear.
The whole driver + sound control panel package is <5MB, not some crazy >>30MB like with the Creative Virusware.

Soundquality through the cards headphone out unfortunately seems a bit worse than the line-out and digital out.

6th April 2003, 14:30
I recommend Hercules (http://europe.hercules.com/index_products.php?t=2) stuff.

Muse, Fortissimo/Digifire or GTXP.

Fortissimo/Digifire uses same chip and is Soundblaster compatible (for older stuff). Do a search for my post in CPU/Motherboard forum (SB128 PCI VIA southbridge problems) at arstechnica.com

Generally Creative stuff has problems with VIA southbridges.

6th April 2003, 16:01
I've got both a SB Live and a SB Audigy in two different systems and to tell you the truth I can't hear the difference between the two.
An Audigy 2 seems like pure overkill for your needs.

I also use my computer mainly for playing MP3's and I record some vinyl to it to put on CD now and then.

Both cards are excellent for both uses.

Get yourself an OEM SB Live. It shouldn't cost you more than 40-50. An OEM Audigy shouldn't cost you more than 60-70.
Both are great cards and I've never had issues with their drivers. Never had to upgrade them too.

6th April 2003, 16:04
Have a look at the Hoontech Soundtrack i-Phone Digital XG. Hoontech's main business is professional sound hardware, so I'd expect good things from their cards. (I've got one of their 4DWave cards, it sounds great.) It's based on the Yamaha YMF754. http://www.hoontech.com

7th April 2003, 00:33
Looks nice any reviews anywhere ???

7th April 2003, 01:51
Hoontech has a list of reviews at http://www.hoontech.com/english/products/xg/review.html
One of them's from Firingsquad.

Note: The i-Phone Digital XG is just a regular Digital XG with a headset connection. The headset's meant for VoIP and speech recognition-type stuff rather than music/gaming.

7th April 2003, 03:42
maybe kxproject (http://kxproject.spb.ru/) are the way worth considering...

7th April 2003, 04:02
kx - unfortunately no good (yet) for that little bit of gaming you might do though.

7th April 2003, 06:23

The Audigy2 is fine, the new drivers from Creative are quite good, especially in comparison to their earlier efforts. I use a modified set on my Audigy1 now and have no plans to change the card out anytime soon.

The M-Audio Revo is an excellent card, but ALL 3D sound is done entirely in software, which means if you DO run an intense game it will bog down when lots of sounds are present. :(

Other than that? Santa Cruz, baby. Its only drawbacks? All titles from Bioware except Neverwinter Nights sound all crackly and warbly through it. :(


- Gurm

7th April 2003, 06:25
Oh and...

The kx project drivers are great... for audio manipulation. For gaming, or even just mousing around in windows... they're utter drek.

I have spoken.

- Gurm

7th April 2003, 06:32
Well, since Bioware make some of the most athmospheric games out there...

I think it's going to be a 6fire 24/96 w/ audio rack - if just because of the headphone and easily reachable line/phono jacks.


7th April 2003, 06:35
What games does Bioware make?

I have a turtle beach in legobox, works great.

7th April 2003, 06:39
It seems what you need is a decent hi-fi card so why not check the results of a well-known hi-fi magazine? If you visit Stereoplay (http://www.stereoplay.de) and download their current ranking ("Rang und Namen"), you'll find that the Terratec EWX 24/96 gets a better rating (for sound quality) than the Audigy 2. Of course this doesn't say anything about the quality of the drivers but there shoukd be some information about that on the web, right?