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Reply 60 of 106, by dr_st

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I have Audigy 2 ZS on my 2004 desktop (Pentium 4 HT). I got it because the onboard audio was noisy, and I like it.
On my 2008 desktop (Core 2 Extreme) I got an X-Fi XtremeGamer (the only X-Fi with a proper front panel audio header), but it didn't sound better than the onboard audio, the drivers were somehow less capable, and eventually the card (or the PCI slot) started glitching so I returned to the onboard.
On my 2018 desktop (Core i7 8th gen) I didn't even bother trying external audio cards.

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Reply 61 of 106, by gdjacobs

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yawetaG wrote on 2020-04-17, 06:26:

Except for a few very high end sound cards (which are considerably more than 30 bucks, like ten to a hundred times that) it's hard to use an internal sound card and not have problems with coil whine or grounding issues causing noise on modern systems. Most semi-pro audio interfaces are external these days.
It also has the advantage of not having one or more massive cables attached to your computer...

Not an issue with an external DAC being fed SPDIF.

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Reply 62 of 106, by Errius

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Yeah, the big problem with onboard audio in the old days was the constant crackle and hiss. Someone here called it "hearing the computer think".

“I like to dissect PCs. Don't you know I'm utterly insane?"

Reply 64 of 106, by Errius

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Yes, and I remember connecting CD audio cable from the drive to the motherboard made the noise ten times worse. (This was on a i815 machine from circa 2000). Horrible.

“I like to dissect PCs. Don't you know I'm utterly insane?"

Reply 66 of 106, by Errius

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I remember at LANs in the early 2000s being envious of the Audigy Master Race with their fancy front panels. Unfortunately my new Cooler Master case didn't have any spare 5.25" bays so I just stuck with the cheap Yamaha card that came with my machine.

“I like to dissect PCs. Don't you know I'm utterly insane?"

Reply 67 of 106, by Wanderer

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I have a combo of two Audigy 1 cards, SB0160 and SB0090 - first running Creative drivers and the second kX Project drivers. The first card is used as the default output port for surround sound in games and movies and for MIDI playback with multichannel effects. The second card accepts 6-channel digital signal from the first, converts 5.1 to 4.0 using a custom matrix and produces two slightly different versions of the signal for rear channels (used by different room correction presets on next device in the chain). This card also applies a custom 2-to-4-channel upmixing algorithm to stereo sound and adds reverb when Audigy Sw Synth is used on the first card (that synth is software-based and cannot be processed by the card's own DSP).

P.S. Since a lot of people replied about using an X-Fi, here is a file I made to port effect presets from Audigy control panel to X-Fi audio console. Replace the .dat file (after backing up the original if you saved your own presets earlier) in C:\ProgramData\Creative\CADI\Preset\ in modern Windows or C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Creative\CADI\Preset in XP, reboot, launch the console in Audio Creation Mode and check the preset list for Reverb, for example - it is now a lot longer than previously. Hope you have fun!

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  • Filename
    Audigy Presets.zip
    File size
    42.18 KiB
    Downloads
    30 downloads
    File license
    Public domain
Last edited by Wanderer on 2020-11-01, 18:29. Edited 6 times in total.

Reply 68 of 106, by ZellSF

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Errius wrote on 2020-04-17, 19:23:

Yeah, the big problem with onboard audio in the old days was the constant crackle and hiss. Someone here called it "hearing the computer think".

I've heard that on new motherboards too. Even ones that advertise their sound capabilities. Maybe it was a more common problem before, but it's certainly not gone.

Reply 70 of 106, by yawetaG

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The combination of PSU and motherboard seems to be very important in not having interference of some kind in custom PCs, if I go by the discussions on a local synthesizer forum.

Reply 71 of 106, by Oj0

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Creative Sound Blaster Zx. It's nothing particularly special, but it gets the job done.

Bondye: Pentium II 400MHz, AOpen AX6BC EZ, 256MB PC-100, 40GB IDE HDD, PowerColor EvilKing 4 Voodoo4 4500 AGP
Daily Driver: Core i7-4790K, Gigabyte GA-Z97X Gaming5, 16GB DDR3-1600, 120GB SSD + 10.5TB SATA HDD, GeForce GTX 1050

Reply 72 of 106, by appiah4

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yawetaG wrote on 2020-04-19, 09:24:

The combination of PSU and motherboard seems to be very important in not having interference of some kind in custom PCs, if I go by the discussions on a local synthesizer forum.

The motherboard and having proper ground wiring on the wall electricity is what I find to be a lot more important than the PSU.

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Reply 73 of 106, by ODwilly

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Creative Soundblaster Z. My onboard audio on my B450 Tomahawk Max wont output anything from the back panel connectors, was an Open Box purchase that sat for a few months before utilizing it, so it was a neccesary purchase. Leaps and bounds nicer than anything iv ever used before.

Main pc: Asus ROG laptop. I7-6700HQ, GTX 960M 4gb, 16gb DDR4.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 74 of 106, by Lawnie

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I've been using an Audient ID4, initially bought for recording but now the main device for sound output. Sure it's no Audigy 2 but turns out it's really good at playing audio as well as recording it!

The only issue is that it automatically mutes itself every time power is lost, meaning that if you turn the machine off by the plug, you'll have to turn everything up again.

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Reply 75 of 106, by sunaiac

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My sound card is a marantz PM7005 ^^

R9 3900X/X470 Taichi/32GB 3600CL15/5700XT AE/Marantz PM7005
i7 980X/R9 290X/X-Fi titanium | FX-57/X1950XTX/Audigy 2ZS
Athlon 1000T Slot A/GeForce 3/AWE64G | K5 PR 200/ET6000/AWE32
Ppro 200 1M/Voodoo 3 2000/AWE 32 | iDX4 100/S3 864 VLB/SB16

Reply 77 of 106, by Desomondo

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I'm still using a Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium in my current system. Sounds great, has really good compatibility with both older games and newer ones, and it has solid Windows 10 drivers. I haven't had a single issue with it since I got it back in 2008 and have used it across 3 separate builds. I tried a Z for a couple weeks back in 2012, but quickly switched back. Everything, from the sound to the feature set, felt like a step backwards. Same with every onboard audio solution I've tried. Not bad, just lacking in either features or sound quality.

Win95 PC: Pentium II 400 | 440BX | Voodoo3 3000 | Vortex 2 + ESS 1869F
Win98 PC: Pentium 4 HT 641 | 865G | Geforce4 Ti4400 | Audigy
WinXP PC: Core 2 Quad Q9400 | G41 | Geforce GTX 280 | X-Fi
Win10 PC: Ryzen 7 5800X | X570 | Radeon RX 6800 | X-Fi Titanium

Reply 78 of 106, by gdjacobs

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sunaiac wrote on 2020-04-21, 08:11:

My sound card is a marantz PM7005 ^^

ALC889A and a Denon AVR3806 linked by SPDIF here.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 79 of 106, by sunaiac

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gdjacobs wrote on 2020-04-23, 02:30:
sunaiac wrote on 2020-04-21, 08:11:

My sound card is a marantz PM7005 ^^

ALC889A and a Denon AVR3806 linked by SPDIF here.

Oh yeah, forgot to say, I use it through the USB connector and have disabled all integrated sound on my Taichi x470.
This amp is where everything comes : main PC through USB, Megadrive and saturn through RCA, old PC through optic or RCA depending on age ...
Very practical.

R9 3900X/X470 Taichi/32GB 3600CL15/5700XT AE/Marantz PM7005
i7 980X/R9 290X/X-Fi titanium | FX-57/X1950XTX/Audigy 2ZS
Athlon 1000T Slot A/GeForce 3/AWE64G | K5 PR 200/ET6000/AWE32
Ppro 200 1M/Voodoo 3 2000/AWE 32 | iDX4 100/S3 864 VLB/SB16