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Sounds cards...

post #1 of 75
Thread Starter 
Hey, my brother and I will be bulding a desktop computer while he's home this summer, and we're starting to scout out some key components. Anyways, I work at Best Buy, so I'm trying to look around there for some of the stuff. Today, I spotted the Creative Audigy 2 ZS and the Audigy 2 ZS Platinum. Are these pretty good cards? What are the main differences betwixt the two? What, if anything, on the Platinum is worth the extra money? What other cards (for 150...or less) are comparable? This is not going to be a source for a system or anything, so we don't need anything really top of the line, but we still want a quality card. With that being said, what else would you recommend? Thanks a lot.
post #2 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack963
Hey, my brother and I will be bulding a desktop computer while he's home this summer, and we're starting to scout out some key components. Anyways, I work at Best Buy, so I'm trying to look around there for some of the stuff. Today, I spotted the Creative Audigy 2 ZS and the Audigy 2 ZS Platinum. Are these pretty good cards? What are the main differences betwixt the two? What, if anything, on the Platinum is worth the extra money? What other cards (for 150...or less) are comparable? This is not going to be a source for a system or anything, so we don't need anything really top of the line, but we still want a quality card. With that being said, what else would you recommend? Thanks a lot.

Are we talking about music or games?

The difference between the PLatinum and non-Platinum is the front breakout box that has a variety of extra inputs/outputs (including a headphone input that provides a little extra juice, but nothing special). The secret to computer hardware is knowing exactly what you're going to use, and not buying anything that has more that will cost more since it's going to be outdated in 2 weeks anyway.
post #3 of 75
Thread Starter 
Um...mainly music. Some games, but far more music.
post #4 of 75
UGH. Curse Creative.

Trust me, if you're doing "mostly music" you do NOT want Creative, unless you want to severly shortchange yourself.

Let me search HeadFi and some other sites for links to much better-sounding alternatives within your pricerange.

Or, if you really want to splurge, you could go with the E-MU 1212m for ~200$ (well, someone got it for 165$ at Guitar Center with haggling....), and that card is su-weet for sure. Makes the Creative sound like plastic.

Okay, the best bang-for-buck is probably the Chaintech AV710, which is like 25$ or something insane like that.

http://www5.head-fi.org/forums/showt...heap+soundcard

Another fairly popular card is the M-Audio Revolution or Audiophile 2496.
post #5 of 75
the funny thing is e-mu is creative.
post #6 of 75
Thread Starter 
I'll have to look into that E-mu. Any other suggestions?
post #7 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by silentperfection
the funny thing is e-mu is creative.
Bah, only according to the stickers on the box.

Technically it's by "E-MU professional" or whatever, but since Creative are hosers they plaster their name all over it.

But trust me, the E-MU sounds probably 10x better than my Audigy 2 ZS did. Or maybe 50x. Whatever number would be enough to quantify "unlistenable."
post #8 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by silentperfection
the funny thing is e-mu is creative.
...yes and have been since sometime in 1994 where Creative Labs released the WaveBlaster II featuring the E-mu 8000 chipset. Not long after that, Creative bought out E-mu. If someone have time someday to read all of this and then ask yourself what you think of Creative and their methods - they probably think they were copycats, and inspired by others. Creative only implemented things for a lower price than others and bought chips from Yamaha (OPL2 on the Sound Blaster (1989)) and E-MU (WaveBlaster II).
It is a very easy-to-understand page, with samples to what each card sounded like. - http://crossfire-designs.de/index.ph...ndcards&page=1 (Sorry, getting nostalgic here)
post #9 of 75


Okay, let me phrase it in a way that you people will understand: (sheesh )

Creative's cards marketed at the masses and NOT labeled as E-MU are crap.

There.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daroid
(Sorry, getting nostalgic here)
Why? AFAIK computer sources are only getting better over time.
post #10 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sduibek
Why? AFAIK computer sources are only getting better over time.
Yup, nostalgic here means that the old card is nostalgic (to me) and I start to think about how it was back then/how it might have been. Problem today is that soundcards doesn't bring anything new to the table. It only improves in the way of lower latency, inputs etc. etc. but the technological improvements today are actually few compared to the development difficulties with the Roland LAPC-1 or the SoundBlaster 16 compared to the generation of soundcards before. For example, an ESI Juli@ can't do anything an RME, E-MU or the like can't do (just an example), while the Adlib was left behind and was nearly unusable just a few years after release
post #11 of 75
Thread Starter 
Well thanks for not getting too off topic!! Just playing with ya'll....so anyone have any recommendations for me? If I were gonna go with a card from best buy, should I go w/ the Audigy 2 ZS or the 2 ZS Platinum? Thanks.
post #12 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daroid
Yup, nostalgic here means that the old card is nostalgic (to me) and I start to think about how it was back then/how it might have been. Problem today is that soundcards doesn't bring anything new to the table. It only improves in the way of lower latency, inputs etc. etc. but the technological improvements today are actually few compared to the development difficulties with the Roland LAPC-1 or the SoundBlaster 16 compared to the generation of soundcards before. For example, an ESI Juli@ can't do anything an RME, E-MU or the like can't do (just an example), while the Adlib was left behind and was nearly unusable just a few years after release
I wasn't talking about inputs or what-have-you, i'm talking about pure sound quality. I would place the E-MU against all other PC cards for pure sound quality, and its got a bunch of other benefits. Older cards have more hiss because they don't cancel out as much PC noise, etc etc etc. The list goes on. Again: cards only get better with time. Like most technologies. Sure, it's not always leaps and bounds, but as we understand our world and our technologies better and better, we can do a better job implementing them.
post #13 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack963
Well thanks for not getting too off topic!! Just playing with ya'll....so anyone have any recommendations for me? If I were gonna go with a card from best buy, should I go w/ the Audigy 2 ZS or the 2 ZS Platinum? Thanks.


Why do you have to buy from Best Buy? I see that you work there, but you'll get more sound qualiy IMHO from that cheap cheap Chaintech than you would from even a Creative Audigy, and you'll be saving a lot of money even after the employee discount. Simple fact of life is that if you want a PC card for "mostly music" (your words), you really should not go the route of Creative Audigy. Many many many people will tell you this

Oh, forgot to mention that I actually prefered my E-MU over my Audigy 2 ZS for games, which is why I sold it. Support for surround isn't a concern for me since I use headphones...

You've inspired me to add a new line to my sig! Congrats.
post #14 of 75
Thread Starter 
Alright, I checked out that Chaintech. Looks pretty nice for $23. Well, let's say I were willing to spend 80-100 bucks, absolutely no more than $100 though. What would you guys suggest? Thanks.
post #15 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack963
Alright, I checked out that Chaintech. Looks pretty nice for $23. Well, let's say I were willing to spend 80-100 bucks, absolutely no more than $100 though. What would you guys suggest? Thanks.
Either the Terratec DMX 6fireLT, the terratec EWX24/96 or the M-Audio Revolution.
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