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Sounblaster Live! equalizer

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So I just got some ATH A500's and have been playing around with the equalizer in Foobar2k. I cranked up the bass on the equalizer in foobar and it produced a really distorted, weak bass. But then I went to my sound card settings and cranked the bass up through that and it produced such a clear, deep, undistorted bass. I could get the tone of the bass equally as low either way, just when I did it with foobar it was extremly distorted. BTW, I should clarify that I am cranking the bass all the way up, past levels I would normally listen to.

I've come to the conclusion that equalizers in media programs will change the sound of it by means of software, as in add bass to the audio stream that is being sent to the sound card. But when you adjust the bass through the sound card settings it directly affects the actual sound card, actually adding more voltage to produce the requested bass. I can't think of any other way to explain the inability of any media program to produce very strong decent bass, I tried foobar (of course),winamp 2.9 and window media player 8.

So my question is:
1) Is my reasoning correct?
and 2) My sound card settings only allow me to change the bass and treble, only two options. Is there any program or anthing that will have the same affect as changing the soundcard settings, but with a full equalizer?
post #2 of 5
Originally Posted by ry_goody
1) Is my reasoning correct?
Nope. Both are just software equalizers that are manipulating the sound before sending it to the soundcard. The only difference is likely to be in the bands being modified.

BTW, I'd strongly suggest you ditch your SB Live! For under $25 you can get a Chaintech AV-710, which will provide some of the best stereo output quality you'll get from a consumer soundcard, especially given the price. It'll be lightyears ahead of your SB Live! To improve quality with what you have, switch to using the KX Drivers, play sound through the rear output port, and use ASIO output resampled to 48Khz (to get around the DAC's resampling).
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Are you sure there both software equalizers? I can't seem to get the same level of bass quality with the foobar equalizer as I do with the soundcard settings, no matter how hard I try.

and thanks for the link, I'll give those drivers a try.
post #4 of 5
EDIT: This is just speculation, though I'm probably right...

One of the reasons that the FB2k EQ may sound worse is because the soundcard is still resampling (very poorly) before it sends the audio to the DAC, while the SB EQ may work inside the DSP after the audio's been (very poorly) resampled so you don't get the distortion caused by (very poor) resampling compounding the distrotion caused by doing any EQ'ing in any way. I don't think the FB2k's EQ is very good anyways.
post #5 of 5
I don't know of any way the SB Live! can be doing EQ on its own in a way that would be inherently superior to any other software equalizer. Try using Winamp and see how its equalizer fairs. Anyway, follow my instructions for switching to the Kx drivers with the rear outputs and using ASIO mode, you'll see a significant improvement in sound quality. It was obvious even on the terrible headphones I was using back when I had my SB Live! And do strongly consider upgrading your soundcard, you will see a very large improvement.
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