SBLive vs 0404
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Venro

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Well I recently purchased a 0404. Will I notice a big difference in sound quality from my old Sound Blaster Live 5.1, and if so, in which parts of the sound? Or is the sound difference between the two cards negligble?

I'm running a HD650 with a custom amp designed by norm.
 
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fogia.4

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You will notice an AMAZING sound difference considering the SB live is a really really bad card for music. I can say having owned a 0404 and a SB live long ago that you will definately not regret buying it
 
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saturnine

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The 0404 is awesome, and is unbelieveably better when modded.
You should notice a huge difference in every part of the sound (highs/mids/lows) either way. Be sure to use ASIO or KS.
 
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Naga

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you will cry
 
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crazyfrenchman27

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As nearly everyone has stated, the E-MU 0404 is a pretty sick soundcard that beats more expensive sources with frightening regularity.

You should notice an improvement.

-Matt
 
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Venro

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Wow, I didn't know it was that big of a difference. Even with MP3s?
 
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MagusG

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no contest really.
-Mag
 
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fogia.4

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mp3s, lossless, heck i bet even midis sound better xD
 
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Eagle_Driver

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Venro
Wow, I didn't know it was that big of a difference. Even with MP3s?


Yep. The SB Live! 5.1 (not to be confused with the new SB Live! 24-Bit) is a seriously underperforming card, as far as music is concerned. First, everything going through the SB Live! is resampled to 48kHz/16-bit no matter what -- and the resampling alogarithm used in that card is horrible, creating a very coarse and gritty (not just grainy) sound (unless the source material is native 48kHz/16-bit to begin with). Secondly, even at "flat" EQ, the SB Live! delivers no bottom end, bloated mid-bass, harsh lower treble and no top end.

In other words, it's not just that the E-MU 0404 is awesome for its price; it's also that the SB Live! 5.1 sucks badly in sound quality even compared to some of the freebie on-motherboard integrated audio solutions, let alone soundcards which costed one-third of the Live! 5.1's price, which existed during the SB Live! 5.1's heyday. Still, it was one of the very few viable gaming audio solutions in its day when CPUs were relatively weak and on-motherboard audio sucks up more than half of the power of that weak CPU just to even produce sound.
 
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Kram Sacul

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Don't listen to these headfi freaks. They tell you the 0404 sounds awesome one day then slam it the next day for sounding like plastic, saying the 1212 sound more natural or whatever.
 
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binkgle

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what about if you use the kx drivers for the sb live? that's what i do now, and i'm fine with it, but i've never really tried a higher end sound card, nor do i have very high-end headphones...
 
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Solude

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binkgle

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but aren't the kx drivers suppossed to GREATLY imporve the music quality on sb live! cards?

i can't remember musical details long enough to be able to unistall my kx drivers, use driver cleaner, install the creative drivers, reboot, and then listen to the music again, so i can't do the test to any great effect.
 
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Talonz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by binkgle
but aren't the kx drivers suppossed to GREATLY imporve the music quality on sb live! cards?

i can't remember musical details long enough to be able to unistall my kx drivers, use driver cleaner, install the creative drivers, reboot, and then listen to the music again, so i can't do the test to any great effect.



Don't worry, the hardware is physically incapable of anything near 0404 levels. Jumping from my Audigy 2 to my AV-710 made a world of difference, and you will see an even larger difference. Yes, you will cry (and if you stop using MP3 you will do so even more).
 
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sgrossklass

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Quote:

Originally Posted by binkgle
but aren't the kx drivers suppossed to GREATLY imporve the music quality on sb live! cards?


Well, they're using the rear out by default, which is served by a better-quality (I2S instead of AC97) codec on the original Live! at least, and they're making use of 16 instead of effectively only 15-1/2 bits - but even then the output stage will still be rather crappy and software resampling for CD audio is still needed as well, besides the I2S DAC can't hold a candle to the top-flight DAC on the 0404 either.
 
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