dorm theater - sound quality deficiency from soundcard?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Bhavesh P, Nov 16, 2003.

  1. Bhavesh P

    Bhavesh P Extra

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    Will upgrading the soundcard enhance the sound quality noticeably? Can it extend the frequency range output?

    I have the generic soundblaster PCI128 that came with my computer and it seems like it can't reproduce upper treble range. Boosting the 15kHz (which I think is really a 6kHz boost) enhancement on my external eq just raises the static. But when I play that same track on my friend's mp3 player, that treble boost adjustment comes in crystal clear. I want that same clarity from my computer. Is it possible?

    I mainly listen to cd's/mp3's with occasional dvd's and avi movies. The line out from the computer feeds into an eq, amp, then out to 2way mains and a powered subwoofer.

    Thanks
     
  2. WayneO

    WayneO Supporting Actor

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    Get an Audigy2(ZS) or a M-Audio Revolution 7.1, either will be a big improvement from the old sound card.
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    and what happens when you go from the soundcard straight to a receiver? maybe you've got a noisy equalizer.
     
  4. HienD

    HienD Stunt Coordinator

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    The sb pci128 has a very high S/N ratio. My friend had one on a older cpu and it sounded horrible. Lot of noise and static comming from that S/C. Get a SB live or better and you should have no problems. Even a new $20 S/C will have less noise then a sb pci128 and sound better too. pci128s were never designed by SB but a company they bought out.
     
  5. Bhavesh P

    Bhavesh P Extra

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    I hear lots of noise and static, even when I'm wearing headphones. So based on the responses, I think I'll try a new soundcard with 5.1. According the the creative website, any soundcard ABOVE the pci128 has a better frequency response and less noise.

    There is some noise attributed to the eq, but connecting an external cd player creates clear sound. Furthermore, connecting headphones directly to the soundcard results in almost just as much noise. So I don't think much is coming from the eq itself.
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well it's not a bad idea seeing as that card is a bit long in the tooth however it really sounds like you've got a bad soundcard or a bad connection there. The actual s/n level is not terrible...up in the mid to high 70's. www.pcvatech.com has some testing on soundcards and Arny posts frequently on the newsgroups so any card you're thinking of you might want to do a search and see what comes up in the way of testing that's been done.
     
  7. Bhavesh P

    Bhavesh P Extra

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    Hmm, that's an interesting site you pointed out, Gai. According to the site, the soundcard I have is, but not much different from an upgrade to soundblaster live. I'll try out some basic noise-elimination solutions with my current sound card to see if I can get better results.

    Nevertheless, a $30 upgrade doesn't pinch too deep in the pocket, so I'll continue to browse ebay auctions for a new card.
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    There's a few places that deal with reviews of cards Bhavesh. You might also want to check out www.anandtech.com and www.tomshardware.com just to name a couple of others. I certainly appreciate wanting to maximize your dollar and if you can define in your own mind what it is that you want out of the card and how you plan on using it, I'm sure you'll find the one that meets your needs at this time. I don't know if it's still up, but www.pricewatch.com isn't a terrible place to start doing some comparision shopping. Best of luck in your search and your education.
     
  9. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    For Home Theater use, go with the M-Audio Revolution (under $100). For the price, this will give you excellent analog output quality and full bass management (for 2ch->7.1ch surround sound). It can also decode the gaming surround formats. Unlike the Sound Blaster cards, the M-Audio does not resample the digital bit stream. For 2ch audio, you will need to use the ASIO plug-in with your SW player (if optimal SQ is critical).
     

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