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Thread: Digital Processing options with 5.1

  1. #51
    Maximum Bitrate wysocki's Avatar
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    Ok, THE RESULTS ARE IN:
    I replaced the Audigy 2NX with the Extigy and I HAVE 5.1 SOUND WITH XM!!!

    First I deinstalled the Audigy software (which didn't completely deinstall itself, I had to delete "Creative" folders everywhere), then hooked up the Extigy and installed the factory software. I got three update files from Creative's website and put them in. Seems a bunch of the shortcuts installed were just hype presentations about the Extigy, but the Mixer is the tool to tweak the setup. It allows you to select 5.1 speakers and set input levels. At first I thought I had lost my front speakers but then noticed the FADER defaults to full rears. The "settings" button allows center/sub speaker levels and rollover frequency along with a checkbox for bass redirection. It also has radio buttons to select either Dolby Digital (AC3) decoder or S/PDIF Passthru (Requires Receiver).

    Oddly, although the mixer has bass and treble controls, there's no equalizer built in. The Playcenter (similar to WMP) does have EAX on it where you can select effects like "living room / cathedral" etc, time scaling, DREAM (a swirling effect), and noise reduction. But it too lacks an EQ.

    In spite of no EQ, my XMpcr was played on ALL speakers including the sub! After a bit of balancing the fader and center/sub levels, the sound quality was great. The CMSS button on the Extigy added a fake but decent surround simulation and sounded good both ways. I'm playing my mp3's thru Frodo/WMP and I have the DSP plugin (excellent) and the wmp eq plugin, so I'd have to say, my mp3 collection still sounds better than the XM (but about the same without the plugins running).

    Overall, I'm VERY pleased with the Extigy's sound but, although I couldn't do a true side-by-side comparison, it seemed like the Audigy had a tighter feel to it. It's subjective and maybe I just remember it incorrectly. After I have a chance to play with the Extigy more, I'm sure I can tweak it even more to my liking. The physical unit is going to present an installation headache for me though. I had the Audigy tucked in to the din slot behind the Xenarc screen. The Extigy is wider than the din hole and so I'm going to have to rewire it under the dash on the passenger side. Bottom line recommendation: If you want your XM/FM/Whatever to be played through your 5.1 amp/speaker system, the Extigy is your only choice for a soundcard at this time.
    Epia-M II M10000 Nehemiah WinXP sp2 Travla C134 case Carnetix 1260 power Xenarc 700TS XM Direct Toslink Extigy USB 5.1 Garmin GPS18 Linksys 802.11g wireless Nokia 6230 Bluetooth Memphis Amps Focal Speakers Frontend: RoadRunner

  2. #52
    Low Bitrate cletus323's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Glad to hear it worked out well for you!

    Good write-up too BTW

  3. #53
    Variable Bitrate Squid's Avatar
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    Cool... glad to hear it works... 2 proven installs.....

    So you think the audigy sounded better huh? hmm... That's not what I wanna hear!
    CarPuter: Dell P3-500 Laptop; D-Link WiFi; Deluo GPS; D-Link Radio; iMac DVD w/ ide2usb
    Audio: Audigy 2 NX; Kicker KX700.5 amp; 20w center amp; Kicker L7 10" Sub
    Display: Lilliput 7" TouchScreen
    CarPuter Install

  4. #54
    Maximum Bitrate wysocki's Avatar
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    I'm not really sure that the Extigy is noticeably inferior though. They both have 24bit DACs, the Audigy has 103db S/N and the Extigy is 100db but I couldn't find any other relevant data. The frequency response seems a bit "brighter" on the Extigy but the bottom end of the Audigy seemed like it had more of a "punch" rather than a "boom". After playing with it a couple of hours here I think that it probably has to do with software settings. I've changed the rolloff frequency for the subs and played with the DSP settings and now I think I'm up to where I was with the Audigy, PLUS I'VE GOT XM! I have a limited mp3 collection so the XM is key to my happiness on long trips. I'm very pleased with the sound now and would definitely recommend the Extigy to anyone. There are purists that would argue that simulated 5.1 is not for the audiophile, but I personally like it (and I'm a musician).

    [EDIT:] FOR SALE: AUDIGY 2NX, USED 2 MONTHS, MAKE OFFER!
    Epia-M II M10000 Nehemiah WinXP sp2 Travla C134 case Carnetix 1260 power Xenarc 700TS XM Direct Toslink Extigy USB 5.1 Garmin GPS18 Linksys 802.11g wireless Nokia 6230 Bluetooth Memphis Amps Focal Speakers Frontend: RoadRunner

  5. #55
    Variable Bitrate Squid's Avatar
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    Well i use the all channel stereo mode of the cmss.. so its still a pure signal.. just channelled
    to all 6 speakers... (im assuming extigy has that cmss option also)

    I love the ad to sell your audigy down below.. made me laugh..

    Thanks for info!
    CarPuter: Dell P3-500 Laptop; D-Link WiFi; Deluo GPS; D-Link Radio; iMac DVD w/ ide2usb
    Audio: Audigy 2 NX; Kicker KX700.5 amp; 20w center amp; Kicker L7 10" Sub
    Display: Lilliput 7" TouchScreen
    CarPuter Install

  6. #56
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    wysocki:
    Do you think the Audigy's Equalizer program will work with the Extigy? Is there any way to only install that, and not kill other drivers? Or would an external program like this one: http://www.hitsquad.com/smm/programs/GraEq/ work?

  7. #57
    Maximum Bitrate wysocki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Jeff
    wysocki:
    Do you think the Audigy's Equalizer program will work with the Extigy? Is there any way to only install that, and not kill other drivers? Or would an external program like this one: http://www.hitsquad.com/smm/programs/GraEq/ work?
    I don't know about the Audigy's EQ but I suspect it's specific to the Audigy. I'm almost thinking about getting an external EQ because processing the signal takes so much cpu. If I run WMP without eq or dfx, it takes about 30%cpu. If I add eq or dfx, they each take another 30% EACH! Not much room to handle voice control etc. The only problem with an external would be finding a 5.1 unit resonably priced. I'm going to download the one at hitsquad and check it out tomorrow. I'll let you know what happens.
    Epia-M II M10000 Nehemiah WinXP sp2 Travla C134 case Carnetix 1260 power Xenarc 700TS XM Direct Toslink Extigy USB 5.1 Garmin GPS18 Linksys 802.11g wireless Nokia 6230 Bluetooth Memphis Amps Focal Speakers Frontend: RoadRunner

  8. #58
    Maximum Bitrate wysocki's Avatar
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    I 've been playing with the mixer from Hitsquad/Anwida but I'm not sure that it's the solution I want. Here's some of their docs:
    Graphic Equalizer Pro v.2.2 allows real-time and off-line processing of .WAV files and real-time processing of every input (CD, line-in, mic, synth...) of your audio board.
    To use this feature you need a full duplex sound card and you have to :
    1) Select the desired input from the mixer recording panel of your sound card
    2) Turn off any monitor channel and turn on the wave output from the mixer output panel
    3) Use the connected device (tape deck, DAT, CD player etc.) as usual
    4) Start GraEq and select "Live Input" from the menu
    This sounds like you have to go into the eq and switch the recording inputs (wav to line-in to S/PDIF) for the various sources you want processed. The software then sends the processed version out the wav output. This wouldn't work for me since I have the recording input always set to "mic" so I can use my voice control, plus it'd be a pain. The display of the app itself is so tiny I can bearly read it. They should have given the option of sizing it somehow.

    As far as the Extigy goes, I'm in the process of mounting it under the dash. This weekend I got rid of my noise with some ground loop isolators and got the xm 5.1 going, YAY! I was sitting in the car last night just listening to the XM sound which, once I balanced all the speakers, sounds excellent.

    I must have messed something up this morning though, because without CMSS enabled, I no longer hear anything but the fronts???? I could have SWORN that the CMSS just added effects and I heard all speakers with it off but I guess I messed up a setting somewhere. Cletus, do you have any idea what I did?
    Epia-M II M10000 Nehemiah WinXP sp2 Travla C134 case Carnetix 1260 power Xenarc 700TS XM Direct Toslink Extigy USB 5.1 Garmin GPS18 Linksys 802.11g wireless Nokia 6230 Bluetooth Memphis Amps Focal Speakers Frontend: RoadRunner

  9. #59
    Variable Bitrate Squid's Avatar
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    The CMSS is what upmixes the 2 channel signal into a simulated 5.1...
    Without it you will only get what you put in.. 2 channel sound...

    Like I said earlier, I don't use CMSS for the effects, but the 5.1 stereo upmix.

    See attached picture... This is from my desktop audigy 2 zs... but similar to audigy 2 nx...

    Does that make sense?? heh
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    CarPuter: Dell P3-500 Laptop; D-Link WiFi; Deluo GPS; D-Link Radio; iMac DVD w/ ide2usb
    Audio: Audigy 2 NX; Kicker KX700.5 amp; 20w center amp; Kicker L7 10" Sub
    Display: Lilliput 7" TouchScreen
    CarPuter Install

  10. #60
    Constant Bitrate Phythorian's Avatar
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    Squid,

    I have the audigy NX, but I do not have the stereo surround option you're showing, only those 2 cmss options. I do also not have the THX symbol on the bottom.

    What software version and update are you using? Or do you have to setup other things to get the stereo surround option available?

    I have the sp2 update installed from their webside.

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