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Thread: Sound Blaster 16 vs Sound Blaster Live

  1. #1
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    Sound Blaster 16 vs Sound Blaster Live

    Well I installed my SB Live today in place of the Sound Blaster 16 that I originally had, and I am somewhat dissapointed. I did expect at least a somewhat noticable difference in sound quality, but it sounds identical. Feels like a waste of money. I know I have a good ear for this kind of stuff, because being in a band is all about sound quality =)

    Has anyone had a similar experience with this? Or am I supposed to be hearing a brighter, bigger sound?

    Grand AMplifier Project 1.0:
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  2. #2
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    I was dissapointed in mine too.
    I think the the advantages of it are with games though. At least thats what I tried to get myself to believe after I spent $50 for it.
    A 97 Dodge Ram pickup with a 14" LCD running at 1024x768. A Dell desktop PII 400, 128MB Ram, 8GB & 20GB Drives, TV tuner, Cd Burner, Garmin legend GPS, Mappoint 2002, win98, and winamp.
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  3. #3
    FLAC
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    the more i read about sound cards the less I like Creative cards... every audiophile site I visit bag the hell out of em for poor quality sound output...

    I hear the audigy is a fine card from the creative stables...

    personally I am looking at the Phillips Seismic Edge in the next few weeks, beats the audigy hands down from reviews I have read...
    Project - GAME OVER :(

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by magnetik
    the more i read about sound cards the less I like Creative cards... every audiophile site I visit bag the hell out of em for poor quality sound output...

    I hear the audigy is a fine card from the creative stables...

    personally I am looking at the Phillips Seismic Edge in the next few weeks, beats the audigy hands down from reviews I have read...
    This is news to me! I used to read alot of reviews, and I remember reading the review for SB Live when it came out in a gaming mag, and they raved about it over other cards like crazy! Maybe I should have went with the audigy...but now I am afraid to get dissapointed with it again.

    Grand AMplifier Project 1.0:
    http://drive.to/cliffsgrandamgt/
    http://www.astallaslions.com/carmp3/
    --------------------------------
    -Eden 800 mini-itx motherboard
    -5.6 NTSC TFT-LCD
    -80 gig hard drive
    -128 MB RAM
    -MPBS1 DC-DC PSU
    -PB Remote /w Girder
    -Media Engine & Windows XP
    -Playstation II also added
    -Steering Wheel Buttons modified for Control.


  5. #5
    FLAC MP3DUB's Avatar
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    Actually, most peoples problems (or atleast mine) are because of the drivers (or the complete lack of compotent driver support, or any support at all, !@#^#$^@#%^@#%@# they don't even have drivers on their website@#%@#%@#%@#% they'll @#%^@ sell you a cd if you need drivers@#%$@#). And again, might just be me, but I heard a noticible difference even between the Live! and the Live! 5.1 in music.
    -Nick

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  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate Skippman's Avatar
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    I consider myself somewhat of a PC audiophile. I've had the chance to play with almost every soundcard out there. Here's kinda a history of the soundcard evolution.


    Sound Blaster 16 / Wave Blaster
    The big deal about this card was it was the first to have a 16 bit DAC onboard and support frequencies of up to 44.1Khz. This was a big deal. Sound all of the sudden sounded crisper and deeper thanks to the increased frequency range and audio processing of the card.

    Turtle Beach releases the Montego II
    I still consider the Montego II one of the best cards ever built. If you want top quality in a sound card there is NO ONE better than Turtle Beach. They've defined the art longer and better than Creative ever has. The breakthroughs on the Montego II were numerous including an intergrated hardware "wave table" for MIDI playback. This was also the first mass production card to support the now defunct Aural 3D positional audio system which is, in many ways, vastly supperior to Creatives EAX. This was also the first card to support multi-wave channel playback allowing multiple sound streams to go throught the sound card at the same time. Try playing 2 wave files at the same time on your SB16. Unfortunatly, the price tag of this card kept many consumers from buying it.

    Creative Labs releases the Live!
    Creative, in an panic attack to not be dethroned as the Sound Card King releases the Live prematurely. The drives for the card are plagued with problems, driving the Creative name into the dirt and allowing other companies like Herculese to jump into the frey. By the time Creative has gotten thier card's drives back up to par many consumers have left them for other vendors. Creative does have a few tricks up it's sleve. The biggest being EAX (Enviromental Audio eXtentions). EAX is quickly addopted as the API to use for positional audio by many game companies. This may be the single saving factor to the card. Creatives cards ability to play multi-wave audio is no longer a big deal as every other card manufacturer is now capable of the same feat. Creative, in an attempt to lure back many of thier lost flock releases many bundles of the same card marketed to diffrent sectors, including the Live X-Gamer, Live Platinum, and Live MP3.

    Herculese releases the Fortismo II
    Dubbed the "Creative Killer" by Tom's Hardware, it seems that the old giant of Creative (who has now branced out into other markets by buying Cambridge Soundworks, EMU, and others) has lost it's edge. Creative's Audigy seems to little to late. The Fortismo II is the first card to support 24bit DAC onboard with HARDWARE. Also featuring TOS-LINK in/out on all cards and SPDIF makes the card a hard one to top. Creative can no longer rely on it's EAX to save them as now even the Fortismo II supports A3D, EAX, EAX2.0, DD, and DTS. It seems Creative has lost thier edge.

    Creative releases the Live Audigy
    The only changes made between the Live and Audigy is the replacement of the old sound engine with the upgraded 24 bit EMU chip, and the addition of a firewire port. However, Creative fails to upgrade the path for the EMU chip, and ends up processing the audio through a 16bit DAC unbeknownst to most users.


    The future. I say that Turtle Beach is back in a mean way with it's use of the new Cirrius Logic chips. Tack onto that many motherboard manufacturers using the nForce2 chipset which features the nVidia APU (probably the best audio processor on the market). and you may see the sound card go into decline in favor of more, intergrated solution.

    Just my .02 worth.
    Stereo:Alpine IVA-D900 Head Unit | Alpine PXA-H510 DSP | Boston Pro Component Speakers Upfront | Boston Rally Rear Speakers | 2 Polk 10" Subs in the Trunk | Phoenix Gold Ti900.7 Amp

  7. #7
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    very interesting! I have the "Live! Value" so I am guessing that it is even worse then the regular Live! Do you reccomend that I look into the Fortismo II?

    I guess what I am saying is, what card can I buy that will make the biggest difference. I just bought a new motherboard and its on its way right now, maybe you can check the sound specs that it comes with (onboard audio) and tell me if it's worth it to upgrade the sound:

    http://idot.com/TheStore/Desktop/601...t.status=green

    I appreciate your input, thanks!

    Grand AMplifier Project 1.0:
    http://drive.to/cliffsgrandamgt/
    http://www.astallaslions.com/carmp3/
    --------------------------------
    -Eden 800 mini-itx motherboard
    -5.6 NTSC TFT-LCD
    -80 gig hard drive
    -128 MB RAM
    -MPBS1 DC-DC PSU
    -PB Remote /w Girder
    -Media Engine & Windows XP
    -Playstation II also added
    -Steering Wheel Buttons modified for Control.


  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate Skippman's Avatar
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    That board has onboard AC'97 audio. Thats 90% software driven. There's really no hardware there to speak off.

    I, personally, would use somthing like the Fortismo II. It really depends on how you plan to deliver the audio to the stereo system.

    I myself am using TOS-LINK optical to a Pioneer DEX-P9. That way I will have no interferance from other electronics in the system.
    Stereo:Alpine IVA-D900 Head Unit | Alpine PXA-H510 DSP | Boston Pro Component Speakers Upfront | Boston Rally Rear Speakers | 2 Polk 10" Subs in the Trunk | Phoenix Gold Ti900.7 Amp

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate
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    You can play more than 1 wav sound simultaneously with the SB LIve, you can't with the SB16. Also, I don't konw about you, but my SB AUDIGY has higher line-outs than my old sb16 did.

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate Skippman's Avatar
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    SuperMatty -

    The output spec for the Live/Audigy is the same as the SB16. There were jumpers on the 16 you had to throw to get it to the higher output. In the later "mass produced" versions of the 16, this was done via a DOS application that wrote to the cards EPROM. That's also how you would set the IRQ, DMA, and I/O addresses.
    Stereo:Alpine IVA-D900 Head Unit | Alpine PXA-H510 DSP | Boston Pro Component Speakers Upfront | Boston Rally Rear Speakers | 2 Polk 10" Subs in the Trunk | Phoenix Gold Ti900.7 Amp

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