The big, fat audio thread.


9 Feb 2003
Well buckaroos. Time to start slingin' the audio knowledge now that the forums are back on track. For the audio affectionados, this will be a blessing. Hopefully, for those that aren't, they will learn something, or perhaps be plagued by this thread being on the front page for a while. :p

Now, first order of business. What is your audio setup?

Second, how do you like it, why did you buy it, when, and do you long for something more?

Lastly, I would like to discuss the workings of our audio equipment. Wattage, impendance, loudness, architecture, and price of your setup.

For my input in this thread.

I have a Soundblaster PCI 128 hooked up to my PIII rig with a pair of Philips 280Watt speakers running from a Philips FW-C555 stereo system. They sound pretty good, 4 speakers per speaker, however much sense that makes.

Bass, 2 tweeters, and the big center one. The impendance is 6ohms, and I paid $250 for the setup about a year ago. Sennheiser HD497 are the headphones for this PC. They cost me about $100, about 3 months ago.
I'm very happy with the performance of the audio on this PC. On an unrelated note, I am also happy with the performance of this old PC. I have 896MB of RAM on a PIII 500Mhz, 60GB HD, and an ATi Radeon 8500DV. It loads WinXP Pro in 23 seconds. Now back on track, I would like to encase the Philips speakers into an acrylic case of sorts, just to see the inner workings of these babies at work.

My second system is a P4, and in it I have a Soundblaster Audigy 2 Gamer. I only have a pair of Sennheiser HD590s hooked up to it. I'm also pretty satisfied with the performance of this PC's sound system. I would like a nice, large, audio setup for it, but it would be rarely used. This is why I have the Sennies.
Some suggestion:

1) Try the KX project drivers for your soundblaster. Original Creative drivers upsample all audio to 48khz for output. This means the software takes you 44.1khz sources (mp3, cd etc) and interpolates samples. The Creative drivers are notoriously bad at this. KX drivers allow you to output 44.1. Or use a good resampler in your audio playback software. The SSRC resampler is recommended.

2) I wouldn't mess with your speakers unless you really, really, really, really (get the point) know what your doing. Designing a speaker enclosure is a lot more than just making a box, cutting holes and dropping in speakers.
i have a sound blaster live and the Cambridge FPS2000 speakers - perfect for my computer and i really dont need loud insane quality such as klipsh.

on a side note if you guys have CompUSA in your area- i highly recommend the EV SonicXS 2.1 Hardcore--- they have over 240 watts of power and are rated to be awesome on many sites. my brother got a pair and they louder and clearer then any speaker set under 100 bucks. They retail for over $180 on CompUSA's homepage and will be found for over $100 at other stores like microcenter. But here's the catch...

if you buy them in store.... they cost $50
I'm giving them a try on my PCI 128 right now. I'll see if I want them on the Audigy2 if they're good.

Edit: I like em', I'm keeping em'. :) Thanks for the suggestion.
computer audio comes in the form of my Apple Pro speakers. For the small size these little *******s put out an amazing sound, even approved by an audio-production friend who owns very expensive hi-grade studio monitors for his computer.

other audio comes in the form of 2x 15" subs with horn tweeters and dual bass reflex chambers at the base, powered by a 600-watt Power-amp. that's 600-watts of REAL power, not the bullsh*t rating you get with a hi-fi or powered PC speakers.
dreamliner77 said:
I will say it loud again.

Anyone that is using a soundblaster card (especially the Live! series) should try the KX project drivers
i finally heard enough of these kx drivers and will try them tonight. }:p

i run my faithful audigy and some cambridge soundworks fsp2000 digital speakers with a digital connection between the two. i've been in love with these speakers since i bought them almost 3 years ago. and they're the only set of speakers i know of that utilize the digital connection on live! and audigy cards. they sound great in a smaller room but probably not in a bigger one where the midrange from the 2.5" drivers will diminish.

i can't stand these computer speaker systems that consist of a huge sub and two crappy tweeters. where's the midrange going to come from?? well, it doesn't.
Asus A7N8X onboard nForce2 SoundStorm Dolby Digital Audio, which outputs to a Kenwood VR-505 Digital reciever, powering 5.1 surround speakers and a subwoofer at 150 watts per channel. Connected via Digital Coaxial and Analog to the PC; digital for games and movies w/ positional sound, and stereo analog for music (the bass hits harder using analog stereo). The reciever is also wired into a Sony 5-Disc CD Changer, DVD Player, and Television.

I also have a set of standard Labtec stereo PC Speakers for general audio duties. I only use the stereo to listen to music or play games.
I have a Creative Audigy 2 which was crap until I was alerted to the KX drivers about eight months ago. For speakers, I have Klipsch Promedia 5.1, and they're worth every penny.

I love the sound; it's crystal clear at all times, and I desire nothing more in my audio (except for a second subwoofer [wife rolls eyes]).

The speakers have a frequency repsonse of 25Hz-20KHz, and put these sounds out clearly at every section of the audio spectrum. All the stats are here. I paid $335 for them a few months back, and I'm glad I did.

I would rather have good sound than good video. there any special way to install these KX drivers...I tried them like six months ago and got no sound!
Whats the score with these drivers then? Do they support EAX 3 and 4? I might try them if they support EAX 3.
ever since i got this new mptherboard i cant seem to get my right speaker to work. the subwoofer and left speaker work perfect.

the sound card appears to be...

VIA AC'97 Audio (which is an on-board card)

on the sound properties it says FRONT SPEAKER at the top which is also the main slider there are other options such as REAR SPEAKER but they are sorta greyed out as inactive so i cant edit them. there are sliders for subwoofer n all the speakers but i cant edit any except front.. plus i only have three speakers anyway so i dnt need to edit them all.

why is it doing this?


mike forcer
KX do not support EAX, they are meant for sound quality, not really for gaming. They do support 3d sound though.
dreamliner77 said:
KX do not support EAX, they are meant for sound quality, not really for gaming. They do support 3d sound though.
oof. i'll have to wait, then. :(
Black-Syth said:
I hear good things about the nForce2 platform's sound. How is it?
The nForce2 SoundForce audio is actually pretty good, on par if not better than my Audigy.
I have gone back to the Audigy though cause without it the onboard FireWire ports run at about 5MB/s sending files to my Nomad cause the SoundForce drivers dont seem to get along with the Creative Nomad drivers
Hmm, i am trying the KX driver now over the unbelieveably buggy (Un)Creative EAX 4 drivers that recently came out. There not bad - 3D sound in UT2003 is quite good (a very good test of surround sound that game) although the back left and right appear to "cut-out" when sounds tail off as opposed to tailing off smoothly. (imagine an explosion behind you as the explosion ends and the sound gets quieter the speaker cuts out abruptly, albeit at a low volume, instead of the sound pertering out to nothing.) Additionally there are still some pips and crackles (but not as much by a long shot as the creative drivers), and the mixer panel is a little confusing (finding the speaker support panel where i can change from 2.1 to 5.1 was a total fluke).

Another point to note is that with these drivers you should change the connection on the sound card from the front speakers to the back speakers and vice versa. This is because in the KX drivers they believe that the codec used for the rear speakers is of better quality than the one used on the card for the front speakers and therefore they have switched them round, and this is ON by default so if your soundscape sounds screwed then you know why.
I'm using the nforce2 audio into a 190 watt Aiwa 4 speaker shelf system. Two three-way speakers and two "surround" speakers. I happened upon a free pair of Sony floor speakers though (2x12", 4", 2") which will go nicely with a 110 watt JVC receiver that's on it's way. The only thing I don't like about it right now is having to listen to cd's through WMP or WinAmp, or sacrificing the computer's sound.

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