Skip to main content

Notice

Please note that most of the software linked on this forum is likely to be safe to use. If you are unsure, feel free to ask in the relevant topics, or send a private message to an administrator or moderator. To help curb the problems of false positives, or in the event that you do find actual malware, you can contribute through the article linked here.
Topic: Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE (Read 6572 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

I currently own a mainboard which has an CMI8738 chip on it. I have been using this for sound output for quite some time, but I do not find the output good enough as there seem to be "bugs" with the chip/drivers. For example, I can tell the difference between CD Audio played directly from the drive through the sound card and a WAV file doing blind tests (i.e. closing my eyes and guessing). However I cannot ABX a WAV file and say a high quality MP3/MPC. CD audio seems to have much better treble and sounds better overall, I do not know what the problem is.

I want to purchase a rather low end soundcard that should be better than my on board chip, also I want to have digital output, and the only <$50 ones available here were Terratec DMX XFire 1024 and SB Live DE soundcards. Game support and 5.1 quality etc is not really important, I'm looking at pure audio quality here (esp. with headphones). I would appreciate if anybody could help me.

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #1
terratec!
Music is my first love.

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #2
Definately Terratec, no one should even buy anymore Sound Mangler Death(Live).

As for the 8738, try using the latest WDM6.43 drivers for it if your OS is Win2k/XP.

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #3
The headphone-amp of the XFire is really terrible because it introduces a big amount of noise.

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #4
Quote
The headphone-amp of the XFire is really terrible because it introduces a big amount of noise.

I would really like to hear more about this problem because I can't really afford a headphone amp right now..

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #5
Quote
The headphone-amp of the XFire is really terrible because it introduces a big amount of noise.

There's something weird going on with my DMX Xfire 1024 as well:
Using the first channel (from left) I have this noise too. When using the second channel
there's no noise anymore ...?! But vol. is very high (too loud for headphones I think). I enabled the headphone with
jumpers on the soundcard, maybe this is the reason it works without noise when using second channel?

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #6
so userXYZ, would you recommend the card overall?

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #7
Quote
so userXYZ, would you recommend the card overall?

Hhmmmm, I don't like to really recommend things to others. But I can say that I would buy that soundcard again. I use it only for hearing music with headphones and to watch videos -> with the sound output going through my stereo amplifier (multichannel-sound downmixed to stereo through Software). It served me well but there are definately cards which are better (I assume that this is mostly due to better DACs/ADCs).

There are threads on HA where all this stuff about quality is discussed by people with more knowledge than I can provide. Some recommend using the digital output with external hq DACs ... As you wrote, you're out for pure audio quality, so maybe you should search the www if there are soundcards with higher quality than TerraTec's Xfire available at reduced prices. Hope this helped a little.

Regards,
David

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #8
Maybe Thinky can try this jumper thing too? So he could comment on if it works or not...

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #9
I activated the amp of course via jumpersettings.
The front channel is the amplified one and the rear channel is not amplified by the headphone amp. The noise is only present in the amplified (front) channel. Without the amp the volume is too low for (my) headphones.

Quote
userXYZ:[/i]
Using the first channel (from left) I have this noise too. When using the second channel
there's no noise anymore ...?! But vol. is very high (too loud for headphones I think).

Did I understand you right? The channel with the lower volume is the noisy one?
That would be really weird.

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #10
Quote
Did I understand you right? The channel with the lower volume is the noisy one?
That would be really weird.


Yes, exactly. From left to right:
First channel - noise when volume is raised to a certain level
Second channel - no noise but good amplification ...
Third and fourth channel got never used ...

It's really weird.

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #11
Quote
Yes, exactly. From left to right:
First channel - noise when volume is raised to a certain level
Second channel - no noise but good amplification ...
Third and fourth channel got never used ...

I think there is a missunderstanding.
I am speaking of two channels, the front and the rear one. (OK, channel is not the right word for this, from now i will call it front line-out and rear line-out )

You are speaking of the two channels of the front line-out?
If not, then your XFire has two line-outs more than mine. 

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #12
Quote
ou are speaking of the two channels of the front line-out?


Yes. But aren't these the first two channels or line-outs?!

Regards,
David

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #13
OK, again.
There are two line-outs (the two green connectors at the back of the soundcard). One is for the front speakers and one is for the rear speakers.
Each of them has (because they are stereo) two channels.
That's what I'm talking about.

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #14
A friend of mine upgraded from SB Live to the Terratec recently. He claims the audio quality is better, but the drivers are terrible.

Example: When he tries to play two audio files at different sample rates simultaneously, the sound card makes a LOUD awful sound, that might kill the amplifier. This might not be a proper setup, but I would not take the risk with my amplifier...

Edit: Sorry, the card he purchased was the 6fire, not the Xfire.

Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #15
Quote
OK, again.
There are two line-outs (the two green connectors at the back of the soundcard). One is for the front speakers and one is for the rear speakers.
Each of them has (because they are stereo) two channels.
That's what I'm talking about.

Ok, I understood  .

I used the second line-out; should be the one for the rear speakers. If I remember correct than this line-out is the one to use with headphones when you used the jumper on the soundcard.

I regret to have used the term channels instead of line-out but as I wrote it, I didn't remember the correct term, although it is mentioned in every mixerpanels etc. - The language barrier.

Hopefully I could express myself a bit better this time 

 

Re: Terratec DMX XFire 1024 vs. SB Live DE

Reply #16
Answering the main question: SB Live provides the best value for money ... or rather I should say it provided because I'm posting it almost 20 years after its gold times :) I own and still use SB Live 5.1 (SB0100 model). This card is outstanding - including hardware mixer, and hardware 3D effects. Please remember about the trick to use surround channel because it has better Phillips made DAC :) It has full support under Linux (I use Fedora 36 in time of writing this post). Windows support is dying on our eyes. I tried several cards including Asus Xonar DG, Xonar DGX which are comparable in the area of sound quality but lack any hardware acceleration or effects like mixer. I also have Terratec DMX XFire 1024 and I have to say that they screwed up this card because of extremely annoying hum / noise when using in amplifier mode ... so bad because if they done amplifier right it would be great piece of hardware!