Skip to main content
Topic: Soundcard roundup: Audigy wins ! (Read 4300 times) previous topic - next topic
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Soundcard roundup: Audigy wins !

Check this out:
http://tech-report.com/reviews/2002q2/soun...ds/index.x?pg=1

According to this review, the Audigy has the best audio quality (especially for music) of all tested cards (which include, amongst others, Santa Cruz, Acoustic Edge and Fortissimo II).

I have my doubts about it (I'm about to pick up my Santa Cruz soon).

Any comments ?
Over thinking, over analyzing separates the body from the mind.

Soundcard roundup: Audigy wins !

Reply #1
blah!

I wouldn't trust that review...

Try http://www.digit-life.com for better reviews on soundcards.

Soundcard roundup: Audigy wins !

Reply #2
Quoting:
Quote
We'll start out with a number of caveats. First, there are almost assuredly those of you who believe that listening tests are meaningless unless conducted in double-blind A-B fashion after all levels have been matched precisely with a decibel meter. Those of you who believe this should probably just scroll to the bottom of the page and skip ahead now, because we didn't do any of that. 


'Okieliedokilie!'

Seriously, this is a review for gamers, not audio freaks.

--
GCP

Soundcard roundup: Audigy wins !

Reply #3
No surprise, when they take EAX into account like that... it's the only field where the Audigy shines.

Concerning the overall audio quality, i wouldn't even think of recommending an Audigy. It only belongs into a pure gaming PC, nowhere else.

Soundcard roundup: Audigy wins !

Reply #4
That's also what I thought.

Note however that the reviewer specifically states that the Audigy is the best audio card for MUSIC. For gaming, he recommends the Acoustic Edge. 

Quote
Now that we've said all that, if we had to pick an overall winner, we, umm, wouldn't. Instead we'd pick two: the Sound Blaster Audigy for music and the Philips Acoustic Edge for games. Many may find our choice of the Audigy ironic considering how hard I slammed on the card earlier, but the Audigy's sound quality (especially in the MP3 playback) is head and shoulders above the other cards here.


The results of the listening tests are mentioned on page 12 of the review.

lucpes, I checked out the Santa Cruz review on Digit-Life, and I didn't really like this part:
Quote
"At first differences can be heard at once and without any stupid "blind" tests. In general, I liked the Live more although it reproduces music more noisy and "dirty" but sound is true and natural. The Santa Crus reproduces music without noises but lifelessly and unnaturally as synthesizer does. Instruments timbers differ significantly from the real ones. Sound is too "flat". That's all."
And now briefly about my impressions. Frankly speaking, I was bowled down a bit but in general I liked the sound. Firstly, there were much less noise and distortions. Secondly, high tones were very pure and "ethereal". I noticed only two drawbacks that are a poor "panorama" (no sense of "volume") and some "dryness' of sound (though some individual like the latter). To summarize, I would like to note that I hoped for better things from 20-bit DAC.


Damn:(

Well, I supposed I'll be able to draw my own conclusions within a couple of days.
Over thinking, over analyzing separates the body from the mind.

Soundcard roundup: Audigy wins !

Reply #5
Quote
"At first differences can be heard at once and without any stupid "blind" tests. In general, I liked the Live more although it reproduces music more noisy and "dirty" but sound is true and natural. The Santa Crus reproduces music without noises but lifelessly and unnaturally as synthesizer does. Instruments timbers differ significantly from the real ones. Sound is too "flat". That's all." 
And now briefly about my impressions. Frankly speaking, I was bowled down a bit but in general I liked the sound. Firstly, there were much less noise and distortions. Secondly, high tones were very pure and "ethereal". I noticed only two drawbacks that are a poor "panorama" (no sense of "volume") and some "dryness' of sound (though some individual like the latter). To summarize, I would like to note that I hoped for better things from 20-bit DAC.


As far as I am concerned, this is all meaningless gobbledygook.  Sounds like he's been reading too much Stereophile.

ff123

Soundcard roundup: Audigy wins !

Reply #6
Quote
Originally posted by ff123


As far as I am concerned, this is all meaningless gobbledygook.  Sounds like he's been reading too much Stereophile.

ff123


LOL... I'd have to agree 100%.  When you see this kind of stuff.. sometimes you just have to chuckle a little bit.  Especially when the first thing they do is completely disregard the merit of blind listening tests.

Hrmm.... reminds me a bit of some comments made in the MPC defects thread

Soundcard roundup: Audigy wins !

Reply #7
The interesting line in that statement is "instrument timbres differ significantly from the real ones."  A vague,  nondescriptive statement -- what's it supposed to mean, I wonder? 

Maybe a better question is, how would a soundcard influence "instrument timbres" (unless it was adding/subtracting frequency content?)... for some reason, the statement brings to mind the "green pen on edge of CD's increases treble response" argument *sigh*... 

Soundcard roundup: Audigy wins !

Reply #8
Quote
Originally posted by fewtch
The interesting line in that statement is "instrument timbres differ significantly from the real ones."  A vague,  nondescriptive statement -- what's it supposed to mean, I wonder? 

Maybe a better question is, how would a soundcard influence "instrument timbres" (unless it was adding/subtracting frequency content?)... for some reason, the statement brings to mind the "green pen on edge of CD's increases treble response" argument *sigh*...  


Well,  yes it's vauge..  but how do you describe such stuff?  Especially when you can't pont to a easily measurable spec to define it?  I'm assuming he means the "tone" and "sound" (yeah, now I'm being vauge  ) of an instrument..  being more natural,  or sounding altered.  This probably would result if the balance of the harmonics is different somehow.

There seem to be "real" sound quality issues that we don't yet undersand well,  not to mention have a way to spec..  The whole "Tubes sound better than solid state"  issue seems real,  is still not fully understood,  despite the fact that most tube amps have 0.5-1.0% distortion,  and a SS amp can be  0.01%.    Best theory on that now,  is the kind of distortion (even harmonics over odd harmonics) "sounds" better, more natural, etc,  even though there's 10 times more of it than the "unnatural" kind.  Maybe.. 

It's a psycoacoustic thing..  (leaving mass hypnosis out of the picture)

So, with stuff like that going on..  there's a place for impressionistic review.  Of course,  its REALLY subjective to work that way...  and you have to be careful to remember that 10 different people might have 10 different opinions..  But you can say there is a "real" thing going on,  if you get 1-2 opinions out of 10 people..

One can hope that a well trained reviewer might be trustable to tell you when it would be 1-2 opinions kind of situation..  But you have to be careful.. know your reviewer..  (and when it's the web writer of the week?)

Perhaps someday,  when we understand this effect better,  there could be a standard "HBD" (harmonic balance distortion) test and figures for various amps and cards..  as for now we have "musical" and "natural"  and other vaugeities..

Jon

Soundcard roundup: Audigy wins !

Reply #9
The issue is that a system can distort a sound and make it less close to the original, but still get something that subjectively feels better.

So you can build systems that either reproduce the original music as accuaretely as possible, or systems that try to add as much 'pleasant' distortion as possible.

It's a personal decision what to prefer.

--
GCP

Soundcard roundup: Audigy wins !

Reply #10
Hmmm..  actually read the review..  yep, it's biased to games.  Sounds like they did try a little (as opposed to ignore totally) to review audio quality..  with more than one person.. but not a deep "audiophile" review.

Though they liked the Audigy for sound quality out of the group,  that they put it up against an M-Audio card,  and found it much better.. I'll give em a few points for.

What I found very interesting,  was the mention of Via launching a new chip that supposedly is a variation of the one found on the M-Audio cards (and others):

Quote
as of earlier this month, VIA seems ready to enter the PC audio fray with its Envy24HT audio controller, which is a version of the controller found on the Delta 66 and Audiophile 2496 cards. We weren't aware of this development when we tested the Audigy and the Delta; we just thought it'd be cool to hold the Audigy up against a pro audio card. But if VIA really does intend to wade in with the Envy24HT, things could get interesting in a hurry.
http://www.via.com.tw/en/Digital%20Library/pr_envy24.jsp

Seems there is already a card..  http://www.digit-life.com/news.html#1023254039

Cant seem to find any other info on it..  Wonder what the price will be?

Soundcard roundup: Audigy wins !

Reply #11
OK.. spoke too soon.. 

EgoSys Waveterminal 192X  $300 - has 24 bit 192Khz A/D D/A, 2 in 6 out,  optical digital
            Waverterminal 192L  $200 - has 24 bit 96Khz , same analog,  digi daughter card gives you several MIDI,  optical  connectors..

So not a super cheap value,  but the L sounds competitive with the Audiophile 2496

Wonder how long till someone puts that chip on a motherboard? 

 
SimplePortal 1.0.0 RC1 © 2008-2019