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January 12th, 2021, 16:59
I bought an Audigy 2ZS from Creative way back in 2003/4 along with some Cambridge Soundworks speakers. This card is flaking out after a measly 17 years

Can someone tell me if it was ever superseded? I think they may still sell this card. I'm looking for a great card/speaker combo since my speakers are crackly after all these years.

Any suggestions? I mostly listen to Pandora/Youtube while gaming. I watch very few movies, mostly superhero/monster/sci-fi/fantasy stuff. No TV at all really. I do watch some Rams football and Cardinal baseball.
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January 13th, 2021, 05:56
Now THAT is a loyal Rams fan!

Do you think you really need a card instead of just using the motherboard?
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January 13th, 2021, 07:05
If you are going motherboard audio and you want the best you should be looking for a motherboard with a S1220A realtek chipset. It is typically available on medium to high end motherboards. The 1200 is a very distant second (it isn't much better than most of the 8xx realteks. It is important you choose a motherboard with good shielding though. A S1220A with poor shielding or poor quality component would be worse than some low end chipsets.

Most Asus motherboards do a good job of shielding but to be honest, generally speaking most of the main manufacturers do a decent job on their high end motherboards.

Now having said all that - the Realteks have massively improved over the last 10 years so even a low end one is suitable for most people. If you have high resistance headphones or you are an audiophile (without much money for a DAC) then you will want a S1220A otherwise you should be fine.
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January 13th, 2021, 18:48
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
…Audigy 2ZS… flaking out after a measly 17 years
Never buy soundcards from Creative! ()

Can someone tell me if it was ever superseded? I think they may still sell this card. I'm looking for a great card/speaker combo since my speakers are crackly after all these years.

Any suggestions? I mostly listen to Pandora/Youtube while gaming. I watch very few movies, mostly superhero/monster/sci-fi/fantasy stuff. No TV at all really. I do watch some Rams football and Cardinal baseball.
If soundcard and headphones is an option, I recommend the (USB based) Razer Nari Ultimate. Wireless headphones. Very good sound IMO. And it has a vibrating function you can add for deep bass tones. Works actually very well.

An additional welcome feature: It's got good noise isolation over the air devices, so I don't need to hear the wife whenever she's nagging me. (If I have to listen to her, i use the on-board Realtek with a Koss Portapro headset.

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January 13th, 2021, 19:43
Creative sound cards… I still have nightmares. I swear they have a built in end of life to blow a transistor or something.

#%*&(%
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January 13th, 2021, 20:03
Originally Posted by a pibbur View Post
Never buy soundcards from Creative! ()
Never generalize

It's far from the crappy cards they were making long ago, but again it depends and I'd never buy anything without checking reviews first.

The Sound BlasterX AE-5 is quite good. I have had a Sound Blaster Z for years, which was almost as good, and never had any issue with it, I'm mainly using it with Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro headphones.
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January 13th, 2021, 20:58
Why don't you buy a receiver? Audio over hdmi with some decent speakers like the q acoustics. Or buy active speakers like the popular Edifiers.
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January 13th, 2021, 21:50
I'm a newb when it comes to sound. I have an Audigy 2 ZS that I bought in 2003. I do not own any headsets at all. I have a cambridge soundworks set of speakers that I got at the same time as the 17 year old sound card.

All I need is suggestions for good speakers, and whatever is good for a gaming pc. I have an i7-7700k mobo, no idea of manufacturer. My mobo has a realtek audio card that was shit compared to the audigy. It had no balls for the bass sounds at all. I'm not sure about receivers and the other stuff mentioned. Money isn't an object at all, but I really don't need anything too fancy. Again, I am living with the Creative Labs card still. It is just getting cranky in its old age.

I do like to be able to hear it from a block away though. That's always fun. Good power wattage is important as is the ability to really separate distinct sounds. I like acapella music, so I'd hate the tones to blur at all

Does that help?
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January 14th, 2021, 00:22
I can't speak for your motherboard sound. These days it should be more than sufficient.

For good sound you need to put most of your money in the speakers. Physics imply that the bigger they are the better they sound (you can't have bass in a small form factor).

For pc, active speakers are convenient as they include the amplifier. Whatever you do stay away from those tin can (the very small ones) speakers from creative and logitech. Something like:
cheap: https://www.wifimedia.eu/nl/edifier-r1280t.html
more expensive:
https://www.coolblue.nl/product/8237…305p-mkii.html
https://www.thomann.de/be/adam_t5v.htm
Note that for these last two the indicated price is for one. You need two :-)

If you need better then for instance:
https://www.whathifi.com/q-acoustics/3020i/review (or 3010i)
They need a dac/amp/receiver (bonus if you don't trust your motherboard). Together that will run you about 400-500 euro.
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January 14th, 2021, 01:29
I'd say that the DAC and the amp are also an important part of the chain, especially if you want to get good definition and separation. Those 3020i speakers look interesting, bundling a respectable DAC and amp into the package. Could be a good option for a decent desktop setup.

EDIT: Oops - seems I misread you. I see a separate DAC and amp are necessary.
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January 15th, 2021, 20:28
Originally Posted by a pibbur View Post
Never buy soundcards from Creative! ()
I'm curious if a pibbur was dissatisfied with the Audigy card with a quality DAC, that he acquired a while back?
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January 15th, 2021, 21:53
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
I'm curious if a pibbur was dissatisfied with the Audigy card with a quality DAC, that he acquired a while back?
Since he used it for 17 years, I suspect he wasn't :-)
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January 15th, 2021, 22:01
Okay, I got my Audigy 2ZS working again. I have the Cambridge Four Point Surround FPS 1800 speaker system and it's all working. I bought this stuff in 2003/4 I think. It used to be a SoundBlaster 32 and that died so I replaced with the Audigy. I was hoping this junk would last more than 18 years.

So, the cambridge speakers are each the length of a finger and I think the subwoofer just massively increases the volume maybe. I typically just barely turn the unit on, like at a 1 of 20, if I want to stay in the same room with them I control the volume otherwise with Windows. The woofer is like 8X8X15 or something. If I turn the speakers to one quarter, I can hear them in my car parked outside, about 5 feet away…with the windows rolled up.

I have no idea of the quality though. Loud? Yes! Good? Dunno.

So, I went to Best Buy and looked at Lenovo, Bose, and Logitech satellite speakers. None of these light a candle to what I have already. It makes no sense to me. Those speakers have tinny sound and absolutely no balls in the bass. Hard to listen to Tim Foust or Avi Kaplan (Home Free/Pentatonix basses) on those neutered speakers

So, I tested the bass with a Youtube video of a group called Home Free and a cover of Johnny Cash' Folsom Prison Blues. The bass hits some incredibly deep notes in a couple places so I use that as my litmus test.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdYhgQbsdRs

I admit that the card they were plugged into was Realtek HD audio something. That may be pure junk. I couldn't really find anything at Best Buy that seemed like an upgrade. I just need to buy 4 or 5 setups and then test them all, but I'm too lazy for that. Guess I'll keep my current combo another 18 years.

Thanks for all the input, because who knows how long these things will keep going. I have no idea how Win10 killed my soundcard this time.
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January 15th, 2021, 22:12
Originally Posted by vanedor View Post
Since he used it for 17 years, I suspect he wasn't :-)
No, that was crpgnut. It's just that I remember that pibbur bought a Soundblaster card a couple of years ago, and I thought he was pleased with it. I wondered if he was joking or serious, given that he's also recommending a different setup.
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January 16th, 2021, 12:33
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
No, that was crpgnut. It's just that I remember that pibbur bought a Soundblaster card a couple of years ago, and I thought he was pleased with it. I wondered if he was joking or serious, given that he's also recommending a different setup.
It was a joke, a follow-up to what he said about his soundcard lasting only for 17 years.

BTW: I considered buying a soundblaster, but ended up buying an Asus Strix Raid 7.1 soundcard. It's a very good card soundwise. Unfortunately I shouldn't recommend it at the moment because it's now for some reason mostly undetectable by Windows. Don't know why, it's maybe a windows problem, but in general, I hesitate to recommend something that may for practical purposes be unusable.

BTW2: I would of course appreciate suggestions about how to solve the problem, but I won't hijack the 'nut's thread for that purpose. I will make a new thread in the Tech forum.

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January 16th, 2021, 16:13
A Windows update killed my sound card a few years ago, too. I don't know how old that card was but I think it replaced my Awe32 card, so maybe the early Windows XP days? I had to find some guy's custom driver to get it to work with Windows 10 at all.
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January 16th, 2021, 17:12
Yeah I've had issues before with new window updates either damaging or destroying video/audio portions of my system. That's why I'm still clinging to my windows seven with a death grip.
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January 16th, 2021, 20:05
Originally Posted by a pibbur View Post
It was a joke, a follow-up to what he said about his soundcard lasting only for 17 years.

BTW: I considered buying a soundblaster, but ended up buying an Asus Strix Raid 7.1 soundcard. It's a very good card soundwise. Unfortunately I shouldn't recommend it at the moment because it's now for some reason mostly undetectable by Windows. Don't know why, it's maybe a windows problem, but in general, I hesitate to recommend something that may for practical purposes be unusable.

BTW2: I would of course appreciate suggestions about how to solve the problem, but I won't hijack the 'nut's thread for that purpose. I will make a new thread in the Tech forum.

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Ah, right. I must have got my wires crossed. I seem to remember discussing the quality of the DAC and headphone amp. I hope the new driver does the trick. That really aggravates me when good hardware gets retired by poor driver support.
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January 16th, 2021, 21:04
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
Ah, right. I must have got my wires crossed. I seem to remember discussing the quality of the DAC and headphone amp. ….
Well, I did consider a SB soundcard (X AE-5), and I did discuss it here (Thread in Tech forum, aug/sep 2018). And you did discuss DAC and headphone amp.

But I ended up with the Asus card, which,, depending on upcoming procedures (see new thread in Tech) may or may not have been a good choice.

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January 17th, 2021, 14:16
Updated the drivers with the Dec 2020 version, and now the card works. Which means I can recommend the card, but perhaps not Asus customer service.
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