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Hardware Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Tianium HD Review

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by arcticstoat, 17 Jan 2011.

  1. murraynt

    murraynt Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that :thumb:
    I'm downloading Eleanor Rigby now as a torrent. It's 56 mb :)
    EDIT: wow, it sounds great. I'll have to get there collection. I might have a look on Amazon.
     
  2. Gradius

    Gradius IT Consultant

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    So Asus finally fixed those audio drivers or still sucks?
     
  3. metarinka

    metarinka New Member

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    I just thought I would chime in, I'm a producer and worked as an "audio engineer" but I didn't earn that title as I worked on a smaller independent label mostly doing production.

    I think the biggest piece of the puzzle that everyone over looks is the room acoustics. If you don't trap your bass and setup your speakers you're going to get some nasty standing frequencies or terrible over kill of the bass. I know, I had this happen when I was just out of college and too poor to afford proper treatment.

    I think people are forgetting so much about intended audience and end use. For a consumer grade or "gaming" soundcard I doubt most users are concerned about flutter, or 192 khz lossless formats. I don't think fatal1ty ever said he missed a killed because of audio fidelity. Sound cards in this price range are going to be so extremely subjective due to the quality of speakers and room they'll be played in.

    Also as a note, I always produced with a disco frown eq (about 3db curve on low and high frequencies) that way you would naturally create a smile which sounds better on crappy el cheapo speakers our monitors were always flat, but production is a lot different than mastering. Also I never produced higher than 44.1 because I never released anything commercially higher than CD quality (and even then almost everything was mp3) hence recording at 192 would just be a waste of hard drive space. (mind you this was all electronic music where there were very few live samples).

    finally music composition will win out to productive every time. half the problem with audiophiles is that they train their ears (or think so) that they end up just listening to the speakers and forget about the music.
     
  4. HourBeforeDawn

    HourBeforeDawn a.k.a KazeModz

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    no they still suck thats why you go to/search for Unified Xonar Drivers, this guy and a few others have been working on their own drivers and they kick ass.
     
  5. wafflesomd

    wafflesomd New Member

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    After the $100 U.S. price point, you can start getting into some much better cards than this stuff from Asus or Creative.

    EMU 0404/usb, M-audio has some nice offerings. Tascam, Presonus, and even Avid have some great interfaces that are cheaper than the card in this review and will perform very well.

    Surprised to be bit-tech with some Behringer truth monitors. Really incredible speakers. Measure great and perform with options much higher in price range such Adam and Focal.

    Though they probably aren't in a properly treated room so who knows what things sound like over there. The whole bit at the end about the tone of the card is total BS though.
     
  6. HourBeforeDawn

    HourBeforeDawn a.k.a KazeModz

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    okay not like Im supporting it or anything but anyone know where I can find some decent free preferably legal places to downloading high quality surround audio?
     
  7. knuck

    knuck Hate your face

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    I don't care about the product itself. I'm just happy to see the Sound Blaster logo. Great memories

    I have an Auzentech Bravura 7.1 (X-Fi) and despite the fact that my Cambridge Soundworks FPS2000 are over 10 years old, the difference in sound over my Audigy 2 was surprising, which is impressive considering the Audigy gave me superior sound to my Sb Live! that was top of the line when I got my speakers.


    I wish I had something better though. As much as I love my speakers, their age shows now compared to today's kits
     
  8. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

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    This is pretty much the eq I apply to most of my portable audio equipment, if you're raising the lows and highs for a scooped mid effect that is.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jan 2011
  9. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    Well if you're using the digital output, there just isn't going to be a difference. The problem with integrated sound cards is the low(er) quality of the digital to analog conversion and also the noise you get on the ANALOG signal as it's converted and runs around the motherboard. Digital output is going to be bits, no matter if you take it from the integrated card or one that costs £200. You do get differences in the software side of things, and probably on some of the fancier surround codecs, but the bits, i.e. the sound, it going to be the same.
     
  10. Cleggmeister

    Cleggmeister Of reasonable knowledge...

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    HDTRACKS is a good place to start, as is linnrecords.com, also look for B&W society of sound and Naim. Most if not all are in FLAC format. You'll generally pay more but they're worth every penny.
     
  11. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    Nice to see their driver support still sucks harder than a small black hole.
     
    knuck likes this.
  12. Senilex

    Senilex Not a Troll. Honest.

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    Really? Other sites have manage to actually review this card.
     
  13. Coltch

    Coltch Member

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    Still Happy with my X-Fi Elite Pro, it's been going strong for over 4 years and have never had a problem with it - Creative's drivers are complete cack so I use a set of hacked ones.
     
  14. wafflesomd

    wafflesomd New Member

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    If you're talking about reproduction then yes that is most certainly a quantifiable parameter of sound.

    He is right though. All of these consumer cards are basically the same thing. They're going to sound the same and I guess it really just comes down to driver support and outputs. There's no way the reviewer is hearing such tonal colorations like a bright top end, or a mid range that lacks clarity. That's just silly.

    Actually, here's some measurements to prove that the output has no coloration at all.

    http://translate.google.com/transla...i/SoundBlasterTiHdOpampComparison&sl=ja&tl=en

    Save your money and just buy a Creative 5.1 Live! or something. You'll get the same sound quality either way.
     
  15. Deders

    Deders Well-Known Member

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    I think that's what most gamers will be concerned about, but even the results you linked to show that different op amps will affect things like dynamic range, total harmonic distortion, intermodulation distortion etc which do affect the sound we hear but would only be important to a small range of listeners.
     
  16. Jodiuh

    Jodiuh New Member

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    Sounds like someone didn't play w/ a high end headphone amp, some Beyer 990's, and CMSS3D setup properly.
     
  17. wafflesomd

    wafflesomd New Member

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    The differences were minute to the point of being inaudible.
     
  18. HourBeforeDawn

    HourBeforeDawn a.k.a KazeModz

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    So in terms of encoding. if you only plan to listen to movies, music and other audio through your computer/dedicated sound card there would be no point to encode the audio to a sample rate any higher then 192? since thats all the sound card can output?
     
  19. wafflesomd

    wafflesomd New Member

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    Sample rate has little to do with the overall quality of your media. Most commercial audio will be dithered down to 44.1khrtz at 16 bit.

    You won't hear a difference between 44.1 and 48khrtz, and even so all the way up to 192khrtz. The main reason people will use a higher sampling rate is because it's easy multiple frequencies to be used for other formats. Sampling down from 48, to 44.1 can leave artifacts. Some people claim they can hear a difference, but those are the people who can hear a difference in power cables.
     
  20. Kingsley813

    Kingsley813 New Member

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    iBasso D2 Boa + Beyerdynamic DT250 = job done.
     
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