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pmistry

Let's talk Sound Cards, Hercules brand

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I hate my Sound Blaster Live! its nothing but grief now, crackling, popping, you all know what the SB Live! can be like. Especially me with a VIA Chipset. (KX133)

 

So, I want a new card, it should support all of those 3D APIs and have 4 speaker output. I don't want any of that LiveDrive or Breakout Box crap. Just a simple sound card to play MP3's and games with. Oh and no Creative cards.

 

Opinions on these 2:

 

Hercules Fortissimo II and Hercules Gamesurround Muse XL, the Muse XL is cheap and looks like it could get the job done for me, anybody have this card?

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I have the Fortissimo II, and comparing it with the Audigy, I think the sound is slightly better. Hercules has recently released some new drivers that address some issue the FII had. I had the original Fortissimo and that was an excellent card for the money, and I say the same thing with the Fortissimo II. I don't have the Muse XL, but the Iwill P4D has integrated sound that is similar to what is on that card (it may even be the same chip) and it's fine for what you want to do.

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From the two cards he's choosing from, it's pretty obvious he's looking for an economical solution.....a new mobo isn't what he's looking for.

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Quote:

Game Theatre XP

Only if you had an INtel chipet.

Spend the money on a new board bro.

Dump Via


No problems here with VIA chipset and DUAL cpu's with the Game Theatre XP >

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Well I have had 2 Hercules cards and they both were slow releasing drivers.

 

Is the Santa Cruz out of the question?

 

It's pretty cheap and a Nice sound card.

 

Worked great on all my Via based systems.

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I can't find a Canadian Retailer for the Santa Cruz, but yeah it looks like a great card. If I can't get that, I'll go with the Fortissimo II Digital Edition, 80 bucks CDN here.

 

Yeah I really want to dump my VIA board, as you know from my recent P4 posts and chipset talk, but I need to save a few dollars first and I am waiting on some new tech in the fall.

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You'll love the Fortissimo II. It's a great card for the money and seems to be trouble free.I've had mine for two years and have updated the drivers twice from the Hercules site.Good luck!

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Hell, I was one of those people that bought (and until recently) had the Guillemot Maxi Sound Fortissimo (in some peeps PC that I assembled). That was a sweet card: half the cost of a Live! and none of the Live! problems. The sound wasn't as good as the Live!, but it was pretty close. I had purchased a Live! and honestly, the sound was the same, IMO.

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I know I said no Creative cards, but how is the Audigy?

I take a performance hit with my Live and 3D sound, how well does the Audigy do 3D sound? How about the audio quality? And what about VIA?

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I know I said no Creative cards, but how is the Audigy?
I take a performance hit with my Live and 3D sound, how well does the Audigy do 3D sound? How about the audio quality? And what about VIA?
I don't have that much experience with the Live [i've installed 1 in someone else's system & played a couple of games on it, but he only had 2 speakers], which makes it kinda difficult for me to compare. I love my Audigy though, it's great, & the EAX is nice in Dungeon Seige. The only other game I've played since getting the Audigy is Lomax, & that sounds quite nice too, despite being a fairly old game. I'm not really sure about 3D sound as I'm using my Pro Logic h-fi connected to my Audigy with 1 of those leads that has a 3.5mm jack on 1 end & 2 RCA/phono on the other - sadly my hi-fi doesn't have seperate inputs for surround channels & sub.

Overall I'm very pleased with the Audigy - my 1 & only grumble is the fact that CL have made it complient with the AC'97 standard, which means you can't have the Line In muted for playback but still be able to record with it, you have to keep switching it on or off if you go from recording something to playing back stuff. The good news is that this is only done in software, not hardware, so it's possible [hopefully] that they might release a seperate set of drivers that don't have this problem. There is supposed to be a work-around for this - uninstall the drivers then just use the Drivers Only install option when you reinstall them - but I haven't gotten around to trying that out yet [been too busy playing Dungeon Seige :D].

Oh, & on the VIA front - I have a KT7A-RAID v1.3, which has the KT133A chipset.

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IIWY, I'd contact Creative themselves & ask them if they know of any issues between your mobo chipset & the Audigy before buying it. If you had a KT133A I'd say go right ahead & get 1, but from everything I've read the KX133 is not 1 of the most problem free chipsets VIA ever produced.

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But, the Creative/Via issues are much less prevelent with the Audigy. I like the Fortissimo II, as I can leave it on one setting without having to change it for gaming (get nasty, farting bass in UT with certain settings)

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But, the Creative/Via issues are much less prevelent with the Audigy.
Errmmm.. I'm not so sure that's 100% accurate in all cases. Before buying my Audigy from OcUK. I had a chat with 1 of their tech support ppl, as they [OcUk] have a pretty good rep, plus they used to sell the exact model of mobo I have & still sell the Audigy, so I figured it made sense to ask them.

Apparently it's a bit hit & miss - you could have 2 identical mobos, & an Audigy would be fine in 1 & not the other. I told them I had a KT7A-RAID v1.3, & they said they couldn't recall any issues with that specific v., though there were some issues with some boards of earlier model, but apparently the KR7A-RAID which is newer, has even more issues with it than the Live did. That's what he said anyway - so it's hit & miss.

If it makes you feel better, I spoke to Creative tech support & if you ask CL if a card is ok with your mobo, they say yes, & you're not happy with it [even if you just don't like it & it's working ok] you can take it back within the 1st 30 days, which is apparently on top of your normal rights.

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