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Phaenius

Capped (clipped, whatever) sound with Audigy sound card

215 posts in this topic

Possible work-around (but still won't be "clean") -

1 - Play LOW without clipping, EQ-ing until "best sound" without clip.

2 - Record onto OTHER equipment (e.g. good Cassette with "input" level knob/fader/whatever) with microphones in front of "source" speakers (1), boosting Gain as best possible while "listening" with THIS equipment's "monitors".

New Recording is New Source. Toss the Old Source - it has problems. New source is probably the best you'll get.

Alternative - Re-record using Pro Sound equipment (mixer+EQ) to better control Gain (see my references). This has worked relatively good for me.

Thx, Trip for backing me up.

"Giggity-Giggity-GIGO"...

Edited by submix8c
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* - SCREW "how good it sounds" we want to ISOLATE the CLIP problem!

In the end, I can't ignore the bad quality of sound. Sound isn't clear, regardless of the clipping, which occur on active speakers mostly, it's not a 100% exact feedback, ears are subjective to all sort of equations (the "richness" of sound and instruments used, bass levels, volume, type of music, etc.), but as I noticed it's mostly on the active speakers (what I think is clipping, since I cannot putt my finger that what I am referring as "capping" is actually defined is clipping).

1 - DISCONNECT all Wires from Sound EXCEPT the SINGLE REAR ONE (Analog) to the Active Speaker

2 - Use Windows Media Player - DISABLE the EQ - Set Volume Level LOW to start

3 - In your Creative Sound Control Panel - DISABLE the EQ - Set Volume Level LOW to start

4 - In Windows Volume Control - Set Volume Level (ALL of them for Playback) LOW to start

5 - If the Creative Sound Control has ANY BOOSTING OF ANYTHING - DISABLE IT/THEM

6 - Set Active Speaker Volume LOW - if ANY EQ on it (e.g. Bass/Treble knobs) SET TO CENTER (Flat)

7 - Using Windows Media Player, play an MP3 that is NOT recorded at a Low Level (go to ANY Music website and PICK one)

* - Do you get CLIPS?

8 - If so, then there is (probably/maybe) a problem with Hardware/Cables/THE SPEAKER

9 - If NOT, continue SLOWLY adjust EACH Volume ON-BY-ONE upward

10 - Repeat "9" - WHICHEVER one CLIPS, then THERE is the "clipper" (IF you started from No Clip)

"low" is subjective. How low is low ? But I did set the volume low and very low. What did I get ? At very low volumes, I couldn't hear any clippings, since I almost hear no sound at all, because of the very low volume. At low volumes, yes, I did hear some limitations. I do believe I actually have two problems, one with the sound card, the other with the active speakers. In the end, I wanted to know if is safe until I replace the sound card to continue using it, or it could inflict damage to whatever amplifier I may use or possibly to motherboard or headphones if I plug them on.

By the way, I didn't found any EQ in Windows Media Player (mentioned at #2).

I specifically stated (ref your Post#13 which I cited) that a LOW RECORDED sound that you ATTEMPT to COMPENSATE FOR LEVELS by PUMPING IT UP will CLIP!!! GAIN STRUCTURE! Bad Recording = Bad Output - GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out)!!! Do NOT test with one of those - test with a KNOWN GOOD AUDIO!

And I specifically stated that problems do occur at music recorded at high levels and/or with many instruments and mostly bass in it, so music that consumes a lot of power. Songs recorded at low volumes or having few instruments at once (only voice or easy on bass, etc.) sound ok concerning the clipping. Of course, they still do not sound ok because of the distortions, but at least they don't clip (or whatever is the phenomena I am encountering).

WHAT makes you so cock-sure that there isn't a SHORTING between Wires in the CONNECTORS? We have had to THROW AWAY some "good solid pretty-on-the-outside" Speaker/Microphone/(etc) EXPENSIVE cables due to INTERNAL SHORTS. GOOD GRAVY, maybe the WHOLE FRONT PANEL is bad causing a SHORT in the CARD!!!

Bad language taken aside, a cable at those frequencies and those voltages and current can either conduct or not. In other words, I would get interruptions if defective. I am not. The possibility of a good, reasonable cable to be defective as long as it wasn't DOA or suffered heavy operation conditions (which isn't the case in my situation) is very low to nonexistent. In other words, you can use that cable for a loooooong time and still work. What makes me sure my cables are good ? I assume they are. There is no reason to doubt them. If you start to suspect anything, even remotely, you will get nowhere.

IS the Front Panel ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to test the Line Out in the BACK? If not, DISCONNECT FROM CARD! This will PROVE whether it's STRICTLY the Sound Card (at least the Rear Out, if nothing else) or "something else".

Your Sound Card -

http://support.creative.com/Products/ProductDetails.aspx?catID=1&CatName=Sound+Blaster&subCatID=208&subCatName=X-Fi&prodID=16559&prodName=X-Fi+Platinum+Fatal1ty+Champion+Series

I'm ALSO betting that you NEVER updated your Drivers (from Creative - see the link above).

"Front Panel" photo inside this -

http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=232407

Indeed I found this

www.creative.com/oem/resources/SoundCards/SB046x.pdf

that tells me that the Console you spoke of MAY be another piece of Hardware that you failed to mention (?). I have looked at the JPG from the Post#13 and it APPEARS that you need NOTHING connected EXCEPT the Line-Out#1 (there are THREE) to the Speakers. THIS should suffice to test AT LEAST THAT (according to my ABOVE INSTRUCTIONS).

Here is a Quick Start Guide

http://static.tigerdirect.com/pdf/CreativeLabsSoundBlasterX-Fi-Fatal1tyQuickStart.pdf

It indicates a MANUAL.CHM that should have been on your Install CD.

FOUND the manual -

http://www.filetxt.net/txt/61c76d39h32i0

Indicates problems with Clipping on Vista (older drivers?) -

http://www.rage3d.com/Board/archive/index.php?t-33918675.html

Something/Tip (see post#246)?

http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?p=3368680

ISOLATE by REMOVING ALL BUT BASICS!!!

If you REFUSE to try what I tell you to AND report back, then I REFUSE to assist further. Either do it or not. Your choice. ;) "I tried EVERYTHING but what I was told to try..."

EDIT EDIT EDIT!!! In the Manual, NOWHERE does it say anything about connecting Coax (Front) to Speakers! I also went ahead and looked up the Genius SP-HF 2020... How ya got THAT set up (seeing as how IT has EQ as well).

SP-HF2020 is a 60-watt powerful 4-way wood speaker system with a wireless remote control. The digital input can connect to a LED/LCD TV or DVD player using a coaxial cable. DSP (Digital Sound Processor) to re-live HI-FI sound quality.
(can't find the MANUAL...) If the SWITCH in back changes from Analog<->Digital IT could be bad!!! Use ONE only!

After all of this digging, I would say you DO have Pro Sound Equipment. ;)

I'll stop quoting now, to save space. So, for the rest of it, I will comment flat:

No, front panel isn't absolutely necessary to test the line out at the back. But the front panel is most convenient to me at the moment, because of the facilities it offers. But I did tested from the back. In addition, I nearly destroyed my headphones when plugged in (out of curiosity), because of the impedance.

About updating the drivers. Don't bet or you'll lose. I tested a lot of drivers, I specified many times. From card's drivers, shipped on CD, through latest from Creative and ending with Daniel K's modified drivers.

How did I connected the active speakers ? Easy. Creative sound card has a digital coaxial output and the speakers have a digital coaxial input. It's the same way how I connect to any amplifier that has a digital coaxial input. Active speakers have a digital selector, switching from analogue to digital inputs.

All in all, I will find the courage and take everything apart these days and try to clean them as good as I can. I will replace the cable from sound card to front panel and I will try to move the card into another slot. If all this fails and still distorts, I think it's safe to say the card has a problem.

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Garbage-In, Garbage-Out... High Volume Recordings are already at clip-point. (Gain Structure, which you refuse to acknowledge...)

I've been instructed to not debate with members that just won't listen. ;)

HTH

Edited by submix8c
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@Phaenius, I'm not sure what you want. I'll assume you have a real problem that is manifesting itself in distorted sound. The problem must be in either:

1) Your ears

2) Source, ie CD or whatever

3) Software

-- a] Driver

-- b] Music player

4) Hardware

-- a] Speaker

-- b] Cable - include all aspects of all cables such as the wire, connector, connection itself ie loose, corroded, or dirty

-- c] CD drive

-- d] Computer

-- e] Sound card

I don't mean to be a smart aleck with (1), but you have never mentioned whether anyone else hears the same problems that you do. If only your ears are good enough to hear the problem, I won't say the problem doesn't exist, but I don't know if we can help you.

For (2), if you have tried several sources, such as different CDs, and the distortion is always with certain ones then Trip's comments might be in play and you'll have to find better versions of that music.

For (3), if you have tried multiple drivers and music players and the result is always the same we will assume that is not the issue.

Which leaves (4), the group with the largest number of pieces, most of which are inside your computer case. All the items in (4) are physical items. In my mind, if there is a potential problem with a physical item, you have to physically look at it to try and find the problem. That's the real reason that I have been harping at you to clean everything - to force you to look at everything very closely. But you have just kept repeating what you say you are hearing, which we can't really understand since we can't hear it ourselves. You say you assume your cables are fine, but even if they are, until you have actually disconnected each one and looked at it closely and reconnected it, making sure each connection is snug, there are potential sources of problems there. There were some suggestions made as to how to try and trace the signals through your sound card to see if you could isolate where in the sound card the problem is occurring, but you admit that you do not have the knowledge, equipment, or facilities to make those tests and, even if you did, you wouldn't be able to repair it, it would just be confirming where the problem lies, IF it is in the sound card. The only other way I can think of to isolate the problem to a particular part of the hardware chain then is to swap parts, (cables, sound card, speakers, computer), with those from another system until you find which part the problem follows. But you say that is not possible for you to do either.

The more frustrating the problem is to find, the more you need to throw out the feelings you have that "It can't be ____". If the problem was something simple I'm sure you would have found it by now. So suspect everything until you have done everything possible to prove the part is good. You have described the problem as best you can, drawn diagrams, etc. I guess you were hoping that someone would say " Oh yeah, I had that happen to me. Change setting X to Y and you'll be good to go." Doesn't look like that is going to happen. And you've probably heard the definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over in the same way and expecting a different result. Doing things your way hasn't been working for you. You might need to do things in a different way. You came to us asking for advice. We have given you advice as best we can. You have chosen to follow very little of it. You believe most of it won't do any good. It might not, but you won't know until you try. If you choose not to try, then I really don't know what you want from us.

Good luck to you. I still will be very curious to know if you ever find out what the problem really is.

Cheers and Regards

PS: I don't think anyone suggested connecting your headphones to the rear of the card. Unless one of the connectors is specifically meant for headphones I don't think that is a good idea, as you found out.

Edited by bphlpt
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No, front panel isn't absolutely necessary to test the line out at the back. But the front panel is most convenient to me at the moment, because of the facilities it offers. But I did tested from the back. In addition, I nearly destroyed my headphones when plugged in (out of curiosity), because of the impedance.
Sound Blaster X-Fi audio card

Stereo headphone (32-ohm load) support on Line Out 1 jack (my note: 1/8-inch Jack)

Sound Blaster X-Fi I/O Drive* (my note: *=optional)

Headphone output and volume control with auto detection via 6.35 mm (1/4-inch) stereo jack

You must have used an Adapter.
How did I connected the active speakers ? Easy. Creative sound card has a digital coaxial output and the speakers have a digital coaxial input. It's the same way how I connect to any amplifier that has a digital coaxial input. Active speakers have a digital selector, switching from analogue to digital inputs.
So you never did test with the I/O Drive cable disconnected (*optional) and try connecting "Analog Speakers" to "Line Out 1" (which you can do).

More good info here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_level

Have fun and HTH. ;)

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Bad language taken aside, a cable at those frequencies and those voltages and current can either conduct or not. In other words, I would get interruptions if defective. I am not. The possibility of a good, reasonable cable to be defective as long as it wasn't DOA or suffered heavy operation conditions (which isn't the case in my situation) is very low to nonexistent. In other words, you can use that cable for a loooooong time and still work. What makes me sure my cables are good ? I assume they are. There is no reason to doubt them. If you start to suspect anything, even remotely, you will get nowhere.

Not that by assuming (and assuming, and assuming and NOT trying anything suggested) you are getting very far.... :whistle:

.... it could be some crazy electrons that decide to get on the surface instead of being channeled into the cables :unsure:

BTW, for all we know submix8c has perfectly working sound and needs not to "get anywhere".....

Also, you underrate the kind of satisfaction that you will feel if you just §@ç#ing clean/inspect all the components as told you n times by everyone here and the problem doesn't get solved. Just imagine the satisfaction of proving everyone wrong :yes:

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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As pointed out many many times (I might as well type it with the maximum font size for anyone to get it):

- I don't want to prove anyone wrong.

- I don't want to fight anyone.

- I don't want to waste anyone's time and appreciate the time taken to give any advice.

- I am not ruling out any solution just because it sounds stupid to me, without checking and double checking other sayings.

- I will clean the card. It's a long shot, very little chance of solving anything, but it does make sense and I will do it.

- I just want to figure out what is wrong. As I believe it is, for some reason (capacitors or anything else), card is pretty much gone (I hope it isn't, but I fear it is), but want to understand what happened and to prevent anything like this happening again (to figure out if the card, if faulty, malfunctioned on it's own or another component or my settings damaged it, in which case something similar may happen to another card).

bphlpt:

1. I can rule out my ears' possible problem, since I can hear out sounds from surroundings just fine, also other equipment I find in audio showrooms.

2. Source CAN be a problem, since I repeatedly said CDs are working better than MP3 or FLAC. Don't know why, since at least FLAC should be so close to original sound.

3. Software could be a problem, but the same software is working ok to so many people using it, so I can safely rule that out too.

4a. Unlikely. Speaker doesn't limit sound the way I am experiencing. A faulty or bad speaker, when over driven, will distort because of the membrane out of range capabilities or mechanical friction or whatever. And it's happening at high volumes and/or in excess of low frequencies. Also, too much treble can melt the twitter's wires. But again, it's not the case.

4b. (this also applies to submix8c) Please, rule this out. While in theory this could be a reason, I'll put my neck on it it's not the cables. Cables do make good contact, are not interrupted, can transport a lot of current. The only problem can be with the ribbon between the card and the front panel (which I know you all hate).

4c. No. CD drive (actually DVD drive) outputs digital sound. I have 4 units. They ALL get the same digital output.

4d. This is way to vast. Sound card is part of the computer for instance. Do you meant motherboard ?

4e. Most likely.

I know you don't understand what I am referring as "capping". It may be clipping (technically defined), or can be something else. But, as I said many times, there are actually 2 problems, one is the clipping, I can isolate this in my active speakers, since it's mostly manifesting there (although active speakers work pretty good and don't "cap" with the on-board sound on board) and the second one is the "metallic" sound, lacking any clarity, consistence, it's not the warm, crystal clear sound I got when I bought the Creative sound card. Something went wrong.

I described somehow the "capping". When medium and high frequencies are playing alone, it outputs ok. When bass comes into play, especially at higher volumes, medium and high frequencies get modulated after bass. I mean, if a singer is playing a single note for instance and on top of it, a rhythmic bass is playing at the same time, singer's voice oscillates in the rhythm of the bass. This is more noticeable when bass is strong or amplified itself. I know bass somehow drives a speaker so to speak and influences the other frequencies, but not to such extend. Also, if I am raising volume very high, I am not getting much acoustic pressure when bass is on. Sound just caps. Speakers are 30 watts each, I should be shaken a bit at high volume, I am not. With receiver and passive speakers (100 watts each), I am clearly experiencing powerful sound, but I am reluctant to use them, unless I solve the sound problem.

Yes, I don't have knowledge of how to test the cards, via oscilloscopes and all. I do have 2 cards I can connect and I can generate signal from one and trace it via software oscilloscope onto the other. But I don't know how. I wanted to know if there is a battery of tests, well explained step by step as in what to generate and what to expect on the other card.

All-in-all, I am not a moron. I know what damage a bad connection or double EQ-ing can do to sound. But I also know if a card is defective and doesn't output a good "base" sound to work with, no EQ in the world or volume setting can make a good sound out of it. I don't think it's the settings. I do believe it's a hardware failure of some kind. I've been changing software codecs, tried various players, even tried live CDs, with their own drivers, nothing works. I will clean the card and will save money to buy another one in the end. My only fear is, since I wasn't able to isolate what caused the failure in the first place, it may happen to the new card, sure, not at once, but in not such a long time (a few months). I mean, I am sure a faulty motherboard for instance can damage the other add-in cards. Bad settings can also short the life of a sound card and any other audio equipment. It's just I haven't been able to figure it out what went wrong and why. My hope is if card is indeed faulty, it was on it's own and not other things related.

submix8c:

Ordinary computer sound cards don't have a true analogue line-out so to speak. Or at least, not a standard one. To the front speakers, you can connect either a set of active speakers, an external amplifier or a pair of headphones. Each one of course has it's own impedance and expect a different output, so don't know how sound card can "feed" all those from the same output. It's even mentioned in the manual a pair of headphones can be connected to that connector. So, no adapter needed. Sure, the (much hated by you) front panel has a much more adapted 6.3 mm plug for standard headphones. My Sennheiser (http://www.sennheiser.co.uk/uk/home_en.nsf/root/private_headphones_audiophile-headphones_005343) have 50 ohm impedance.

So, I wasn't wrongfully connecting the headphones, it was just to test the card without the front panel. It looks like sound isn't adapted for headphone use at the back. Unfortunately, Creative doesn't release much technical (or rather useful) data to public, so I don't know the voltages and impedance each socket operates.

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As pointed out many many times (I might as well type it with the maximum font size for anyone to get it):

- I don't want to prove anyone wrong.

- I don't want to fight anyone.

- I don't want to waste anyone's time and appreciate the time taken to give any advice.

- I am not ruling out any solution just because it sounds stupid to me, without checking and double checking other sayings.

- I will clean the card. It's a long shot, very little chance of solving anything, but it does make sense and I will do it.

- I just want to figure out what is wrong. As I believe it is, for some reason (capacitors or anything else), card is pretty much gone (I hope it isn't, but I fear it is), but want to understand what happened and to prevent anything like this happening again (to figure out if the card, if faulty, malfunctioned on it's own or another component or my settings damaged it, in which case something similar may happen to another card).

Good. :)

Let's see it from another point of view, "responsiveness" :w00t:

This thread has being going for over one month and you still have to try the first thing that was suggested to you.

Actually TWO things were suggested:

and you did only one of the two, which doesn't make it a 50% achievement as unless BOTH are tried the result of just one of the two is meaningless.

That suggestion is more than one month old (and has not yet been put into practice), some nit-picking and resisting later, another suggestion was given:

(together with the SAME item #2 of the original suggestion)

This other suggestion after more than 20 days is now "scheduled" in a (hopefully near) future as "I will clean the card.".

To re-cap, three PRELIMINARY, BASIC, NEEDED, RECOMMENDED steps:

  1. try another OS on that PC <- hopefully done
  2. clean the sound card (and the innards of the PC, etc.) <- you will do this before or later
  3. test the sound card on another system <- you will do this before or later (hopefully in the course of 2013)

Mind you this thread is also (at least in some parts) a "fun" one, and it is a good occasion to exchange ideas and to "chat" a bit, but a troubleshooting procedure tends to be - generally speaking - very different, like:

  1. suggestions made put into practice (immediately or however in the shortest possible time)
  2. suggestions made being NOT each time and BEFORE being put into practice being nit-picked over and over
  3. results from suggestions (put into practice) being reported
  4. new suggestions (hopefully) made based on the results of the ones put into practice (loop to 1 until problem hopefully solved)

Now, a very large time allowance to put into practice the above three PRELIMINARY, BASIC, NEEDED, RECOMMENDED steps is (at the very most) half a day, that is something I would personally do (ALL three of them) one evening after dinner and before going to bed, and if needed, complete the next morning early.

I would venture :ph34r: to affirm that the fact that after more than one month you have not yet done these three PRELIMINARY, BASIC, NEEDED, RECOMMENDED steps makes you appear as not particularly "responsive" or however not acting in a "timely" manner. :whistle:

jaclaz

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To re-cap, three PRELIMINARY, BASIC, NEEDED, RECOMMENDED steps:

  1. try another OS on that PC <- hopefully done
  2. clean the sound card (and the innards of the PC, etc.) <- you will do this before or later
  3. test the sound card on another system <- you will do this before or later (hopefully in the course of 2013)

I did.

I will.

I can't.

I could swear there was another post between mine and yours.

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3. test the sound card on another system <- you will do this before or later (hopefully in the course of 2013)

I can't.

Why not? You have no friends that would help you out and let you plug your card in their system for 30 minutes to play some music you both like?

While I appreciate your talking, and thinking and wondering why this problem occurred and how to keep it from happening again next time, you are getting ahead of yourself. The first thing to find out is WHAT the problem is. What part is it that has a problem? Then try and find out what part of that part is the problem. ie if it was a cable, was it just loose? If it was the sound card is it a faulty capacitor? If it was the active speaker, is the problem with the electronics or the cone of the speaker? Just finding out what the problem is might go a long way to figuring out the why and what you need to do to minimize the chances of it happening again. if it was a capacitor or something that failed, there's probably not a darn thing you could have done to prevent it. Rare but it happens. Bottom line, figure out the what before wasting any more of your, and our, time discussing the why. Until you figure out the what, you are just guessing. As much as jaclaz is correct that a lot of the thread can be fun banter, I think many are becoming tired of it, including me. Nothing new, move along, nothing to see. As jaclaz says, you have been talking for a month when you could have done everything we asked you to do in an afternoon if you had one cooperative friend. Buy him a beer and play music you both like and he'd probably be glad to help you wipe things down while you talk.

Quit talking and start doing!

Cheers and Regards

Edited by bphlpt
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Buy him a beer and play music you both like and he'd probably be glad to help you wipe things down while you talk.

Hmmm, I have quite a few friends that would accept a beer (or more than one ;)) but none that would stand listening to clipped, capped music, though :(

@Phaenius

Yes, there was a (spammer's) post that was deleted by some of the Admins/Mods.

(the good news being that you may have auditory hallucination :unsure: , but not yet visual ones :thumbup )

jaclaz

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1 - Never tried ActiveSpeakers<->LineOut#1 in back (AFAICR) w/Cable<->FrontPanel Disconnected

2 - Never tried Active Speakers on another Computer (beer must be too expensive)

3 - Repeatedly insists Cable<->Front Panel is good (assumes, natch)

4 - Insists FrontPanel<->Coax<->ActiveSpeakers is good (assumes, natch)

* - Unknown if Active Speaker Amplifier or Speakers is/are "blown" (see above...)

How odd! I have Active Speakers (powered) attached to my "on board" Line Out - no clipping? My guess is the Speakers and Speaker amp is... GOOD! (as well as the "card") OUCH! Turned it up TOO LOUD and it CLIPPED (dang! blew amp and spkrs!)

submix8c said (never) "I want this guy as my roadie"...

(4 hours later after troubleshooting, finds mic cable plugged into snake is bad; band is p-o'd because late start and docked pay - Sound Company, LLC fired from job and black-balled with other Bands...)

;)

(spammer had a question but never posed it - similar to this topic...)

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Why not? You have no friends that would help you out and let you plug your card in their system for 30 minutes to play some music you both like?

No.

The first thing to find out is WHAT the problem is. What part is it that has a problem? Then try and find out what part of that part is the problem. ie if it was a cable, was it just loose? If it was the sound card is it a faulty capacitor? If it was the active speaker, is the problem with the electronics or the cone of the speaker? Just finding out what the problem is might go a long way to figuring out the why and what you need to do to minimize the chances of it happening again. if it was a capacitor or something that failed, there's probably not a darn thing you could have done to prevent it. Rare but it happens. Bottom line, figure out the what before wasting any more of your, and our, time discussing the why. Until you figure out the what, you are just guessing. As much as jaclaz is correct that a lot of the thread can be fun banter, I think many are becoming tired of it, including me. Nothing new, move along, nothing to see. As jaclaz says, you have been talking for a month when you could have done everything we asked you to do in an afternoon if you had one cooperative friend. Buy him a beer and play music you both like and he'd probably be glad to help you wipe things down while you talk.

I hope you are not making fun of me, that wouldn't be nice. My problem is real and I AM trying to solve it. That's what I am trying to do. To find out what caused the problems, then solve them, I told it so many times. So far, the only thing left to do is put out the card, clean it and inspect it visually. Not an easy thing to do, neither of you know the lack of space or workbench I have (plus other inconvenient things), but I say I will do it and I will. I know it has to be done. I will NOT post anything more until I will clean the card and inspect it. I wanted to some posts ago, but people keep posting and I feel the need to reply. I don't have a cooperative friend, not a friend at all. So, I can't test the card in another system, all the testing must be done on my system. Depending on the money I will have (not right away), I intend to upgrade the motherboard, CPU and memory, so then, I will basically have another system. [sigh]

1 - Never tried ActiveSpeakers<->LineOut#1 in back (AFAICR) w/Cable<->FrontPanel Disconnected

2 - Never tried Active Speakers on another Computer (beer must be too expensive)

3 - Repeatedly insists Cable<->Front Panel is good (assumes, natch)

4 - Insists FrontPanel<->Coax<->ActiveSpeakers is good (assumes, natch)

* - Unknown if Active Speaker Amplifier or Speakers is/are "blown" (see above...)

How odd! I have Active Speakers (powered) attached to my "on board" Line Out - no clipping? My guess is the Speakers and Speaker amp is... GOOD! (as well as the "card") OUCH! Turned it up TOO LOUD and it CLIPPED (dang! blew amp and spkrs!)

submix8c said (never) "I want this guy as my roadie"...

(4 hours later after troubleshooting, finds mic cable plugged into snake is bad; band is p-o'd because late start and docked pay - Sound Company, LLC fired from job and black-balled with other Bands...)

;)

(spammer had a question but never posed it - similar to this topic...)

1. Yes, I did. Check thread.

2. I can't. Beer alone won't do the trick, unless I plug the speakers in the can. Please, don't speculate.

3. Cable IS good. Front panel I don't know, but I assume it is.

4. This I didn't say. You are speculating. There are several things that could be wrong on this connection. Sound card, front panel, active speakers' DAC, active speakers' amplifier. Basically everything EXCEPT the cable. What on earth could be wrong with the cable ? The only things required for a cable are to make good contact (it does), to have a good consistency throughout all it's length (no reason to suspect) and to be able to withstand the amount of current/data transferred (oh yeah, good, thick cable).

It active speakers would be blown, I wouldn't be able to hear anything from them, don't I ?

You in particular don't like me much, constantly mocking me, instead of trying to read what I repeatedly wrote in my trying, so please stop.

Please bare in mind that all through this thread I kept a decent tone, although I was put under some degree of mocking. You might close the thread, but my problem is real, I was seeking help, I tried (and still do) to follow the advice under my own pace and the best I could (can). I didn't trolled, not trying to waste time. jaclaz once said you people are not having problems with your computers. Thank God for that. My computer is also working fine, apart from the sound issue. But bad things can strike to anyone at any time, in any area, sometimes it is a pain in the butt to find the problem and repair it, mine is a super easy one if I would have a lot of money (I don't), simply replace everything there is on the chain with new parts. But that would mean a very inefficient way of solving the problems.

charlie-sigh.jpg

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I hope you are not making fun of me, that wouldn't be nice.

Agreed, that wouldn't be nice, and no, I'm not intentionally making fun of you. I apologize if it came across that way. None of us know the problems, difficulties, or disabilities that someone else has to deal with unless we are told about them or they are evident in some way. I think most of us assume that others have similar capabilities and resources that we do, within reason (money, time, and knowledge differences are obviously assumed), and our comments and advice is based on that. All of us can only make suggestions based on our knowledge, experience, and our perception of the capabilities of the person we are making our comments to. You might be surprised to learn that there are members, even administrators, on this board with worse problems and disabilities than whatever yours are. I'm sure that everyone that has been making comments in this thread would bend over backwards to modify their comments to suit your circumstances, if they could be modified, if they knew what those circumstances were. You are right that we should not speculate, and if you do not wish to elaborate further that is perfectly alright as well. It is none of our business, and I for one will not ask anymore nor make further suggestions involving other people or moving any of your system outside of your room. Hopefully, everyone else will be just as considerate.

That does leave us in a bit of a quandary, however. As I stated above, it seems that odds are that whatever is causing your problem is somewhere in the physical hardware chain between the sound card and the speakers. This might be a shortcoming of mine, but I know of no way to test that chain and determine where in that chain the problem lies without taking that chain apart, examining each piece, and, where possible, interchanging pieces with known good pieces. Sometimes, in my experience, the problem has just "magically" fixed itself by my taking it apart and putting it back together. I'm sure if anyone did know of another way to help you isolate which component it is that is causing the problem, in your home with minimal equipment and expense, they would volunteer that information.

Since it used to sound better, then deteriorated over time (sorry, I forget whether you said if it got worse gradually or all at once, and that difference could be important when it comes to figuring out why the problem occurred), then if you have not changed the music sources or software programs you were using (any version changes or updates to any software or OS or drivers coincidental with the start of the problem?) or typical settings you used in those software programs such a level or EQ settings, then this also seems to point to a failure that has occurred somewhere in the hardware chain.

As to the various cables involved in that chain, I personally have had cables fail internally between the wire and connector inside the cable itself. This caused intermittent problems depending on the actual position of the cable as it sometimes made connection and sometimes didn't. I've also had situations where plugged-in cables have had pressure or torque put on them in such a way that the connector on the board that the cable was plugged into broke, or broke away from the board, sometimes completely and sometimes partially causing intermittent problems. I've also had situations where corrosion occurred in some part of the connector, on either the cable part or the board part. Sometimes this was due to a manufacturing defect in the plating and sometimes it was due to poor maintenance, ie moisture apparently got in "somehow". Other times connections just got loose "somehow". In all of these cases, when I first thought about it I dismissed these possibilities as "not possible" because everything looked right at first glance. You really can't tell until you look very, very closely and feel and test each connection. I only make these suggestions because I have run into every one of these situations at some time or another in the past 40 years. And looking at them, disconnecting and reconnecting them will cost you nothing but time and effort. This of course assumes you are able to do this, and I will not suggest it any more on the chance that you are not able.

It active speakers would be blown, I wouldn't be able to hear anything from them, don't I ?

Not necessarily, it all depends on the type of damage. A damaged speaker cone might only sound bad at certain frequencies and/or volumes, for instance.

Any chance that you are victim of a power surge, brownout, or lightning strike anywhere in your area? All of those could have caused electronic problems that might only show up in certain areas, such as sound output.

If there is a failure on the sound card, unless there is obvious damage, either a loose component or blackening evident anywhere on the board, I'm not sure how you are going to be able to confirm that without swapping either the board into another system, or another board into yours. If the problem was always evident for all music sources and when listened to through active speakers, passive speakers, or headphones, then it would seem to be a pretty safe bet that the sound card was at fault. If it is only evident when listened to though some of the output methods, then it still might be the sound card, or it might be something unique to that channel, the active speakers or the front panel for instance. If it is only with certain sources, then it would be easy to blame the source, but if that exact same source used to sound fine, then I don't know.

There is definitely a best way, from both a sound and equipment safety point of view, to make your level and EQ settings, as submix8c and others have pointed out. Make the biggest adjustments as close to the speakers as possible to avoid over-driving the next "stage" which could lead to clipping. But again, if the exact same settings with the exact same hardware and the exact same software used to sound fine, then they are probably not your problem now. However, it is true they might have caused an electronic component to fail if it was over-driven in the past.

Whatever you are able to narrow it down to, I don't know how to confirm that is the problem without swapping parts to verify the problem follows the part or goes away when that part is replaced. Once you confirm what failed we can discuss further what might have caused it and how to prevent it from happening again.

I have noted and very much appreciate the fact that you have kept a decent tone throughout this thread. I hate to think how it could have devolved if you had not. :) Thank you. Good luck to you and keep us informed of your progress.

Cheers and Regards.

Edited by bphlpt
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Someone needing a hug? :unsure:

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hug.gif

jaclaz

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