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Capped (clipped, whatever) sound with Audigy sound card

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#101
Phaenius

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bphlpt, you do make good points. Yes, I am fighting cleaning the card, although, yes, I am aware that dust cannot be a friend, but rather a foe. I am resisting taking out the card (although, I will do it these days for sure), because computer is heavy, mounted in a tight space and don't have much space to take every piece apart. You can be sure when I do this, it won't be just the sound card, I will put out everything and clean it (with the exception of processor - I am afraid not to break a pin, those must be ultra-super molded by now due to heat and the power supply, which is sealed and it's 4 months old anyway). Another thing I am reluctant to clean the computer is the [cough cough] dust I will inhale and, no matter how careful I will be, will deposit everywhere inside the room). But yes, I will [big sigh] clean the card. On this occasion, I will replace the factory ribbon, with a twisted, shielded, cable, can't hurt. Also, I will put an extra power line to the card (not needed, but can't hurt, I think). Card has already a plug. Will try to switch the card to another PCI slot, maybe it'll help. At the moment, it's close to a HDD controller. There aren't many spaces left, it's either close to the HDD controller or close to the video card. **** the screwless computer cases. While the case is ultra heavy and thus providing a good ground, lack of a screw fixing the boards to the case, sure doesn't help. Those cases are easy to work with, but from an electrical point of view, may not look the best solution. Will see if I can fix the boards with some screws. As you pointed out, all those are long shots, but it can help.

Of course I tried other software players. Results are partial similar, partial different, I believe it's not much the programs, most are merely shells, what counting are codecs, filters, and so on. But I tried VLC, which has it's own codecs and filters. So, I can't give you a clear yes or no on this question. Let's say results are more similar.

About the chain. Of course I am not using receiver + speakers simultaneously with active speakers. Now I am using the active speakers, those are cheaper than receiver + passive speakers, so it won't hurt so much if, by some incorrect usage or defect, sound card will damage it. But yes, you are right, as I said before, it sounds much better with receiver + speakers. I think receiver, with it's settings (plus the 5 speakers with 3 ways on each column) somehow "repairs" the sound somehow, in the fact that flaws are not so distinctive noticeable. But I don't use it, since I do believe there is something wrong with the card and I'm afraid to not damage receiver + speakers. Why do I say it could be something wrong with the card ? Because, I will simplify more the chain, by taking out even the active speakers from the chain and leaving the shortest possible chain, that is winamp, sound card (outputing from the back) and headphones. Headphones cannot clearly distort sound to such extend, there are reasonably good headphones (Sennheiser HD595), who sound good connected to receiver. Well, connected at the rear, sound is bad, it's metallic and like coming out of a bucket. Trying to enhance the sound with card's "goodies" (like sumbix8c said) improves the quality a bit, but not that much. I mean, if sound is outputted wrong, you can't do much. Those goodies can't turn a frog into a prince by magic.

So, at the moment, I will leave the active speakers' problem alone, trying to isolate a potential problem with the sound card. I believe there are actually 2 problems, one in the active speakers (there are cheap and other people complained about the model, not necessarily my problem, but in general) and one in the card. I read many reviews and (I believe some unbiased ones), plus impressions from users and people are generally pleased with my sound card model. And I was up to some time ago. At the moment, I don't have a 3.5 mm jack - RCA adapter, to plug active speakers at the back and using coaxial output at the back, so I am only connecting the speakers on coaxial via the front panel only (it has a RCA socket). I can only connect the active speakers to the back of the sound card, via analogue output, but this adds an additional DAC to the chain. Of course, it will bypass the active speakers DAC.

I don't have a way of testing the sound card onto another system, unfortunately. I can only assume it will manifest the same symptoms. It worked in my system before. As for a second sound card, I do have the on-board sound card, who is by definition a cheap card, so you can't ask much of it. But the "capping" is much reduced when connected to active speakers. It's seem to be a totally tangled situation, that's why I try to simplify it.

You can bet I did turned this issue on all possible faces. After all, I am living with it and it hurts me to not being able to listen to music properly. I installed sound card's drivers, Windows generic and Daniel K's modified drivers. Without effect. They sound pretty much the same. Just some "goodies" added here and there.

No one is more curious than me in finding the problem. Thanks for the hints. Bottom line is, do you suggest amplifying the signal progressively working towards the end of the chain ? Because now, the Winamp internal volume is at 75%. If I set lower and try to raise the volume from Windows and/or active speakers, it doesn't go up much, I may end up turning all the knobs at maximum and not getting much. So, Winamp must be set at a reasonably high setting.

Look at the picture bellow. The white and grey bars are pulsating when music is playing. Why there are 2 bars ? Green one is always smaller and they pulsate together. Could this be one for Winamp and the other for general output ? Grey bar can go way up to the end and never distort, while if the green one is going above half, clipping and even distortions occur.

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#102
submix8c

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From post#13

Still, what puzzles me the most is why if the sound is recorded loud in the first place, everything works ok, since I don't need to raise the volume. If the sound is recorded low, I have to raise the volume on the sound card and then it gets capped, like sound card doesn't have enough power (like occurring in clipping).

Did you look over the Gain Structure stuff? This is what I've been harping on all along.

I repeat, take any/all mixers out of the equation except this - use WMP with NO EQ and the Creative Mixer with NO EQ and DO NOT USE WINAMP at the moment. Use ONLY one connection into the Active (powered) Speakers, not BOTH. HEED THE GAIN STRUCTURE (read that stuff)!

IF you "simplify" the "chain" you may better be able to identify the source of the problem, be it Gain or Wiring. We don't even hook up all of the Inputs to a Mixer until the Output Chains have been confirmed AND start at LOW LEVELS (InputGain+OutputFader) on a SINGLE CHANNEL using e.g. a CD Player with LOW LEVELS at the Master and LOW LEVELS at the Amp until it's confirmed that the CABLES are good.

I also note that you specifically stated that Front->Receiver(EQ and all)->Passive(with built-in Crossover Lo/Mid/Hi?) seems to work OK. Obviously the Denon is powered SO, maybe the Active Speakers have failed (or cabling to them?).

re - Equalization - Google
graphic equalizer smiley face
and tell me what you find out in addition to the Gain Structure hints I gave. Based on Post#13, I'd say your "low level" recordings are one of the sources of your problem (GAIN structure).

S-I-M-P-L-I-F-Y with a GOOD source sound for isolation.

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#103
Phaenius

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Did you look over the Gain Structure stuff?


Yes.

take any/all mixers out of the equation except this - use WMP with NO EQ and the Creative Mixer with NO EQ and DO NOT USE WINAMP at the moment. Use ONLY one connection into the Active (powered) Speakers, not BOTH. HEED THE GAIN STRUCTURE (read that stuff)!


I don't understand what you meant above. Except what ? "this" is referring to what ? If I don't use Winamp, what shall I use ? I need a player to play music. And I am using one connection into the active speakers. Even though active speakers have 2 inputs, those are used alternatively, not both at once. Speakers have an input selector.

Heed - now that's a new word to me, I learned something today. :) About gaining. I cannot adjust gain, other then based on my ears. When I get no clipping and distortions, I assume gain is ok. You keep insisting on gain. But I think it's ok. Do you believe I am setting something wrong ? Tell me the volume levels and I set them accordingly.

IF you "simplify" the "chain" you may better be able to identify the source of the problem, be it Gain or Wiring. We don't even hook up all of the Inputs to a Mixer until the Output Chains have been confirmed AND start at LOW LEVELS (InputGain+OutputFader) on a SINGLE CHANNEL using e.g. a CD Player with LOW LEVELS at the Master and LOW LEVELS at the Amp until it's confirmed that the CABLES are good.


Again, my equipment is not a professional one. And my cables are ok, good cables, big, thick, good shielded, gold plated connectors, general good quality, problem isn't from cables. Also, apart from various other cards inside computer, there is no source of electromagnetic perturbation in the area.

I also note that you specifically stated that Front->Receiver(EQ and all)->Passive(with built-in Crossover Lo/Mid/Hi?) seems to work OK. Obviously the Denon is powered SO, maybe the Active Speakers have failed (or cabling to them?).


To some extend, I suspect them of having some issues, but not clearly what. When connected to the motherboard built-in audio card, the clipping (capping, whatever) is much lower, so, logically, I'll say Creative sound card may have something to say in all this.

Yes, with receiver, sound is much better, but I fear to use it, since I don't know if sound card is ok. I mean, I'm not clearing it yet. It used to sound fine when just plugging headphones into it (designated headphones output on front panel). Now it sounds horrible there. Via receiver, still sounds good, but not quite as it was some time ago. But clearly better. Since it worked before on both receiver and on sound card and now it's only working ok on receiver, I suspect something went wrong with the card. Maybe DAC inside the card is faulty, I don't know. On receiver I only connected via optical plug, although it does have a coaxial socket as well. However, on active speakers I connected via coaxial (still bypassing the DAC) and doesn't sound good.

Definitely will need to clean it and replace the ribbon cable, a long shot, but if I do have a bullet on my gun, no matter how far the target, I stil have a chance, huh ?

#104
submix8c

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GOOD GLORY!!!

WMP=Windows Media Player! DO NOT USE WinAmp for the time - REMOVE FROM EQUATION! It has a GAIN BOOST in it!!!

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

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 my cables are ok, good cables, big, thick, good shielded, gold plated connectors, general good quality, problem isn't from cables.

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!!!

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.creat...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...ad.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.co...t-33918675.html
Something/Tip (see post#246)?
http://forums.guru3d...d.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. ;)

Edited by submix8c, 04 January 2013 - 06:15 PM.

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#105
Tripredacus

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From post#13

Still, what puzzles me the most is why if the sound is recorded loud in the first place, everything works ok, since I don't need to raise the volume. If the sound is recorded low, I have to raise the volume on the sound card and then it gets capped, like sound card doesn't have enough power (like occurring in clipping).

Did you look over the Gain Structure stuff? This is what I've been harping on all along.


When I was in the business, bands would often give me discs to play during show intermissions and what not. After a little while I realised that there was a certain level of quality required in a CD recording that I could make use of. It really sucked to tell bands that you can't use their stuff because the gain was too low. Many bands maybe can't afford to make a quality recording like that. While it is possible to fix that when ripping an MP3, it is a time consuming process and I rarely ever used it. There was only 1 band I convinced to re-record their album and it turned out great. But when I was doing sound, I resisted using a computer for that and if the CD wasn't up to snuff I wouldn't use it.

This problem also exists in older CD recordings even from labelled bands that were recorded in certain formats prior to about 1993 or so. That's one reason why so many "remastered" releases came out in the mid to late 90s.
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#106
submix8c

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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, 07 January 2013 - 11:12 AM.

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#107
Phaenius

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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.creat...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...ad.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.co...t-33918675.html
Something/Tip (see post#246)?
http://forums.guru3d...d.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.

#108
submix8c

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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, 13 January 2013 - 01:50 PM.

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#109
bphlpt

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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, 13 January 2013 - 03:01 PM.

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#110
submix8c

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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....wiki/Line_level

Have fun and HTH. ;)

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#111
jaclaz

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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, 14 January 2013 - 12:40 PM.


#112
Phaenius

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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.sennheise...adphones_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.

#113
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).

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:
http://www.msfn.org/...ost__p__1022420
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:
http://www.msfn.org/...ost__p__1023792
(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:
  • try another OS on that PC <- hopefully done
  • clean the sound card (and the innards of the PC, etc.) <- you will do this before or later
  • 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:
  • suggestions made put into practice (immediately or however in the shortest possible time)
  • suggestions made being NOT each time and BEFORE being put into practice being nit-picked over and over
  • results from suggestions (put into practice) being reported
  • 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

#114
Phaenius

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

  • try another OS on that PC <- hopefully done
  • clean the sound card (and the innards of the PC, etc.) <- you will do this before or later
  • 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.

#115
bphlpt

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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, 15 January 2013 - 10:23 AM.

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#116
jaclaz

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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

#117
submix8c

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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...)

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#118
Phaenius

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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.

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#119
bphlpt

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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, 17 January 2013 - 10:48 AM.

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#120
jaclaz

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Someone needing a hug? :unsure:

Spoiler


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jaclaz

#121
submix8c

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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.

How sad... :( @jaclaz - Apparently so... (submix8c wonders if that's why the topic was opened)


3 - Repeatedly insists Cable<->Front Panel is good (assumes, natch)
4 - Insists FrontPanel<->Coax<->ActiveSpeakers is good (assumes, natch)

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).

3. See? You said it again - "ASSUME". so you NEVER disconnected it (SHORTS, dude).
4. I dare you get a brand spanky new one, stomp on it, or twist it a couple of times. This type of thing is exactly what causes a SHORT (there's that word again) between internal wiring. Remember the example I gave about 4-hour time waste? Simple continuity check on one end ONLY to see if there is FULL OPEN (a new word for you). Wires CAN go bad INSIDE the "heavy duty" (I thought I clearly pointed that out to you). Speculation - NO, A DISTINCT POSSIBILITY.

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.

Google
loudspeaker construction
Nope, just CAN'T fail, right? We've had to disconnect a single "dump" (bottoms/subwoofer) box before a gig, leaving one double-15" on one side as opposed to two due to "rattling"/"buzzing"/etc to get through the gig to prevent being FIRED/BLACKBALLED (remember?).

To summarize -
1 - Cable<->Front COULD be bad (untested ASSUMED good)
2 - Coax<->Speaker COULD be bad (untested ASSUMED good)
3 - Coax<->SpeakerConnector (on the Speaker) SHORT (untested BACK OF SPEAKER)
4 - Speaker Partially Blown (coil rubbing - untested ASSUMED good)
5 - Speaker Amplifier Failing (untested ASSUMED good - see #3)
---- (also note that same problem of Card Dirty/Failing is same as Speaker Amp)
6 - Speaker CircuitSwitchBetween(INTERNAL inside Speaker) failing/shorting between Analog/Coax
7 - Speaker Crossovers (internal) FAILING
See all of those ASSUMPTIONS? Big Fail, in my book...
Seems to revolve around the FrontPanel/Coax/SpeakerFailure. My money (ASSUMING #1 #2 is good, as YOU assume) is on some Speaker Component failure (see #3->#7). You sure have a lot of faith in those Active (nearly unheard of Brand) Speakers, don't you? At the price they charged, I would suggest replacing them with Name Brand (e.g. Bose).

Funny how the OTHER
Output -> POWERED-receiver->UNPOWERED-speaker
works just fine...

One more troubleshooting tip - raise the Gain until you hear that "whatever" and listen CLOSELY to each of Low/Mid/High. Whichever one is "whatever", it's just THAT part of the Speaker that's failing OR the Crossover Burned Out and is allowing Low->Mid and/or Low/Mid->High, thus allowing a Frequency through not meant to be there. Crack open the Boxes and disconnect THAT Speaker inside and see if it STILL "whatever". (Didn't research Crossovers either, did you?)
(Yes, Speakers-aka-Drivers can be replaced with equivalent or slightly higher powered @ same Ohms.)

BTW, I believe I stated you DO have "Pro" equipment - correction: Semi-Pro. Sennheiser, BTW, is top-of-the-line and not too cheap. You provide a Name Brand Sound Equipment (any kind) and I've probably used it. ;)

=====

Might want to LOCK this topic as it's becoming an exercise in futility...

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#122
bphlpt

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Might want to LOCK this topic as it's becoming an exercise in futility...


Nah. Let's just wait until the OP provides any useful new information. Until then I think we've said all we have to say - at least I have.

Cheers and Regards

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#123
Phaenius

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I said I won't reply on this thread until I will open and clean the card, but I see you replied on my latest post and I feel somehow obliged to reply. Just some quick words, though.

bphlpt

Thank-you for a very nice post. You pointed out things very accurately. Problems with the Creative sound card deteriorated progressively, not at once. That's the worse kind. When things start to slowly degrade, so slowest the decay, the worst. You adapt and when you realize something is definitely wrong, it's well stuck and hard to isolate. I think it's most likely a hardware issue. As you pointed out, same albums that worked in the past, now don't, players are more or less the same (I upgraded to latest versions, but don't suspect them, I believe it would sound the same with the old version as well), OS is now Windows 7 (it was Vista when I bought the card), but again, it worked for a while under Windows 7. Card worked correctly on all outputs (digital coaxial and optical, analogue and headphones on front panel). It didn't distort, not cap, not metallic sound, had a powerful and clear sound. Now, everything I do, I can restore it.

submix8c

Let's take the premise that (apart for the ribbon cable between card and front panel which will be replaced with a better one) cables are good and everything else is susceptible. I don't know if you are mocking me with the cables, you keep insisting with that and other experiences with professional equipment not related to my case and which most of it I don't understand. Cables are good, it's for the last time I will mention that, they conduct, they make good contact. I will leave out possibilities close to 0 probability, otherwise I could suspect every single soldering on the sound card or each wire on the ribbon cable.

My equipment is not professional, not even close. But, for a regular user, I believe it is a decent one. Bottom line is it's not something fancy (I can't afford it), but definitely not a piece of junk. It should work better than now. And it did for a while.

Next week I will do "the job". :) If won't be successful in my trying, I should try and buy a new card. God knows what, since it looks Creative failed me. I could go for another X-Fi Creative, an Asus Sonar of some kind of M-Audio, I read people saying they are good. Bad things about M-Audio is they don't have front panels to accommodate all sort of digital inputs and outputs (I forgot to mention, I use the input of this sound card to pass some other equipment through it as well) and no headphone connector.

#124
jaclaz

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Next week I will do "the job". :)

Good. :)
Then we have a few days for "general chatting" in the meantime.

Just for the record, this sentence is partially inaccurate:

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.

If you really had a lot of money, you would call someone who works for you and tell him/her:

Have this PC's sound fixed!


(BTW this kind of passive form of imperative is a nice feature of English, is not available in Italian in a comparable form)

jaclaz

#125
submix8c

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Professional or not, the "premise" is sound and you have not "proven" otherwise.

http://www.thegearpa.../t-1036473.html

Set it to read resistance (Ω's). Start with the highest Ω setting on your meter. With the probes not touching anything it should read infinite. Touch the probes to each other and it should read zero.

Touch the probes to the tips of the two ends of the cable. Should read zero. Otherwise the hot signal conductor in the center of your cable is broken (or there's a bad solder joint to it in one of the plugs).

Touch the probes to the shafts of the two ends of the cable. Should read zero. Otherwise the braided shield layer in your cable is broken (or there's a bad solder joint to it in one of the plugs).

Touch the probes to one tip and one shaft. Should read infinite. Otherwise you have a short between the conductor and shield in your cable (or a solder joint that is shorting them in one of the plugs.)


Over the years, I've had MANY cables die because of broken conductors (or more likely broken insulator sheath that causes a short from shield to conductor) within a foot of the plug. You can tell when it intermittently cuts out when you wiggle it right at the broken spot. I just cut 'em off and solder on a new plug. So now I have a bunch of working 19 foot cables. I almost never see a solder joint in a plug go bad, though.

This concept (which you refuse to acknowledge) applies to ALL cables, not just a Coax. Have a look at the construction of a Coax -
http://en.wikipedia....i/Coaxial_cable
Can you say "SHORT"???? (come on, I KNOW you can... ;))

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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