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Capped (clipped, whatever) sound with Audigy sound card

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#126
Phaenius

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Can you say "SHORT"???? (come on, I KNOW you can... ;))


OK, you (and you alone) are kindly asked to stop giving me further advice or assistance. I had enough coming from you and I don't think I did anything to deserve it. You are not funny. You crossed a certain border, it's not the first time.

Jaclaz, I think there is an equivalent in Italian. Otherwise, how could Italians would translate the famous Cpt. Piccard's "Make it so !" :)


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#127
submix8c

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Come on - acknowledge that a short is possible... Have a problem with that?

What border did I cross? Insisting that you MIGHT be wrong when you insist you are not?

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

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#128
bphlpt

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Well, I'll agree with Phaenius that I don't think that any of his cables have failed with a complete short. Yes, he could have either a weakened spot in the internal cable insulation causing leakage. or he could have a loose, failing, or slightly corroded connector which would cause a deteriorated signal to be transmitted, or he could have a very small piece of something conductive that has gotten into his system and is slightly, and/or occasionally causing a very small short under certain circumstances, frequency vibrations, or whatever. But I've already said all I need to say about cables. If any of those possibilities of failure are the case, hopefully he will discover, or at least dislodge, whatever was there when he does his cleaning next week. If his thorough cleaning makes no difference, then we'll be back to assuming that he either has a failing set of active speakers or a failing sound card or front panel. But since the receiver/passive speakers sound fine, I would bet it's the active speakers. If anyone has any ideas how he can narrow down which part is bad without swapping parts out I'm sure he would appreciate finding out about such a method.

Cheers and Regards

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#129
Phaenius

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If his thorough cleaning makes no difference, then we'll be back to assuming that he either has a failing set of active speakers or a failing sound card or front panel. But since the receiver/passive speakers sound fine, I would bet it's the active speakers. If anyone has any ideas how he can narrow down which part is bad without swapping parts out I'm sure he would appreciate finding out about such a method.


If speakers are faulty to some extend (ONLY the capping problem, because otherwise they sound fine), and as you say, it doesn't manifest on receiver/passive speakers, why sound card sounds bad on headphones ? As I said, there are actually 2 problems, one the capping (manifesting in active speakers mostly, I am not totally ruling out a sound card problem on this matter as well, since active speakers doesn't "cap" that much on the other on-board card, but they still do), and one the "bad" sound, distorted to some extend, metallic, lacking consistence and richness. Hard to described but that's how it's sounds. It's not a warm, pleasant sound anymore. This is mostly seen on headphones, since both active speakers and receiver/passive speakers combination have their own way to "soften the sound" somehow, plus you can't discover imperfections in sound at a distance the same way you find out using headphones. I tested several headphones on the sound card, they all manifest in the same way. But Sennheiser are the best phones I have, so the rest are not that good (a pair of AKG-66, a pair of Philips and two sets of in-ear Samsung and Sony). It's that bad I stopped using the Creative sound card for the time being, I am using the on-board (cheap and not so good, but working) Realtek HD.

All-in-all, next week I will do the "surgery" and see if I can resuscitate the patient. :) At least I will have something concrete in my hands. It's like in real surgery, painful as it is, cutting the patient open can offer more information than theorizing.

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#130
jaclaz

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@Phaenius
The "Make it so" is still a "normal" imperative, it's the form "have something done" that I sometimes miss (of course there are ways to convey the same, but they don't sound as effective and cannot be made in a short sentence).
In Italian "Make it so" is translated effectively with "Lo faccia" or sometimes with "Proceda" (which are similar, respectively, to "Just do it" and "Proceed").

There is an anecdote in the life of a famous actor (I seem to remember it was Peter O'Toole) about when he did some tests to become officer in the army.
Since he didn't want to actually be enrolled as an officer to a written test question that sounded something like:

Your platoon is carrying three 200 kg oil barrels, you only have a piece of rope 5 meters long and you are tasked to carry the barrels beyond a 4 m tall wall.
How do you do this?

To which, he purposefully replied jokingly with:

I call the sergeant and order him: "Have these three barrels on the other side of this wall!"

To his great surprise it was the right answer and he passed the test. :thumbup

jaclaz

#131
Phaenius

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Well, God said "Let there be light" and there was light. Isn't this some form of imperative ? How that phrase sound in Italian ?

#132
jaclaz

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Well, God said "Let there be light" and there was light. Isn't this some form of imperative ? How that phrase sound in Italian ?

Yes, that is an accepted form, "Che la luce sia". (but only God can say something like that)

The linguistic issue is about the use of the auxiliary verb to have (avere in italian).

In English, you can say (even without being a deity or God ) something like:

"I want to have this shirt washed"

Which to me implies "I don't care in the least who exactly will wash/clean this, nor how exactly this cleaning is performed, I am charging you with this task, do whatever you see fit as long as the result is reached".

The same form in Italian is possible, but it simply sounds "silly" or somehow unneededly "pompous" (and it sounds more like a "wish"):
"Vorrei che questa camicia venisse lavata."

The "direct order":
"Have this shirt washed."
is possible in English, but not in Italian, which can only be made in the direct form "Lava questa camicia" (which translates back to "Wash this shirt") that implies that you are charging directly the other person to actually do the thing (instead of seeing that it is done) :unsure: .

JFYI, and definitely OT:
http://www.msfn.org/...f-common-signs/

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 19 January 2013 - 06:38 AM.


#133
Phaenius

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I think you are making a too much case out of it. Have this washed has the same meaning as wash this.

There is an example of "have this washed" in my latest posted pic. :)

Edited by Phaenius, 19 January 2013 - 08:06 AM.


#134
bphlpt

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The difference is subtle (the difference is in how, or by whom, it might be accomplished), while the result (you end up with a washed shirt) is the same.

Cheers and Regards

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#135
bphlpt

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If speakers are faulty to some extend (ONLY the capping problem, because otherwise they sound fine), and as you say, it doesn't manifest on receiver/passive speakers, why sound card sounds bad on headphones ? As I said, there are actually 2 problems, one the capping (manifesting in active speakers mostly, I am not totally ruling out a sound card problem on this matter as well, since active speakers doesn't "cap" that much on the other on-board card, but they still do), and one the "bad" sound, distorted to some extend, metallic, lacking consistence and richness.


The bigger question I have now is do the passive speakers through the receiver sound fine under all circumstances, at all volumes using any source? If so, in my mind that would rule out the sound card unless it has a very odd failure. But then if the sound card is fine it also is very odd that you have problems that have simultaneously occurred in your active speakers and over three sets of headphones. Very very strange.

Cheers and Regards

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#136
Phaenius

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I can't rule out the sound card, since it sounds bad via headphones, unless all headphones are faulty (quite unlikely). Besides, what can go wrong inside a headphones set ? They only have basically 2 electric devices, 2 coils. Passive components. They can either have a mechanical failure (coil rubbing the magnets or membrane broken) or a wire failure due to excessive heat melting the isolation or simply discontinuity. Not the case. Why do I say it sounds better via receiver and passive speakers ? Because somehow they tend to "enhance" the sound somehow, both receiver and active speakers have all sorts of filters, EQs and so on, a set of headphones doesn't have. Plus, headphones are connected in close vicinity of your ears, you spot faults easier.

I didn't test the receiver extensively at all sounds and levels and sources, because so far, I didn't have to. When I bought the card, I plugged it into computer, connected the headphones on front panel, it worked fine, then connected the sound card to receiver and I used headphones on receiver, it sounded even better, perfect (to my likening) I should say. Then I moved and unpacked the computer at first, without receiver, passive speakers (which are big and heavy) and other big devices and decided to use the front panel sound headphones plug on the sound card for a while. Result was bad, somehow, during my listening via receiver, sound card went bad (and I failed to notice). Or perhaps during the moving of computer. So, I stopped using receiver and passive speakers to avoid inflicting damage to it. I bought this set of active speakers and connected to the coaxial output.

I know the thread title is about "capping", but I am more concerned at the moment about the general sound I am getting via headphones, more than capping. I am sure the active speakers were faulty when I bought them, with this limitation of sound somewhere. If the capping is happening inside the active speakers, at least one problem is solved. Maybe they simply fail to supply the amplifier with enough current to withstand "heavy" passages of music, I really don't know.

Not three sets of headphones, 5 sets, Sennheiser, AKG, Philips, Samsung and Sony.

But let us wait until I will clean the card and try to do the best I can in replacing ribbon cable, moving to another slot, whatever I can and report the results. It is clear as it stands, nothing can be done without a direct action to sound card. I would have LOVED to have (and/or to know how to use it) a software program that could detect imperfections in DACs or analogue amplifiers. Something like generating some predefined sounds and prompting me to watch some sine waves on a software oscilloscope and notice if the visual waves stay within normal limits. I am fearful the card may have a voltage leakage somewhere that mixes with the "correct" sound.

#137
jaclaz

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I would have LOVED to have (and/or to know how to use it) a software program that could detect imperfections in DACs or analogue amplifiers. Something like generating some predefined sounds and prompting me to watch some sine waves on a software oscilloscope and notice if the visual waves stay within normal limits. I am fearful the card may have a voltage leakage somewhere that mixes with the "correct" sound.

You were actually provided with some, but again having a software and learning HOW to use it, are two separate steps, the first one can be easily reached through "third party action" (the given suggestions) the latter only by your time and will (and curiosity).

jaclaz

#138
Phaenius

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I know, but those programs are too complicated and didn't provide easy steps in how to do things. It implies you already know what to do.

#139
jaclaz

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It implies you already know what to do.

....or that you learn about how to do it.... :whistle:

I mean, it's not brain surgery, nor rocket science .... :no:


jaclaz

#140
bphlpt

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When I bought the card, I plugged it into computer, connected the headphones on front panel, it worked fine, then connected the sound card to receiver and I used headphones on receiver, it sounded even better, perfect (to my likening) I should say. Then I moved and unpacked the computer at first, without receiver, passive speakers (which are big and heavy) and other big devices and decided to use the front panel sound headphones plug on the sound card for a while. Result was bad, somehow, during my listening via receiver, sound card went bad (and I failed to notice). Or perhaps during the moving of computer. So, I stopped using receiver and passive speakers to avoid inflicting damage to it. I bought this set of active speakers and connected to the coaxial output.


I don't think I had seen this info before (moving). :) When you clean the entire computer, not just the sound card, but everything in the entire hardware chain from motherboard all the way to the speakers, be very attentive and careful when you put everything back together to make sure that all connections are straight, snug, and clean, absolutely nothing is touching anything else that it shouldn't, etc. The moving brings up the possibility of a mechanical event that could have caused the electrical problem that is evidenced in your aural symptom.

Cheers and Regards

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#141
Phaenius

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Yes, but weird, isn't it, ONLY to audio ? Everything else works peachy.

I avoided mentioning the moving because first I don't think it is of much importance and second, I was SURE you would blame that. :D

Edited by Phaenius, 19 January 2013 - 11:58 AM.


#142
submix8c

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:lol:

NOW you see what we've all been going through - "dis-and/or-mis-and/or-lackof-information"...

"Move that good connection to the Monitor Amp, would you? O crap! It's making NOISE now!"

I rest my case Your Honor!

(edit to fix descriptive example)

Edited by submix8c, 19 January 2013 - 12:55 PM.

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

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#143
bphlpt

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Yes, but weird, isn't it, ONLY to audio ? Everything else works peachy.

I avoided mentioning the moving because first I don't think it is of much importance and second, I was SURE you would blame that. :D


Maybe weird, but you have no proof that it's not to blame. And I don't like to believe in coincidence.

Cheers and Regards

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#144
Phaenius

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It's a long shot. Moving the car from one place to another each day can cause disruptions in the electrical systems ? Not to mention cars suffer heavy exploits, like weather changing and mechanical shocks. I didn't said it didn't happened, but it has a low to zero probability.

#145
bphlpt

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The difference is that the car is made to move, made to withstand the environment, made to withstand the mechanical shocks, etc, and even then movement does cause parts of the car to fail as well, whereas the desktop computer is not made to move by any stretch of the imagination. I don't care who built it, not even me. Assuming you were very careful in the move, I think the odds are more probably in the low to mid range. Depending on the bumps it encountered it could be above mid, but there is no way in h*ll it is near zero. There are just too many interconnected pieces in your system that are not solidly locked together and incapable of any movement. or having something bump up against something else, etc. Also, from what you describe above, you noticed the problems suddenly, right after the move, not gradually as you said earlier. It's just too coincidental. But I tell you what. I won't speculate anymore if you won't either. Otherwise I might start yelling like submix8c, or just ignore you. :) Just tell me what you find after you clean and reassemble everything, and I mean everything, the computer and the entire hardware chain, and retest. Then we'll talk again.

Cheers and Regards

Edited by bphlpt, 20 January 2013 - 03:51 AM.

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#146
jaclaz

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It's a long shot. Moving the car from one place to another each day can cause disruptions in the electrical systems ? Not to mention cars suffer heavy exploits, like weather changing and mechanical shocks. I didn't said it didn't happened, but it has a low to zero probability.

This is one of the advantages of Italian.

A car is related to the concept of mobilità=mobility.
A house is related to the the concept of immobiliare=real estate.

Cars are made to move, houses are made to stay where they are :yes:.
Relative accessories tend to be the same.

JFYI, a very common issue since the advent of SATA disks is that their senseless (theoretically 50 insertions worth :w00t: ) connector will often disconnect when moving.
The issue is so serious that most OEM's have one way or the other to "fix" the connector to allow safely shipping to the end customer.

For the record, old ISA cards had a very similar tendency.

jaclaz

#147
Phaenius

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bphlpt, I noticed problems suddenly, because I started using the sound card's headphones output suddenly. Otherwise, I might have not noticed it.

jaclaz, I don't know what you are talking about SATA and ISA and insertions. I kept the computer suspended in mid air while moving, using my Jedi powers.

#148
bphlpt

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bphlpt, I noticed problems suddenly, because I started using the sound card's headphones output suddenly. Otherwise, I might have not noticed it.

So you have no way of knowing whether it was actually gradual or sudden. I guess you'll believe what you want and I'll do the same. Let me know what happens after the cleaning.

Cheers and Regards

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#149
Phaenius

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Care to share what you believe ? :)

Sure, I will post impressions "the job". It will be done probably on Wednesday.

#150
bphlpt

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Pretty much what we've all been saying all along, but now with a very possible reason as to why/how. It could be that something, board, cable, whatever, is ever so slightly loose causing a poor connection. Or a small piece of something got into a connection point causing interference, short, and/or signal degradation. Stress of movement caused a cable to fail or weaken internally. Movement caused torque which strained a connector or connection causing an iffy signal path. Movement caused something conductive to touch something it shouldn't, and it still is. If one of the various boards involved is damaged, it could have been caused by this same mechanism or by the mechanical stress of the collision. While any electrical component can fail on its own for various reasons, the likelihood of damage increases exponentially when electrical and/or mechanical stress is applied. Look, I really don't want to speculate anymore and I don't want you to either. I'll talk to you again after you do "the job", and I'm serious about doing everything, the computer and the entire hardware chain. I'm done until then.

Cheers and Regards

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