Capped (clipped, whatever) sound with Audigy sound card
Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:45 AM
Anyone who encountered this type of problem or have any advice is kindly asked to help me. Thanks.
Those are the specs:
- Sound card: Creative Labs X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion Series
- Headphones: Sennheiser HD550 (used directly on sound card front panel)
- Active speakers: Genius SP-HF 2020 (used via sound card coaxial output and sound card analogue output, both front panel and back)
- AV receiver: Denon AVR-1509 (used via sound card optical output and listened to both headphones and passive speakers)
- Sound card driver (reported by Windows): Creative SB X-Fi ver. 18.104.22.1685 (5/5/2010)
- Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 x64 Ultimate with Service Pack 1
- Computer power supply: Corsair CMPSU-430CXV2
Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:09 AM
I had the luxury of using the same soundcard I have in my Windows 7 PC when that PC had Windows XP. The problems did not occur in XP. Also, surround sound never seems to work in the OS itself, but does for games.
I will say that you could still have a hardware problem with the card itself, you could check the caps for bulges or leaks.
Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:20 AM
Good think you mentioned games. Those (and movies) seems to sound ok. Only in music this problem. Wonder why. I only use it on stereo devices (headphones, speakers, amplifiers), never on multichannel.
What do you mean by caps ? Sorry, English is not my first language. Do you mean the capacitors ? They do look ok, no swelling or any signs of failure by visual inspection.
Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:23 AM
If this is the case, it may only be certain songs or types of songs that cause this problem. I have some MP3s that include both a wide range of sounds that I cannot trust Windows 7 to play accurately. These particular songs experience the clipping problem when I play them from an external device through my car stereo, but do not when played through my franken-stereo I built for myself.
I wonder if this problem you experience happens with all songs or just certain ones.
Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:59 AM
And another thing I don't get it. SPDIF (coaxial and optical) is a digital interface. Why I can alter the volume in Windows or sound properties, mixer, sound card control panel, whatever and I can still get an effect via the digital output ? I thought you can only alter the volume on the analogue side (I mean AFTER the digital-analogue conversion), to listen to sound card's analogue output (headphones or front line-out speakers), not digital. I thought via digital sound is only bypassed ?!?
Posted 14 November 2012 - 11:04 AM
So we already know that Windows 7 does make changes to audio levels by itself in some way, as you have seen with multiple audio sources, and as experienced by me and others. So far none of us has determined a particular method of disabling this other than using another operating system. So in order to fully test your system you will need to try a different source to see if it is a problem with the software or the hardware.
If you have another hard drive and can install XP on it with drivers, etc and try to duplicate the sound dropping problem. If you do not have an XP to install, you could probably get away with using the Windows Embedded Standard 2009 Trial.
Or I suppose you could even install Linux and attempt to recreate the behaviour.
Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:35 PM
Posted 17 November 2012 - 06:02 AM
Try disconnecting the front panel from the card and testing the line-out and speaker outputs directly off the card. Headphones are usually higher impedance than speakers. Check the manual to see what the card supports (without the front panel headphone amplifier). Make sure you test all outputs with appropriate impedance-matched playback devices.
The on-card and/or front-panel amps for the headphone and speaker outputs could be blown. The line-outs from the card to self-powered (amplified) speakers or a hi-fi system should provide the best sound quality. The external amplification can then deliver all the volume you desire.
This post has been edited by jumper: 17 November 2012 - 06:04 AM
Posted 18 November 2012 - 09:31 AM
The front panel is optimized for headphones output, a headphone is supposed to go in that socket in the front, with proper impedance. I suppose it's not like in the back. But I do have now connected external self-powered speakers via coaxial output from the front panel anyway. I also used the optical out in the past, with an external receiver. It works best, but still not like it did when I bought the card. I am afraid to further use the receiver to not damage it, if sound card is faulty.
What I don't get it is why I can control the output volume via mixer even on digital outputs ? Those volume controls act on digital level ? I thought only on finals (I mean via analogue outputs, the 3.5 mm connectors at the back).
Still, what puzzles me the most is why if the sound is recorded loud int he 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). But how much power can a common sound card use ? Certainly not much.
Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:56 PM
Well, though it won't probably help for the capping, if I were you I would already have "converted" the "ribbon" cable to a "round one" (and shielded it by using some aluminium foil or the like):
Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:49 PM
This post has been edited by Phaenius: 18 November 2012 - 03:50 PM
Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:26 AM
Another thing I noticed is that problems appear on "rich" passages of music, I mean with lots of instruments, voice, all sort of frequencies and harmonics. With simple sounds, on few channels, looks ok. Also, on movies and games, it seems ok. Another thing is the Windows 7 mixer (which I don't get it). I attached a picture. Please look at the annotations on the picture.
Edit: I downloaded a third party VU-meter and sound level is at -10 dB at max, I believe it's way too low, don't know if that's what is causing problems or not.
Number of downloads: 7
This post has been edited by Phaenius: 28 November 2012 - 11:23 AM
Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:07 PM
In the picture, the VU meter pointed to by the arrow show no color and appears to also be indicating low playback volume being sent to the system mixer. Press Alt+G to check WinAmp's internal equalizer and preamp levels.
>Another thing is the Windows 7 mixer (which I don't get it). I attached a picture.
Are you saying that clicking on the Mixer button at the botton of the System Volume control does nothing? Try double-clicking on the Volume control in the systray to open the mixer.
Once you find the system mixer, report the levels found there. Make sure you select all volume controls in Options->Properties.
You should also explore the Audio tab of the Multimedia Control Panel, especially Playback: Advanced Settings->Performance.
Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:15 PM
there was time when Creative deliberately crippled the drivers for NT6 (it was work flawlessly under NT5).
Probably done to 'encourages' the users to 'upgrade' (read: buy) the sound card for newer OS.