Do you prefer Audigy 2ZS or M-Revolution 7.1?

Got a shopping cart of parts that you want opinions on? Get advice from members on your planned or existing system (or upgrade).

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

dan
Posts: 1243
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:01 am
Contact:

Do you prefer Audigy 2ZS or M-Revolution 7.1?

Post by dan » Sat Jul 02, 2005 9:36 pm

i think that silent pc's "killer app" so to speak, is outstanding music/sound/audio on the pc, in that you can hear music but not fans

one of the huge advantages silent pc enthusiasts enjoy is a silence that lets music come through more vividly, without the unwanted sounds of loud fans and hard drive whine. also dvd movies as well.

Two audio cards that can be had for under $100 are the Creative Labs Audigy 2ZS and the M-revolution 7.1. creative labs advertises their cards as supporting dvd-audio and "thx certified" while m-revolution supposedly has far superior DAC's. prodigy 7.1 and mystique 7.1 are $100.

So if you are using standard analog mini-plug speaker connectors, which would you prefer, audigy or m-revolution? what do most SPCR's use?
Last edited by dan on Sun Jul 03, 2005 9:14 am, edited 2 times in total.

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Sat Jul 02, 2005 9:53 pm

I have the Audigy2 ZS OEM version which I bought for $65.00. I know something about high end audio and I think it has excellent sound quality. I have not tried the Revolution.

In my experience, the vast majority of criticism against the Audigy2 ZS is based on the very mediocre performance of the old SoundBlaster Live line of audio cards. Many "enthusiasts" (audio and PC) are very brand loyal or hateful of certain brands. This loyalty or hatred often borders on the irrational, and is often times not based on an objective evaluation of the product at hand, and sometimes includes falsification of test results.

markanini
Posts: 163
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2003 9:59 am
Location: Malmo, Sweden

Post by markanini » Sun Jul 03, 2005 7:45 am

If gaming is a priority get the audigy, if sound qulaity is get the revolution.

Sizzle
Patron of SPCR
Posts: 634
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 5:01 pm
Location: Saginaw, Michigan
Contact:

Post by Sizzle » Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:03 am

I have a X-Mystique Gold 7.1. I like it quite a bit. I came from a Prodigy 7.1 which is a better sounding card then either the A2ZS or the Revo.

dan
Posts: 1243
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:01 am
Contact:

Post by dan » Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:12 am

"Sizzle"

is your prodigy 7.1 still for sale?

i know prodigy and revolution both use via envy.

so is X-Mystique Gold 7.1 better than revolution or audigy 2zs or prodigy

strange that what was recommended by ars technica was revolution and audigy and that was it.

http://www.ars-technica.com/

i went to pricewatch and only newegg sells the prodigy 7.1 and it is the "ls" version.
Last edited by dan on Sun Jul 03, 2005 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tempeteduson
Posts: 189
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2004 12:56 pm
Location: Houston, Texas
Contact:

Post by tempeteduson » Sun Jul 03, 2005 10:10 am

I love my Audigy2 ZS (retail), though it's only hooked up to cheap Logitech 2.1 speakers. Creative drivers are fine for me; I just don't like using their bundled software, especially their PlayCenter media player, which needs some updating. I have not tried the Revolution, which is supposedly better at recording and for music listening. So, as markanini has mentioned, the general consensus is that the Audigy (with built-in DSP) is better for gaming and the Revolution for music.

I'm looking forward to Creative's next-gen X-Fi chip... 8)
License to Silence!
[size=75]Antec SLK3700AMB | ASUS M2R32-MVP (AMD 580X) | AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ (Brisbane) | 2x1GB Corsair XMS DDR2-667 | ATI RADEON X1950 XT w/ AC Accelero S1 | Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer | 320GB WD Caviar SE 16 (WD3200AAKS) | Samsung 16X DVD+/-RW, Lite-On DVD-ROM | abit AirPace PCI-E Wi-Fi[/size]

jackylman
Posts: 784
Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 8:13 am
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Post by jackylman » Sun Jul 03, 2005 11:27 am

I love my Revo 5.1!

Compared to the Revolution 7.1, the Revo 5.1 is a little cheaper, has better gaming support (still can't hold a candle to Audigy2 though), and a separate headphone jack. So unless you have a 7.1 setup....

The Audigy has a nasty habit of resampling everything to 48 KHz and I didn't want Creative software/drivers on my computer, which are the main reasons I choses the Revo

Also check out Creative's professional line, E-MU (ensoniq). The audiophiles rave about the 0404.
http://www.emu.com/products/product.asp ... tegory=754

Michael Sandstrom
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 4:03 pm
Location: Albany, GA USA

Post by Michael Sandstrom » Sun Jul 03, 2005 12:22 pm

Here is a good thread pertaining to soundcards.

http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewto ... highlight=

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Sun Jul 03, 2005 1:08 pm

jackylman wrote:The Audigy has a nasty habit of resampling everything to 48 KHz and I didn't want Creative software/drivers on my computer, which are the main reasons I choses the Revo
There is not one iota of proof (via double blind testing) that you can hear the difference between 48 KHz upsampling and a native 44.1 KHz sampling on the audio cards in question.

I often hear that the Revolution has a smoother less stritent sound. If that is really true (which I would be skeptical of), then that is a classic sign of frquency response fall-off, and not better sampling.

No one is required to install the Creative application software to use the Audigy2. There is nothing wrong with the Creative drivers.

jackylman
Posts: 784
Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 8:13 am
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Post by jackylman » Sun Jul 03, 2005 2:21 pm

http://www.techspot.com/reviews/hardwar ... ndex.shtml
http://www.hothardware.com/viewarticle. ... =464&cid=6
http://www.speedy3d.com/doc/article.php ... =18&page=4
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/multim ... n71_9.html
http://techreport.com/reviews/2003q2/ma ... dex.x?pg=8

These reviews are for 7.1, but I'd say 5.1 is probably similar. Basically, they reiterate what most people say. If you're more of a gamer, go Audigy2. If you're an audiophile, go Revo.

Oh, BTW, Audigy 2 driver is about 16 MB, Revo 5.1 is about 5 MB.

nici
Posts: 3011
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 8:49 am
Location: Suomi Finland Perkele

Post by nici » Sun Jul 03, 2005 2:55 pm

I managed to kill my Audigy2, dont know how. I installed windows on a new HDD and when i was trying to install the drivers it said that no Audigy2 detected! restarted, changed PCI slot, its dead. Ordered a Audigy2 ZS to replace it. Probably would have got the Revo 5.1, but didnt fancy paying 30€ more than the Audigy2 and have to wait for a couple of weeks to get it :shock: Dont want to bother with ordering from abroad either, its always a hassle. Audigy2 ZS is about 60€(bulk of course) and the Revo 5.1 is close to 100€ here in Finland. I have a pair of Grado 325i headphones and was happy with the quality of the Audigy2, good headphnes like these reveal flaws in sound pretty easy. I dont have golden ears though, but the Audigy2 doesnt have any major flaws in the sound imo. I might be able to hear the difference if i had a Revo, but im not paying a 50% premium in price and two weeks of waiting to find out. Its boring with no soundcard.

Off-Topic: i plugged the headphones into the headphone-jack of one of those cheap cd-radio-cassette things and dint know wheater i should laugh or cry, the quality was HORRIBLE! I didnt expect much, but it was crap by any standards. Completely impossible to listen to it.. it was a Sony btw, i wonder if the still cheaper things sound even worse :lol:

dan
Posts: 1243
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:01 am
Contact:

Post by dan » Sun Jul 03, 2005 3:04 pm

true,
how desirable a feature is it to have X-Mystique Gold 7.1's dolby digital support? does it offer superior sound quality? is it hardware accelerated (hence lower cpu utilization?)

i theard have mentioned that the audigy quickly "breaks"
Last edited by dan on Sun Jul 03, 2005 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Tiamat
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 12:27 pm
Location: Washington DC

Post by Tiamat » Sun Jul 03, 2005 5:21 pm

nici wrote: I have a pair of Grado 325i headphones and was happy with the quality of the Audigy2, good headphnes like these reveal flaws in sound pretty easy.
You think thats a nice step up from the portable players? Try plugging it into an integrated amp, or good receiver, or amp. Boy, does it sound so much better :D

Nice headphones btw, I could only afford the SR125.

What I normally hear is if you are a gamer, creative, non-gamer, x-mystique,m-audio rev, and chaintech for 2 channel $25.

Sizzle
Patron of SPCR
Posts: 634
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 5:01 pm
Location: Saginaw, Michigan
Contact:

Post by Sizzle » Sun Jul 03, 2005 7:08 pm

My Prodigy sold a while ago.

Anyway, the X-Mystique has gotten good reviews. Do a google search on it. It does dolby digital encoding on the fly like Soundstorm did. The analog is decent, they are still fidling with the drivers. Over at 3dsoundsurge, there is a decent thread on it.

dan
Posts: 1243
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:01 am
Contact:

Post by dan » Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:05 pm

Sizzle wrote:My Prodigy sold a while ago.

Anyway, the X-Mystique has gotten good reviews. Do a google search on it. It does dolby digital encoding on the fly like Soundstorm did. The analog is decent, they are still fidling with the drivers. Over at 3dsoundsurge, there is a decent thread on it.
thanks sizzle i would have been happy to have bought it.....

based on your own experience, do you personally think the x-mystique offers better sound quality than revolution, prodigy or audigy?

also, i wonder if i should buy the x-mystique or wait for the creative labs
x-fi http://www.soundblaster.com/products/x-fi/technology/
anyone have any idea how much it costs?

if it's more than $100 i'll probably go with x-mystique but if it is $100 i'll wait

jackylman
Posts: 784
Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 8:13 am
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Post by jackylman » Mon Jul 04, 2005 12:11 pm

Actually the audioheads on hydrogenaudio say the 5.1 sounds slightly better. I can't comment on Dolby sound because all I do is listen to music.

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Mon Jul 04, 2005 3:18 pm

jackylman wrote:Actually the audioheads on hydrogenaudio say the 5.1 sounds slightly better. I can't comment on Dolby sound because all I do is listen to music.
The specs of the Revolution 5.1 and 7.1, even for stereo sound, are different. Audioheads always think gear designed for the fewest number of channels (with at least stereo) will sound better than the most number of channels.

It is also possible that there is high frequency roll-off on the 5.1 that makes it sound smoother than the 7.1 or Audigy2. Accuracy of sound, and what sounds good to audioheads, are not always the same thing. Of course, none of the audioheads will submit to a double blind test, so it is difficult to really know.

Magazines like Stereophile and The Absolute Sound should really be entitled to tax exempt status, because they preach more religious dogma than all the other religions of the world combined.

dan
Posts: 1243
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:01 am
Contact:

Post by dan » Mon Jul 04, 2005 3:51 pm

m0002a wrote:
jackylman wrote:Actually the audioheads on hydrogenaudio say the 5.1 sounds slightly better. I can't comment on Dolby sound because all I do is listen to music.
The specs of the Revolution 5.1 and 7.1, even for stereo sound, are different. Audioheads always think gear designed for the fewest number of channels (with at least stereo) will sound better than the most number of channels.

It is also possible that there is high frequency roll-off on the 5.1 that makes it sound smoother than the 7.1 or Audigy2. Accuracy of sound, and what sounds good to audioheads, are not always the same thing. Of course, none of the audioheads will submit to a double blind test, so it is difficult to really know.

Magazines like Stereophile and The Absolute Sound should really be entitled to tax exempt status, because they preach more religious dogma than all the other religions of the world combined.
which has better specs, revo 5.1 or revo 7.1? which should i buy for the best sound quality? newegg sells both!

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Mon Jul 04, 2005 4:03 pm

dan wrote:which has better specs, revo 5.1 or revo 7.1? which should i buy for the best sound quality? newegg sells both!
If 5.1 is enough channels for you, then get the 5.1.

dan
Posts: 1243
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:01 am
Contact:

Post by dan » Mon Jul 04, 2005 4:15 pm

the 5.1 makes no mention of using the via envy chipset.


http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/R ... focus.html

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Mon Jul 04, 2005 4:17 pm

[quote="dan"]the 5.1 makes no mention of using the via envy chipset.

Unless your speakers cost at least $1,000 each and they are connected to a high quality amp, you will not hear the difference.

dan
Posts: 1243
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:01 am
Contact:

Post by dan » Mon Jul 04, 2005 4:45 pm

m0002a wrote:
dan wrote:the 5.1 makes no mention of using the via envy chipset.

Unless your speakers cost at least $1,000 each and they are connected to a high quality amp, you will not hear the difference.
i've wondered about that....over at newegg reviewers report significant improvements in audio when they upgrade

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:23 pm

dan wrote:i've wondered about that....over at newegg reviewers report significant improvements in audio when they upgrade
I think you will hear a difference compared on on-motherboard audio, but I don't think you can tell the difference between a Revolution 5.1, Revolution 7.1, and Audigy2 ZS. Even if you could hear the difference, it is not clear which would be more accurate in a double blind test.

Note that even small differences in line output voltage could fool the ear into thinking that one was better than the other (differences in line output levels translate into different speaker output levels), so it would require careful adjustment of the levels to conduct an accurate double blind test.

I would definitely recommend installation a separate sound card if you want improved audio, and to take the load off the CPU.

Zorander
Posts: 202
Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 2:11 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by Zorander » Mon Jul 04, 2005 8:18 pm

The Revo 7.1 is audibly better than the A2 ZS, which sounds cold and hard to me (and a few friends who actually commented on its outstanding details, but added it sounds cold/emotionless at the same time). The Revo sounds much sweeter/more emotional. I have not heard the Revo 5.1.

The difference is obvious with my old Altec Lansing ACS56 as well as my Creek OBH-21 headamp >> Sennheiser HD-580.

Regards.

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Mon Jul 04, 2005 8:27 pm

Zorander wrote:The Revo 7.1 is audibly better than the A2 ZS, which sounds cold and hard to me (and a few friends who actually commented on its outstanding details, but added it sounds cold/emotionless at the same time). The Revo sounds much sweeter/more emotional. I have not heard the Revo 5.1.

The difference is obvious with my old Altec Lansing ACS56 as well as my Creek OBH-21 headamp >> Sennheiser HD-580.

Regards.
I don't necessarily dispute that. That is a common result of an audio device (like the Audigy2 ZS) getting blamed for accurately reproducing what is in the recording, rather than making it sound "sweeter" by altering the signal. It can also be the result of a higher output level on line out.

Zorander
Posts: 202
Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 2:11 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by Zorander » Mon Jul 04, 2005 8:45 pm

m0002a wrote: I don't dispute necessarily that. That is a common result of an audio device (like the Audigy2 ZS) getting blamed for accurately reproducing what is in the recording, rather than making it sound "sweeter" by altering the signal.
I am not saying the Revo is an accurate/neutral card, but I cannot say the opposite is true for the A2 ZS. All I know is the Revo sounds more emotional and natural/fluid with any music I throw at it (be it off MP3s of varying compression level, APEs or CDs). The A2 ZS was just too analytical and emotionless.

I would take the Revo any day over the A2 ZS for music. Accurate reproduction is a holy grail indeed, but it is of little relevance if (in the case of A2 ZS) the music comes through cold and lifeless.

Regards.

m0002a
Posts: 2831
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:12 am
Location: USA

Post by m0002a » Mon Jul 04, 2005 8:51 pm

Zorander wrote:I am not saying the Revo is an accurate/neutral card, but I cannot say the opposite is true for the A2 ZS. All I know is the Revo sounds more emotional and "fluid" with any music I throw at it (be it off MP3s of varying compression level, APEs or CDs). The A2 ZS was just too analytical and emotionless.

I would take the Revo any day over the A2 ZS for music. Accurate reproduction is a holy grail indeed, but it is of little relevance if (in the case of A2 ZS) the music comes through cold and lifeless.

Regards.
Darn, you quoted me before I fixed all my errors.

A famous solid state amplifier maker years ago made a legendary amp sound emotional and fluid like the best tube amps. Many were shocked when he later revealed that he simply altered to frequency response to roll off the high frequencies to achieve the effect.

With some teaking of the frequecy response of the Audigy2 ZS, I bet I could do the same.

Zorander
Posts: 202
Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 2:11 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by Zorander » Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:35 pm

I will wait until that happens. :D

nici
Posts: 3011
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 8:49 am
Location: Suomi Finland Perkele

Post by nici » Tue Jul 05, 2005 5:16 am

Tiamat--> Yeah well, im not saying the Audigy2 is high-end or anything :lol: But the portable thing was truly the worst thing i´ve ever heard, impossible to listen to it.

Have you ever thought about this, the cd-players used in high-quality audiogear is more or less same as the ones used in computers. Get the sound digitally to a good stereo soundcard with high quality D/A converters and you have a very good cd-player. Definately better than cd-players under 500€ or so. So i´ve heard. It sounds pretty logical to me at least. I´ve never found any tests on this though, and i dont expect any hifi-magazine to do one in the near future either... :roll:

Oh and i like clear and analytical playback, its needed when you listen to rock/heavy metal. Classical might sound better on a different system, but with rock accuracy is most important imo. Im not caliming the audigy is super accurate or anything, but its not bad either. Would have got the 5.1Revo but as i said its 30€ more expensive and i would have to wait for it for a few weeks.. My next card iwll probably be a decent stereo soundcard.

Post Reply