January 4th, 2007, 02:46 PM
MontegoDDL and Audigy2zs first hand experience comparison
Has anyone else actually had these two cards, to compare their sound quality?
from everywhere i read, people seem to think the audigy2zs has superior output quality then that of the CMI chipset the montego uses.
Im not hearing it. i picked up an audigy2zs at a good price, but im not impressed with the output. there seems to be (by what my ears can hear) one main difference in the way these two cards process audio. the audigy has heavy compression, while the montego is a much more pure sound.
the audigy seems to compress the music so much that it seems to sound better at first, because various levels of the music are all brought up to equal hieghts (thinking you can hear 'more'). problem is, this cuts up the very low-end bass and very high-end treble. the montego clearly has better high-end from what i can tell. i dont have good enough subs to decide on what has better low-end, yet i can tell that the audigy gives louder bass to my book-shelf speakers. usually that means the audio has been compressed, as my speakers can only reproduce to certain levels accurately.
now im not saying the audigy sounds bad, but its for a different application. with pc speakers, or a pc enviroment in general, the audigy's sound is ideal. the smaller speakers generally used will sound better on the audigy. also, theres no doubt the audigy is more compatible and faster in games.
however, once you get into higher-end audio gear, the audigy seems to struggle in reproducing an accurate signal. i simply cannot equlaize the audigy to give me as clear-toned high's as the montego would do at normal levels. has anyone else noticed this or do i just have to change a default setting? from what ive learned, you really cant compare the two cards- they really are for different applications.
January 4th, 2007, 09:07 PM
Have you disabled all of the onboard effects that the audigy has? If you go into the audigy control panel you will find where all of the effects are. By default it has some weird stuff on when I have used them in the past.. My honest opinion is that audigy cards suck. I'd rather use an m-audio, EMU, or other high end audio card than anything from sound blaster. Turtle beach has been known to make decent cards, but I would still consider them to be in the home user market just like the sound blaster cards.
Get an m-audio 2496 and listen to how much better that card sounds than either the turtle beach or SB cards. Or the audiophile 192 if you really want a high quality card.
January 5th, 2007, 04:36 AM
Please remember that you need balanced equipment. No point in having a good audio card if you have poor speakers.
It is the same story as having a good video card and a crappy monitor.
Also, remember that sound is three dimensional, so it matters where the speakers are and what sort of room they are in.
January 6th, 2007, 07:38 AM
you know, the more and more i sleep on it and try to continue to listen to the audigy zs, i cant stand it. it is nowhere near the fidelity of my previous card. i like the performace in games, but for listening to mp3's on a decent set of speakers this card flat-out fizzles out. it sounds ok at low volume, but it is terrible when turned up. there is simply no clarity in the high-end frequenies, it seems like someone has put cotton in my ears.
i thought at very least i could just get used to it, but this is just not right. im used to a much more pure sound, but i guess i should have known what i was getting when i pay for something that says creative on it...
looks like the next in line will be an m-audio card. the envy24 chipset is supposed to be similar to montego's only better.
January 6th, 2007, 08:09 AM
Please remember that personal taste comes into this?
Have you tried using a good quality pair of stereo headphones for your tests?
I haven't used the Audigy, but other people's seem satisfactory (OK I am 56 and I did a lot of high velocity rifle shooting in my youger days........... what was that you said? )
I have two Montego systems, one with 5 speakers and the other with 7. They seem quite good to me (not sure about the games bit, as I don't play anything with that sophisticated sound requirements).
I have noticed that the sound was distinctly better when they were set up in a room with 3 solid walls around them. This room has a door, chimney breast and two very large bay windows, so the performance is not so good, as all four walls are acoustically compromised.
EDIT: Just a thought, but are your speakers compatible?
Last edited by nihil; January 6th, 2007 at 08:13 AM.