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Old 08-01-2007, 10:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Proprietary Nightmares: Don't Buy This...

Creative Sound Blaster Audigy cards... in fact, any Creative Sound Blaster audio cards, use a proprietary I/O panel connector. This ensures that you can't connect your Creative brand audio card to the headphone/microphone ports on the front of your case without forking over a large sum of money for a Creative brand front I/O panel (which doesn't include a power switch or USB ports for your computer, so you're bloody out of luck as far as not leaving non-functional hardware on the front of your PC).

The only Creative Sound Blaster cards that come with a non-proprietary connector for your case's front audio ports are the Platinum Pro series (Audigy2, Audigy4 or X-fi Platinum Pro), which all cost $130+ and include their own front I/O panel anyway.

As it turns out, Performance-PCs is selling a "solution" to this problem. They charge $20 (plus another $7 S&H) for a Creative Labs sound card to case port adapter cable. Which sounded well and good, despite the fact that it cost me more than I paid for my sound card itself ($23), since it would give me a place to plug in my headset, and I really needed that. However, upon receiving the cable and installing it into my case (stupidly, permanently, I might add), it turns out that it wrecks my front-right audio channel; the volume level of my right speaker is decreased more than 95% whenever the cable is attached to my sound card.

Don't buy this!
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Old 08-01-2007, 10:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proprietary Nightmares: Don't Buy This...

what if i dont want to listen to it on headphones?
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Old 08-01-2007, 10:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proprietary Nightmares: Don't Buy This...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollithemagicbum View Post
what if i dont want to listen to it on headphones?
The sentiment was mostly with regards to the I/O panel adapter.

Assuming you don't need to use your case's front headphone/mic ports (or a non-Creative brand Surround Sound speaker system), then the Sound Blaster cards are still pretty decent.

In my case, however, the front ports are a necessity, since I need somewhere to plug in my headset for TeamSpeak/VOIP. The only Mic port I can currently use is the one on the lower back of the case, while the 0only headset port is on top of my desk, with the volume control... a lot further away from the mic port than the 2" of play my headset cord gives me.
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proprietary Nightmares: Don't Buy This...

I just made a few of these:
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Old 08-01-2007, 11:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proprietary Nightmares: Don't Buy This...

sounds like a loose connector pin or something. You take off the adapter and inspect it?

I bet you could make one with radio shack parts pretty easily
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proprietary Nightmares: Don't Buy This...

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Originally Posted by UA_Iron View Post
sounds like a loose connector pin or something. You take off the adapter and inspect it?

I bet you could make one with radio shack parts pretty easily
The best I could, yeah... kinda hard to really do much though without a circuit tester.

And making one from parts would still cost ~$18-20, since the actual connector piece needs to come from Creative (you can't get a generic connector and just hot wire it with pin outs)
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proprietary Nightmares: Don't Buy This...

Wait - can you clarify? Are you saying that the Creative Audigy cards will connect to standard case headphone input in case fronts, and will not connect to any speaker inputs other than Creative speakers?

I'm amazed to hear that. I can't imagine that people would buy a sound card that would be so restrictive on future purchases. That just doesn't make sense.

I was planning to pick up a Creative Sound Blaster Xtremegamer card - but I will re-think that if it means I can't buy the speakers that I want. I could live with having to plug my headphones into the rear jacks - but that is oddly annoying.

Can anyone verify that this is the case? Not that I don't believe you, Cunjo, but it just sounds odd.
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Old 08-02-2007, 01:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proprietary Nightmares: Don't Buy This...

Creative Sound Blaster cards (all variations, so far as I know), will NOT connect to standard case-front I/O panels, unless you buy the "Platinum" edition.

They will work with other speakers, however, the 7.1 Surround system is designed to work specifically with the Creative Labs 7.1 controller. Now, I can't say for sure how well the Creative Sound Blaster output works with other brands, but I do know you need to rig alternative wiring in order to use the Creative Labs 7.1 speaker system with a non-Creative 7.1 sound card, so it makes sense to me that the inverse would also be true.

My specific card is a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE. Newer cards such as the Audigy2, Audigy4 and X-fi cards may have different rear outputs (and I know most of them have more total than the 3 on the back of mine). All of my investigation however shows that the I/O panel interfacing issue is universal for all of them.

In short, I can't tell you what your own experience will be like with the creative line of products, but I can tell you that they have a long history of marketing non-standard or proprietary hardware to force customers into buying more of their stuff.
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Old 08-02-2007, 02:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proprietary Nightmares: Don't Buy This...

hmm I'm confused...

right now I have an Audigy 2 soundblaster card ( and a X-fi soundcard xtreme gamer for my future rig ), and I didn't touch anything ( all a stock compaq I got as a present 4 years ago ) and I can use the front mic/headphone ports just fine, as well as use the back ones...so...I'm confused what your trying to say?
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Proprietary Nightmares: Don't Buy This...

Well I'm glad i bought z-2300 speakers by logitech, headphone jack on the wired remote. (helps since i couldnt find the f audio hd ports on my mobo, shhhhhh)
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