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I'd like to pass on a good news consumer experience for once.
My Creative Soundblaster Audigy 2 (brought Jan 03) started experiencing a problem which proved irresolvable re no sound been fed to my rear speakers (from output 2 on the card).
The email support from Creative has been swift and helpful and since the problem cannot be resolved they are replacing my card (which has a 2 year warrenty). All that was required was proof of purchase which I faxed through to them and somewhat unexpectedly there was no requirement to send my existing card back.
Pretty good all round, the last time I recieved such good customer service (in a PC Context) was from Belkin who where likewise efficient and helpful in resolving the problem.
Now if the supplier of my graphics card with which I also have a problem appeared to be as helpful I'd be laughing (but that's another story)
Go on,you know you want to. :o) Do make sure your speakers can do it justice though - the Videologic Zxr550 5.1 Speakers I got to go with my Audigy 2 certainly don't.
I have also just "Aired" my CC (battered more like) on the Audigy 2...
I have the gigabyte GA7 NNXP motherboard with the Nvidea onboard sound (upto 6.1) This kept on giving me conflicts and problems so when I got a set of the Creative 6700 speakers from Ebuyer (£60) I looked to change the sound as well.
I can honestly say I am amazed. Not only at the clarity and quality of the sound and the effects - that much I expected, but also at the sheer capability of the card; talk about comprehenisve, there are 25 Sub menus at least! From various wave editors to "What you hear" recording (great when I wanted to rip a Protected CD to media player (or MP3 or Wave etc) instead of the built in player on the cd...but we wont mention that....) to speaker calibration to the millimeter - I have had it two weeks and still have not found all the functions available.
I have been told great things of the Hercules Digifire but to be honest even though I have no experience of that card i doubt very much whether it would come close the the Audigy.
IMHO a "must have"
This is the Audigy 2 ZS I have
I have been very happy with the card. While I haven't made use of all its featues (such a DVD Audio) its nice to know its there if I ever do need it. The DVD Audio sampler that comes with the card sounds good by the way I'm just not ready to throw out my CD's just yet!
I have found the EAX Advance HD to be a real boom in games (such as UT2003) that support it and its also been good for movies and particularly music playback as well.
Just check in Msconfig after installing since you might want to disable a number of programmes it loads by default at startup and runs in the background (Such as CT Helper and the DVD Audio player)which if you want any of these you can always call up from the start menu.
And as stated customer support is in my experience very good.
Spent two weeks with Creatives Technical support via email trying to solve a sound problem.
Each email answered with something new.
They are good.
Funnily enough Creative's own customer forums on its website constantly bemoan the company and its products a lot of the time.
Yet there usually seems to be someone on hand from Creative's support team to provide answers and careful perfusal of the downloads and support pages usually supply the required answers or solutions.
I think Creative deserves credit for continuing to maintain forums which so often criticise it...:-)
Since I've been in the mood recently to hand out congrats, I'd going too hand out another one to round off my comments re this thread.
In my first post on this thread I made something of a crytic comment about a problem I was having with my Graphics card and the support (or lack of it) as I perceived it at the time I was receiving from the supplier.
Well credit where's credit due, the supplier has said they will resolve my problem in a way I am more than satisfied with. So take a bow Overclockers UK (Esnet) ltd, even though telephone contact proved impossible, negotiations via email went well and you clearly took on board my point of view and responded in a very positive fashion. I am very pleased!
i use a soundblaster live digital 5.1 cheapo soundcard jobby and have it connected to a pre/power combo 600W rms home cinema amp/mission speakers set up and the sound is awesome with audio.dvd etc.
if you have monitor or add on powered multi channel speakers i would not bother with the expense of the Audigy 2 for trying to get better quality as it will be lost.
i have tried both with my set up(friend let me borrow his) and the difference is minimal.the quality in dvd and cd audio is to my ears the same.
the extra features on the more expensive card may be useful if you are a musician and the eax advanced does indeed sound a bit better with games(positioning) but not worth the expense in my own opinion.
support from creative is good in my opinion and the forums are populated by peeps that blame them for their own set up problems.
just my two pennies worth.
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