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View Full Version : Wow, I'm pretty impressed with this Turtle Beach Santa Cruz card.


ChrisRay
09-04-03, 12:01 AM
The Midi playback on this thing is amazing. It's alot more crystal clear than my old wavetable playback It offers customizable Equalizzer settings which I can adjust to whatever situation I want.

Including Improved Base settings. The Control Panel is extremely customizable and easy to use. One big thing I like is the hardware mp3 decoding which is great for when I wanna listen to mp3's when I am using hardware intensive tasks.

Another thing I noticed is the reverb sounds for the customizable enviroments seem alot less staticy. They seem alot more realistic. I cant seem to put my finger on it exactly. But they dont seem as forced as my sblive did.

On a lighter note. I think overall this is a good upgrade for people who are tired of creative labs card, And it's provided a real alternative to there cards


The Control Center is great. Sufficient. Very easy to use. And Very customizable from what I can tell.


If you're watching A DVD, expecially the Digitally mastered ones like the Two Towers or Attack the Clones. The Sound Quality is just superb.

When I was at the store today I was looking at the various cards. And I have to say I decided to take a chance. Probably because of my personal Bias against creative labs

I guess not many people care because audio isnt something as easily seen as graphics. Tho I've heard real improvements. If all Turtle Beach Cards are like this. They are definate product I would buy again. So Far.

Btw. It's Completely backwards compatible with DS3d, EAX 1.0/2.0 A3D 1.0 and 2 other sound APIs I'm not very familiar with.


That being said, I dont think I'd overlook this card if I were you. I was bit aprehensive about losing the standard, But I am very impressed by everything I have seen thus far.

P.S. If there is any confusion. I am Comparing the card to my Old SBlive 5.1 which I was less than impressed with.

Rogozhin
09-04-03, 12:42 AM
I've found basically similar things when I did away with my sblive and bought a hercules fortissimo2 (have since upgraded to a fortissimo3).

My situation is a bit different though.

I have my computer as the center of my home theatre-I run all audio outs from my f3 using high end monster cable mini-jack to rca cables (4). Fronts run to a NAD 314 integrated amp, rears run to a NAD 902 amp, center runs to a NAD 304, and sub out runs to a KReskel 300watt platte amp. Speakers are - Mains=Sounddynamics 300tis, Rears=Sound dynamics SS1b Monitors, Sub-Home built 5th order bandbass enclosure with a 12" shiva passive radiator, center=sounddynamics CS500 center channel-all tweater mounted at 36inches above floor on isolated racks and main rack is a salamder isolated 5 platform rack.

Screen is a 22" viewsonic flatpannel CRT.

Games are unbelievable on this system and DVDs like clonewars, thin red line, lord of the rings, and private ryan are simply amazing-I'm running powerdvd proex (for $46 from newegg you can pick up a f3 with prodvdex bundled with the retail).

I still have the option of doing a full 7.1 system (just need more money;))

There was no comparision between the sblive and this f3. I had major problems with the sb as well. tons of vxd errors and corrupt driver installs-bloatware-and the sound was crap compared to this card both in games and on the dvds. ANd it seems to run eaxHD well even in emulation.

glad you did your SC card Chris-I'll never go creative again ;)

rogo

saturnotaku
09-04-03, 07:00 AM
It's too bad Voetra/Turtle Beach pulled out of the sound card market. The Santa Cruz was one of the best sound cards of its time. It supported a ton of APIs, had excellent sound quality and stable drivers. While my Audigy 2 is IMO superior to the Santa Cruz (I just sold my SC to a friend) I would definitely put the latter as second on my list and a must-purchase for anyone looking to upgrade on a budget.

digitalwanderer
09-04-03, 08:49 AM
I've got the Fortissimo II still in Bubbles and a Santa Cruz in Blue and both soundcards just impress the bejesus out of me!

The Forty II was my first non-creative soundcard and it was just such a pleasant experience that I picked up the TBSC to get the SB-live 5.1 out of me systems, and I haven't ever regretted it.

Both are great cards, both have never given me any headaches/issues, both have great and intuitive to use control panels that give me absolute control over my sound system.

Truly good investments.

I was talking to a friend the other day who's trying to convince me to give the Audigy2 a try as it "is the new standard for gaming" and he damn near talked me into it, then I remembered it was Creative and that I like what I got. ;)

Rytr
09-04-03, 11:14 PM
I got away from SB in the Via KT133 chipset days, the SC was the obvious choice as it produced no conflicts. Also, might add the Philips Accoustic Edge was a good alternative. I still use SCs and Philips' cards in my systems.

Sazar
09-04-03, 11:23 PM
my brother has the santa cruz and it is quite impressive..

I have a CL sound card.. the audigy... card is good... but the drivers really drive me nuts :(

so many issues... so much working around... but thank god the bundles some sites carry resolve most of the issues...

the santa cruz my brother has sounds just perfect and I was considering buying a santa cruz but got a good deal on an OEM audigy... :)

Kain
09-05-03, 01:13 AM
I use the Hercules Game Theater XP. :)

phye2002
09-07-03, 03:59 PM
I use a gametheater xp also. I love this card. sounds good, breakout box with tons of connections. All that for a fraction of the cost of an audigy platinum.

netviper13
09-07-03, 06:41 PM
Another GTXP user here. Once I get a receiver with optical inputs I'm using the Soundstorm onboard, but until then the GTXP has far superior analog output.

Gator
09-08-03, 11:22 AM
I also went from SBLIVE to SantaCruz and I'm glad I did. I'm not as audio savy as some here, I can only say the SantaCruz simply SOUNDS better. It's a crisper sound. I also had some scratchy issues with SBLIVE :p

Miester_V
09-10-03, 12:05 AM
Revo is in my radar. Must eject my Audigy1. :D

LTech221
09-10-03, 10:34 PM
Heh, kept my A1 in to play along with my revo. A1 for my few games that I play and the Revo for everything else.

ChrisRay
10-07-03, 06:46 PM
Sorry for the bump. I went ahead and got another one. Mainly cuz My Nforce 2 Audio wasnt the soundstorm. I wanted hardware sound anyways. Plus I cant stand Microsofts midi synthesizer./

sxotty
10-08-03, 08:34 AM
I had the exact situation, game theater XP (which was awesome btw), until I switched to optical out on the sound storm, which is better :).

digitalwanderer
10-08-03, 08:39 AM
I've been thinking of doing some tearing down and swapping on my rigs, and I am DAMN tempted to steal my wife's TBSC and swap it with my FortissimoII, or should I give my nForce2 onboard SoundStorm a shot?

How do the three rank in quality/performance? (I know the TBSC is at the top, but how do the other two fall in line?)

Thanks!

Gator
10-08-03, 08:46 AM
Originally posted by digitalwanderer
I've been thinking of doing some tearing down and swapping on my rigs, and I am DAMN tempted to steal my wife's TBSC and swap it with my FortissimoII, or should I give my nForce2 onboard SoundStorm a shot?
How do the three rank in quality/performance? (I know the TBSC is at the top, but how do the other two fall in line?)
Thanks!

I remember asking about this on Rage3d a few weeks back, most people there said the SantaCruz and Hercules (crystal chips based sound cards) have better sound than the Nvidia SoundStorm. SoundStorm is very good, but SantaCruz/Hercules is better. Apparently the sound is a little crisper with less distortion when using line-in and mic. As for comparing SantaCruz and Hercules, I think they're about on the same level.

I have an Asus NForce2 arriving tomorrow, but I'm gonna keep my SantaCruz installed ;)

digitalwanderer
10-08-03, 08:54 AM
Originally posted by Gator
I have an Asus NForce2 arriving tomorrow, but I'm gonna keep my SantaCruz installed ;)
Dang it, and I can tell ya that the TBSC is just a tad better than the FortyII...I think I will be stealing me wife's soundcard.... :rolleyes:

ChrisRay
10-08-03, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by digitalwanderer
Dang it, and I can tell ya that the TBSC is just a tad better than the FortyII...I think I will be stealing me wife's soundcard.... :rolleyes:

Wish I could tell you. As I dont have nvidias Soundstorm. :| All I had was Nvidias Realtek Codec. But I can say I have heard an improvement over The AC97 codec in terms of sound.

It's my understanding of the AC97 Codec that it actually is an AC97 Device which sits in front of the Dolby Digital HArdware coding. And generally its a realtek codec.. So you should probably get similar sound quality (Not performance) To that of an AC97 sound card..

Rytr
10-08-03, 04:08 PM
On-board sound comes in last when comparing with the two cards mentioned. Also, on-board sound uses more resources taking away from overall performance...not a significant amount, but some none the less.

digitalwanderer
10-08-03, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by Rytr
On-board sound comes in last when comparing with the two cards mentioned. Also, on-board sound uses more resources taking away from overall performance...not a significant amount, but some none the less.
That's what I thought and the big reason I've never even tried it out yet, I tend to hate onboard sound/graphics. (But I don't mind the built in ethernet adapter, neat and muchly needed! ;) )

Rytr
10-08-03, 09:42 PM
I don't want to come across as putting down on-board sound because it can be very handy and is very useful for those with new systems relieving them of the added expense of a sound card right off the bat.

I do recommend 'upgrading' to a good sound card with a set of good speakers. It really does make a difference and TBSC sound cards have been around a while and present minimal conflicts while providing excellent sound while at the same time not 'hogging' resources.

I have a TBSC with Klipsch 4.1 speakers and it is a pleasure just to sit back and listen to some good music now and then. It also makes games ROCK!!! :D

TBSC are not the only good sound cards as there are the offerings by Hercules, Philips, and others. I did not mention SB's and I am sure they are good but I still have not over the Via/SB conflicts of several years ago. It takes me awhile to forget headaches like that. :rolleyes:

Gator
10-09-03, 08:54 PM
Originally posted by Rytr
...I did not mention SB's and I am sure they are good but I still have not over the Via/SB conflicts of several years ago. It takes me awhile to forget headaches like that. :rolleyes:

I agree 100%. I will never buy a VIA product ever again, they were a living hell back when I built systems with PIII's and Celerons. As for SBLive, the moment I got WinXP it was nothing but static & scratchy, so I tried the TBSC and I couldn't beleive what I had been missing. The TBSC really is noticibly crisper, no static, and worked without a hitch on XP. And although I never saw it myself, too many people have told me the SBLive is a PCI bandwidth hog :barf:

theultimo
10-09-03, 08:56 PM
Originally posted by Gator
I agree 100%. I will never buy a VIA product ever again, they were a living hell back when I built systems with PIII's and Celerons. As for SBLive, the moment I got WinXP it was nothing but static & scratchy, so I tried the TBSC and I couldn't beleive what I had been missing. The TBSC really is noticibly crisper, no static, and worked without a hitch on XP. And although I never saw it myself, too many people have told me the SBLive is a PCI bandwidth hog :barf:
The SB Live IS a bandwidth hog, but there are a few tweak you can do to kill some of it, such as killing the "Turbo" feature in the drivers..