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View Full Version : Good News! X-Fi Elite Pro, Gigaworks S750, Surround Mixer, Speaker Calibration


Q
11-04-05, 12:35 PM
I posted the following message in Creative's message board. Tell me what you guys think of this situation....
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I hate all of the negative comments on this board. However, some are deserved, I believe.

I'm a long time owner of the Gigaworks S750's, a Creative customer since the Sound Blaster 128, and a new owner of the X-Fi Elite Pro. I called customer support today to address the following issues.

1. The Elite Pro's break out box is supposed to support "Creative Analog Speakers" (quoted from Creative's help file). However, I could not get it to function correctly with my Gigaworks S750 set. At first I had no sound, but after some tweaking ( a restart ;D) I at least had sound. However, neither the main volume control nor any other control has any bearing on the speakers volume. I have to use two break out boxes now to control my speaker volume.

Creatives Response:
ONLY the Inspire series can be controlled via the break out box. What??? The "value" series gets volume control, but I don't? That doesn't make a lot of sense. The Gigaworks series is the flagship, you would think that of all the speakers these would be supported.

The representative on the phone then went on and attempted to sell my the Inspire 7.1 series. Needless to say, I was displeased. I bought my speakers before they hit retail from creative. Over $600 bucks with shipping. Then I had to RMA them due to some issues with my subwoofer (an issue on Creative's Side), which cost $80. I really don't want a cheap set of speakers after what I put into these.

2. In the Audigy series, there were two useful applications; Speaker Calibrator and Surround Mixer. There are no applications included in my $400 sound card to control the levels of my surround speakers. More importantly, I can't calibrate them (the THX one is not exactly intuitive for optimal calibration). The fact that you can buy a $40 card from Creative (Audigy Value) that has this excellent software, but not their flagship really doesn't make sense. Why should their two flagship products (Giga and X-Fi) not be a perfect match? Why do lesser product combinations work better?

Creative’s Response:
"They" have no plans for that type of software right now. What, they aren't even planning it!?! Much less going to have it ready in a few months.... However, "they" are taking suggestions. I use the quotes because I never heard the term "software engineer" or "development team" or anything specific. The original Audigy line had the Mixer and Calibrator included at release time. Give me a break...

Right now I'm looking at my Audigy 2 ZS on my desk questioning if I should slap it back in and Ebay the Elite Pro. I really hate to add to the negativity at this forum, but as long as there are glaring issues like this, I don't see how I cannot voice my concern.

Top of the line products from a company should work seamlessly, especially when the two products (speakers and sound cards) are complimentary goods. More so when the combination reaches over $1000 of investment into a company.

Top of the line products should include features that made previous products great. The people who buy the X-Fi series are either gamers, music enthusiasts, or musicians. All of these people care about the surround settings of their equipment and its a shame to release a product without the ability to utilize them properly. Most of these people have upgraded from your previous products and are very disapointed to have actually downgraded in software.

On a closing note, the sales representive was uninformed and continued to try to sell me a new, cheaper product than what I already owned. Also, the rep seemed to be chewing gum and had a clear "ditsy girl" attitude to her. This was the highest level of unprofessionalism I have ever dealt with doing business with a major manufactuer. I am dissapointed, but hopefull that some of these issues will be resolved in the future in driver releases, employee training, and a more "customer first" mission from Creative.
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Kinda sucky, huh? But you know what is cool?

You can sticky your own message at Creative's website. :D

toxikneedle
11-04-05, 01:05 PM
I could swear I saw speaker calibration in the volume control software that came on the X-fi cd.

OWA
11-04-05, 01:19 PM
Yeah, I thought I saw that also but I may be thinking of the THX speaker calibration (that Qlitchford mentions). I didn't pay much attention to any of that though since I'm mostly using headphones.

|JuiceZ|
11-04-05, 01:53 PM
Good post Qlitchford, keep us updated if there's another movement from Creative on this. I highly doubt it will be though.

zoomy942
11-04-05, 01:57 PM
well said my friend.

by the way, if you need to know where the rear speaker volume is in the nvmixer app, let me know, i just noticed it and boosted up my rear speakers :) sorry, i just had to put my anti-creative plug in there.

seriously though, let us know if anything comes of your post, cause alot of posts can be negative, but its the well structured posts that make a difference

Q
11-04-05, 03:02 PM
Qlitchford,

Although the ability to control the volume on Gigaworks from the Elite Pro break out box would be nice, their would be a problem with implementing it. Since the Gigaworks are THX certified, they require the ability to set volume for specific channels. This would require a display of some sort (like the LED display on the current pod) and would drive the price of the break out box up.

As far as the software goes, all of the features of surround mixer (and more) are now found in the volume control application. While in entertainment mode the mixer should look pretty much the same as before, just that it is all integrated into one program. Game mode will look at bit different, but the features will be there. Audio Creation Mode is completely different, but it is for a very different purpose.

Speaker calibrator and THX Console were slightly redundant with the Audigy 2/2 ZS. Because of this, the features of both were rolled into the THX console that is with the X-Fi. The polarity and balance options are all there within the application.

Jeremy


Jeremy,

Thanks for the quick response.

On the issue of volume control, I do understand your point. It just seems that the volume control issue isn't clear before one purchases the break out box. Listed from the help file on many sites is "for controlling Creative analog speakers" and I have found this in the help file myself. I believe it needs to be cleared up a bit.

The surround mixer offered the ability (I guess the third redundant place, fourth if you count the Gigaworks break out box) to adjust speaker volumes individually.

The THX console has very little value, In order to use it you need a tape measure and a protractor, then you must adjust each level independtly. The Speaker calibrator was nice because it allowed side by side comparisons of important options. This took care of both volume leveling and delay. The click convergence and balancing were both terific in the calibrator. I suppose the distance is the delay factor in the THX software, but then again its dependant on angle and distance instead of the ear of the listener and the volume leveling is tough to achieve using static from one speaker to another. Also, the before and after of the music on the speaker calibrator made it easy to tell if you properly calibrated your system. There is no easy measurement for that now.

Again, I appreciate your quick response.

Quinton

Well...at least I had a response. I just relized that the guy didn't mention the pushy tech. I did email customer support about this issue to which was basically a copy and paste of my post.

Thanks for the support guys, I'll keep you updated. ;)

Edit: Here's the link to the thread if you guys want to keep tabs.
http://forums.creative.com/creativelabs/board/message?board.id=soundblaster&message.id=36609

CriPPleR_HD
11-04-05, 03:26 PM
I have the same combo.(Gigaworks S750 + X-FI Elite) and I can't even get it to run without the sound popping etc. I am in the process of updating my mobo bios but I keep getting an error.(Can't find source)

Very disappointed:thumbdwn:

J-Mag
11-04-05, 04:03 PM
I Have been noticing some sound popping on and off on my X-Fi Music. I only notice it in BF2 and it is usually when the UAV is scanning and making all the beeps...

Q
11-04-05, 04:03 PM
I'm selling the card. Visit the "for sale" forum for details!

Superfly
11-04-05, 05:13 PM
I'm selling the card. Visit the "for sale" forum for details!

sorry to hear about your woes - no chance on earth im buying the Elite Pro though - good luck with the sale.

Q
11-04-05, 05:41 PM
Appreciate it, you dirty bastard. Sabatoging my GD selling thread!

:p

toxikneedle
11-04-05, 06:47 PM
Qlitch you should post that you're selling it on the creative forums, and say partly cause of the customer service :P. This might help make their service a little better.

P.S. I can't tell you how many times I experienced the same thing with phone reps from other companies/products... I hate those people so much.