I am in the market for a new sound card and speakers. I don't want to go el cheapo but I don't have a huge wad of cash to burn either. Any suggestions would be welcomed.
No wad of cash pretty much eliminates the Klipsch line. I have been very happy with my Creative 4.1 set. Not to shabby for a $60 set of speakers. could use a larger sub but that is just me.
As for sound I am now a firm believer in the Philips line of sound cards. I have had none of the problems I had with the SB series..
I was looking at the Creative speakers but I really want 5.1, though it seems to be out of my price range. Wish I could get the flat panel speakers made here in Tallahassee, but I don't have $900 to drop on a 4.1 system
Might just try a Philips card myself, my SB 4.1 appears to be cracking up.
It keeps distorting and stuttering intemittently, especially on game cut scenes.
Have checked out 2.1 active spkr setup on another system, that's OK, and have renewed all leads, so I figure it must be the card.
Only other thing I suspect maybe my PSU (300W Antec) is not delivering enough juice.
Also get same symptoms when multi-tasking listening to MP3's.
Anyway, piggeh, sorry to get away from your request, but I'm gonna try me a Philips. Not sure which one yet. They actually sell for quite a reasonable price in the UK now, they cost an arm & a leg when first released.
check out Monsoon's Flat Panel - they sound really nice but their soundstage is narrow, a result of using Flat Panel technology. A friend of mine has it and it's crystal clear.
Another props to the Philips card - you can find the AE or the SE for under $50 easily.
I just purchased some altec lansing's 5.1 coupled with a new SB Audigy retail card. All told I spent $180 but I missed a $15 rebate on the speakers due to procrastination. I'm very pleased with my sound now. Had a few probs getting the software and drivers set up for the SB due to XP compatibility issues. But for $100 speakers and $80 sound card. I'm extremely happy. Just my opinion. For whatever it's worth.
Logitech Z-560 4.1's. They won accolades everywhere. For instance, MaximumPC rated them as the #1 4.1 speaker system.
They are a steal right now, as they are being moved out to make way for the "NEXT BIG thing", the new model, in speakers from Logitech.
They were great at their original price. They are an absolute steal at thecurrent prices to be had.
I got them for $135 and free shipping ( very heavy box, too).
They include 4 sats and a 220 watt subwoofer. If you find them, I'd grab them. They are stunning.
I'm into audio, hi quality preferably. Have a majorly serious home and car stereo, and I must to tell you, I was extremely impressed with this system.
I'm using the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz SC and have no experience with Phillios' offerings.
Some possibly useful links:
Another vote here for Altec Lansing. I have the ATP3 system, which is only a 2.1 setup. For around $70, these speakers are pretty amazing. I have them hooked up to a Santa Cruz card. Total cost about $150.
Are you sure you want 5.1 speakers? They are only useful if you watch a lot of DVD movies on your PC.
Sounds like the sblive 5.1 would be fine for you, I dont see the audigy being worth double the cost.
The santa cruz is excellent and well worth the price for audiophile sound. I see we have a few on board But I prefer to leave that kind of listening to my home stereo.
For speakers I would say the AltecLansing ACS 54/AVS 500 is a good set for the price. Not the groundshaking bass of the 641, but about 1/4 the price.
Also check out the Logitech 540, I have not tried these but from the reviews the bass is a little better than the AVS500, but a little more money too.
I really like the satellites on the ATP3/4 but I found the sub merely average, and they are a little expensive.
The Altec 4100/5100 on the other hand have a good sub, but the satellites are quite shallow. As I have said before, I want this sub with the ATP satellites. Too bad.
Perhaps the ATP3 front w/ 2100 rear? Hmmm....
For some reason, all the software wouldn't install properly and I had to install the Surround Mixer separately to get it to work. After that, everything was fine. Don't know, maybe the CD didn't like something in my hardware. Also when I downloaded the latest driver form Creative, it would crash my system and I had to "rollback" to the last known working version. I eventually got it working.
Master of Useless Trivia
I'm using an SB Live 5.1 in xp and have had no issues with it. Also I'm using the Cambridge Soundworks DTT2200 5.1 speakers with it. I dunno about in the states but here in the UK thats a cheap and powerful combo.
Audigy gets my vote. Cheaper than ever due to the release of the Audigy 2 which sounds a great card as well. I just have the Creative Inspire 2.1 and it sounds great.
I care about my sound and this is adequate for me ( although that Audigy 2 does look tempting! (.... now where did Kerry stash the rent money... )
Wow, thanks for the input people. I really need to get rid of this original Live! card, its almost 3 years old now.
So far the Audigy sounds really nice and I've heard the Cambridge were damn good as well.
Logitech Z-560 + Philips Acoustic Edge = Awesome sound w/o any of the annoying SB Live problem for under $200.
I have a set of Cambridge 4.1 w/ PAE. Clear sound, good bass. Like my senheisser headphones more though.
What's your budget anyway?