Turtle Beach Santa Cruz

BrandtP

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Apr 7, 2002
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I am currently using a Diamond Monster Sound MX300. The sound isn't quite as clear as I like no matter how I change the EQ settings. Newegg has got the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz's for pretty cheap. Would I notice much of an improvement in sound quality from the MX300?
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
I'll assume you're using the 2048 drivers...and that the card is simply crapping out. The Santa Cruz was hailed as "the next best thing since Aureal" after Aureal folded.

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BrandtP

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Thank let me follow up with an even sillier question. With my MX300 I used the reference drivers from Aureal (v 2048). If I go with the Santa Cruz, should I use the drivers from the Turtle Beach website, or are there also reference drivers?
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
Turtle beach should have good drivers. Diamond was pulling out of the card industry at the time and didn't do a good job of keeping their stuff current, while Turtle Beach is still strong.

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BrandtP

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Scratch all this. I wound up getting an SB Live 5.1. Hey, for $29 US plus a $10 rebate, how could I pass it up? Sure the Creative installation process is a pain the a$$, but of every sound card I have used, the Live has always served me well.. The performance, clarity and crispness far surpasses the old MX300 Monster Sound.

I am not a Creative fanboy, either. I had nothing but trouble from an Audigy 2 that almost resulted in a clean reinstallation of my OS. So some of the venom I see on this forum spat at Creative is at times justified :)

Just wanted to include this in case anty of you were on the edges of your seats about what card I would choose.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
I went from an SQ2500 to a Live Platinum 5.1 and was so sickened by the loss of quality I had to switch back.

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BrandtP

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I'm curious, what is an SQ2500?

The issue I think is people have different tastes in sound they consider to be quality. What makes me love the SB Live goes way back to 97 or whenever it came out. I had been playing Baldurs Gate with my onboard sound card that was the equivalent to a SB Pro. Then I put in my Live Value and I heard very subtle sound effects I couldn't with the cheap predecessor. Specifically it was a wind chime sort of sound that quietly played after the main sound effect when healing spells were cast. Higher pitched sounds just have a certain clarity and crispness I haven't heard on any other sound cards. Even playing with the EQs has not done this. That's why I have been sticking with the SB Live. Of course, Creative should take a few suggestions in terms of support. I know this is an old line of cards, but no driver updates since like 2000? That's ridiculous. And the knowledge base on the website is worthless.

Oh well, to each his or her own. It also can depend on which cards work with certain hardware configs. The Live works fine, MX300 worked fine, Audigy 2 was a terrible failure that destabilized my entire system. Go figure.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Former Staff
SQ2500 was the reference card from Aureal. Aureal cards were considered so much better by so many people, Creative actually put them out of business through frivolous lawsuits which they lost: Aureal could no longer afford to pay their lawyers and were forclosed before they could file for damages due to frivolous suits. Creative bought the right to seal the technology so nobody could develope for it, and took down all the sites that carried beta drivers by legal manuvers.

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