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Windows 7: XFi Titanium, W764Pro, Hollow/Flat sound


02 Dec 2011   #1

Windows 7 x64 Pro
 
 
XFi Titanium, W764Pro, Hollow/Flat sound

Did a fresh install of Windows 7 64bit Pro. I have done every windows update, installed mobo chipset drivers, and then my graphics drivers. A few Steam games as well. Before the install the X-Fi Titanium card had amazing sound with my Sennhesier HD 595s. I had zero complaints and loved every second of it.

I then proceeded to go for the sound drivers for my X-Fi Titanium PCI-E card. Everything installs fine, the card is recognized properly, but the sound quality is bad. It is hollow and flat sounding, grating on the ears. There is likewise the occasional crackle and pop. The headphones work 100% fine on other computers, likewise I tested with functioning HD 280Pros and the problem is specific to the software.

0. Windows 7 auto detects the hardware and installs some software. poor quality
1. I tried to install the drivers from the install cd. = poor quality like described
2. I then attempted the auto update with latest drivers from the official site = poor quality, no change
3. I then installed the Support Pack 2.5 as is posted in the sticky thread here. = poor quality, no change
4. I then attempted a reinstall from the install cd, this time using only a minimum install. = no change, poor quality
5. I then installed only a minimum driver installation from the official site. = same problem, poor quality

Note: After every install attempt I would completely uninstall all related software, restart, run CCleaner.

The low quality, somewhat hollow, flat sound is persistent through all applications. It's on youtube videos, it's in all my games from StarCraft II to Trackmania 2, to Half-Life 2.

I had a similar issue when I originally purchased the card. After a number of different driver attempts however I found one that had finally worked.

This time I am stuck and looking for any help and feedback, suggestions or otherwise advice. So far the best advice has been to stop using Creative products and go for something like an ASUS Xonar card.

AMD x4 965BE 3.4GHz, 4GB Corsair XMS, 5870 HD 1GB, X-Fi Titanium PCI-E

I'm somewhat frustrated because it was working 100% fine two days ago.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Dec 2011   #2

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Do you have any sound "enhancements" such as Reverb, Chorus, etc turned on? That would cause it to sound "hollow", etc. I had a SoundBlaster installed and remember a panel with all those items in it. Don't remember how to access it.

I didn't have any PC sound problems with my SoundBlaster Xfi, but I had to remove it as it was interferring with my Sonar recording program and my regular recording interface unit. I'm now using an HT Omega "Striker 7.1" (PCI) sound card and it does not interfere with my recording studio software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2011   #3

Windows 7 x64 Pro
 
 

There are no sound enhancments on. From the sound options Tone Tab the Bass Balance and Treble are at default 0.0dB. For the Creative Console Launcher settings there are many settings i've tried toggling them all. They do change what I hear, such as the X-Fi crystalizer making it clearer, the CMSS-3D gives better 3D sound, etc. I have changed EAX effects on and off, and the sound changes somewhat accordingly.

But, and I don't know how to phrase this too well, the changes still don't make it sound good. It's like I'm running a pair of dodgy 20 dollar headphones through onboard sound. While the settings change something, it's still a pair of dodgy 20 dollar headphones through onboard sound. It's like whatever it was that actually gives the soundcard it's quality is gone. This was the same problem I had originally, but somehow it fixed itself after a few driver attempts. It was like one of the drivers magically made it work like it was supposed to. But I've had no such luck with the fresh install.

EDIT: Could it be some form of codec thats missing? Or some other 3rd party software?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Dec 2011   #4

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Have you tried reseating the Xfi card? (with the PC powered off, unplug the card then reinstall). I've seen a lot of flakey problems because of a seating problem.

Do you have the integrated audio disabled in the BIOS? I've also seen that interfere and cause a lot of strange problems if it's not disabled in the BIOS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

It's been awhile since I had the old Audigy installed and from what I can find on the Internet Creative's software looks abit different, but where is the equalizer? Sounds to me like you're in need of using it.

I have an Asus Xonar card with original Klipsch Promedia 5.1 speakers and if I set the equalizer to flat across the spectrum (30 to 16k), the sound is obviously very flat, not rich and full. I have a User Defined equalizer setting that I've found sounds very good with most kinds of music.

But yea, if I want to show how poorly the system can sound with this Xonar card, I can set the equalizer to flat. As I remember, I did the same with the Audigy software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2011   #6

Windows 7 x64 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
Have you tried reseating the Xfi card? (with the PC powered off, unplug the card then reinstall). I've seen a lot of flakey problems because of a seating problem.

Do you have the integrated audio disabled in the BIOS? I've also seen that interfere and cause a lot of strange problems if it's not disabled in the BIOS.
I went into BIOS and disabled onboard sound, confirmed no sound by testing through the motherboard jack. I reseated the card into a lower slot after doing a full uninstall of sound drivers. Windows 7 recognized it fine and proceeded to download drivers as it automatically does.

No change, same poor quality.

Thank you for the suggestion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2011   #7

Windows 7 x64 Pro
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Wordsworth View Post
It's been awhile since I had the old Audigy installed and from what I can find on the Internet Creative's software looks abit different, but where is the equalizer? Sounds to me like you're in need of using it.

I have an Asus Xonar card with original Klipsch Promedia 5.1 speakers and if I set the equalizer to flat across the spectrum (30 to 16k), the sound is obviously very flat, not rich and full. I have a User Defined equalizer setting that I've found sounds very good with most kinds of music.

But yea, if I want to show how poorly the system can sound with this Xonar card, I can set the equalizer to flat. As I remember, I did the same with the Audigy software.
The equalizer is on the Creative Console Launcher. I have tested every setting it has available. They have effects, but it's the same problem where the overall quality is just bad. It almost reminds me of having some old headphones that had a surround switch, they sounded horrible until you hit the switch to turn the surround sound on. At this point I'm not sure what to do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Your probably not going to like my suggestion and just so you know i have a Creative X=Fi Fatality Champion w/Klipshish 5.1 speakers. I just did two clean installs of Win 7 HP and this is what worked for me and others. On a clean install only have your OS hdd plugged in, take the sound card out of the case, install the os then the chipset (motherboard) driver, followed by the video driver, shut down the computer and reinstall the sound card, start back up and go to Creative and only get the latest driver only for your card, dll and run, go in and set it up for your setup, test it, then your ready to install any other drivers you need. Garrantied to work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by DrownedOut View Post
The equalizer is on the Creative Console Launcher. I have tested every setting it has available. They have effects, but it's the same problem where the overall quality is just bad. It almost reminds me of having some old headphones that had a surround switch, they sounded horrible until you hit the switch to turn the surround sound on. At this point I'm not sure what to do.
You could try 1Bowtie's method of a complete clean install with minimal drivers installed before installing the card and Creative software.

You might also try daniel k's drivers; as I recall, I had the best success with those drivers on the old Audigy under Windows 7 before going with the Xonar card.

For myself, I grew tired of the headaches I had with Creative. I went with the Xonar because it really is a small footprint where software is concerned (driver and one small program, Audio Center). The install was quick and simple.

I edited out the download page for daniel k's drivers because I can't find a good download site at the moment, sorry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Dec 2011   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

I would not recommend daniel k's drivers, they are hacked Creative drivers and i would stay away from them. Creative drivers work just fine if you follow the directions i have given.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 XFi Titanium, W764Pro, Hollow/Flat sound




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