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'Loud' sound cards for win98?


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Sorry -- I can't think of a more dignified title than that.

I'm running Win98SE autopatched, NUSB3.6, etc. on a Dell 2400 and it works FINE -- very fast. I use it for an old version of Autosketch (old enough that I first installed it on Win3.1) and some games. THANK YOU AGAIN to the many people who developed fixes and packages to make this practical and to several others who helped me with specific problems.

The biggest issue now is that the sound volume from the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card I'm using is enough only for headphones. I know of one card that will produce plenty of speaker volume in this machine -- the Riptide 90079 (no suffix) -- but that one causes Combat Flight Simulator II to crash, er, on takeoff. Really ... push forward the throttle, F6F starts to roll, and it freezes solid. The game plays fine with the Turtle Beach card, but only with headphones.

Surely there's another card that would work -- PCI, has both sound and joysitck, works under Win98 -- and would produce enough volume to drive speakers. Maybe a watt or two per channel? Not much more. Suggestions?

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What type of speakers are you using? Do they have their own power supply or do they draw all power directly from the Audio jack?

Speakers that draw only from the Audio jack are frequently garbage and the volume is barely audible. I always opt for speakers with their own power supply, but I believe some special models were made by Compaq and others with a larger/more powerful Audio jack for higher power, and some speakers have a USB connector for extra power as well.

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Sound cards don't normally provide enough power for Speakers and may not even be enough for Headphones. They are intended for use with external amplifiers.
That is why the Jacks are labelled "Line Out" rather then "Speaker".

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I second what RLoew says - with an exception:

The Audigy 2 (ZS) PCI come with a 5 1/4" frontpanel, that gives the features you need - looks similar like this:


I use it for headphones - plugging in disables the line-out, when configured correctly.

I record my disastrous efforts on my Fender Bullet into the line-in of that panel, via the Creative sequencer on my PC, through the line-out of that panel to my external 4-channel tape-recorder, and then forward it to my Sennheiser Headphones from there.

On Windows 98 SE, of course! B-D

(it works on XP as well, but, heck, why would i... ;-)

Edited by ragnargd
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I'm not sure that would be considered an exception. The Front Panel Module probably contains an amplifier.
I also said "may" not be enough for headphones. Some do fine, others are kind of weak.
Unless explicitly specified for Headphones, there are no guarantees.

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@rloew: Technically, you are most probably right, as it has a distinct power supply - and what for, if not an amplifier?

Still, even if better than your average soundcard, this cannot be much (3W perhaps?) - otherwise, it would have fragged my devices already.

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