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Soundblaster Z crackling sound

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Hi!

I recently bought a Soundblaster Z (PCI-e) soundcard and get occational stuttering with it and crackling noise.
I use spdif optical cable and DTS sound.
The problem got worse when i suspected my old logitech z-5450 speaker system to be the cause and updated it to a logitech z-906 system.
The z-906 speaker works like a charm in all cases exept when i use them with the soundblaster Z.
Disabling Nvidia HDMI audio and onboard soundcard and moving the soundblaster to another slot didnt help.
On the internet there are alot of posts about similar issues so dont really suspect the card is faulty.
Any tips what to try next?

Lauri
 
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Well if you onboard sound works fine, and the HDMI sound works fine, then you have a bad card

How does it sound without using Optical? Using just analog
 

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Well if you onboard sound works fine, and the HDMI sound works fine, then you have a bad card

How does it sound without using Optical? Using just analog

Card is shot, get those Brand New or not at all.
 

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If your windows volume is set to 100%, try a lower value, like 50%. It might be a weird clipping issue, had that with my Xonar DG. If not... it's really weird that you're having issues with digital audio... it may well be a problem with the card.
 
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Ok will try lowering volume to 50% and will also try to install PAX alternative drivers
 

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Check that your TOSlink cable and connections are clean and properly seated?
 
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ok with volume 50% i had no troubles anymore. cables are seated right, that should be no problem. I hope the problems are over with 50% volume. I made the xp that after a driver reinstall it works a while and then goes havoc.

Edit: last time i had problems there were like 3-4 high pitched cracks in the sound.
 
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Sounds like postponing the inevitable. Card's still not good anymore... :p
 
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Sounds like postponing the inevitable. Card's still not good anymore... :p

There are too many posts about similar issues that i dont think the card is faulty. Although i bought it as a warehouse deal on amazon (second hand, returned item) so one never knows..
 
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Sounds like postponing the inevitable. Card's still not good anymore... :p
That is an opinion not supported by the stated circumstances.
There are too many posts about similar issues that i dont think the card is faulty. Although i bought it as a warehouse deal on amazon (second hand, returned item) so one never knows..
Your card is fine. This is a problem that is encountered because of the way Windows improperly handles preamplification in software before the hardware processes the sound. While turning the volume down will work fine, the Windows software problem needed to be addressed. Microsoft has patched that problem for Windows 7 and up. The latest driver update from Creative I believe also solves that problem. So if you were installing drivers from the disc, grab the latest ones from Creative's site and you should be good to go at any volume setting.
 
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Update:
For a couple of days 50% volume in windows worked but then again it started crackling occationally.
Latest windows 10 with updates installed and latest soundblaster Z driver.
Pax alternative driver i am unable to install for some reason so i might just return the soundcard to get another one..

Edit: Was able to install Pax alternative driver. will test a bit and then return the card if it does not help
 
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PAX driver did work for like 1 day before crackling started again. Amazon RMA next.
 

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Sounds like something very strange is going on... you find a solution that works for a little while and then it doesn't. Hopefully the RMA works out for you...
 
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PAX driver did work for like 1 day before crackling started again. Amazon RMA next.
There could be a capacitor failing on the card. Might be a good idea to send it back.
 
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Today i´m gonna get the brand new soundblaster z. old one i send back for complete refund. I hope the new one works or i will have to sort out where the interference is coming from
 
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We'll be here to help where-ever we can. This is an interesting problem.
 

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Chiming in as a person with similar issues. I've had an X-Fi Elite Pro for the past 10 years or so and recently reinstalled Windows. I instantly had the problems you're describing, so I had assumed it was an issue with the card (I had been using my custom drivers to get it to work properly on Windows 10 without any luck and had assumed it was just now defunct). I decided to order the ZXR as it was the most suitable modern equivalent, and wouldn't you know it I had the EXACT same issues. I'm now also sitting with a ZXR that I cannot use due to the driver issues that Creative has. I've noticed that rolling back to older drivers has improved the issue, but it still persists unfortunately. I'll be sure to post if I come up with a solution!
 
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I don't know if he is still around,,,Here is link to where I used to go when I had a soundblaster card.
 
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Unfortunately this is issue caused by windows 1803 to all creative x-fi series cards. I own x-fi titanium and had exactly the same problem which is hardware independent, by hardware i mean speakers, cable, connectors, etc. Card itself most likely is ok. I own my card since 8-9 years and everything is fine, i do not have this problem on linux, i've never had it on any previous windows and even on previous builds of windows 10, it started with 1803 build and this is a reason why i downgraded back to 1709 build, last one which works fine. I wonder if 1809 will be free off this issue.
 

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Unfortunately this is issue caused by windows 1803 to all creative x-fi series cards. I own x-fi titanium and had exactly the same problem which is hardware independent, by hardware i mean speakers, cable, connectors, etc. Card itself most likely is ok. I own my card since 8-9 years and everything is fine, i do not have this problem on linux, i've never had it on any previous windows and even on previous builds of windows 10, it started with 1803 build and this is a reason why i downgraded back to 1709 build, last one which works fine. I wonder if 1809 will be free off this issue.

So linux, 7...
 
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Cracking sounds exist since the x-fi days and still occur on new cards. There driver team can't overcome certain issues it seems all these generations.

One example that can be reproduced on my system.Just enable SVM and you will get cracking after a period of time watching youtube.
 

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Cracking sounds exist since the x-fi days and still occur on new cards. There driver team can't overcome certain issues it seems all these generations.

One example that can be reproduced on my system.Just enable SVM and you will get cracking after a period of time watching youtube.

Never had a problem here and i had a pci512, xfi, zxr
 
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Never had a problem here and i had a pci512, xfi, zxr
Same here. X-fi gamer in the past but only for few days and x-fi titanium since almost a decade. This is first time i ever have a problem with sound card and it is not related to hardware itself or its drivers but to specific build of OS.
 

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Same here. X-fi gamer in the past but only for few days and x-fi titanium since almost a decade. This is first time i ever have a problem with sound card and it is not related to hardware itself or its drivers but to specific build of OS.

Part of reason I wont upgrade the OS.

MS were smart theyed drop the windows as a service model
 
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