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SoundBlaster Live Platinum and Cambridge Desktop Theatre 2500 Review
SoundBlaster Live Platinum and Cambridge Desktop Theatre 2500 Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Sound, sound, sound we all want good sound for our games, DVD's and windows chime! We take a look at 'high end' products, and tell you just how far they go!
Filed under: Audio / Sound Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Creative May 11 2000   B. Ly  
Home > Reviews > Audio / Sound > Creative

Cool stuff and more cool stuff

Setup: SoundBlaster Live! Platinum

I formatted my hard drive when I purchased the soundcard; therefore it was an easy install, popped in the new soundcard, booted up in to Windows, ignored the "new hardware wizard." Then ran the installation routine from the driver CD. In a word: this task was simple. And simple is always GOOD!

The "free" stuff:

With the SoundBlaster Live Platinum, you are supposed to receive a driver CD, a lot of free software (https://www.soundblaster.com/products/sbliveplatinum/software.asp ,) the actual soundcard, the live drive! front bay module, a desktop microphone, as well as a ? to 1/8 mini jack converter. i'm going to be honest with you, free software does NOTHING for me. However, the software bundle comes with enough applications to please the novice DJ in you. The games are ok, but I don't care for them much. Thief was the most appropriate game in the bundle, simply because it does an admirable job of using EAX as the sound effects are downright BELIEVABLE.

Setup: Desktop Theatre 2500

Setting up these speakers is simple, but time consuming task. There is a plethora of cables to plow through, but the end result is quite satisfying. The 5 satellite speakers come with mini desktop stands, and Cambridge includes wall mounts and stands for the rear satellites. Ideally you should use the stands, but my tiny cubicle of a bedroom does not allow for that. In any case the wall mounts for the rear speakers are invaluable in a tiny space such as mine. I plugged the speakers into the control console that comes with the speakers (works as the amp and Dolby Digital Decoder.)

Basic Connectivity:

With the SoundBlaster Live Platinum, you have three methods in which you can plug speakers into it. The DTT 2500 can actually uses all three. The SoundBlaster Live! Platinum has front and rear analogue output jacks, as well as a DIN connector, and finally a RCA SPDIF connector on the Live Drive bay. The DIN connection is the best way to enjoy your day-to-day audio applications. It's basically a digital connection from the soundcard to the control console. However the SoundBlaster Live! Platinum only comes with a mini-DIN output, and the control console on the DTT 2500 comes with the standard DIN input (similar to a PS/2 port.) Nonetheless, a quick phone call to Creative Labs remedied the situation; I received my mini-DIN to DIN converter cable in the mail a week later. I tried using the analogue connection to the control console, and while the audio quality was great, the DIN connection proved to be a step up in audio quality and fidelity.

Live Drive:

The RCA SPDIF connector was used for connecting the Live Drive to the control console. The RCA SPDIF connection is used primarily for the Dolby Digital AC-3 stream. It basically sends digital data to the control console to be decoded as a Dolby Digital AC-3 signal. Watching DVD's on your PC is an entirely new experience with true Dolby Digital sound. Without a doubt, the Live Drive's most useful feature is the RCA SPDIF out, however, the microphone in jack, and the headphone out jack are also incredibly useful. The headphone jack allows me to record to my portable mini disc player (analogue recording of course.) Most importantly, the headphone jack provides a convenient way to connect my headphones for some late night fragging. The microphone-in jack is useful for voice over net communications and just to record your own voice J . The MIDI in and out ports on the Live Drive bay might be useful to some musicians, but the vast majority of gamers will never use them.

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Contents of Article: Creative
 Pg 1.  SoundBlaster Live Platinum and Cambridge Desktop Theatre 2500 Review
 Pg 2.  Cambridge Desktop Theatre 2500 5.1
 Pg 3.  — Cool stuff and more cool stuff
 Pg 4.  The Tests
 Pg 5.  DVD's and conclusions

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