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Impressions of the Hercules Fortissimo 3

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Daneel, Feb 25, 2003.

  1. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I just got this card to replace my Santz Cruz (SonicFury). It may look like a strange choice, after all the DSP is a step down in the Crystal line (4624 vs 4630) and it's cheaper.

    The main reason for the change was that I needed a card with digital out to put in my old computer that I intend to connect to my receiver/tv as soon as my new graphics card arrives (upgraded a GF3 ti200 to 9500 Pro for the same reason, need tv out in old computer).

    Also, I had a very annoying problem with the mic input on my Santa Cruz, it picked up the output of my computer (windows sounds, music etc) and recorded them on the mic input. It wasn't even low level, it was just as loud as my voice into the mic. I emailed Videologic (distributor for Santz Cruz in Europe) and started a thread here, but could not fix the problem.

    So my Fort 3 arrived yesterday and I installed it. No problems there, mic didn't work at first, but that turned out to be a loose connection.

    Sound quality over-all seems to be improved over the TBSC. I think that raw figures would suggest otherwise, but it just sounds better. I find myself getting into music more, I always used to go down stairs and use my HT if I really wanted to get into a song.

    Bass is stronger than the TBSC. I read this in a review but wasn't convinced. It is a big difference. Now whether this is a good thing or not is subjective, it definitely sounds more meaty than the TBSC but I think it is a touch overdone. Perhaps it's because the Videologic Sirocco Crossfire speakers I have are on the netural to bright side, matched with the likes of Klipsich it may be too much. You can always fine-tune with the equaliser of course.

    It sounds good with my Senn 580s too, although there is slight hiss above 2/3 volume. This isn't a problem though as it is quite loud on 1/4. It has a separate headphone socket so if you run 4.1 speakers you don't have to unplug things to switch. It does a better job than the TBSC at running my headphones, and given it is designed for a 32Ohm load and the 580s are 300Ohm, it does well.

    The mic problem isn't there, the sound is loud and clean. The only thing I don't like is that to switch from normal digital out to PowerDVD digital out you have to restart. I haven't tested it yet though.

    I was tempted by the Terratec line up and the M-Audio Revolution, but I use the card for listening to music, playing games and digital occasionally output to my receiver. For this I can't see the benefit of a more expensive card, the extra quality gained from 24/96 and lower noise etc just won't be apparent IMO. Also, those cards aren't as effective for gaming, look at CPU use in reviews.

    In conclusion, if you want a cheap sound card with good quality, I recommend this over the TBSC.
     
  2. Threadkiller

    Threadkiller
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  3. tryingtimes

    tryingtimes
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    I had awfull luck with the Fortissimo II causing my DVD replay to stutter. As soon as I installed the M-Audio - everything was perfect.
    However I didn't have any problems with the sound quality on my mid-range setup so If your DVD playback is smooth then they're probably both (FII and FIII) really oood value cards.
     

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