Santa Cruz PCI Sound Card w/ Digital Signal Processor

Product Details
Quick Glance
Slot Type PCI
Signal To Noise Ratio 96 dB
User Reviews
4 Star Review   By member gbriles - Nov 21, 2004   

Strengths: Easy to set up

Weakness: CD documentation is an overview only, no depth.

Significant improvement in sound quality compared to my Soundblaster AWE 64 using the same speaker system. No glitches in sound at the beginning of each song. Very happy with this product.

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5 Star Review   By member AEBeretSniper - Jan 27, 2004   

Strengths: Incredible sound, 6 speaker setup capability, controllable effects, and the sound decoder is incredible.

Weakness: No physical manual with descriptions of the different parts of the sound card.

The Santa Cruz card gives that extra kick back into sound quality and allows you to setup your speaker system from standard two-speaker set to six-speaker surround sound capability, which is great for movies and incredible for games with alot of sound effects. There are different effects you may control for your music, games, and movies so that you can adjust balance to your liking. I have windows 98 SE and the setup wasn't that hard to install. The only problem I have though is that when I play a game I have to turn up the volume on my speakers because I don't know which of the tools control the game's audio. However, with some tinkering I found out which is which.

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5 Star Review   By member agilley007 - Jan 20, 2004   

Strengths: Fantastic sound, also supports 5.1

Weakness: Has MIDI port not Firewire

I just got this card a few days ago, so far it is much better that creatives line of sound cards. It sound great, this is the best sound card you can buy!

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5 Star Review   By member spagmumps - Nov 30, 2003   

Strengths: Great sound quality. Easily configurable no matter what type of speaker set up you use. I play 5.1 surround movies through my Sony home receiver and get excellent sound quality.

Weakness: None. If you know what you are doing, you should never need tech support.

People who complain about Win98 not working with the SC have to realize that Win98 is junk to begin with. Upgrade to the much more stable XP and you will have no problems at all. Although, I never had problems with my SC when I had Win98. Why pay more for a high end sound card when this one does every thing you need for around 60.00.

67% of readers found this review helpful.

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5 Star Review   By member VAL78 - Sep 23, 2003   

Strengths: great crisp sound, various sound effects features...and most of all, it works!

Weakness: the stupid sound icon on the sys tray which can be easily removed.

i have windows xp pro. sp1 running on a dell 400sc server. i originally had the soundblaster audigy 1394 gamer which i've used for about 2 months. after installing the drivers, along with the web update, the card would work fine...for about 2 days. i kept loosing sound in the 2 rear speakers on my monsoon 505 5.1 speakers. this would piss me off so much because i would have to uninstall the SB drivers and reinstall it to get it back to surround sound mode. i kept waiting patiently for an newer driver from SB until i blew up one day and couldnt take it anymore. A local retailer was having a sale on this turtle beach card for $40 so i drive out and got it without hesitation. after an easy installation, and continual usage for games, wimamp3, WMP, etc, for 2 weeks, sound NEVER failed out and the center speakers started to work, which i thought was broken because it never worked with SB bullS#&%. thank u turtle beach. burn in hell Sound blaster.

91% of readers found this review helpful.

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5 Star Review   By member alan78g - Jul 9, 2003   

Strengths: Outstanding sound, effects work great.

Weakness: When you first install the drivers it puts the old windows 9x volume icon on the task bar, but that's easily fixed by exiting the applet, it has not comeback since I did that.

I had a Sound Blaster Live! X-Gamer for over a year and I always had thought that there was something wrong with my speakers. I have the old Klipsch ProMedia v.2-400 and before I got this wonderful sound card I had it setup with the Sound Blaster Live. The first problem I had with this setup was that every time I shutdown the computer I would get a loud popping sound from the speakers, so I had to get used to turning the volume all the way down every time I shut down my computer, I always thought there was something wrong with the speakers, but as soon as I hooked up this sound card the problem went away. Now I can have the volume turned all the way up turn off the computer and I don't hear a beep from the speakers. The second reason I was very disappointed with the SB live, and the reason that I threw it in the garbage, is that all of a sudden I started getting crackles and pops when playing MP3 in programs like winamp or musicmathc jukebox. I tried so many things to try to fix the problem that I even tried a full reinstall of Windows XP, but the problem with the awful SB Live did not go away. So I bought the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card and my speakers have never sounded so good, this is truly an amazing sound card. I can’t believe so many people recommended the sound blaster live when it first came out with so many problems it had. Thank you Turtle Beach. Don't buy Sound Blaster products.

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2 Star Review   By member Kentc1978 - Jun 13, 2003   

Strengths: Sounds good...when it worked

Weakness: TECH SUPPORT!!!

This worked nicely the first time I installed it with the CD. I lost the CD and had to go to the website to redownload the drivers. It's been hell ever since. I've had to do things from changing permissions on the registry (suggested by tech support) to redownloading the drivers gazillion times. KEEP THE CD!! I keep getting this "the data is invalid" error. Turtle Beach support has no clue. Looks like i'm selling this on Ebay and getting Creative!!

71% of readers found this review helpful.

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5 Star Review   By member hifi311 - Sep 1, 2002   

Strengths: Driver Stability, variety of I/O ports and uses, low cpu usage, great gaming / music audio, good control panel

Weakness: Doesn't come with a lot of software - but what do you need?

I bought the Santa Cruz when it first came out. I chose it over the Soundblaster 5.1 b/c of it's bang for buck value. The sound quality is awesome when you're playing mp3s, dvds, and games. Card stability in Win 9x was a little sketchy back when I was using Win98SE, but in Windows XP/2k, the drivers are rock solid. There are a large number of features on the control panel - and most probably you'll only ever touch half of them. The hardware equalizer is sweet if you're using straight up computer speakers and with your PC. It sounds alot better than say the equalizer in Winamp 2.x/3.x. I have mine hooked up to my 330Watt JVC Stereo, and I can crank the volume up with almost no distortion. The versa jack is the best feature of this card, because you can configure how you want to use it, within the control panel. If you're an audiophile who likes to their music crystal clear but doesn't want to spend crazy money on an Audigy, the Santa Cruz is a great choice. It's over a year old, but it's very dependable and far from out of date. And if your install goes off without a hitch, you shouldn't have to deal with tech support ever.

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5 Star Review   By member frankrizzo - Aug 27, 2002   

Strengths: Beautiful sound! The Microsoft Sound literally rings outta my Creative Inspire 4.1's! Eat your hearts out Creative!

Weakness: Don't need more than 1! I guess that would be my weakness.

How could anyone not like this sound card. Software loads quickly and easily, for Win98SE. Sound almost pours out of the speakers(especially if you have FPS),threatening to overwhelm you the first time you hear it. Hell, my girlfriend(a gamer and audiophile)switched from her Creative to a TB SC after I brought mine home! If you are looking for a sound card, don't think twice, and don't think Creative. The Turtle Beach Santa Cruz is the end-all, be-all, god of all sound cards!

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1 Star Review   By member frazeex - Aug 20, 2002   

Strengths: Works fine for most things

Weakness: Wont work with any voise messengers unless you pay for alot of add on hardware. When I email for help I recived 2 replys from 22 sent in a year.

If you do not use any on line voise aps ( in gaming,net meatting or any voise messengrs) thin it,s not bad. If you need suport for any reson forget it. I do know what I,m doing on a PC so they cant blame me. You should never have to go buy more hardware to make a produck do what it clamed it would on the box. That,s a false add.

33% of readers found this review helpful.

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Product Details
Quick Glance
Slot Type PCI
Signal To Noise Ratio 96 dB
Summary
Product Title Santa Cruz PCI Sound Card w/ Digital Signal Processor
Power Score 4.0 | 15 Reviews
General
Category: Sound/Multimedia
Music Generation: Wave Table Synthesis
Digital Audio Depth: 18 Bits
Type of Sound Card: Stand-Alone Audio Card
Warranty Information: (Not Specified)
URL: Manufacturer Link
System Type: PC
Audio Technologies: Dolby Digital, Dolby Surround, Microsoft DirectMusic, Microsoft DirectSound 3D
Class: Card
Interface Connection: Audio - Headphone Out (1/8" Mini), Audio - Line In (1/8" Mini), Audio - Line Out (1/8" Mini), Audio - Microphone In (1/8" Mini), Audio - RCA Digital Coax (S/PDIF), Audio - Speaker Out (1/8" Mini), Game - 15 pin D-shell (MIDI/Joystick)
Additional Specifications
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
Manufacturer Retail Type: (Not Specified)
Product Line Series Model: (Not Applicable)
UPC: (Not Specified)
Technical Support URL: http://www.voyetra-turtle-beach.com/site/vti/custserv/techsupp.asp
Manufacturer Description: Santa Cruz
Language Localization: (Not Specified)
SKU: TB120340001
Case Pack Quantity: 1
Description: PCI Wave Table Digital IO Add-On/MIDI Add-On
Labor Warranty: (Not Applicable)
Max Sampling Rate: 48 kHz
Product Family: (Not Applicable)
Base Warranty: 1 Month (30 days)
Vendor: TBS
Technical Support Phone Number: 914-966-0600
Parts Warranty: (Not Applicable)
Music Depth: 1024 Voices
Manufacturer Sku: TB120340001
Geographic Localization: (Not Specified)
User Reviews
4 Star Review   By member gbriles - Nov 21, 2004   

Strengths: Easy to set up

Weakness: CD documentation is an overview only, no depth.

Significant improvement in sound quality compared to my Soundblaster AWE 64 using the same speaker system. No glitches in sound at the beginning of each song. Very happy with this product.

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

5 Star Review   By member AEBeretSniper - Jan 27, 2004   

Strengths: Incredible sound, 6 speaker setup capability, controllable effects, and the sound decoder is incredible.

Weakness: No physical manual with descriptions of the different parts of the sound card.

The Santa Cruz card gives that extra kick back into sound quality and allows you to setup your speaker system from standard two-speaker set to six-speaker surround sound capability, which is great for movies and incredible for games with alot of sound effects. There are different effects you may control for your music, games, and movies so that you can adjust balance to your liking. I have windows 98 SE and the setup wasn't that hard to install. The only problem I have though is that when I play a game I have to turn up the volume on my speakers because I don't know which of the tools control the game's audio. However, with some tinkering I found out which is which.

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

5 Star Review   By member agilley007 - Jan 20, 2004   

Strengths: Fantastic sound, also supports 5.1

Weakness: Has MIDI port not Firewire

I just got this card a few days ago, so far it is much better that creatives line of sound cards. It sound great, this is the best sound card you can buy!

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

5 Star Review   By member spagmumps - Nov 30, 2003   

Strengths: Great sound quality. Easily configurable no matter what type of speaker set up you use. I play 5.1 surround movies through my Sony home receiver and get excellent sound quality.

Weakness: None. If you know what you are doing, you should never need tech support.

People who complain about Win98 not working with the SC have to realize that Win98 is junk to begin with. Upgrade to the much more stable XP and you will have no problems at all. Although, I never had problems with my SC when I had Win98. Why pay more for a high end sound card when this one does every thing you need for around 60.00.

67% of readers found this review helpful.

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

5 Star Review   By member VAL78 - Sep 23, 2003   

Strengths: great crisp sound, various sound effects features...and most of all, it works!

Weakness: the stupid sound icon on the sys tray which can be easily removed.

i have windows xp pro. sp1 running on a dell 400sc server. i originally had the soundblaster audigy 1394 gamer which i've used for about 2 months. after installing the drivers, along with the web update, the card would work fine...for about 2 days. i kept loosing sound in the 2 rear speakers on my monsoon 505 5.1 speakers. this would piss me off so much because i would have to uninstall the SB drivers and reinstall it to get it back to surround sound mode. i kept waiting patiently for an newer driver from SB until i blew up one day and couldnt take it anymore. A local retailer was having a sale on this turtle beach card for $40 so i drive out and got it without hesitation. after an easy installation, and continual usage for games, wimamp3, WMP, etc, for 2 weeks, sound NEVER failed out and the center speakers started to work, which i thought was broken because it never worked with SB bullS#&%. thank u turtle beach. burn in hell Sound blaster.

91% of readers found this review helpful.

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

5 Star Review   By member alan78g - Jul 9, 2003   

Strengths: Outstanding sound, effects work great.

Weakness: When you first install the drivers it puts the old windows 9x volume icon on the task bar, but that's easily fixed by exiting the applet, it has not comeback since I did that.

I had a Sound Blaster Live! X-Gamer for over a year and I always had thought that there was something wrong with my speakers. I have the old Klipsch ProMedia v.2-400 and before I got this wonderful sound card I had it setup with the Sound Blaster Live. The first problem I had with this setup was that every time I shutdown the computer I would get a loud popping sound from the speakers, so I had to get used to turning the volume all the way down every time I shut down my computer, I always thought there was something wrong with the speakers, but as soon as I hooked up this sound card the problem went away. Now I can have the volume turned all the way up turn off the computer and I don't hear a beep from the speakers. The second reason I was very disappointed with the SB live, and the reason that I threw it in the garbage, is that all of a sudden I started getting crackles and pops when playing MP3 in programs like winamp or musicmathc jukebox. I tried so many things to try to fix the problem that I even tried a full reinstall of Windows XP, but the problem with the awful SB Live did not go away. So I bought the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card and my speakers have never sounded so good, this is truly an amazing sound card. I can’t believe so many people recommended the sound blaster live when it first came out with so many problems it had. Thank you Turtle Beach. Don't buy Sound Blaster products.

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2 Star Review   By member Kentc1978 - Jun 13, 2003   

Strengths: Sounds good...when it worked

Weakness: TECH SUPPORT!!!

This worked nicely the first time I installed it with the CD. I lost the CD and had to go to the website to redownload the drivers. It's been hell ever since. I've had to do things from changing permissions on the registry (suggested by tech support) to redownloading the drivers gazillion times. KEEP THE CD!! I keep getting this "the data is invalid" error. Turtle Beach support has no clue. Looks like i'm selling this on Ebay and getting Creative!!

71% of readers found this review helpful.

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

5 Star Review   By member hifi311 - Sep 1, 2002   

Strengths: Driver Stability, variety of I/O ports and uses, low cpu usage, great gaming / music audio, good control panel

Weakness: Doesn't come with a lot of software - but what do you need?

I bought the Santa Cruz when it first came out. I chose it over the Soundblaster 5.1 b/c of it's bang for buck value. The sound quality is awesome when you're playing mp3s, dvds, and games. Card stability in Win 9x was a little sketchy back when I was using Win98SE, but in Windows XP/2k, the drivers are rock solid. There are a large number of features on the control panel - and most probably you'll only ever touch half of them. The hardware equalizer is sweet if you're using straight up computer speakers and with your PC. It sounds alot better than say the equalizer in Winamp 2.x/3.x. I have mine hooked up to my 330Watt JVC Stereo, and I can crank the volume up with almost no distortion. The versa jack is the best feature of this card, because you can configure how you want to use it, within the control panel. If you're an audiophile who likes to their music crystal clear but doesn't want to spend crazy money on an Audigy, the Santa Cruz is a great choice. It's over a year old, but it's very dependable and far from out of date. And if your install goes off without a hitch, you shouldn't have to deal with tech support ever.

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

5 Star Review   By member frankrizzo - Aug 27, 2002   

Strengths: Beautiful sound! The Microsoft Sound literally rings outta my Creative Inspire 4.1's! Eat your hearts out Creative!

Weakness: Don't need more than 1! I guess that would be my weakness.

How could anyone not like this sound card. Software loads quickly and easily, for Win98SE. Sound almost pours out of the speakers(especially if you have FPS),threatening to overwhelm you the first time you hear it. Hell, my girlfriend(a gamer and audiophile)switched from her Creative to a TB SC after I brought mine home! If you are looking for a sound card, don't think twice, and don't think Creative. The Turtle Beach Santa Cruz is the end-all, be-all, god of all sound cards!

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

1 Star Review   By member frazeex - Aug 20, 2002   

Strengths: Works fine for most things

Weakness: Wont work with any voise messengers unless you pay for alot of add on hardware. When I email for help I recived 2 replys from 22 sent in a year.

If you do not use any on line voise aps ( in gaming,net meatting or any voise messengrs) thin it,s not bad. If you need suport for any reson forget it. I do know what I,m doing on a PC so they cant blame me. You should never have to go buy more hardware to make a produck do what it clamed it would on the box. That,s a false add.

33% of readers found this review helpful.

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2 Star Review   By member 805Zr2 - Apr 26, 2002   

Strengths: Includes many desireable features, [if you can get them to work].

Weakness: Has several compatibility issues with widely used Win 9X OS's. The Tech Support has a lot to be desired.

As mentioned in other reviews, Turtle Beach is no longer providing support for the many people that are running Win 9x. This raises the question - "Why can Cre*tive come up with new drivers where-as Turtle Beach cannot??!" Fortunately T/B has updated their web site to alert buyers that this card may have problems with Win 9x O/S's. If I knew this back when shopping for a sound card, I would not have bought the Santa Cruz. I later found out that this card runs best with a deadicated pci slot/Irq. If your m/board doesn't provide a special pci slot then there maybe pci steering problems. Again, this is probably due to a driver issue and/or poor design of which T/B is reluctant to address and correct this problem. I gave the S/C 2 stars because is does work with basic multimedia files and has an interesting s/w package, (with no credit going to the drivers). If you're into games, I'd spend my money on a top name-brand card instead. The bottom-line is if you really want to get the full use & stability from this card you'll have to upgrade your O/S [from W9x] & make sure your system bios is up to date!

100% of readers found this review helpful.

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5 Star Review   By member tony_51 - Mar 7, 2002   

Strengths: A great sound card

Weakness: very bad service, no bundled software,hateful people in sales, Control panel "Feels" like a wore out pice of junk

With all those things wrong with it would I ever buy another Turtle Beach sound card? You better believe it! If you love music there is NO other card that even comes close! None!! ..... Tony Hobbs

60% of readers found this review helpful.

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5 Star Review   By member 007 - Feb 14, 2002   

Strengths: 5.1/ & virtual 5.1 output for less money, Better Software then Creative Labs SB software. a3d & eax.

Weakness: none so far

I had a sb xgamer, and my sterio cable broke off in the 2 channel output female end so i bought a turtle beach. And all i gota say is, why the hell did i get the xgamer in the first place??? Unlike creative labs this card has sofware that is simple to use and doest take as much overhead to run. The stupid creative software makes my pc start so much slower when booting and its interface is stupid. I had to download a start up program and disable all the crap it put in my resistry including some news update which froze my me several times (win2k os) the turtle beach has the same sound if not better the the live card. Also installing the sc was SO easy, it didt take 3 hours like thoes 2 stupid creative cd's. I have klipsch 5.1 speakers and i recomend this sound card for sure

60% of readers found this review helpful.

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5 Star Review   By member dayveeman - Jan 10, 2002   

Strengths: The Santa Cruz is the best sound card I've ever come across. It uses very few resources, it supports ever 3D sound API out there and unlike the Sound Blaster Live, it has no problems with Athlons

Weakness: at around $70 it's not the cheapest, but that's still much less than most Sound Blaster Lives

Turtle Beach might not be as well known a brand as Creative Labs, but this sound card is awesome, the sound is incredible, you can output it to any surround sound system, it has a port that can be configured as an digital input or output, it has more feature, costs less, and has no problems working with windows 2000, windows XP, or any motherboard chipset.

100% of readers found this review helpful.

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1 Star Review   By member Cypherdude - Dec 22, 2001   

Strengths: None. Voyetra's Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card is not stable in a Windows 9x environment. It has difficulty sharing IRQ's so beware in Windows 2K/XP.

Weakness: Bad Win9x drivers which give all kinds of BSOD's, GPF's, and errors. Turtle Beach is not updating their old 1/15/2001 Windows 9x drivers for their Santa Cruz Sound Card.

I am getting all kinds of BSOD's, GPF's, and errors because Turtle Beach is not updating their Windows 9x drivers. I believe for newer hardware, they are out of date. While viewing DVD's ported to my TV, if I click around too much in the Santa Cruz Control Panel, it will GPF on me. This also occurs while simply listening to MP3's. When the Santa Cruz drivers GPF, they bring the whole system down and I must reboot. Sometimes just clicking on the Equalizer tab will give me a BSOD. I reinstalled using their downloaded web drivers. I still got the GPF's and BSOD's. After reinstalling their drivers 3 times, I emailed their tech support. They told me Santa Cruz cannot share IRQ's. I moved it to another slot so it does not share an IRQ and reinstalled a 4th time but it still crashes. I bought their Turtle Beach Santa Cruz sound card expecting to buy the best on the market or at least equal to the Sound Blaster Live product line. I called Turtle Beach and tech support told me they are no longer updating their Windows 9x drivers. If a user upgrades his hardware such as a motherboard, video card, etc..., and he keeps a Windows 9x O/S (98, 98SE), their Win9x drivers will be out of date. Their last Win9x drivers are dated Jan 15, 2001. If you upgrade your hardware but keep a Windows 9x O/S, buy a sound card manufactured by another company. I do not recommend Santa Cruz in Windows 2K/XP either because it will probably share an IRQ. I am very disappointed with Santa Cruz.

100% of readers found this review helpful.

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