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Guillemot Maxi-Sound Fortissimo (Page 2/3)

Posted: January 20, 2000
Written by: David "Spunk" Grampa
Estimated retail price: $49.99

The 3D Audio Experience

Test System
  • Intel Pentium II 450MHz

  • Abit BE6 i440BX Motherboard

  • 128MB of PC100 SDRAM

  • WesternDigital ATA/66 HD

  • Matrox G400 32MB at 1024x768

  • Cambridge/Creative Soundworks 4.1 Speakers

  • Guillemot Maxi-Sound Fortissimo Soundcard
The Gaming Experience

After bustin' on into Quake3:Arena, Half-Life, and Unreal Tournament we were able to test out some 3D Gaming Audio. On a four speaker setup, 3D audio was- well, pretty much bitchin'... Rippers bouncing off the walls in UT sounded realistic (as if I've heard a real ripper going off?). However, in most of the games a two channel setup sounded just as good... Meaning the rear channels were not well implemented. At any rate, Half-Life sounded nice, although Aureal3D would sample a lot better in version 2.0, can't get everything for $49.99 though. Moving on, Creative's EAX performed surprisingly well, on par with an AWE 64. Not to say the Fortissimo is the leader in 3D Gaming Audio, but at a Price to Performance ratio, you got yourself a buy. Great gaming sound all without dropping frames and tying up vital CPU cycles. Kudos to Guillemot!

The MP3/CD Experience

While sampling at 128+ kbps, MP3's sounded crisp and clear. What else than to bump to some MP3 ambient techno, and a little Prodigy. Hell, we even threw in a Chemical Brothers CD and listened to it all at the same time. Not a problem, if you can mix it the Fortissimo can play it. And well I may add. (Hmm, what else can I say besides Crisp and Clear? Ahh screw it, I'll just go play some Quake3:Arena here.)

The Theater Experience

DVD movies, mmm, The Matrix and Saving Private Ryan. Track skip to the Office Scene in Matrix and my friends and I were motionless and listening in awe (no pun to Creative intended). Bullets ricocheting, shells hitting the marble floor, explosions, more bullets, and cool fruit/vegetable sounds. Not your entire home theater solution, but in my opinion The Matrix never sounded better with a plump wallet. Finally a soundcard that I can afford after those $300 speakers.

To check things twice, I didn't hesitate to slip in Saving Private Ryan. This time, the movie made me puke, but only because of the realism (as in sound/graphics) of the Normandy scene. Although the theater experience was only tested with gunfire, hey, it sounded pretty damn good =). If you're looking for the absolute ultimate in Home Theater, wait for the arrival of fully capable AC-3 soundcards that make major use of those rear channels. In the meantime, the Fortissimo is 'the one' in affordable Theater Sound.

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