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Preview of new high end Creative card X-Fi. - Page 3

post #31 of 51
Well, Creative dropped by for a visit - but I'm not sure whether I may already admit that we got fully demoed.

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini
post #32 of 51
One more day till it's released. Maybe you can do a full review then, lini?

Would like to see how it stacks against the Onkyo SE-90PCI / EMU 0404/1212

EDIT : Nevermind, the stupid counter on the site is counting time till next release of INFO, not the card itself. ARG.
post #33 of 51
It'll probably be a good gaming card, and hopefully it'll be better for music than the Audigy's, but that Tom's Hardware article is horrible. Their popularity is dismaying. They have to be utter retards to believe that any software can make music sound better than the original source. The only thing all this crap can do is prevent further degradation. But unfortunately, it sounds to me like they'll have some sort of noise reduction and DSP nonsense to actively mess around with your sound. Hopefully EMU will produce something useful from this new hardware.
post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWFokker
They have to be utter retards to believe that any software can make music sound better than the original source.
I guess every audiophile that gets a new CDP or DAC that bumps to 24bit or upsamples to 192KHz is an utter retard too

Creative may advertise using layman ad speak but I'd think a bunch of headphiles could read between the lines... "24 bit Crystalizer" Crystal makes upsampling chips, so this 'adspeak' is really just a way of saying the X-Fi has a 24/192 upsampling chip from Crystal.

In which case their advertising is no different than a Bel Canto saying their DAC2 is the best thing since sliced bread. But SB users aren't CD users so Creative targets MP3/WMA as the source. If Bel Canto did the same you'd hardly think of them as audiophile... so they don't and everyone and their dog goes on thinking 24/192 upsampling improves a 16/44 recording.

So if thinking the X-Fi can upsample an MP3 is utterly retarded, why do you think the Bel Cantos of the audiophile world can do it with CDs when they both share the same chip?

From what I've seen the X-Fi is a game enabled, 24/192 upsampling, 44.1KHz playback capable, E-Mu 1212m clone with a new DPS. It took a long time but the SB line is finally using E-Mu intellectual property.

But until I actually have one in hand I reserve final judgement.
post #35 of 51
From what I have heard so far the X-Fi Cards will not be able to do 44 KHz natively. As was said before a major part of the chip is dedicated to upsampling for that reason.

You mix up several terms here. 24 Bit resolution has nothing to do with upsampling. Upsampling a 44 KHz file _proberly_ would mean upsampling to 176 KHz (or 88). Upsampling such a file to 192 may introduce artifacts, even though much much less than upsampling to 48 KHz. The X-Fi is supposed to do this pretty much flawless, but it would still be better to have native 44/88/176 support like the EMUs.

Creatives statement that mp3's will sound better is complete garbage. You just can't bring back the lost information. Further tweaking with an equalizer or such will probably just bring you further away from the original source. Like "improving" a picture by increasing saturation to artificial levels.

Saying that the X-Fi cards will be EMUs, but with a new DSP and probably different DACs and clocks is a bit strange...
post #36 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude
(...) Creative may advertise using layman ad speak but I'd think a bunch of headphiles could read between the lines... "24 bit Crystalizer" Crystal makes upsampling chips, so this 'adspeak' is really just a way of saying the X-Fi has a 24/192 upsampling chip from Crystal. (...)
No, not really - it's more an "upsampler & (adjustable) exciter in one go" thingy. Defeatable too, so no worries - one might still like it or not, but it's just an extra feature. Personally, I don't think I'd be using it that much, but I could imagine positive effects (like a bit more bass punch & volume or some extra sparkle for the highs) on older movie sound, for example. Anyway, for us on Head-Fi, the new headphone virtualizer will be a lot more interesting.

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by breadnbutter
From what I have heard so far the X-Fi Cards will not be able to do 44 KHz natively. As was said before a major part of the chip is dedicated to upsampling for that reason. (...)
Don't be too sure about that yet. And don't make the wrong conclusions: In an ideal soundcard, one should actually implement both native sampling rate and upsampling support in order to support all types of applications.

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini
post #38 of 51
It would be great if Creative could decide to implement native 44 KHz support. So I would be happy to be proven wrong here . Hearing this from an "insider" makes my hopes rise!

Then again such a move would be much too intelligent and customer friendly for Creative - just so not company credo .

While I am certainly not against upsampling as a feature I am not sure if it brings any benefits. Doesn't the DAC perform a kind of upsampling anyway? (there probably have been uncountable discussions about this...).

Greetings from Hamburg
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by breadnbutter
(...) Then again such a move would be much too intelligent and customer friendly for Creative - just so not company credo .
Well, even big companies might be willing to learn - sometimes... Actually, it was pretty charming how Creative admitted "through the flowers" that they've received many a proper and well deserved bashing for the Audigy models lacking native 44.1 kHz support and bad resampling from audio enthusiasts (including us on Head-Fi, I'd assume ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by breadnbutter
While I am certainly not against upsampling as a feature I am not sure if it brings any benefits. Doesn't the DAC perform a kind of upsampling anyway? (there probably have been uncountable discussions about this...).
You should think in a different direction there: Apart from what happens inside the dacs, one also needs a good re-/upsampling unit already before that - for purposes like mixing multiple streams into one output stream or for better dsp effects et cetera.

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini
post #40 of 51
Now that sounds promising. I wonder what their output stages might look like then, the current ones could certainly use an improvement or two. Maybe the DACs used will finally have the chance to show what they're really capable of, it's not that Creative had been using bad parts there for the last few years (in fact, the DACs on some current models are oversized and limited by "the rest" - think Audigy 4 Pro with 4x CS4398 or Live! 24-Bit with CS4382).
post #41 of 51
Question: If there is no way to improve the sound after the recording comes out, why is it that there are tube fans out there, who honestly enjoy the sound of the second order distortion. I personally enjoy tubes myself from time to time, but I know it's not the original....

Not to start a flame war...
post #42 of 51
Quote:
Question: If there is no way to improve the sound after the recording comes out, why is it that there are tube fans out there, who honestly enjoy the sound of the second order distortion. I personally enjoy tubes myself from time to time, but I know it's not the original....
Well, its kinda off-topic, but anyway "improving" sound is a general term. People who like tubes think it "improves" the sound by adding warmth and color to recordings. Improving sound can also mean having a more accurate DAC, or a DAC which gives a wide sound stage. Whatever provides a more enjoyable listening experience is a way of improving sound.

There is, of course, no way to get more information out of a recording than what was recorded, so in that regard there is no way to "improve" the recording anymore.

Hope this helps
post #43 of 51
I am waiting for the first tube mod of an EMU card, now that would be smooth

But seriously, any "improvement" of the analogue signal should but done outside the card. From the card I expect a signal as true to the recording as possible. Then I am free to add a headamp with the "improvements" I want.

Maybe the X-Fi chip can be used to implement some kind of "true" crossfeed. By that I mean that a realistic transfer function is used to calculate the stereo signal as it should be for headphones (with the transfer function depending on the headphone type as well).
post #44 of 51
After buying a a Dolby Digital Live card, I won't be buying a single Creative card for the forseeable future.

Of course, that is because I have dedicated setups for gaming and music respectively.

Creative tries to have a card that does everything. For many here, it only does one thing well.

For me, it does nothing well.

-Ed
post #45 of 51
Mod edit: reference to deleted post removed.

The Creative cards are grossly overpriced; your 24-bit is 'great' for $30, but when you go up to $200 for an Audigy 2 ZS 'Platinum' you're being ripped off like a mofo. You could easily pick up an external DAC off of Audiogon (or even brand new, check out the Micro DAC from Headroom) which surpasses Creative's for the same price.

I have no gripes against the X-Fi, it's just that Creative failed to deliver in the past; the tainted name does not allow me to believe wholeheartedly that they are releasing a revolutionary product.
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