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X-Fi Crystallizer Opinions...

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
First off, let's get it straight that there was a ton of marketing BS from Creative regarding its actual functionality - it's not 24-bit, it's just a dynamic EQ.

That said, I find the crystallizer tends to make music sound better - specifically it makes it more punchy which is generally good (on a few occasions this has hurt my ears). I've noticed many complaining that the crystallizer screws with the signal (which it does), however I'm wondering what those who have actually heard it think in comparison to standard. I'd like if we could formulate some sort of accurate opinion.

EDIT: A year later, I don't agree with my original opinions. Note that these opinions were based on my use of an HD650, a very laidback headphone to me
post #2 of 46
I used it briefly, then turned it off.

Why?

Because it seemed to make my music much brighter, and added what seemed to be a brightness in the mids/upper mids. With my Monsoons, it just ruined it for me, and from then on it stayed off, and will probably always be off.

I guess you could say that it sounded a bit unnatural to me. Though I'm sure it will vary person to person.

As for the dynamics, I have more than enough dynamics, enough to get anyone who is listening to the music to tap their feet, regardless of what they happen to be doing at the moment.
post #3 of 46
Creative X-Fi (scroll down, or just search for the word "crystalizer")

imho it sounds just as bad as CMSS and other assorted "goodies" that creative has promised over the years
post #4 of 46
CMSS 3D is useful as it increases the soundstage of headphones or my speakers. (XMOD has two separate jacks for speakers & headphones).

as for X-fi crystallizer...it causes Ear fatigue & causes my ear drums to hurt for long duration....it mainly improves tracks @ 128 kbps.....i listen to lots of genres actually & for mainstream music it improves the Beats i.e. Kick drums ..& cymbals & percussions.


U know in Photoshop u have a noise reduction feature? ...X-fi is basically like that feature...it post-processes the Signal & makes it sound better due to a its DSP's.
post #5 of 46
um, no

it applies an EQ curve as is shown in the link I provided (and as is described above by the other posters), Creative just wants you to think its actually throwing all of this "insane DSP power" into "post processing" the signal, it really isn't (the computing power required to do what you say is, well, quite simply beyond the x-fi's abilities)

as far as CMSS 3D being useful, on what planet do you live? it sounds horrible and destroys the soundstage, at least on every speaker, headphone, IEM, surround sound system, etc i've ever attempted it on

and drawing analogs between photoshop and the x-fi is terrible imho, photoshop is nearly $1000 USD and designed as professional editing software, the x-fi is a nice processor, but it is not the end all for audio, and by no means does it actually apply a "noise removal filter" to audio (open up a program like Sound Forge and apply a SIMPLE filter to 2-3 minutes of audio, watch your CPU usage and memory draw, and count how long it takes it to run that, now realize that the X-Fi has nowhere near that much RAM or processing power)
post #6 of 46
I quite like it, but then I usually listen to music on the bright side. Haven't really given my X-Fi enough of a work out to say much about it in the long term, but for now it's all sounding very good, 'brilliant' you might say.
post #7 of 46
I don't like it. I can't even use it since I'm using ASIO via audio creation mode.
post #8 of 46
It destroys the sound. CMSS3D Headphone in Game Mode is very usefull in games that use hardware 3d acceleration and it improves spatial and directional imaging quite a bit, at the cost of some clarity and airyness. But Crystallizer makes the music sound so unnatural and overly bright and compressed and it doesnt help a thing in games either IMO. For music I use Audio Creation + bitperfect and ASIO anyway. Clean signal is best for music afterall.
post #9 of 46
Yep! I think it sucks. I got one a few years back to play games but that's about it. All it does now is collect dust. :/
post #10 of 46
I like it very much..........to turn it off
Creative card is full of useless feature and this one is not the worse.
Why not DDL creative?
post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
um, no

it applies an EQ curve as is shown in the link I provided (and as is described above by the other posters), Creative just wants you to think its actually throwing all of this "insane DSP power"...
The Digit-life article is wrong. It looks like it's just an eq because they're only looking at a sine wave. Play music and it does artificially enhance dynamics.
post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
as far as CMSS 3D being useful, on what planet do you live? it sounds horrible and destroys the soundstage, at least on every speaker, headphone, IEM, surround sound system, etc i've ever attempted it on
CMSS 3d sounds pretty nice in Battlefield 2 as it can mimic surround sound on headphones. Though I never actually use it much. The algorithm is different if used on speakers or headphones. On speakers the effect is less noticeable but it still enhances soundstage somewhat.
post #13 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
(open up a program like Sound Forge and apply a SIMPLE filter to 2-3 minutes of audio, watch your CPU usage and memory draw, and count how long it takes it to run that, now realize that the X-Fi has nowhere near that much RAM or processing power)
You can't directly compare a dedicated dsp and a general processor. The dsp will have a huge advantage in speed because it's designed just for certain things.
post #14 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokonsky View Post
Why not DDL creative?
Newest drivers for X-fi enable ddl.
post #15 of 46
the digit-life article isn't wrong, its showing what card is doing to shape the audio to "improve" the dynamics (its marketing fluff)

as far as CMSS, honestly I've never played with headphone mode (didn't evnenknow the x-fi could do such a thing, I just ignore CMSS entirely since all of the previous creative boards its just like a crappier version of Pro Logic (2.0/2.1 -> 5.1/7.1 (which sounds like crap even on Dolby systems)), the headphone mode may or may not sound better, but my question is, why aren't you using EAX acceleration for positional audio, and setting it to stereo? (thats just what I've found to work the best, I'll have to play around with CMSS Headphone realizing its a feature on X-Fi that I did miss)

"can't compare a dedicated DSP and a general processor", true, but you really want to argue (uphill) that the Creative chip can magically fix ultra-compressed content and turn it into lossless/the original signal, my point in saying that is even in systems with hardware acceleration (like a ProTools HD system, thats 27+ DSPs for those of you at home counting), you can't just magic some of the stuff Creative claims the X-Fi can do, and I gurantee it does not bring as much power to the table as a ProTools Accel card

yes, its a neat feature for the marketers, but it doesn't, and will not, apply a "fixit" to audio, and somehow improve the signal, its common knowledge that you cannot take a signal going through a system and improve it (for example if it comes off the CD sounding like crap, it isn't going to get better, period, you can just do damage control for how much worse it can potentially get)



also, marek, ygpm (it isn't a flame)
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