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Creative X-FI HD USB revealed

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 

So i bought a new soundcard, the x-fi hd usb, and opened it up so everybody can see just how much hardware this baby hides under the hood. So i'll just post a picture...




After i'll install the drivers I will make some RMAA tests, but beware, this thing has awesome output but not so hi-end input, so basically the rmaa results kind of benchmark the line-in, not the line out, because the line-out has far better specs.

Stay tuned...

post #2 of 72
Thread Starter 

By the way, just spotted the heart of this soundcard as being a Cirrius Logic CS5361 KZZ, i will search the web for it's datasheet for specs but after the rmaa tests


Later edit: Cirrius Logic datasheet says that this chip will do :


 24-bit Conversion
 114 dB Dynamic Range
 -105 dB THD+N
post #3 of 72
Thread Starter 

so here's the rmaa test, actually two tests, both tests were conducted using the headphone out as signal source, and the first test used the mic-in as recording device, while the second test used the line-in as recording.


test results.bmp


So it has better specs than my creative x-fi xtreme gamer, but lets analyse these results a little. We can see that altough the mic-in has a little more noise, it has better (lower) harmonic distortion. 

For some subjective listening experience: I own a Sennheiser HD485 set of headphones, and it drives theme to extinction... :) really, if i let the volume at 100% for 15 minutes my headphones start smelling like roasted duck. The output current capability of this soundcard is great. And while playing at 100% volume, there is no distortion in the headphones...

All tests were conducted at 24 bit 96 KHz settings in creative console, and i use foobar2000 for playing flac files with resampler activated and set to 96KHz ultra mode.

post #4 of 72

Nice post,thank you for sharingbiggrin.gif

post #5 of 72
Thread Starter 

Update: I found another chip that seems to be the DAC: AKM AK4396VF.

By the way, I managed to fry the muting circuit on this card by trying to run rmaa between two computers. When i inserted the jack from the x-fi hd usb into my other computer's soundcard, some small flames appeared, because one computer was grounded and the other was not, and the output muting circuits on the x-fi hd usb fryed, leaving me without sound on both line-out and headphones out, but fortunately the opamps had not been affected, so I rerouted the headphone out directly to the opamp output using verry thinn wires, a modified soldering iron with a verry narrow tip, and a magnifying glass, lots of light. It's a job for old chinese people but i did it and now there's sound output again. YEY!


the small dark smd got left out... it sorth of happens here in Roumany, when you fix something, it's often that some parts remain left out:


damaged muting circuit.JPG

post #6 of 72

Does the X-Fi HD USB have the EMU20K2 processor?

post #7 of 72
post #8 of 72
Thread Starter 

This is a macro of the muting circuit removed because it was defective, and the strapping to make the soundcard usable again:





and the full board at hi-rez




post #9 of 72

Awesome card,thanks man!

I have the X-fi titanium HD pci-e and its just kick ass!

post #10 of 72

I purchased my X-FI HD for the express purpose of getting USB  to optical S/PDIF on my Sony TA-E9000ES preamp. It works, and with Windows 7 properties set to 24/96, which matches the highest bit rate the Sony will accept, so far, all genres of music I've filed in iTunes, no matter the bit rate, sound really good up-sampled to 24/96 as processed in Windows.

post #11 of 72
Thread Starter 

When I run RMAA in win7 on the X-FI HD USB at 24bit 96KHz i get an error saying that the usb device has exceeded maximum bandwidth... has anyone else bumped over this problem?

post #12 of 72
Originally Posted by razvitm View Post

When I run RMAA in win7 on the X-FI HD USB at 24bit 96KHz i get an error saying that the usb device has exceeded maximum bandwidth... has anyone else bumped over this problem?

make sure it's plugged into a USB 2.0 slot, not USB 1.0 or 1.1

post #13 of 72

Any comparison against the uDAC-2 and/or Fiio E7? biggrin.gif

post #14 of 72

Damage sucks.

Good thing you were able to repair it.  =]


Might you do any cap and opamp rolling?

post #15 of 72

This is a little off-topic, but do you know much about the optical-in on the back? I'm currently running an optical cable from my Xbox (which the microsoft site says outputs PCM stereo 16-bit 48000) and then using the software enhancements in the card's THX Trustudio pro in order to get simulated headphone surround. I was just wondering if you had any idea what my audio settings should be at to get the optimal quality from this setup :P Thankyou! 

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