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Creative X-FI HD USB revealed - Page 4

post #46 of 58

somebody help - i find this soundcard harsh and bright - is there anyway to mod the opamp etc or is it possible..

to change this problem.

 

ie. can i change the op amps and caps? and will that improve the sound from this device??

im about to shelve this thing.

post #47 of 58

Regarding the quality of the DAC conversion - for me it`s important to check if the volume control is implemented by slicing bits from the samples (mul/div by 2/4/8/16/32/etc) or there is analog hardware potentiometers with digital control. Cheapest usb devices usually do not have analog potentiometers. Software volume control reduces the samples resolution especially in 16-bit mode. It can make your DAC to utilize 14 or less bits. If we want to prevent it, we need to set the volume to 100% on the software PCM and master controls and have potentiometers in our amplifiers - one for each channel. Since the analog potentiometers are noisy things and for 5.1 one would need a lot (6) of them, a digitally controlled analog solution is needed. Something like MCP41010. But note - the digital potentiometers add harmonic distortions (~0.05%) and have capacitance.

 

AFAIK X-FI HD ust like SB 1090 does NOT have harware volume control, so it slices bits (Software volume control).  IMO creative is not a good design sold at not so low price. It doesn`t support usb asynchronous transfers (with precise clock to DAC) also.

 

I still have X-FI SB 1090 and have found several major design flaws (LDO selection for analog circuits, lack of muting circuit, relatively powerful processor that`s not used even to do software volume control, doesn`t support usb audio class 2 standard, doesn`t get detected as Hi-Speed USB2.0 w/o drivers, doesn`t support usb async operation, software volume control, turns off & on the analog power of the DAC and amplifier ICs during usb bus resets which (in combination with very fast ramp-up LDO regulator) causes irritating spikes when it`s directly connected to a powerful amplifier). I bought it because I thought that it`s something that it isn`t.

 

But did "Creative" fixed `em all in X-FI HD ? 

 

How/where do you control the volume ?

 

more information about asynchronous and other usb DAC solutions here: USB


Edited by Gele - 5/19/12 at 11:11am
post #48 of 58

I was thinking of getting one of these for my niece for the spare bedroom for laptop headphone listening or should i not bother?xfi pro.jpgCreative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro - USB

post #49 of 58

I've enjoyed my X-FI HD for about a year now. I use it today as a USB to S/PDIF converter. I am satisfied with my purchase. It also works as a S/PDIF to USB converter, as well as a DAC. I have used my X-FI for those functions too. I do not perceive that the X-FI has a sound. It just gets computer audio to my home theatre and audio from my DAT's, and LP's to my computer without fuss.

post #50 of 58

What about this does it make any stereo headphone surround?creative pro go.jpg

post #51 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by our martin View Post

What about this does it make any stereo headphone surround?creative pro go.jpg

Yes. 

 

With the advent of the ODAC, I can't really recommend the X-Fi HD much unless you need the Toslink and the connectivity options. The X-fi HD used as a headphone amp is terrible tbh as the input and output buffers appear to be the same(I measured it and referenced a photo of its internals). Using 24/96 output is one of the ways to get stellar perfomance out of the X-fi HD as poor upsampling can increase the distortion, this option is readily available in Foobar(somewhere) and Jriver Media Centre. 

 

Long story short, It would be nice to pair it with a proper amplifier.

post #52 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by firev1 View Post

Yes. 

 

With the advent of the ODAC, I can't really recommend the X-Fi HD much unless you need the Toslink and the connectivity options. The X-fi HD used as a headphone amp is terrible tbh as the input and output buffers appear to be the same(I measured it and referenced a photo of its internals). Using 24/96 output is one of the ways to get stellar perfomance out of the X-fi HD as poor upsampling can increase the distortion, this option is readily available in Foobar(somewhere) and Jriver Media Centre. 

 

Long story short, It would be nice to pair it with a proper amplifier.

My pc has 24bit sound anyway so you could use it with stereo headphones and get surround sound for gaming i.e battlefield3 will sound more directional and you will be able to hear were the chopper is with stereo headphones and it wouldn't down grade the sound? I think i won't bother there is supposed to be a buzzing noise i will go for the dss2 instead and get my niece a fiio e17 instead of the xfi soundblaster because there's supposed to be a poppin noise.. But thanks anyway!


Edited by our martin - 5/22/12 at 1:53pm
post #53 of 58
Hey guys

Does X-Fi HD properly support EAX? I found this thread http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1038146997 which seems to suggest that there are some problems
Is it better in modern games than e.g. Asus Xonar U3 ?


Aleh
post #54 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by OlegYch View Post

Hey guys
Does X-Fi HD properly support EAX? I found this thread http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1038146997 which seems to suggest that there are some problems
Is it better in modern games than e.g. Asus Xonar U3 ?
Aleh

 

If you're comparing the X-Fi HD USB with the Xonar U3, then it does have superior EAX support. However, when compared to PCI and PCIe X-Fi cards, it doesn't have as good support due to the lack of pure hardware audio pipeline. The Xonar U3 has limited EAX support (the same as onboard audio chips) and lower output quality.

 

Overall, the X-Fi HD USB is a superior device in both general audio playback as well as gaming.

post #55 of 58
Thanks Roller!
post #56 of 58

I own this card along with an Adcom GDA 700 20 bit external DAC. It works like a charm getting my bits to the Adcom. I also am using it to listen to 24 bit FLAC and ALAC native. It is strapped up with a pair of Kimber PBJ's. In 16 bit mode, the sound does not compete with 15 year old $1,000 Burr Brown DAC. It also doesn't do HDCD. But with 24 bit files it is much more competitive since the older DAC has to truncate to 48 or 44.1. I am happy with the sound in 24 bit and it works very well with JRiver in terms of controlling the hardware. Using JRiver, I can also upsample 16 bit to 24/96 with the Creative/JRiver.

 

But in the end, still not as nice as even the old classic Adcom/Burr Brown with 16 bit material. It's a good buy for $90 though!  An even better buy would be to find a used Adcom GDA700 for around $250! Same chipset as a Mark Levinson No 36 DAC and Nelson Pass Class A output stage!. I'm never getting rid of mine!

post #57 of 58

Hi , can anyone compare the X-Fi HD with the Audioengine D1? If  the D1 is significant I am willing to upgrade.
Right away I can see that the X-Fi HD has a couple 1-ups over the D1 by haveing a Line in/Phono input as well as a Optical Ouput and Microphone input. But hows the difference in sound?
post #58 of 58
I have just unpack mine recently and the sound is excellent. Im using Grado Sr60 .The bass is quite awesome with that card.The big advantage its an easy swap from computer to computer.My next step is to try the phono pre-amp
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