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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 129

post #1921 of 3010

The Z is easy to use and provides an excellent (gaming) audio experience. It also allows you to modify your voice output to sound like a robot. Use this power wisely.

post #1922 of 3010

Hi guys, I'm sorry if this question has been answered before, but I couldn't find anything regarding it

 

In my current setup, I have:

Titanium HD mini-toslink out > Zero DAC > Matrix M-stage > K702 annis

 

now if i want to try out the SBX Pro Studio in the Z series,

is it enough for me to just get the Z card? since i already have an external DAC and AMP. Or should i go for the Zxr?

 

now before anyone calls me out for being stupid, I would like to point out on the Newegg pages for the cards, it says:

"With external DACs delivering 124dB SNR" for the Zxr card, and

"With external DAC’s delivering 116dB SNR" for the Z card

 

What does this mean? What does signal-to-noise ratio mean? does the signal-to-noise ratio apply to the DAC chip digital to analog converting process or does it apply to the digital binaural surround process?
Does this mean my external DAC will perform better with Zxr than Z?


Thank you


Edited by TSTY - 10/7/13 at 12:51am
post #1923 of 3010
My logical assumption from everything I've learned on Head-fi is that the SNR occurs when a digital signal is being converted to analog, in which case, it won't matter since the conversion will be occuring through your Zero dac (with it's own SNR). After all, all the Zero DAC is being fed is 0s and 1s by those soundcards. Since you're using an external dac, going with the cheaper option would make the more logical choice, since you won't be using the 'better specs' of the higher end soundcard in your setup.

However, it's an assumption, so I hope someone with the know-how actually answer.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/7/13 at 12:46am
post #1924 of 3010
^ ya that pretty much sums it up. Your external DAC will perform the same with either card. Same exact features. The digital binaural processing or SBX surround I take it your speaking of, is part of the digital signal on the way to your external DAC. Its all one big encoded bit stream that hits the DAC and gets converted and sent to your amp and to your headphones.

The external DAC it is talking about is from the DAC chip onboard the PCB but separate from the sound processor. The soundcore3d(sound processor) has its own DAC but is inferior. The "external" DAC is not external to the card itself. Hopefully that clears up that confusion.

Creative/retailers really need to smarten up about wording especially when the average consumer who isn't a tech expert will be confused.
Edited by DJINFERNO806 - 10/7/13 at 1:30am
post #1925 of 3010
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSTY View Post
 

In my current setup, I have:

Titanium HD mini-toslink out > Zero DAC > Matrix M-stage > K702 annis

now if i want to try out the SBX Pro Studio in the Z series,

is it enough for me to just get the Z card? since I already have an external DAC and AMP. Or should i go for the Zxr?

now before anyone calls me out for being stupid, I would like to point out on the Newegg pages for the cards, it says:

"With external DACs delivering 124dB SNR" for the Zxr card, and

"With external DAC’s delivering 116dB SNR" for the Z card

What does this mean? What does signal-to-noise ratio mean? does the signal-to-noise ratio apply to the DAC chip digital to analog converting process or does it apply to the digital binaural surround process?
Does this mean my external DAC will perform better with Zxr than Z?

I would think, with using an external (optical input) DAC & headphone amplifier, the Z and ZxR would be the same, could be that someone involved with Newegg's web pages does not know a lot about sound cards and made some guesses about "external" connections.

Could be Newegg or Creative Labs is try to make the ZxR look better then the Z card by fudging the numbers.

 

TSTY, if I was you, I would be buying the cheapest Z card ($80?) or at least the cheapest Z card with a mic (SB1500, $95).

 

TSTY, have you tried hooking the Matrix M-Stage straight to the Titanium HD's RCA outputs?

See how the sound quality compares?

post #1926 of 3010

Thanks guys for the answers, I just ordered the Z card off amazon with the mic (kinda wanna try out the noise cancelling feature)

Creative really need to clarify their products better, especially their binaural surround technology. To this day all we really know about their qualities come from youtube comparison videos.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

 

TSTY, have you tried hooking the Matrix M-Stage straight to the Titanium HD's RCA outputs?

See how the sound quality compares?

Unfortunately, I got my Titanium HD from a friend, who used its opamps for other things. I didn't care at the time since I knew I'm gonna hook it up to a dac.

Will try it after my Z arrive.

post #1927 of 3010
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSTY View Post
 

Unfortunately, I got my Titanium HD from a friend, who used its op-amps for other things. I didn't care at the time since I knew I'm gonna hook it up to a DAC.

Will try it after my Z arrive.

Wow, so your using a Titanium HD that does not have op-amps.

Hopefully your friend did not charge you a lot for the Titanium HD?

post #1928 of 3010
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSTY View Post

Unfortunately, I got my Titanium HD from a friend, who used its opamps for other things. I didn't care at the time since I knew I'm gonna hook it up to a dac.
Will try it after my Z arrive.

Wow never heard of someone using a tiHD with no opamps haha.

Just to clarify the z doesn't have removable opamp sockets so you won't be able to swap them into your tiHD. If that's not what you meant then nvm lol.
post #1929 of 3010
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Wow, so your using a Titanium HD that does not have op-amps.

Hopefully your friend did not charge you a lot for the Titanium HD?

 

Not at all, I think I paid $50 for it, pretty good price, considering that was quiet a few years ago.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post


Wow never heard of someone using a tiHD with no opamps haha.

Just to clarify the z doesn't have removable opamp sockets so you won't be able to swap them into your tiHD. If that's not what you meant then nvm lol.

 

I meant i was gonna try plugging my amp directly into the sound card when my z arrives.

 

Logic would dictate that my huge and (relatively) expensive dedicated external dac board should sound better than a dac chip on a sound card, but you never know.

 

At any rate, I have 2 LT1364's in the Zero dac's preamp board i'm not using, but i'll need 2 more mono opamps to get the RCA out on TiHD to work. Might just drive down to the local radio shack and get 2, shouldn't be that expensive.

post #1930 of 3010
Lol I think it's safe to say it would blow the z out of the water. The specs make it out to be pretty beefy. One of the reviews from here stated that after burn in it gave out a nice tube amp like sound. Pretty awesome I'd say lol
post #1931 of 3010

Since my previous post asking for equipment advice I have changed the hardware a bit.  My local headphone shop is still sold out of E09k amps and another shop had the Audioengine D1 on sale so I bought that instead.  It definitely sounds different than my Fiio E17 (not bad, just different) that I was using before but the more interesting thing is the volume adjustment... or lack of.  Here's my current setup:

 

PC SPDIF OUT > SPDIF IN of Audioengine D1 > headphone OUT of Audioengine D1 > AKG K702.65

 

Assuming 6 o'clock is 0 volume, 6:30 is still no sound, 7 to 7:30 is what I have it at, by the time I reach 8 o'clock, it's already too loud.  Is there supposed to be so little adjustment with the D1 and K702.65?  There's no gain adjustment on the D1 and I thought the headphone amp on the D1 was supposed to be kind of weak.  Or am I just confusing loud sound with properly driven sound?

post #1932 of 3010

got this from the audioengine website

Quote:
The D1 includes a headphone amp based around the TI NE5532 low noise opamp. This headphone amp is able to provide low-impedance, high-fidelity audio to a wide range of headphones and supports headphones with impedances from 20 to 300ohms.

Considering the annis are rated at 65ohms, i'd say the D1 should be more than enough to drive it.

Having the the knob as such a low position probably means that there's too much gain.

Sorry, not sure what to do if you can't adjust the gain.

post #1933 of 3010
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvroArrow View Post
 

Since my previous post asking for equipment advice I have changed the hardware a bit.  My local headphone shop is still sold out of E09k amps and another shop had the Audioengine D1 on sale so I bought that instead.  It definitely sounds different than my Fiio E17 (not bad, just different) that I was using before but the more interesting thing is the volume adjustment... or lack of.  Here's my current setup:

 

PC SPDIF OUT > SPDIF IN of Audioengine D1 > headphone OUT of Audioengine D1 > AKG K702.65

 

Assuming 6 o'clock is 0 volume, 6:30 is still no sound, 7 to 7:30 is what I have it at, by the time I reach 8 o'clock, it's already too loud.  Is there supposed to be so little adjustment with the D1 and K702.65?  There's no gain adjustment on the D1 and I thought the headphone amp on the D1 was supposed to be kind of weak.  Or am I just confusing loud sound with properly driven sound?

Contact Audioengine, see what there tech support has to say.

Maybe it might help to turn down the volume a little, on the computer, with the windows volume control of the Creative labs volume control.

post #1934 of 3010

Do you guys know if the SBX Pro Studio binaural effect passes through the optical out on the Z-series cards, the same way CMSS-3D does on the X-Fi series? My current setup consists of an X-Fi Xtreme gamer outputting to an Audioengine D1, and it sounds amazing. I honestly don't want to change sound cards, but I'll be getting a new motherboard soon that has no PCI slots so I'll have no choice. I just want to make sure that things will work more or less the same as they do now.

post #1935 of 3010
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShrikeT View Post
 

Do you guys know if the SBX Pro Studio binaural effect passes through the optical out on the Z-series cards, the same way CMSS-3D does on the X-Fi series? My current setup consists of an X-Fi Xtreme gamer outputting to an Audioengine D1, and it sounds amazing. I honestly don't want to change sound cards, but I'll be getting a new motherboard soon that has no PCI slots so I'll have no choice. I just want to make sure that things will work more or less the same as they do now.

The Z series sound cards can pass headphone surround sound thru the optical output.

To save a few dollars, you can get a used Creative X-Fi Titanium (non-HD, PCI-E), sometimes for as little as $40, off eBay.

Might also work to get the newer Sound blaster Z (SB1500) for $100 and plug your headphones straight into the Z and you may lke the audio quality enough that you no longer need to use the Audioengine D1.

What headphones do you have?

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