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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 73

post #1081 of 2106

thanks. e11 it is then. Moar Powa!

post #1082 of 2106

It's funny... you guys would want headphone mode for lineout, I'm the opposite that wants stereo speakers/5.1 for headphone jack (because I always found the soundstage better since Audigy days in the Creative drivers if using stereo vs headphones). xD Is really only me noticing better soundstage using lineout vs headphone jack? Don't you prefer a more surround experience or do you like a more claustrophobic stereo image of headphone mode? Just curious, I'm a surround enthusiast that prefers music surrounding me and putting me in center of it so everything can swirl around me, the headphone HRTF is more like listening to two speakers coming slightly in front of you and I just don't like that.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 10/17/13 at 10:15pm
post #1083 of 2106
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post
 

It's funny... you guys would want headphone mode for lineout, I'm the opposite that wants stereo speakers/5.1 for headphone jack (because I always found the soundstage better since Audigy days in the Creative drivers if using stereo vs headphones). xD Is really only me noticing better soundstage using lineout vs headphone jack? Don't you prefer a more surround experience or do you like a more claustrophobic stereo image of headphone mode? Just curious, I'm a surround enthusiast that prefers music surrounding me and putting me in center of it so everything can swirl around me, the headphone HRTF is more like listening to two speakers coming slightly in front of you.

Mmm, well for me I get the claustrophobic feeling from the headphone, most likely output impedance trickery. After plugging my headphones into the front panel of my computer, it feels like it solved the claustrophobic feeling though. I am thinking the front panel connector has a lower output impedance. Or it could all just be beautiful placebo, not too sure yet.

 

The line out/speaker out is just screwed up sound-stage where like everything is only coming from in front of you. It makes it feel like your headphones are mimicking a 2.0 speaker set up rather then being actual headphones. But I just think that is just cause the speaker out is using an algorithm to make sure you can only the stuff in front of you only from in front of you. 

post #1084 of 2106

I dont see why it creative couldnt do it.  Instead of using HRTF method 1, use method 2.  Done. lol.  

 

The X-FI did this.  Different cmss3d modes.  Headphone & Virtual.

 

They tried to do a one size fits all audio card to fit the masses.  They probably figured it would intrigue all the regular PC joes who never gave a thought to PC audio. But in the process they forgot about the hardcore guys like us who like tinkering and options.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by watsaname View Post
 

 But I just think that is just cause the speaker out is using an algorithm to make sure you can only the stuff in front of you only from in front of you. 

 

Thats what ive been saying since the beginning when people started saying it sounded different.  By design it has to.


Edited by DJINFERNO806 - 10/17/13 at 10:33pm
post #1085 of 2106

Yeah, I agree they made it very straightforward and user friendly, no real tinkering required. Which is unfortunate for those of us who want to have more control over things.

 

If they are afraid of making the GUI too complicated for new users, they can do something similar to what MSI Afterburner does. To access everything like voltage control and higher overclocking, you have to go into the user.ini and add a line of text. 

post #1086 of 2106
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post
 

It's funny... you guys would want headphone mode for lineout, I'm the opposite that wants stereo speakers/5.1 for headphone jack (because I always found the soundstage better since Audigy days in the Creative drivers if using stereo vs headphones). xD Is really only me noticing better soundstage using lineout vs headphone jack? Don't you prefer a more surround experience or do you like a more claustrophobic stereo image of headphone mode? Just curious, I'm a surround enthusiast that prefers music surrounding me and putting me in center of it so everything can swirl around me, the headphone HRTF is more like listening to two speakers coming slightly in front of you and I just don't like that.

 

 

No what most of these guys want is the headphone HRTF mode from the line outs so they can amp those externally without having to use the headphone out's amp and then the external amp.

 

The headphone HRTF is made to exactly do that, mimic 2 speakers that would come from in front of you.  You want to be enveloped with surround stereo im assuming?  So what you want is what SBX surround does when you select 5.1 speakers and have a 2.0 music source playing.  Upmixing of 2 channel sound into stereo surround or maybe even more what pro logic would do?  Basically what CMSS3D Surround would do.

 

I was thinking about what you were saying that perhaps the problems with the claustrophobic sound stage is software.  Why dont you use stereo direct with your headphones and let me know what that sounds like.  That bypasses all creative processing and sends the pcm stream right to the DAC.  This in theory should give you an idea if your theory is correct.

 

Just an idea ;)


Edited by DJINFERNO806 - 10/17/13 at 11:15pm
post #1087 of 2106

I took a look again at the driver configs for the SBZ/Zx and apparently all users can do now is edit a few .ini settings (bass boost, crystalizer, treble control, those sorta things you can already do through the control panel), most of which has no adjustment to alter the software.

Back on X-Fi drivers, users could alter what needs to be disabled or enabled, changed and what not, right down to dealing with registries.

 

Pretty much confirms Creative's way of trying to reach out to the masses. It's going to take some clever tinkering to even come up with a proper modded Z driver.

 

The ZxR has a different set of drivers btw.

post #1088 of 2106

I will take a look at the ZXR ini's when I get home, but im doutbful it will be any different.

post #1089 of 2106
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post
 

 

No what most of these guys want is the headphone HRTF mode from the line outs so they can amp those externally without having to use the headphone out's amp and then the external amp.

 

The headphone HRTF is made to exactly do that, mimic 2 speakers that would come from in front of you.  You want to be enveloped with surround stereo im assuming?  So what you want is what SBX surround does when you select 5.1 speakers and have a 2.0 music source playing.  Upmixing of 2 channel sound into stereo surround or maybe even more what pro logic would do?  Basically what CMSS3D Surround would do.

 

I was thinking about what you were saying that perhaps the problems with the claustrophobic sound stage is software.  Why dont you use stereo direct with your headphones and let me know what that sounds like.  That bypasses all creative processing and sends the pcm stream right to the DAC.  This in theory should give you an idea if your theory is correct.

 

Just an idea ;)

 

I don't have the card installed but I remember Stereo direct sounding quite the same as "stereo" which to me sounds better than using headphone mode. But yea my preferences are like I don't want to hear a direction from where music comes from, I want myself to be center and everything else surrounding me, then I get the ideal listening experience. Yes I quite enjoyed how music sounded with SBX but it did hurt sound quality a little bit so therefore I wasn't fully satisfied using it like that.

I think it's a conjunction of high output impedance + the way Creative does the headphone HRTF that makes me dislike the ZxR, that I get even more satisfaction with an onboard Realtek (in this case with the best of the best when it comes to Realtek, ALC1150 + TI NE5532 opamps). With Realtek I'm using 5.1 speakers with certain speaker options + "Front" volume which affects overall volume besides the main volume slider set to 98%, yes lowering this from 100% to 98% affects soundstage slightly from being everything pushed more in-your-face/in-your-head leaving very little depth presence at 100% to still pretty up-front sounding at 98% but much more depth. This config makes for my taste a much more engaging soundstaging.

 

The Realtek also had better synergy with my headphones and amp, now it sounds perfectly balanced in the mids and highs versus ZxR with this same config being a bit too murky sounding, lack of highs sparkliness and overhelming bass (not overly tight either). The Realtek has tighter bass (but still very plentiful, big difference versus older chips) and a more analytical neutral sound (I pictured ZxR slightly towards a warm "analog" sound, I loved the mids and that's where ZxR's keystrength lies but both the highs and bass I'd give to the Realtek with this particular amp+headphone config. The ZO has same signature as ZxR so it got too much of the "good" so to speak, while with the Realtek config which is quite analytical sounding with those opamps seems to have perfect synergy with the ZO amp and I'm guessing the impedance must be a lot lower too).

 

ZxR is a good card but it just doesn't work for me, the way I want to hear music + the equipment I got.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 10/18/13 at 3:16am
post #1090 of 2106
^ that's fair to be honest. at the end of the day whatever sounds best to you.

I don't know if its my ears that are fubar'd but I don't get that small soundstage or clusterphobic sound. My zxr sounds fantastic to me. More so than similarly priced schiit or fiio DACs/amps.

Lol weird...
post #1091 of 2106

I don't have all these problems either but then I am using the digital out (yeah, with the ZxR =D)

post #1092 of 2106

Fegefeuer - see you're using digital out. If your using headphones is there any chance you could tell us if you can select Headphones as well as Speakers in the Speakers/Headphones tab in the Creative CP? This is of great interest to me. Also check out DJInferno's post over at http://www.overclock.net/t/1337761/creative-sound-blaster-z-zx-zxr-series/1130

 

Many thanks.


Edited by SaLX - 10/21/13 at 8:28pm
post #1093 of 2106

yes, you can switch between headphones and speakers (which I regularly do) and yes the SBX modes are different. Easy test with Guild Wars Login Screen with the campfire. With Headphone mode you get all the coherence with headphones on, with speaker mode it's too wide and dependant on L/R.

 

Since the campfire starts at the left side of the screen (background pans through the scenery) the speaker mode is very focused on the left ear and is weird/flat, with headphone mode everything gets space and does not have this extreme sided effect.

 

The good thing about Guild Wars is that it supports EAX (GW2 does not, played it for 5-6 hours max anyway) so I tested everything again with Alchemy on (SBX is turned off automatically as known) and it's the same difference. The Creative software indeed uses different algorithms depending on which mode you select. 


Edited by Fegefeuer - 10/18/13 at 1:02pm
post #1094 of 2106
^ do you mean you can switch between modes and it affects the optical out sound?

Pardon my ignorance, I don't use digital out.
post #1095 of 2106

yes

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