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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 81

post #1201 of 3401
I bought an upgrade version of Win8 Pro after downloading the preview version last year, installed it once then a clean install again when shockingly all 3 of my hard drives got corrupted and needed refirmatted. Only problem, I put win8 preview on an IDE drive I salvaged and adapted to a SATA port, and I haven't been able to put it on my SSD drive that would be much faster and (it seems) less likely to develop a glitch.
Anybody know if an upgrade version of Win8 (which I can confirm is able to perform a full install from blank) can install on a different harddrive? Or is it locked to install only on one drive, like it can only be registered to work with one motherboard?

Thanks, this is about the only thing holding me back from purchasing a SB-Z: a speedy and reliable system.
post #1202 of 3401
Well I bought a Z. Sadly I won't be able to see how the new cans sound with the Z compared to the old setup with a Razer Tiamet 7.1 until Sunday evening.
post #1203 of 3401

Got an official reply back from Creative re: headphone mode via Optical/TosLink (not that I doubted any of you by any means - official confirmation is always a good thing, especially for people looking for a quick answer here on Head-Fi). Wasn't expecting anything back from them but here you go:



I am sorry to hear that there seems to be a lot of confusions here.  From your first email, the way I understand your statement is simple and answer is straight-forward. Even if you plug your  headphone over your DAC connected from the soundcard via optical, our software control panel still allows you to toggle between Speakers and Headphone.  In other words, you are not stuck between these modes. There is no such limitation as far as operation is concerned in the software.


The only interesting factor with this soundcard is the ability to play simultaneous from two sources, your analog and digital, and  that option is located within the SBX Pro Studio software.  Audio is processed using "Play Stereo-Mix." which you also mentioned. 
Best Regards,
Senior Technical Support Specialist
Creative Worldwide Customer Response


When I get the readies (grr.. damned bills), I'll be ordering up an Audio-GD 11.32 or 15.32 with an OEM SBZ. (Purple -when are you going to write up a mini review of your 15?? :smile: )

Edited by SaLX - 11/2/13 at 1:48pm
post #1204 of 3401

So I take it that they are saying Headphone Mode will work over Optical. I don't get his second paragraph though. He is saying that you can use the line in and the optical in at the same time? You couldn't do that before?

post #1205 of 3401
Ya still a bit of a confusing answer.

But regardless I'm glad that people can buy a cheap sbz and use optical out to some serious hardware wink.gif
post #1206 of 3401

Watsaname - yeah this is official confirmation.


The second paragraph is, I'm pretty sure, referring to the old X-FI's isn't it? Didn't want to ask any more questions of them. No way.


http://support.creative.com/kb/ShowArticle.aspx?sid=107538 ??

Edited by SaLX - 11/2/13 at 4:16pm
post #1207 of 3401

I see, so that means that you will basically HAVE to have "Play Stereo-Mix" enabled when going through spdif for it to work. It scares me that it says that there maybe latency when going through spdif, which could mean gaming and movie watching will be a butchered experience.

post #1208 of 3401

Ya if you dont enable "Play Stereo Mix", it wont send the 2 channel pcm with effects over digital.  Instead it will default to using an encoder for 5.1(upmixed or not).


I think the latency issues were only seen on z's that used an encoder am I right?  Because that's the only other situation wihere the soundcore would have to do more work.  Otherwise whatever PCM stream it was going to send to the DAC, can just be split and sent to the optical out too.

post #1209 of 3401

I told you guys how it works. ;)

post #1210 of 3401

Will the SB-Z OEM version (without the EMI protecting outer shell) be much of a degrade from the retail version? How likely am I to hear static noise?


Also, I'm currently using a configuration of X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) Fatal1ty --> Fiio E11 --> Sennheiser HD-598. I'm thinking of upgrading to either the SB-Z and return the E11, or upgrading the amp to Schiit Magni. Which of the 3 configurations would offer better SQ, or would it be pretty much similar? BTW, the HD598's are only 50ohm headphones so should be easy to drive.


1. X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) Fatal1ty --> Fiio E11 --> Sennheiser HD-598

2. Sound Blaster Z --> (no additional external amp) --> Sennheiser HD-598

3. X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) Fatal1ty --> Schiit Magni --> Sennheiser HD-598

post #1211 of 3401
Your first point, some report static with the oem card, others dont. I guess it all depends on how much emi your PC has going on inside.

Question is why do you want the sbz? Sq will be better as it uses a newer DAC when compared to the titanium.

But the x-fi will offer better support for older games.

Which amp to use depends on how much power you need or will need. The magni would be my choice over the e11.

But for budgets sake, just get the z and use the 598's directly with it. Then down the road add the magni wink.gif
post #1212 of 3401

Main reason I want to upgrade from E11, is that I want a more permanent desktop PC solution, without using something that's portable and requires charging.


I don't play much older games, mainly newer ones like CSGO, bioshock inifinity, battlefield 3/4 mainstream ones, so as long as SBZ has good driver support it should be fine.


Why do you think I still would need the Magni after I upgrade to SBZ? I thought the SBZ can drive up to 600 ohm so the 50 ohm from HD598 should be no problem right? Does the Magni offer any further SQ improvements if the headphones are already driven properly by the SBZ amp?

post #1213 of 3401
The sbz is marketed to power 600 ohm headphones but that means nothing.

In reality the headphone amp can barely power most 250ohm cans. You need to look at the spec sheets to figure out the power delivery. I think its like 120 ish milliwatts into 250 ohms. I dont remember.The magni will improve this issue tremendously if you ever want to venture into higher end headphones that require more power.

The other reason is impedance mismatching. The 1/8th rule. Look it up. The sbz has a 22 ohm output impedance, that's pretty high to use with low impedance headphones. Even yours right now. So its reported that that would give you all kinds of distortions. Add the magni to the headphone out and this would alleviate that issue if you wanted. Its output impedence is less than 0.1 ohms I believe.

Anyway this is all suggestion, if it sounds good to you then be happy.
Edited by DJINFERNO806 - 11/3/13 at 8:13pm
post #1214 of 3401

The thing is, would spending $200 more right now to upgrade to both the SBZ and the Magni make much of a difference from my current Titanium + E11? I don't plan on upgrading to any better headphones in the next 5 years btw, as I use my heaphones mainly at night when my neighbors are more vigilant in issuing noise complaints :)

post #1215 of 3401
The z alone should be fine for you then with your headphones. The impedence mismatch is just something a lot of people seem to notice. However all my headphones are in the 150+ ohm range so I didnt have any issues directly that I could explain.

Maybe some of the members can chime in on how the 558's or other lower impedance headphones sound on the z. Is the mismatch that bad?
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