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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 85

post #1261 of 2363

In combination with my headphones line-out always gave me a weird soundstage, positioning wasn't accurate. This might also have to do with my opamps, OPA2228, that improved positioning/soundstage while using headphone out, but line-out certainly didn't sound right in my case.

 

I'm having huge issues with disconnects at boot lately though. I've been using the same mainboard for quite a while now, one that has UEFI, just as Windows 8. The issue does seem to get worse though.

Is it plausible to think the soundcard needs a certain amount of time to "get ready" during boot? I'm not using any of the "super fast boot" options of Win8, as my SSD isn't formatted to use it, but booting still doesn't take very long (to say the least).

post #1262 of 2363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarium View Post

Connecting the HD598 via the line-out directly, with the speaker setting under stereo and any SBX Pro Studio effects off, is DEFINITELY better sounding than the headphone out. In fact it's even better sounding than headphone out --> E11 --> HD598. When listening to Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me" album it's by far the best sounding experience I've ever had (I use this album to test out different headphones and amps). I'm not even sure if these headphones need any amplification since I'm using the line-out and at 30/100 windows volume it's sufficient loud enough for me that I wouldn't go higher.

Edit: Just tested line-out --> E11 --> HD598, compared to directly via the line-out without amp, the addition of the E11 makes very little appreciable difference. I can hear a bit more clarity, but it makes the music more "grainy" and "dry"... I'm not sure how to describe it better, but without the amp the music sounds more smooth like flowing water, while with the E11 it feels more dry and grainy. I prefer the HD598 directly out of the line-out more than via the E11 as well. Of course, I'm sure maybe the E11 isn't as good as an amp paired with the Burr-Brown DAC, and you need something better like the Magni.

BTW, does anyone have any experience connecting headphones directly to the Titanium-HD's headphone out vs line-out? Does the TiHD headphone out (without the built-in amp) sound better than the ZXR's with low-ohm headphones like the HD598's? Also, how is the 3D processing of the TiHD different than the Z series, and which is the generally preferred one?



The tihd doesn't have a headphone amp. But its headphone stage does usually have enough power to drive decent headphones without amping.

The z uses sbx surround, the tihd uses cmss3d. You should Google the 2 and you will get some info.

Im surprised you find it better sounding, the line out on my zxr destroys the sound with rediculous distortion and my bass basically takes a holiday and my highs go for a climb... Literally. Pierced my ears I almost blacked out lol... It was bad. And considering its got a minimum output impedance of 100 ohms, it makes sense.
post #1263 of 2363
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

The tihd doesn't have a headphone amp. But its headphone stage does usually have enough power to drive decent headphones without amping.

 

If it has a separate headphone stage, then it does have a headphone amp, even if not necessarily a great one.

post #1264 of 2363
Ya what I mean was it doesn't have a separate IC that's acts as an amp similar to the z or stx for example.

There was a thread on here somewhere that robscix pointed that out.
post #1265 of 2363

So, is it driven directly by the same LME49710's as the line output ?

post #1266 of 2363
Well if there is a separate headphone stage then I would assume not. Most likely run off 2 different mono op amps or a dual?

Lol but I take it you already know the answer....

So I guess that would be considered as the "headphone amp" then?
post #1267 of 2363
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

Lol but I take it you already know the answer....

 

Unfortunately I cannot know for sure, since I do not have the Titanium HD, so the only information I have about it is whatever I can find on forums and in reviews, and pictures of the PCB.

post #1268 of 2363
Oh I thought you were actually just asking me when you knew the answer lol.

Ya the only info on the amp section is what robscix said in that thread. Other than that, not much info is known except for it doesn't use any known headphone amp IC.
post #1269 of 2363
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

Oh I thought you were actually just asking me when you knew the answer lol.

 

Actually, I do not know, that is why I was asking. I could find it out easily if I had the card, but I do not. I am not sure which thread you are referring to, but I only found claims that the card does not have a dedicated headphone amplifier, but nothing concrete about exactly what is driving the headphone jack. I did find the output impedance (~36 Ω) at goldenears.net, though.


Edited by stv014 - 11/10/13 at 7:10am
post #1270 of 2363

I just connected the headphones directly to the sound card's headphone jack, without using the ACM, and noticed that it sounds less muddy/bass heavy.

 

Maybe the ACM somehow degrades the SQ?

post #1271 of 2363
^ that's been the general consensus since the beginning of this thread.
post #1272 of 2363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarium View Post
 

I just connected the headphones directly to the sound card's headphone jack, without using the ACM, and noticed that it sounds less muddy/bass heavy.

 

Maybe the ACM somehow degrades the SQ?

 

If the ACM includes a volume control, then it is probably a simple passive attenuator, which increases the source impedance seen by the headphone drivers. The HD5x8 are quite responsive to changes in the output impedance of the amplifier. A higher impedance increases bass resonance at about 90 Hz (see "electrical impedance and phase" here), and it also increases bass distortion.

post #1273 of 2363
^ This is the best explanation of why the ACM could distort and ruin the sound quality. Thanks for the info.

I know there would be some resistance as the volume control, however I wasn't sure how that would affect the signal along the path even at full strength, max volume.
post #1274 of 2363

The volume control ideally should not affect the sound at 100% setting, but it could under certain circumstances, depending on exactly how it is implemented. For example, the potentiometer may still add some serial resistance at the maximum level, or, if used as a voltage divider, it may present an extra parallel load (dropping the level somewhat due to the output impedance) to the headphone amplifier of the sound card.


Edited by stv014 - 11/11/13 at 4:03am
post #1275 of 2363
Whether or not it degrades the sound quality I can't use this card without ACM, too loud and no room for control.
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