Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 10

post #136 of 2540
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetaWolf View Post


I know that the Athlon II X2 isn't the best dual core, but it was still powerful enough to run the Dolphin GameCube emulator at full speed, something very intensive that's only optimized for two cores. Mine was 3.2 GHz, essentially as fast as a Phenom II X2 without the L3 cache. On most PC titles, one core would be fully loaded, and the other would be more than halfway loaded. And I'd get a horrible framerate. While a Phenom II X2 or Core 2 Duo would have probably been "better", it wouldn't have been enough to pull my framerate completely out of the gutter.

 

What's the new CPU you've got? Still, go in the bios and disable 2 of your cores. I can't see any difference in BF3.

post #137 of 2540

Just got the sound blaster Z. I am using it with a pair of 2.1 speakers and mainly my ATH-M50 headphones. Immediatly after setting up I turned off all the post processing effects (they ruin the music IMO). I however noticed that music sounds a bit more clearer or has more "range" I would say when hooking up my headphones to the Front L/R main speaker jack rather than the headphone jack.

 

Can anyone explain why this is? I am 100% sure I hear a difference but am not sure which jack is the correct one to use, meaning which one would give me the better audio experience?

 

I am assuming the speaker jack does not use the headphone amp?

post #138 of 2540
Quote:
Originally Posted by melterx12 View Post

Just got the sound blaster Z. I am using it with a pair of 2.1 speakers and mainly my ATH-M50 headphones. Immediatly after setting up I turned off all the post processing effects (they ruin the music IMO). I however noticed that music sounds a bit more clearer or has more "range" I would say when hooking up my headphones to the Front L/R main speaker jack rather than the headphone jack.

 

Can anyone explain why this is? I am 100% sure I hear a difference but am not sure which jack is the correct one to use, meaning which one would give me the better audio experience?

 

I am assuming the speaker jack does not use the headphone amp?

Does the Sound Blaster Z have a gain setting for headphone output?

post #139 of 2540

Maybe it uses a front panel design for the headphone amp, where you plug the front panel of your case into the sound card, To use the headphone amp unless it works both ways. Maybe it do it thru the level of the volume. Maybe like the more you raise the volume the more voltage it uses. Which it might be doing, tho If so i would figure they would have a headphone amp setting located some where in their software.


Edited by genclaymore - 1/25/13 at 1:48am
post #140 of 2540
You can plug in your front panel to the soundcard but as stated not sure if it uses the same.amp or its seperate
post #141 of 2540

I may be wrong, but the specifications and some pictures of the Sound Blaster Z suggest that:

- the headphone amplifier is a surface mount NJM4556, like on most other Sound Blaster products; it is not a TPA6120

- it can output a maximum of about 2 Vrms, like the line outputs of most Xonar cards; so, it is not enough for everyone for 600 Ω headphones, but it just shows again that "ohm ratings" are rather meaningless, and it is real specifications (maximum voltage, output impedance, etc.) that matter

- from the specs I estimate an output impedance of about 18 Ω. That is better than the 100 Ω impedance of an "unamplified" Xonar output, but still not great

- I think the headphone output does not use the CS4398 DAC, because not only does it have much higher noise than the line output, but it does not support 192 kHz sample rate either

- all analog inputs and outputs other than the (CS4398+NJM2114 based) front channel line out are apparently handled by an HD audio codec ?


Edited by stv014 - 1/25/13 at 5:39am
post #142 of 2540
Isn't it this way?
 
Speaker output: DAC > JRC2114D OpAmp > JRC4556A OpAmp > Speakers

Headphone output: DAC > JRC2114D OpAmp > Maxim MAX97220A Headamp > Headphones

 

Headamp specs: http://www.maximintegrated.com/datasheet/index.mvp/id/7138?ver=F&utm_expid=50713806-2


Edited by Kel Ghu - 1/25/13 at 6:34am
post #143 of 2540
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

I may be wrong, but the specifications and some pictures of the Sound Blaster Z suggest that:
- the headphone amplifier is a surface mount NJM4556, like on most other Sound Blaster products; it is not a TPA6120
- it can output a maximum of about 2 Vrms, like the line outputs of most Xonar cards; so, it is not enough for everyone for 600 Ω headphones, but it just shows again that "ohm ratings" are rather meaningless, and it is real specifications (maximum voltage, output impedance, etc.) that matter
- from the specs I estimate an output impedance of about 18 Ω. That is better than the 100 Ω impedance of an "unamplified" Xonar output, but still not great
- I think the headphone output does not use the CS4398 DAC, because not only does it have much higher noise than the line output, but it does not support 192 kHz sample rate either
- all analog inputs and outputs other than the (CS4398+NJM2114 based) front channel line out are apparently handled by an HD audio codec ?

It was discussed on another forum(hard forums I think) where the creative rep explained that the headphone and line outs use the external dac and if you use the case front panel connector for headphones it will use the sound core 3d built in dac. Its a higher noise dac for sure.

It would make sense since you have to switch outputs to either headphones or line outs. You can't use both.
post #144 of 2540
So bottom line would it be better to use the speaker jack or headphone jack (if both jacks are on the sound card itself)?
post #145 of 2540
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kel Ghu View Post

Headphone output: DAC > JRC2114D OpAmp > Maxim MAX97220A Headamp > Headphones

 

Headamp specs: http://www.maximintegrated.com/datasheet/index.mvp/id/7138?ver=F&utm_expid=50713806-2

 

That may be the case, I could not find out from the pictures what the small 16-pin chips are. I assumed that the NJM4556 is the headphone driver since it is also used on several other Creative products, and is reasonably well suited for this purpose (the DIP8 version that can handle higher power dissipation is used in a paralleled configuration in the O2). It is still odd that the headphone output is only specified to work at a maximum sample rate of 96 kHz, or does that apply only to the front panel ?

post #146 of 2540
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

That may be the case, I could not find out from the pictures what the small 16-pin chips are. I assumed that the NJM4556 is the headphone driver since it is also used on several other Creative products, and is reasonably well suited for this purpose (the DIP8 version that can handle higher power dissipation is used in a paralleled configuration in the O2). It is still odd that the headphone output is only specified to work at a maximum sample rate of 96 kHz, or does that apply only to the front panel ?

 

NJM4556 is the buffer stage of the speakers output (in place of the two LME49710 of ZxR), while JRC2114D is the I/V stage for both speakers and headphones.

I guess the sample rates only applies to the front panel, as both speakers and headphones lines use CS DAC.

post #147 of 2540
Quote:
Originally Posted by melterx12 View Post

So bottom line would it be better to use the speaker jack or headphone jack (if both jacks are on the sound card itself)?

I would assume use the headphone jack especially if you are using higher than 32 Ohm impedence headphones.  I see no reason to use the line out.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kel Ghu View Post

 

NJM4556 is the buffer stage of the speakers output (in place of the two LME49710 of ZxR), while JRC2114D is the I/V stage for both speakers and headphones.

I guess the sample rates only applies to the front panel, as both speakers and headphones lines use CS DAC.

 

 

That what I was thinking too.  Im pretty sure the specs on the creative site somehow refer to the front panel connections when speaking about the headphone jack.  

 

It would make no sense for Creative to use a decent headphone amplifier just to have it use the soundcore3d dac which is pretty noisy compared to the CS dac.


Edited by DJINFERNO806 - 1/25/13 at 8:48am
post #148 of 2540
Quote:
Originally Posted by melterx12 View Post

So bottom line would it be better to use the speaker jack or headphone jack (if both jacks are on the sound card itself)?

 

melterx12, did you end up figuring out which jack had the better SQ?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

I would assume use the headphone jack especially if you are using higher than 32 Ohm impedence headphones.  I see no reason to use the line out.

 

 

 

DJINFERNO806, When you say "headphone Jack" Are you referring to the dedicated one in the rear or the front audio "headphone" jack?


Edited by kymira - 1/25/13 at 10:33am
post #149 of 2540
Quote:
Originally Posted by kymira View Post

 

melterx12, did you end up figuring out which jack had the better SQ?

 

DJINFERNO806, When you say "headphone Jack" Are you referring to the dedicated one in the rear or the front audio "headphone" jack?

I'm referring to the dedicated headphone jack on the back, the amplified one.

 

 I don't ever use the front audio headphone jack, the PC ecosystem is a crap show of noise just waiting to interfere with that front audio port.  That and you would be putting the headphone amp to waste lol.

post #150 of 2540
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

I'm referring to the dedicated headphone jack on the back, the amplified one.

 

 I don't ever use the front audio headphone jack, the PC ecosystem is a crap show of noise just waiting to interfere with that front audio port.  That and you would be putting the headphone amp to waste lol.

 

 

OK thanks I assumed you were. One of the very reasons why Im looking into the SB Z series is the convenience of having that dedicated headphone jack. My front audio has way too much noise to be tolerable and Im getting a bit tired of having to constantly switch and fish jacks between headphone & speakers in my narrow crapped space.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR