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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 105

post #1561 of 2382
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFGR View Post

listened to about 15-20 tracks yesterday, the headphone output seem to be suficient for driving the DT150 250ohm but  the AKG K601s were a  whole different story frown.gif  

Wonder what happens if connect a dedicated headamp to my case's front panel  green jack, set the card's volume to 100% and adjust accordingly with the amp's volume knob ....

beamforming mic along with the crystal voice enchancements was a very nice bonus, finally got rid of my zalman clip on mic  biggrin.gif
'

I would advise strongly against using the front panel output. Not sure why you would want to. Why don't you connect it to the headphone out.

Most worries about double amping were dispelled as some users have already done this with no degrade in quality or issues.

The front out in the z bypasses the DAC anyway I believe and uses the soundcore 3d internal DAC. More testing with this is needed.
post #1562 of 2382

when the card is in  "headphone mode" you can only get sound from  the headphone out and the front panel. 

 

i think the headphone out is too loud for double amping. 

 

should i set  the card's  main volume to 50% when double amping ? 

post #1563 of 2382

Ideally you should be setting Windows volume (which is linked to the SBZ) at 100% then using the volume on your external amp to control everything. That's the Head-Fi "optimum setup" - just use common sense though.

 

I've got to admit... Windows is playing cat and mouse with the volume (up and down) for me... I'd hate it when I get my Compass 2 and forget to zero the volume dial on a restart = headphones/brain explosion .

 

Use that trick I linked to earlier..... I'd dearly like to suss out what's causing it..... and I've seen the same thing happening on and off since Win 95.

post #1564 of 2382
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFGR View Post
 

thoughts so far : 

 

ALchemy works in fear 1 very good  ! eax 2.0 + hardware mixing make the game sound almost  like a binaural recording ! 

 

Killing Floor is  playable again ! when i was using  the x-fi i could not use hardware openAL (system driver off + H/W 3D enabled )  without getting a BSOD every 20 minutes 

 

Doom3 sounds also pretty nice ! ( s_useopenAL 1 - EAX 4.0 enabled ) 

 

sbx surround 67% works pretty well in every software accelerated game i have tried so far, especially the rear channels in  l4d2 and contagion ! much more reliable and "cleaner"  than razer surround i have to say ! 

 

I have an old philips mini HIFI, connected to the front RCA jack with a  RCA-to-3.5mm pair of cables, if i have someone over then i just put the plug to my the  front audio panel so that he can hear what i hear,  headphones and speakers  play audio simultaneously this way ! 

 

headphone output is really LOUD, besides the really sensitive CALs, i think that it can  also drive  250ohm headphones like the DT150  with little trouble too !  definately a better solution for pc gaming  than a usb astro mixamp :p


What headphones or headsets are you using for the SBX surround to work well enough for you to distinguish the rear channels in l4d2?

post #1565 of 2382
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFGR View Post
 

listened to about 15-20 tracks yesterday, the headphone output seem to be suficient for driving the DT150 250ohm but  the AKG K601s were a  whole different story :(  

 

Wonder what happens if connect a dedicated headamp to my case's front panel  green jack, set the card's volume to 100% and adjust accordingly with the amp's volume knob ....

 

beamforming mic along with the crystal voice enchancements was a very nice bonus, finally got rid of my zalman clip on mic  :D

'


I don't know whether it's due to doing my settings wrongly but the beamforming mic is picking up voice from all directions as well as echos even though I set the wedge at 20 degrees and echo reduction! I am using it in a bedroom, and it still picks up sound from across the room to the point that it might induce me to ditch the new plan of getting a Q701 while use the beamforming mic and get a PC360. Is yours performing well enough?

post #1566 of 2382
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radical_53 View Post

@namelessPFG: You're comparing 2nd hand Youtube videos to 1st hand experience? Well, to each his own I'd say.

 

Honestly, the best advise I can give is to try it out yourself. The difference was massive. Surround sound simulation was the only reason I swapped my TiHD for the ZXR and sold it to a friend afterwards.

I think I've said this before, in this thread, but I'll do it again:

 

With the TiHD I got a pretty precise idea of the angle an opponent/sound was coming from. With the ZXR I also got an idea of the distance and height in relation to my own position.

The difference was like going from 2D to 3D, literally.

Quality-wise it's hard for me to say as I always used either CMSS-3D or SBX for my games, so I may not put a finger on "SBX changes this" or "CMSS-3D changes that". When I compared music on both cards they were about the same.

 

Believe me, I'd like to compare 1st-hand experience both ways since I am extremely thorough with my testing and tend to test old niche games that really put ALchemy through its paces for compatibility...

 

...but I'm not going to run out and buy a ZxR solely for review's sake, only to have to resell one of my cards at a great loss. These things aren't cheap. (Or I could just cram the card I don't like as much back into my Q6600 box, if my wallet can take the hit...)

 

I think the main differences between the cards definitely hinge on the drivers and virtual surround tech. DAC-wise, I probably wouldn't notice much, if any, sound quality difference between the TiHD and ZxR.

post #1567 of 2382

Exactly. That's the difference basically, surround sound and a fresh/different driver branch. Some may like the additional features, like stuff the daughter board offers, but I guess most of us would simply leave it in its box.

 

Back when I got my card I was curious enough, due to the overwhelming reviews it got, to buy it and try it out myself. It has been sold for great prices during the Christmas season and I've never had any issues returning something to Amazon that I didn't want / like. If you want to be sure, get something like a warehouse deal. 

Of course it will cost you something once you're sure you want to keep the new card but hey, that's life. You can either stay curious for a while or see yourself right away. The "old" cards are only going to drop further, price-wise.

 

You'll need to know what you want to achieve. I only test things that are interesting to me and, as time turns out to be rare, I limit myself to things that are practical. It used to be different but then I'll have to admit that I used to have more spare time years ago. 

post #1568 of 2382

I can't wait to try both out of my cards side by side.

 

As an aside: I'm at my father and Mothers for Xmas with the wife and kids, so today I put his system (Onboard realtek) into 7.1 and 5.1 to see what difference it made to the DayZ standalone he's been playing. (he's 75 btw...rock on dad!). Previously he had been using headphone to headphone settings and relying on bi-directional sound, which by the way works well enough because the landscape he's playing in is large open fields a lot of the time.

 

Straight away there is a sense of aroundness to his sounds but less definite than his normal settings. When switching to 3rd person view, his foot steps sounded like they were coming from his behind left side, in 1st person view they sounded awesome. We switched back to headphone to headphone settings because for some reason a zombie was able to get up behind him without him hearing it, which isn't usually the case, you can hear them.

 

Anybody else get odd sounds in 3rd person in their games as opposed to 1st person view?

 

Cheers

BTW: I owned a Pheobus before the ZX-R...like night and day it was.


Edited by motorwayne - 12/27/13 at 10:23pm
post #1569 of 2382

3rd person in a 1st person shooter/simulation suks balls. I always play in 1st person in the Arma series. Will check out 3rd person sound. 10/10 on your old man playing it.

 

Using the SBZ and X1, I have won a few bouts against axe wielding morons/Russians/children - knew they were coming in that door = shot in the face. Quick teabag, and I'm out of there.

post #1570 of 2382

@NamelessPFG

 

buy an audigy FX to test alchemy - hostopenAL - SBX surround, it's only 40 euros ! 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Acextreme View Post
 


I don't know whether it's due to doing my settings wrongly but the beamforming mic is picking up voice from all directions as well as echos even though I set the wedge at 20 degrees and echo reduction! I am using it in a bedroom, and it still picks up sound from across the room to the point that it might induce me to ditch the new plan of getting a Q701 while use the beamforming mic and get a PC360. Is yours performing well enough?

 

I just put it on top of my monitor, no problems so far 

 

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Jv0Px9Q89NA/Ur6PX6ZvJvI/AAAAAAAAAKA/OgM60l5k_c4/w1112-h834-no/13+-+1

 

Here are my settings http://i.imgur.com/0G34ztb.png

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acextreme View Post
 


What headphones or headsets are you using for the SBX surround to work well enough for you to distinguish the rear channels in l4d2?

 

 

creative aurvana live!


Edited by SoFGR - 12/28/13 at 12:46am
post #1571 of 2382
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

I would advise strongly against using the front panel output. Not sure why you would want to. Why don't you connect it to the headphone out.

Most worries about double amping were dispelled as some users have already done this with no degrade in quality or issues.

The front out in the z bypasses the DAC anyway I believe and uses the soundcore 3d internal DAC. More testing with this is needed.
It's beyond me why Creative does not add headphone mode for line out. If they add that and macrofx & elevation filter for openal, things would be great.

Apparently there's new driver available for ZxR now (though it looks suspiciously similar to old driver...).
Edited by Anarion - 12/28/13 at 8:30am
post #1572 of 2382
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFGR View Post

buy an audigy FX to test alchemy - hostopenAL - SBX surround, it's only 40 euros ! 

 

I wouldn't waste money on a card like that. I'd rather go X-Fi MB3 on the cheaper end of things, or SB Z next time they're selling for $65. Both of those would result in host-based OpenAL and SBX Pro Surround anyway.

 

I'm still wondering why Creative just suddenly resurrected the Audigy brand, though. The Audigy RX is an interesting card; it's PCI-Express, but it has the same DSP as the old Audigy 4 from the PCI days, just before they introduced the X-Fi line, alongside some of their current E-MU professional cards.

 

This does mean I wouldn't exchange it for an X-Fi where gaming is concerned (it's a generation older)...but it might just work with the kX Project drivers, giving fans of that third-party driver package a modern PCI-Express option to use.

post #1573 of 2382
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

I wouldn't waste money on a card like that. I'd rather go X-Fi MB3 on the cheaper end of things, or SB Z next time they're selling for $65. Both of those would result in host-based OpenAL and SBX Pro Surround anyway.

I'm still wondering why Creative just suddenly resurrected the Audigy brand, though. The Audigy RX is an interesting card; it's PCI-Express, but it has the same DSP as the old Audigy 4 from the PCI days, just before they introduced the X-Fi line, alongside some of their current E-MU professional cards.

This does mean I wouldn't exchange it for an X-Fi where gaming is concerned (it's a generation older)...but it might just work with the kX Project drivers, giving fans of that third-party driver package a modern PCI-Express option to use.

Its completely possible that Creative had extra stacks of those older E-MU chips laying around and putting them into lower budget value oriented sound cards was a step in the right direction for them.

If you think about it, Creative has been losing ground in the sub $60 retail sound card market to ASUS.

Perhaps the cost to manufacture and implement the sound core 3D in lower budget cards is at too high a loss for them so the older audigy chipset would make sense.

Add in modern drivers with sbx studio, headphone amp and Voala! Competitors to the DGX and other value cards.

Just my thinking of all this
post #1574 of 2382
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

Going by the YouTube videos I've heard, linked here and elsewhere, I respectfully disagree.

At least to my ears, SBX has a bassier sound and seems to muck with quality less, but CMSS-3D Headphone's positioning is far more pinpoint and precise.

The anomaly I don't get, though...native DS3D/OpenAL handled through Creative's software 3D renderer as usual, where it'll shut off SBX Pro Surround...and the default headphone mix provided in Mirror's Edge in that one video actually didn't suck. Directionality was pretty clear. That usually doesn't happen with said software 3D renderer under X-Fi MB or their various USB audio devices.

I'd like to see someone test that out with Battlefield 2 this time...

I lost track of those Mirror's Edge videos, if you know their link (some reason they weren't showing up on my searches) I think they would be great to make my guide more complete.
I feel comfortable discounting the SBX test videos from Battlefield, that Freke guy crippled the surround settings for the newer Creative DSPs.

I am getting quite good positioning with my SB Z, even with surround at 67%. DJ, haven't changed it yet, BUT after pretty extensive testing I found with my ears that I preferred boosting the surround setting with THX TSP to get a more out-of-head experience, particularly with rear cues. I think that once I've given 67% a fair chance in SBX, I'll boost it up again. Nameless, I am going to send the SB Z back to Amazon soon since I have the Omni, but if you'd alternatively like to buy it from me, I'd ship it to you instead... Either way though I just bought CS:GO and I'm trying the SB Z with that before sending the card away.
post #1575 of 2382
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFGR View Post

when the card is in  "headphone mode" you can only get sound from  the headphone out and the front panel. 

i think the headphone out is too loud for double amping. 

should i set  the card's  main volume to 50% when double amping ? 

I've found that double-amping doesn't simply just add volume.
When my AKG K712 was plugged into the SB Z's headphone jack directly, I had to put the windows/card's volume at around 20% to not be too loud. Now I have my tube amp plugged into the headphone jack, the amp's potentiometer turned up to the sweet spot on the dial, and windows volume set at 83%. I think it would be a similar story with the FiiO E12 amp on low gain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acextreme View Post

I don't know whether it's due to doing my settings wrongly but the beamforming mic is picking up voice from all directions as well as echos even though I set the wedge at 20 degrees and echo reduction! I am using it in a bedroom, and it still picks up sound from across the room to the point that it might induce me to ditch the new plan of getting a Q701 while use the beamforming mic and get a PC360. Is yours performing well enough?
Yeah I'm not quite sure what's going on: with both the SB Z and Recon3D USB, when I had headphones on (so no feedback from speakers to the mic) and turned on the echo reduction feature it actually started creating echos for me. With the echo reduction filter turned off though, I've had several good gaming sessions with another Head-Fi'er while playing Borderlands 2, so the Beamforming mic works fine for me in my bedroom. I haven't yet tried echo cancellation with the stereo mics built into the Omni yet though (that's still in it's box waiting for me to finish with the SB Z).
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