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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 115

post #1711 of 3296
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post (This thread)
 

SBX seems to work way better as long as "stereo" speakers are set in windows control panel. Obviously needs "enable audio enhancements" in the Advanced tab to work but worth pointing out. Stereo speaker config + headphones and it works very well for me.

 

I've just gone and closed the external link to where I saw that it was for disabling 3D sound ??? RPG's post above seems to support this even idea though it's not the normal way to do things.

 

Originally Posted by xand1x
 
I just built a new system and I have a bit perfect ENVY24MT sound card (Onkyo SE-90) and on board audio output via optical only. I am getting HDCD (red light on my dac goes on) to be passed through via Direct Sound. The key to getting things "bit perfect" for me via direct sound was to go to the advanced tab in windows sound and change 2 things. 1) Set it to output 2 channel, 24 bit, 44100Hz 2) Uncheck the box that says "Enable audio enhancements". The results above imply that you can get bit perfect output via direct sound but it would be nice to find another method to verify if I am on the right track. Any suggestions?

 

Originally Posted by somestranger26
 
If "Audio Enhancements" are enabled, you're guaranteed not to be getting bitperfect audio. Frequency settings matter a significant amount, you should always match the output frequency with the source material's frequency when possible (usually 44.1kHz, what CDs use). Bit settings matter not, if you play 16-bit content and have it set for 24-bit it doesn't modify the sound, it just adds 0s.

 

Maybe opening a support ticket to Creative might help as I'd really like to know. I can't find much of anything on Head-Fi (surprising at it is setting USB DAC users will have to be aware of). Will have a trawl later.

 

*Edit* Have contacted Creative about this and asked for an immediate escalation sent to their top-drawer tech guy (or girl). No matter the gender, he'll be called 'Dave' .. again.


Edited by SaLX - 1/22/14 at 10:47am
post #1712 of 3296

what if "audio enchancements" are enabled but you still use  foobar2000 with the WASAPI plugin ?  i can toggle sbx efects during playback just fine btw 

post #1713 of 3296
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post


Mostly, because, well, headphone out is unusable loud with these headphones. Headphone mode also has this "in your head" kind of HRTF. While it might be more accurate, it sounds worse in my opinion. SBX wouldn't be enabled in that game anyway since it's OpenAL game and I did not use generic software mode. Headphone out and line out have different HRTF in OpenAL games and if you have SBX enabled. Same situation with X-Fi. It is kinda annoying that you can't enable headphone mode when using line out since the headphone out can be unusable with headphones. Even with line out, ACM is a must.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


I see...  (...)

 

Evshroug, if I may, have you had time to play a little with the Omni? :) 

 

I was looking at it for my laptop but I'm concerned it might show the same "problem" Anarion mentioned.. Incredibly high gain on the headphone out.

This shouldn't be a problem with high impedance headphones but should I use "smaller" earbuds when travelling and forget to turn down the volume when connecting them.. well, this summed to the fact that the Omni only remebers one sound level setting (My Creative ZxR makes no distinction between headphones connected or not, the Omni does the same from what I read on the net), equals to a pair of earbuds popped like pop-corn -.-'

 

By chance would you kindly check if at least it remembers different sound levels when headphones connected and not? Or if the volume is acceptable when using smaller low impedance earbuds?

post #1714 of 3296
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFGR View Post
 

what if "audio enchancements" are enabled but you still use  foobar2000 with the WASAPI plugin ?  i can toggle sbx efects during playback just fine btw 

read my post on the last page.  I covered this in detail. that setting is still a mystery and seems to do nothing at all.

post #1715 of 3296

So, I've been testing the SBZ a whole lot more, trying to improve the subpar sound quality and surround effect.  I've tried everything I can, and notice I much prefer the sound of the Ear Force DSS (5.1 surround) when connected to the SBZ optical after enabling Dolby Digital Live in Cinematics and settings the SBZ to 5.1 speakers, rather than headphones.   The surround is much improved, though the sound quality is decent, it's still underwhelming.  Considering my new Schiit Modi / Vali stack is going unused, would it be better for me to get rid of the SBZ in favor of the TiHD (or is there a better card yet?), since the TiHD has dobly headphone?  That way I could connect the Vali at least to the TiHD's analog out to get the better audio quality and still benefit from the preferred Dolby 5.1.   Anyone spare some advice?  I only have a couple of days left until I could return the SBZ.  

post #1716 of 3296
Well no x-fi card has DH first of all.

It only has Dolby home theatre however and while it does have some virtual surround mode, it is not DH. The licensing of DH from Dolby is a separate product and requires it to be such. I'm quite sure we would have seen the logo displayed as every other device. Also it would have been mentioned as part of Dolby home theater's technologies.



With that said, it seems you are not a fan of sbx. Which is fair as I am not a fan of DH lol. Different people with different ears/auditory brain preferences have their favorite. No biggie.

So at this time, your best route would be to grab a xonar STX and use that with your amp through line out? Not sure if you can use DH with line out though. If not your only option is buy a cheap dgx and use optical out to get DH to a DAC and amp. But your DAC doesn't have optical in so that's a problem too.

In terms of your z being sub par in sound quality, perhaps that's subjective but I don't think you will find anyone that will not say z and its headphone out is way better than the dss. Especially in background noise.
post #1717 of 3296

Yeah, I should probably reiterate, because I think I made it sound like the DSS has better sound quality.  I prefer the DSS surround experience (as well as the Foobar DH plugin) to the SBX surround.  The SBX surround tends to muddy thing up quite a bit.  As for the SQ of the SBZ, I think I was spoiled by my experience with the Modi / Vali combo.  It creates a nice, clear sound, and the soundstage is nice and wide... with the SBZ it feels really confined... whether SBX is on or off.  

 

I've been looking into the Xonar STX, not sure if it does provide DH through line out, but I'll have to do some more research.  

 

But thanks, I was under the impression that the TiHD did DH... unfortunate that it doesn't.   

post #1718 of 3296

Just checking that you don't have 'full range speakers' selected. Use the Creative Diagnostic Tool to reset everything to default.

 

I would never ever say that SBX is subpar SQ wise, or for positional accuracy, but then again maybe you like a lot of reverb? If that's the way you swing, then yes get a Xonar, however I think DJ forgot that you won't get DH from the line-outs on the STX (why Asus, why?). The cheaper Xonars yes. Get the DX instead. Or sell the stack and get a STX.. choices choices.

 

One thing SBX isn't as good as DH is for watching 2ch movies upmixed to surround. And that's it.

post #1719 of 3296
Quote:
Originally Posted by atoff View Post
 

So, I've been testing the SBZ a whole lot more, trying to improve the subpar sound quality and surround effect.  I've tried everything I can, and notice I much prefer the sound of the Ear Force DSS (5.1 surround) when connected to the SBZ optical after enabling Dolby Digital Live in Cinematics and settings the SBZ to 5.1 speakers, rather than headphones.   The surround is much improved, though the sound quality is decent, it's still underwhelming.  Considering my new Schiit Modi / Vali stack is going unused, would it be better for me to get rid of the SBZ in favor of the TiHD (or is there a better card yet?), since the TiHD has dobly headphone?  That way I could connect the Vali at least to the TiHD's analog out to get the better audio quality and still benefit from the preferred Dolby 5.1.   Anyone spare some advice?  I only have a couple of days left until I could return the SBZ.  

mind sharing your exact settings ? tried DDL with astro mixamp and it sounded very loud and distorted even when i turned the spdif-out down to 50% (100% default ), "play stereo mix to digital output" + SBX surround 67% seemed to work much better for console-style gaming on the couch 

post #1720 of 3296
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaLX View Post
 

Just checking that you don't have 'full range speakers' selected. Use the Creative Diagnostic Tool to reset everything to default.

 

I would never ever say that SBX is subpar SQ wise, or for positional accuracy, but then again maybe you like a lot of reverb? If that's the way you swing, then yes get a Xonar, however I think DJ forgot that you won't get DH from the line-outs on the STX (why Asus, why?). The cheaper Xonars yes. Get the DX instead. Or sell the stack and get a STX.. choices choices.

 

One thing SBX isn't as good as DH is for watching 2ch movies upmixed to surround. And that's it.

 

Nope, I don't have full range speakers selected, though I did test it when testing the DSS through optical.  I've gone through and played with all of the settings.   Not a fan of reverb, that's actually PART of what annoys me about SBX, it adds a bit of reverb, whereas I get a much more natural sound through Foobar with Mixer + DH.  I don't play PC games, so it's all about movies for me.  Most of my collection consists of Dolby 5.1 or DTS 5.1-7.1.   

 

Choices, choices is right.  I'm breaking the bank testing all this stuff, since I can't return most it.  i.e. Modi / Vali (didn't see the fine print about 15% restocking fee, since the LARGE banner "Money back guarantee" was plastered on every page - gave me a false impression that I could return it worry free).  

post #1721 of 3296

If you don't play games a soundcard isn't really a prerequisite for watching movies. Hopefully your motherboard has a good chip on it to connect up to your stack. You could get a Xonar U3 external for DH.

 

Try using KMPlayer for movies..... I like the surround movie playback with it, but if you're getting mileage from Foobar then all is good isn't it?

post #1722 of 3296
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFGR View Post
 

mind sharing your exact settings ? tried DDL with astro mixamp and it sounded very loud and distorted even when i turned the spdif-out down to 50% (100% default ), "play stereo mix to digital output" + SBX surround 67% seemed to work much better for console-style gaming on the couch 

 

Sure... settings:

 

 

 

 

I have SBX turned off, as well as Stereo to Digital in Advanced Features turned off, though I didn't notice a difference with it on.  

post #1723 of 3296
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaLX View Post
 

If you don't play games a soundcard isn't really a prerequisite for watching movies. Hopefully your motherboard has a good chip on it to connect up to your stack. You could get a Xonar U3 external for DH.

 

Try using KMPlayer for movies..... I like the surround movie playback with it, but if you're getting mileage from Foobar then all is good isn't it?

 

Ah, no, I know a soundcard wouldn't have been necessary if I wanted to watch movies through a player like J-River or KMPlayer... but I use, and much prefer to use XBMC.   Otherwise, I'd have just used my Schiit stack with J-River where I could enable DSP effects.  J-River sounds pretty good too with TB Isone, though not as good as Mixer + DH to my ears... but the whole point of getting a soundcard with surround features was to be able to experience surround using XBMC. 

 

Also, Foobar doesn't support video files... but I do like how audio files sound using Foobar. 

post #1724 of 3296
Quote:
Originally Posted by atoff View Post

Sure... settings:










I have SBX turned off, as well as Stereo to Digital in Advanced Features turned off, though I didn't notice a difference with it on.  

Ya the stereo to digital option is for sending the stereo PCM mixed with all the effects out through your optical port into an external DAC. It won't matter for you using headphone out.

Also the headphone out on the z having a confined soundstage is a common complaint. Must be the headphone amp IC since the line out doesn't feel that way.

Another option for you is what genclaymore,salx and myself do.

We use our z's through optical out to our audio gd DAC/amps. All for around $300. Pretty good deal.

The 11.32 and 15.32 are gonna be the best value for that. Depends on what DAC you want.

Personally I don't think sbx muddies anything at all. There is an eq shift which is necessary but its not as bad as cmss3d IMHO.

Razer surround on the other hand muddies... And destroys audio quality. Garbage IMO.

But like I said different ears like different sounds.
post #1725 of 3296
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post


Another option for you is what genclaymore,salx and myself do.

We use our z's through optical out to our audio gd DAC/amps. All for around $300. Pretty good deal.

The 11.32 and 15.32 are gonna be the best value for that. Depends on what DAC you want.

I thought I read that using optical out bypasses the processing that the sound card does?

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