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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 116

post #1726 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxKohler View Post

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

That's never been said here.

In fact its the opposite. Otherwise we wouldn't need the z at all would we?

The z processes everything on the soundcore3d chip and then sends the digital PCM stream to either the onboard DAC for conversion to analogue and/or sends it out through optical to an external DAC.

So basically the stream is the exact same as the one going to the onboard DAC, it just gets split into another duplicate stream to go through optical. This way its simple, efficient and does not require any extra calculations on the sound processor. But this second duplicate stream only gets sent to optical port if the "play stereo mix to digital output" option is enabled in the control panel of the Z.
Edited by DJINFERNO806 - 1/25/14 at 3:00am
post #1727 of 2278

@Atoff.... you're never ever ever (repeat to fade...) going to get a good sound on headphones with that setup. You've got 5.1 speakers selected..... the only time you would even dream of doing that is if you had a surround sound headset (like the Razers) which has multiple jacks and speakers in them. I was a bit pissed the other night and was farting around with the settings; next day tried a game, and immediately clocked something was wrong as I had selected 5.1 speakers instead of 2 speaker headphones.

 

Go back and try headphone out only please. I agree with you about movies (2ch), but not movies encoded in surround.

post #1728 of 2278
Wait? I thought he was using the headphone out? It wouldn't even work with headphone port on 5.1 speakers. Wasn't it headphone out to the vali?

And if he's using optical out to the DSS. 5.1 needs to be selected to properly get 5.1 channels encoded with did live and then decided by the DSS and then turned into DH signal.

Ughh lol

Atoff, it seems your a little all over the place.

What is your current headphone setup from the z?

And are u using optical out at all or only to the DSS?
post #1729 of 2278

So are you getting better gaming sound (positional accuracy) than the ZXR with that setup (external DAC & AMP), or is it mainly for music?

post #1730 of 2278

Better as in degrees, not in huge gains. I'm happy I went with the Z > External DAC/Amp. Don't worry about these things really.. the more you read on these forums the more you want. The headphone itself is the huge No.1 decider here. 

 

The ZxR is a great, if overpriced card. If Creative had released a paired down version of the ZxR to compete on the same terms as the STX (in terms of price) then it would be gold purchase.


Edited by SaLX - 1/25/14 at 7:15am
post #1731 of 2278
For me the soundstage opened up a bit which for dt770s which are closed so any bit more soundstage is a huge deal lol.

The rest of the major reasons were using it with any PC, console or media player that has optical. As well as plenty of power and an amazing DAC section.

Like Sal said, positional accuracy is going to be mainly headphones then after that which surround technology.
post #1732 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaLX View Post
 

@Atoff.... you're never ever ever (repeat to fade...) going to get a good sound on headphones with that setup. You've got 5.1 speakers selected..... the only time you would even dream of doing that is if you had a surround sound headset (like the Razers) which has multiple jacks and speakers in them. I was a bit pissed the other night and was farting around with the settings; next day tried a game, and immediately clocked something was wrong as I had selected 5.1 speakers instead of 2 speaker headphones.

 

Go back and try headphone out only please. I agree with you about movies (2ch), but not movies encoded in surround.

 

I think you're confused about what I've done.

 

Of course I've been using it with Headphones set through the stereo out.  The settings I have pictured are for use with the DSS.

 

This produces a much better surround positioning for me.  The sounds actually sound like they're coming from the directions they're intended to.

Setting 5.1 speakers, then settings Dolby Live and running the DSS through optical, allowing the DSS to decode the 5.1 using Dolby. SQ is still subpar though, doesn't change the degradation, it just sounds wider and more immersive. 

 

:wink: I'm new to "gaming / surround" sound cards, not new to audio or settings.  

 

@DJINFERNO806 Thanks for the tip, I'll have a look into that DAC/AMP you mention.  

post #1733 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

Wait? I thought he was using the headphone out? It wouldn't even work with headphone port on 5.1 speakers. Wasn't it headphone out to the vali?

And if he's using optical out to the DSS. 5.1 needs to be selected to properly get 5.1 channels encoded with did live and then decided by the DSS and then turned into DH signal.

Ughh lol

Atoff, it seems your a little all over the place.

What is your current headphone setup from the z?

And are u using optical out at all or only to the DSS?

 

Yes, I am using optical out, to the DSS.  When using stereo out, I switch the settings of course.  I'm not all over the place, I think SaLX was just confused.  

 

Testing the SBZ directly through headphones - Headphone settings, 5.1 in windows... testing the DSS through optical - SBZ set to Speakers (5.1) with Dolby Live enabled... that way it sends the encoded Dolby to DSS where DSS decodes the Dolby.  

post #1734 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by atoff View Post

 testing the DSS through optical - SBZ set to Speakers (5.1) with Dolby Live enabled... that way it sends the encoded Dolby to DSS where DSS decodes the Dolby.  

 

 

I don't think you even need to set the SBZ to Speakers (5.1) for using DD live encoding.

 

That speakers 5.1 setting ^ is for the analog outs, while the DD live setting is for the optical out.  So I think you can set the output to "Headphones" and you will still get DD live when setting it to encode it, as those settings affect two different parts of the card (analog out, spdif out) and are unrelated to each other when using DDL.

 

"The audio device 'SPIDF-OUT (Sound Blaster Z)' will be used exclusively for Dolby Digital Live and DTS that no other software (such as media player applciations and games) can play directly to the audio device."


Edited by chicolom - 1/25/14 at 10:51am
post #1735 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by atoff View Post

 testing the DSS through optical - SBZ set to Speakers (5.1) with Dolby Live enabled... that way it sends the encoded Dolby to DSS where DSS decodes the Dolby.  

 

 

I don't think you even need to set the SBZ to Speakers (5.1) for using DD live encoding.

 

That speakers 5.1 setting ^ is for the analog outs, while the DD live setting is for the optical out.  So I think you can set the output to "Headphones" and you will still get DD live when setting it to encode it, as those settings affect two different parts of the card (analog out, spdif out) and are unrelated to each other when using DDL.

 

"The audio device 'SPIDF-OUT (Sound Blaster Z)' will be used exclusively for Dolby Digital Live and DTS that no other software (such as media player applciations and games) can play directly to the audio device."


There was a reason I switched it from headphone to speaker 5.1 for the DSS... Can't recall the reasoning, but I did have it set for Headphones, but I believe I had better results with it set to Speakers... Though I'll have to test again to see why it was I did that.
post #1736 of 2278

Has there been any comparison between the Soundblister X-Fi elite Pro and the zXR. Elite pro for me was a better soundcard then the Essence ST but have no PCI slot in my new PC build. 

post #1737 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by oqvist View Post
 

Has there been any comparison between the Sound Blaster X-Fi elite Pro and the ZxR. Elite pro for me was a better sound card then the Essence ST but have no PCI slot in my new PC build. 

The ZxR's PCM1794 DAC chip should be better then the SB-Elite-Pro's CS4382 DAC chip.

I would also assume(?) the ZxR' op-amps are better then the SB-Elite-Pro's.

post #1738 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post


I don't think you even need to set the SBZ to Speakers (5.1) for using DD live encoding.

That speakers 5.1 setting ^ is for the analog outs, while the DD live setting is for the optical out.  So I think you can set the output to "Headphones" and you will still get DD live when setting it to encode it, as those settings affect two different parts of the card (analog out, spdif out) and are unrelated to each other when using DDL.

"The audio device 'SPIDF-OUT (Sound Blaster Z)' will be used exclusively for Dolby Digital Live and DTS that no other software (such as media player applciations and games) can play directly to the audio device."

If only it were that easy with the z series. The digital out is affected by any DSP or setting you make to the control panel. I've tested this.

However would the DD live or DTS encoding matter it were 5.1 or headphones? More testing is needed as for all we know there might be a weird downmixing happening. What I will say is that when you enable any encoder, the Z panel auto enables 5.1 speakers instead of heapdbones.

I'll test this out when I get home later on my avr...
post #1739 of 2278

tried to play some spec ops the line with DDL and  mixamp's dolby headphone 2, plenty of distortion when i set "spidf-out" down to 50%, positional audio was not that good either !  so i ditched the toslink cable and used the RCA input, (  headphone output of my case -------> astromixamp RCA input  ) there's a little hum but the sound positioning is much  more defined thanks to SBX surround ! 

post #1740 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post


If only it were that easy with the z series. The digital out is affected by any DSP or setting you make to the control panel. I've tested this.

However would the DD live or DTS encoding matter it were 5.1 or headphones? More testing is needed as for all we know there might be a weird downmixing happening. What I will say is that when you enable any encoder, the Z panel auto enables 5.1 speakers instead of heapdbones.

I'll test this out when I get home later on my avr...

 

 

I see.  

 

Well that certainly makes things a bit more confusing, where DD encoding is affected when making adjustments in the control panel.   :confused_face:

 

I'm not sure what you're asking here:

"However would the DD live or DTS encoding matter it were 5.1 or headphones?"

 

The reason he was trying to get DD live was to feed his DSS.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFGR View Post
 

tried to play some spec ops the line with DDL and  mixamp's dolby headphone 2, plenty of distortion when i set "spidf-out" down to 50%, positional audio was not that good either !  so i ditched the toslink cable and used the RCA input, (  headphone output of my case -------> astromixamp RCA input  ) there's a little hum but the sound positioning is much  more defined thanks to SBX surround ! 

 

Is there any particular reason you're using your mixamp in conjunction with the SB Z, if your simply using analog outputs from the SB Z and using it's own SBX Pro surround?  Wouldn't it be simpler to plug directly in the SB Z?

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