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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 120

post #1786 of 2359

I'm sure DJ will weigh in on here about your Beyer 600ohms... do what we did, and get a vanilla Z and an external DAC/AMP connected optically. @germanium - You know your stuff really well obviously, but I'd make the same plunge too :smile: 

 

Razer Surround isn't that great really.. if you like it then that's great. The consensus is though that the SQ falters, though your mileage may vary.  


Edited by SaLX - 2/2/14 at 1:01am
post #1787 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by x7007 View Post
 

So if it was your choice, would you recommend to skip the  SBX surround and to use the Razer surround ?

 

I'm really liking the surround option cause I played so much with the SteelSeries 5CHv2 it was really immersion  with the CMSS-3D.

 

Of course I'm now trying to go for Hi-Fi and to keep the surround, if you compare, is SBX surround better than Razer Surround ?

I don't do surround on headphones or speakers so I can't answer that question. A top notch setup does not need those effects really. Very few surround effects processors for headphones don't affect the signal in negative ways. Creative's CMSS-3D was about the best I've heard as it didn't mess with sound such as adding a ton of reverb as Dolby headphone surround does for example.

post #1788 of 2359

x-fi  headphone  cmss3d actually makes  200$ cans sound like  10$ ones, sbx surround is much better  than razer (for my setup and ears that is )  especially in l4d2 !

 

Btw i like to play console-ish games on the couch, but my gaming PC is in the bedroom, that's why i use a 5M toslink cable and an astro mixamp, did some further testing in spec ops : the line yesterday, DH2 vs SBX surround,  dolby headphone is not  bad  immersion wise but compared to SBX surround (67%) everything sounds  distant. 

post #1789 of 2359
Just a word of advice. Do some more research into the zxr before you buy it. A lot of users report it doesn't properly power the DT series 600 ohm versions.

Also just for sbx surround, unless you get a really good price for the Phoebus, I wouldn't upgrade to the zxr. Financially it makes no sense just for the surround tech. Doesn't the Phoebus come with Dolby headphones? Its pretty good too. You may like it.
Edited by DJINFERNO806 - 2/2/14 at 5:13am
post #1790 of 2359

Thanks a lot! Sounds quite interesting, sadly also too complicated for a plug&play upgrader like me :D 

post #1791 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

Just a word of advice. Do some more research into the zxr before you buy it. A lot of users report it doesn't properly power the DT series 600 ohm versions.

Also just for sbx surround, unless you get a really good price for the Phoebus, I wouldn't upgrade to the zxr. Financially it makes no sense just for the surround tech. Doesn't the Phoebus come with Dolby headphones? Its pretty good too. You may like it.

Phoebus dolby surround is crap, it only upmix stereo so you hear the same noise from behind and front, you won't the extra sound like virtual surround Razer or SBX.

 

Razer surround makes "real" 7.1

SBX surround makes "real" 5.1

Xonar Phoebus dolby surround upmix stereo to x2 stereo

Xonar Phoebus Xear has virtual 7.1 but it sound so crappy with 100% Echo and Revereb.

post #1792 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanium View Post
 

I don't do surround on headphones or speakers so I can't answer that question. A top notch setup does not need those effects really. Very few surround effects processors for headphones don't affect the signal in negative ways. Creative's CMSS-3D was about the best I've heard as it didn't mess with sound such as adding a ton of reverb as Dolby headphone surround does for example.


By not needing the effects engines to generate convincing surround sound field is I have some recordings that image well beyond the speakers without any added effects at least at my end. I have heard on my system some recordings done with blumliem microphone setups ( crossed figure eight mikes)  that are extremely convincing as the sound completely surrounds you in spite just having direct feed from 2 microphones. Here I'm talking of listening to them across my speakers not headphones


Edited by germanium - 2/3/14 at 12:51pm
post #1793 of 2359

Why the Phoebus can power the DT990 600ohms and the ZXR can't if on paper they are the same and ZXR has better SNR power ratio.

post #1794 of 2359
Because regardless of what headphone amp chip is in both, they are implemented differently. Hence why the zxr has an output impedance of 40 ohm vs the Phoebus' 10 ohm.

The voltage regulation stage most likely was designed a little differently.
post #1795 of 2359

So ZXR has higher output impedance,, isn't that better than 10 ohm only ? I just want to see the big picture.

post #1796 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by x7007 View Post
 

So ZXR has higher output impedance,, isn't that better than 10 ohm only ? I just want to see the big picture.

Lower output impedance usually better but not in all situations. Example some single driver balanced armature earphones are designed to work with higher  output impedances. Some earphones output impedance does not matter & others demand very low output impedance so it all depends on the phone but most will do better with low output impedance.

 

There are other equally important factors relating to sound quality from earphone amplifiers that can make them sound bloated in bass such as coupling capacitor quality especially those going to ground from the negative feedback loop as these control the gain of the amplifier & as such the quality of this cap or lack thereof is amplified by the gain of the amp. A poor quality cap here can & will make the sound bloated as if lacking control even if the output impedance of the amp is low.

 

Power supply of the amp is also important though may not be noticeable with low quality coupling caps. Replace or get rid of coupling caps & you will start to hear the difference that power supply caps make. These are smaller but equally important differences.

 

The mods I did to the ZXR addresses these issues with the cards analog output section as it sounded somewhat bloated stock to my ears


Edited by germanium - 2/3/14 at 2:23am
post #1797 of 2359

I recently compared the SB Z to the Focusrite 2i2 USB Interface using my active speakers. For me the SBZ came out as the winnner. It's sound is lively with punchy bass, the Focusrite sounds flat in comparison. The Focusrite had better and more natural sounding mids but the differenece was small. Too bad i sold my SBZ to get the Focusrite, now i have to buy one again :D

post #1798 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizkid View Post

I recently compared the SB Z to the Focusrite 2i2 USB Interface using my active speakers. For me the SBZ came out as the winnner. It's sound is lively with punchy bass, the Focusrite sounds flat in comparison. The Focusrite had better and more natural sounding mids but the differenece was small. Too bad i sold my SBZ to get the Focusrite, now i have to buy one again biggrin.gif

While I did find the bass punchy the bass was too prominent & slightly bloated. Back ground instruments were not clear & sound stage was flattened considerably compared to what the basic hardware was in fact capable of. Imaging was OK but just ok, nothing special on the ZXR card stock.
Edited by germanium - 2/3/14 at 12:44pm
post #1799 of 2359
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanium View Post


While I did find the bass punchy the bass was too prominent & slightly bloated. Back ground instruments were not clear & sound stage was flattened considerably compared to what the basic hardware was in fact capable of. Imaging was OK but just ok, nothing special on the ZXR card stock.


Fully agreed, wasn't particularly impressed with ZxR's stock sound, like you said, the bass is too bloated and it's a bit overly warm and the soundstage is very claustrophobic (but that can easily be down to Creative driver's fault on how they handle "speaker config" processing as they've had their own way of doing that since Audigy days which could easily ruin spatial cues if attempt to modify cues with extra software/hardware processing). Nothing to complain about mids though, vocals and piano in particular with a hint of analogueness to it, fullbodied, well-weighted. The ZxR do mids beautifully but that's the only thing I was truly impressed about.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 2/3/14 at 4:04pm
post #1800 of 2359

Change the opamps on the ZXR and you open up an entire new sound stage.

 

Lol, I have a spare MUSES01 because I rolled so many opamps to find the right sound.

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