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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 129

post #1921 of 2278

It's too bad there's no way to increase "distance" with SBX.  Though the surround and sound quality are OKAY after EQ'ing, it's just drilling a hole in my head.  I'd like the audio to surround me, rather than pound me in the head.  I've experience that surround with distance from having played with software based HRTF, but the sound quality is usually pretty awful.   I think I'd be happy with SBX if I could just position the sound further out, it would sound much more natural.

post #1922 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post


You came to the right place bud!

Currently Salx, genclaymore and I all use our z's optical out to our headphone amps/DACs.

Not sure what else I could say except it worked flawlessly when sending stereo mixed PCM with all the effects out.

Never had any issues so far.

SBX surround will work with any game, movie, music that has multichannel audio.

Wait, so it DOES send SBX positional audio out through optical? I am probably good with the SBX provided by my motherboard, then. Good to know.

post #1923 of 2278
Ya just make sure your motherboard can send it through digital. There should be an option for stereo downmix somewhere.
post #1924 of 2278

I think SBX sound great with open headphones...closed not as good no way. But then, open headphones excel at soundstage. SBX feels natural to me and just right too. Our individual mileage varies always.

 

Edit: lousy spelling.


Edited by SaLX - 2/12/14 at 6:01am
post #1925 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCSUZoSo View Post
 

germanium I plan to do a detailed guide once I do the mod, but if you open a new thread be sure to add the link in here.

 

 

these are some nice 12uF poly caps, but you are talking about $60 roughly total for the mod in caps: http://www.ebay.com/itm/MKP-Hifi-Crossover-Capacitor-12uf-250V-Polypropylene-top-quality-/330633133246?pt=UK_Sound_Vision_Speaker_Parts&hash=item4cfb453cbe


Here is my new thread on modding the ZXR

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/705284/germaniums-sound-blaster-zxr-mod-thread

post #1926 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaLX View Post
 

I think SBX sound great with open headphones...closed not as good no way. But then, open headphones excel at soundstage. SBX feels natural to me and just right too. Our individual mileage vary always.

 

It's no issue really with closed headphones. Thanks to the closed nature and the lack of reverb/extention from the room/surrounding the positioning is very exact and spot-on.

If a game lacks "background noise" though it will sound weird and, in a way, dead of course. As long as the game has good audio it's a great pleasure though.

post #1927 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaLX View Post
 

I think SBX sound great with open headphones...closed not as good no way. But then, open headphones excel at soundstage. SBX feels natural to me and just right too. Our individual mileage vary always.

 

I could see that. Having listened to some recordings and watching several comparisons on youtube, the SBX sound isn't as "distant" as it is with Dolby Headphone. But the Dolby sounds off to me. So does Razer's app. I still think that the basic Realtek sound is the most natural and the positioning isn't bad, it just not a large sound stage. With the naturally wide stage of my current setup, the SBX seems to expand out pretty well. I think I'm going to be brave and give this thing a shot.

post #1928 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by atoff View Post
 

It's too bad there's no way to increase "distance" with SBX.  Though the surround and sound quality are OKAY after EQ'ing, it's just drilling a hole in my head.  I'd like the audio to surround me, rather than pound me in the head.  I've experience that surround with distance from having played with software based HRTF, but the sound quality is usually pretty awful.   I think I'd be happy with SBX if I could just position the sound further out, it would sound much more natural.


That's also my prob with SBX, it's too close. On the Realtek motherboard I can slightly increase the "distance" to things, by decreasing "front" volume slider when running 5.1 speakers. It's a shame it doesn't exist with Creative cards to get it slightly less "in-your-face" for much more realistic experience.

For me in general I prefer the custom 5.1 speaker config on Realtek (all speakers unticked in speaker config but "fullrange speakers" and "Surround Speakers" ticked and the Front volume slider from 100% -> 97%). This generally provides the most realistic distances for me.

SBX has a natural tone though and doesn't change EQ balance much but I think CMSS3D if using 5.1 or 7.1 speakers still provide the most clear positioning though but changes the sound more than SBX does so it's a bit tie for me.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 2/12/14 at 3:52am
post #1929 of 2278

Yes, CMSS-3D might be good for a competitive gamer who just wants to win.. But like I said before, surround sound in a can. They should trade mark the slogan.. Anyway, I placed the order with newegg this morning, maybe I'll have it by the end of the week.

post #1930 of 2278

I got the card yesterday and spent some time with Battlefield 4. So far so good. I'm still not sure if SBX is helping positional cues or not, but it does make the sound feel bigger and a little farther outside the phones, which is cool. BF4 has it's own confusing sound options, and I'm not sure about the game's sound in general. My benchmark will be Mass Effect 3 multiplayer.

 

Do you guys have any tips for setting everything up? Based on what I've read so far, I have the creative controls set to headphone, windows set to 5.1 speakers, and BF4 set to "surround."

post #1931 of 2278

Guys I need some input and before the 19th as that is final day I can return this ZxR to Amazon.

 

I have never kept an item this long to then return (normally DSA is 7days) and am not in habit of retuning unless not working.

 

I read/watched reviews for weeks and every post here and on OC.net but over there 1 guy got called a Troll for not liking his card and they claimed he did not even own it.

 

So I come here and I know there is not going to be some magic setting but something must be wrong.

 

Seems a bit of mess as I paste it here and try to space it out as way it pasted in its 1 block of text.

 

You could be saving me a waste of my time (3+ weeks now) and £200.

 

Copy/pasted From Creative forums where I made a thread and added to a few (zero replies).

 

 

 

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A little history 1st: I have never heard as good a sound on a PC as I had in 2001 with a SB Live 5.1 and Cambridge SoundWorks Desktop Theater 5.1 DTT2200 Speakers.

 

Audigy 2 was close.

 

Audigy 2ZS was a buggy POS.

 

X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion was just ok.

 

X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty was just ok and only bought it due to I had to as no longer having PCI slots in new Mobo.

 

Now my dilemma, I have removed my ZxR, I tested for a couple of weeks with different 2.0/2.1/5/1 speakers, even bought Corsairs SP2500's.

I am not happy with the sound be it audio, movies or games.

Its lacking something I cannot explain but see a few others have same issues on the WWW but 99% think its great.

The gaming profile for FPS is really low volume so I have to tweak it for each game instead of a simple game mode like X-Fi's have which sounds fine in all games.

 

Also I am not sure if I have became a artificial sound junkie but I prefer CMSS-3D and EAX to upmix stereo to 5.1 but after 2+weeks I should be over it.

I spent months reading this forum on the Z Series and a few other sites including some HIFI sites and went against my better judgment in buying a Z Series after saying I would not last year (never say never).

 

I assumed the software would be up to scratch by now but its poor and rehashed old drivers are a joke. I wonder if it is the software side letting the card down as nearly every EQ sounds nearly the same apart from the good Classical EQ (picked up by more than 1 review site). I want to like the card and expected it to blow me away sound wise even if not the best speakers in the world at my end but enough to make me buy better ones but those Corsairs get great reviews. I wonder if I am making a mistake and better drivers will come out but I cannot see Creative making a better software package.

 

 

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I have a 7.1 set and 2x 5.1 sets, so Creative make cards and speakers that we buy then they made the speakers redundant by going back to 5.1 card even though competitors make 7.1 cards (Asus etc).

And yes even HDMI out and Onboard audio all do 7.1 today. I am on the verge of returning this ZxR, not due to no 7.1 as I knew that when I went back on my word and bought it but due to performances is poor IMO.

The support is poor and quality of sound is nowhere near as good as reviews etc. claim to my ears and IMO I have a good ear for music and always have had.

 

The rehashed old driver repacked as new a few weeks back was also a nail in the coffin for me.

I have had Creative cards since 2001 and was on this forum back then but left due to lack of support around Audigy 2ZS time and the Nazi attitude of a certain female Mod who banned anyone who spoke out about Creative's support (thank God she is not longer active).

I remember you from that other thread BTW, you at least held out unlike myself.

 

 

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I knew about the X-Fi Modes, just wondered if some wonder settings you could share would make me like my ZxR.

I always left it on Xpand due to me liking the centre channel esp. for movies but I may try audio with the other mode.

 

Edit: It does sound a bit more deeper in Surround but I still get Centre Speaker so may keep it on this.

I said in my other thread I have never had really good sound since the SB Live 5.1, all Audigy's and X-FI have gotten worse each build.

I had hope for this Z series after all glowing reviews and its been out long enough to mature.

 

Why were the early ZxR's recalled? Wonder if I somehow got one that slipped trough the cracks.

You can see my thread has zero replies and I mean official from Creative, no doubt it will be going back to Amazon.

 

http://software.store.creative.com/s...106-21569.aspx < Wonder fi that would work on our cards, looks better than crap we got with premium cards and has EAX effects.

 

 

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EAX works with Vista not just XP, only Win 7 removed the Hardware Sound and its back in Win 8 but not supported by these cards.

I have no clue why peeps claim EAX in newer OS did not work as it does using Alchemy for some games.

 

My post would show up by clicking my username, if you have some insight leave it here please as I want to show Creative up for what they are with zero reply from support.

I am 99% sure the ZxR is going back, one more swap to it tomorrow to try again but I doubt it will sound any better as there is a lack of drivers and I doubt a proper new one could improve it.

 

http://forums.creative.com/showthread.php?t=701157 I am not into headphones and that is why I probably have good hearing and not deaf like some peeps I know from loud music from the Sony Walkman (tape) days till now in there ears (can hear it across a road).

Also not wanting large HIFI speakers around PC as if I wanted that I would listen to my HIFI which I have not since 2001 due to the PC sound back in 2001 being so good and its handier.

 

I was willing to spend a few hundred on them and the Corsairs were not cheap.

Those Corsairs were about the max size for PC area and if you read reviews they get highly rated and even though name states Gaming/Audio if you look at the Corsair Reps review on YT he does state "peeps listening to music on their PC's" was main concern.

A poor card with great speakers is not going to sound good and vice versa.

It is a PC at the end of the day and there is a limit to cost and quality or I again would use my HIFI.

 

 

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Thanks in advanced if anyone can share any input.


Edited by helmutcheese - 2/14/14 at 7:26am
post #1932 of 2278

Just waiting on my 1st post being moderate due to link in it so why try give you a little help though for speakers.

 

BF3/4 have a Audio Setting "WarTapes", it sound great at 1st but you cannot work out where the sounds are coming from so not good IMO and many others if you Google on it.

post #1933 of 2278
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkWolf View Post

So the question is then; How many of us audiophile gamers actually like SBX Surround? 

 

Going by YouTube videos, it doesn't cut out the bass or screw with the tonality the way CMSS-3D Headphone does...

 

...but in the end, I still find it worse for actually pinpointing sounds than CMSS-3D Headphone in those L4D2 videos, so SBX Pro Surround still loses.

 

It would be easier for me to test some things out if I had a Z-series card for myself, though. Mostly some theories about EQing the bass and how that might affect perceived positioning, since that's the biggest difference people are likely to notice when comparing the two, but also testing it out with games that most people here wouldn't think to test with. UT, BF2/2142, etc...wait a minute, SBX disables itself when running native OpenAL anyway.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by helmutcheese View Post

EAX works with Vista not just XP, only Win 7 removed the Hardware Sound and its back in Win 8 but not supported by these cards.

I have no clue why peeps claim EAX in newer OS did not work as it does using Alchemy for some games.

 

Actually, Vista DID remove DirectSound3D from its audio stack, and Windows 7 only carried that change forward. That's why ALchemy exists.

 

People talk about Windows 8 bringing back hardware-accelerated audio, but the simple fact is that it's not DirectSound3D and thus isn't pertinent to old games that used DirectSound3D for hardware acceleration. Thankfully, ALchemy does a decent job wrapping it all into OpenAL.

 

A lot of the EAX confusion stems from how it's a feature done through DirectSound3D and OpenAL, but not really a native feature of either. Notice that I said OpenAL as well; this is why you don't need ALchemy to enable EAX under BF2 and BF2142, for instance. (I can only wonder why they didn't use EFX instead, which isn't confined to Creative hardware like EAX 3/4/5.)


Edited by NamelessPFG - 2/14/14 at 7:21am
post #1934 of 2278

I could not remember 100% what OS removed it after XP.

 

What about my main concern before I waste £200?

post #1935 of 2278

You're giving us a lot to read and not much info. What speakers are you using? Which cards have you used with the same speakers? What aspect of the sound is not to your liking, the over all quality, or the DSP features? (SBX, crystalizer, etc.)

 

If you're using the card with the same set of speakers that you've used with other cards and you just don't like it, then it seems like you should return it.

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