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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 21

post #301 of 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

It does not really show what the practical advantages of those gold capacitors are for audio applications in particular, though. Of course, a good design does not have many electrolytic capacitors in the audio signal path in the first place, regardless of whether they are gold or not.

Here and here there are some samples recorded from a Xonar D1 - which has a lowly CS4398 DAC, NJM5532 op amps, and generic non-gold capacitors - that can be compared against the original audio. Chances are that you would have difficulty hearing the difference without knowing which file is which.

 

Yes, the implementation is everything, ie the sum of the parts rather than just the parts. I haven't finished my critical analyzis of the SQ of the Soundblaster Z, but as it looks right now so does the Xonar D1/DX indeed sound better than Soundblaster Z for pure stereo listening. As I said earlier the Soundblaster Z has a slight coloration to the sound, most easily detected in the treble. None of the sort to point my finger on detected from the Xonar DX. But the Soundblaster Z has other advantages, as better gaming support.

 

The difference between the Xonar DX and the more expensive Xonar ST is a closer call, definetely no real verdict yet, but it feels better to use the Xonar ST. Not very objective  wink.gif

post #302 of 2471

What kind of coloration in the highs? I personally tested an ASUS D2 and disliked its overly thin/analytical/bright/sparkly tonality but enjoyed Titanium HD's gently warm sound.

 

BTW, quoting from another forum:

 

Quote:
SBX is better than anything I have ever used for gaming sound. Not for music but for directional gaming sound, it does the best job ever of detail and distance. Things sound normal and natural in terms of where the bad guys are and how far away. 
 
I would sell the triton and mixamp and buy a pair of headphones like mine. Sennheiser 558 or 598. Run them directly out of the Z and there you go.

Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 2/28/13 at 3:47am
post #303 of 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

What kind of coloration in the highs? I personally tested an ASUS D2 and disliked its overly thin/analytical/bright/sparkly tonality but enjoyed Titanium HD's gently warm sound.

 

BTW, quoting from another forum:

 

 

I guess you ran your headphones directly on the cards headphone output? Not strange the D2 wasn't to your liking then, as it doesn't even have a real headphone amplifier. It simply couldn't drive your headphones corrrect.

 

However, if you use an external headphone amplifier for the different cards, as I do, you rule out their ability to drive cans and only hear the difference of their respective sound signature. That difference is much smaller than between their can-driving ability, much smaller, but there is a difference and the Xonar Essence ST is definetely - ever so little - but still more smooth than the Soundblaster Z. I expect the ZxR will edge out that small difference, at a price of course.

 

Also, I'm talking about music quality, the aforementioned speaker was talking about gaming sound and afaik there's no real competition to Creative there so he's probably 100% right.


Edited by xeizo - 2/28/13 at 4:14am
post #304 of 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeizo View Post

 

I guess you ran your headphones directly on the cards headphone output? Not strange the D2 wasn't to your liking then, as it doesn't even have a real headphone amplifier. It simply couldn't drive your headphones corrrect.

 

However, if you use an external headphone amplifier for the different cards, as I do, you rule out their ability to drive cans and only hear the difference of their respective sound signature. That difference is much smaller than between their can-driving ability, much smaller, but there is a difference and the Xonar Essence ST is definetely - ever so little - but still more smooth than the Soundblaster Z. I expect the ZxR will edge out that small difference, at a price of course.

 

Also, I'm talking about music quality, the aforementioned speaker was talking about gaming sound and afaik there's no real competition to Creative there so he's probably 100% right.

 

It wasn't a case of not being able to drive correctly, I was testing with 32 - 40 ohm headphones and compared D2 vs Titanium HD vs Realtek ALC889A onboard and I found Realtek to have the most natural tonality among them back them and quite in-between D2 (slightly colder/brigher signature) and Titanium HD (slightly on the warm side of neutral) and the ALC889A quite in-between the two. Note, not talking quality but pure tonality/percieved frequency response balance.

 

I strive for a neutral source/amp etc but between warm and bright signature and dry versus wet/reverby/liquidy or whatever you'd call it, I easily take warm/wet over cold/dry. My experiences with the D2 was overly cold & dry. I would probably have liked D2 more today when paired with a ZO amp which is definitely on the warm side of neutral (highs slightly pushed back even at the lowest bass countour level).


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 2/28/13 at 4:41am
post #305 of 2471

The D2 would struggle even with 32 Ohm Cans, it just isn't a headphone driving card. In example so does my ALC892 and SoundMax 2000 drive headphones, any headphones, much better than what my Xonar DX does. Even my very old X-Fi XtremeGamer does so. But the Xonar DX delivers a much more pure line level signal which benefits external amplification. The Xonar D2 is good/bad in the exact same way as the DX. 

 

But cards like Titanium HD, Soundblaster Z and Xonar ST have  built in amplification which surpasses onboard audio, even the cheap Xonar DG/DGX has so. D2X/D2 and DX/D1 doesn't.

post #306 of 2471

I have had the ZXR for a couple of days now and it sounds absolutely amazing with my Q701 Headphones. I never heard such amazing spellbinding music before, my entire world have transformed. I brought my headphones last week and changed to ZXR from X-fi music card without any amp.

 

There is just a little problem, I can’t get the SBX function to work properly when using the ¼” headphones output. This is really frustrating when playing games, because you have no sense of enemy position. When connecting headphones to the L/R RCA output, the SBX 3d Surround is working perfectly fine, but with sacrifice of sound quality.

 

This problem seems really odd and if someone else has a ZXR, could you please tell me if you have another experience with the headphone output?

post #307 of 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeizo View Post

The D2 would struggle even with 32 Ohm Cans, it just isn't a headphone driving card. In example so does my ALC892 and SoundMax 2000 drive headphones, any headphones, much better than what my Xonar DX does. Even my very old X-Fi XtremeGamer does so. But the Xonar DX delivers a much more pure line level signal which benefits external amplification. The Xonar D2 is good/bad in the exact same way as the DX. 

 

But cards like Titanium HD, Soundblaster Z and Xonar ST have  built in amplification which surpasses onboard audio, even the cheap Xonar DG/DGX has so. D2X/D2 and DX/D1 doesn't.

 

 

The Titanium HD doesnt have a headamp.  Taken from another thread after ROBSCIX reviewed the card thoroughly. 

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

No, while this card does have a dedicated headphones output, it does NOT have a dedicated amplifier circuit.

 
post #308 of 2471
post #309 of 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

 

 

The Titanium HD doesnt have a headamp.  Taken from another thread after ROBSCIX reviewed the card thoroughly. 

 

 


 

 

Well, RobScix doesn't know everything he's talking about:

 

Quote:
Headphone output for audio listening up to 115dB 33 Ohms, and 117dB, 330 Ohms, at 24bit/96kHz

 

The headphone output on Titanium HD is almost as good as on the Xonar STX, probably virtually indistinguishable, and way, way over the quality on the HP-out of Xonar D2. It may be though that it doesn't have a dedicated IC from Texas Instruments, like some other cards, but Creative has used something on the card for driving headphones effectively as the specs suggests(and your listening impressions - it does sound GOOD, doesn't it) ....


Edited by xeizo - 2/28/13 at 9:50am
post #310 of 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeizo View Post

Well, RobScix doesn't know everything he's talking about:


The headphone output on Titanium HD is almost as good as on the Xonar STX, probably virtually indistinguishable, and way, way over the quality on the HP-out of Xonar D2. It may be though that it doesn't have a dedicated IC from Texas Instruments, like some other cards, but Creative has used something on the card for driving headphones effectively as the specs suggests(and your listening impressions - it does sound GOOD, doesn't it) ....

That was my whole point, it doesn't have a dedicated headphone amp. I'm sure it does sound good but I just wanted to correct the point that there isn't a head amp dedicated circuit. I wonder what people with hi ohm headphones think of it. Anyways I don't want to hijack the thread I was just stating a correction I had read.
Quote:

LOL one guy thinks his PC is now a 6 core because his dual core plus the zxr added together.... wow.
Edited by DJINFERNO806 - 2/28/13 at 11:10am
post #311 of 2471

LoL, only six while I have 1536 streamprocessors in my gaming box darthsmile.gif
 

post #312 of 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeizo View Post

 

Well, RobScix doesn't know everything he's talking about:

Nobody knows everything but you can be sure that I would have traced the circuits on the card and verified the feature set with the designers.

 

I stand by my information.

 

Feel free to correct me...

 

 

True both cards are very similar for certain measurments you cannot just compare the head outs like that...also to point out a difference of say 113dB to 117dB for SNR..etc is quite alot as the scale is LOG, not linear.
So when some see a measurment that looks similar in all actuality it is not close at all.

 

They are both great cards.


Edited by ROBSCIX - 2/28/13 at 12:40pm
post #313 of 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetaWolf View Post

If you guys need a good laugh, look at some of the Newegg reviews for the ZxR.

 

 

Funny. Just some kids...

 

On topic:

 

Might have a Creative ZXR coming soon for testing.  Had quite a few people ask me for impressions, so I have to check it out and run it through some tests with my system.

For those interested, I will keep you posted.


Edited by ROBSCIX - 2/28/13 at 12:56pm
post #314 of 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

Nobody knows everything but you can be sure that I would have traced the circuits on the card and verified the feature set with the designers.

 

I stand by my information.

 

Feel free to correct me...

 

 

True both cards are very similar for certain measurments you cannot just compare the head outs like that...also to point out a difference of say 113dB to 117dB for SNR..etc is quite alot as the scale is LOG, not linear.
So when some see a measurment that looks similar in all actuality it is not close at all.

 

They are both great cards.

 

Well, the point was that some cards are similarly good sounding on both head out and line out, like Titanium HD or Xonar STX, but some cards have a inferior head out while they are fairly great using line out. Like Xonar D1/DX and Xonar D2/D2X.

 

So, the poster stated that Xonars where bright sounding based on using the head out on a D2 which HAS a inferior head out, that doesn't mean the card will remain bright sounding when using line out. Like one does when using a external headamp. So, the "bad" D2 can be great with an external amp, while the Titanium HD or Xonar STX wont see as much of an improvement, regardless of which chip they happen to use. They are just specced to be able to drive most headphones, while the aforementioned Xonars are not.

post #315 of 2471

I'm still pretty puzzled what card to get. I'm very interested in the better DAC + caps on ZxR but I don't care for the rest of the extras like the added card + ACM module so it feels quite lot extra to spend if I compare 86 EUR for the Z card vs 225 EUR for a DAC + cap upgrade on the ZxR and then I'm not perfectly sure the software side will keep me fully satisfied either with the ZxR too.

 

I'm currently still using Realtek onboard ALC889A chip so the Z card already should bring a noticable upgrade one would think. What are your opinions, I really got trouble to decide, it maybe feels like I should check out the Z card first to get an idea if I even like the changed software.

 

At the same time I also think that if I was to get the ZxR now it's probably something I'd end up using for years as I do want to have a soundcard as a PC enthusiast and doing all my listening from my computer only and occasionally do gaming as well and I like the added features of soundcards versus USB DACs.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 3/1/13 at 4:26am
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