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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 23

post #331 of 2606
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra419 View Post


Thank you SO much!!! What sound blaster card would you prefer? The titanium xfi HD or the zxr? Not sure of the difference nor which is best.

Depends on what features you are looking for.  Read over the information on both products and decide from there.

post #332 of 2606
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra419 View Post


Thank you SO much!!! What sound blaster card would you prefer? The titanium xfi HD or the zxr? Not sure of the difference nor which is best.

 

Just for the fact alone that the ZXR is newer and their driver support will be best.  Their specs are up there with the highest consumer sound cards.  Both those sound cards have similiar specs however the ZXR will be able to drive your DT990's properly since it has a high quality TI headphone amp.  

 

There is no point in getting a TiHD nowadays anymore unless you really still want proper hardware support for older games that use OpenAL or implement EAX.  However I will say that my Z does a fantastic job in software with older games that support those technologies.

 

Just go with the ZXR, my Z has had fabulous driver stability and performance so far so there should be no difference wit the ZXR as they are the same chipset and features.  I am personally going to sell my Z as soon as the ZXR is available locally here in Canada.

 

Note:  This is my personal opinion that i derived from MY logic, you should still make up your own mind and read about both cards.


Edited by DJINFERNO806 - 3/1/13 at 12:56pm
post #333 of 2606

TiHD if you feel like you need the hardware support for surround sound in older titles. Get the ZXR if you only play newer games if for no other reason then Creative might keep up driver support for longer than the TiHD.

 

External DAC will not give you surround sound unless you get a USB DAC that supports it though you might as well get a card to do that.

 

As far as the headphone amp in the card goes. I don't know it's soooo hard to tell what amp can "properly" drive a headphone as neither the headphones, sound cards or the amps are fully documented.

 

As such I bought an O2. At least I have one piece of equipment with proper specs.

 

Just sayin' I wish we could get proper tech docs. so we can all make well informed choices. It's electronics not magic.
 

post #334 of 2606
Sweet. Thanks guys, you really helped out a lot. With all that being said, does the sound card give my stereo headphones good "Dolby headphone" surround sound or does it just give me stereo? That's the part I'm really confused about mostly. If I have dt990 pros that are supposed to have a really large sound stage, does the sound card emulate the sound stage and positional audio or the headphones themselves? I just want to make sure thst I'm getting a Dolby headphone effect and not just stereo
post #335 of 2606
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra419 View Post

Sweet. Thanks guys, you really helped out a lot. With all that being said, does the sound card give my stereo headphones good "Dolby headphone" surround sound or does it just give me stereo? That's the part I'm really confused about mostly. If I have dt990 pros that are supposed to have a really large sound stage, does the sound card emulate the sound stage and positional audio or the headphones themselves? I just want to make sure thst I'm getting a Dolby headphone effect and not just stereo

No, neither of those products offer "Dolby Headphone" but they offer similar types of imaging technology for headphones.  So, yes you can have a virtual surround feild for music, movies or gaming on either of those products.

post #336 of 2606

So after owning the Sound Blaster Z for about a month I decided to upgrade to the ZxR, and just got it today - here are my impressions:

 

- Overall Audio Improvement over Sound Blaster Z is minor, but definitely noticable on my ATH-M50S headphones.

 

- When connected to the headphone jack, the headphones do not sound muddier vs the Line out as they did on the Z (in fact they sound a bit better / clearer than on the Line Out now imo.

 

- Also when connected to the headphone jack, the Sound Blaster Z control panel offers me to select the gain for the headphones for either Normal Gain (32 ohm) or High Gain (600 ohm). I am scared to try the 600 Ohm setting as the software warns me it may damage my headphones if they are not built for 600 ohm amplifiers (which the ATH-M50S is not). This option was definitely not present on the Sound Blaster Z.

 

- I beleive the audio quality sounds better for some reason if the headphones are connected directly to the sound card instead of through the ACM. (If anyone can explain why that would be great.. I really wanted to use the ACM but I do not want to sacrifice audio quality, especially after b uying a $250 sound card)

 

- The Headphone / Speaker software switch switches audio outputs MUCH faster than on the Sound Blaster Z. On the Z there would be a 3-4 second delay when switching, on the ZxR it is nearly instantaneous.

 

- No red LED on the card! (was annoying to me on the Z)


Edited by melterx12 - 3/1/13 at 5:11pm
post #337 of 2606

Theoretically connecting to external devices and hooking up from one source to another will always worsen the result, in most cases and then matter how trained the ears are or how bad is the cables (high impedance would cause more changes) etc you may or may not pick up the difference. Then I have no idea what's inside the ACM module but yea I usually avoid using front panels for audio etc personally why I'm not interested in paying extra for the ACM module either.

 

I wish there was a $199 version without the ACM module (and possibly the extra card) as I'm just interested in that higher SQ but 86 vs 225 EUR is a BIG difference...


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 3/1/13 at 5:45pm
post #338 of 2606
Quote:
Originally Posted by melterx12 View Post

So after owning the Sound Blaster Z for about a month I decided to upgrade to the ZxR, and just got it today - here are my impressions:

- Overall Audio Improvement over Sound Blaster Z is minor, but definitely noticable on my ATH-M50S headphones.

- When connected to the headphone jack, the headphones do not sound muddier vs the Line out as they did on the Z (in fact they sound a bit better / clearer than on the Line Out now imo.

- Also when connected to the headphone jack, the Sound Blaster Z control panel offers me to select the gain for the headphones for either Normal Gain (32 ohm) or High Gain (600 ohm). I am scared to try the 600 Ohm setting as the software warns me it may damage my headphones if they are not built for 600 ohm amplifiers (which the ATH-M50S is not). This option was definitely not present on the Sound Blaster Z.

- I beleive the audio quality sounds better for some reason if the headphones are connected directly to the sound card instead of through the ACM. (If anyone can explain why that would be great.. I really wanted to use the ACM but I do not want to sacrifice audio quality, especially after b uying a $250 sound card)

- The Headphone / Speaker software switch switches audio outputs MUCH faster than on the Sound Blaster Z. On the Z there would be a 3-4 second delay when switching, on the ZxR it is nearly instantaneous.

- No red LED on the card! (was annoying to me on the Z)

How much of a difference are we talking here with the ACM? It seems weird creative would release the ACM and have it negatively impact the signal. Are you sure it'd not just the volume knob that needs to be fine tuned to the correct volume?

I hope the acm cable quality isn't the culprit for this
post #339 of 2606
I'm curious as well. I'm thinking about the getting the Zx. Isn't the only difference between Zx and Zxr the second card?
post #340 of 2606
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra419 View Post

I'm curious as well. I'm thinking about the getting the Zx. Isn't the only difference between Zx and Zxr the second card?

No, the ZxR has upgraded internal components and noise shielding. Also, it's mostly black colored wink.gif

The daughter card is mostly inputs for audio creation, like musicians or podcasters I guess. I'm not the most knowledgeable about that.
post #341 of 2606
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post


How much of a difference are we talking here with the ACM? It seems weird creative would release the ACM and have it negatively impact the signal. Are you sure it'd not just the volume knob that needs to be fine tuned to the correct volume?

I hope the acm cable quality isn't the culprit for this

I have no way of scientifically measuring the difference so I cant exactly say "how much" it is just slightly less crisp sound. I compared the sound with the volume knob at max and having it on 25% volume in windows.

post #342 of 2606
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

I don't think it is pointless to have the correct information around on if a headphone output is amplified or not, especially when the output is what is being discussed.

 

It is a pointless debate without having detailed specs or measurements of the headphone output, and without a clear definition of where the line is drawn between "amplified" and not.

post #343 of 2606
Quote:
Originally Posted by melterx12 View Post

I have no way of scientifically measuring the difference so I cant exactly say "how much" it is just slightly less crisp sound. I compared the sound with the volume knob at max and having it on 25% volume in windows.
Someone else can correct me on this, but I would think you'd hear better SQ with windows close to max volume (and turning down the ACM).
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

It is a pointless debate without having detailed specs or measurements of the headphone output, and without a clear definition of where the line is drawn between "amplified" and not.
Kinda like the difference between hot and warm coffee.
Regardless, a signal must be amplified to be audible and controlled. Whether the manufacturer calls that amplification an amp or a buffer, the specs matter more than the name, no?
post #344 of 2606
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

Well price here is the point, if you look at the overall quality and components on a ST(X) it is a very goodpackage.

I don't think anybody suggested the head amp could not be surpassed by an external unit...Issue here is you pay more money.

Any product can be surpassed if you want to dig into your pocket.

 

If you want to go that route, take an ST(X) oraTitanHD and use the line outputs to an external high quality amplifier and you will have a better package over a cheaper card withlower and DAC connected to an external amp.

 

The comparison was between STX with the built-in amplifier, and a cheaper card with an external amplifier, which does not even have to be that expensive. The latter can perform better with many commonly used headphones. I have already shown how under typical usage conditions the STX headphone output loses much of the dynamic range of the DAC, but compared to something like the O2, it will also have higher distortion, and - due to the higher output impedance - less flat frequency response. Even a "cheap" card like the Xonar D1 can already have a very good DAC, and the amplifier differences outweigh the small DAC differences. Although the EMI shielding on the "higher end" sound cards might be useful in some PCs.

 

I do use the STX, and its built-in amplifier, however. But that is because I find the higher quality ADC useful (something that most people probably do not care about), and I have high impedance headphones which are not affected much by the disadvantages of the TPA6120 and the digital volume and gain control. It is also convenient to have an "all in one" internal package, rather than an external box powered by a wall wart (or worse yet, batteries).

post #345 of 2606
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

How much of a difference are we talking here with the ACM? It seems weird creative would release the ACM and have it negatively impact the signal. Are you sure it'd not just the volume knob that needs to be fine tuned to the correct volume?

I hope the acm cable quality isn't the culprit for this
I have not noticed any negative side effect by using ACM. I don't have really option though. I have to use it if I want to keep my hearing.
Edited by Anarion - 3/2/13 at 4:30pm
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