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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 25

post #361 of 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by shredzy View Post

I really cannot decide between the Zx and the ZxR....the price difference here is $130, I won't be using the daughter board. Play games and love listening to music (currently have a Essence STX and Denon 2K's).....it seems the price difference is due to the daughter board? Is the DAC on the ZxR that much better then the Zx? I'm willing to spend the extra but if its not worth it....then no thanks.


I suggest to move to a DAC device rather than purchasing the ZxR board. You can use DAC device with USB input (and other input sources) with multiple sources in your life (laptop, desktop, DAP...) while you have to limit the use of ZxR in your desktop with PCI-E slot. And I bet that the sound quality of Creative ZxR is much better than a DAC at this price range. In my opinion, unless you Creative-addict, shouldn't spend too much for Creative (losing reputation from years to years). I used their products since 1996 with a set of Soundblaster 16bit and am using SB Z now, but really disappointed at what they did to their famous Soundblater brand name through years.

post #362 of 2604

The choice of a Creative-card over a DAC is for those quite interested in gaming sound, for those who only listens to music there are other options.

 

But these new Soundblasters sounds reasonably good on music too.

post #363 of 2604

The Z is a card which you should get primarily for its ability to produce outstanding gaming sound. I will say that I have not heard better gaming sound ever. The directional sound and detail of this card is amazing.

 

If all you are doing is listening to music, I would always suggest an external usb dac/amp.

 

The Z does well enough for music but does not impress me as superior to like priced external units.

post #364 of 2604
I like my current Recon3D external USB device (it's most often attached to my Xbox), I'm excited for my income to start tomorrow (first payday from new job) so I can buy more PC gaming titles. For some reason, an ODAC I borrowed from a friend wouldn't work with my computer, but the Creative product does... I think I managed to delete my (hack) Mac's generic sound drivers, so I have had more luck when given drivers by the manufacturer.

I'd like to get a Sound Blaster Z sometime in the near future, although the Titanium HD is quite attractive too when it drops to $110 on sale sometimes. I've read mostly great things about the Titanium HD, but CMSS hasn't worked as believably for my ears in any YouTube video sample as THX TruStudio Pro on my games. YouTube videos are suspect and may not compare to the real thing of course, but I don't want to waste $110.
post #365 of 2604

I'm curious as to why there aren't any in-depth reviews on the ZxR yet. The thing has been out for months. Everything I see is on Z and Zx. All I can find on the ZxR is stuff about the hardware... nothing about how it affects positional audio, soundstage, frequency response, sound reproduction, etc.

post #366 of 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetaWolf View Post

I'm curious as to why there aren't any in-depth reviews on the ZxR yet. The thing has been out for months. Everything I see is on Z and Zx. All I can find on the ZxR is stuff about the hardware... nothing about how it affects positional audio, soundstage, frequency response, sound reproduction, etc.

 

Well, gaming wise I don't expect the ZxR to be any better than the Z or the Zx. In essence the ZxR is a Z with audiophile and cineast features bolted on, a combination of Creative, Xonar STX and Xonar HDAV ....

post #367 of 2604
What is cineast?
post #368 of 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetaWolf View Post

I'm curious as to why there aren't any in-depth reviews on the ZxR yet. The thing has been out for months. Everything I see is on Z and Zx. All I can find on the ZxR is stuff about the hardware... nothing about how it affects positional audio, soundstage, frequency response, sound reproduction, etc.

 

It's technically been out for a few months, but it hasn't really gone on sale in a mass production like the Z/Zx until just a few weeks ago.

There are plenty of regions which are only getting the SBZ series launch this month in fact.

post #369 of 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

What is cineast?

 

Movie lover ...

post #370 of 2604

Don't know if this has been posted or not but it pretty much covers everything about the card (except the software side)

 

 

 

On a sidenote, I finally got around to place a ZxR order. I've been struggling to decide whether to go Z or ZxR or maybe not upgrade or whatever but yea then I saw in my homecountry the card for 191 EUR which is a steal in this country since that's even lower than amazon.co.uk sells it for example (209€ which is quite standard EU pricing when compared to $249 USD). TBH I'm heavily surprised on that pricing in Finland, must be that GBP(£) have gotten weak since last time I ordered something. :p


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 3/8/13 at 12:04pm
post #371 of 2604
(nothing)
Edited by Anarion - 3/9/13 at 1:05pm
post #372 of 2604
RPGWizard,
Someone did link or at least mention that video a few weeks back, bashed Ryan from Creative pretty hard too because he mixed up which part numbers were for the DAC or Opamp components, but I agree that overall the video was informative and a good overview. I wonder if Newegg orders could include a LE mystical unicorn wink.gif Please post a review on the settings and effects, and your opinion on sound and analysis on who you would recommend the card to?
post #373 of 2604

Wanted to bump this thread up and post some quick impressions of the ZxR I received last week.

 

To keep it simple:  sounds gooooood.

 

I was replacing a FiiO E10, which served its purpose for nearly a year and which itself replaced a Xonar STX.  I use Denon D5000s, my personal favorite can.

 

For a little background, I was loving the STX but decided to ditch it for a FiiO after so many people around Head-fi were saying that the STX doesn't play nice with low impedance headphones like the Denons.  Plus, I wanted a physical volume control because the software dial was a pain to use in the middle of a game, movie, or when listening to music.  Got the E10, was pleased with it overall yet noticed that my sound quality took a hit--compared to the STX it was muddy at some middle frequencies and there was less instrument separation.  A lot of detail and warmth was lost as well.  The most annoying part of the E10 was that half of my songs, which are all in FLAC and I deemed to be good quality when I was using the STX, began to sound dull, quiet, lifeless, and tinny.  I would have said that the E10 was more analytical than the STX, but since I lost so much detail as well as warmth, I can only say that the E10 is plain inferior.

 

So finally, the ZxR comes out with its ACM and I think "bingo!"  Glad I went for it.

 

First, just like the STX, the ZxR puts out excellent sound for a computer audio solution.  Great detail, a somewhat warm signature, but full--really brought out the best in my D5000s.  ALL my sound library sounds great again--there are no longer those songs that I have to skip just because they sound terrible and lifeless.  I use Coldplay's Princess of China to test clarity and detail because it has many complex and competing melodies and sounds as well as a lead male and female voice.  I was relieved that again each sound was its own and there was no more garbled mess in the middle like there was when I listened to the exact same file with the E10.  I even feel like the previously-garbled mids opened up Rihanna's voice and made it more lively and clear.

 

The most interesting thing for me about this all, and that I hope saves others a bit of cash is the compatibility of the STX and ZxR (which has most of the same internals as the STX) with low impedance headphones like the D5000s.  Though there is one catch, I'm happy to say that they work wonderfully together.  Some have said that the (now old) Denon line, with a 25-ohm impedance, were a bad match with high minimum impedance sources; the STX (and presumably the ZxR) do 10-ohms.  Luckily this does not seem to matter for more stable headphones such as the D5000s.

 

Cheaper headphones may exhibit encroaching lower mids or a muddier sound when paired with such a high impedance source but higher quality ones seem absolutely fine.  And in my experience, the D5000s (and also the D2000s) sound much, much better on an STX or ZxR than they do from cheaper but better-paper-matched sources like the E10.  Don't hesitate to get a ZxR if you're using better-quality low-impedance cans.

 

Rock on, ZxR!

post #374 of 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mumbles37 View Post

Wanted to bump this thread up and post some quick impressions of the ZxR I received last week.

 

To keep it simple:  sounds gooooood.

 

I was replacing a FiiO E10, which served its purpose for nearly a year and which itself replaced a Xonar STX.  I use Denon D5000s, my personal favorite can.

 

For a little background, I was loving the STX but decided to ditch it for a FiiO after so many people around Head-fi were saying that the STX doesn't play nice with low impedance headphones like the Denons.  Plus, I wanted a physical volume control because the software dial was a pain to use in the middle of a game, movie, or when listening to music.  Got the E10, was pleased with it overall yet noticed that my sound quality took a hit--compared to the STX it was muddy at some middle frequencies and there was less instrument separation.  A lot of detail and warmth was lost as well.  The most annoying part of the E10 was that half of my songs, which are all in FLAC and I deemed to be good quality when I was using the STX, began to sound dull, quiet, lifeless, and tinny.  I would have said that the E10 was more analytical than the STX, but since I lost so much detail as well as warmth, I can only say that the E10 is plain inferior.

 

So finally, the ZxR comes out with its ACM and I think "bingo!"  Glad I went for it.

 

First, just like the STX, the ZxR puts out excellent sound for a computer audio solution.  Great detail, a somewhat warm signature, but full--really brought out the best in my D5000s.  ALL my sound library sounds great again--there are no longer those songs that I have to skip just because they sound terrible and lifeless.  I use Coldplay's Princess of China to test clarity and detail because it has many complex and competing melodies and sounds as well as a lead male and female voice.  I was relieved that again each sound was its own and there was no more garbled mess in the middle like there was when I listened to the exact same file with the E10.  I even feel like the previously-garbled mids opened up Rihanna's voice and made it more lively and clear.

 

The most interesting thing for me about this all, and that I hope saves others a bit of cash is the compatibility of the STX and ZxR (which has most of the same internals as the STX) with low impedance headphones like the D5000s.  Though there is one catch, I'm happy to say that they work wonderfully together.  Some have said that the (now old) Denon line, with a 25-ohm impedance, were a bad match with high minimum impedance sources; the STX (and presumably the ZxR) do 10-ohms.  Luckily this does not seem to matter for more stable headphones such as the D5000s.

 

Cheaper headphones may exhibit encroaching lower mids or a muddier sound when paired with such a high impedance source but higher quality ones seem absolutely fine.  And in my experience, the D5000s (and also the D2000s) sound much, much better on an STX or ZxR than they do from cheaper but better-paper-matched sources like the E10.  Don't hesitate to get a ZxR if you're using better-quality low-impedance cans.

 

Rock on, ZxR!

Thanks for the heads-up.

post #375 of 2604

Hi, would it be an upgrade for me going from an x-fi fatal1ty titanium either the Z/Zx or ZxR? I primarliy game so I'm wondering if the lack of hardware processing would make things better or worse.

 

Thanks

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