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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 28

post #406 of 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povell42 View Post

Just to chime in to express my disappointment with the Zx model's ACM.

 

THE ACM DEGRADES THE SOUND QUALITY!

 

I tested the sound coming out of the ACM versus plugging my headphones directly into the sound card and the difference is major. I actually used the sound card without the ACM for a week or so. As soon as I decided to use the ACM, I could immediately hear that it was worse...especially while using the surround sound feature.  It sound weaker and tinny.  With out the ACM things are much clearer and precise.  I had to play with the volume higher using the ACM as it seems to weaken the amps power. 

 

Testing it while playing Black Ops 2...it was like night and day.  Without the AMC my gun shoots sound loud, fast and punchy.  Playing through the AMC the gun shoots are very much recessed and weak. 

 

I actually thought my ACM was defective and Amazon sent me a replacement...just to be disappointed that the same issue existed with the new AMC.  I placed the replacement sound card in as well and even reinstalled all software and drivers......SAME ISSUE.

 

I highly recommend the sound card itself (if you are plugging directly in to the sound card) but stick with the cheaper Z model that does not include the ACM. 

 

Here is a link to my amazon review:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Blaster-Gaming-Control-SB1506/product-reviews/B009XDWUCQ/ref=cm_cr_dp_qt_hist_three?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addThreeStar&showViewpoints=0


If you own the ACM and can test this for yourself, please let me know if you have the same issue. 

 

It may be that I happened to get 2 defective AMCs in a row....and in that case....I would still stay away from the Zx models and save the $50 with the Z.

post #407 of 2604

Really, the ACM is that bad ?!?!

 

What about the ACM with the ZXr is it the same as the ZX model but with black color rather red?!?

post #408 of 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salamndar View Post

Really, the ACM is that bad ?!?!

 

What about the ACM with the ZXr is it the same as the ZX model but with black color rather red?!?


I have a ZxR and no issues here with the ACM. I find it quite handy actually lol

post #409 of 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salamndar View Post

Really, the ACM is that bad ?!?!

 

What about the ACM with the ZXr is it the same as the ZX model but with black color rather red?!?

 

Yes, it is that bad....and I do not consider myself an audiophile really. Just someone looking for great sound. And I was shocked at the difference. I first played music that I had listened to many times without the ACM. I was not really looking for differences as I did not think there would be any. Immediately I was confused as to why my music sound funny.  I though maybe I had the EQ mixed up or something.  Like I said the surround sound feature suffers the most.  I usually do not listen to music with it on, but one particular song benefited from it and it sound pretty bad through the ACM.  I then plugged the headphone into the card and the problem was solved. 

 

There is an extreme difference in audio quality while playing Black Ops 2.  Again Surround sound feature was turned on.

 

I seriously thought it was defective.  Kinda shocked the second one was the same....as my first thoughts were.."how has no one else complained out this"  I searched the web and forums and could not find anyone else complaining out it.

 

I can not speak for the ZXr version.

post #410 of 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoryGillmore View Post


I have a ZxR and no issues here with the ACM. I find it quite handy actually lol

 

So, have you tested it by plugging it into the back of the card and comparing during games/music?

 

Do you have the surround sound feature on....as that was where I could tell the main difference in audio quality.

 

If you own an FPS test it out and listen to your gun fire. It is night and day.

post #411 of 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povell42 View Post

 

So, have you tested it by plugging it into the back of the card and comparing during games/music?

 

Do you have the surround sound feature on....as that was where I could tell the main difference in audio quality.

 

If you own an FPS test it out and listen to your gun fire. It is night and day.

Valid Logic in this question, eager for an answer myself!

post #412 of 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salamndar View Post

Hmm, so you prefer the AKG q701 over the HE-400! 

How are they in Games? can they handle virtual 5.1 positioning? How is the Bass in them?

They are much cheaper than the HE-400 so if they are as good then I'll get them.

So it is HE-400 vs AKG Q701 on the ZXr, by the way how is the Amp on the ZXr?

The Q701s fare very well with the forms of virtual surround I've used (haven't tried a Z-series card yet), because it's detailed and has a wide soundstage. The soundstage of AKG's flagships are well-known to be some of the best, though sometimes I feel with virtual surround that the sides extend more than front/back cues. The depth of surround seems to improve with a better amp tho... No necessarily more powerful (tho that may contribute), but a high-quality amp. I think the tone of my tube amp emphasizes the soundstage and seems to even out the soundstage "shape." Definitely better soundstage than the HE-400. The bass isn't boosted (much), but it has pretty fair extension into sub-bass ranges, while the treble is also extended and very detailed. Mids are, indeed, pretty great IMO, especially with the liquid quality from my tube amp. Where sometimes my older AD700 would sound "thin" or airy of body, there is a more solid sense to each note with the Q701, and I find them very involving with the music. The thing I didn't like about the Q701, though, was the headband bumps are firmer than expected and would kinda "dent" and irritate my scalp after 30-40 minutes, but I wrapped the headband in a baby seatbelt cover and now I often wear my headphones for gaming and music for 5 hours at a time.

Even before I got a dedicated amp though, I had moments where I'd put music on to critically analyze the sound character of the headphones, but then I'd notice my feet were tapping, and after a while I'd give up and just let the songs play out in full. The Q701's fit "my" taste very well, even though I thought they cost more than I needed to spend. YMMV, but there are many other opinions & reviews on the Q701 out there smily_headphones1.gif


Povell42,
I haven't tried the ACM, but I assumed it would have a small negative effect. It's not an amp, just a thing (like what I believe is called an L-Pad?) that adds resistance and cuts down the gain as you adjust volume. For some, the convenience will have a much larger impact than sound degradation. I'm sorry, I'd planned on using an external amp for volume control anyway, rarely do I get a chance to chat with someone on a computer, so I don't think I would use an ACM much anyway. Do you have the computer's volume all the way up, and just try to cut the volume by turning down the module?
post #413 of 2604

Evshrug:  I did have the volume on the PC all the way up.  I could tell that the ACM was effecting volume levels because without it i could not turn the volume all the way up without without killing my ears....never made it to 100%. 

 

But, with the ACM I could.  PC and AMC volume 100%.  I was loud, but doable . 
 

post #414 of 2604
Povell,
Wish I could make more suggestions and just know the scientific explanation, but alas I lack the knowledge. Thanks for sharing your info though! Hopefully you figure it out one day? Hoppy Easter, btw :3
post #415 of 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salamndar View Post

Hmm, so you prefer the AKG q701 over the HE-400! 

 

How are they in Games? can they handle virtual 5.1 positioning? How is the Bass in them?

 

They are much cheaper than the HE-400 so if they are as good then I'll get them.

 

So it is HE-400 vs AKG Q701 on the ZXr, by the way how is the Amp on the ZXr?

 

I have used both the Q701 and Dt990 pro with the Zx for gaming virtual surround.  They both sound very good. I decided to test them with a bargain buy - the Superlux HD668b.

 

To be honest, I returned both the Dt990 and the Q701 because I could not justify the price difference. The superlux was almost a combination of the two. (sound wise)

 

Q701 - after listening to both the DT990 pro and Superlux, I wished the Q701 had a bit more bass and it would have won.  As far as sound stage and positional ques (in gaming) it was very good! mids and highs is where it shines.  (not as large of a sound stage as the AD700 which I have tested as well - even less bass the Q701)

 

DT990 pro - Had the bass I like for gaming but is more V shaped and recessed the mids - compared to the Q701.  It is a very popular gaming headphone and pleases the crowds. 

 

Superlux -  A little less bass then the Dt990 but had a little stronger mids and kept the bright, clear highs.   Slightly less V shaped compared to the DT990  (by V shaped I mean the frequency response is V shaped)

 

Now this is only in regards to sound quality.  The Superlux suprised me.  While the more expensive headphones did better than the Superlux in their strenghths....the superlux combined the two well. And for $50 - I was like so long more expensive headphones. :)   

 

Build Quality and Comfort wise the Superlux came in last. 

post #416 of 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by Povell42 View Post

 

I have used both the Q701 and Dt990 pro with the Zx for gaming virtual surround.  They both sound very good. I decided to test them with a bargain buy - the Superlux HD668b.

 

To be honest, I returned both the Dt990 and the Q701 because I could not justify the price difference. The superlux was almost a combination of the two. (sound wise)

 

Q701 - after listening to both the DT990 pro and Superlux, I wished the Q701 had a bit more bass and it would have won.  As far as sound stage and positional ques (in gaming) it was very good! mids and highs is where it shines.  (not as large of a sound stage as the AD700 which I have tested as well - even less bass the Q701)

 

DT990 pro - Had the bass I like for gaming but is more V shaped and recessed the mids - compared to the Q701.  It is a very popular gaming headphone and pleases the crowds. 

 

Superlux -  A little less bass then the Dt990 but had a little stronger mids and kept the bright, clear highs.   Slightly less V shaped compared to the DT990  (by V shaped I mean the frequency response is V shaped)

 

Now this is only in regards to sound quality.  The Superlux suprised me.  While the more expensive headphones did better than the Superlux in their strenghths....the superlux combined the two well. And for $50 - I was like so long more expensive headphones. :)   

 

Build Quality and Comfort wise the Superlux came in last. 

Awesome experience you have there m8, alas build quality and comfort are important to me since I will be using them over long long sessions and abuse them.

post #417 of 2604
Quote:
Originally Posted by Salamndar View Post

Awesome experience you have there m8, alas build quality and comfort are important to me since I will be using them over long long sessions and abuse them.

 


In that case, I would probably be tempted to go for the HE-400.  Mad Lust Envy's Gaming Guide forum praised them for a very fun with great natural bass, but kept the positional ques for competitive gaming.   

 

Link:    http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-updated-3-11-13-lcd2-entry-updated

 

I did like the Q701 a lot....and if i was going for a music headphone to fit my music style, I would have kept them....but for gaming I really wanted more bass for an immersive and fun factor.   When I first started looking for a gaming headphone, I though I wanted something more balanced and natural.  But I have been discovering that while I get good clean sound in gaming, I want something a little more exaggerated and fun. 

 

I have actually done many hours of research on the web....and I have just purchased the Ultrasone Pro 900 and will get them on Tuesday.

 

But if you think you want a more natural and balanced sound in gaming - the Q701 definitely fits that build.  The bass is still present and tight, just not as strong as  I wanted it.  And the Sound blaster Z card can drive them great IMO. 

 

I have read on forums here that the AKG K702 anniversary edition has a little more bass than the Q701.  So, something to consider instead of the Q701.

 

I just got so sick of searching forums and doing research one day...I just said, "screw it, I'm just going to buy all of them and see which one wins my money".

 

Although I like the HD668b....they are not my perfect gaming hp.  I am still looking for that - hence the purchase of the Pro 900.


Edited by Povell42 - 4/1/13 at 3:26am
post #418 of 2604

The ACM is another piece in the analog signal chain. It will degrade the soundquality but I didn't expected to be so significant.

It has it's own volume control that doesn't affect the source signal which can "dampen" the actual raw volume that is comming from the card.

 

I would either plug the headphones into the card directly or (if the ACM is needed), turn the volume up to 100% in the ACM and just use it as a cable extension (+ the ability of having a mic built in).

post #419 of 2604
anyone have any experience/feedback on the ZxR driving the HE-400's? I currently own a ZxR and a pair of DT990 Pros, but plan on upgrading to the HE400's. just looking for feeback on if this sound card will sufficiently drive them
post #420 of 2604
The HE-400 are easy to drive, easier than your DT990 Pros.
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