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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 31

post #451 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

 

I confirm that the ACM do degrade the sound (muddy & less airy...) that is why I returned it back to the box.

 

I am wondering why this is happening?

 

Wish Creative would clarify this!

 

Any theories guys?

 

Sounds like an impedance increase from the volume pot is my best guess. I hear similar things comparing M-Audio Q40's crappy stock cable versus a FiiO bundled short stereo cable. To a much less extent but yea similar observations and the Q40 stock cable has noticably higher impedance than the FiiO one.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 4/9/13 at 10:58pm
post #452 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

 

I confirm that the ACM do degrade the sound (muddy & less airy...) that is why I returned it back to the box.

 

I am wondering why this is happening?

 

Wish Creative would clarify this!

 

Any theories guys?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by phrozenspite View Post

I just got my ZXR in the mail, I can confirm what some others have said here.  I'm sorry I can't give a good description in audiophile terms but, the sound quality is definitely degraded by the little module.  The music was lacking any liveliness when i plugged into the ACM, but from the back of the sound card it's quite vibrant(I'm listening on HFI 780s, to various types of black, death, power and doom metal)

Thank goodness Im not the only one that feel like this.  I searched all over and could not find anyone mention this problem.  I was hoping to bring this topic to light and for a minute there I thought I was crazy since no one else seemed to think the sound degradation was significant.  I can still tell a very significant difference.  Like I said in earlier posts...I thought my ACM was defective and was shocked when the second one sounded the exact same.   Thank you for posting these and keeping this problem in the light.  I really think Creative needs to address this issue.

post #453 of 2283

how's the intergrated headamp guys ?  has any1 of you tried it with a really demanding pair yet? A friend of mine didn't like his  AKG K601 + xonar STX combo much, he said that he prefered using an external amplifier instead 

post #454 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFGR View Post

how's the intergrated headamp guys ?  has any1 of you tried it with a really demanding pair yet? A friend of mine didn't like his  AKG K601 + xonar STX combo much, he said that he prefered using an external amplifier instead 

Hold tight...update coming tonight soon.....for the below with the ZXR:

 

JH16pro
JVC HA-FXZ 200
Hifiman HE-500
Beyerdynamic 770 pro LE
Sennheiser 598
Sennheiser 25 originals
Beyerdynamic DT 1350


Edited by turokrocks - 4/10/13 at 3:48am
post #455 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

Hold tight...update coming tonight soon.....for the below with the ZXR:

JH16pro

JVC HA-FXZ 200

Hifiman HE-500

Beyerdynamic 770 pro LE

Sennheiser 598
Sennheiser 25 originals

Beyerdynamic DT 1350

Looking forward to your impressions! I was really impressed with it paired with my DT880. But what do I really know...read my sig lol
post #456 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

OK, now I see, thank you.

I will also test your "method"" today (just for curiosity sake).


Let me know what you found out :)

post #457 of 2283

Hi folks,

 

..needed my Musiland02 as an usb->spdif transport for my Livingroom, so i bought the zxr for my desktop rig. So far so good... i can chip in some first impressions..

 

  • doesn´t include 3,5mm --> 6,3mm adapter, so if you plan to connect your headset directly, you should be prepared
  • I´m pretty happy my zXr doesn´t glow red as i thought it would

--

  • Fresh out of the box, the sound is very unpleasing... takes about 30 minutes burn-in to settle, till it starts to shine
  • Amp is very powerful, drives the Sennheiser PC360 with 25% of it´s power and also manages to amp the K701 adequate
  • Surround and Crystalizer work very well ... i´m actually stunned about how good it works, even with HD-music
  • Bass-Boost Option on the opposite is a piece of garbage --> degrades alot
  • Mic sounds great, but as soon you try to use one of the echo/noise things you hear, that the used algorithms, are way to aggressive

--

  • If i need to describe the sound in a short sentence.. bloats shy notes to a big sounding Orchestra, without degrading it in any (recognizable) way
  • Compared to the musiland02 it´s definitly an upgrade in clarity and soundstage

--

  • Played some rounds of BF3 and i´ve got to say that the positional audio is better than what i remember from the SB Recon USB .. i still need to tweak the settings because minor changes can turn it from "great" into a "joke".
  • gonna play some other games on weekend, cause i feel like BF3 is not "state-of-the-art" in 3D positional cues.

 

So far so good, after ~4-5 hours of usage i´m very happy with it.. i´ll go deeper on weekend and start opamp rolling ( got a full set of AD797brz (Dual/mono) waiting ) and try to do a comparison of the integrated amp with my biased Matrix M-Stage.


Edited by neopac - 4/11/13 at 8:34am
post #458 of 2283

afaik there only 2  gain  settings on the ZxR control panel

 

32ohm and 600ohm, you guys used mostly the second setting during your  test sessions i presume  :) 

 

 

Has any1 tried this card  on some good old  CoD2 yet ? 

 

That  should really test both ALchemy and sbx pro studio surround functionality 

 

Despite BF2's  being one of the very first games where i learned to  locate people by sound, cod2  SnD is still the most enjoyable way of doing it, especially when i was running win XP with x-fi cmss3d headphone enabled :D 


Edited by SoFGR - 4/12/13 at 3:22am
post #459 of 2283

Update:

 

All I can say about the ZXR after 60-90 hours of play time, I am impressed (its not Asus one Muses, but Creative has made a wonderful card)

 (Jriver+Asio) +Beyerdynamic 770 pro LE=  ZXR was able to drive it (32ohm) with ease, but with many songs it sounded over Bass emphasized, which I did not like, and with others a bit flat....

 

 

Hifiman HE-500= with 32ohm setting sounded good ...much better than I was expecting.
It just had the natural sound of the 500 that I liked with added bass emphasis which made it sound better.
But compared to the Assus E1, there are details missing. It sounded good, but not very good.
Asus muses have the ability to make it sound moist and much more enjoyable to listen to (you just want to keep on listing  for hours) , compared to the ZXR which sounded "DRY".
To put it simply, I will never use it for my Headphones , as long as I have the Asus muses!
 
I can say (not to conclude), that as a dedicated Headphone dac/amp , there are better external options (similar in price) to the ZXR.
It can drive Headphones, but how they sound is another story.
 
To be continued......
post #460 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

 

 (Jriver+Asio) +Beyerdynamic 770 pro LE=  ZXR

 

How did you get Asio running? ... tried to add the asio component to foobar but it didn`t show up in the output options... same thing with Asio4ALL... a short google told me that it´s not supported by the z-series.. is there some workaround i should know?

 

cheers

post #461 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by neopac View Post

 

How did you get Asio running? ... tried to add the asio component to foobar but it didn`t show up in the output options... same thing with Asio4ALL... a short google told me that it´s not supported by the z-series.. is there some workaround i should know?

 

cheers

 

 

Weird, All what I did after installing the driver (My ZXR is made on 03/2013 so I got the latest driver with it ) is choosing the asio from the menu:

 

post #462 of 2283
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

 

Weird, All what I did after installing the driver (My ZXR is made on 03/2013 so I got the latest driver with it ) is choosing the asio from the menu:

 

 

indeed.. tried JRiver and it works like you said, still no option in foobar

thanks for your input

 

cheers

post #463 of 2283
post #464 of 2283

New Driver:

Dated 12/04/2013

 

 

post #465 of 2283

got some spare time today, listened to different amp settings and started opamp rolling... let me share my experience...

honeymoon is over but i´m still very pleased with my purchase... i was very wavering if i should buy the TitaniumHD at 50% of the zXrs Price or if I should get me the brand new Toy... i´ve never heard the TiHD, but from what i´ve read it´s also a first class card.. obvious, that the TiHD would be the smarter buy.

 

well, looks like i´m not this smart...

 

there was a time when i bought pretty much every audio opamp i could get my greedy hands on because it thought i would build THE diy amp, so i guess it would be a crime not to try them in the new card.. since installed opamps are generic as generic could be...

 

 

the zXr uses JRC 2114D for the L/R and LME 49710NA for I/V ... i swapped them for AD797B (L/R) and AD797A (I/V) ... they are among ( if not THE ) my favorite opamps for pretty every audio application... i had these lying around, so i cramed them into the card.. 

 

 

the effect was, as expected, very refining... but the first thing i´ve noticed, was that the stock setting produces allot more power then the 797 setup.. for the Senn PC360, i reached pleasant (loud) levels with 25% power stock, now i need to put the zXr slider to about 60% (32/300Ohm setting) to reach the "same" level. On the beneficial perspective, it took away alot of the harshness in the highs and gave more body to the lows. imo the 797 got a nice balance of detail and liquidity... there was a tiny bit of fatigue... that´s now gone. The improved detail combined with my critical attitude spoiled the soundblaster effects for me.. once you get used to the unaltered sound of this card, the effects get kind of of poor (still the bomb in games).

 

before i bring in the "big guns" i tried to compare the integrated amp with something more similar in nature.. my beloved ibasso which amps mostly my ipad ( LT1028CN8 I/V / BUF634 / AudioGD Earth ). It produces more volume than the zXr but is on the same level in authority concerns (K701). AudioGD Earth matches beautifuly with the Ultrasone Pro900 ( less low, more high ) when connected to the ipads lineout but i soon feel a tad of fatigue when connected to the zXr. to much detail i guess, i prefer the more mellow sound of the soundcard at this point... though i liked both, that´s for sure...

 

 

When i connected my Matrix M-Stage ( 627 Class A ) to the soundcard, i started with the AKG K701 and knew what would happen... every note i´ve heard several times before this day, sounded more refined and complete. The zXr handles the PC360 / Pro900 / IEMs so well, that i wouldn´t declare an external amp as necessary... but you would need one if you plan to use phones known for requiring a *real* amp.

 

 

in a nutshell... i think that the zXr is exactly what i´ve wanted... i play alot of games to cool down and wanted that my computer sounds just as neat as my other stuff, without to much effort and external things ( i like it clean and tidy )... The opamp swap is definitely (positive) audible but not a must have because it sounds great stock... combined with the Sennheiser PC360 i´m very happy connected directly to the card.

 

so happy it doesn´t glow..

 

cheers


Edited by neopac - 4/14/13 at 10:56pm
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