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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 32

post #466 of 2506
Quote:
Originally Posted by neopac View Post

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 i 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 new 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 a 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

 

 

Thanks a lot for your review neopac!

Glad to see you have also tried some opamp rolling on these.

I think this might help some people with their decision.

 

Awesome pictures as well and nice rig you got there too! :)

post #467 of 2506

@neopac

 

Thank you for sharing.

What is your PC case?


Edited by turokrocks - 4/15/13 at 9:19am
post #468 of 2506
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

New Driver:
Dated 12/04/2013



Going to install.
post #469 of 2506
Hmmm.... I think there's some kind of issue with the headphone out in this driver. If I use headphone out, flash content (for some very weird reason) is incredibly loud, unusable. If I use html5 youtube, sound level is fine. Line out is fine in flash too. Can anyone else confirm this issue? Latest drivers, Windows 8, Zx + HD 595.

Also I'm getting quite a bit of time outs when seeking or switching track in Foobar when using ASIO (though this I had before too).
Edited by Anarion - 4/16/13 at 6:20am
post #470 of 2506
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

@neopac

 

Thank you for sharing.

What is your PC case?


Should be a Corsair Graphite 600T if I'm not mistaken.

post #471 of 2506

Hey guys a quick question. 

I'm currently running my DT990's out of the Soundblaster Z via the dedicated headphone out so that they're amped. I'm trying to figure out if a dedicated amp would add to the sound quality. So my question is: if I connect the headphones through the Line Out 1 jack (Front L/R) on the soundcard to a dedicated amp will I be able to use the virtual surround (SBX studio pro) features? When connecting the headphones via the Line Out jack the only way to get sound is to switch to speakers in the soundcard settings. I'm reading in the manual that:

 

Quote:

Stereo Direct is an option for direct playback to stereo speaker channel sampled at 192kHz. The

following features will not be applied to this playback:
- SBX Pro Studio suite of audio enhancements
- DTS Connect
- Dolby Digital Live
- Equalizer

I'm worried that what I'm about to do would qualify as Stereo Direct and I would loose the virtual surround for gaming and music. 

Does anyone know how this works?

Thanks.

post #472 of 2506
Quote:
Originally Posted by kupco View Post

So my question is: if I connect the headphones through the Line Out 1 jack (Front L/R) on the soundcard to a dedicated amp will I be able to use the virtual surround (SBX studio pro) features? When connecting the headphones via the Line Out jack the only way to get sound is to switch to speakers in the soundcard settings. I'm reading in the manual that:

 

I'm worried that what I'm about to do would qualify as Stereo Direct and I would loose the virtual surround for gaming and music. 

 

mhmm.. don´t you have two settings? "stereo" and "stereo direct".. first one includes the SBX and the second bypasses it..

 

cheers

post #473 of 2506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenion View Post


Should be a Corsair Graphite 600T if I'm not mistaken.

 

correct.

post #474 of 2506
Quote:
Originally Posted by neopac View Post

 

mhmm.. don´t you have two settings? "stereo" and "stereo direct".. first one includes the SBX and the second bypasses it..

 

cheers

Ha, did not see that. Will  have to check out when I'm home. Thanks for the info.

post #475 of 2506

Sorry for the belated reply...it's been a while since I frequented Head-Fi!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post
Thank you for the reply...beerchug.gif.

Why do you think the Onkyo 300PCIE is a better option than the ZXR? I have been doing some research and did no like what I read about it (drivers)!

 

 I know RPGWiZaRD have been eyeing the Onkyo for some time also, why did you prefer the ZXR over it?

 

 

I am still hoping that I might get it working on windows 98se (I was able to run it as SB16 on Virtual W98se, by downloading a driver sbw9xup.exe)...

 

The Onkyo is a nice card but believe me when Is say buying my stuff from Japan or US (including the shipping charges) will still be cheaper than buying from here (and that if they ever get it!), and I could not wait a single day living with the Recon....frown.gif.

 

Please keep your posts coming.

 

Edit : I might get the Onkyo (same seller got it also)...for my Brother's coming birthday, and sure will ask him to test it for him...very_evil_smiley.gif...ZXR VS Onkyo

 

The SE-300PCIE has an actual X-Fi EMU20k2 in it, not the Sound Core3D. My preference for true X-Fi hardware and CMSS-3D Headphone, for a number of reasons, is well-known by this point, and the SE-300PCIE could possibly be the X-Fi card to rule them all...if I could just get my hands on it!

 

In the meantime, I can live with my Titanium HD, which is already a very competent card that I don't expect any significant improvement from. Maybe I'm just hoping that the SE-300PCIE has its analog output quality or better, while also having an extension card for analog 7.1 output if necessary.

 

As for RPGWiZaRD, I recall that he has a distaste for CMSS-3D Headphone, presumably because he's a self-admitted basshead and CMSS-3D Headphone does dial down the bass a little (while Dolby Headphone boosts it a little, and he prefers DH by comparison), along with the general effect it has on the sound. He might like THX/SBX Pro Surround better. What I do know is that he liked his ol' Audigy 2 with the kX Project drivers best due to the kX Surrounder plugin, though I don't recall what happened with that setup to get him to stop using it.

 

Of course, it would be better for him to post directly and clarify all of that instead of me trying to relay what I recall from his past posts in prior conversations...

post #476 of 2506

hi guys,

I have beyerdynamics dt 990 (250 ohm)..

 

right now i am using on board audio .. sound sucks . no bass etc..

all i care about is music quality.. i have 100$ right now should i buy sound blaster z or save up more for the zxr ??

 

i just want a card  that  can drive my dt 990 pro (music , bass pretty much)

 

Thanks


Edited by ahm12 - 4/17/13 at 10:53am
post #477 of 2506
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahm12 View Post

hi guys,
I have beyerdynamics dt 990 (250 ohm)..

Someone here will probably tell you to get a cheaper card and an amp but I have the 250ohm DT880 and the ZxR drives it very well. I'd say save for a ZxR and be done.

right now i am on board audio .. sound suck . no bass etc..
all i care about is music quality.. i have 100$ right now should i buy sound blaster z or save up more for the zxr ??

i just want a card sound that  can drive my dt 990 pro (music , bass pretty much)

Thanks
post #478 of 2506
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahm12 View Post

hi guys,

I have beyerdynamics dt 990 (250 ohm)..

 

right now i am using on board audio .. sound sucks . no bass etc..

all i care about is music quality.. i have 100$ right now should i buy sound blaster z or save up more for the zxr ??

 

i just want a card  that  can drive my dt 990 pro (music , bass pretty much)

 

Thanks

You can get the Sound blaster Z off amazon for 80ish used Like new,.

post #479 of 2506

i bought the Z sound card.. made huge difference in sound..

 

i am a bit dissapointed from the BASS response of dt-990pro(250ohm)

 

i was hoping for better bass response. 

i dont have any other over the ear headphone for comparison, the only other headphones i have is V-MODA vibe(in ear).. i was hoping for much better bass response compared to vibe but no.. DT 990 have  better bass but i was expecting the difference just like their price $40 vs $190.. 

 

Dont get me wrong dt-990 pro sound much better than vibe's (over all quality) but its the bass thats a little dissapointing. 

post #480 of 2506

The SoundBlaster cards comes with a very nice EQ, I'd use that to boost bass to your needs (if it's the quantity that is the issue).

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