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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 38

post #556 of 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

The ZXR do:

 

http://support.creative.com/kb/ShowArticle.aspx?sid=112623

 

 

 

 

Replacing Op-Amps on Sound Blaster ZxR
Keywords / Key Phrases: opamp, op-amps, operational amplifier, op-amp replacement guide, zxr, sound blaster zxr

Summary:

  • Applicable To: Sound Blaster ZxR
  • This article provides information on changeable op-amps in Sound Blaster ZxR card.

The Sound Blaster ZxR comes with 4 op-amps that is customizable to your sound preferences. The front set of op-amps (SET A) uses the Single DIP (LME49710) type. The rear set of op-amps (SET B) uses the Dual DIP (NJM2411D) type. The card currently has the most optimum setting for the 4 op-amps.

If you find that one of your op-amps is faulty and it needs a replacement, follow the steps below:

1.You will need a flat head screw driver to remove the op-amp for replacement. Pry and alternate between both ends of the op-amp carefully in order to remove it completely from the op-amp socket.

2.To insert an op-amp, please ensure that the pins are not bent and check that they are positioned in the correct orientation. Once the pins are properly aligned to the socket, press the op-amp gently but firmly into the op-amp socket. Ensure that all the pins are inserted fully into the socket.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

The ZXR do:

 

http://support.creative.com/kb/ShowArticle.aspx?sid=112623

 

 

 

 

Replacing Op-Amps on Sound Blaster ZxR
Keywords / Key Phrases: opamp, op-amps, operational amplifier, op-amp replacement guide, zxr, sound blaster zxr

Summary:

  • Applicable To: Sound Blaster ZxR
  • This article provides information on changeable op-amps in Sound Blaster ZxR card.

The Sound Blaster ZxR comes with 4 op-amps that is customizable to your sound preferences. The front set of op-amps (SET A) uses the Single DIP (LME49710) type. The rear set of op-amps (SET B) uses the Dual DIP (NJM2411D) type. The card currently has the most optimum setting for the 4 op-amps.

If you find that one of your op-amps is faulty and it needs a replacement, follow the steps below:

1.You will need a flat head screw driver to remove the op-amp for replacement. Pry and alternate between both ends of the op-amp carefully in order to remove it completely from the op-amp socket.

2.To insert an op-amp, please ensure that the pins are not bent and check that they are positioned in the correct orientation. Once the pins are properly aligned to the socket, press the op-amp gently but firmly into the op-amp socket. Ensure that all the pins are inserted fully into the socket.


Yea I know the ZXR has op-amp sockets, But I was talking about the Z which he was asking about.

post #557 of 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post

 

 


Yea I know the ZXR has op-amp sockets, But I was talking about the Z which he was asking about.

beerchug.gif...Cheers.

post #558 of 2471

So if you have the TiHD and only using the SPIF is it worth the upgrade? I have it connected to a outside dac and an AMP. for my headphones. I only use the digital out. 

post #559 of 2471

Does ist do anything at all then? I always thought I paid a premium price for the DAC, good analogue components and maybe the headphone amplifier.

 

Is there anything substantial not considered an upgrade when coming from the Titanium HD? 

post #560 of 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozz007 View Post

So if you have the TiHD and only using the SPIF is it worth the upgrade? I have it connected to a outside dac and an AMP. for my headphones. I only use the digital out. 

Since all you use is digital then no it wouldn't be worth it. Only if you use the analog outputs.

post #561 of 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post

 

 


Yea I know the ZXR has op-amp sockets, But I was talking about the Z which he was asking about.

 

Thanks for the response, I actually meant the ZxR lol..

But since I use an external amp I should be fine I guess?

 

I don't really care about the 122dB vs 124dB sensitivity

Wait let me rephrashe that:

I really don't care about the 122dB vs 124dB sensitivity

 

:)

post #562 of 2471

Yea you would be also when using the line out you will be using both I/V and buffer op-amps.

post #563 of 2471

As a matter of fact that's exactly how I've been using the card all the time :)

post #564 of 2471

I have this card, and honestly it's fine. The software audio processing isn't as noticeable and as bad as one might think. Creative did a good job with it IMO.

post #565 of 2471

Bought the ZXR today. Installation was a breeze and the driver/software loaded easily with no issues. Fresh out of the box it sounded tinny, with excessive echo and bass. I opened the SB Control Panel and noticed that SBX Pro Studio was activated and the Surround, Crystalizer and Bass settings were way too high for headphones. I adjusted these to taste, unchecked Surround and now it sounds incredible.

 

The ZXR mates well with my J River MC 18. The ACM is awesome and there is no degradation in SQ or volume when using it. My Denons are powered with ease and I seldom go past 1 o' clock on the volume control.

 

I'm very satisfied with my ZXR. A definite keeper.

post #566 of 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozz007 View Post

So if you have the HD-Titanium, would the ZXR be an upgrade? 

 

is it worth the price upgrade? 

 

Thanks.

 

It's very likely to be a downgrade if you prefer CMSS-3D Headphone to SBX Pro Surround, or like to play old DOS games with MIDI soundtracks running on the X-Fi's hardware MIDI synthesizer, complete with SoundFont support that lets you tweak the sound to your liking.

 

Analog output quality probably wouldn't vary that much, certainly not at this price point. If you're hoping to get a headphone amp out of the deal, why buy a new sound card instead of just putting that money toward something like a Schiit Magni or Objective2?

 

If the Titanium HD works for you, just keep it. The Z-series is more enticing to people who DON'T own Titanium HD-class cards already, because there's an actual value proposition there. But in your case, it just sounds like you want to buy new hardware because it's new, when what you've got works just fine, possibly even better in some ways.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kazaakas View Post

Hey people, I'm just wondering how exactly this card differs from the Titanium HD.

 

I've searched through the thread a little and I found out that:

 

- It's newer and will have "better support"

- it has a second card with some extra connections

- The SNR is 124dB instead of 122dB

 

...But what else is there?

 

Does it actually have an headphone amp or is it just a high powered jack like the TiHD? Does it still support CMSS-3D and ALchemy and all of that good stuff?

 

I'm a TiHD user with an external headphone amp and I love the card for it's insane versitality: Superb sound quality in bit matched Audio Creation mode for music listening and great positioning in Gaming mode with CMSS-3D headphone with ALchemy for games (I play a lot of source games which are DS3D based).

 

Should I feel bad for having a TiHD now this card is out?

 

They say it has a proper headphone amp IC now, which demanding dynamic/ortho owners on a budget might like...on the other hand, brief testing of the HE-400 out of the Titanium HD's headphone jack yielded no apparent flaws. The difference would probably be more obvious if I tested something like an AKG K/Q701. (And you already use an external amp anyway, so it's effectively pointless for you, just as any headphone amp not designed for electrostatics is useless to me.)

 

CMSS-3D Headphone is NOT available on any Sound Core3D device, Z-series included. If your preference is with THX/SBX Pro Surround, you won't have a problem with it, but if not, the only way to roll back is to go back to X-Fi hardware.

 

ALchemy is supported, but it's being routed to a software OpenAL device now, not a hardware one. This may or may not cause issues with certain games; the first two Thief games were notorious offenders 'til that newdark patch implemented native OpenAL support. Even with OpenAL-native games, you can have quirks; Battlefield 2 on X-Fi, Ultra High sound settings starts having reverb in the menu that shouldn't be present, and in general, it just doesn't sound right. The differences may only be obvious if you've actually heard the same game on a system with a real X-Fi card, though.

 

No, you shouldn't feel bad for having an X-Fi Titanium HD at all. The Z-series is meant to appeal to newer users who don't already have a top-tier sound card, and they seem to be doing an admirable job of that, but it's not really an upgrade for us X-Fi owners.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozz007 View Post

So if you have the TiHD and only using the SPIF is it worth the upgrade? I have it connected to a outside dac and an AMP. for my headphones. I only use the digital out. 

 

Wait, you're ONLY using S/PDIF-out?

 

In that case, even the X-Fi Titanium HD is overkill over a cheaper X-Fi Titanium (non-HD)! You're just using the sound card as a glorified DSP, bypassing the DAC altogether.

post #567 of 2471

Some might consider it an upgrade as positional audio, according to reviews, is said to be better on the ZXR. Any further info on this would certainly be welcome though :)

Apart from that sound quality should be about the same and some features differ between X-Fi and ZXR, so that depends on what you're looking for.

post #568 of 2471
Quote:

Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

They say it has a proper headphone amp IC now, which demanding dynamic/ortho owners on a budget might like...on the other hand, brief testing of the HE-400 out of the Titanium HD's headphone jack yielded no apparent flaws. The difference would probably be more obvious if I tested something like an AKG K/Q701. (And you already use an external amp anyway, so it's effectively pointless for you, just as any headphone amp not designed for electrostatics is useless to me.)

 

CMSS-3D Headphone is NOT available on any Sound Core3D device, Z-series included. If your preference is with THX/SBX Pro Surround, you won't have a problem with it, but if not, the only way to roll back is to go back to X-Fi hardware.

 

ALchemy is supported, but it's being routed to a software OpenAL device now, not a hardware one. This may or may not cause issues with certain games; the first two Thief games were notorious offenders 'til that newdark patch implemented native OpenAL support. Even with OpenAL-native games, you can have quirks; Battlefield 2 on X-Fi, Ultra High sound settings starts having reverb in the menu that shouldn't be present, and in general, it just doesn't sound right. The differences may only be obvious if you've actually heard the same game on a system with a real X-Fi card, though.

 

No, you shouldn't feel bad for having an X-Fi Titanium HD at all. The Z-series is meant to appeal to newer users who don't already have a top-tier sound card, and they seem to be doing an admirable job of that, but it's not really an upgrade for us X-Fi owners.

Hah, thats great news, thank you for this extensive explaination, much appreciated.

I indeed prefer CMSS-3D over THX Trustudio Pro especially since it makes use of OpenAL so well, so I'm actually far better off with the TiHD then! :D

 

Although I don't think I can tell if I prefer CMSS-3D over THX Trustudio, with my card I haven't found a way to enable Trustudio together with ALchemy, since TruStudio is only available in entertainment mode and ALchemy only in gaming mode. So I'd be heaviy biased towards CMSS-3D.


Edited by kazaakas - 5/12/13 at 4:32am
post #569 of 2471

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the THX something on Z-series cards different to the Titanium HD one and is said to work wonderfully by those who has tested it. So if that's the case you can't compare THX on TiHD vs Z-series THX.

 

Personally I dislike CMSS3D because it affects too much on the SQ, I rather have sound quality intact and more subtle positional audio. I can't get over how the highs gets unnaturally crispy with CMSS3D and feels a bit like drawing nails on a chalkboard, not pleasant.

 

OT, I want my ZxR card damnit! I probably waited 6 weeks now! Still no idea about the availability. :(


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 5/12/13 at 9:39am
post #570 of 2471

I wouldn't know really, there isn't much chance of a definitive answer to this either, but I don't think they completely overhauled the algorithm to be honest.

The settings in the THX menu are also the same, except that bass is called speaker but it does pretty much the same thing.

 

About DSP effects reducing gaming sound quality, competitively I use...

- CMSS-3D

- Some EQ'ing to drown out some treble to make gunshots less harsh so I can turn my volume up louder to hear stuff other than gunshots louder in comparison

- SVM to hear footsteps and other more quiet stuff relatively louder when the environment is quiet.

 

Now I'm looking at it, the EQ settings I use for CS are -3db@2k, -6dB@4k, -9dB@8k and -4.5dB@16k. Pretty insane, isn't it? I sure as hell wouldn't ever listen to music like that.

 

So by using all this stuff that's bad for your sound quality you could say that I don't care about sound quality when gaming competitively, but then again I use these settings to hear everything as clear and as accurate as possible, which is actually something you could classify as sound quality again... bit of a paradox, ain't it? To me in gaming sound quality isn't about sensationalism or realism anymore but it's more about how I can tweak my sound to gain as much of an advantage as possible.


Edited by kazaakas - 5/12/13 at 10:26am
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