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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 39

post #571 of 2106

Well the THX info I base on another respectable forum user's experience which have tried all the different cards and technologies for surround sound and was very positively suprised by the ZxR's THX and thought it was the best he had used so far... just cuz the settings are the same doesn't mean under the cover is going on the same thing. So I'm still of the opinion, don't judge THX of Z-series unless having tried it. I mean there has to be a reason CMSS3D was ditched alltogether and I think it's due to the THX is actually catching up now. I would gladly comment on it myself if I could only get my card shipped to me!

 

A few testimonials I found from a quick search:

 

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoleras View Post
"What I've heard". You're wrong. It is the next generation of surround software/hardware from creative, and is not the same as THX Tru Studio. 

Having owned the Titanium HD and used the rather ****ty Recon3d , i've done comparisons of all 3 types of surround with THX Tru Studio surround being by far the worst. SBX surround is next generation and is a vast improvement over THX studio surround; the differences are very obvious when testing surround sound with THXTS on a recon3d and then trying SBXS on the Z/ZX. Perhaps you should take your own advice about "knowing what you're talking about".

 

 

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by xoleras View Post
Here's where I would put the Z series ahead of the STX. The 3d positional audio is excellent in games - it is far better than THX surround used with the recon3d line, and you can also use SBX surround for general use. With the x-fi cards, 3d surround was great in games but could cause distortion in music. I haven't found that to be the case with the Z series. You can turn surround on and leave it turned on for everything with no adverse effects. Anyway, the ZX/ZXR are definitely better for positional audio in games compared to the essence STX.

For music playback and content creation i'd say the STX is about equal - but I think the ZX/r is better in every other area.

The Z(x)(r) also have 600ohm headphone amps, so while it comes with an ACM I only use that for the mic. The headphone amp on the ZX is great - while the x-fi titanium doesn't have a headphone amp at all. The quality of the output from the headphone jack on the card is pretty phenomenal, definitely one ups that x-fi titanium HD in that respect. The titanium HD definitely required an external headphone amp, while the ZX/R do not.

Personally, I would give it a shot. I had a titanium HD and got a ZX and was blown away - so much so that I'm definitely buying a ZXR as soon as it becomes available. I really feel like this is Creative's best audio card in a long, long time.

 

 

Quote:
I feel the same way. I came from an x-fi titanium HD, and my intention is to get a ZxR when it's available. I am beyond impressed with this card - the 3d doesn't interfere with music quality as it did on the x-fi series of cards. The HD was great -- don't get me wrong -- but the 3d effect could, at times, affect music quality so i'd always enable it for games and movies only. With ZX, music is crisp and clear, and even enabling surround doesn't affect the fidelity. Music quality is pretty amazing IMO. The HD was a great card, but the ZX far surpassed my expectations. This card is staying, at least until I get a ZxR.

The 3D is also far better than what the Recon3D had. So far i'd put it on par with the titanium HD, although I haven't done a direct headphone comparison between CMSS3D vs SBX surround. SBX surround is definitely better than the THX surround used on the recon3d line, though.....

The other features are pretty great as well, especially the mic echo cancellation and headphone amp/audio control module.. Really enjoying the card, so far.

Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 5/12/13 at 3:17pm
post #572 of 2106

I have a question about the Creative Sound Blaster ZxR, can it drive the AKG Q701 and Sennheiser 650HD?

post #573 of 2106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shingyboy View Post

I have a question about the Creative Sound Blaster ZxR, can it drive the AKG Q701 and Sennheiser 650HD?

 

I'm not familiar with the impedence requirements of the AKG or the Senn, but the gain output of the ZXR is switchable through the Soundblaster Pro Studio Audio Control Panel:

 

post #574 of 2106
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenammo View Post

I'm not familiar with the impedence requirements of the AKG or the Senn, but the gain output of the ZXR is switchable through the Soundblaster Pro Studio Audio Control Panel:



The AKG Q701 has (only) a 62 Ohm impedance, but a relatively low sensitivity. Seems most sources can drive them loud enough (some need near max for normal listening volume), but they are so detailed that they really make apparent and reward more refined amps and DACs.
post #575 of 2106

[Update regarding Nichicon vs G-Luxon caps]

I bought a second SBZ to act as DAC and luckily it was fitted with Nichicon caps, which meant I could finally compare and see if I missed out.  I was initially going for the Fiio E17, but the SBZ seemed much better (and cheaper). Anyway,  upon listing to both cards simultaneously via PFE-112, I couldn't hear any noticeable differences apart from slight gap in the volume, which could've been caused by number of things. Soundstage, lows, mids and highs all seemed identical. So all in all, the caps don't seem to affect the over-all quality. I guess that was to be expected.


Edited by Nielo TM - 5/13/13 at 9:34pm
post #576 of 2106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


The AKG Q701 has (only) a 62 Ohm impedance, but a relatively low sensitivity. Seems most sources can drive them loud enough (some need near max for normal listening volume), but they are so detailed that they really make apparent and reward more refined amps and DACs.


Oh I see, if you were to pair up headphones with this sound card for general usage from gaming, music and movies what would you pick?

post #577 of 2106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shingyboy View Post


Oh I see, if you were to pair up headphones with this sound card for general usage from gaming, music and movies what would you pick?

Price range?

post #578 of 2106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shingyboy View Post

Oh I see, if you were to pair up headphones with this sound card for general usage from gaming, music and movies what would you pick?
Oh I picked the Q701, I expect they'll do fine with the SB Z when I pick one up. These are great all-rounder headphones, and I am currently of the opinion that most amps can power it fine, but the quality of the amp and DAC makes a more significant difference in the sound quality than power output. If I was looking at a cheaper headphone, I'd probably get an Audio Technica AD900x; I love the comfort of the AD headphones personally, they respond really well to surround processing, and the AD700 I had before was pretty forgiving of the components in my audio chain (though I liked boosting the sub-bass up for that model). Even cheaper I really enjoyed the tone of JVC's HA-RX900 (with the TopPop mods), but it wasn't as refined or able to make each instrument sound as distinct as the more expensive headphones I've owned. I think the Q701 looks the best, LMAO!
post #579 of 2106
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

Price range?


If I were to say around £200 perhaps a bit more if it is worth spending the money on them, what would you say?

 

Quick edit: Okay so the sound card arrived today anyway, I plan to buy some decent headphones later on in the month but right now I can't get sound to work in anything but 5.1 surround in the pro blaster menu, can someone tell me what I am doing wrong, I am quite new to this.


Edited by Shingyboy - 5/14/13 at 6:00pm
post #580 of 2106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shingyboy View Post


If I were to say around £200 perhaps a bit more if it is worth spending the money on them, what would you say?

 

Quick edit: Okay so the sound card arrived today anyway, I plan to buy some decent headphones later on in the month but right now I can't get sound to work in anything but 5.1 surround in the pro blaster menu, can someone tell me what I am doing wrong, I am quite new to this.

 

Shingy,

 

Check all the settings and buttons on your menu that I've highlighted in yellow:

 

 

Good luck!

post #581 of 2106
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenammo View Post

 

Shingy,

 

Check all the settings and buttons on your menu that I've highlighted in yellow:

 

 

Good luck!


Thanks for your help, I read the manual too, I feel so stupid lol, ah well I got there in the end.

 

I already can tell a difference on my sub par headset though wow it is quite nice, I can't wait to get a nice pair of headphones now!

post #582 of 2106
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

Well the THX info I base on another respectable forum user's experience which have tried all the different cards and technologies for surround sound and was very positively suprised by the ZxR's THX and thought it was the best he had used so far... just cuz the settings are the same doesn't mean under the cover is going on the same thing. So I'm still of the opinion, don't judge THX of Z-series unless having tried it. I mean there has to be a reason CMSS3D was ditched alltogether and I think it's due to the THX is actually catching up now. I would gladly comment on it myself if I could only get my card shipped to me!

 

A few testimonials I found from a quick search:

 

*snipped*

 

I'm somewhat intrigued...but still VERY skeptical. If I find the Z-series cards displaying any of the flaws and shortcomings I encountered with the Recon3D USB regarding its OpenAL implementation and general surround mixing, then I'm still going to recommend cards with the X-Fi EMU20k1/20k2.

 

I still don't think change is inherently for the better; Creative changed up their cards like you wouldn't believe back in the ISA days, and people still heavily debate which revisions are worth buying and which totally suck. There are already two very different Sound Blaster Pro models regarding the FM synth implementation (dual OPL2 vs. single OPL3), and even just saying "Sound Blaster 16" or "AWE32" isn't specific enough because of all the various little revisions Creative made with different chips and feature sets and whatnot. In other words, Creative dropping features is hardly a new thing.

 

Then there's the game industry's move away from OpenAL to software-mixed audio that sounds noticeably inferior from a positioning standpoint to me. All the way from Aureal A3D to that in a decade...yes, I'm still bitter!

 

Still, as much as I want to review one of these cards, I'm not paying for the review hardware since I have the worst luck reselling things. *points to Recon3D USB that nobody wants*

post #583 of 2106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shingyboy View Post


If I were to say around perhaps a bit more if it is worth spending the money on them, what would you say?

 

Quick edit: Okay so the sound card arrived today anyway, I plan to buy some decent headphones later on in the month but right now I can't get sound to work in anything but 5.1 surround in the pro blaster menu, can someone tell me what I am doing wrong, I am quite new to this.

 

I would go with the Beyerdynamic DT-1350, as it sounds wonderful with almost everything  , but its not a "Bass" headphone.

And you can use it for outside.

 

Maybe the Sen. 650 or the wonderful HE-400......yeah, I think you should go for it.


Edited by turokrocks - 5/15/13 at 1:56am
post #584 of 2106

I ordered my ZxR card March 8th and tomorrow they FIIIIINNAALLY will be able to ship it to me. O_o Can you say high demand? Finland has been like almost fully out of stock of these cards for that long time, none of the suppliers had them and they weren't even able to tell any dates of when they'd get them...


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 5/15/13 at 5:20am
post #585 of 2106

Over here even Amazon doesn't have it in stock. It seems like they either didn't produce a lot of units or there's a really high demand.

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