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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 49

post #721 of 2456
Quote:
Originally Posted by watsaname View Post

Yeah, same here! When I first installed the card and listening to music I wasn't sure if I liked the new sound or not. After a while, I just decided to turn the SBX Pro Studio off all together because I didn't like all the stuff it added to music. I have been to lazy to actually check which I like the most in terms of different settings, but I think you should turn off the SBX Pro Studio off all together and see if the music sounds good to you.  

 

RPGWizard says that he likes setting windows to Stereo and have everything else off. He also mentioned that he liked using DTS Connect>DTS Neo:PC>Music Mode. Just some different things to check out.


Same experience here with my ZXR. Everything sounded too artificial with the default settings. I immediately turned off the SBX Pro Studio completely. Instead, I use my J River 18 to tweak my bass, treble, mid, etc. Much better sound for me.

post #722 of 2456
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

I had better results with "Music Mode" with the DTS setting than movie and the slider set 2nd furthermost to the right side (narrow). With it set to wide you loose positional accuracy/surround cues to my ears. This is tested while being windowed mode in UT3 and listened critically while testing different settings back n forth.

 

But I was also unsure whether just having DTS enabled but leaving DTS Neo disabled if that was better or not. For sure it messes less with the audio if DTS NeoPC is disabled and volume levels seem more "appropriate" and doesn't vary as much and will work fine with music (everything) too.

 

Windows cpanel I thought 5.1 worked best (I usually have best results if then selecting only the "Full-range speakers" -> "Left and right" and "surround speakers" and the rest like center, rear etc speakers unticked). But if using SBX surround then stereo speakers worked a lot better and the surround value 91% was clearly ideal for me. Can't really say which setting worked best but my top-3 contenders:

 

- Windows cpanel 5.1 -> DTS NeoPC Music mode with slider set 2nd furthest to the right (narrow), yes exactly that setting, I tested it very carefully

- Windows cpanel 5.1 -> DTS enabled but NeoPC disabled

- Windows cpanel stereo speakers -> SBX Surround enabled and set to 91%

In the end I wasn't still 100% satisfied with the soundstaging no matter how I set it up, I swapped back to Realtek ALC889A and was more satisfied with the soundstaging (only need to use 5.1 speakers and you're set for wonderful positional sound and NATURAL soundstage). I think the Creative software side speaker config must be messing with the signal somehow as it seems to be an additional layer added to the signal processing before it goes to the headphones, it's something I've disliked for a long time with Creative how it sounded very different depending what speaker mode was selected in Creative's driver panel since Audigy days. I wish it was possible to bypass that crap altogether so it simply 100% follows Microsoft standards when it comes to speaker config and doesn't do anything additionally.

 

It's a shame about the soundstaging as I really like how the mids sounds on it, I'd say that's the best range on the cards, has a lot of meat and presence and a bit of a fullbodied analog warm sound to them. The highs are pretty natural sounding, no artificial boosting, maybe tiny bit "roughness" but only the faintest kind. Bass seems for my personal taste even sliiiiiiightly bloated down very low, it's as if it got extra current feed to bring up the <50Hz one notch and well it works good with less bassy or especially open headphones which rolls off a bit but for my bassy closed headphones it gets sliiiiiightly too much. At least it's the bassiest source I've tried when comparing its stock state without any adjustments on EQ or anything. Overall a pretty "analog" sound signature, quite similar to that of Titanium HD I also tried but I really think the mids sound one step better on this card from my memory. 

Hello m8,

 

sorry for delay in getting back,

 

I have tried your settings of just sbx enabled and surround at 91% and windows cp = stereo, much much better! thank you,

 

I have not had a chance to test the other method of the dolby live, as I do not have the daughter card installed, I was always under the assumption that that was only used if your using speakers etc and not headphones..

 

Cheers

Ronan

post #723 of 2456

also can I plug the headphones into the volume control box with dolby live?

post #724 of 2456
I like the comfort of the ACM but indeed music seems to sound a little nicer when I'm using line out.
The problem with line out though, at least for me, is that it's limited to the "speakers" option. While it sounds great for music, "pure", it starts to get quite weird once SBX surround is turned on. Positioning was quite weird for me with that setting. It didn't sound all wrong but many things were out-of-balance apparently.
post #725 of 2456

Yes, it would be nice if you could get some modded drivers that allowed the feature set of the headphones to be avaialable on the line outs.

post #726 of 2456
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

Yes, it would be nice if you could get some modded drivers that allowed the feature set of the headphones to be avaialable on the line outs.

 

Or the line-out's to be available on the headphone port :D (like stereo that dosent revert to 5.1 all the time :p)
post #727 of 2456

Now all you need is a driver modder who is up to the task who think it worth it to even do it.

post #728 of 2456

So I read through the last five or six pages of this thread and it seems like people aren't having anything but problems with these cards. Is that the general consensus?

post #729 of 2456
Quote:
Originally Posted by NAWilson9 View Post

So I read through the last five or six pages of this thread and it seems like people aren't having anything but problems with these cards. Is that the general consensus?

My experience wasn't that at all. I had to get the settings right, but after that it was a glorious experience (I came from onboard audio). 

post #730 of 2456
Quote:
Originally Posted by NAWilson9 View Post

So I read through the last five or six pages of this thread and it seems like people aren't having anything but problems with these cards. Is that the general consensus?


My overall experience has been great! I just had to change some settings from out of the box to get it to my liking. Now it's all bliss!

post #731 of 2456
It's quite typical for Creative to have some "weird" default settings, especially as they like to showcase what the card may have to offer. It's nothing unusual to have to set this up when you first get your gear.
post #732 of 2456
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radical_53 View Post

It's quite typical for Creative to have some "weird" default settings, especially as they like to showcase what the card may have to offer. It's nothing unusual to have to set this up when you first get your gear.

 

Yea I was wondering if the card was broken or something as the onboard sounded better when ZxR was at stock settings, Crystallizer and SBX Surround was enabled by default :/ 

post #733 of 2456

Spent the day building some new opamps modules for use on the ZXR.  I will snap some pics when I have a chance...For those that are into modding their cards.

I am also considering pulling the SOIC on the Cent/Sub and adding in a socket -somehow:)

post #734 of 2456
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

Spent the day building some new opamps modules for use on the ZXR.  I will snap some pics when I have a chance...For those that are into modding their cards.

I am also considering pulling the SOIC on the Cent/Sub and adding in a socket -somehow:)

Being a CE major that just finished up Analog Circuits, what type of op amp design did you use for a sound card? 

post #735 of 2456
Quote:
Originally Posted by NAWilson9 View Post

So I read through the last five or six pages of this thread and it seems like people aren't having anything but problems with these cards. Is that the general consensus?

I think the cards runs great and have seen no issues.

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