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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 58

post #856 of 2502

For me it was 67% if windows control panel set to 5.1 speakers and 91% if speaker config set to "stereo" (windows control panel). SBX worked better with stereo speakers + 91% than 5.1 with 67% though to my ears but I'm unsure whether for most games simply using 5.1 speakers with SBX disabled vs stereo speakers + 91% SBX -- like which truly was better.

 

With 5.1 speakers it sounded most natural at 67%, moving to either ends just seemed to get more unnatural positioning of things. When using Stereo speaker config again the sound/staging with SBX becomes quite different (more natural sounding over headphones at least) and I really felt SBX worked better with stereo only with slightly less impact on SQ too. It's a bit shame though because a large amount of games I play sound best with 5.1 speakers so that SBX works less good if using 5.1 was a bit dissappointment for me. I need virtual processing configs that ideally should also be optimized for 5.1 speaker config use because I use that a whole lot of time and I don't want to constantly keep swapping around configs depending what I'm doing.

 

To test whether which setting worked best for surround I simply used Windowed mode with UT3 with hardware openal disabled so that I can better test software processing and kept running around for a little while and tested different values until I got something which seemed most accurate for me.

 

NOTE: Unreal Tournament 3 is probably among the ideal testing scenarios because it allows you to record "demos" at which you will be "playbacking" the exact same scene with the exact same things happening on the screen, perfect for making comparisons with different software sound processing settings.

 

Check this video I once made between Audigy 2 ZS (with 3rd party kX Audio drivers) vs Titanium HD:


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 8/19/13 at 1:29am
post #857 of 2502

5.1 speakers in Windows with SBX disabled would lead to lots of sounds missing normally, at least if I'm not missing the obvious here (like someone not using headphones or physical stereo speakers for example).

67% SBX with 5.1 set in Windows and headphones chosen within the ZXR control panel sounds very nice indeed. I had it at 100% before but this seems to be more natural.

post #858 of 2502

Does anyone know if these cards will support Dolby DTS Headphone X when it's released?

 

 

Also, I'm new to head-fi, but aren't headphone amps supposed to be like 1/10th the headphone's ohm rating?   600 ohms seems like a lot.  Is it different with sound cards?

 

Can you adjust the ohm output in drivers or something?

post #859 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radical_53 View Post

5.1 speakers in Windows with SBX disabled would lead to lots of sounds missing normally, at least if I'm not missing the obvious here (like someone not using headphones or physical stereo speakers for example).

 

No you aren't, it's a common setting used especially among gamers, there's been threads about it in various forums for many years...

It processes the signal internally as 5.1 but in the end gets downmixed to stereo and it won't sound the same as if using stereo to begin with. But for SBX try stereo speakers, it works great with that, some1 also besides me said 91% worked well when using stereo speakers (chances are we might different settings though as "HRTF" tweaks are always a bit invidual). 


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 8/19/13 at 4:56am
post #860 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by yjtflI View Post

Does anyone know if these cards will support Dolby DTS Headphone X when it's released?




Also, I'm new to head-fi, but aren't headphone amps supposed to be like 1/10th the headphone's ohm rating?   600 ohms seems like a lot.  Is it different with sound cards?

Can you adjust the ohm output in drivers or something?

If I'm not.mistaken your confusing the output impedence of the card with the supported headphone impedance(or the ability to power the headphone at that stated impedance). The z apparently has 18 ohm output impedence according to someone on here.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I'm not an expert on impedance either lol.


In terms of dts headphone X I highly doubt it. Why would creative compete with their own sbx technology.
Edited by DJINFERNO806 - 8/19/13 at 4:36am
post #861 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

 

No you aren't, it's a common setting used especially among gamers, there's been threads about it in various forums for many years...

It processes the signal internally as 5.1 but in the end gets downmixed to stereo and it won't sound the same as if using stereo to begin with.

 

Yes, well: What you're describing is what happens when you have Windows set to 5.1, the card to stereo/headphones and the surround emulation ticked (CMSS-3D or now SBX). You'd end up with stereo though if that option isn't enabled. No center, no rears, no LFE channel.

At least that's how I remember it and that's one of the main reasons I always had those options enabled.

 

Using Windows set to stereo SBX would be kind of "upsampling" and guessing some of the audio, which in theory isn't a good idea to me. I'd always want the "downsampled" result from true 5.1 (or 7.1) audio stream to be processed by the card and I always believed SBX (or CMSS-3D before) was necessary to get that.

post #862 of 2502
Rpgwizard is correct in his point though. 5.1 signal will always be converted to a 2.0 signal at the card driver level. You don't lose the surround channels and lfe. They just get down sampled and incorporated into the stereo mix. You don't lose any channel data. You can listen to a 5.1 voice test track and turn sbx off. You'll hear all the speakers albeit only from the left or right. ( or both for the center)

And in terms of the stereo with sbx enabled it isn't adding or guessing channels or data. It just takes the 2 speakers and places them in a virtual field in front of you. Instead of inside your head. It tries to recreate the natural setup as if you would be in front of 2 speakers. The surround virtual speakers are just not present beacaue you aren't sending a 5.1 signal.
post #863 of 2502

I didn't mean lose data but simply don't hear anything at all from that particular channel, at least unless SBX or CMSS-3D is activated. That's how I always knew this yet it may be wrong of course.

The last time I tried this I think I had my speakers hooked up (stereo) and didn't hear anything from the Windows speaker test apart from the obvious front left and right, unless I had SBX enabled. Then every channel within the test application worked as intended.

post #864 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post


If I'm not.mistaken your confusing the output impedence of the card with the supported headphone impedance(or the ability to power the headphone at that stated impedance). The z apparently has 18 ohm output impedence according to someone on here.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I'm not an expert on impedance either lol.


In terms of dts headphone X I highly doubt it. Why would creative compete with their own sbx technology.


here are the specs i can find for SB Z

 

Output Level (Full Scale)

Front Channel Out : 2Vrms
Headphone (33 ohms): 1.3Vrms
Headphone (600 ohms): 2Vrms

Maximum DAC Resolution

Front Channel Out : 24-bit, 192kHz
Headphone (33 ohms): 24-bit, 96kHz
Headphone (600 ohms): 24-bit, 96kHz

SNR (20kHz Low-pass filter, A-Wgt), @ 24-bit, 96kHz

Front Channel Out : 116dB
Headphone (33 ohms): >105dB
Headphone (600 ohms): >105dB

Frequency Response @ 96kHz

Front Channel Out : 10Hz to 45kHz
Rear Channel Out : 15Hz to 45kHz
Center Out : 10Hz to 45kHz
Headphone (33 ohms): 10Hz to 45kHz

 

Does that help any?

 

I have a SB Z and am trying to figure out a good set of headphones to use.  I already have some ATH700s and while they're as light as a feather and full of sparkle they have very little boom.  I was thinking about Q701s but the bumps on the headband bother me.

post #865 of 2502
Yup, can still hear all speakers play with sbx off. All working like it should!

Remember windows thinks its outputting sound to a 5.1 capable device, it has no reason to cut any channels. The z does the rest.
post #866 of 2502
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

Yup, can still hear all speakers play with sbx off.
Only when using headphone out. If you use line out, that's not the case when you disable SBX (obviously since this card supports 5.1 analogue output).
Edited by Anarion - 8/19/13 at 10:09am
post #867 of 2502
Ya I can't speak for line out I don't use it. Just assume I mean headout all the time lol.
post #868 of 2502
What headphones have you guys tried with the Z or ZX? Did it drive them well enough on it's own?
post #869 of 2502
Before I traded up to the zxr, I was running my DT 770 250 ohm on the my z. It powered them just fine.

According to the spec sheet the maxim headphone amp can supply 2V RMS at 600 ohms. If anyone wants to convert that to watts then be my guest. I'm too tired and lazy lol.
post #870 of 2502
What, again, did you gain by upgrading to the higher spec model? And who do you think would be better served by the Z, or ZxR? Why?
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