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Creative z series, or DAC/AMP usb?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I recently bought the creative sound blaster z, and my friend told me that this: http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-System-SB1240/dp/B004275EO4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1358154965&sr=8-3&keywords=xfi+titanium+hd

would have worked better. Could someone please explain to me how source components work? I thought you need a sound card, amp, and dac altogether to have the best possible outcome.  Friend is telling me that integrated sound card -> dac -> amp -> headphones is pretty much the same quality has dedicated sound card -> dac -> amp -> headphones. does having an amp and dac cancel out the sound card? will I lose surround sound and my audio card's functions if I use a dac and AMP? how does this work?! so confused now.

post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

Can anyone help me on this one?

post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilVaratep View Post

I recently bought the creative sound blaster z, and my friend told me that this: http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Sound-Blaster-System-SB1240/dp/B004275EO4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1358154965&sr=8-3&keywords=xfi+titanium+hd

would have worked better. Could someone please explain to me how source components work? I thought you need a sound card, amp, and dac altogether to have the best possible outcome.  Friend is telling me that integrated sound card -> dac -> amp -> headphones is pretty much the same quality has dedicated sound card -> dac -> amp -> headphones. does having an amp and dac cancel out the sound card? will I lose surround sound and my audio card's functions if I use a dac and AMP? how does this work?! so confused now.

The SBZ (Sound Blaster Z) should offer better audio quality then that external SB1240.

 

An external S/PDIF (optical or coaxial) DAC and headphone amplifier sound quality would be the same hooked up to a motherboard's on-board audio or an add-on internal sound card.

(Using an external USB DAC/amp bypass most of the features of on-board audio and you can't hookup a USB DAC to an interbal add-on sound card)

If you have the SBZ ($120) installed inside your PC computer, I do not see any real reason to add an external DAC/amp.

The SBZ comes with a fairly good DAC chip (CS4398) and headphone amplifier

If you where willing to spend over $200 for an external DAC/Amp. and hook it up to the optical output on the Sound blaster Z card, it might be worth it

and you would still be able to use the SBZs audio processing features.

post #4 of 6

Sorry if I am re-iterating what you said but I also have similar questions regarding the creative sound blaster z card.  If I purchase this card, would there would be a significant difference between:

 

creative z -> dac -> amp -> headphones

 

motherboard -> dac -> amp -> headphones

 

 

Also, I don't really know much about the inner workings of dac's and amps but if I have the creative z which has 600 ohm impedance could I use a better dac without another amp and just use the amp from the creative z?  Sorry if that didn't make sense, here's what I mean:

 

creative z -> dac -> headphones

 

I don't really know if thats possible (if the dac requires an extra amp because it cannot use the amp from the creative z sound card?)

If anyone could shed some light on this it would help my purchasing decisions out a lot. (Also sorry for noob questions)  Thanks!


Edited by zgamer947 - 1/23/14 at 2:39pm
post #5 of 6
Another factor to consider is that the SoundBlaster Z will only output 24-bit/96khz to a DAC whereas a DAC hooked up through SPDIF or USB from your motherboard will most likely support 24-bit/192khz.

Probably a moot point adding to confusion... On to something more relevant!

The DAC and amp on the Z should work just fine as an all-in-one solution.
However, if you're planning on running an external DAC and amp then I wouldn't bother with the Z unless you're using it as a DSP for SBXPro.
post #6 of 6

Thanks for that bit of information!  I think I will just require the creative z card then for my situation.  I plan on purchasing the Beyerdynamic DT770 250 ohm

 

http://www.amazon.com/Beyerdynamic-770-PRO-250-ohms/dp/B0006NL5SM/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1390517657&sr=1-1&keywords=beyerdynamic+dt770

 

The Creative Z card specs say:  3.5mm gold plated headphone jack driven by the 600 Ohm Maxim MAX97220 amp

 

Would this card would work well the the 250 ohm version of the DT770?

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