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Will the creative soundblaster zxr work as an amp for an LCD-2?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm getting an LCD-2 and I already have the zxr but I'm not sure if I need to buy a seperate amp or not. I know that if there was any soundcard that could work on its own it would be the zxr but I still have my doubts. Thanks!

post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gamerfry View Post
 

I'm getting an LCD-2 and I already have the ZxR but I'm not sure if I need to buy a separate amp or not. I know that if there was any sound card that could work on its own it would be the ZxR but I still have my doubts. Thanks!

The LCD-2 headphones are 60-Ohms, so the ZxR should be able to drive them.

The ZxR uses the same TI 6120A2 headphone amplifier chip as the Essence STX/STX and FiiO E09K.

I would assume that somewhere in the world there is a better amplifier for driving the LCD-2s.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

The LCD-2 headphones are 60-Ohms, so the ZxR should be able to drive them.

The ZxR uses the same TI 6120A2 headphone amplifier chip as the Essence STX/STX and FiiO E09K.

I would assume that somewhere in the world there is a better amplifier for driving the LCD-2s.

 

Do you think it would be worth it to pay $300 to get a O2 + ODAC combo then? Or would the difference between the two be slim?

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gamerfry View Post
 

Do you think it would be worth it to pay $300 to get a O2 + ODAC combo then? Or would the difference between the two be slim?

I think it would be worth it to spend at ton more on a nice amp for them...  These are power hungry orthos.  A cheap sound card or entry level amp (O2) isn't going to do them any justice at all.  

 

I would hold off on LCD 2s and get something much cheaper (and easier to drive) like HD 650s if you want something with a similar sound signature.  

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gamerfry View Post
 

Do you think it would be worth it to pay $300 to get a O2 + ODAC combo then? Or would the difference between the two be slim?

It would think (personally) there would not be a really noticeable improvement going from the ZxR to the O2/ODAC (guessing).

Plus you lose the headphone surround sound switching over the O2/ODAC

USB external DACs (or DAC/Amps) bypass sound cards.

 

If you want to get an external DAC/Amp,

I would recommend a Audio-GD NFB-15.32 DAC/Amp, $255+shipping.

Comes with dual (WM8741) DAC chips and S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) inputs and a 32-bit/384Khz USB input.

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

 

Connecting with S/PDIF allows you to still use sound card features.

post #6 of 10

It'll work, as you can plug the LCD-2 in and play back sound out of it, but whether it'll work ideally is another question entirely, one I can't answer.

 

Those are probably the sort of cans you'd buy at least a Gilmore Lite for. I've even heard of people driving demanding orthos like that directly from speaker amps.

 

Now, if you asked if the ZxR would work as an amp for anything Stax or a Koss ESP/950, that wouldn't work at all because you'd need a completely different sort of amplifier for those to function, one you'd never, ever find built into a sound card.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post
 

It'll work, as you can plug the LCD-2 in and play back sound out of it, but whether it'll work ideally is another question entirely, one I can't answer.

 

Those are probably the sort of cans you'd buy at least a Gilmore Lite for. I've even heard of people driving demanding orthos like that directly from speaker amps.

 

Now, if you asked if the ZxR would work as an amp for anything Stax or a Koss ESP/950, that wouldn't work at all because you'd need a completely different sort of amplifier for those to function, one you'd never, ever find built into a sound card.

What if I were to buy an external amp and just hook it up to the zxr and use the zxr's dac. (sorry if that makes no sense, I know next to nothing about amps/dacs hence the thread). is it ok to hook one amp into another like that or will the quality of the first amp (the zxr) degrade the signal from the second amp (whichever external)?

 

 

EDIT: I only ask because I would like to maintain the ZXR's abilities and I've heard it has a pretty high quality DAC on it.


Edited by gamerfry - 12/14/13 at 7:12pm
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gamerfry View Post
 

What if I were to buy an external amp and just hook it up to the ZxR and use the zxr's DAC. (sorry if that makes no sense, I know next to nothing about amps/DACs hence the thread). is it ok to hook one amp into another like that or will the quality of the first amp (the ZxR) degrade the signal from the second amp (whichever external)?

EDIT: I only ask because I would like to maintain the ZxR's abilities and I've heard it has a pretty high quality DAC on it.

For best audio quality, you would want to hook the external headphone amplifier to the ZxR's "front speaker" jack, not the headphone amplifier jack.

Not sure if the ZxR can send headphone surround sound thru the "front speaker" jack.

But 2-channel audio will be no problem (music), using the "front speaker" jack.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

For best audio quality, you would want to hook the external headphone amplifier to the ZxR's "front speaker" jack, not the headphone amplifier jack.

Not sure if the ZxR can send headphone surround sound thru the "front speaker" jack.

But 2-channel audio will be no problem (music), using the "front speaker" jack.

 

I have no hands-on experience, but talk in the Z-series thread suggests that if you use the line-outs and enable SBX Pro Surround, you get the stereo speaker version of it, NOT the headphone version, and thus you won't get the intended effect in games feeding an external amp with a line-out without actually using a headphone output.

 

Creative apparently doesn't provide any option to override that in the control panel, like they think they know better than the users...

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post
 

 

I have no hands-on experience, but talk in the Z-series thread suggests that if you use the line-outs and enable SBX Pro Surround, you get the stereo speaker version of it, NOT the headphone version, and thus you won't get the intended effect in games feeding an external amp with a line-out without actually using a headphone output.

 

Creative apparently doesn't provide any option to override that in the control panel, like they think they know better than the users...

The older Creative Titanium series could send headphone surround sound thru the line-output jack.

Guess they did not include that feature in the newer Z series.

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