2 line outs on X-FI? alternatives?
Mar 1, 2006 at 10:46 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

worminater

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hi. I have an X-FI xtreme music and don't want to continue to swap cables when going from speakers to headphones. If I set my xfi to 4 channel; and enable cmss-3d and stereo; i can have headphones and my 2.1 speakers plugged in and both play; but the cmss3d colors the sound. Is there a better way to do this?

I just want 2 identical line outs basically; one for my headphone and one for my speakers where I don't want to switch cables. Maybe a driver hack or some such...? Thx in advance
 
Mar 1, 2006 at 11:05 PM Post #2 of 11

Sycraft

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I am truly amazed at the number of people trying this. The best answer is "don't". Either get the platinum bay, which has a seperate headphone jack (you can buy the bay seperate) or get an external splitter/switch. That's the only way to make this work and still get CMMS and EAX. If you are willing to do without those, you can set the X-Fi to Audio Creation Mode and then route the L/R output to 4 channels under the multi-channel wave (or ASIO if that's what you use) output. That will give you two identicle channels, in which case use the front channel for headphones, the surround for speakers, but it is sub optimal. In Audio Creation Mode you get no support for things like EAX and CMMS, which I think is one of the reasons to own the X-Fi.
 
Mar 1, 2006 at 11:31 PM Post #3 of 11

worminater

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Thx for the info. For speaker usage CMSS/EAX/etc are pretty much useless imo; i'll fiddle with it (switch to game mode whenever playing game anyway; easier than swapping wires) I DO want the front bay module though... Where do you see if for sale...? I was under the impression that Creative didn't sell them seperate... (though I am tempted to buy my buddies a2 zs plat bay; as i heard it would work, but have held off as didnt want it to say "Audigy 2")

**google**

ah look at that...
http://us.creative.com/products/prod...&product=14659
Now i'm tempted to just order taht... though front bay to my go-vibe might be a little awkward.... oooh the debates..
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 12:16 AM Post #4 of 11

lini

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worminator: As you're using an headphone amp anyway, you should actually just need a splitter cable.

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 12:20 AM Post #5 of 11

howL_

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Mar 2, 2006 at 12:41 AM Post #6 of 11

worminater

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would the straight splitter cable degrade sound quality...? I was under the impression that cheap cables/interconnects would tighten the sound stage and/or affect sound quality. I could always just buy small splitter from radio shack and compare...
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 6:38 PM Post #7 of 11

lini

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worminator: Well, that depends a bit. I'm not sure about your GoVibe, but if you need mini (= 1/8") connectors on each end of the cable, I'd recommend to get some quality 1/8" plugs (the priceworthy RYAN/Neutrik ones should do...) and some small diameter quality microphone cable and to solder the splitter cable yourself, before you produce a weird assemply of rca spitters and rca-to-mini cables. However, even with the latter solution, a degradation might hardly be measurable, if it's noticable at all.

Greetings from Hannover!

Manfred / lini
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 10:24 PM Post #8 of 11

worminater

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alrighty after about an hour of playing and 2 pair of ears; if i set entertainment mode, set it to 4.0/4.1 channel, set cmss-3d on; and instead of stereo expand set it to stereo surround, and then move the silder to 100% surround (down), it sounds great coming out of headphones; and eax/equalizer/etc will still work.

Sounsd ilke a winner to me; slide it up to listen to music through headphones as I don't think it affects the sound at all; and when I want to play a game jsut set it to game mode. Back and forth cleanly no problem. yay
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 10:49 PM Post #9 of 11

Sycraft

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If you are messing with flipping modes and such, why not just set it to Audio Creation mode as I suggested, which will give identicle output? The reason I was advocating things that can still use EAX and CMMS is that, when used in the correct ocnfiguration, they give nice expansiion on the headphones. They make it sound like the sound isn't stuck in your head and do good surround and such. The way you are doing negates that, so probalby better to just use the routing available to you in audio creation mode.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 3:03 AM Post #10 of 11

star882

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sycraft
In Audio Creation Mode you get no support for things like EAX and CMMS, which I think is one of the reasons to own the X-Fi.


How many of us listen with lots of DSP? After many experiments, I found that (with good hardware) music sounds best without DSP. But it's very interesting to play with...

As for the solution, a passive splitter will work as long as the combined impedence is not too low. However, an active splitter can be made from a modified headphone amp design.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 3:34 PM Post #11 of 11

Sycraft

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Quote:

Originally Posted by star882
How many of us listen with lots of DSP? After many experiments, I found that (with good hardware) music sounds best without DSP. But it's very interesting to play with...

As for the solution, a passive splitter will work as long as the combined impedence is not too low. However, an active splitter can be made from a modified headphone amp design.



That's up to you. I personally find the X-Fi's sound expansion very pleasing. On multiple speakers, which is what I normally use, I find it gives a more enveloping sound field (which is precisely what it does do, feeding a bit of sound ot the rear speakers). On headphones I find it's like night and day. With a normal output you get a soundstage that's stuck in your head. No supprise, the speakers are stuck to your head. That's why so many people get crossfeed circuts for their amps, to try and counteract that and get a more natural sound. Well the X-Fi does it all with processing and does a hell of a job. It even reproduces pretty reasonable surround sound.

If that's not your thing, no problem, but I recommend people try it. The right way to listen to music is what sounds best, be that no processing or heavy processing. There's no artifical standard of purity that you should try to meet.
 

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