Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR
Nov 3, 2016 at 1:08 PM Post #3,271 of 3,462

PurpleAngel

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It's nowhere to be seen tho.
Would have been nice if they actually used this chip, because then the card could have an ~1 Ohm outputimpedance instead of 22 Ohms, and the output power would be higher aswell(and that from a 5V single supply).

 
I would say the maxim chip on there somewhere, maybe it's just not well marked
 
Nov 3, 2016 at 1:26 PM Post #3,272 of 3,462

thuNDa

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  I actually prefer if they didn't use it (which seems to be the case here). Then you would have lower distortion when using a separate external amplifier.

that's also a good point - so much for "double amping" when you connect an Amp to the HP-out.
smile.gif

 
BTW:

 
(recorded with my realtek line-in, because SB-Z ones got fried by me the other day
tongue.gif
)
 
   
I would say the maxim chip on there somewhere, maybe it's just not well marked

 
it's not there, the maxim chip is a 16pin one at the size of the opamps you actually see on the board.
My guess is, that they use a ~2x gain with the JRC2114.
 
Nov 4, 2016 at 12:18 AM Post #3,273 of 3,462

Albert King

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Hi there

I got the ZXR yesterday but here comes an issue that i plug my own microphone directly to the card and it doesn`t work, i checked the control panle and no sound is received.

Instead,when i use the ACM with it bulti-in microphone, it works.

Do anyone know what to do? Can i use my own microphone without the ACM?
 
Nov 4, 2016 at 12:55 AM Post #3,274 of 3,462

PurpleAngel

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I got the ZXR yesterday but here comes an issue that i plug my own microphone directly to the card and it doesn`t work, I checked the control panle and no sound is received.
Instead,when i use the ACM with it bulti-in microphone, it works.
Do anyone know what to do? Can i use my own microphone without the ACM?

Did you disable the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS, when you installed the SB-ZxR card.
Very slight chance active on-board might effect an add-on internal sound card.
 
Maybe the SB-ZxR has a setting for the line-input port, like it can be switched between mic-input and line-input.
The line-input port might even have an autodetect for when the ACM is plugged in?
 
Nov 4, 2016 at 1:03 AM Post #3,275 of 3,462

Albert King

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Did you disable the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS, when you installed the SB-ZxR card.
Very slight chance active on-board might effect an add-on internal sound card.

Maybe the SB-ZxR has a setting for the line-input port, like it can be switched between mic-input and line-input.
The line-input port might even have an autodetect for when the ACM is plugged in?

Yes,the onboard sound is disable and i have unistall them in the device manager before the installing the zxr.

The acm works fine, i mean if i unplug the acm and plug another microphone directly to the sound card,the mic does not work.
 
Nov 5, 2016 at 12:34 AM Post #3,276 of 3,462

tl13m

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Here is my impression with V5i:

(updated 11/11/16 for the ACM module)

 

Out of the box, it make the ZxR sound more cleaner and fuller.

For the music: 

I did a quick test between 2 setups (turn off all SBX of ZxR, iCan, iDSD enanchement features during test):

Foobar ASIO

ZxR > ifi iCan > HE 560

ZxR > (toslink) ifi Micro iDSD (rca) > HDVD 800 > HE 560

 



 
 

Stock opamp: iCan setup score 6/10 compare to iDSD setup.

V5i opamp: iCan setup score 8/10 compare to iDSD setup.

 

SBX Studio Pro respond to V5i (test with iCan setup):

  1. Bass: the bass boost is less bloat compare to the stock opamp.
  2. Crystalizer: with stock opamp, only lossy format (MP3, Youtube…) is benefit from this feature, not with lossless (FLAC…). With V5i installed, the lossless also can benefit now.

 

ACM module with V5i installed

- Earbud (Yuin PK1), iem (Flatsui 4, FX 850) sound very close to iCAN

- Easy drive Can (Oppo PM3, Audio Technica ATH - M70X) also very close to iCAN, just slightly less airy

- Hard drive Can (HE - 560): simply no match for iCAN.

 

This is my first time opamp replacement, very nice improvement for music, gaming or movie. The result make me curiuos with how V5 (big one) and SS3601/2 would improve the sound.

 

Full set V5i installed



 
Those V5i slightly higher than those around caps

 
 
The shield barely touch V5i, so I left it open

 
Installed back to the pc.

 
 
Note for Windows 10 user:
After you installed new opamp, the SBX Pro Studio might pop up warning message (see the picture below), thus you cant use SBX Pro for switching between mode (stereo, headphone...) and other features.
 

 
 
It's really freak me out, I don't know what wrong during the replacement. After several remove, reinstall driver, software, check the sound card...
 
Finally, I figured it out, not sure it is Windows 10 or SBX Pro bug. To fix this problems, just go to the menu in Pro Studio  --> Audio Device Selection --> Select the device to configure --> Sound Blaster ZxR.
 

 
Nov 12, 2016 at 4:01 AM Post #3,277 of 3,462

tl13m

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So good experience V5i on ZxR make me curious about the 2 top discrete op-amp: Sparko Labs SS3601/2 and V5. However, the V5 is clearly too tall and would take 2-3 additional slots in my pc. Thus I give the SL a shot :D
 
Size comparison of stock op-amp - V5i - SS3601/2

 
Height comparison of V5i - SS3601 - SS3602

 
The V5i can be installed directly to socket, but the SS is required additional DIP8 to rise it above around caps

 

 
 ZxR cant not install in the PCI x1 (above GPU), I cant use SLI 
mad.gif


 
The sound is even better the V5i:
- Stock op-amp: iCan setup score 6/10 compare to iDSD setup.

- V5i: iCan setup score 8/10 compare to iDSD setup. Significant sound improvement for clarity and fuller sound compare to the stock op-amp. However, sound stage is slightly smaller and less airy compare to iDSD setup.

- SS: iCan setup score 9/10 compare to iDSD setup. Further improvement upon V5i, sound stage is just very little smaller.

 

In my opinion, the V5i is the best P/P upgrade for ZxR and the SS push ZxR to its limits but come with a cost of an additional PCI slot.
 
Nov 12, 2016 at 10:50 PM Post #3,278 of 3,462

bcschmerker4

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  So good experience V5i on ZxR make me curious about the 2 top discrete op-amp: Sparko Labs SS3601/2 and V5. However, the V5 is clearly too tall and would take 2-3 additional slots in my pc. Thus I give the SL a shot :D
 
Size comparison of stock op-amp - V5i - SS3601/2

 
Height comparison of V5i - SS3601 - SS3602

 
The V5i can be installed directly to socket, but the SS is required additional DIP8 to rise it above around caps

 

 
 ZxR cant not install in the PCI x1 (above GPU), I cant use SLI 
mad.gif


 
The sound is even better the V5i:
- Stock op-amp: iCan setup score 6/10 compare to iDSD setup.

- V5i: iCan setup score 8/10 compare to iDSD setup. Significant sound improvement for clarity and fuller sound compare to the stock op-amp. However, sound stage is slightly smaller and less airy compare to iDSD setup.

- SS: iCan setup score 9/10 compare to iDSD setup. Further improvement upon V5i, sound stage is just very little smaller.

 

In my opinion, the V5i is the best P/P upgrade for ZxR and the SS push ZxR to its limits but come with a cost of an additional PCI slot.

What system board your rig?  I've the opposite situation with my ASUS® CM1630-06 and its M4A78LT-M; the PCIe x1 is closest the I/O shield.  Same goes for the Gigabyte® GA-MA78GM-S2HP in my hot rod LinUX box.  Many, but not all, of ASUSTeK's full-size ATX 'boards have a PCIe x1 on the inboard end as well.
 
Nov 12, 2016 at 11:37 PM Post #3,279 of 3,462

tl13m

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  What system board your rig?  I've the opposite situation with my ASUS® CM1630-06 and its M4A78LT-M; the PCIe x1 is closest the I/O shield.  Same goes for the Gigabyte® GA-MA78GM-S2HP in my hot rod LinUX box.  Many, but not all, of ASUSTeK's full-size ATX 'boards have a PCIe x1 on the inboard end as well.

My is GA-Z87X-UD3H
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4481#ov

 
Nov 14, 2016 at 5:05 PM Post #3,280 of 3,462

thuNDa

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I would say the maxim chip on there somewhere, maybe it's just not well marked

alright, it's indeed there.
It's that tiny chip which sits right before the headphone jack(as one would expect) with "AIF" on it.
smile.gif

 
They also added another one supposedly for the frontpanel connection.
https://www.google.de/search?q=max97220aete&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b&gfe_rd=cr&ei=dDQqWOCnD8Tj8wfK656wBg
 
Nov 26, 2016 at 11:39 AM Post #3,281 of 3,462

tl13m

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Just got V5 from local DIY shop, local distributor of Burson in my country (DIYshop.vn)
 
It's required 2 additional DIP8 sockets for each op-amp (1 DIP8 socket is included)

 
If you install V5 version, it will use 2.5 slots (Sparkos use 1.5 slot, V5i only use 1 slot)

 
Out of the box, IMO the sound is definitely better V5i, it is more airy. Compare to the Sparkos, the only thing I can spot is its bass hit harder.
 
Nov 26, 2016 at 8:32 PM Post #3,283 of 3,462

tl13m

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  Sorry boss i didn't get that.The sound is better with V5 or V5i's?


IMO,
V5 vs V5i: V5 is more airy and wider
V5 vs Sparkos: not sure which one is better because they both very clear, airy and wider V5i. Swapping them take too long to remember exact how they sound. But one thing different I can sure is V5's bass hit harder.
 
BTW:
- When you change op-amp of ZxR, make sure it sit tight on the socket, loosely install might cause cracking noise and overhead the op-amp.
- V5 dual is heavy than V5 single, V5i and Sparkos, thus if your PC have a lot of fans (especially overclocking) V5 might slowly fallout. Make sure you check it regularly. I wish they make revert DIP8 socket, this will be no longer issue.
 
Nov 28, 2016 at 3:22 PM Post #3,285 of 3,462

PurpleAngel

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  Hey guys, is ZxR a good choice? I mean, for the price.
I also have E5 which I'm satisfied with, but I use E5 on the go and at work exclusively.

 
What headphones or speakers will you be connecting to the SB-ZxR sound card?
Any headphones or speakers you're planning on buying in the near future?
Do you need sound card features like SBX Headphone surround sound?
 

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