Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR
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DJINFERNO806

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Ya I think the biggest drawback with the z isn't the DAC itself either. That headphone amp seems to bottleneck or really hinder the DAC quality. You can tell when you hook up a decent amp to the line outs. Right away there is more detail and bass is controlled more. At least that was for me. Borrowed a friends magni to test long ago on the z, also an e09k which I returned to the store.

In fact the e09k was the closer sounding amp to the zxr's headphone out. Not surprising since they use the same TI amp.

But anyway, I know SNR isn't always a valid way to judge amps and dac's but its hard to not note the 109 db in z amp vs 120+ in zxr amp.
 
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xnor

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The main difference is going to be due to different output impedance (ZxR has about double) and not properly level matching. More power doesn't mean better but sadly slightly louder is often perceived as better.
 
Did you really hear hiss with the Z?
 
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DJINFERNO806

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Not at all whatsoever. It's just more "muffled" and more bloating bass that seems to want to destroy mids and highs. But then the highs also pierce your brain sometimes like they don't know where their limit is lol.
 
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xnor

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Both are flat (+/- 0.1 dB from 20 Hz to 20 kHz) with a load. Both have distortion lower than any headphone, and noise floor below that of CDs. The only large difference is output impedance and volume.
 
Piercing highs usually come from the recording and headphones. :-S Just my random thoughts.
 
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DJINFERNO806

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I don't known it's been a while since I had the z. But that's the only way I could explain the difference going to the zxr. Wish I had them side by side to do a better comparison.
 
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^All I know is, treble glare hurts while playing CoD4 if I don't add an amp in-line with low output impedance. The FiiO E12 isn't exactly the same opamp as in the ZxR or E09k, but it sounds markedly different/better than the E5, which I later sold in a starter bundle. I'll probably double-amp from the Z's headphone out.
 
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watsaname

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When you amp the headphone out, do you notice any sort of sound quality hits. I was thinking about getting a O2 amp from Mayflower, but I don't want the sound quality to go down or blemishes from the on-board amp to be amplified or become more evident. 
 
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SaLX

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  When you amp the headphone out, do you notice any sort of sound quality hits. I was thinking about getting a O2 amp from Mayflower, but I don't want the sound quality to go down or blemishes from the on-board amp to be amplified or become more evident. 
I've heard very few people who have actually used this method... theory is (from the kind posters here - do a search in this thread): a very clean amp with as little gain as possible. The O2 has an internal jumper setting for 1x gain, and I'm sure you could get it ordered that way. This would work best with a low impedance/sensitive headphone because any higher and it would presumably be too quiet. Always plusses and drawbacks.
 
A guy on the Fidelio X1 thread used a Magni on of his SBZ headphone out and reported it to work perfectly. I don't think there's any jumper settings in that thing.
 
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Skipshrike

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If I decrease the level on the EQ then I get 4% more volume before it starts to become uncomfortable.  This super loud sound card is going to make me start using the line out.
 
Definitely not a driver issue because I did a complete reinstall of my system.
 
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SaLX

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Skipshrike

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SaLX

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Did you at least try the link? Fixit has helped me before when stumped Windows wise. When I googled the audio problem you have, there's a huge amount of people in the same situation. Somebody, somewhere will have come up with a solution. Try buying a $5 **** soundcard or USB soundcard from your local PC store and see what happens.
 
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SaLX

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Wondering whether those ZxR users out there who find their ACM's substandard might just find this of interest (if you've got the cash that is):
 

 
 
http://www.head-fi.org/t/401007/review-sm-pro-inano-passive-volume-control
http://www.thomann.de/gb/sm_pro_audio_nano_patch.htm#bewertunghttp://www.dv247.com/studio-equipment/sm-pro-nano-patchplus--passive-stereo-volume-controller-black--76498
 
Any opinions if this might actually work?
 
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xnor

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These passive controllers are not made for headphones but to connect active studio monitors with an integrated amplifier.
 
It would work like the ACM...
 
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SaLX

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It states a built in headphone amp??? Thought this may have done the trick but hey ho. Saw a thread elsewhere where this was suggested.
http://www.dv247.com/studio-equipment/sm-pro-m-patch-2-passive-volume-attenuator--51232
 
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