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Creative Sound Blaster Z Series
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IanM
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Default Creative Sound Blaster Z Series - 08-15-2012, 17:38 | posts: 14

Creative website product pages:
Sound Blaster ZxR
Sound Blaster Zx
Sound Blaster Z
Press release: Creative Introduces the Sound Blaster Z Series

interesting, new sound cards at higher end price points, but:
Quote:
the new sound cards leverage the Creative Sound Core3D quad-core sound and voice processor
...possibly limited performance in the same way the Recon3D is limited due to the Core3D chip?

Quote:
Sound Blaster ZxR and Sound Blaster Zx will be available in December 2012 and the Sound Blaster Z will be available in October 2012
Sound Blaster ZxR US$249.99
Sound Blaster Zx US$149.99
Sound Blaster Z US$99.99

Last edited by IanM; 10-21-2012 at 00:32.
   
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GenClaymore
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Default 08-15-2012, 17:42 | posts: 5,455 | Location: Michigan,usa

The ZxR looks to be a Titanium HD replacement since it audiophile components on it as well replaceable op-amps.This time around a in-graded headphone amp. As well 5.1 analog and includes the addon board. So thats where the addon board went to, that was suppose to come out for the titanium HD. But never did.

While the Zx doesn't have replaceable op-amps but a in-graded amp still.
   
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Default 08-15-2012, 17:45 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

It does look good, hopefully they have used a quality DAC for music fans.
   
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GenClaymore
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Default 08-15-2012, 17:54 | posts: 5,455 | Location: Michigan,usa

Yea it seem like they did on there $249 dollar model.I wonder if that daughter card that comes with the $249 model comparability with the Titanium HD's Daughter card pins.
   
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Default 08-15-2012, 18:24 | posts: 2,048 | Location: Sault Ste. Marie Ont. CA

Hmmm. Another sound card. I gotta stop thinking what I'm thinking.
   
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Mufflore
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Default 08-15-2012, 18:26 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

If it handily beats my Preludes quality I'll probably get one (after waiting to see how other mfrs retaliate ).
   
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Default 08-15-2012, 19:22 | posts: 11,098 | Location: Finland

Event the cheapest Z has 120dB SNR and headphone amp. That's really great for $99 card. But do they have ASIO support, that's the question.

Last edited by Anarion; 08-15-2012 at 19:24.
   
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Meocene
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Default 08-15-2012, 20:47 | posts: 205

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
But do they have ASIO support
there's always wasapi exc'.

Quote:
Other features include support for 192kHz direct pass-through to analog out
wonder what that means, and if it has anything to do with dts ma etc?

Last edited by Meocene; 08-15-2012 at 20:54.
   
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Anarion
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Default 08-15-2012, 20:57 | posts: 11,098 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meocene View Post
there's always wasapi exc'.



wonder what that means, and if it has anything to do with dts ma etc?
Not good enough, ASIO out has many advantages over it.
   
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Mufflore
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Default 08-16-2012, 00:38 | posts: 9,769 | Location: UK

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
Not good enough, ASIO out has many advantages over it.
What does it have over Wasapi exclusive mode?
   
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-Tj-
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Default 08-16-2012, 03:31 | posts: 8,352 | Location: Urban`Jungle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mufflore View Post
What does it have over Wasapi exclusive mode?
ASIO is better by Audio production software because of lower latency.


Idk if Wasapi is capable of 2ms @ 24/96 without sound dropouts.
   
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Anarion
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Default 08-16-2012, 10:46 | posts: 11,098 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mufflore View Post
What does it have over Wasapi exclusive mode?
Well, for starters I can play music while gaming and still hear other sound if needed. It also seems more stable since wasapi have caused some really weird issues and I had to reinstall drivers. I have cubase and it is the best output to use in that case.
   
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ASIO supported with web software update
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extraordinaire3
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Default ASIO supported with web software update - 01-27-2014, 08:53 | posts: 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meocene View Post
there's always wasapi exc'.



wonder what that means, and if it has anything to do with dts ma etc?
Sound Blaster Z-series (ASIO support without Direct Monitoring - need to install latest web update).
   
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-Tj-
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Default 08-15-2012, 20:59 | posts: 8,352 | Location: Urban`Jungle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
Event the cheapest Z has 120dB SNR and headphone amp. That's really great for $99 card. But do they have ASIO support, that's the question.
Yes im wondering this too, and openAL is it HW or same like by std. recon3d?


I was looking for some comparison chart like X-FI vs Recon3d, but can't find anything..


EDIT: found some photos
http://www.pcgameshardware.de/aid,10...e/?iid=1976571

Last edited by -Tj-; 08-15-2012 at 21:04.
   
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Meocene
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Default 08-15-2012, 21:34 | posts: 205

Quote:
Originally Posted by -Tj- View Post
I was looking for some comparison chart like X-FI vs Recon3d, but can't find anything..
there is a chart somewhere - someone posted it in this forum.
   
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Default 08-15-2012, 23:04 | posts: 933 | Location: New Zealand

mmm wondering if one of these would be a worthy upgrade for my X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional pcie card, the only component i haven't upgraded for a few years.
   
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D4rKy21
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Default 12-15-2012, 17:21 | posts: 656 | Location: Netherlands

Quote:
Originally Posted by zimzoid View Post
mmm wondering if one of these would be a worthy upgrade for my X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional pcie card, the only component i haven't upgraded for a few years.
Same here, i still wanne know if the upgrades worth it.
And i am still curious what the difference is between the ZX and the Z.

And another question why is it only me btw that asks these questions ?
Alright the next question is this one its a bit confusing for me but i try to explain.

The Zx version also got a volume control thing, but now comes the weird part my speakers set is a gigaworks t3 that also comes with an volume control panel, so guys if i buy the zx then i have 2 volume controls ?
And how does it work then they dont interrupt each other ?

Last edited by D4rKy21; 12-15-2012 at 17:47.
   
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Default 08-16-2012, 21:42 | posts: 2,104 | Location: Medford, NY

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meocene View Post
there is a chart somewhere - someone posted it in this forum.
   
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gamerk2
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Default 08-16-2012, 21:41 | posts: 2,104 | Location: Medford, NY

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
Event the cheapest Z has 120dB SNR and headphone amp. That's really great for $99 card. But do they have ASIO support, that's the question.
On paper, the Z might displace the DX as the sub $100 card of choice. We'll see what the full spec sheet says.
   
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ROBSCIX
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Default 08-17-2012, 05:17 | posts: 16,175 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
Event the cheapest Z has 120dB SNR and headphone amp. That's really great for $99 card. But do they have ASIO support, that's the question.
That is, well standard for todays cards.

The 120 dB rating is a specification, so in the real world you may hit about 116-117dB. Newer entry level cards should start hitting those marks for the next couple of crops.

Nice to see they put some good DAC on thos SoundCard chips. Not sure where they get their marketing guys but they need new ones.
   
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Anarion
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Default 08-17-2012, 14:18 | posts: 11,098 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
That is, well standard for todays cards.

The 120 dB rating is a specification, so in the real world you may hit about 116-117dB. Newer entry level cards should start hitting those marks for the next couple of crops.

Nice to see they put some good DAC on thos SoundCard chips. Not sure where they get their marketing guys but they need new ones.
Yeah, DAC specs are different that the actual output since at least something gets lost after it comes out of the DAC but it's nice to see such a boost compared to the Recon3D.

I might actually pull the trigger and get Zx or ZxR. The volume knob can be handy since the thing on my keyboard isn't that convenient with its two step volume change. I hope that this card would have better way to adjust the volume since even 5% Windows volume is rather loud (and the sound stops at 4%; headphone amp out is too loud at any volume level).

I wonder what's the driver situation with my current card in Windows 8... I should be able to get Windows 8 next week from Dreamspark Premium.
   
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IanM
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Default 08-17-2012, 15:12 | posts: 14

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
Nice to see they put some good DAC on thos SoundCard chips.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
Yeah, DAC specs are different that the actual output since at least something gets lost after it comes out of the DAC but it's nice to see such a boost compared to the Recon3D.
I am confused about these new cards. If you can excuse such a vague question: I remember reading threads about the Recon3D and some of the more knowledgable posters saying that there wasn't much point in Creative offering 'high end' versions of the Recon3D because there is a certain limitation built in to the 'quad core' chip i.e. since you can't change the key component/output from the chip, swappable op amps and/or higher quality DACs would be utterly pointless?

I can't find the old posts with search so probably I will have to go through the Recon3D threads again, but have I misremembered? does anyone else remember this type of discussion?
   
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Default 12-16-2012, 12:51 | posts: 4,550 | Location: Netherlands

A question:

Do you still have treble/bass control with these Z cards? I have tried the Recon3D before and that one didn't have treble/bass control so i have returned it.
   
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Default 12-17-2012, 05:43 | posts: 5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keitosha View Post
A question:

Do you still have treble/bass control with these Z cards? I have tried the Recon3D before and that one didn't have treble/bass control so i have returned it.
No

And there are no EAX Presets like Jazz club stone hall etc etc ether

The Z seems to me to be a Quick Fix on the Recon3D from reviews on the Recon i saw all users said it improved audio in games better than the X-Fi
But didn't match up to music like the X-Fi

But i did love the bass and treble settings but Seriously the sound card is still better than my X-Fi Xtreme Gamer

The EQ in the Sound Blaster control panel is like an advanced version of the the bass and treble sliders. The old Bass and Treble Sliders where still an EQ themselfs

When setting up the EQ set it to flat first then start from left or right
and slide it up full to hear distintly what sound your working with then adjust it but try not to go past 10\-10 or your audio will probably start to tare. and then work accross

Thats how i set mine up

Just so you know what my setup is like for your own opinion on my comment

I have 5.1 Creative Inspire T6200 speakers

My bass and treble settings on my XFi where:
Bass -----|---
Treble -----|--

Audio output set to 24bit 96khz

Z setup

24bit 96khz output

EQ in SoundBlaster Control panel tweaked to my settings still keeping bass Freq set slightly up
and Higher Freq set slightly higher with EQ level set to 2-4 depending on how loud i want it.

EQ in Windows Media player set the same

Both of the cards sound alike but the Z is still clearer.

To Try and describe how, I would have to say it sounds like the audio is layered in a sense with the Z
And with the X-Fi certain sounds would blend together dulling introments that you would have been tring to enhance through the media player EQ

And Voices with the Z tend to project through the centre speakers more
strings sound more crisp, Bass sounds can be more deap.

Projection of sound is alot better.

All audio is ALOT Louder than the X-Fi

And Windows Volume works with the Z below 5

I don't know what else to say.

I am happy with my purchase. I got mine OEM so no EMI sheild or Red leds no box NOTHING but the card lol.
If the EMI Sheild is effective and you bought a Retail version your audio should be even cleaner again lol :L

I'd recommend it.

Also my friend has a Asus Xonor and I sware the X-Fi xtreme gamer gave out much cleaner sounds than his did. But to be fair i never had the card in my computer so that means i never got to set it up the way i would like to have had it set.

Last edited by Mr_Twinky; 12-17-2012 at 05:53.
   
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sykozis
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Default 08-16-2012, 00:10 | posts: 16,796 | Location: US East Coast

Being that these cards use the Sound Core3D audio processor, I wouldn't expect them to support ASIO if the Recon3D doesn't....


   
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