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  (#251)
benbenkr
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Default 01-13-2013, 14:25 | posts: 5

Hey guys.

Just wanna say something regarding both the Z and the Zx.
On paper it does look like the only difference that seperate them both is the ACM that comes with the Zx, which is $50 more than the Z.

However, I found out that the Zx uses Nichicon Gold caps instead of the Z just using a mixture of regular G-Luxon and Fujicon caps. What is weird is that there are some batches of the Z which DOES USE Nichicon Gold caps, but it seems that most batches from 2013 onwards are all on G-Lux/Fujicon.

I have confirmed this with those who bought the Z back in Nov 2012 and those who just got their Z a week ago.

Capacitors itself don't really make a huge difference interms of quality since they are after all still electrolytic capacitors only, but just worth a note for those who wanna know.

Other than that, no difference so far from the both at least for now.
   
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  (#252)
fr33k
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Default 01-20-2013, 21:23 | posts: 1,824 | Location: USA

i am considering a zx or zxr but can't decide. the zx is over 150$ less than the zxr it seems. seems like some price gouging maybe?
anyway I plan to use my current card in a media pc and i need a gaming audio platform for this one.
anyone got any thoughts on why one should buy a zxr?

*edit* so far it seems there are only 3 reasons anyone should get a zxr.
changable op-amps (questionable, unless you're just ocd i don't think you'd need to)
126db snr (by now though the diminishing returns are likely only noticeable to some one making music.)
the "sister" card with a few extra connectors.
I am just not seeing the 150$ there.

Last edited by fr33k; 01-20-2013 at 21:54.
   
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  (#253)
Anarion
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Default 01-20-2013, 23:06 | posts: 11,094 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by fr33k View Post
i am considering a zx or zxr but can't decide. the zx is over 150$ less than the zxr it seems. seems like some price gouging maybe?
anyway I plan to use my current card in a media pc and i need a gaming audio platform for this one.
anyone got any thoughts on why one should buy a zxr?

*edit* so far it seems there are only 3 reasons anyone should get a zxr.
changable op-amps (questionable, unless you're just ocd i don't think you'd need to)
126db snr (by now though the diminishing returns are likely only noticeable to some one making music.)
the "sister" card with a few extra connectors.
I am just not seeing the 150$ there.
Yeah, same thing here.
   
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  (#254)
harkinsteven
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Default 01-20-2013, 23:57 | posts: 2,344 | Location: Ireland

I was going to get the ZxR but got fed up waiting so I bought the ZX last week, currently waiting on delivery. Buying directly from Creative is the cheapest in the UK so far. Use this code WMFB123 for 15% off.
I kinda figured that while the ZxR will be a far better card I probably don't have the speakers to make full use of it so I decided on the ZX. Can't wait to test it tomorrow, so far the general consensus of the Z series has been very good.
   
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  (#255)
GenClaymore
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Default 01-21-2013, 00:41 | posts: 5,455 | Location: Michigan,usa

Quote:
Originally Posted by fr33k View Post
i am considering a zx or zxr but can't decide. the zx is over 150$ less than the zxr it seems. seems like some price gouging maybe?
anyway I plan to use my current card in a media pc and i need a gaming audio platform for this one.
anyone got any thoughts on why one should buy a zxr?

*edit* so far it seems there are only 3 reasons anyone should get a zxr.
changable op-amps (questionable, unless you're just ocd i don't think you'd need to)
126db snr (by now though the diminishing returns are likely only noticeable to some one making music.)
the "sister" card with a few extra connectors.
I am just not seeing the 150$ there.
the point of the op-amps sockets is to beable to change the sound card sound signature to something that you want, so it fully customable, or to better metal can op-amps.
   
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  (#256)
Anarion
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Default 01-21-2013, 00:48 | posts: 11,094 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by harkinsteven View Post
I was going to get the ZxR but got fed up waiting so I bought the ZX last week, currently waiting on delivery. Buying directly from Creative is the cheapest in the UK so far. Use this code WMFB123 for 15% off.
I kinda figured that while the ZxR will be a far better card I probably don't have the speakers to make full use of it so I decided on the ZX. Can't wait to test it tomorrow, so far the general consensus of the Z series has been very good.
127,49 € with free shipping. Not bad vs. 139 € from local shop (although Amazon UK is cheaper at £98.87 but it's not in stock). ZxR is just too pricey for me, especially after getting second GTX 680. It's a small mystery to me whether or not it has higher quality headphone amp than Forte (I'm not quite suer what to make of this). I wouldn't like to downgrade, side step would be fine since I have other plans for Forte. Lack of ASIO support is a bit disappointing and OpenAL sound probably isn't as good (CMSS3D in stereo mode is pretty damn good in OpenAL and in old games with Alchemy; not just sounds behind but under and above you).

Last edited by Anarion; 01-21-2013 at 00:59.
   
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  (#257)
fr33k
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Default 01-21-2013, 11:06 | posts: 1,824 | Location: USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenClaymore View Post
the point of the op-amps sockets is to beable to change the sound card sound signature to something that you want, so it fully customable, or to better metal can op-amps.
right but my current card already does that. So if i felt the need to i'd just do it with this one... I run a 600ohm headphone setup and the difference isn't noticeable for games.

Last edited by fr33k; 01-21-2013 at 11:09.
   
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  (#258)
harkinsteven
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Default 01-21-2013, 17:59 | posts: 2,344 | Location: Ireland

Just got my SoundBlaster ZX and I must say I'm impressed. A distinct improvement over my Auzen Prelude with custom Opamps. Loving this card so far, you can tell everything in it is of a high standard. Creative seem to be back on their game. Worth a purchase guys!
   
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  (#259)
Anarion
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Default 01-21-2013, 18:41 | posts: 11,094 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by harkinsteven View Post
Just got my SoundBlaster ZX and I must say I'm impressed. A distinct improvement over my Auzen Prelude with custom Opamps. Loving this card so far, you can tell everything in it is of a high standard. Creative seem to be back on their game. Worth a purchase guys!
How well does the volume control thing work and is the mic decent?
   
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  (#260)
harkinsteven
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Default 01-21-2013, 21:08 | posts: 2,344 | Location: Ireland

Volume control is not working at the minute, mic is pretty good. Gonna try and troubleshooy it in a bit.
   
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  (#261)
Anarion
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Default 01-21-2013, 22:26 | posts: 11,094 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by harkinsteven View Post
Volume control is not working at the minute, mic is pretty good. Gonna try and troubleshooy it in a bit.
Okay, this is probably a stupid question but sometimes one can miss the most obvious stuff when new stuff arrives, have you plugged in you speakers/headphones in the ACM?
   
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harkinsteven
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Default 01-21-2013, 23:16 | posts: 2,344 | Location: Ireland

Yes everything is connected. It seems the ACM only controls volume with headphones and not speakers. I plugged headphones in and it worked correctly. This is a bit of a downer I basically paid the extra money for this to control my speakers.
   
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  (#263)
nikavelli
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Default 01-22-2013, 01:10 | posts: 405

ROBSCIX, you workin on a review buddy???
   
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  (#264)
ROBSCIX
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Default 01-22-2013, 17:09 | posts: 16,175 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

I am going to see what I can do with this one. If I do a review of this card it may be a bit later but I will try and get one done.
   
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Anarion
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Default 01-22-2013, 17:55 | posts: 11,094 | Location: Finland

I ordered Zx. I'm going to give Forte to my mother, Sennheiser HD 598 and onboard Realtek ALC1200 is pretty bad combo... Lack of ASIO and audio creation mode is a bit meh (both are handy in Cubase) but it's not deal breaking issue.
   
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harkinsteven
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Default 01-22-2013, 19:22 | posts: 2,344 | Location: Ireland

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
I ordered Zx. I'm going to give Forte to my mother, Sennheiser HD 598 and onboard Realtek ALC1200 is pretty bad combo... Lack of ASIO and audio creation mode is a bit meh (both are handy in Cubase) but it's not deal breaking issue.
Nice, I'm well impressed with this card. Everything is crystal clear. I wasn't sure I would hear a difference from my Prelude but there definitely an improvement. Haven't done much gaming just been listening to all my music again haha. It's like listening to new songs. Did you order from Creative directly?
   
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  (#267)
Anarion
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PSU: Corsair AX760
Default 01-22-2013, 19:36 | posts: 11,094 | Location: Finland

Quote:
Originally Posted by harkinsteven View Post
Nice, I'm well impressed with this card. Everything is crystal clear. I wasn't sure I would hear a difference from my Prelude but there definitely an improvement. Haven't done much gaming just been listening to all my music again haha. It's like listening to new songs. Did you order from Creative directly?
I ended up ordering from local shop, it's only about 10 € more so not big difference (but in case it breaks RMA procedure is easier). Doesn't Prelude have same DAC than Forte?

I wonder how OpenAL games are going to sound Zx, Mirror's Edge sounds awesome with Forte with CMSS-3D on (speakers set to stereo). I recorded a clip so that I know how it sounded.

Last edited by Anarion; 01-22-2013 at 19:46.
   
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  (#268)
cskamacska
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Lightbulb 01-23-2013, 09:56 | posts: 4 | Location: muzulmánia

Quote:
Originally Posted by fr33k View Post
126db snr (by now though the diminishing returns are likely only noticeable to some one making music.)
Or everyone else. Sound "clearness" can be observed by anyone with an average ear, like you can hear the difference between Asus Xonar D1/D2 and Essence ST models without a problem. In theory theres only a minor difference in SNR, but boy that difference is noticable.

Other things:
Driver Sweeper: dont use it, or only with moderation. It can mess Windows installs up by deleting built in drivers or needed system components.

7.1: As far as i know it was a marketing fad in the middle of 2000's, it never became too popular in the home theater market, and its more dead than alive by now. Bigger number means better right? Well some people still think this, and the plus 2 channels are some insane space age technology they need it nao. Current gaming(yuck) headset makers are abusing this to no limit, and are trying to jam 8 or more tiny speakers into normal sized headphones. But the kids are loving it, anything thats not 7.1 is now "low".


And back to Creative stuff: I find it very interesting Creative doesnt have the PR dominance they had before. I remember Audigy2 and even the X-fi launch, gaming and IT media was full of Cratives newest offerings(both international and local hungarian).
Now? I cant find a fully fleshed out review of the new cards across teh intarwebz from a semi decent/reputable source 2-3 months after release.
This kinda happened with Titanium HD too, they started selling it locally out of the blue and we needed to search the net back and forth, to get up to speed about it. No big announcements, no local reviews, nothing.
   
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  (#269)
ROBSCIX
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Default 01-23-2013, 15:31 | posts: 16,175 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

It should also be pointed out that even a difference of a few dB, is quite a difference as the decibel measurement is based on a LOG scale.
   
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  (#270)
playst
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Default 01-24-2013, 13:36 | posts: 15

Quote:
Originally Posted by benbenkr View Post

However, I found out that the Zx uses Nichicon Gold caps instead of the Z just using a mixture of regular G-Luxon and Fujicon caps. What is weird is that there are some batches of the Z which DOES USE Nichicon Gold caps, but it seems that most batches from 2013 onwards are all on G-Lux/Fujicon.
My sound blaster Z just bought recently uses the expensive Nichicon Gold capacitor.

   
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  (#271)
fighterisr
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Default 01-25-2013, 06:03 | posts: 8

Quote:
Originally Posted by harkinsteven View Post
Yes everything is connected. It seems the ACM only controls volume with headphones and not speakers. I plugged headphones in and it worked correctly. This is a bit of a downer I basically paid the extra money for this to control my speakers.
use your logic:
if the acm connects to the headphones port and you connect your headphones to it, then you control the volume of the headphones port.
if you would have connected the the acm to the line out speakers port, then it would control the speakers volume.
the point of this thing is so when you change the output in the driver from speakers to headphones, you could still control the volume of the headphones.
thats why i am going to buy a ZXR with the acm so i can at last connect my headphones straight to the headphones amplified port and control their volume.
right now they are connected to my speakers' headphones output and it sucks because it's a bit malfunctining right now.

i hope they fix their ZXR manufacturing problems quickly and sell that card already.
   
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  (#272)
fighterisr
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Default 01-25-2013, 23:04 | posts: 8

the ZXR will be released around march
http://jp.creative.com/corporate/pre....asp?pid=13305
   
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  (#273)
scorpian007
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Default 01-29-2013, 11:31 | posts: 4 | Location: Australia

Currently have an oldskool PCI X-Fi Elite Pro from back in 2005, looking to update to this

Is there a big difference between the Zx and the ZxR apart from the daughterboard? I'm not really interested in recording these days.
   
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  (#274)
Anarion
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PSU: Corsair AX760
Default 01-29-2013, 19:27 | posts: 11,094 | Location: Finland

Damn Forte drivers refused to uninstall so I have to clean my system and registry the hard way. I hope that I didn't delete something good in the process... When I'm ready I swap the Zx in.

EDIT:
Okay, this card is unusable with HD 595s if you do not use the ACM. Volume is so high. I need some time to comment about audio quality. It definitely has different sound signature, I'd say warmer. Definitely need some time to get used to.

Last edited by Anarion; 01-29-2013 at 22:19.
   
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  (#275)
GenClaymore
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Default 01-29-2013, 22:15 | posts: 5,455 | Location: Michigan,usa

That Suck The Forte didn't want you to leave it,So it decided to mess up your system.
   
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