Creative Labs SoundBlaster ZXR gets tested and reviewed

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Keitosha

    Keitosha Ancient Guru

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    In fact that's the whole point of dedicated sound cards, offering better sound quality over the onboard offerings. IMHO the most important aspect of owning a dedicated sound card.
     
  2. Darkest

    Darkest Ancient Guru

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    Pretty much this.

    That guys entire post was obsolete. The main reason 95% of people buy them (and have done for some time) is for improved sound quality.
     
  3. ppataki

    ppataki New Member

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    Op-amps vs. channels

    Hi,
    Can you please help me understand which op-amp drives which channel on the ZXR card?

    I am planning to do op-amp replacement and I saw in the review that there were replaceable DIP8 op-amps (2x LME49710 (single) & 2x NJM2114 (dual))
    Which channels are driven by these?

    Would replacing the NJMs by MUSES02s make a huge difference?

    Thank you in advance
     
  4. harkinsteven

    harkinsteven Ancient Guru

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    I would ask Robscix, he is the man to ask about this.
     

  5. Glidefan

    Glidefan Don Booze Staff Member

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    You'd also have a better chance i guess in the sound card section of the forums.
     
  6. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    The NJM2114 are current to voltage converters and the LMEs are the buffer section.
    So you have a 2114 for each channel of the stereo pair. Those opamps must always be changed as a pair. -If not your left will sound different over your right.
    The LME's are your final buffer stage... All these opamps are for your front channels, they just perform different tasks.
    So you have a 2114 and a 49710 for the left and same for the right.
    The 2114s are stereo opamps and the 49710s are mono opamps.


    Muse opamps are good, I consider opamps like flavors, what you like might vary from what I like. Best thing to do is try some out and decide with your own ears.

    Hope that helps.
    If you need any clarification, let me know.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  7. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Wow, lots of misinformation here...lets see if I can clear some of it up.
    This is 100% incorrect, hardware accleration is still alive and well. MS removed the Direct Sound HAL, so there was no "road" for the game to talk to the hardware. However, we still have OpenAL, so this is why CL made a wrapper, to change the DS calls to OpenAL calls and return proper sound processing to those games. Native OpenAL games are ofcourse hardware accelerated also. If you have a card with a true DSP.
    That's pretty much the reason everybody uses cards these days, they provide the best sound quality. People spend so much money of video and run crappy audio systems. Modern games are major productions that spend a great amount of time and money on audio production, so get some hardware so you can enjoy it.
    I wouldn't go that far, I have tested out basically every new CL card and their drivers are fine. Many times issues with sound processing has little to do with the actual card or drivers. If you are interested in recording, optimize your system for such. People get so much crap in their systems and blame hardware for problems they have caused. I am still running the Zxr as one of my soudncards and the drivers, are solid. Titan HD was also a solid card...

    The point of buying a soudncard for gaming is just that, better sound positioning..etc. Overall better sound quality...if you have specific hardware with certain games you may get a bit of a bump but nothing of any consequence. Again, you are a bit misinformed about DSP and CPU usage.
    On a card with a true DSP, ALL audio tasks are acclerated by hardware not just gaming(right games,right hardware).
    Well the measurments and hardware on this cards are actually quite good for a consumer level card and It can produce clear, clean recordings. I was actually quite surprised at the ADC section on this card, for a card in this marketplace it is actually very, very good.
    Why use an older card? There are plenty of cards out right now that produce excellent quality for surround sound, not just the Zxr.
    Hope that clears up some of the mis-information. I think I am going to have to make a sticky about that HW acceleration thing.:)
    To note, if you would like to discuss the finer points of audio, the audio section would get you better results.
     
  8. Paulo Narciso

    Paulo Narciso Maha Guru

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    Unfortunately this cards are an expensive paper weight if you use linux.
     
  9. Andrew LB

    Andrew LB Maha Guru

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    Both the X-Fi and X-Fi Titanium cards have Linux drivers available. I'm not sure how well they work but I did get my previous card, an X-Fi Platinum working pretty good in linux using the official Creative driver and using a customized version. http://support.creative.com/Downloads/searchdownloads.aspx#

    edit: Or on more modern Creative cards, while installing Ubuntu select both HDA Intel and the ca0132 modules found in the ALSA portion of the kernel under the drivers section. It should work then.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013
  10. MrH

    MrH Ancient Guru

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    I'm still using an XFI Xtremegamer, it's old and hasn't had a new driver in like 2 years but it does the job. I just don't see any reason to upgrade until this one dies.
     

  11. Bleib

    Bleib Master Guru

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    There's really no need to upgrade from that card.

    ___
    Is there a way to modify the all too high gain on the Z? Does anyone know?
     
  12. harkinsteven

    harkinsteven Ancient Guru

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    The Z is far better sound quality and cheap. You can get a Z OEM for £50.
     
  13. krash3x

    krash3x Member

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    I don't know if anyone answered your question yet but yes its normal for the clicking sound. It does it when it boots up and when you switch to speakers from headphones or headphones to speakers on your control panel. I believe its to protect your speakers and headphones from the big "poof" sound that older sound devices made when being powered on. Hopefully you get a notification that I answered this lol. Sorry so late...
     
  14. dsbig

    dsbig Ancient Guru

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    I thought it was because it turns on the headphone amp in headphone mode

    and that it turns it off when in speaker mode.


    there is an asus audio card that does the same thing.
     
  15. krash3x

    krash3x Member

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    Did you disable the onboard sound on the bios, and if you have HDMI (or even DVI-HDMI) out on your videocard make sure that the hd audio drivers aren't installed for those. The reason being is it causes detection issues. I have mine hooked up to a television and those hd audio drivers would always set my nvidia hd audio to my tv speakers as default every time I restarted my computer and it would cause detection issues by the sound blaster Control Panel. I fixed it by doing a Nvidia Driver clean install and unchecked the hd audio drivers on the custom install options. I hope this helps and sorry this is so late.
     

  16. mikeysg

    mikeysg Ancient Guru

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    Of my three systems, my 3rd rig had an Auzen X-Fi Forte which did its job pretty well. I was ambivalent about using discrete soundcards for my other two rigs because onboard was OK'ish. But, when I'd gotten the ZX for my main rig, I was surprised that it sounded better than onboard. I know I shouldn't be, but I was told onboard is just as good as a dedicated soundcard repeatedly, so I did not bother to use a soundcard. I had an X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS lying around, so I used that for my 2nd rig, so now, all my three rigs have discrete soundcards......couldn't be happier with the sound, especially my ZX.
     
  17. harkinsteven

    harkinsteven Ancient Guru

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    Whoever told you that is full of ****. Dedicated sound cards have always been better.
     
  18. krash3x

    krash3x Member

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    Yes something something like that lol. I don't know if you have an AV receiver but if you plug a pair of headphones in and unplug it it makes a clicking sound like that, just a little louder. I have a set of Klipsch pro media 2.1 speakers, When I turn them on they make a poof sound. When I worked at Radioshack there were receivers that protected from the pop sound when something was powering up because it scares the hell out of people and if the volume is up it can blow the speakers.
     
  19. morphemes

    morphemes New Member

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    "We also didn’t see more advanced settings for speaker calibration such as channel delay for the rears and center."
    - Steven ROBSCIX Wall ?

    :3eyes:

    presswinkey
    type: sound blaster speaker setup

    :flip:
    You're welcome.
     
  20. 0blivious

    0blivious Ancient Guru

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    I got a barely used Soundblaster Z for $30 a couple months ago. Damn fine sound card and essentially the same under the hood as the spendy ZX & ZXR variants.
     

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