Creative Sound Blaster Z Series

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by IanM, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    I wish I could have arranged it a bit earlier, but it is still a new product.
    I received many emails and PM's asking about a product review on this also.

    As Mufflore said, the difference between the Audify ZS and a ZxR are quite large based on the specifications of the implemented hardware. You should be very happy with it.
     
  2. fighterisr

    fighterisr New Member

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    at last. i've been waiting for your review
     
  3. playst

    playst Member

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    The difference between XFI Titanium the normal version vs Sound Blaster Z the normal version is great enough. Sound volume is much louder and clearer on Sound Blaster Z. I think Creative must have use some high quality amplifier to amplify the sound until it is so loud and clear.
     
  4. heymian

    heymian Master Guru

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    Can't wait!
     

  5. scrapser

    scrapser Master Guru

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    I have the ZxR. The first thing I learned is you must have some experience with audio hardware to understand how to set up the card. The instructions are minimal at best.

    The second thing I learned is you need an AMP if you want to connect a turntable to the card for recording vinyl. I didn't need one with my X-Fi Elite Pro and assumed I wouldn't need one with this card. My mistake.

    The sound is amazing though. Totally new experience for me over my old hardware.
     
  6. 1bit

    1bit Active Member

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    Please share. Frustrating when someone makes a statement such as this then offers no advice!

    My zxr should arrive on tuesday. I'm coming from an xfi gamer fatality pro. I've never used the EQ on my card or any other tweaks, I just made sure it was in game mode.
     
  7. fighterisr

    fighterisr New Member

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  8. scrapser

    scrapser Master Guru

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    What I mean by that is the instructions do not explain what a lot of the configuration settings are for in any depth. So for example, if you do not know what crossover frequency is then the instructions are vague. It's like being on a submarine and seeing a control labeled, "Dive Plane Angle" and when you ask what it is you are told, "That sets the dive plane angle." If you know what the dive plane angle is then it all makes sense but if you do not then you remain puzzled.

    On the Speaker/Headphone tab there is a button with a wrench and a gear as the icon. Obviously it's a tool of some sort. But the instructions for that page do not even mention the button. Later on in the instructions is a section labeled, "Creating Your Audio 'Sweet Spot'...". It is here where you will find discussion on what that button is for.

    It's not terrible but I think the writers could have done a more thorough job explaining things...especially since this is their top-end sound card.
     
  9. Meocene

    Meocene Master Guru

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    i've picked up an ZxR (awesome).
    something i noticed - rather than using the drop down menu and selecting stereo, use the optional speakers check boxes.

    [​IMG]

    this way Windows remains in 5.1 and the ZxR does the down-mixing.

    also, i can confirm ASIO is present and working.


    [​IMG]

    Stereo Direct is an interesting one - selecting it completely disables the Windows audio stack...
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  10. fighterisr

    fighterisr New Member

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    brilliant! thats even a better way for downmixing for virtual surround, and those who doesn't want any, can just use stereo direct!
     

  11. scrapser

    scrapser Master Guru

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    I think it ends up that way. I selected 5.1 and unchecked the speakers I do not have to make it 2.1. Windows shows 5.1 with only the two front speakers and sub active in the configuration screen.

    It would have been helpful if they wrote something that explains this is what you need to do.
     
  12. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    I can confirm that there's now ASIO support for Zx too with new driver. Way! Proper multi-client ASIO driver, not half arsed kernel streaming or WASAPI wrapper. Now I'm really happy that I bought this card.

    [​IMG]
    It works flawlessly. Cubase (64-bit) and Foobar!
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  13. Keitosha

    Keitosha Ancient Guru

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    As Anarion has said: new driver is out.
    SBZR_PC_CD_LD_1_00_11.exe

    Works for Z, Zx, ZxR. The one listed is for W8 x64 if that matters.
     
  14. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    Remember since ASIO ignore the windows sound mixer, it will blast at full volume, so you may want to becareful if your using headphones. Or you get a ear blast of Drums, and in up with ear damage. Trust me You do not want Tinnitus.
     
  15. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    No it does not ignore volume level, that's never been the case with Creative. That's one thing I like about Creative's implementation: volume control works. Also you can have multiple playback sources. For example, you can play games just fine and listen to music form ASIO out. In fact, I can have Cubase open and listen to Foobar with ASIO at the same time. It's the real thing, not half arsed kernel streaming wrapper or something similar.

    However, if you select the stereo direct thingy and use WASAPI then yeah, unsure about what will happen with ASIO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013

  16. playst

    playst Member

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    Hi Anarion, can you explain how this ASIO thing works like improve sound or what does it do ? So this feature is inside the latest March driver correct ? I only use Cyberlink Power DVD and Windows Media Player to listen to music so by default is ASIO enable for this 2 software ?

    Thanks
     
  17. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    I suggest that you read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_Stream_Input/Output

    Those players do not support ASIO.
     
  18. 1bit

    1bit Active Member

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  19. -Tj-

    -Tj- Ancient Guru

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    I did this on my XFI, but in windows audio panel and now THX shows it too..

    Will it have the same effect? Im using 2.1 system (no separate sub output - its included in 2.1 sys)

    [​IMG]

    If it does do i still need CMSS3D?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2013
  20. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    It might not happen with creative card, but it does with Asus Xonar and other C-media based cards. As I had it happen.
     

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