Creative Sound Blaster Z Series

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

  1. RavenMaster

    RavenMaster Maha Guru

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    So I bought the Sound Blaster ZXR for my system but i've been having problems like a lot of ppl on this forum.

    I just can't go more than 10 minutes while using DTS Connect without getting 'blip blop snap crackle pop' interference. Here below are the different ways I've got the card to work and.. not work, respectively.

    1) Using SPDIF Pass through via a TOS-LINK cable to Logitech z906 speakers, SPDIF set as main audio Device in Windows Control Panel, SPDIF set as main audio device in game or media player = Works fine

    2) Using Analog cables to Logitech z906 speakers with No Encoder, ZXR Speakers set as main audio Device in Windows Control Panel, 'Speakers' set as main audio device in game or media player = Works fine.

    3) Using TOS-Link cable to Logitech z906 speakers, DTS Encoder Enabled, ZXR Speakers set as main audio Device in Windows Control Panel, 'Speakers' set as main audio device in game or media player = Works fine for 5-10 mins then always starts with HUGE sound distortions and 'blip blop snap crackle pop.'
     
  2. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    @Raven, why would you want to use Toslink with this card and those speakers?
    That would be a serious downgrade for what you have.

    Not to say that you should ignore issues with digital.
     
  3. RavenMaster

    RavenMaster Maha Guru

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    I have Sony MDR-D6500 headphones and the Logitech z906 speakers. I've been trying to use TOS-Link for the Sony headphones and Analog for the Speakers. I started testing the TOS-Link connection on the speaker system after I realised the headphones were having problem via the TOS-Link.

    That's when I discovered it wasn't the headphones that were faulty. I even tried a different TOS-Link cable. But still the problem remains with the DTS and interference (snap crackle pop) sounds on both the headphones and the speakers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
  4. widil

    widil New Member

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    to update my problem :

    I managed to switch the ZXR of PCIe slot, the problem's still there.

    Also, here's a record of what I hear when walking/running in state of decay (you may have to increase the sound to hear the clicking : http ://1drv.ms/1gPRYnO

    So the question is : is it normal for this sound to be there, or is there a problem with my hardware
     

  5. widil

    widil New Member

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    I also have the same problem as the guy in this thread over the Creative Forum: http ://forums.creative.com/showthread.php?t=699129
    I got popping sound at the start and end of Windows sound. like I do the test for the speaker, there will be a pop at the end.
     
  6. Wayne6326

    Wayne6326 New Member

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    Sorry wrong post.:(
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  7. NHK

    NHK Active Member

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    I Removed my Sound Blaster Z because the sound popping was driving me nuts.

    Also, not a fan of the software. I ended up preferring my onboard audio solution.
    I just let windows install the generic HD drivers & enable loudness equalization in speaker enhancements.

    Much better then the mess that was the SB Z.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  8. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    Erm, no.
     
  9. Trasher

    Trasher Member Guru

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    Agreed, no +1
     
  10. Octopuss

    Octopuss Master Guru

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    I don't even...
     

  11. NHK

    NHK Active Member

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    With a decent pair of quality speakers, you hear little to no difference in sound quality.

    I tried hard to like the SB Z, but it was just "louder". I found the sweet spot for my setup.
     
  12. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    NHK if you are using optical then of course you wont hear much of a difference, since optical is just sending signals to your output device and that doing all of the work, which is only useful if your want the functions of the device sent to your speakers or external dac. When it comes to analog audio the difference is there, it depends on the gear that you are using. If your using sub-par speakers and headphones and you pair it with a good sound card then of course you wont notice it that much. Same if you pair a good speaker/headphones with a sub-par sound card. Also you could be one of the few people who simply can't hear a difference but then you said decent but you also don't say which speakers you are using as decent can be different things to different people.

    Out of experience I have used onboard with my receiver in analog as well with difference Audiophile-grade headphones in the past and each time the sound card did a better job, this is regards to analog audio. I had countless friends who had the same results of the better sound quality when I sent them a DG or a Recon3D and it was a night and day difference for them when compared to their onboard.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  13. NHK

    NHK Active Member

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    I have the Audioengine A2 speakers.

    I just couldn't hear the difference and decided to stick with onboard.
    The ASUS V Gene has a decent integrated audio solution, so that blurs the lines.

    The computer I had before this one had a SB X-Fi Extreme Audio (the original one with 4mb xram).
    That was a night and day difference in sound quality. I still think the X-Fi series was Creatives best sound card.

    You could be right about me not deciphering sound quality differences.
    I get no popping, hissing, interference and sound quality is crystal.

    I may revisit SB Z at some point, but I like the idea of software free sound at the moment.
     
  14. Darkest

    Darkest Ancient Guru

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    I've a higher end speaker setup than that and notice a distinct difference between onboard and the line out of my T1. While the Z is lower end, I find it difficult to believe there's no difference at all, especially compared to what is essentially a rebranded ALC898. Maybe there was a fault with the card itself?
     
  15. yasamoka

    yasamoka Ancient Guru

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    Seems like you're able to tell differences in sound judging by your previous experience with the X-Fi Extreme Audio. Maybe something was indeed wrong with your SBZ hardware / software.

    Good thing I went DAC. Software-less, but not driverless. Needless to say, never had any real issues with the drivers. Many USB DACs are plug-and-play even, driverless.
     

  16. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    The X-Fi XtremeAudio never had "4mb XRAM".... It was an entry-level dedicated card. It was basically a rebranded AudigySE.... It used either the CA0111 or CA0110 audio chip.
     
  17. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    Funny this, I indeed had a lot of driver issues with my X-Fi XtremeMusic, never had any issues with the Z.

    But, the popping suggests something wasn't right with NHK's SBZ. Dunno, I will still recommend the Z as the best ~£50 sound card. For £50, you really can't go wrong. It definitely sounds better than any onboard out there.

    yeah, they were pretty meh, not a true X-Fi card. It was indeed an Audigy rebrand, nothing much more.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  18. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    AudigySE used the CA0111 audio chip.... X-Fi XtremeAudio used the CA0111 or CA0110 depending on whether the card was made for PCI or PCIe. Good cards if you just needed something cheap for watching movies or listening to music at low volume though.
     
  19. NAZ2222

    NAZ2222 Master Guru

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    Anyone uses a SB Z with an HD558? I just cant get the highs balanced enough.. could you share your SB Z profile? :)

    And yes a good sound card and headphones makes a lot of difference ;)
     
  20. NHK

    NHK Active Member

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    My mistake. I meant the X-Fi Xtreme Music, released in 2005.

    After that they released a lot of cut down Xtreme X-Fi cards that were pretty mediocre.

    I remember that a lot of people had issues with the X-Fi cards, but mine was flawless.

    I only installed the control panel and left out all the other software.
    I miss the simplicity of the X-Fi control panel.

    [​IMG]
     

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