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Please guys, desperately need some help with finding a new soundcard!

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by POOTERMAN, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. Tacoboy

    Tacoboy Master Guru

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    I hope your going to try an optical connection, from the Xonar DSX, to the Z906, using DTS-Connect, for 5.1
    I believe the Z906 might come with 3 DAC chip, each one having a higher SNR, then the one DAC chip, the DSX uses.
     
  2. POOTERMAN

    POOTERMAN Member

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    So I spent a few hours today trying so very hard to get my new AE-5 to give me a sound I liked. I couldn't manage it and now I'm so frustrated I feel like giving up trying any more soundcards as it's clear to me that I just want my old X-Fi card back working again :*( I went through the Connect 2 software settings and tried all possible Equalizer and Acoustic Engine settings such as the Crystalizer, Surround, Smart Volume but just couldn't get the sound to feel 'right'. The sound to me is extrememly overprocessed and when I playback music all I can hear is what I can only descibe as a constant 'phasing' in and out effect of the music and is just doesn't sound smooth and natural. My wife who I share an office with totally agreed so it's not just me that was disappointed with the sound. If anyone has a 5.1 speaker setup and is happy with their AE-5 and able to share with me their AE-5 Connect 2 settings I'd greatly appreciate hearing from you as I'm all set to send the card back but really want to be confident that I gave it my best shot before deciding to do so. Thanks again guys.
     
  3. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    Did you make sure to disable all of the acoustic engine settings, so they are not effecting the audio? Because those settings will mess up the audio when your trying to listen to music. Basically go ot the sound tab to the left, then select the acoustic engine from the right and make sure they are all zero and turned off.

    Also make sure the Equalizer setting is set to Flat, from neutral. Because the Neutral EQ is the default and also changes how it sound. Flat will make it completely flat.

    One more thing make sure it set to 5.1 for the output and not the headphone(7.1).

    You can also make your own profile by hitting the small + at the top and make those changes so it stays.
     
  4. Tacoboy

    Tacoboy Master Guru

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    Did you try optical, from the AE-5, to the Z906?
    Also did you disable the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS, before installing any add-on sound cards?
     

  5. POOTERMAN

    POOTERMAN Member

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    Hey GenClaymore, thanks for sharing your settings with me. Those Acoustic Engine settings are really confusing. I was treating them like the old CMSS-3D settings on my old Creative X-Fi card and thought they'd be exactly the same as the old 'Surround' and 'Crystalizer' settings found in that software config screen. Below the Crystalizer button it says the option "Makes music sound as good as the artist originally intended" which is why I wacked it up to 100% like I used to on my old X-Fi card. As for the 'Surround' button I put that at 50% like I did on the CMSS-3D Surround software on my old X-Fi. But as I said there seems to be some weird pseudo 'phasing' sound going on thatmakes the audio fx phase in and out continually and the audio levels seem to drop and pick up too, it's really hard to explain it. I'll try following your recommended settings and I'll reset everything to zero and the EQ to zero too and try again in the morning. It's 4.00am here in the UK now so probably not the best time to try it with everyone in the house fast asleep ;) Think it's going to be odd listening the sound being 'pure' as I was so used to having the Crystalizer on full and the surround at 50%. I did notice that if I set the 'Surround' option to zero like you recommended I only got music to come out of the left and right front speakers when I really wanted it to come out of all 5! Am I missing another option that does this as I checked in Windows 10 sound settings and made sure 5.1 speakers were selected. I think therefore I need the 'Surround' option in the 'Acoustic Engine' to be enabled but at what percentage I wonder? Will try again tomorrow and report back. Thanks again to everyone for their help, advice and time, it really is most appreciated :)
     
  6. POOTERMAN

    POOTERMAN Member

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    @Tacoboy - I did briefly try the optical from the AE-5 to the Z906's. I played a .DTS music file and it really did sound a lot better which shocked me. I say this because on my old X-Fi card when I used the optical input the sound was significantly quieter than when I used the analogue speaker output and sounded quite dull. I guess this was because I was hearing a 'pure' sound that didn't use any of Creative's FX software that I'd spent 13+ years getting used to possibly? So earlier tonight I played the same .dts music file and swapped between the analogue and optical inputs on my Z906 control module and couldn't believe the difference in sound. Is this because the hardware on the AE-5 is so much better than the old X-Fi? I'm struggling to understandif I should always be using the optical input or when I should switch back to analogue. I just simply want all sound to come out of my speakers in 5.1 in the best possible quality so I guess I need your help on knowing how to achieve this. Thanks again and look forward to your advice :)
     
  7. Sabbath

    Sabbath Master Guru

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  8. Chess

    Chess Master Guru

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    There's no simple answer here. Well, it depends.
    If you use a digital out, you're mostly by-passing your soundcard except perhaps for the sounds effects. That is, as far as I know.
    If I remember correctly, the moment you use S/PDIF you're effecively feeling a digital signal into the DAC ( digital to analog converter ) of your output device ( in this case your Logi Z906s. )

    So, if they sounds WAY better, it must be something else was holding your Z906s back, and your Z906s can now stretch it legs, for some reason.=
    Now, usually only quite high end systems have high end DAC's. Mostly, it is considered an option, an afterthought, and they skimp on putting in a nice DAC on the cheaper systems like PC surround sets.
    They concentrate the efford and costs in the analog circuit. The OpAmps, the capaciors and the soundcards DAC.
    In that case, analog usually sounds way better than digital.

    In your case, I dunno, I'm surprised logitech used a quality DAC in the Z906s.
    It also doesn't explain why your X-Fi sounds worse. It should sound almost exactly the same. Perhaps you did somehow not use the same settings and thus it sounds better?

    You made me curious about the surroundset, I'll be researching some reviews. Perhaps it was an exceptionally good set.
     
  9. vestibule

    vestibule Member Guru

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    I have the Powerdevil HDX. Fantastic sound. It is also said to be better than cards costing x2 as much. But if it does not like your power supply as in cheap or old it will not switch on. Cost effective competent new alternatives PSU's are out there for not a lot. :)
     
  10. zimzoid

    zimzoid Maha Guru

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    Hey man I feel your pain, I've also tried different cards but always ended up with a trusty old X-Fi titanium pro pcie and on my third lol, I'm old school and like 5.1 analog sound and the bass and treble knobs, the one I have now was an unwanted gift and still sealed in original box, had been in the back of the guys wardrobe for four years..
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019

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