Purchased Creative G6 External DAC/Amp

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by Chastity, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    Completed my gaming headset, added an Antilon Modmic Uni, and snaked the cable through the coiled cable for the DT-1990. :) Since the G6 Volume pot is not needed for master volume adjustment, I can keep it set to Mic Volume 24/7, and have that Sith-Approved RED glow.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Robbo9999

    Robbo9999 Ancient Guru

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    New firmware released today for the SoundBlasterX G6, seems to remove the bug that previously the "Direct Mode" lights didn't match what was happening in the software unless you toggled between "Audio Effects" and "Direct Mode". I only updated the firmware 30mins ago, so I don't know if there are any negative side effects or other bugs introduced...so far I've listened to music and quality seems just as good.
    https://support.creative.com/Produc...=1122&prodID=23239&prodName=Sound BlasterX G6

    Here are the release notes that I copy & pasted:
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Sound BlasterX G6 Firmware Update for Windows
    File Name: G6_Firmware_V1_16.exe


    This download contains an updated firmware for Sound BlasterX® G6. For more details, please read the rest of this web release note.

    This download supports and is applicable for the following hardware:

    • Sound BlasterX G6
    Fixes:

    • Fixed slow boot up on MSI MEG Z390 ACE motherboard
    • Fixed jerky mouse movement in the MSI MEG Z390 ACE motherboard bios config page
    • Fixed LINE IN unable to unmute at maximum recording level
    • Added voice chat support on Nintendo Switch on selected Nintendo Switch games
    • Decouple mic monitor level and mic recording level sync on PC and Mac OS
    • Improved power saving when device inactive for 2 hours
    • Fixed RGB LED not able to turn off in SB Connect software
    • Fixed Mic level revert back to 68% upon reboot
    Requirements:

    • Microsoft® Windows® 10 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows 8.1 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows 8 32-bit or 64-bit, Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit
    Notes:

    • To install this application, do the following:
      1. Download the file onto your local hard disk.
      2. Ensure that your device is connected to your computer.
      3. Double-click the downloaded file.
      4. Follow the instructions on the screen.
      5. Upon successful firmware upgrade, shut down your device by disconnecting USB cable.
      6. After 10 seconds, plug the USB cable back into your device.
     
  3. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    One of the reasons I decided to get an external amp was that I found that the amp part was just shy of being able to drive the DT-1990 properly, and the bass response was somewhat weak in parts of the lower registers. I retested today after applying the new firmware, and now the amp output is stronger, and the bass levels woke up.

    In fact, I'm finding it difficult to tell the difference between the G6 amp, and the Asgard 3 at equal volume level. :golf applauds: So I have to say the new firmware fixed a few things undocumented.
     
  4. Robbo9999

    Robbo9999 Ancient Guru

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    Hmm, I wondered if the new firmware had changed the sound signature too, but I had changed the volume levels on my JDS Labs Atom headphone amp inbetween testing before and after. Although, the line out shouldn't really have it's sound signature changed because audiosciencereview website tested the linearity (frequency response) over the range of frequencies and it was completely neutral accross all frequencies for the Line Out....so I hope it's still like that, because that's one reason why I bought the G6. Hopefully the firmware update only changed the built-in headphone amp of the G6 rather than the Line Out....if in fact it really has changed anything to do with sound signature at all.

    EDIT: did a bit more listening with the latest firmware (through the Line Out)...it's possible that the base is sounding more hollow and emphasised with this firmware, although it's hard to tell without flipping between the firmwares in one listening session (if it's possible to downgrade the firmware to the previous version?). If this is the case, then I'm not a big fan of this new firmware, I think it sounds looser and obscures some detail...again hard to tell if this is a placebo or not. But reading my post yesterday I was ok with the new firmware for sound, but I did notice there was a bit more attack in the sound, but I thought that was just because I'd changed/increased the volume on my headphone amp.....hmm, not sure what to think...would have to flip between firmwares and test...another time perhaps.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020

  5. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    Line Out sounds the same here. Only the amp out changed.
     
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  6. Robbo9999

    Robbo9999 Ancient Guru

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    Well I hope so, because just now I tried installing the old firmware to see if I could do a sound comparison on one particular track I know that should highlight any changes in base....thing is it won't let me install the old firmware, it just says a newer firmware is installed and won't install the old firmware. Are you a member over on audiosciencereview? Maybe someone could get that guy to retest the G6 with the new firmware...just to confirm that linearity of the Line Out is not changed.
    https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...w-and-measurements-of-sound-blasterx-g6.7016/

    Surround sound gaming working fine though with the new firmware, I tested just now in BF1, so it hasn't messed up virtual 7.1 for sound positioning.

    EDIT: I decided to join that forum at that link above and I've asked the guy who's testing it if he could apply the new firmware and re-test the Linearity, here be my post there:
    https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...measurements-of-sound-blasterx-g6.7016/page-7

    EDIT #2: apparently it is possible to revert to the old firmware. You just run the firmware through the Command Prompt and type /f on the end of it. I've not tried reverting it to the old firmware yet, but apparently that procedure works according to some Reddit posts.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
  7. Robbo9999

    Robbo9999 Ancient Guru

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    @Chastity , I received a response from Creative after I asked them if they changed the "sound signature" of the device at all in the new firmware (because I thought I heard more bass)...they came back to me and confirmed that they haven't changed anything like that, so I'm pleased to hear they've not changed anything to do with the sound signature. This is what he said copy & pasted:

    "According to our firmware engineer, we have not changed anything to the G6 in terms of sound signature.
    We have also not received any sort of similar feedback from other users in regards to this."

    I think I imagined a sound difference!
     
  8. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    UPDATE: Since getting the G6, I've had the opportunity to expand my system, and experiment with other DACs and other gear. In doing so, and comparing them to the G6 output, I discovered some of the more subtle flaws of the device:

    1) Line-Out analog is a bit dry. This is typical if the DAC is generating some odd order harmonics. (IMHO) I don't have a spectrometer to test with. I added a tube preamp to the setup, and that addressed the dry mids/lower treble.

    2) I recently purchased a new stand alone DAC: the SMSL M300 MKII. thi sbaby sports the AKM 4497, and the sound signature and quality meshes incredibly well with the DT-1990 Pro. I still use the G6 as my virtualizer, and output using it's toslink out to the SMSL. So far, I've only been able to output up to 48KHz over toslink, despite the software mentioning it should support up to 24/96. SMSL manual says it supports 24/192. Going to chat with Creative on their Reddit about this.
     
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  9. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Your toslink cable might be part of the problem.
    I had trouble finding one that would work at higher than 16/48 on all my Oppos, neither of the 24/192 cables I bought worked well.
    Only one of 4 cables would work at 24/96 on all 3 Oppos and did 24/192 on one Oppo, this was an age old really long cable that came with a Creative labs sound card which used adapters.
    The snugness of the fit and the angle matter, and if the cable has been kinked ever.
    Optical can be a weird fish.
     
  10. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    Add to that I need 3.5mm plugs on both ends. OK, time to play with cables and adapters.
     

  11. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    Current setup pics:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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  13. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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  14. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    I got that for myself. :p
     
  15. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    I see :)
    At that price I would be surprised if it did over 96KHz, even 96KHz could be a problem.
    See if you can borrow a much better cable known to work at 192KHz.
     

  16. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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  17. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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  18. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    let's wait for the other one first. GE is selling it as a high-end performer, plus I get my stim money next week
     
  19. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    UPDATE: GE cable arrived, and verified that it will transfer up to 24/96 PCM. Unfortunately no matter what I config the G6 to, the output from SPDIF-Out is limited to 48KHz. And the resampling it does is not the greatest quality either. (Comparing outputs I've discovered the output affected tonality.)

    So I've had to reconfig my system to eliminate the G6 as part of my output chain. I am very upset over this, as my original long-term plan was to use the G6 as a high-quality virtualizer, and it fails so hard on this one point, and a very important one it is. Especially since the software says it's capable of 24/96 PCM.

    I've since gotten to testing other solutions for virtualization, and for music, the software that comes with my Asus motherboard, Sonic Studio III has been a good alternative for my music playback. Connect it to your new DAC output, and configure it as a Headphone. Now any multichannel sources will be mixed to HRTF 2.0, and will maintain the integrity of the original bitdepth and sampling rate. My DVD-A sources have sounded the best on headphones so far. Unfortunately, it doesn't set Windows Audio to 7.1, so any game that doesn't have an override will only do stereo. For these games, use a Windows Spatial Audio compatible application. I have both Dolby Access and DTS Headphone:X, so I can use either depending on game options or preference.

    The fact that Sonic Studio III even allows you to interface it with other solutions other than just the onboard audio is an excellent feature, and I applaud Asus and the developers for having such an option available.
     
  20. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    spdif is only capable of 48khz multichannel, what made you think it could do more?
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020

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