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is the creative sound blaster Zx worth to buy ?

post #1 of 65
Thread Starter 
I'm wondering if I should get the sound blaster Zx or just the xonar DGX or using the razer surround software would be enough? I have a Sennheiser HD558 and a modmic from antlion which I currently use for playing my games(Mainly for FPS games). My motherboard is the Z170 Pro Gaming from Asus and it has SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC for the On Board sound card. I really new to this and I would like any recommendation and opinion on this.
    
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post #2 of 65
If you want to get the most out of your HD558, you need a low output impedance from the Soundcard/Amp.
No internal Soundcard will provide low enough output impedance, to drive the HD558 without messing with the frequency response tho(but worlds better than onboard, with its super high output impedance ~70 Ohm).
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post #3 of 65
Z170 pro gaming. Spec says can drive up to 300 ohm..
Isnt that enough??
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post #4 of 65
Thread Starter 
how do i check the low impedance from ? And im looking for an internal sound card because of the surround sound feature it provide me to help with my games, And my on board sc can drive up to 300 ohm headphones.
    
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post #5 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by cstkl1 View Post

Z170 pro gaming. Spec says can drive up to 300 ohm..
Isnt that enough??

that is the spec for the headphones it can drive, its own spec for its output impedance is not stated and can only be estimated with comparable products, and that's apparently very high.

Everyone can test it with the program RMAA.
You need only a 3.5mm splitter, and a 3.5mm male to male cable.


then plug the splitter into your line-out/headphone-out of the soundcard, and connect your headphones and the additional 3.5mm cable there.
The additional cable goes into the mic-/line-in of the soundcard.

then choose the right devices for playback and recording in RMAA, and run the test.

the graph for the frequency response will look like this:



(click on "original" to see it properly)

You can see that the ALC 892 onboard sound, with it's high output impedance causes a frequency boost at 120hz, so boomy bass.
And this was with my 120 Ohm HD590's, now imagine the only 50 Ohm HD558(which will react accordingly compared to the HD590).
Edited by thuNDa - 7/4/16 at 5:10am
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post #6 of 65
Thread Starter 
Alright then I should try this up when Im back from my holiday.
So does this means the low impendance means a lower distortion of the signal frequencies ?
Do you have any recommendation for sound cards ?
I just wanted to get a sound card for the 3D sound or the surround sound as I'm going to use the HD 558 mostly for gaming.
    
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post #7 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikejo3 View Post

Alright then I should try this up when Im back from my holiday.
So does this means the low impendance means a lower distortion of the signal frequencies ?

yes, it also depends on the headphones - some are prone to O/I and some are less so(the HD558 / 595 should be about the most sensitive full size headphones when it comes to this: http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/SennheiserHD598.pdf compared to Headphones less sensitive to O/I: http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/AKGK702.pdf - this is measured with rediculous high 600 Ohm O/I tho).

Quote:
Do you have any recommendation for sound cards ?
I just wanted to get a sound card for the 3D sound or the surround sound as I'm going to use the HD 558 mostly for gaming.

Soundblaster Z all the way still.
Maybe Soundblaster Z connected thru optical to external DAC-Amp with low O/I:
https://www.amazon.com/SMSL-SD793-II-PCM1793-DIR9001-Amplifier/dp/B00A2QLPJM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467640670&sr=8-1&keywords=smsl+sd+793ii
https://www.amazon.com/SMSL-Audio-M3-Powered-Decoder/dp/B019Y5TR6O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467640881&sr=8-1&keywords=smsl+m3

I wish i could just recommend the SoundblasterX G5, which has a nice soundquality and a low O/I, but the surround is inferior to the SB-Z ones.
That's why i sent it back, and went the way with SB-Z + external DAC/Amp connected thru optical myself.

Too bad creative had to "change a running system" when they messed with the surround on the G5...
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post #8 of 65
Thread Starter 
what are the difference between those 2 DACs ?
The only internal SC that is available here(Australia) from Creative is the ZX or the ZxR, so should I just go and take the ZX ?
So if i understand correctly from your explanation the surround sound comes from the internal SC and the external DAC/Amp is going to lower the impedance ?
    
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post #9 of 65
I have the SBZ and the HD 598's. Onboard gives a hint more bass, but the SBZ unleashs the 598's super wide sound stage! 598's are not designed with bass in mind, but I have an EQ tweak you can have for the SBZ software. It will give you punchy bass without drowning the detail or the natural sound of the headphones for it's mid tones and highs! thumb.gif
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post #10 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikejo3 View Post

what are the difference between those 2 DACs ?
The only internal SC that is available here(Australia) from Creative is the ZX or the ZxR, so should I just go and take the ZX ?
So if i understand correctly from your explanation the surround sound comes from the internal SC and the external DAC/Amp is going to lower the impedance ?

ZxR would have 40 Ohm O/I instead of 22 Ohm the Zx has, and yes you understand me correctly idd.
But it's not mandatory to get an additional DAC/Amp - only if you want to know how your headphones would sound, without being affected by O/I.

You could still get the Zx and a DAC/Amp (with optical-in) later.

What would work too, would be to connect only a headphone-amp which has low O/I, to the HP-out of the SB-Zx.

But everything is kind of expensive, just to get a low O/I...

BTW, I recorded a comparision some time ago, between onboard(~75 ohm O/I) vs. SB-Z (22 Ohm O/I) with my HD590's.

(not gonna tell which one is which)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oel2YDgOapM
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