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New Sound Blaster Z card - sound muffled, sub not firing, overall poor sound quality

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello all, I am at a bit of a loss. I recently had my old Logitech z313 sub fail on me. Really enjoyed the setup for my needs but decided to do a slight "upgrade". I ordered the Z623 system (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836121048) and after some tweaking with the onboard sound card (ASuS z97-Pro Mobo so has the Realtek ALC1150 8-Channel Crystal Sound 2 onboard), everything sounded great. I turned off all settings (dolby, eq settings, etc) and was happy with the sound.

I recently ordered a Sound Blaster Z (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102053). Installed everything, turned off all settings on the Creative Control Panel, set it to full range stereo speakers in Windows, and played some music. It sounds absolutely terrible. Volume needs to be near 80% before I'd even consider it loud. There's really nothing but a muffled, tinny vocal range coming through. I can hear the sub trying to fire but it's not doing much. It sounds like the system is both not receiving enough power and the sound isn't really sure where to go. I can catch what I would call clipping where the sound might be slipping back to stereo then to joint stereo, then trying to send the proper range of high/low and left/right to each speaker component.

I'm running the Logitech system into the Line Out R/L input as recommended by the Z manual. No other input provides sound obviously. Before I send this this straight back to Newegg, I am open to suggestions.

To recap, I have done the following:

1. Enabled and set the Creative Z as default sound device in Windows
2. Configured the sound on Windows to be Stereo.
3. Disabled ALL EQ and other sound altering sound settings in the Creative Control Panel
4. Rechecked my connections
5. Re-seated the card

Realtek onboard works perfectly fine as I switched back for the time being.
The Devil Inside
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post #2 of 7
try the headphone-out, to see if the line-out is broken.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I tried the headphone out and got no sound at all actually. The only jack that produces any sound is the Line Out L/R. Possible this card is just DOA?
Edited by sfdxsm - 7/25/16 at 9:16am
The Devil Inside
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The Devil Inside
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Crucial M4 Intel 730 Samsung 850 Pro Pioneer Blu-Ray Writer 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Cooler Master Hyper Evo 212 Windows 10 64 Professional 22inch x 2 Hannspree HF225 Logitech Illuminated 
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post #4 of 7
you have to switch to "headphones" then in the control panel, if you want to use the HP-out. wink.gif
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Win 10 Pro x64  Acer Predator XB240HA(G-SYNC) Logitech G410  be quiet! Straight Power E7 580W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Logitech G403(w/ paracord) Artisan Shiden Snow White L XSOFT  Soundblaster Z 
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thuNDa View Post

you have to switch to "headphones" then in the control panel, if you want to use the HP-out. wink.gif

Yep, did that and still nothing.
The Devil Inside
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CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Cooler Master Hyper Evo 212 Windows 10 64 Professional 22inch x 2 Hannspree HF225 Logitech Illuminated 
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The Devil Inside
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Intel i7-4790k ASUS Z97-PRO EVGA 780 3gb Dual FTW w/ACX Cooler 16gb GSkill Ripjaws X DDR3 2133 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Crucial M4 Intel 730 Samsung 850 Pro Pioneer Blu-Ray Writer 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Cooler Master Hyper Evo 212 Windows 10 64 Professional 22inch x 2 Hannspree HF225 Logitech Illuminated 
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Corsair HX 650w Corsair Carbide Air 540 Logitech G700s Logitech z623 
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post #6 of 7
that is sometimes tricky buggy - better restart once you switched to "headphones".
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Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung evo 830 120GB  Samsung evo 840 250GB 2x Samsung Spinpoint F1 Scythe Mugen 4 PCGH ed. 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win 10 Pro x64  Acer Predator XB240HA(G-SYNC) Logitech G410  be quiet! Straight Power E7 580W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Logitech G403(w/ paracord) Artisan Shiden Snow White L XSOFT  Soundblaster Z 
AudioAudio
Sennheiser HD-590 AKG K712 Pro 
  hide details  
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PC
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3-1230v3  MSI Z87-G43 MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G 16 GB Corsair Vengeance LP 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung evo 830 120GB  Samsung evo 840 250GB 2x Samsung Spinpoint F1 Scythe Mugen 4 PCGH ed. 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win 10 Pro x64  Acer Predator XB240HA(G-SYNC) Logitech G410  be quiet! Straight Power E7 580W 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Logitech G403(w/ paracord) Artisan Shiden Snow White L XSOFT  Soundblaster Z 
AudioAudio
Sennheiser HD-590 AKG K712 Pro 
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Closing the loop on this if anyone else sees the thread. I RMA'd the card with newegg and ordered an Asus Xonar DX 7.1 card. Card works perfectly, although with my current speaker set up, I can't say the sound is any better than my onboard honestly. Maybe if I move onto a 5.1 or 7.1 set up in the future, the card will shine. Certainly has a lower end UI for EQ/effects control compared to the Sound Blaster.

I do wonder if the PCI E slot was for some reason not pushing enough power some how as the Sound Blaster model I ordered did not have an external power option. This Xonar card requires a 4 pin fan plug for power (thankfully my modular power supply knows whats up and had a cable for one). I do wonder if the extra power supplied is making the difference to push the 2.1 set up.

Either way, back in business.
Edited by sfdxsm - 7/27/16 at 12:45pm
The Devil Inside
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4790k ASUS Z97-PRO EVGA 780 3gb Dual FTW w/ACX Cooler 16gb GSkill Ripjaws X DDR3 2133 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Crucial M4 Intel 730 Samsung 850 Pro Pioneer Blu-Ray Writer 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Cooler Master Hyper Evo 212 Windows 10 64 Professional 22inch x 2 Hannspree HF225 Logitech Illuminated 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Corsair HX 650w Corsair Carbide Air 540 Logitech G700s Logitech z623 
  hide details  
Reply
The Devil Inside
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-4790k ASUS Z97-PRO EVGA 780 3gb Dual FTW w/ACX Cooler 16gb GSkill Ripjaws X DDR3 2133 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Crucial M4 Intel 730 Samsung 850 Pro Pioneer Blu-Ray Writer 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Cooler Master Hyper Evo 212 Windows 10 64 Professional 22inch x 2 Hannspree HF225 Logitech Illuminated 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Corsair HX 650w Corsair Carbide Air 540 Logitech G700s Logitech z623 
  hide details  
Reply
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