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If it says I'm a noob then I must be a noob


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#1 HughJundys

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 01:48 PM

Hello forum people! This is my first day here. I love computer hardware and enjoy comparing reviews and opinions about it. I hope to learn something here and from time to time be of use.

#2 sam.chen

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:19 PM

Hello forum people! This is my first day here. I love computer hardware and enjoy comparing reviews and opinions about it. I hope to learn something here and from time to time be of use.


Welcome @HughJundys! Nice to have you onboard. :) That's a pretty sick PC you have there. Where'd you manage to find that SB SXR already?!?!

#3 HughJundys

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 02:07 PM

I got it from Creative's site. You need to check them daily. They went in and out of stock there twice last week. I'd love to see a review comparing the ZXR against the ZX. The ZX keeps popping up on sale. I've seen it for as low as 104.99! If it is pretty close in audio quality, that ZX may be the way most should go.

#4 sam.chen

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:06 PM

I got it from Creative's site. You need to check them daily. They went in and out of stock there twice last week.

I'd love to see a review comparing the ZXR against the ZX. The ZX keeps popping up on sale. I've seen it for as low as 104.99! If it is pretty close in audio quality, that ZX may be the way most should go.


Oh, that's interesting. Didn't know Creative actually had stock on the ZXR's yet. I'll be keeping my eye out on their page. Hopefully I can get one soon.

I'd definitely be interested in seeing if I can pick out the difference between the two cards though (ZX vs ZXR). With the ZX, you pretty much have the same components onboard as the Z, except Creative also went with Nichicon caps rather than the cheapo Chinese caps and you get the ACM.

With the ZXR though, you get the Burr Brown DACs and the daughter board. TBH the Cirrus Logic DAC on the Z and the ZX and the Burr Brown DACs on the ZXR are pretty similar in spec. We're talking very, very slight variations on SNR and THD, so I think it'll be very difficult to hear the difference even with very high quality speakers/headphones.

I agree though. For most, I think the Z or the ZX is the way to go. That's a huge premium to jump from a ZX to a ZXR.

#5 HughJundys

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:27 PM

They have different headphone amps. The ZX has a Maxim MAX97220A. I think that is the same one on their Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty
Mine has a Texas Instruments TPA6120, which is supposed to be a nice amp.
They need to sell the ZXR without the daughterboard, I have not installed it. I think many won't use it.

There are two nice videos showing the guts of all three cards. I'll take pics of the outside if people want but I don't want to remove the shield off of my boards.


Creative Sound Blaster ZX Unboxing - YouTube


Creative Sound Blaster ZxR Unboxing and review - YouTube

#6 sam.chen

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 05:01 PM

They have different headphone amps. The ZX has a Maxim MAX97220A. I think that is the same one on their Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty
Mine has a Texas Instruments TPA6120, which is supposed to be a nice amp.
They need to sell the ZXR without the daughterboard, I have not installed it. I think many won't use it.

There are two nice videos showing the guts of all three cards. I'll take pics of the outside if people want but I don't want to remove the shield off of my boards.


Creative Sound Blaster ZX Unboxing - YouTube


Creative Sound Blaster ZxR Unboxing and review - YouTube


Ahh yes, the headphone amp is better. The specs on the Maxim aren't bad at all though. Despite having the same headphone amp, I definitely noticed a huge difference in audio quality going from the Recon3D to the SBZ. Probably because there actually is a real DAC on the SBZ. That said, I didn't notice much of a difference between the Z and the ZX despite the two cards using completely different capacitors. That said, if it's similarly priced, I'd rather have the better caps from the ZX.

Looking at the video on the ZxR though, holy crap! That's one really packed PCB. There's definitely a ton more going on with that model when compared to the ZX just in terms of the components onboard alone.




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