Sound BlasterX G6 Reviewed

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by cageymaru, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. cageymaru

    cageymaru [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    19,814
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Audio Science Review has tested the Sound BlasterX G6 and found it to be surprisingly good for a budget device in a feature-filled package. During DAC testing it was discovered that the device's SINAD would rocket up to 112 dB if the level was dialed down by 2 dBFS (digitally.) Linearity was spot on but intermodulation distortion was a concern. Amirm discovered that dialing down the device by 2dBFS fixed the issue. He speculated that "The G6 is USB powered and likely doesn't have enough capacitance in its DC input to ride out the lasting peaks at low frequencies."

    The headphone amplifier measured great, and the output was decent but "there is no sensation of infinite power and you would be operating near or at max volume" when using the amp with a pair of Sennheiser HD-650 headphones. The last issue that irritated him was the lack of a properly working ASIO driver on Creative's website. He really liked the Sound BlasterX G6 and the review is full of charts and measurements conducted with a $28,300 Audio Precision APx555.

    ADC Audio Measurements
    I was pleased that feeding the G6 2 volt, resulted in 0 dBFS showing no overflow. Performance though is not all that great with SINAD in the high 70s. We have lots of distortion components together with mains leakage. Compared to high-end products, we are short some 40 dB! Definitely not splitting hairs here.
     
    Solhokuten likes this.
  2. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,440
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    At this point I don't understand how creative Labs is still in business. If I want more than a realtek soundcard I'm going to get a professional usb or toslink DAC. Not some cheap imitation from soundblaster.
     
    Ur_Mom, TitaniumLizzard, Maxx and 6 others like this.
  3. Jim Kim

    Jim Kim 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,510
    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    It had me at usb powered.
     
    Armenius likes this.
  4. PenGunn

    PenGunn Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    349
    Joined:
    May 30, 2013
    Always buy the Seasonic! Never ever buy anything from Creative! Simple rules to live by. ;)
     
  5. [21CW]killerofall

    [21CW]killerofall Aliens...

    Messages:
    3,072
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    I am still using a Sound Blaster Z (which replaced my X-Fi) and I think that it will be the last dedicated sound card I own as when it dies, I plan on going back to onboard, which I haven't done since my Asus A7N8X Deluxe 16 or so years ago (fuck, I feel old now).
     
  6. Dion

    Dion 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,721
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    You will regret this. Onboard is still junk. Get a USB DAC.
     
  7. [21CW]killerofall

    [21CW]killerofall Aliens...

    Messages:
    3,072
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    It would have to be one that can output native 5.1 and not cost more than whatever internal card Creative Labs has as I use a 5.1 home theater system for my PC (fuck headphones).
     
  8. viivo

    viivo [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,311
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Yes, Audio "Science," where it is a clearly stated belief by the reviewer that burning in solid state electronics makes them sound better.
     
  9. Comixbooks

    Comixbooks Ignore Me

    Messages:
    13,685
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Everyone is waiting on the AE-9 :D
     
    TheMadHatterXxX likes this.
  10. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,610
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    The evga sound card has rediculous reviews. I've considered it. I have a g5 and it's a great dac. People that compare these to 1000 dollar setups.. come on really?

    They can push my Hifiman he400i pretty hard.
     
    Armenius and Solhokuten like this.
  11. Trimlock

    Trimlock [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    15,158
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    duuuude you have to loosen up those ones and zeros, I just hope he preconditioned his pure copper wires first or that would of thrown off everything!

    All joking aside, all a DAC needs to do is deliver sound from whatever connection you use and NOT input distortion. Almost every DAC these days has a super low noise floor that unless you are using some ultra sensitive Pro audio driver you won't be able to tell its there.
     
    GoodBoy and MyNameIsAlex like this.
  12. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,628
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Most USB DACs I've seen at the same price as a Sound Blaster Z are, frankly, crap. And TOSLINK needs to die, given it's limited to Stereo/Dolby formats due to its crap bandwidth.
     
  13. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    11,695
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    It's more than we'll ever need for stereo, and it's an established means of breaking potential ground loops that USB can introduce.

    Need more than that, use HDMI and bitstream surround.
     
    criccio, tesfaye and daglesj like this.
  14. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,106
    Joined:
    May 7, 2005

    The $1000 setups only have $50 worth of electronics in them. Digital tech is a great leveller.
     
  15. MyNameIsAlex

    MyNameIsAlex Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    313
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2019
    I was just checking around on an AV hobby site, a projecter is like 15k$, they can afford it
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019
  16. IdiotInCharge

    IdiotInCharge [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    11,695
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    For a great projector, I believe it- there's a huge difference between a top-end projector and something that throws up powerpoints in an office.

    But for sound, that threshold is far lower...
     
  17. Solhokuten

    Solhokuten [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,231
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Been rocking mine for a while now. Works great with the Hifiman HE400S.
     
  18. YeuEmMaiMai

    YeuEmMaiMai [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    15,073
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    they are still big in asia...
     
  19. TheMadHatterXxX

    TheMadHatterXxX 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,884
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    AE9 needs RGB. No RGB no buy.
     
  20. Snowdog

    Snowdog [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,352
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2006
    Toslink BW is 125 Mbit/s, which seems like plenty for high quality multichannel sound, CD-Audio is only ~1.5Mbit/s for stereo, so you should be able to do over 100 channels of uncompressed CD quality in Toslink BW. BW is NOT the problem.

    The problem is the SPDIF protocol was never updated, and instead they put the high quality sound down HDMI cables which IMO, sucks. I much prefer audio and video on separate cables, and what do Audio only devices use for digital outputs?
     
    Revdarian likes this.
  21. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,440
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    That's why I prefaced with the word "professional", as in ones that are spec'd for studio grade quality and have actual quality parts, like Japanese caps in them and other proper filtering, higher impedance support, etc.

     
  22. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,440
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    How so?

     
  23. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,741
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    I use the soundblaster AE-5 and have been pretty happy with it. Not sure I have a place for this though but a good read none-the-less.
     
  24. YeuEmMaiMai

    YeuEmMaiMai [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    15,073
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    because they still make things that people want over there. Microsoft killed the sound market here with Vista as no more direct integration into the HAL and that meant no hardware accelerated sound....None of the big players are around anymore in this market.
     
    BloodyIron likes this.
  25. MyNameIsAlex

    MyNameIsAlex Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    313
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2019
    I remember I used to take apart P4, p3 era dells etc for parts, scrap, and 50%+ of the p4 era machines I got in had some soundblaster something or other back in the day
     
  26. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,628
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Not true; only Directsound became a SW only implementation. Other audio APIs such as OpenAL or Microsofts own XAudio can still be HW accelerated. Case in point, Creative created a program specifically to wrap its (non-standard) EAX calls onto the OpenAL API to allow then to work again, and Creative still updates it's newer EFX specification.

    The real reason you don't see HW accelerated sound anymore is that in the age of multi-core CPUs, you really don't care about the 2-5% hit audio processing causes. There's really no reason to do the processing on the CPU then just pump it to an output device to handle the output stage.
     
  27. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,440
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Sure, and can you give me some examples of which are successful? I was hoping you could tell me more ;P

    As for the HAL thing, hmm that's curious. Does the success in Asia derive from higher Linux usage?

     
  28. HammerSandwich

    HammerSandwich [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,116
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    If you want high-quality stereo, too, use Voicemeeter to combine them by sending LR to the good DAC & surround to mobo.
     
  29. HammerSandwich

    HammerSandwich [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,116
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    This appears to be a serious comment, but I can't find anything to support it.
     
  30. chrcoluk

    chrcoluk [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,214
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    since when is $150 a budget sound device o_O.

    How good is onboard realtek now days?

    I just swapped my PSU and it was a massive fiddle removing the old floppy power connector from my soundcard (the connector is almost broke on the card now), and I am curious how much I am gaining now from my discrete xonar dx2.

    I already use an external usb amplifier for my headphones.
     
  31. YeuEmMaiMai

    YeuEmMaiMai [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    15,073
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2004
    in 64bit windows you were no longer allowed to install unsigned drivers starting with Vista, this effectively limited a lot of hardware vendor's ability to put out timely driver releases. It was a bit of time before MS reversed this....

    http://www.osronline.com/article.cfm^article=447.htm
     
  32. {NG}Fidel

    {NG}Fidel [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    6,287
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Never really explained your "Big in Asia 0 post.
     
  33. Lith1um

    Lith1um 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,829
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    DAC's are about Creative's speed now, because they almost never release new drivers.
     
  34. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,252
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Link? I've been suspicious of ASR forever but I haven't seen that gem yet.
     
  35. viivo

    viivo [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,311
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    The first place I saw it was in a review/comparison of the JDS Labs OL DAC and Schiit Modi.

    Even if it's what they consider standard procedure, it's absurd to even mention in a review that you burned in a DAC for 200 hours before beginning critical listening.
     
    Trimlock likes this.
  36. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

    Messages:
    18,901
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    High end DACs and speakers there most definitely is a difference.
    I state speakers because they use solid state components but its likely the loosening of the cones rubber that lets them run in.
    DACs for sure though.
    Cant say I've heard an amp change over the first years of use.
     
  37. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,216
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2001
    Where do you get this "they almost never release new drivers" from? They release new drivers when they need to release new drivers. What card do you have that they have not released current drivers for? I recall being nervous about if my older X-Fi card was still going to be supported when Windows 10 was released, given that the first X-Fi cards came out 10 years before Windows 10 did. Creative had Windows 10 drivers out for the entire X-Fi series within a month of Windows 10 being released... and Creative has released several updates since then. I'm having trouble thinking of a single Creative card that I was limited from using, even under Windows 10, due to lack of drivers. That includes an Audigy 2 ZS from 2003. When you can use 10-16+ year old cards in current systems, on the latest OS, with essentially no downsides, that is a lot more than you get from most brands when it comes to driver support. Not sure what more anyone could possibly ask for honestly.
     
  38. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,628
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Funny, I wasn't aware every hardware device under the sun stopped working once Vista hit.

    Seriously, Creative still has driver signing authority. So does Realtek, Audio-Technica, and pretty much everyone who makes soundcards. This isn't even an argument, but an excuse.
     
  39. c3k

    c3k 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,097
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2007
    Fighting the nightmare that is win10 equalizer (cannot load my x470 Realtek drivers for some reason), this appeals to me.
     
  40. Gottfried Leibnizzle

    Gottfried Leibnizzle Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    253
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2015
    This is my kind of G6 audio. Lawdy, you'll never get any shit when its RMA time...

    denel-g6-52-self-propelled-howitzer-2.jpg