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Creative Revises Sound Blaster Recon3D with SBX Pro Studio

btarunr

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#1
For reasons unknown, Creative's newer generations of Sound Blaster sound cards don't bear the THX logo anymore. Its previous Sound Blaster Recon3D series of cards shipped with THX TruStudio Pro software, which is replaced by Creative's own SBX Pro Studio, in its newest Sound Baster Z series. Post-processing layers such as Crystalizer, Pro Surround, Pro Bass, Smart Volume, and Dialog Plus, are each re-branded with SBX ProStudio prefixes. The company reportedly revised its Sound Blaster Recon3D mainstream sound card with SBX Pro Studio, replacing THX TruStudio Pro, and the resulting product is labeled Sound Blaster Recon3D r2. The card is otherwise identical to the original.

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tigger

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#2
That board looks a bit bare.
 
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#3
Aren't SBX and TruStudio exactly the same thing with different names?

Btw, SB Z also looks that empty on PCB so that's nothing new...
 

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#4
Aren't SBX and TruStudio exactly the same thing with different names?

Btw, SB Z also looks that empty on PCB so that's nothing new...
Yup, they're largely the same thing, and stuff like Surround and Crystalizer were earlier named CMSS3D and X-Fi Crystalizer.
 
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#5
The capacitors quality don't look convincing.
 
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#6
The card looks empty they should try to sell advertising space on it.
 
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#7
This card is blasphemy... waste of money and space.

Use internal motherboard what so ever audio layer and SPDIF via DAC found on ebay WM8741/WM8805 or even better AKM's ur Cirrus for around 60-80$... and you got output minimum same as X-Fi Titanium... as the DAC is same... but have more voltage swing as op-amps feed on higher voltage, thus more beefy and overall you can play around as you wish to get things work as you want... the good thing it will truly sound near 1K$ sound setup if done accurately.

Last card that got my sympathy was X-Fi Titanium HD, Zxr are overpriced as hell and it is kind of betrayal of hardware audio as such. You pay twice the price for a true chip as old EMU's were, and get crippled DAC with some fancy external headphone bling bling stuff...
 

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#8
This card is blasphemy... waste of money and space.

Use internal motherboard what so ever audio layer and SPDIF via DAC found on ebay WM8741/WM8805 or even better AKM's ur Cirrus for around 60-80$... and you got output minimum same as X-Fi Titanium... as the DAC is same... but have more voltage swing as op-amps feed on higher voltage, thus more beefy and overall you can play around as you wish to get things work as you want... the good thing it will truly sound near 1K$ sound setup if done accurately.

Last card that got my sympathy was X-Fi Titanium HD, Zxr are overpriced as hell and it is kind of betrayal of hardware audio as such. You pay twice the price for a true chip as old EMU's were, and get crippled DAC with some fancy external headphone bling bling stuff...
I couldn't agree more. Creative saw major attrition and falling financials over the past 2 years. I guess they see things like plastering a $10~15 worth HD audio circuit over a barren PCB, and selling it for $80, the easiest way out. That said, the Recon3D handles high-impedance cans quite well. Its fidelity isn't much better than a Realtek ALC889.
 

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#9
"For reasons unknown, Creative's newer generations of Sound Blaster sound cards don't bear the THX logo anymore..."
I would say Licensing....

THX is an audio certification/standard and it was founded by George Lucas at LucasFilms LTD, LLC.

After George sold that part of the business to Didney Worl, Creative most likely came across a few hurdles that couldnt be jumped when it came to licensing as THX is a division of LucasFillms and hense the removal of THX logo and any references to it.


This is just my opinion on the matter however and its what makes the most sense to me given the recent buyout of LucasFilms by Disney.

 
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#10
That said, the Recon3D handles high-impedance cans quite well. Its fidelity isn't much better than a Realtek ALC889.
The black humor is, that high impedance cans are quite rare in mass market. Thus the lower the output Z, thus higher distortion if the analogue part as it is crappy made or simply it isn't present at all on motherboard due to high BOM costs, feeling wise it sounds as lame as hugging a rubber doll.

And we all know to drive high impedances you need higher voltage... so again a engineering double edged sword... PC's simply doesn't have high voltages and won't have ever.

This card performs worse on low impedance headphones than ten years+ old Audigy, I am afraid even true Live! :shadedshu.

PCI X-Fi Dell OEM's on ebay can be found for 15$... on 16bit 44.1Khz RMAA they all will perform neck on neck on high Z loop... higher rates that now look good on paper, ehrm... I have no musical material in different discretization frequency and bit depth except some rare SACD Focal collections. So no clue...
 
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#11
This card is blasphemy... waste of money and space.

Use internal motherboard what so ever audio layer and SPDIF via DAC found on ebay WM8741/WM8805 or even better AKM's ur Cirrus for around 60-80$... and you got output minimum same as X-Fi Titanium... as the DAC is same... but have more voltage swing as op-amps feed on higher voltage, thus more beefy and overall you can play around as you wish to get things work as you want... the good thing it will truly sound near 1K$ sound setup if done accurately.

Last card that got my sympathy was X-Fi Titanium HD, Zxr are overpriced as hell and it is kind of betrayal of hardware audio as such. You pay twice the price for a true chip as old EMU's were, and get crippled DAC with some fancy external headphone bling bling stuff...
Seeing you're more of an expert than me: With regards to positional audio (mostly with respect to gaming), when going for onboard audio plus an external DAC, aren't you then borked by the Realtek drivers?
I'm currently using a Xonar DX and Steelseries 7H analog headset, but I'm a bit fed up with the floppy power connector on the Xonar DX, so I'm looking for alternatives atm.
My motherboard has an ALC892 audio chip btw.
 

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#12
Seeing you're more of an expert than me: With regards to positional audio (mostly with respect to gaming), when going for onboard audio plus an external DAC, aren't you then borked by the Realtek drivers?
I'm currently using a Xonar DX and Steelseries 7H analog headset, but I'm a bit fed up with the floppy power connector on the Xonar DX, so I'm looking for alternatives atm.
My motherboard has an ALC892 audio chip btw.
Id recommend a Xonar STX but that requires a 4pin molex, Drivers are bad, game compatibility is bad and positional audio is bad and thats even with tweaked drivers. Ive had an Xonar D2X, STX and been able to test the Xonar DG for a while with a new build for a friend I made.

Id recommend HT Omega cards, but unfortunately they dont have any distributors outside of the Americas so youre pretty much boned in that respect unless a member of TPU is willing to purchase one and ship it to your address for you.

Only real choice for soundcards for a gaming machine or environment are Creatives as much as I hate to say it.

For high fidelity though the Xonar ST/STX, Xense and Phoebus Solo. Creative XFi Titanium HD are the best choices.
 

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#13
The STX sounds like shit, "Drivers are bad, game compatibility is bad and positional audio is bad and thats even with tweaked drivers"

I've got a xonar dx, and it seems fine, but what do I know.
 
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#14
Seeing you're more of an expert than me: With regards to positional audio (mostly with respect to gaming), when going for onboard audio plus an external DAC, aren't you then borked by the Realtek drivers?
I'm currently using a Xonar DX and Steelseries 7H analog headset, but I'm a bit fed up with the floppy power connector on the Xonar DX, so I'm looking for alternatives atm.
My motherboard has an ALC892 audio chip btw.
Gaming audio is dead in my eyes. And btw I do not use onboard at home, I have a Titanium, but SPDIF wise they are so buggy as well so I use pure analog part of the sound card a bit modded though. At work I use DAC + SPDIF gives lot of pop ups and etc funny things and it depends on driver versions even, some have some don't. Very nightmarish and even depends on motherboard due to timing issues. As far I know at last Catalyst fixed their HDMI audio giving same dropout problems etc... ehh... what a world we live in, have one seen ever Realtek's driver change log :D, funny thing, the ones that worked flawlessly on SPDIF are M$ generic driver, you cannot have both worlds.

Gaming audio, well it is a matter of taste... if an explosion or bullet hit sound more or less distorted :p, so there is some kind of reason limit... environmental processing, Doppler effect (witch OpenAL isn't capable of handling), creative chopped this all of now... it is dead and Microsoft put the stick in Creative's heart and killed it by releasing Vista/Xbox years ago, so it is all the same now.

I am concerned more for music and only stereo. And I guess if you fix that department, gaming is also good. At work I use headphones(Beyerdynamics DT-150, because they are rugged as hell for daily use and high impedance thus I don't care for the wire length and output device much), and DAC. I drive ether with a Tube OTL or Solid State output on the end, of course both are my hand made, just depending on sound material and mood.

And the connection using Floppy/IDE cables. yeah I've repaired dozens of PA equipment like mixers or compressors, they tend to oxidize and crack as hell if a high current passes through with time, we solder them to together without connectors, a immature engineering solution indeed.

My suggestion? Pick up a cheapest Sound Blaster X-Fi SB0460 (ebay now 20$) + PAX drivers(plaind driver without bling bling SW crap). Their 4556 opamp will do the job as it should, and drivers are now ironed out, price performance is unbeatable for that combo. And kicks all teeth of this upper Reckon to buy card.

Ideal is X-Fi Titanium HD or seek for Auzentech's Bravura or Forte, they are pricey, but their analogue performance is very solid! Hats off to those guys. And that is what you seek off.
 

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#15
I dunno - I loved my STX, thats why i put up with in for 2 years or something. I also loved my D2X but driver support is sooooo baaaaad
 
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#16


I would say Licensing....

THX is an audio certification/standard and it was founded by George Lucas at LucasFilms LTD, LLC.

After George sold that part of the business to Didney Worl, Creative most likely came across a few hurdles that couldnt be jumped when it came to licensing as THX is a division of LucasFillms and hense the removal of THX logo and any references to it.


This is just my opinion on the matter however and its what makes the most sense to me given the recent buyout of LucasFilms by Disney.


^^^ yep