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Review and Measurements of Sound BlasterX G6

zermak

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Regarding the Windows volume. I have just checked it using the line in/mic on my motherboard and using my KTB as output with the REW software and indeed 88% is close to the -2dBFS while 79% should be -4dBFS.
 

zermak

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How would this pair with a dt 1990? enough power?
By the number it seems capable to handle them well in high mode (85mW at 300ohm load; and the DT 1990 is 250ohm and 102dBSPL with 1mW at 500Hz). If my math is not wrong you can get little more than 120dBSPL at full volume.
 
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By the number it seems capable to handle them well in high mode (85mW at 300ohm load; and the DT 1990 is 250ohm and 102dBSPL with 1mW at 500Hz). If my math is not wrong you can get little more than 120dBSPL at full volume.
Sounds good thank you! Whats the general opinion on this g6 vs the mayflower arc 2?
 

zermak

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Sounds good thank you! Whats the general opinion on this g6 vs the mayflower arc 2?
There are no measurements of the Mayflower ARC Mk2 and comparing just the data from their site with the measurements here, the G6 is a tiny better in clarity (but I guess both trasparent enough) but the amp is way less powerful (at 32ohm the G6 outputs 258mW with 0,019% THD+N while the ACC Mk2 can do 1000mW, four times the G6, but at 0,03% and so probably more noisy at lower levels). And a note aside; the ARC mk2 can only output 1V from its line out while the G6 can output 2V.
To me with the ARC mk2 budget, and even less, you will have better performance and enough power with a DAC+AMP stack honestly (liek the JDS Labs ATOM stack for example if you want a matching stack).
 

Tup3x

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Or just use WASAPI exclusive mode or ASIO.
Not quite. Direct mode will by pass the DSP. Using WASAPI exclusive mode or ASIO would still go through all DSP processing when not using direct mode.

Also when it comes to volume, your don't have to guess (well, assuming that this is accurate...):
Clipboard-1.png
Clipboard-3.png

88% would be -1.9dB.
 
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zermak

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Not quite. Direct mode will by pass the DSP. Using WASAPI exclusive mode or ASIO would still go through all DSP processing when not suing direct mode.
I am not sure about it or all the advantages of WASAPI exclusive or ASIO would be gone.
Also when it comes to volume, your don't have to guess (well, assuming that this is accurate...):
View attachment 70643 View attachment 70644
88% would be -1.9dB.
Well I was pretty close considering that I had to go through digital to analog to digital to do my testing and I also had to adjsut the line in volumes to get close to 0dBFS al 100% windwos volume :)
 

zermak

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Those will bypass all windows software processing, but not DSP applied by device itself.
Yes, but it must be in hardware, in the device and for what I know all the DSP on any Sound Blaster card (or ASUS Xonar for what matters, I owned both) it's controlled by the software and indeed it will be bypassed if you use WASAPI exclusive or ASIO but I am happy to be corrected if that's not the case (I use an Xonar on my HTPC so I can do some tests but if there are any available happy to read them).
 

Tup3x

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Yes, but it must be in hardware, in the device and for what I know all the DSP on any Sound Blaster card (or ASUS Xonar for what matters, I owned both) it's controlled by the software and indeed it will be bypassed if you use WASAPI exclusive or ASIO but I am happy to be corrected if that's not the case (I use an Xonar on my HTPC so I can do some tests but if there are any available happy to read them).
It's hardware and everything will go through the SoundCore3D chip. It's pretty obvious since it restricts sample rate to 96khz on AE-5. Not sure if G6 used the same or newer DSP chip. Obviously all the DSP effects work just fine when using exclusive WASAPI or ASIO when not using direct mode....
 

zermak

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It's hardware and everything will go through the SoundCore3D chip. It's pretty obvious since it restricts sample rate to 96khz on AE-5. Not sure if G6 used the same or newer DSP chip. Obviously all the DSP effects work just fine when using exclusive WASAPI or ASIO when not using direct mode....
Have you made your own testings? Cause you are saying that's obvious; how?

I have a Xonar DX with its own DSP stuff activable and I can pull some tests but if you have made them already I'll save some time (plus I have to figure out how to use ASIO with the line IN cause it seems I can't use it).
 

Tup3x

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Have you made your own testings? Cause you are saying that's obvious; how?

I have a Xonar DX with its own DSP stuff activable and I can pull some tests but if you have made them already I'll save some time (plus I have to figure out how to use ASIO with the line IN cause it seems I can't use it).
There's nothing to test. If all the DSP effects work (equaliser, SBX effects) then it's obvious and easily verifiable by ear. What Xonar does doesn't have anything to do with G6 or other Creative products. I'm not even sure if that Xonar has hardware DSP.

Also volume control works in exclusive mode. In AE-5 it works in direct mode too since DAC handles it. With Zx it didn't work in direct mode when using exclusive mode.

In any case, using exclusive WASAPI or ASIO doesn't by pass DSP processing when using Creative cards/DACs. You need to use direct mode to disable all processing.
 
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zermak

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I don't have any recent SB to test its DSP and if it is not bypassed but the WASAPI exclusive mode or by ASIO.

On Xonars you can have DSP to apply the various Dolby effects but never checked if it is software wise or hardware wise (they use a CMedia OxYgen chip).
 

Tup3x

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I don't have any recent SB to test its DSP and if it is not bypassed but the WASAPI exclusive mode or by ASIO.

On Xonars you can have DSP to apply the various Dolby effects but never checked if it is software wise or hardware wise (they use a CMedia OxYgen chip).
Well, I have AE-5 in my system right now. Just tested again: all DSP effects work just fine when using exclusive WASAPI and ASIO. With direct mode all DSP processing is off. No virtual surround, eq or other DSP effects.

As far as I know, the C-Media chip is just a basic (USB) audio controller. That being said, I'm not sure if there's any restrictions for drivers process the sound even in exclusive mode. Haven't really checked Microsoft's documentation... Obviously the hardware can do what ever it wants with the signal. Exclusive WASAPI just ensures that it reaches the card (or driver I guess) in bit perfect form.
 
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So here I am again. After months of exchanging emails with Creative, more than 60 emails later and they now have given up and stopped replying. We probably tried every single fix we could think of but no, nothing can solve the random audible pop/click issue with the g6 on my pc. Many others on reddit have reported the same issue on not just the g6 but other sound blaster products as well.

The thing is: the reason why some of you here never had this problem with your g6 is because it is highly system dependent. The Creative driver seems to only have compatibility issue with certain systems and no issue with others (I have tried the g6 with another pc in my house and there's no pop/click). Switching to the default Microsoft basic usb 2.0 driver completely fixes the pop/click, but then we lose the surround capability. Very unfortunate because I like the sound coming out of the g6 but the software that comes with it is just downright disappointing.
 

Robbo99999

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So here I am again. After months of exchanging emails with Creative, more than 60 emails later and they now have given up and stopped replying. We probably tried every single fix we could think of but no, nothing can solve the random audible pop/click issue with the g6 on my pc. Many others on reddit have reported the same issue on not just the g6 but other sound blaster products as well.

The thing is: the reason why some of you here never had this problem with your g6 is because it is highly system dependent. The Creative driver seems to only have compatibility issue with certain systems and no issue with others (I have tried the g6 with another pc in my house and there's no pop/click). Switching to the default Microsoft basic usb 2.0 driver completely fixes the pop/click, but then we lose the surround capability. Very unfortunate because I like the sound coming out of the g6 but the software that comes with it is just downright disappointing.
Yeah, G6 is buggy as hell, it works fine on my desktop but does a number of strange things when used with my laptop. Creative are a major dice roll in my opinion, it's a pity they can't just get their software/firmware right, because I think there's some good potential in the hardware and also in the virtual surround system which I've found to be a really great/accurate virtual surround experience. I'm lucky that I don't need to use it on my laptop and so it's without issue for me in it's use for me in it's home connected to my desktop.

I think users exploring buying Creative should try them and if they have problems then spend just a real short time trying to troubleshoot & then just send back for a refund if not working right, no point spending loads of time with support trying to fix it.
 
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bennetng

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Well, I have AE-5 in my system right now. Just tested again: all DSP effects work just fine when using exclusive WASAPI and ASIO. With direct mode all DSP processing is off. No virtual surround, eq or other DSP effects.

As far as I know, the C-Media chip is just a basic (USB) audio controller. That being said, I'm not sure if there's any restrictions for drivers process the sound even in exclusive mode. Haven't really checked Microsoft's documentation... Obviously the hardware can do what ever it wants with the signal. Exclusive WASAPI just ensures that it reaches the card (or driver I guess) in bit perfect form.
C-Media has some USB chips, but the Oxygen chips are PCI-based.
https://www.cmedia.com.tw/products/PCI_PCIe_AUDIO/CMI8788

Anyway, both ASIO and WASAPI operate at user mode, as explained in the posts below:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-difference-in-sound-quality.7029/post-410516
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-difference-in-sound-quality.7029/post-413398

The audio controller may not have advanced DSP features like hardware synthesizer, reverb engine etc, but it can still have basic features like hardware mixer and gain control. Also, DSP effects can be applied in software within the kernel mode driver, even if there is no hardware support.

VIA Envy24 was also a very popular PCI controller with hardware mixing/routing support in the 2000s
https://www.viatech.com/en/silicon/legacy/audio/envy24/
http://ixbtlabs.com/articles2/esi-julia/index.html

Just how pathetic some budget USB interfaces nowadays don't even support hardware-based loopback recording and multiclient ASIO.
 
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Heh, I never knew about the right click on the volume in the windows advanced settings to change to db from %. I also had not noticed that when using my music player app (MusicBee), the windows volume does not work, but the G6 volume control does. When I am using YOUTUBE or something like that the windows volume control is active. This is using the optical input for the G6, so I found I had to set the G6 volume by ear to a slightly less than wide open setting when using MusicBee and set the windows volume to -2.1db or 87 for when I am listening to Youtube.

Long story short, if you use the optical input and want -2db for lowest distortion of the G6 you need to set both the windows volume to 87 or -2.1db AND set the G6 at full volume by ear and then reduce it 2db while listening to your music player. I am using WASAPI exclusive mode.
 

Robbo99999

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Heh, I never knew about the right click on the volume in the windows advanced settings to change to db from %. I also had not noticed that when using my music player app (MusicBee), the windows volume does not work, but the G6 volume control does. When I am using YOUTUBE or something like that the windows volume control is active. This is using the optical input for the G6, so I found I had to set the G6 volume by ear to a slightly less than wide open setting when using MusicBee and set the windows volume to -2.1db or 87 for when I am listening to Youtube.

Long story short, if you use the optical input and want -2db for lowest distortion of the G6 you need to set both the windows volume to 87 or -2.1db AND set the G6 at full volume by ear and then reduce it 2db while listening to your music player. I am using WASAPI exclusive mode.
Wow, awesome, thanks for the tip on windows volume control for turning it from percentage to db, awesome! Here's a pic for others so they know more where to find it:
windows decibels.jpg

It's clear that Windows % volume isn't really percentage volume in terms of a linear output, they've put varying sensitivities in the slider so it's not a linear relationship, slider makes a lot less change at the lower slider positions - I think they've done that to increase the resolution of the volume control near the lower end. Being able to put Windows volume into dB is a major advantage for anyone involved/interested in audio, so thanks again for sharing how to change it to dB, I'm betting not many people knew about that, me included!

EDIT: it's a pity it doesn't change the display of the main windows volume slider in the taskbar, that's still displaying in percentage, but it's good to be able to crosscheck in the Speaker Properties box (which is pictured above) for the comparative dB rating.
 
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If I play COD Warzone, watch Netflix and use Dolby Atmos, will the g6 work with the Dolby Atmos and improve the sound quality?

Edit: Would you take AE-5 or G6? (only for PC use+DT990 headphones.)
 
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