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About jasonvp

  • Title

Contact Methods

  • Twitch.tv
  • Twitter

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Northern VA
  • Interests
    Big guns, fast cars, and fast computers.
  • Biography
    If *I* write this, doesn't that technically make it an *auto*biography?
  • Occupation
    Network Architect


  • CPU
    Intel 7900X (de-lidded, OC'd to 4.7GHz)
  • Motherboard
    Asus ROG Rampage VI Extreme
  • RAM
    Corsair Vengeance LPX 64GB (OC'd to 4GHz)
  • GPU
    2 NVidia 2080Ti FE (OC'd)
  • Case
    CaseLabs Magnum THX10
  • Storage
    Lots of SSDs and HDDs
  • PSU
    Corsair AX1500i
  • Display(s)
    Asus PG27UQ, 2 LG 4K/60Hz IPS
  • Cooling
    Custom water cooling
  • Keyboard
    Unicomp M "clone"
  • Mouse
    Logitech G502
  • Sound
    Sound Blaster ZxR card, Mackie DL32R mixer, Sennheiser HDV 820 amp and HD 820 cans
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro (64 bit)
  • PCPartPicker URL

Recent Profile Visitors

1,288 profile views
  1. jasonvp

    Creative Sound BlasterX AE-9 : First look and impressions

    I finally got mine yesterday. Unfortunately I have this annoying thing called "work" that I have to do, so I haven't spent a ton of time playing around with it yet. It and its software installed easily enough, replacing my previous ZxR card. I had RCA line ins and line outs running to the ZxR, so that was an easy enough transition to make to the new one. The ACM box is sitting on the floor next to my mixer as I have no intentions of using the headphone outputs on it. I also can't really keep the ACM on my UpLift sit/stand desk; the PC is sitting on a table next to my desk, and the ACM's 1.4m cable just isn't long enough. So: floor. My first test wasn't actually sound playback, it was sound input. I attempted to send a line out from my mixer to the XLR port on the ACM. Annnnnd ... nope. That didn't work. At all. All I was rewarded with was static and garbage every time I tried to talk. I didn't spend a lot of time trying to get that going, so more experimentation will be needed. For now, the RCA lines in are fine. Formerly, with my ZxR, I was using Razer's virtual 7.1 software for games that support Surround Sound (eg: the Battlefield series). It works very well and provides decent positional audio over a pair of stereo cans. I'd have to disable it for games like Rainbow Six Siege that don't support Surround, but that's easy enough to do. I was half-expecting to not be able to use Creative's virtual 7.1 specifically because, as I said earlier: I'm not using their headphone output ports. My assumption was that it would only apply to those ports, and by default it does. But: there's a setting that allows you to apply it to the lines out, and when you do that, it actually disables all of the headphone ports. Cool! So, with it enabled, I did some quick surround tests using the Creative software. I didn't have a lot of time to play any games. The problem is: Creative's software claims it creates a virtual 7.1 device, but it presents a 5.1 device to Windows. And that's all any game is going to see: 5.1. And when I tested the directional audio in their software, I found that the "Side" and "Side/Rear" audio actually sounded like it was identical. Because to Windows: it is. So, for instance, the "Right" speaker and "Right Rear" speaker sound identical. Same for the left side. Again: I strongly suspect that the issue here is that Creative's software is telling you, the end user, "Hey, it's a 7.1 device!" but it's telling Windows, "This is a 5.1 device". That's quite unlike Razer's virtual software. It presents a 7.1 device to the end user and to Windows. And the 7 different directions are quite different from one another. So for the time being, I'll keep using Razer's software with the Sound Blaster. I really do expect Creative can keep polishing this up and get the virtual surround working a lot better. Ultimately: I can hear a slight difference in clarity between the ZxR and this new AE-9. It's a small difference, but it's there and I can appreciate it. Whether this card is worth the steep asking price is up to the individual. I think it sound fantastic, and it has potential for further greatness. Creative's just got some software to work on.
  2. I think they see my grey hair and just naturally assume I'm having trouble hearing. It puts them in the "sell this guy hearing aids!" mindset. Never mind that I can almost hear a dog whistle. Ultimately I don't think they're equipped with the right headphones or sound gear to accurately hit the higher freqs, mostly because they don't need it.
  3. I'm actually surprised you've found audiologists that even test that high. I'm trying to find a place that can accurately generate >20KHz tones so I can see what my high limit is. As far as I can tell, 20KHz is child's play for me but I'd rather that be verified professionally. I just don't know where to go; most of the places around here are set up to push hearing aids, so they're not testing at those higher frequencies. They're just testing in human conversation ranges. As a gag, I went to one tester just to see what they'd try to do. He put me in an "isolation" booth that I could clearly hear what was going on outside of it. With the headphones on. I mentioned that to the guy and he said, "Oh that doesn't matter." Uh. Right.
  4. To power the desktop box, which can provide +48V phantom power to a condenser mic.
  5. jasonvp

    Are you going to buy Creative AE-9?

    Mine's been on pre-order since the day Creative opened them up. I have a specific use case where Creative's top of the line internal sound cards are perfect; I'm currently using their ZxR card and have been for 4-5 years or so. I'm definitely looking forward to the upgrade, and thankfully Creative provides a 15% discount for owners of previous cards.
  6. Right. Hrm. I've not seen MIDI on any of their recent(ish) cards. They are offering an upgrade from older models; I was able to get a small chunk off for the purchase. I agree though, it's still something to consider carefully given the price. Easy for me; I've been using the ZxR since it was launched 6(ish?) years ago. Time for a new one.
  7. OK, how about your entire paragraph: You blathered on after quoting my entire post, and you didn't acknowledge one bit of what I wrote. You're too focused on music (re)production and aren't bothering with any of the connectivity aspects of the device, nor the specific bits that Creative adds for gaming. Their DSP trumps anything provided by <insert USB DAC here> and so does their software FOR GAMING! Further, since this is a brand new product, it's priced accordingly. Creative is going to want to recover R&D as quickly as they can, and the price will likely fall in a few years. You clearly don't like it, so: don't buy it! But please stop thinking your background in "music production" somehow gives you some sort of insight into this whole topic.
  8. I think what I wrote went right by you. We're talking past one another here. Step back from your "holier than thou" please. You don't know as much as you think you do about this specific subject. Read that sentence carefully a couple of times before responding, please.
  9. As I sort of figured, the XLR isn't so hot. I'll be testing that as a line in vs mic in when I get mine. If it doesn't produce as well as the RCA line ins on the back of the ACM, then I'll just keep using RCA for input.
  10. I'm kind of digging the fact that the AE9's external box has an XLR input. That implies an electrically balanced in, which is definitely a rare thing for PC audio. I'm still not keen on the mini-HDMI line that runs from the box to the card though; according to their support it's about 4.5ft long, give or take. And it's fixed on the external module; not something that can be removed or swapped.
  11. The mistake you and a bunch of others are making is that you're focused purely on the DAC. There are, obviously, far more to the entire sound card than just the DAC itself. There's the driver interaction, the external connectivity, the DSP, as well as how the DAC "colors" the sound. All of these things can make a difference in gaming; perhaps less so with music consumption. I've used a bunch of sound output devices on my various rigs: on-board, discrete PCI(E), and external USB. For gaming, I always come back to the Creative line because I like the configuration options they provide, I like how their DACs color the sound output, and: the damned games just sound good through them. I'm not consuming music with them; nor am I watching movies. My PC is a gaming rig, and that's all it does. And for that, I find Creative's sound cards far more enjoyable (there's that subjective thing) to use. I like that I can connect my mixer up to actual line ins and line outs. I like that I can run a true surround sound output through said mixer and use the 5.1 studio monitor setup for single-player campaigns. In the end, I'd recommend easing back on the "snake oil" references and calling those out that buy these cards. Some of us have actual reasons for it and can appreciate the differences they bring. Even if you can't.
  12. It's interesting that they decided to move away from the dual-card setup on the ZxR in favor of moving some of the processing over to the external unit. I'm not quite as keen on that idea as I'd rather not have an extra "thing" hanging off the PC so that I can make use of the RCA line-ins. Hopefully the attached mini-HDMI cable coming from the external unit is fairly lengthy.
  13. Not only tempted, but I pulled the trigger on upgrading from my ZxR. Got a nice little chunk of money off, too. But the new card isn't shipping until sometime in August, so now I sits and waits.
  14. Even walk-in freezers aren't designed to cool in a small locality (eg: the area of a GPU or CPU). They're designed to keep an entire freezer-sized enclosure cold. Which they do, very well. I don't think it'll be super efficient, but the main problem is condensation. The chilled air that will come in contact with the hot(ter) parts on the motherboard and GPU will cause condensation. Even if the freezer has some sort of humidifier.
  15. If it's true, it'll be the quickest MBP upgrade I've ever done at two years. Normally I run them for 4-5 years, but I'll jump at the chance for the old scissor switch keys or something like them. I knew what I was getting into with this late '18 MBP, but it is terrible to type on.