SB X-Fi Titanium HD + logitech z-680 optical connection not working

snuuggles

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Nov 2, 2010
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Hey guys, just purchased this unit:

http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Blast.../dp/B0041OUA38

Am trying to connect to my existing z-680 (older version of the z-5500) set of speakers using the included optical cord. But when I plug the optical cord into the back of the speaker control pod, and select the optical input, the unit reads:

Input: Optical
Effects: Detecting...

and just sits there. If I disconnect the cord, the readout changes to 'no input detected' (or something like that, I'm not next to it ATM).

What I've done:
- installed the drivers for the card
- connect headphones to headphone jack of card - works great
- connect z-680 to card using included RCA to 1/8" plug (RCA r/l go into card, 1/8" plug goes into r/l analog input on speaker pod) - works great
- tried different optical cord (card includes 2 for some reason, even though there is only 1 optical output on the card - whaa?)
- tried hooking up digital coax card output to digital coax pod input using 75 ohm RCA cable (supposedly this is the same as a digital coax cable in all but name) - get "nothing detected" message from pod

So, I am aware I haven't tried hooking up a different optical source to the pod, I'll try that tonight, but assuming the pod/speakers/input are ok (they were when I tested the optical input like 3 years ago), is there some setting on the card I need to select to tell it to send data via the optical/coax outputs? The drivers don't seem to have a way to select which output to use, though the test program you can dl separately allows you to at least pick 2.1 or 5.1, but when I pick 5.1, I get sound out of the front two speakers of the setup *only* if I connect the speakers using the RCA to 1/8" plug.

It really feels like the card is just not sending anything via the digital outputs, but I can't figure out how to test that better than I have.

Help!

Thanks!
 

snuuggles

Member
Nov 2, 2010
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OK, so nevermind. I found that the Creative Audio Control Panel did have an 'Encoder' Tab, which was set to 'off'. When I swapped it to DTS (or Dolby Digital), the pod instantly indicated that it was getting a signal (DTS or Dolby), and now I get sound out of all speakers.

I'm assuming this is because the z-680 *cannot* accept unencoded digital audio, which is obvious now, but kind of lame that I had to do this amount of digging to come up with this answer.

Ah well, got to love PCs.
 

snuuggles

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Nov 2, 2010
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Spoke too soon. All is working in Windows (7, 64 bit). When I watch video on the internet, it's fine, widows alerts etc are good, and the speaker test makes sound out of all speakers.

But no game (so far) is making any sound at all. Not quite sure what to make of it, I had a number of games installed and I'm going down the list and none of them make any sound if I play them.

Is this something I'm being stupid about?! How could this be so difficult? Why didn't this sound card come with the 3 standard analog outputs.

Siiiiiiiigh
 
Mar 11, 2004
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Have you already or tried setting the digital output as the default device? On mine it shows up as the card and also digital output as two devices in Windows. Also be sure that you have the Creative panel set for digital output (not just encoding to DTS/DD). In the Game Mode click settings and then it'll pop up a box and there's a tab for SPDIF I/O (where you need to specify the supported PCM settings, plus there's a Digital I/O and then the encoder options as well). I think you might have to go in and set it up in all the modes. There's several places where you tell it to playback stereo over Digital out (might be labeled as SPDIF), so be sure that's checked as well (assuming you only do digital out to your Z-680s).

They provide two optical cables because it has optical in and out, so there are two optical connections on the card, and since they use a combo jack setup (optical, digital coaxial, and phono/RCA analog) it requires a special cable or adapter, its actually pretty nice for them to provide two.
 

snuuggles

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Nov 2, 2010
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Thanks DS! I actually got it working pretty well last night, meant to update but was sleepy. I was actually unclear on what I did, but one thing I know I did was mess around with the default devices - I did notice there were two, but it wasn't clear which should be selected (one was something like "speakers", the other might have been "SPDIF" - I wasn't sure what that was).

I'll experiment with those other settings when I get home, just so I know what exactly I'm doing. I didn't notice that there was a "settings" button when you pick game mode. It was auto-set to game mode so I didn't really pay much attention to that screen.

I must say, I know that there are lots of features, and that with PCs you kind of are asking for complication vs consoles. But there's really no reason for the UI not to feature a front page with:

1. which port to output to
2. what format to output in

I mean, *come on*, UI 101 folks. You can always have additional other pages with all the details, but it feels kind of like those restaurant web pages with no hours on the front page and an address in a gif so you can't cut and paste it into google maps.

Again, though, thanks for your suggestions!
 
Mar 11, 2004
23,073
5,555
146
Thanks DS! I actually got it working pretty well last night, meant to update but was sleepy. I was actually unclear on what I did, but one thing I know I did was mess around with the default devices - I did notice there were two, but it wasn't clear which should be selected (one was something like "speakers", the other might have been "SPDIF" - I wasn't sure what that was).

I'll experiment with those other settings when I get home, just so I know what exactly I'm doing. I didn't notice that there was a "settings" button when you pick game mode. It was auto-set to game mode so I didn't really pay much attention to that screen.

I must say, I know that there are lots of features, and that with PCs you kind of are asking for complication vs consoles. But there's really no reason for the UI not to feature a front page with:

1. which port to output to
2. what format to output in

I mean, *come on*, UI 101 folks. You can always have additional other pages with all the details, but it feels kind of like those restaurant web pages with no hours on the front page and an address in a gif so you can't cut and paste it into google maps.

Again, though, thanks for your suggestions!

Great that you got it working.

The issue is that Windows wants to handle audio, and so there's settings in the Windows panel, as well as the card's own. While I'm glad Microsoft did what they did with the Audio Stack back with Vista, the thing is, if you've got good dedicated hardware, it can actually makes it a bit more of a hassle.

That's why its listed as two devices in Windows, making the digital out the default is effectively that "main page setting" you want, so this way you really don't even have to fuss with Creative's stuff to get it to work, and also this way whatever programs you have installed will default to digital output.
 

klark

Junior Member
Aug 20, 2011
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hi guys,

please can you give the instruction to make this sound card work with the z-680 in Windows 7 64bits. I cant understand how to plug in the jacks. the Z-680 has 1 front, 1 rear, 1 sub, 1 digital and 1 coaxial. However this sound card has only 2 out? Where is the sub out? Is there any difference or possibility to connect the digital out(sound card) to digital in (Z-680)?


sorry about too many questions, but im stressed and disappointed with this product.

thanks