Few days ago, I got sample of the new Creative sound card, the Xmod. Actually, it’s based on X-Fi technology: 24-bit Crystalizer and CMSS-3D. It has USB interface, plug-n-play for PC and Mac.
Just a brief introduction here. This is a nice looking sound card. It has a big rounded volume button on the center. Three LED for indicating Power, 24-bit Crystalizer, and CMSS-3D. The upper part is clickable, like a mouse. You can click it to enter the adjust mode (for adjusting the level of 24-bit Crystalizer and CMSS-3D). Two switches are located on left and right side. You can use to activate the 24 bit Crystalizer and/or CMSS-3D.
Here’s the frequency response in normal mode. No Crystalizer or CMSS-3D used.
Crystalizer adjusted on default setting. Low and high parts are boosted around +1 dB. This gives reason why Crystalizer provides “crispy treble” and “thumpy bass”. The mid band is pressed lower than low and high band.
Crystalizer adjusted on minimum setting. Just boost the high band, press the mid band, and not much correction on lower band.
Crystalizer adjusted on maximum setting. Extra “crispy” on high band, more pressure on mid band, not much different on lower band with default level. Not recommeded to adjust Crystalizer at maximum level. The treble will be to crisp for most ears.
Overall comparison between Crystalizer level.
This Xmod can work in stand alone mode. You have to use external power supply to power the unit (via USB converter cable provided). This stand alone mode allows you to use this Xmod as a pre-amp with 24-bit Crystalizer and CMSS-3D function. So, you hook up the power supply, connect the line-out of your equipment (MP3 Player, DVD Player, Walkman, etc) to Xmod line-in, then finally connect your headphone or speakers to te line-out of Xmod. Voila, you will have a nice pre-amp 😉
Added 16 January 2007:
I have seen around that some people have judge that this Crystalizer is just like an Equalizer. Well, on one side, that’s not totally a mistake, but on the other side, it’s not a correct thing anyway. Crystalizer is more than just an Equalizer. Perhaps we can call it a “Smart Equalizer”. I can’t explain right now since it takes a deep research and understanding of audio principle. But never expect you can get the same effect provided by Crystalizer only by altering your Equalizer.