To indulge users with preferences for certain audio tonal characteristics, the Sound Blaster ZxR features a convenient option to swap op-amps. Op-amps play an essential role in amplifying delicate analog signals and also influence the overall audio texture. With the Sound Blaster ZxR, you can easily swap the op-amps (available separately) to define your music’s tonal characteristics to your heart’s content.
Basically, there are 2 groups of op-amps that can be swapped on the Sound Blaster ZxR:
The stock op-amps on the Sound Blaster ZxR are:
Dual op-amps: New Japan Radio NJM2114D
Single op-amps: Texas Instruments LME49710
This pair gives the most balanced performance in our objective and subjective tests, across a wide variety of music genres, and pairs very well with the superior Burr-Brown DAC (PCM1794).
Although we do not see the mass need for users to change these op-amps, some may wish to experiment and swap the stock op-amps to suit their personal tastes. Here is a list of alternative op-amps we’ve tested and the combinations that meet the Sound Blaster ZxR SNR and THD performance which you can try out.
|Dual op-amps:||Single op-amps:|
|New Japan Radio MUSES8920D||Burr-Brown OPA627|
|Texas Instruments LME49720|
|Dual op-amps||Single op-amps|
The final tonal characteristics will also be contingent on the types of cables, headphones and speakers used. Nonetheless, these combinations meet the strict SNR and THD specifications of the Sound Blaster ZxR and are good for great music reproduction.