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Some audio advice please :).

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I will be the first to admit I'm not really all that clued up about audio, so I'm after a bit of advice if some of you fine people wouldn't mind helping.

I currently own an Asus Xonar D2X which powers a decent set of bookshelf monitors, as well as a small headphone amp I was gifted a fair while ago, a C&C Box+, which grabs its line from the motherboard audio and drives some Shure SRH840s.

My question is this... with this setup, how would you go about improving it? My first thought was a nice DAC for the headphones, but I'm really quite clueless at the moment and I though I would ask for some advice here to get me started before I start trawling the web looking for information.

I am relatively happy with the Asus powering my M-Audio AV40s, I don't need more than that, but I wish for more from my headphones.

Thanks!

(I actually think I've put this in the wrong place but I'm sure it doesn't really matter!)
Edited by Parsley - 8/13/11 at 4:42pm
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post #2 of 3
Ok, lets start off with something that is probably bothering a few people. Your D2X, is not Powering your AV40's. It is simply sending the analog signal to them. The AV40's are self powered units, meaning they do their own amplifying.

Now, Im assuming you have the AV40's attached to the RCA outputs on the D2X, and your C&C+ attached to the 3.5mm output of the D2X. Which is what I would do.

Next, you do not need a DAC for your headphones, you already have one (the D2X.) DACs are only needed when converting digital audio to analog. Speakers and headphones require analog signals to work, and computers use digital signals, so it needs to be converted along the path. In your case this happens at the D2X, which is a solid card so you dont need to worry about upgrading to another DAC right now.

Now, if you are happy with the sound you are getting from your AV40s, there isnt a whole lot you need to do to upgrade. However, if you wanted to upgrade to better speakers, that would be a different story because then you start getting into the range of speakers that are not powered very quickly. With those you would need an amplifier or receiver to power the speakers. For example, my Swan D2.1se's are unpowered speakers, so I have them hooked up to my receiver for power, they also probably cost a lot more than you are looking to spend at the moment.

If you wanted to upgrade to better sound in your headphones, I unfortunately cant help much there. I know there are better headphones on the market, as well as better headphone amps, but I do not know what they are, and dont want to make uninformed suggestions.

Hopefully this helped, if I didnt answer a question dont hesitate asking something specific and Ill see what I can do.
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
I'm aware the D2X isn't powering my speakers(I guess it's driving!), that's what the mains socket is for, I simply typed it down quickly and didn't really think my terminology was going to cause a fuss, so sorry .

The set up is as you've surmised (kind of the D2X itself doesn't have RCA outputs so I use 3.5mm to RCA, I have been swapping between the D2X and motherboard for the headphones due to connectivity issues), the speakers I am happy with and compared to my old set-up the sound reproduction is much more accurate (I'm not a bass nut) but I really think the headphones could be doing more. I mention the DAC simply because I was wondering if it would give me a nicer experience with the headphones, I know the D2X is a pretty nice audio source in itself .

What I am considering is trying a better Amp for the headphones just to see how it sounds and test the waters, as I'm not really sure how much of the audiophile gear is legitimate or based on "placebo", not that I intend to rock the boat with that statement, I honestly don't know .

Thanks for your thoughts!
Edited by Parsley - 8/13/11 at 7:47pm
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