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Dissapointed in my new Sennheiser HD 595's :( - Page 2

post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexa View Post
Gonna try to grab a flac ripper now and see if it makes a difference.
FLAC may not make a difference, if you've already tested raw CD media.

Another thing, I would test is a different DAC. If you have access to a high(er) end soundcard/standalone-CD-player/DAC/etc. The DAC in your soundcard may just stink, or the amp in said card may stink. Now your card is/was top-end a few years back by price, however I have yet to see a picky audiophile review of it (tho I have not had a chance to look very hard). Mid and hifi equipment can sound better...but it will also bring out the short comings of your gear/sources to the forefront. And to make it sound as good as it can, you need a chain of things to drive it.

I have a pair of 555s modded into 595s and am quite pleased with my Essence STX driving it.
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post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexa View Post
I have a fairly decent sound card imo. How is a Soundblaster X-Fi Platinum not a good sound card?
Great sound card, but I can't find anything that says it has a headphone amp. I'm pretty sure that's the problem.
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post #13 of 46
Thread Starter 
If I were to get a headphone amp would that bypass the sound card? I'm thinking it wouldn't correct?
post #14 of 46
You shouldn't need anything more than you already have. Don't just throw more money at it to see if the problem corrects itself.

Maybe there is no problem. Depending on the type of music you listen to and your own audio needs, you might not need a pair of high-end headphones. Nothing to get fussy about, you're just going to save some money.

Now, if you heard a friend's setup and thought it sounded great and you decided you wanted to step into the world of hi-fi, then there might be a problem. But it just sounds like hi-fi isn't for you.

Edit:
I've had experience with Swan D1080 speakers and Sennheiser HD598s on laptop integrated sound and on an Audinst HUD-MX1 amp/DAC.

I assure you, there is still a huge difference between earbuds on any piece-of-crap DAC/amp and higher-end headphones. His sound card is definitely NOT the problem.
Edited by flushentitypacket - 10/24/11 at 7:04am
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post #15 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hexa View Post
If I were to get a headphone amp would that bypass the sound card? I'm thinking it wouldn't correct?
Amplifiers are built in to the sound card. Without an amplifier, you would get an inaudible signal to your headphones.

If you got a dedicated headphone amp, you'd want to plug it into a line-out from your sound card, which would bypass the built-in amplifier of the sound card, reducing the card's role to DAC-only (digital-to-analog converter).

I haven't seen any sound cards with such a feature, but it might exist.
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post #16 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by flushentitypacket View Post
Amplifiers are built in to the sound card. Without an amplifier, you would get an inaudible signal to your headphones.

If you got a dedicated headphone amp, you'd want to plug it into a line-out from your sound card, which would bypass the built-in amplifier of the sound card, reducing the card's role to DAC-only (digital-to-analog converter).

I haven't seen any sound cards with such a feature, but it might exist.
Not entirely true. you're confusing a DAC with an amp. The DAC is what creates the signal for the output device. The amp is what boosts the power to the output device based on the output signal.

You on-board sound card will almost never have a headphone amp. A lot of high-end sound cards won't have a headphone amp either, simply just the DAC's because a lot of times you will be plugging in an external AMP/receiver for a speaker system.
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post #17 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by axipher View Post
Not entirely true. you're confusing a DAC with an amp. The DAC is what creates the signal for the output device. The amp is what boosts the power to the output device based on the output signal.

You on-board sound card will almost never have a headphone amp. A lot of high-end sound cards won't have a headphone amp either, simply just the DAC's because a lot of times you will be plugging in an external AMP/receiver for a speaker system.
No, you're confusing a DAC/amp with a DAC. Amplification is absolutely necessary to produce any sound at all from a speaker.
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post #18 of 46
A DAC itself still outputs an line-level analog voltage. I guess I wasn't completely clear, I wasn't saying that the sound card has no amp at all. I said that it didn't have a head phone amp on it, I never said that it didn't have an amp at all. But a DAC's output can easily be fed to an external amp, like those found in speakers that have a seperate power source without needing to go through an amp before the speaker system since it has it's own.

In regards to the original post, the Soundblaster X-Fi could very well have a very basic amp on it to provide enough output to a basic speaker or headphone with no external power, but it has nowhere near enough output power to properly power a high-end headphone.

So back to the original post, your current sound card has enough power for your basic $20 dollar set of full ear Koss headphones, but not enough for your Sennheiser HD 595's.

You will need either an external headphone amp, I'm pretty sure there are some USB powered ones. But some of them may not play nice with any Virtual surround (5.1 or 7.1) that you want to use with your headphones.

My recomendation is still a sound card like the Asus Xonar DG for $20 to power your headphones, and you could still use your current sound card for an actual speaker system, or try to sell it.
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post #19 of 46
Isn't the impedance on 595's only like 32 Ohms? You don't need a dedicated amp for that. As for the reason $20 Koss sound just as good, it would sound like a source thing to me. But since the OP says he has listened to cd's directly, I'm not sure.

Since you got the 595's, have you gone back to hear the Koss? My guess is that they will sound like garbage after you have heard the 595.
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post #20 of 46
Try plugging them into a receiver or something to see if you can tell a difference. Most receivers have a built-in headphone amp so you can try and gauge sound quality, although mediocre receivers might not be the best either.

I still use my HD590s to this day. Haven't felt a need to upgrade as they handle anything I am able to throw at them. The majority of the time I use them on the headphone out on the back of my Titanium HD without an issue. They used to run through my Audigy 2 ZS without issue as well.
 
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