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Divisions in sound, where does the line end/blur? - Page 2

post #11 of 17
While I'm no audio expert and probably have much less experience than many others on this topic, but having the same sound card and several pairs of headphones, let me give you my two cents.

With a sound card like the DG you can probably drive most headphones. That being said, you can probably purchase higher end headphones for well under $500 or less and notice a discernible difference in audio quality between each set of headphones. I don't own any extremely expensive headphones, but I can discreetly hear differences in each pair of headphones.

I have a pair I like to use when music is important to me at the moment. I also have a pair that does ' well enough ' for day-to-day listening (music, movies, games, etc). I also know that I can hear not only differences with music, but in games, movies, etc.

So - upgrading at the source (DAC / Sound Card) will definitely improve the first in a series of audio perception, you should try hearing the differences in the headphones first (in my opinion) and then move on to upgrading the audio qualities of your source audio, starting with WAV/FLAC and lossless audio, and moving to better DAC/Sound Cards after that. redface.gif


And any audio people who really know their stuff feel free to correct anything I've said if it doesn't make logical sense (cause it does to me! tongue.gif).
    
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post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca View Post

Those that can't tell the difference between on board audio and a proper DAC are deaf or have not heard a proper DAC with good headphones.

When my brother came back from the marines, I showed him the Denon D2000 headphones I had gotten a few months earlier. We decided it would be neat to do a blind test using his HTPC he had in iraq, with onboard sound, vs my X-fi card, using the good headphones.

We thought that we would end up having to go back and forth a few times, given everything we'd heard online about how onboard is decent these days... couldn't have been farther from the truth. The onboard audio was difficult to listen to. The sound reminded me of taking cheap speakers and turning them up way too high.
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post #13 of 17
I upgraded from realtek to the entry level xonar and I can hear the difference. It doesn't vastly change the sound it just cleans it up and doesn't need to be driven as hard. A more expensive dac will sound even better but it isn't the first thing you should run out and buy. Start with a good set of head phones that has a low impendance so your sound card can drive them. From there you can swap out sound cards or get an external dac or amp. If you start out with a lower quality head phone, each upgrade will have even less of an impact on the quality of sound
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post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ErOR View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca View Post

Those that can't tell the difference between on board audio and a proper DAC are deaf or have not heard a proper DAC with good headphones.

I don't completely agree with that as hearing music is really a skill more than anything.

So in conclusion the line ends where you wanted it to end. If you can really hear the difference between some gear change then you'll most probably want to go higher and improve on that.

It's a curse tongue.gif

Despite you skirting the issue to be rather neutral, I don't agree. Hearing fine details and minor differences is perhaps a "skill," "Audiophile ears" or whatever else you want to call it. But that initial jump from onboard to any proper DAC is way too huge to just say it's a skill to hear the difference. Like I said, anyone that isn't deaf can hear a pretty huge and discernible difference.
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post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca View Post

Despite you skirting the issue to be rather neutral, I don't agree. Hearing fine details and minor differences is perhaps a "skill," "Audiophile ears" or whatever else you want to call it. But that initial jump from onboard to any proper DAC is way too huge to just say it's a skill to hear the difference. Like I said, anyone that isn't deaf can hear a pretty huge and discernible difference.

Well of course they should be able to hear a difference but to what extent can they hear the difference.

If you can't hear the full extent of the $500 equipment then what's the point, that's why I said to me personally developing "Audiophile ears" are much more important.

It's like having a powerhouse of a car but not the experience or skills to drive the car at it's potential.
Edited by ErOR - 12/2/11 at 8:08pm
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post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy9000 View Post

When my brother came back from the marines, I showed him the Denon D2000 headphones I had gotten a few months earlier. We decided it would be neat to do a blind test using his HTPC he had in iraq, with onboard sound, vs my X-fi card, using the good headphones.
We thought that we would end up having to go back and forth a few times, given everything we'd heard online about how onboard is decent these days... couldn't have been farther from the truth. The onboard audio was difficult to listen to. The sound reminded me of taking cheap speakers and turning them up way too high.

Yea I know what you mean, Last time I used onboard was when I was waiting for my X-Fi HD pcie to come from Selling my STX for a Fiio E9. I couldnt go a day with onboard, I in up playing with the sound off til I ran over to my dad house and got my old Audigy2. Then used that til the X-Fi HD Pcie came.
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post #17 of 17
Ok, got my onboard sound working again, gonna compare AD700 on Realtek ALC892 and an Auzentech X-Fi Forte 7.1. What music would be good for this?

First thing I noticed, 100% volume on the Realtek is ≈ 20% volume on the Auzentech. Knowing that I usually use 25-30% volume on the Forte, the Realtek can't drive my AD700s properly. It'll make it harder to compare them since I have to turn the Forte down a little too much for my liking.

However, this obviously means that onboard isn't good enough for me, so even assuming sound quality was the same, the Forte would be better. Easy win, lol.
Edited by B!0HaZard - 12/3/11 at 8:26am
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