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Goodbye Sound Cards....HELLO External DAC's!!!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hello All,

My trusty b-enspirer just crapped out, so I was lurking out here to get advice on a new sound card. Lo and behold, someone here mentioned that sound cards were a dying industry and that external DAC's were the future.

And I'll be damned if he wasn't speaking the truth!! After much homework, my new AUNE T1 USB DAC / Headphone Amp just arrived and I'm afraid I'm going to lose my job because I can't stop using it.

Got it here for $170 shipped although it did take 2 weeks to come from China.

Not only do I get a buttery smooth headphone / tube amp, but I also get a line out to feed this goodness to my studio monitors as well. Totally plug and play with Windows 7/8. Looks damn sexy too:




Here is a good thread reviewing it: (Just be advised, a lot of the comments in this thread just reek of pretentiousness and corksniffery.)

http://www.head-fi.org/t/633006/aune-t1-usb-tube-dac-amp-discussion-thread-see-first-post-for-faq


PS I know I sound like an agent of the company who makes this product. But I've been around computers a LONG time and I will never, ever go back to a sound card again. This thing is to computer audio what the front suspension fork was to mountain bikes; a new era.
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post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark the Bold View Post

Hello All,

My trusty b-enspirer just crapped out, so I was lurking out here to get advice on a new sound card. Lo and behold, someone here mentioned that sound cards were a dying industry and that external DAC's were the future.

And I'll be damned if he wasn't speaking the truth!! After much homework, my new AUNE T1 USB DAC / Headphone Amp just arrived and I'm afraid I'm going to lose my job because I can't stop using it.

Got it here for $170 shipped although it did take 2 weeks to come from China.

Not only do I get a buttery smooth headphone / tube amp, but I also get a line out to feed this goodness to my studio monitors as well. Totally plug and play with Windows 7/8. Looks damn sexy too:




Here is a good thread reviewing it: (Just be advised, a lot of the comments in this thread just reek of pretentiousness and corksniffery.)

http://www.head-fi.org/t/633006/aune-t1-usb-tube-dac-amp-discussion-thread-see-first-post-for-faq


PS I know I sound like an agent of the company who makes this product. But I've been around computers a LONG time and I will never, ever go back to a sound card again. This thing is to computer audio what the front suspension fork was to mountain bikes; a new era.

I would be rolling that tube asap to a fuller and richer sounding tube.
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post #3 of 19
great smile.gif

PCI express cards are limited in space, weight and power. I don't think sound cards are dying.. just stagnant. i'm sure sub $300 USB DAC are cutting into the pie.
    
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post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

I would be rolling that tube asap to a fuller and richer sounding tube.

Any recommendations? The 6922EH sounds splendid to me. Most of the people on that thread recommend the Russian 6n23p Rocket logo.

But I'm still rocking my MDR-7506 headphones, so I am reluctant to spend big bucks on some Dutch / German telefunken tubes until I get me some Mad Dogs! smile.gif
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post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark the Bold View Post

Any recommendations? The 6922EH sounds splendid to me. Most of the people on that thread recommend the Russian 6n23p Rocket logo.

But I'm still rocking my MDR-7506 headphones, so I am reluctant to spend big bucks on some Dutch / German telefunken tubes until I get me some Mad Dogs! smile.gif

Two things.

1) http://compare.ebay.com/like/160985975972?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar here is an option for a good tube. All chinese tubes are terrible. I do not blame you for wanting to shoot for telefunken tubes though. They are great indeed.

2) Mad Dogs are one of the biggest wastes of money on earth. The mods that are done to the 100 dollar T50-RP only cost like 20ish bucks and some time. The only difference between mad gogs and the T50RP is that MrSpeakers threw some blutack around the drivers and changed the ear pads.

If you want to get a good pair of headphones, then hunt for a decent used pair of HE-400s.
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post #6 of 19
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post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well, I didn't want to get into a headphone 'yo mamma' shout out here. I've listened to a pair of mad dogs and they sounded great, and very very comfortable, and durable. They also didn't seem like they were put together by angel tears and unicorn juice like a lot of hi end offerings I've put on my head. I know grados sound great but they are not very durable at all. But I will take your advice on the he-400s.

I guess with the fact that I use my headphones for keyboard/guitar use and am constantly beating them up, makes me leery of dropping a lot of cash on headphones regardless of how they sound. My hoi polloi mdr-7506's sound great, have a flat response curve and have had the ever living $hit beaten out of them for years. The blue tack mad dogs felt of similar solidness.

Oh, and the 6922 tube I have is Russian but I still think it sounds great.....
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post #8 of 19
I agree with Angel on the HE400s versus the Mad Dogs: there's just no comparison.
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post #9 of 19
T50RP's are a 75 dollar headphone to make matters worse and the modifications can literally be done for under 100 total. That's 200 dollars of profit for Mr. Speakers that a lot of dumb people dished out. I'm sorry, but the people that bought them are stupid as hell.
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post #10 of 19
Anybody selling expensive headphones is sure getting a lot of money over bill of materials and manufacturing costs. Got to make money and recoup that R&D. Designs that are more expensive to produce might not necessarily be better, anyway. With regards to profits roughly equaling the price for somebody to do it themselves, same could maybe be said for some O2 amp builds like JDSLabs' around $150 for what would cost somebody ~$75 to make. Maybe it's more fair to think in terms of absolute money rather than percentages though.

To me it's more that the Mad Dogs are probably not among the best T50RP mods, and many good ones are publicly documented. If they really were one of the best, and they were very durable and consistent in quality, then that would be a different matter.
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