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Just get an amp or dac/amp..?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, I currently have the xonar d2x soundcard and was wondering if I should just buy headphone amp to run with my soundcard or just get a external amp/dac combo in one. Would my dac on my sound card be enough or would an external dac be alot better, I have had mulitple opinions saying yes and no and am still unsure on with path to take what would you ocn members choose.
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post #2 of 7
Well you get what you pay for most of the time. I have had an Essence ST, Titanium, Titanium HD, ODAC, and my current Bitfrost and I will say the Schiit Bitfrost (connected SPDIF via titanium HD) is the best out of all of them but not by a large margin or anything.

As far as quality goes, I would say they are all close (aside from the regular Titanium) but I had certain complaints about each one. The ST was a little fuller and warmer sounding than the Titanium HD but the HD could output CMSS-3D via line out ports. The ODAC was clear and it did well but it sounded a little thin. I am really liking the Bitfrost because it has a nice, clean, rich sound.

The Bitfrost was $150 more than I paid for the ST (which I paid $150) so money wise, I would not say it's worth it but there was an improvement. The biggest difference I did see was going from a regular Titanium to the Essence ST. The best bang for your buck IMO would be a used Xonar Essence ST or a Titanium HD.

Keep in mind that if you do decide on an Essence ST or Titanium HD, the ST does not provide Dolby headphone via line out so if you are using an amp with the sound card, you will have to plug the headphone directly into the sound card and use that amp over your external one. The Titanium HD will pass CMSS-3D out of line out ports.
Edited by UsedPaperclip - 3/29/13 at 3:16pm
post #3 of 7
He doesn't need another sound card, he already has a high end one. Anyways, an external dac has a different use than a pc sound card, it doesn't really have sound processing, so it wouldn't be ideal for gaming or movies, but it will be superior for music listening. I suggest to get a headphone amp for now, something like the shiit asgard 2 or lyr, and get a dac at a latter point as integrated units don't tend to be the best anyhow.
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post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by cky2k6 View Post

He doesn't need another sound card, he already has a high end one. Anyways, an external dac has a different use than a pc sound card, it doesn't really have sound processing, so it wouldn't be ideal for gaming or movies, but it will be superior for music listening.

Like he said, it depends on the use ^

What headphone model you have currently? any plans to upgrade in the future?
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicPC View Post

Like he said, it depends on the use ^

What headphone model you have currently? any plans to upgrade in the future?

I have the hd 280 pro's which I will be upgrading to the hd 650's sometime soon, my main use will be audio as I am a lossless music freak.
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post #6 of 7
Whats your budget? If its less than $500, focus on the amp first as the xonar d2x has a respectable burr brown dac.
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to let you know that since purchasing the o2/odac combo that the odac is much better than the burr brown dac, just I am hearing so much more detial with this dac compaired to the d2x inbult either way still better than on board.
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