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post #11 of 54
Thread Starter 
How much of a difference would be the Number Cruncher and the Behringer/Lite DAC? Finally for the Amp, what's the difference between the Little Dot Micro Tube and Go-Vibe V5?
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post #12 of 54
It's hard to explain these things without getting too technical, so I'll just simplify things.

Basically the Entech Number Cruncher 203.2 released in the late 90's for $300 and supported up to 20-bit/48kHz. It beats most modern sound cards in audio quality and is known to be very resistant to jitter. The Behringer SRC2496 supported up to 24-bit/96kHz, DAC and ADC capabilities, and more I/O connectivity than the NC 203.2. I don't know too much about the LiTe DAC-AH, but there are many modded forms of it floating around. It has the same I/O connection ports as the NC 203.2 but supported up to 24-bit/96kHz.

Since sound is subjective, it's hard to say which one will produce the best sound but it's safe to say that they will all sound amazing compare to any sound card. Many people (including myself) haven't been exposed enough to high end systems, so we can't properly pinpoint the precise difference between these, but it's there.

Amps do more than just my your music, it also enhances clarity and detail. Some amps do color things a certain way, like how the PA2V2 puts a little more emphasis on the bass yet the LDM+ is very neutral and detailed. The The Go-Vibe V5 is simply a step above those two in quality. soloz2 is better at explaining amps than I am
    
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post #13 of 54
Thread Starter 
Hah, I usually go for looks so that Little Dot Micro Tube caught my eye.
What headphones do you recommend? (And could I get the M-Audio instead of Chaintech; would sound differ?)

Thanks for all the help.
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post #14 of 54
The M-Audio Revolution 5.1 is a better transport than the Chaintech AV-710. In order to get bit-perfect with the Chaintech AV-710, you need to flash it with the AudioTrak Prodigy 7.1 drivers. After you do that, you will lose all your analog outputs, leaving only your digital out to connect with an external DAC. The Revolution 5.1 doesn't require you to do such and it also has EAX 2.0 support for gaming. Sound quality won't differ though since it's a bit-perfect output, it's just little things like jitter that might.

For headphones, do you prefer open or closed headphones and do you care if there on your ears or around them?
    
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post #15 of 54
Thread Starter 
Which ever is more comfortable and the one that blocks outside noise.
Finally, what cables do I need to hook this up?

I'll probably be shopping around zzounds.
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post #16 of 54
I like open cans better as they offer a more natural sound. They do not block outside noise well (isolation) so if you want isolation they aren't the best option.

some of the most popular headphones for use with computers:

Audio Technica ATH A500 (closed)
Audio Technica ATH A700 (closed)
Sennheiser HD280 (closed)
Sennheiser HD555 (open)
Sennheiser HD595 (open)
Beyer DT770D Pro (closed)

I have heard more about the DAC AH so that would probably be my 2nd choice for a budget DAC.
Another budget DAC to consider is the DAC in box
http://www.diykits.com.hk/box.html
another option would be a Zhaolu DAC as it can be purchased with a headphone output thus eliminating the need for a separate headphone amp.
http://www.diykits.com.hk/dac.html

for the price I really think you can't go wrong with a LDM+ headphone amp. the battery life is easily 200 hours. It pairs well with the Senn cans listed above. but if you do want something better then look you can consider building one yourself or looking for a DIY PINT, PPAS, or PIMETA as well. the sound will depend on what headphones you get.

for cables it will depend on what equipment you get, but here's an example of what I use:

x-fi has digital out in the form of a 3.5mm mini jack so I have a custom mini-RCA digital coax cable that I had built by bluejeanscable.com

in between my number cruncher and amp I have a pair of custom DIY SPC RCA ICs that I made myself. if you go with a small amp that has a mini jack you would need an RCA-mini cable to go from your DAC to your amp.

for digital cables you may just need a standard digital coax or optical cable, but if you need something special like me I suggest you get one professionally made. for any analogue cable you need I'll make you a high quality cable to your specs for cheap.
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post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by soloz2 View Post
I like open cans better as they offer a more natural sound. They do not block outside noise well (isolation) so if you want isolation they aren't the best option.

some of the most popular headphones for use with computers:

Audio Technica ATH A500 (closed)
Audio Technica ATH A700 (closed)
Sennheiser HD280 (closed)
Sennheiser HD555 (open)
Sennheiser HD595 (open)
Beyer DT770D Pro (closed)

I have heard more about the DAC AH so that would probably be my 2nd choice for a budget DAC.
Another budget DAC to consider is the DAC in box
http://www.diykits.com.hk/box.html
another option would be a Zhaolu DAC as it can be purchased with a headphone output thus eliminating the need for a separate headphone amp.
http://www.diykits.com.hk/dac.html

for the price I really think you can't go wrong with a LDM+ headphone amp. the battery life is easily 200 hours. It pairs well with the Senn cans listed above. but if you do want something better then look you can consider building one yourself or looking for a DIY PINT, PPAS, or PIMETA as well. the sound will depend on what headphones you get.

for cables it will depend on what equipment you get, but here's an example of what I use:

x-fi has digital out in the form of a 3.5mm mini jack so I have a custom mini-RCA digital coax cable that I had built by bluejeanscable.com

in between my number cruncher and amp I have a pair of custom DIY SPC RCA ICs that I made myself. if you go with a small amp that has a mini jack you would need an RCA-mini cable to go from your DAC to your amp.

for digital cables you may just need a standard digital coax or optical cable, but if you need something special like me I suggest you get one professionally made. for any analogue cable you need I'll make you a high quality cable to your specs for cheap.
The links don't work.
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post #18 of 54
Thread Starter 
Ok, so this is my future set-up.
Sound Card -> LiTe DAC-AH -> LDM+ (Tube if I can't find +) -> HD280

Sound Card: X-Fi Xtreme Music or m-Audio Audiophile 192

So it's just the sound card I'm having trouble deciding.
As for cables.. What cables would I need to connect for each component?
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post #19 of 54
with the x-fi you would need the same digital cable I use, with the M-audio you would need a normal RCA-RCA digital coax.

for a cheap tube amp take a look at the Little Dot II or little Dot II+ you can normally find them used for under $100. I just picked up a Little Dot II+ and a Sony CE595 SACD player for $150 shipped
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post #20 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot, I appreciate it.
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