Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Audiophiles, teach me your ways!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Audiophiles, teach me your ways! - Page 2

post #11 of 22
Lets not get too far off topic guys. the OP just wants to get started in hi-fi and so he doesn't need a debate between SS and tubes, or digital vs analogue for that matter. The OP needs some good solid advise for where he should get started and what to look for.

Now that said. Since everyone here has a computer and uses their computers A LOT, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the OP will probably want to use their computer as source. I don't think they'll be going out and dropping 700-800 on an analogue setup.

So, there are a couple ways of getting sound out of a computer: Analogue or digital. Since the OP already has an X-fi that leaves both options open.
1. Analogue output... he'll want to upgrade the analogue and power stages on the card. There is a thread here on how to do so.
2. digital output... he'll need a digital coax mini-RCA IC that can be had from BJC, or I have a spare. Then he'll need a good receiver or external DAC. The external DAC will probably give better SQ.

Out of the two I would choose to upgrade the X-fi as that will eliminate the necessity for an external DAC and the OP can go straight to an amp

For speakers:
You'll want stereo speakers. Go with a good pair of bookshelves or monitors. Get an integrated amp to power them.

For headphones:
get a good pair of headphones. not all headphones need amps, but almost all will benefit from amplification.

You don't need to go hogwild on cables or power conditioning, but both will help a system reach its full potential.
Darkness
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 G0 Gigabye GA-EP45-UD3P EVGA GTX660 8GB G.Skill PK 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD 640GB & Samsung F1 750Gb LG BD & HD Windows 8 Pro x64 HP w2207 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
FILCO FKBN87M/NPEK Enermax Modu82+ 525w CM 690 Logitech G9x 
Mouse PadAudio
Razor Destructor ODAC 
  hide details  
Reply
Darkness
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 G0 Gigabye GA-EP45-UD3P EVGA GTX660 8GB G.Skill PK 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD 640GB & Samsung F1 750Gb LG BD & HD Windows 8 Pro x64 HP w2207 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
FILCO FKBN87M/NPEK Enermax Modu82+ 525w CM 690 Logitech G9x 
Mouse PadAudio
Razor Destructor ODAC 
  hide details  
Reply
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy2Shoe View Post
By digital audio, I'm guessing you mean Mp3s and such... CDs are digital, and personally I don't buy into the whole "Tubes and Vinyl are Best"... it's a different sound, which most agree is warmer, and some will say more natural...

I find that a good CD paired with a good CD player is damn near unbeatable. My opinion.
No, by digital audio I mean optical and coaxial as opposed to analogue which uses things like 1/4", minijacks and RCAs. I would never chose analogue media over things like CDs. CDs are awesome but even better audio comes from DVD. DVD audio = complete eargasm

Sorry for staying off topic here but I just had to clarify what I meant.
Studio Computer
(14 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 6700k Asus ROG Maximus VIII Ranger Sapphire Radeon R9 290 2x 8GB GSkill Ripjaws DDR4-3000 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
2x 120GB HyperX 3K SSD RAID0 CM Hyper 212 EVO Ubuntu 64 15.04/Win 7 Pro 64 30" Yamakasi Korean IPS 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
CM Storm Cherry Browns XFX 750W BE Azza Solano MX518 
AudioAudio
Tascam US-1800 KRK Rokit 8 G2 + KRK KNS8400 
  hide details  
Reply
Studio Computer
(14 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 6700k Asus ROG Maximus VIII Ranger Sapphire Radeon R9 290 2x 8GB GSkill Ripjaws DDR4-3000 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
2x 120GB HyperX 3K SSD RAID0 CM Hyper 212 EVO Ubuntu 64 15.04/Win 7 Pro 64 30" Yamakasi Korean IPS 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
CM Storm Cherry Browns XFX 750W BE Azza Solano MX518 
AudioAudio
Tascam US-1800 KRK Rokit 8 G2 + KRK KNS8400 
  hide details  
Reply
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy2Shoe View Post
Really good audio isn't at Best Buy. It's at specialized retailers.
Actually, at my Best Buy you can. They have a Magnolia store inside of mine and they are some really nice stuff!
The Beast
(9 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 7700K @ 5.0 GHz Asus MAXIMUS VIII RANGER Zotac GTX 1070 AMP! Extreme G.Skill DDR4-3200 CL14 
Hard DriveCoolingOSPower
Crucial MX300 275GB M.2-2280 Corsair H115i  Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit SeaSonic 650W 80+ Gold  
Case
CoolerMaster Masterbox 
  hide details  
Reply
The Beast
(9 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 7700K @ 5.0 GHz Asus MAXIMUS VIII RANGER Zotac GTX 1070 AMP! Extreme G.Skill DDR4-3200 CL14 
Hard DriveCoolingOSPower
Crucial MX300 275GB M.2-2280 Corsair H115i  Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit SeaSonic 650W 80+ Gold  
Case
CoolerMaster Masterbox 
  hide details  
Reply
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by soloz2 View Post
Lets not get too far off topic guys. the OP just wants to get started in hi-fi and so he doesn't need a debate between SS and tubes, or digital vs analogue for that matter. The OP needs some good solid advise for where he should get started and what to look for.

Now that said. Since everyone here has a computer and uses their computers A LOT, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the OP will probably want to use their computer as source. I don't think they'll be going out and dropping 700-800 on an analogue setup.

So, there are a couple ways of getting sound out of a computer: Analogue or digital. Since the OP already has an X-fi that leaves both options open.
1. Analogue output... he'll want to upgrade the analogue and power stages on the card. There is a thread here on how to do so.
2. digital output... he'll need a digital coax mini-RCA IC that can be had from BJC, or I have a spare. Then he'll need a good receiver or external DAC. The external DAC will probably give better SQ.

Out of the two I would choose to upgrade the X-fi as that will eliminate the necessity for an external DAC and the OP can go straight to an amp

For speakers:
You'll want stereo speakers. Go with a good pair of bookshelves or monitors. Get an integrated amp to power them.

For headphones:
get a good pair of headphones. not all headphones need amps, but almost all will benefit from amplification.

You don't need to go hogwild on cables or power conditioning, but both will help a system reach its full potential.

Currently, I use my Creative Inspire T-7100 (I think, its something like that ) speakers as my primary speakers with my computer. I also have a pair of Sennheiser HD 595's, as I have mentioned in other threads, that I use for listing to music/movies.

About the upgrade to my sound card: What, exactly, will the upgrade do for me? How hard is it? Also, should I get the front pannel for the X-Fi, or would it just be a waste of money?

Also, I was just given a stereo system by a friend of mine. Its a Panasonic SA-PM17. I'm assuming its crap, but I was wondering if there was anything I could use it for?

Thanks for all your help, guys, your great!
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoaDMTGguy View Post
Currently, I use my Creative Inspire T-7100 (I think, its something like that ) speakers as my primary speakers with my computer. I also have a pair of Sennheiser HD 595's, as I have mentioned in other threads, that I use for listing to music/movies.

About the upgrade to my sound card: What, exactly, will the upgrade do for me? How hard is it? Also, should I get the front pannel for the X-Fi, or would it just be a waste of money?

Also, I was just given a stereo system by a friend of mine. Its a Panasonic SA-PM17. I'm assuming its crap, but I was wondering if there was anything I could use it for?

Thanks for all your help, guys, your great!

Check out my FAQ on sound cards, its will help you understand what qualities are needed in a decent soundcard for the best possible sound output

For the Panasonic Hi-fi you could use the speakers with a sonic T amp and it MAY give you beter sound than the panasonic unit itself
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-4790 Gigabyte H97N-wifi ZOTAC 1060 AMP! 6Gb 8gb Corsair XMS3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
integral 480gb ssd ASUS BD combo AC Freezer i30 1x 140mm Fractal R3 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win 10 Pro BenQ GL2250HM Venom warrior mech. Corsair CX550M 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Fractal Design Core 500 Corsair Sabre RGB venom gaming surface Realtek onboard 
AudioAudioOther
Harmon/Kardon HK3380 Sony SS-H2500  Aten CS682 KVM 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Pentium D 915  Dell USFF Intel GMA 950 4gb Corsair ddr2 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
WD Caviar 80gb sata II  Slim dvd rw Stock Copper Heatpipe  2x 60mm Sunnon fans 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Win 2k Pro SP4. HDMI compatible Panasonic AE700 PJ Logitech k400 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
220W external Optiplex USFF w/ cable cover Logitech k400 Onboard SoundMAX 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core2 E7600 ASUS P5K Gigabyte 6600gt Silentpipe  8gb NANYA DDR2 800 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
4x 1TB 3.5" 250gb 2.5" Stock intel 4x Arctic F8 80mm 
OSPowerCaseOther
Advanced Server 2000 SP4 Cougar 650w Lian Li PC70 Aten CS682 KVM 
OtherOtherOther
Netgear gs105 switch 2x Silicon Image SIL3124 sataII cards Lamptron FC6 
  hide details  
Reply
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-4790 Gigabyte H97N-wifi ZOTAC 1060 AMP! 6Gb 8gb Corsair XMS3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
integral 480gb ssd ASUS BD combo AC Freezer i30 1x 140mm Fractal R3 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win 10 Pro BenQ GL2250HM Venom warrior mech. Corsair CX550M 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Fractal Design Core 500 Corsair Sabre RGB venom gaming surface Realtek onboard 
AudioAudioOther
Harmon/Kardon HK3380 Sony SS-H2500  Aten CS682 KVM 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Pentium D 915  Dell USFF Intel GMA 950 4gb Corsair ddr2 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
WD Caviar 80gb sata II  Slim dvd rw Stock Copper Heatpipe  2x 60mm Sunnon fans 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Win 2k Pro SP4. HDMI compatible Panasonic AE700 PJ Logitech k400 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
220W external Optiplex USFF w/ cable cover Logitech k400 Onboard SoundMAX 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core2 E7600 ASUS P5K Gigabyte 6600gt Silentpipe  8gb NANYA DDR2 800 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
4x 1TB 3.5" 250gb 2.5" Stock intel 4x Arctic F8 80mm 
OSPowerCaseOther
Advanced Server 2000 SP4 Cougar 650w Lian Li PC70 Aten CS682 KVM 
OtherOtherOther
Netgear gs105 switch 2x Silicon Image SIL3124 sataII cards Lamptron FC6 
  hide details  
Reply
post #16 of 22
Depends on what you want.

Earbuds? Sennheiser CX300's for $65...
Cans? I like the HD 695's...
Speakers? Can't help you there. I listen to a lot of music. You will be replacing a lot of stuff on that X Fi board. May as well sell it and get a nice bluegear/turtle sc
Zach's RIG
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Opteron 146 at 2.9ghz LAPPED MSI Neo4-F Winfast Geforce 6200 PCI x16 at 600/656 Stock cool G.Skill 1GB DDR400 (512MBx2) at DDR467 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
160GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATA Lite-On 20X DVD-RW/DVD-RAM and TSST Corp DVD-ROM Windows XP Pro/Vista Ultimate/Ubuntu 7.04 Gateway E700 15.4" Viewable 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G11 Coolermaster 450W Coolermaster Centurion 5 Logitech MX518 
Mouse Pad
X Trac Ripper XL 
  hide details  
Reply
Zach's RIG
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Opteron 146 at 2.9ghz LAPPED MSI Neo4-F Winfast Geforce 6200 PCI x16 at 600/656 Stock cool G.Skill 1GB DDR400 (512MBx2) at DDR467 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
160GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATA Lite-On 20X DVD-RW/DVD-RAM and TSST Corp DVD-ROM Windows XP Pro/Vista Ultimate/Ubuntu 7.04 Gateway E700 15.4" Viewable 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G11 Coolermaster 450W Coolermaster Centurion 5 Logitech MX518 
Mouse Pad
X Trac Ripper XL 
  hide details  
Reply
post #17 of 22
the HD595's will be a good place to start so lets focus on a headphone setup. We can upgrade your source and get you a good amp.

the X-fi mod is not a beginners project so if you don't have lots of experience soldering you should probably leave the mod to someone else. You could pay a local electronics shop to do it or someone else who has done several before (myself and others)

It will give you much better SQ. bass will be more well defined and deeper. You will also get a bit more slam from the larger power cap. Mids will be more detailed and sweeter. Highs will loose the harshness that they currently have. Overall you will gain in ways that you really just need to hear yourself.

Then for a headphone amp there are several good ones, but a PIMETA would be a good place to start. it is easy enough that a beginner can build yet complex enough to be a good little amp. I have one that I configured for HD595's that i can help you put together another.

It looks like you're about 6 hours away which is a bit of a drive but you're welcome to come listen to my PIMETA and modded X-fi I also have an unmodded X-fi to compare it to.
Darkness
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 G0 Gigabye GA-EP45-UD3P EVGA GTX660 8GB G.Skill PK 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD 640GB & Samsung F1 750Gb LG BD & HD Windows 8 Pro x64 HP w2207 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
FILCO FKBN87M/NPEK Enermax Modu82+ 525w CM 690 Logitech G9x 
Mouse PadAudio
Razor Destructor ODAC 
  hide details  
Reply
Darkness
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q6600 G0 Gigabye GA-EP45-UD3P EVGA GTX660 8GB G.Skill PK 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD 640GB & Samsung F1 750Gb LG BD & HD Windows 8 Pro x64 HP w2207 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
FILCO FKBN87M/NPEK Enermax Modu82+ 525w CM 690 Logitech G9x 
Mouse PadAudio
Razor Destructor ODAC 
  hide details  
Reply
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by frostbite View Post
Check out my FAQ on sound cards, its will help you understand what qualities are needed in a decent soundcard for the best possible sound output

For the Panasonic Hi-fi you could use the speakers with a sonic T amp and it MAY give you beter sound than the panasonic unit itself
QFT. Whomever Panasonic outsources to for drivers is suprisingly good. I picked up a 5-speaker set of Pana's at Rex's going out of bussiness sale a few week ago, and expected them to be total crap. Got home, and they are actually very nice. Driving them with a el-cheapo Kenwood receiver right now, but once I get the Yamaha CA-800 back in order we'll see what they're really made of. Outstanding for jazz and acoustic. They get a bit muddy on heavier rock, but that could be as much the amp as the speakers. This is some class AB job, recent. Not the best situation for testing out new speakers.
Morpheus Mini
(7 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-6700T SN970 GTX 960 Crucial CT102464BF160B 
Hard DriveOSAudio
Samsung 850 Evo M.2 Windows 10 Pro MOTU Audio Express 
  hide details  
Reply
Morpheus Mini
(7 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7-6700T SN970 GTX 960 Crucial CT102464BF160B 
Hard DriveOSAudio
Samsung 850 Evo M.2 Windows 10 Pro MOTU Audio Express 
  hide details  
Reply
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipp View Post
QFT. Whomever Panasonic outsources to for drivers is suprisingly good. I picked up a 5-speaker set of Pana's at Rex's going out of bussiness sale a few week ago, and expected them to be total crap. Got home, and they are actually very nice. Driving them with a el-cheapo Kenwood receiver right now, but once I get the Yamaha CA-800 back in order we'll see what they're really made of. Outstanding for jazz and acoustic. They get a bit muddy on heavier rock, but that could be as much the amp as the speakers. This is some class AB job, recent. Not the best situation for testing out new speakers.
Vintage audio man 'eh? An old friend of mine had a Yamaha CA-810 and it was damn nice. My dad gave me a Realistic SA-2001 that I paired up with a pair of STV-410M's

Headphones vs speakers is merely preferance though headphones will give you higher quality sound in most cases. The problem with the x-fi for most audiophiles I know is that it's meant for games not nesessarily as much music. I'd sell it, a relative of mine has a high quality m-audio card and from personal experience it runs circles around x-fi in the sound quality of music. Goodluck!
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AM2 5200+x2 EPoX MF570SLI ATI X1900XT 512mb 2x1gb G.Skill DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
WD2500KS Windows XP pro 21'' Dell Trinitron P1130 Generic Micro innovations brand 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Sunbeam Nuuo 550W Cooler Master CM690 MX-518 Fellowes Microban Blackness 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AM2 5200+x2 EPoX MF570SLI ATI X1900XT 512mb 2x1gb G.Skill DDR2-800 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
WD2500KS Windows XP pro 21'' Dell Trinitron P1130 Generic Micro innovations brand 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Sunbeam Nuuo 550W Cooler Master CM690 MX-518 Fellowes Microban Blackness 
  hide details  
Reply
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by soloz2 View Post
the HD595's will be a good place to start so lets focus on a headphone setup. We can upgrade your source and get you a good amp.

the X-fi mod is not a beginners project so if you don't have lots of experience soldering you should probably leave the mod to someone else. You could pay a local electronics shop to do it or someone else who has done several before (myself and others)

It will give you much better SQ. bass will be more well defined and deeper. You will also get a bit more slam from the larger power cap. Mids will be more detailed and sweeter. Highs will loose the harshness that they currently have. Overall you will gain in ways that you really just need to hear yourself.

Then for a headphone amp there are several good ones, but a PIMETA would be a good place to start. it is easy enough that a beginner can build yet complex enough to be a good little amp. I have one that I configured for HD595's that i can help you put together another.

It looks like you're about 6 hours away which is a bit of a drive but you're welcome to come listen to my PIMETA and modded X-fi I also have an unmodded X-fi to compare it to.
Heres the thing: In 4 months I will be going off to college, and I am getting a MacBook which I will use as my primary computer (I can take it to classes, use it around campus, etc) and religate my sig rig to a game station. Since I dont plan to be using it as much in the fall, should I just for get about the X-Fi and buy a nice stereo, or should I use my computer as my stereo? If so, should I keep the X-Fi and mod it, or would I be better off buying a new sound card?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Cards and Computer Audio
Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Audiophiles, teach me your ways!