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post #21 of 29
You can get the Zhaolu either directly from Hong Kong here, from Audio Magus, or keep an eye out on Head-fi for a used deal. Note that there are two variants of the D2.5, the D2.5A variant uses an Analogue Devices DAC, the D2.5C variant uses Cirrus Logic DAC. Some prefer the sound of the cheaper AD chip.

As for discussions threads there are too many to post, a search on Head-fi will do a lot of good.
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post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aura View Post
Massive ZERO discussion thread. Check eBay for purchasing.

Beresford '7510.

That takes care of 2 of them anyhow. Searching through Head-Fi will normally yield the most relevant results.
Again Prelude vs The Beresford 7510 very similar price range.

And thing is If you have a Prelude and going to use the Beresford DAC to bypass your soundcard id say the difference in sound quality would be very minimal.
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
So far, this is getting confusing. So lets start over.

Should I get a new Sound Card or get an Amp. And provide links, also I don't want to use paypal.
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post #24 of 29
get an amp first. You already have a decent sound card. Then you can get a DAC. I wouldn't get one of the DAC/Amp combos that people have been touting. yes, they're great entry level DACs, but the headphone amps are typically lacking...

If you want something in a single box you could go a route with a nice DIY DAC and DIY headphone amp. You could feasibly put something together for around $250ish+ depending on what you decided to use and then the parts.
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post #25 of 29
I just tried amping the analogue out from my X-Merdian with the VHP-2. It sounded pretty good, but I lost quite a bit of transparency and there was more noise. The sound from my D2.5C was a lot cleaner, even with the built in head amp the sound was still more preferable to me.

So I would still get a DAC before the amp, considering garbage in = garbage out. If you amplify a noisy signal like the analogue out from a sound card, you're just gonna get more noise. And an outboard DAC would lower the noise floor by a good margin compared to the Prelude.
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post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by soloz2 View Post
get an amp first. You already have a decent sound card. Then you can get a DAC. I wouldn't get one of the DAC/Amp combos that people have been touting. yes, they're great entry level DACs, but the headphone amps are typically lacking...

If you want something in a single box you could go a route with a nice DIY DAC and DIY headphone amp. You could feasibly put something together for around $250ish+ depending on what you decided to use and then the parts.
No one's saying that a DAC/Amp combo is a be-all end-all solution, just that it might work for a temporary setup, especially with his reasonably easy to drive headphones. I'm not saying don't get an amp, I'm saying get a good external source before an amp.
post #27 of 29
Just my 2 cents but you should be fine with what you have atm. I'm happy with my ad700's + x-fi . When I decide to drop more money on audio I want to get these:

http://www.audiocubes.com/product_re...eviews_id=2020
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/produ...ace?sku=242516
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...lifier-289765/

I hope that will be a good setup but I will ask when the time comes. I don't think I really need the dac/amp with the ad700's+x-fi.

Then again I'm one of those people that doesn't piece stuff together over time. I just decide "I want this" ask around+research and then buy it all at once.
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post #28 of 29
Yes, crap in = crap out. however, the OP's sound card isn't exactly putting out crap either. I wouldn't go that far... lol. A nice amp will be the logical next step. The OP can get a cheapish USB DAC for now, or wait and have the choice of a DAC w/ integrated headphone amp, or a standalone DAC when he/she is ready.

An Alien DAC can be built for under $100
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post #29 of 29
I was just offering my personal experience with the X-Meridian, the SQ is pretty comparable between the two, even the sound signature is rather similar. I ended up staying with the X-Merdian because I prefered it more. "Garbage" is relative, the Prelude is as far opposite of it as you can go with sound cards, but the noise floor is not comparable to outboard solutions. Even my Zhaolu was dead silent up until 90% volume, but I can hear background noises with the X-Meridian at around 70% volume.
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