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post #14141 of 35431
I honestly think the only need to go outside your computer for audio processing is if you're getting too much EMI with your internal configurations that audibly affect your signal.
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post #14142 of 35431
Quote:
Originally Posted by friend'scatdied View Post

I honestly think the only need to go outside your computer for audio processing is if you're getting too much EMI with your internal configurations that audibly affect your signal.

I disagree. I compared my ODAC to an Asus DG in my main rig and the Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic in my HTPC and the difference was immediately noticeable.
post #14143 of 35431
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC'ing Noob View Post

I disagree. I compared my ODAC to an Asus DG in my main rig and the Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic in my HTPC and the difference was immediately noticeable.

Were the output levels matched within 0.1dB and driving the same load?
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post #14144 of 35431
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC'ing Noob View Post

I disagree. I compared my ODAC to an Asus DG in my main rig and the Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic in my HTPC and the difference was immediately noticeable.

That probably doesn't have anything to do with it being external, just that it's a better DAC tongue.gif. I find it much better to not have a soundcard plugged into a motherboard slot though, especially since I have a RAID card.
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post #14145 of 35431
Quote:
Originally Posted by friend'scatdied View Post

Were the output levels matched within 0.1dB and driving the same load?

Both computers were set to 100% volume through Windows and running Windows 7 Pro x64 with the latest drivers and the O2 amp at the time was set to 10 o'clock on the volume knob. For some reason, when I bypassed the sound cards and went from computer > USB > ODAC > O2, the sound was louder and more detailed then going from sound card > O2 even when I was using the Asus DG as a pre-amp.
post #14146 of 35431
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy9000 View Post

That probably doesn't have anything to do with it being external, just that it's a better DAC tongue.gif. I find it much better to not have a soundcard plugged into a motherboard slot though, especially since I have a RAID card.

Oh I meant for me, switching to a DAC from a internal sound card made a difference outside of EMI interference. I knew that the ODAC would likely provide me with better audio quality than either sound cards, but I was definitely surprised at just how immediately noticeable the difference was. For crap MP3 recordings though, it only made them worse. tongue.gif
post #14147 of 35431
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC'ing Noob View Post

Both computers were set to 100% volume through Windows and running Windows 7 Pro x64 with the latest drivers and the O2 amp at the time was set to 10 o'clock on the volume knob.

That doesn't matter. You have to measure at the output level, not the volume controls. If either output was greater than 0.2dB different from the other (in fact most play-it-by-ear comparisons are 2dB+ different!), the comparison isn't really valid. I'd be stunned if you could DBT the two with strict controls and it wasn't down to a high noise floor or some EMI-related distortion on the DG.

Learning about controlled testing is exactly why I stopped "upgrading" 3 years ago.
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post #14148 of 35431
Xonar DG powers the DT770 80ohms just fine. You shouldn't be spending as much on your DAC/amp as you did on your headphones.
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post #14149 of 35431
Quote:
Originally Posted by friend'scatdied View Post

That doesn't matter. You have to measure at the output level, not the volume controls. If either output was greater than 0.2dB different from the other (in fact most play-it-by-ear comparisons are 2dB+ different!), the comparison isn't really valid. I'd be stunned if you could DBT the two and it wasn't down to a high noise floor or some EMI-related distortion on the DG.

Learning about controlled testing is exactly why I stopped "upgrading" 3 years ago.

I understand where you are coming from. Unfortunately, I don't have the type of closed "clean" room or audio measuring equipment needed for accurate sound testing, so I play it by ear. For me, the ODAC was noticeably better than both X-Fi XtremeMusic and Xonar DG and immediately so. Ultimately it is up to the poster's musical files and ears though. If we are talking only in terms of amplification however, then all he needs is an Asus Xonar DG.
post #14150 of 35431
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC'ing Noob View Post

I understand where you are coming from. Unfortunately, I don't have the type of closed "clean" room or audio measuring equipment needed for accurate sound testing, so I play it by ear. For me, the ODAC was noticeably better than both X-Fi XtremeMusic and Xonar DG and immediately so.

That's dangerous because it can lend itself to the slippery slope of constant upgrades for what amount to devices that might simply have hotter outputs, among other common tricks. If you invested (or rented) some level-matching equipment, I think you'd be stunned by how little (or none) of a difference there can be between devices occupying vastly different price points.

It's even more stupefying when you compare competitive sub-$200 devices to devices in the $1,000+ range in a controlled and matched blind testing environment.

Volume levels trick the ear. A difference of "richer bass response" and "superior resolution and detail retrieval" and other such psychoacoustic descriptions can easily be attributed to a miniscule twist of the volume knob on desktop devices or a tap of the volume rocker on portable devices.

That said, I do like the O2 and don't have anything against it. It just might not be necessary.
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