Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › [Official] OCN Headphones and Earphones Club
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

[Official] OCN Headphones and Earphones Club - Page 183

post #1821 of 37655
Quote:
Originally Posted by 003 View Post
Don't bother looking for a dedicated dac unless you're prepared to spend ~$1000. Is it possible to get a good deal used? Maybe. Why do people "hear" such vast differences with cheap dacs/amps? Well, you would want to hear a difference, wouldn't you?

Much of the quality that comes from a dac is due to it's jitter rejection. If you want to get serious, you'll need something from here before you get a dac:
http://www.empiricalaudio.com/

(go to the computer audio section).

Also, before you invest in a dac, quality power also makes a difference. A good surge protector, line conditioner and power regulator help a lot.

Power, jitter, these are all things that make a difference in audio. Other stuff which will go unnamed? not so much...
Sorry to sort of put you down, but most people would disagree on your opinions on DAC's and amps. Most audiophiles that I know and on head-fi would say that you don't need a $5000 DAC to get great sound and there are differences between the $100 and the $800 mark. Also, I've heard different high end amps myself and the more expensive ones most defiantly sound better. I know audio is a highly subjective subject, but I would have to say that your opinions are a little off base. For the poster wondering about DACs/amps, I'd advise you'd actually listen to different DACs/amps and see for yourself which would make the most difference and which is the best for the price as everybody's ear is different.
X99 Glory Rig
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 5930K @ 4.4GHz Asus Rampage V Extreme MSI Lightning 290X Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Hitachi Deskstar NAS 4TB Pioneer BDR-2209 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 Windows 8.1 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell 2407WFP Rev. A02 Ducky Legend Black w/ White Backlit Vortex Caps EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 P2 1000W Phanteks Enthoo Primo White 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G502 Proteus Core Func. Surface 1030 Asus Xonar Essence STX 
  hide details  
Reply
X99 Glory Rig
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 5930K @ 4.4GHz Asus Rampage V Extreme MSI Lightning 290X Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Hitachi Deskstar NAS 4TB Pioneer BDR-2209 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 Windows 8.1 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell 2407WFP Rev. A02 Ducky Legend Black w/ White Backlit Vortex Caps EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 P2 1000W Phanteks Enthoo Primo White 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G502 Proteus Core Func. Surface 1030 Asus Xonar Essence STX 
  hide details  
Reply
post #1822 of 37655
Quote:
Originally Posted by 003 View Post
Don't bother looking for a dedicated dac unless you're prepared to spend ~$1000. Is it possible to get a good deal used? Maybe. Why do people "hear" such vast differences with cheap dacs/amps? Well, you would want to hear a difference, wouldn't you?

Much of the quality that comes from a dac is due to it's jitter rejection. If you want to get serious, you'll need something from here before you get a dac:
http://www.empiricalaudio.com/

(go to the computer audio section).

Also, before you invest in a dac, quality power also makes a difference. A good surge protector, line conditioner and power regulator help a lot.

Power, jitter, these are all things that make a difference in audio. Other stuff which will go unnamed? not so much...
Your opinions and advice seem to consistently go against everything I've ever heard from audio enthusiasts. Power conditioners and such make a difference, yes, but not anything special when working with reasonably inexpensive PC-based systems, especially given all the unshielded electronic components inside the PC itself.
post #1823 of 37655
Yes, I would have to go with Ducky's route here. At this point I would rather drop $200 on a DAC rather than continue with my current setup. No doubt there are amazing DAC's that retail for over $1000, but I am a college student trying to feed an unfortunate craving for a rather expensive hobby.

I'll stick to the supposed "inferior" sources to try and have a solid base for my audio line.

I do truly appreciate the input from all, thanks much.
In The Works
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
C2D e6600 (3.3ghz) Asus P5Q (P45) eVGA 8800GTS 320mb (670/1000) 2x1GB G.Skill HK (900mhz @ 5-5-5-15) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD Black 640GB (OS) / WD AAKS 500GB + WD JS 250GB Sony DVD-RW Vista Ultimate 32bit Dell E207WFP (1680 x 1050) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Basic Dell ;> Corsair HX520w Modular Modded CM Centurion 590 Logitech G5 
Mouse Pad
XPS pad 
  hide details  
Reply
In The Works
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
C2D e6600 (3.3ghz) Asus P5Q (P45) eVGA 8800GTS 320mb (670/1000) 2x1GB G.Skill HK (900mhz @ 5-5-5-15) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD Black 640GB (OS) / WD AAKS 500GB + WD JS 250GB Sony DVD-RW Vista Ultimate 32bit Dell E207WFP (1680 x 1050) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Basic Dell ;> Corsair HX520w Modular Modded CM Centurion 590 Logitech G5 
Mouse Pad
XPS pad 
  hide details  
Reply
post #1824 of 37655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aura View Post
That's exactly what I've decided to do; right now I'm looking at
A) Keeping the X-Fi in the setup and running it to a DAC with a Digital Coax.
B) Dropping the X-Fi out and running my amp from a USB DAC, such as the EMU 0404.

The thing that worries me about option A is the idea that my X-Fi may bottleneck the rest of the line, but I have been reassured that it won't a couple of times now.

I remember you saying that cheaper DAC's may not be worth it at all, but I really can't afford much over $200 to improve my source. At the moment I'm looking at the Zero DAC/PreAmp. Do you have any input?

Thanks much.
Just a quick comment on the whole "out from X-fi" bit.

When running straight out of the front L/R line-out of my Elite Pro X-fi and into my headphone amp (XM4) the sound is no where near, NOT EVEN CLOSE to sounding as huge and spacious as running out of my USB EMU 0404's rear line-out (not the headphone out, BTW). I mean it's sickening how much better it sounds. It's not one of those subtle differences; it hits you in the head.

I only bought the EMU 0404 to play with a bit and test out ... thinking the X-fi Elite Pro would be just as good ... but as out-to-amp sources, they're not even in the same ballpark; so, unfortunately I've got to keep it now simply because it improves my setup so dramatically. Worth the money, although I was hoping to take it back.

Anyway ... there doesn't seem to be a decent option that does solid 5.1/Games *and* top notch output to amps. Bummer.

...

On another note ...

I met with a local contact from Head-fi tonight to get some time listening to his Emmeline SR-71 headphone amp. I was also thinking of possibly buying it.

Anyway ... I listened extensively with my RS1's and SE530's ... and you know ... it was just ever so slightly better than my XM4; I actually feel way better about my 150 dollar amp now since it compared so well with the 400 dollar SR-71.

At first, they sounded identical ... then I went through all the important qualities VERY CAREFULLY. The more I listened, the more the SR-71's slight advantages started seeping into the image: tiny bit better bass impact and tone (I didn't test using my amps bass boost) and, perhaps the most interesting advantage was that the background was just slightly more transparent -- I wasn't as aware of the equipment during moments of silence ... just a tad cleaner and more 'empty' (in a good way) in the background. This alone made me just ever so slightly consider the very foolish prospect of buying it for 300 bucks ... but after continuous listening, back and forth between the amps ... the main realization that hit me was just how sweet my OPAMP modded XM4 sounded!

<shwew! I'm glad it was so close! No more money spent would be nice>

Anyway.

Anyone have a chance to listen to a modded XM4, you should give it a demo ... great amp for 150 bucks.

I love the design of the Emmeline stuff though. It's the kind of finely built brick of joy that you feel good about just holding ... not to mention dropping 400 bucks on.

(he'll take 290 for it if anyone wants it)

    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
6700K @ 4.7ghz Asus Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 Seahawk X 1080 ti 16gb Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 3200mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2TB Samsung Evo 950 LG Blu Ray / DVD  H115i Win 7 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Acer XB270HU Logitech G710 EVGA 1000w Corsair 780T 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G502 My girlfriends butt. Asus z170 onboard 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
6700K @ 4.7ghz Asus Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 Seahawk X 1080 ti 16gb Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 3200mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2TB Samsung Evo 950 LG Blu Ray / DVD  H115i Win 7 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Acer XB270HU Logitech G710 EVGA 1000w Corsair 780T 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G502 My girlfriends butt. Asus z170 onboard 
  hide details  
Reply
post #1825 of 37655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Namrac View Post
Your opinions and advice seem to consistently go against everything I've ever heard from audio enthusiasts. Power conditioners and such make a difference, yes, but not anything special when working with reasonably inexpensive PC-based systems, especially given all the unshielded electronic components inside the PC itself.
I'm not trying to make everybody change their mind; you either accept what I say or don't, I really don't care. I answered a question. Head-fi is a great site for headphone recommendations, and a friendly community. And a few other things. For other audio stuff, there are better sites.

I am well aware about the RF nightmare inside PCs. Hence my reference to Empirical Audio, check it out. I don't say what I do based on what I hear other people say and what I want to hear when listening to equipment. I speak based solely on what I actually hear and personal experience. Many members on head-fi simply repeat what other people say, and many of these "other" people claim differences that they either know don't exist or would like to believe they do. A handful of people offer honest opinions. I'm not going to mention names. Anyway, take it or leave it... I'm not hear to

Fermi
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 920 Asus Rampage II Gene BFG GTX280 OCX 12GB DDR3 1600 
OSPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Corsair VX550 
  hide details  
Reply
Fermi
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 920 Asus Rampage II Gene BFG GTX280 OCX 12GB DDR3 1600 
OSPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Corsair VX550 
  hide details  
Reply
post #1826 of 37655
s1rrah, you might notice more differences if you hook up your RS-1's to a desktop sized amp. In my opinion, there won't be that many differences between portable amps. However, desktop amps are quite a big step up (from what I've heard; I've never owned a portable amp) and you might want to consider going to a head-fi meet and plugging in those babies into a PPX3 (That's some stellar sound right there).
X99 Glory Rig
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 5930K @ 4.4GHz Asus Rampage V Extreme MSI Lightning 290X Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Hitachi Deskstar NAS 4TB Pioneer BDR-2209 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 Windows 8.1 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell 2407WFP Rev. A02 Ducky Legend Black w/ White Backlit Vortex Caps EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 P2 1000W Phanteks Enthoo Primo White 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G502 Proteus Core Func. Surface 1030 Asus Xonar Essence STX 
  hide details  
Reply
X99 Glory Rig
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 5930K @ 4.4GHz Asus Rampage V Extreme MSI Lightning 290X Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Hitachi Deskstar NAS 4TB Pioneer BDR-2209 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 Windows 8.1 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell 2407WFP Rev. A02 Ducky Legend Black w/ White Backlit Vortex Caps EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 P2 1000W Phanteks Enthoo Primo White 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G502 Proteus Core Func. Surface 1030 Asus Xonar Essence STX 
  hide details  
Reply
post #1827 of 37655
Quote:
Originally Posted by 003 View Post
I'm not trying to make everybody change their mind; you either accept what I say or don't, I really don't care. I answered a question. Head-fi is a great site for headphone recommendations, and a friendly community. And a few other things. For other audio stuff, there are better sites.

I am well aware about the RF nightmare inside PCs. Hence my reference to Empirical Audio, check it out. I don't say what I do based on what I hear other people say and what I want to hear when listening to equipment. I speak based solely on what I actually hear and personal experience. Many members on head-fi simply repeat what other people say, and many of these "other" people claim differences that they either know don't exist or would like to believe they do. A handful of people offer honest opinions. I'm not going to mention names. Anyway, take it or leave it... I'm not hear to

I'm not claiming you don't know your stuff - and you're right, I've gained the majority of my knowledge from others, since I have neither the time nor the financial ability to test out all the things with audio I'd like to.

I'm just saying that maybe your recommendations are better suited to those that DO have the time/money to go all-out on their audio setups.
post #1828 of 37655
Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post
Just a quick comment on the whole "out from X-fi" bit.

When running straight out of the front L/R line-out of my Elite Pro X-fi and into my headphone amp (XM4) the sound is no where near, NOT EVEN CLOSE to sounding as huge and spacious as running out of my USB EMU 0404's rear line-out (not the headphone out, BTW). I mean it's sickening how much better it sounds. It's not one of those subtle differences; it hits you in the head.

I only bought the EMU 0404 to play with a bit and test out ... thinking the X-fi Elite Pro would be just as good ... but as out-to-amp sources, they're not even in the same ballpark; so, unfortunately I've got to keep it now simply because it improves my setup so dramatically. Worth the money, although I was hoping to take it back.
Thanks S1rrah. Where did you order your EMU from, out of curiosity?

Has anyone here run a Digital Coax from an X-Fi to a DAC? It's really between that or something like an EMU, but no one has officially commented on the quality of running a digital coax from my Fatal1ty. I mean, this should have better SQ than an analog connection...

I've already gotten Soloz opinion btw; he seems to think that a Digital Coax > something like the Zero DAC would do a fine job. Perhaps that is why I'm kind of hard-pressed to make a decision here; I'm getting positive comments for both options.
In The Works
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
C2D e6600 (3.3ghz) Asus P5Q (P45) eVGA 8800GTS 320mb (670/1000) 2x1GB G.Skill HK (900mhz @ 5-5-5-15) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD Black 640GB (OS) / WD AAKS 500GB + WD JS 250GB Sony DVD-RW Vista Ultimate 32bit Dell E207WFP (1680 x 1050) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Basic Dell ;> Corsair HX520w Modular Modded CM Centurion 590 Logitech G5 
Mouse Pad
XPS pad 
  hide details  
Reply
In The Works
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
C2D e6600 (3.3ghz) Asus P5Q (P45) eVGA 8800GTS 320mb (670/1000) 2x1GB G.Skill HK (900mhz @ 5-5-5-15) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
WD Black 640GB (OS) / WD AAKS 500GB + WD JS 250GB Sony DVD-RW Vista Ultimate 32bit Dell E207WFP (1680 x 1050) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Basic Dell ;> Corsair HX520w Modular Modded CM Centurion 590 Logitech G5 
Mouse Pad
XPS pad 
  hide details  
Reply
post #1829 of 37655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aura View Post
Thanks S1rrah. Where did you order your EMU from, out of curiosity?

Has anyone here run a Digital Coax from an X-Fi to a DAC? It's really between that or something like an EMU, but no one has officially commented on the quality of running a digital coax from my Fatal1ty. I mean, this should have better SQ than an analog connection...

I've already gotten Soloz opinion btw; he seems to think that a Digital Coax > something like the Zero DAC would do a fine job. Perhaps that is why I'm kind of hard-pressed to make a decision here; I'm getting positive comments for both options.
I think a digital out would be fine, from fatality card or any other as (I think) it is simply a discreet signal, without being colored by any amplification at the card level. Then again ... I'm not sure if a purely external solution like the USB EMU's would be any better due to interference stuff.

I paid 180 bucks local (Fry's) for the EMU.

EDIT: BTW ... I've got a digital COAX coming in the mail this week to test running out of the X-fi and to the EMU as a standalone DAC (not using it's USB drivers). I'll let you know how it sounds.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
6700K @ 4.7ghz Asus Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 Seahawk X 1080 ti 16gb Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 3200mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2TB Samsung Evo 950 LG Blu Ray / DVD  H115i Win 7 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Acer XB270HU Logitech G710 EVGA 1000w Corsair 780T 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G502 My girlfriends butt. Asus z170 onboard 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
6700K @ 4.7ghz Asus Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 Seahawk X 1080 ti 16gb Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 3200mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2TB Samsung Evo 950 LG Blu Ray / DVD  H115i Win 7 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Acer XB270HU Logitech G710 EVGA 1000w Corsair 780T 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G502 My girlfriends butt. Asus z170 onboard 
  hide details  
Reply
post #1830 of 37655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aura View Post
Thanks S1rrah. Where did you order your EMU from, out of curiosity?

Has anyone here run a Digital Coax from an X-Fi to a DAC? It's really between that or something like an EMU, but no one has officially commented on the quality of running a digital coax from my Fatal1ty. I mean, this should have better SQ than an analog connection...

I've already gotten Soloz opinion btw; he seems to think that a Digital Coax > something like the Zero DAC would do a fine job. Perhaps that is why I'm kind of hard-pressed to make a decision here; I'm getting positive comments for both options.
Well digital output from your sound card won't really make a difference in terms of digital output will be the same between all of the X-Fi series. All of the quality you'll be hearing will be from your DAC; the sound card is basically just sending a plain and simple digital signal to your DAC, sort of like a USB connection really. I have a digtal optical connection from my Auzen X-Fi Prelude to my Zhalou D3 DAC, but I haven't listened to it yet because I haven't gotten my sweet headphone amp yet . I've heard that the quality from a ~$200 DAC is much better than a sound card because for one it's outside of your computer where a ton of emi noise is being omitted (There will be much less outside of your computer if you can move it several feet away). Hope this helps.
X99 Glory Rig
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 5930K @ 4.4GHz Asus Rampage V Extreme MSI Lightning 290X Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Hitachi Deskstar NAS 4TB Pioneer BDR-2209 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 Windows 8.1 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell 2407WFP Rev. A02 Ducky Legend Black w/ White Backlit Vortex Caps EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 P2 1000W Phanteks Enthoo Primo White 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G502 Proteus Core Func. Surface 1030 Asus Xonar Essence STX 
  hide details  
Reply
X99 Glory Rig
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 5930K @ 4.4GHz Asus Rampage V Extreme MSI Lightning 290X Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Hitachi Deskstar NAS 4TB Pioneer BDR-2209 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 Windows 8.1 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell 2407WFP Rev. A02 Ducky Legend Black w/ White Backlit Vortex Caps EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 P2 1000W Phanteks Enthoo Primo White 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G502 Proteus Core Func. Surface 1030 Asus Xonar Essence STX 
  hide details  
Reply
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 › [Official] OCN Headphones and Earphones Club