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bit of a odd question regaurding 2 cards or other solutions

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
ok so here is my problem I have a asus essence STX audio card in my computer right now and I love it. only problem is I would like better sound from my speakers (logitech Z2500's) they are connected through optical cable at the moment and the DAC in them isnt as good as higher end sound card I hear... plus they fluctuate with multiple streams...I have sennheiser HD555 headphones and would love to keep good quality audio on them.

now here is where you guys come in. what are my options could I run 2 card and have one output to headphones and one to speakers? and by output I mean output everything to both... or I really hate to say this but get a new audio card and do away or sell this one =/

if I do build a HTPC (slightly considering it because it would upgrade this comp at same time) then I would possibly get a new card for that or place this one in that and just use some nice bookshelf speakers I have in the other room...


just one last question. since I have the DAC on the audio card doing the work if I connect the 5.1 system to it via analog cables would the audio card still be handling the conversion if I plugged the headphones in to the speakers?

it just dawned on me. are there any DAC's out there that I could run the optical through and get the analog out of with ought it being in the computer case? sub 150 range?
Edited by Feathered - 6/17/10 at 3:05pm
    
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post #2 of 6
I'm not the best when it comes to sound cards, I'm fairly new here, But wouldn't it be easier to run a two way out cable on your best sound card? I think its possible.
Edited- *I just skimmed threw your question so if my answer doesn't make much sense, please understand.*
Edited by vinzor5000 - 6/18/10 at 9:19am
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I thought about that some time ago but that would just give me 2 front left and 2 front right outputs with no sub.
I did setup all my levels so that I have headphones plugged in to 1 and my 5.1 in to another and now im leaving the drivers open so I just switch from PCM to dolby and back to switch what output I want. and I don't have to adjust any volumes at all. so at least I have 1 good quality output now instead of none.
    
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post #4 of 6
Oh, bummer. Subs are needed, it's like a apple pie with no apples . So you did do the two sound card setup?
post #5 of 6
Those are some convoluted questions. First thing first, only with an external dac not associated with the 5.1 logi onboard dac, can you configer different programs like winamp or foobar to play simutanously as your speakers. They would have to be off different programs and only music would work.

Thus you cannot use 2 dacs, or 2 sound cards to produce what you want at the same time.

Secondly, if you get a 5.1 sound card to manually connect each of your logitech (which I dont think it's how they're configured), then the sound coversion from 5.1 sound to headphones are done by the speaker system, but it's just a filter. If you're talking about the digital coversion, then yes, the sound card would be the one converting digital data to analog to be sent to the 5.1 speakers or headphones.

Lastly for the STX there is no optical out, only spdif coaxial. Thus I may be mistaken of your situation and not know what you meant.

As for external dacs, there are always ones that is less than 150, esp ones from china that can be had on ebay. However, you would need an amplifier as well. The ones included in the dac/amp cheaper than 150 is made specifically for headphones as they are very weak and not configured for speakers. It also depends on your speakers and if they have unbalanced interconnect option, and have onboard amplification or not. The logitech does (but no IC option), but because they're not meant to be configured in an audiophile configuration, I don't know what you can do to set everything up, except to spend thousands of dollars and change your setup completely to better your sound qual.
    
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
sry about the coax/optical mix up I do it out of habit.

yes I can connect the speakers with 5 channel analog as well as 5 other connection types or devices. but since they would still be handling the headphones I would rather suffer lower quality of speakers for when I have company and what not. I much prefer good audio quality for music and gaming.
since the Z2500's arnt all that great as far as speakers are concerned but my HD555's are decent I will keep my setup as is until I rebuild rig at least.

also just incase this sort of thing pops up from someone else. if you want great headphone quality on the stx and have your speakers hooked up with coax as well you can do what I did last night =) wich is to set your speakers up using wave,SW,CD and volume then dial your speakers in manually with the volume knob on them, but since coax/the DDL (Dolby digital live) does not recognize the left and right settings in the STX's mixer panel you can set those to the volume you want your headphones at. then swap between DDL and PCM(headphones) and not have to change any settings. after using it like that for a day I am pleased with it. don't have to plug or un plug anything anywhere just change a simple drop down menu.
    
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