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post #11 of 36
Lots of false information in here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PRloaded
it'll remove all the electrical noise from the computer
A DAC does not "remove" any noise. By it's nature, an external DAC will have an easier time providing low noise floor as it is separated from the electrical components in the computer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ____ View Post
An external DAC still uses the sound from the onboard audio chip. I would recommend a good sound card that can both process the sound and convert it to an analog signal. Most of the DACs I've seen are used on laptops that can't have an internal sound card installed.
Externals do not use the sound from the onboard. It is simply a means of transfer to the DAC itself. Optical from onboard is (for most intents and purposed) the exact same as connecting via USB. The DAC does all of the actual conversion.

Also I would stay away from the NuForce DAC mentioned, it does not perform very well. The fiiO E7 also recommended is a great DAC however.
post #12 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman23 View Post
Lots of false information in here.


A DAC does not "remove" any noise. By it's nature, an external DAC will have an easier time providing low noise floor as it is separated from the electrical components in the computer.


Externals do not use the sound from the onboard. It is simply a means of transfer to the DAC itself. Optical from onboard is (for most intents and purposed) the exact same as connecting via USB. The DAC does all of the actual conversion.

Also I would stay away from the NuForce DAC mentioned, it does not perform very well. The fiiO E7 also recommended is a great DAC however.
Okay thanks. So Internal Sound-Card or external DAC, it doesn't matter to much? I will be using the DAC in whatever form (Internal or external) for music 80% of the time and games the other 20%, maybe a movie or two a month. To get the most out of the DAC I will be needing to upgrade my speakers correct? Cause as far as I am aware, The logitech Z-5500 uses its own built-in DAC so it won't matter to much if I use an aftermarket DAC to try to improve the sound.
    
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post #13 of 36
i think an external and internal would do exactly the same except the external you can plug in a laptop or you can plug in your auxillary liek an ipod or something
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post #14 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankth3frizz View Post
i think an external and internal would do exactly the same except the external you can plug in a laptop or you can plug in your auxillary liek an ipod or something
Okay that is what I am looking for. With the External DAC I would have the flexibility of taking it somewhere else and using it.
    
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post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by buddyboy View Post
Okay that is what I am looking for. With the External DAC I would have the flexibility of taking it somewhere else and using it.
yup thats why im getting a DAC. i cant decide between the e7 or the headroom total bithead.
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post #16 of 36
What was your budget again? If you can spend ~250 this is a very interesting DAC http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/...udio-gd-nfb-12

I ordered mine a few weeks ago. should be here in may
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post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by buddyboy View Post
Cause as far as I am aware, The logitech Z-5500 uses its own built-in DAC so it won't matter to much if I use an aftermarket DAC to try to improve the sound.
If you use the analog inputs in Z-5500, it will use the signal from the external DAC instead of the one built in. In order to use the Z-5500 internal DAC you'd need to plug them into your computer with a digital interface like AES/EBU, S/PDIF optical or coaxial, USB, or whichever of these it supports.
The reason why people want you to upgrade from Z-5500 is because they're very "low-end" in comparison to any real speakers out there. You can get decent well performing active speakers for $200-400, like the M-Audio BX5a or Fostex PM.04 that will be much much better. Since you're not more than 20% into gaming, you don't need an explosive subwoofer and a speaker of that size should be very sufficient, for starters atleast.

I too have heard bad things about the Nuforce uDAC-2, it measures poorly, has channel imbalance at low volumes and over 1% total harmonic distortion at max volume (that is easily audible although doesn't sound like much). I have the FiiO E7 DAC myself and it has a good lot of functionality and power, but mine has a horrible amount of noise. This is most likely because my unit is faulty though, because nobody else is reporting any noise issues.

So yeah, the FiiO E7 should save you a big buck and end up being way better than any integrated sound card below $150. Also you gain lots more mobility, functionality and sound quality, and you can use it as a mobile amplifier when not using it as a DAC too!
    
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post #18 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiobock View Post
If you use the analog inputs in Z-5500, it will use the signal from the external DAC instead of the one built in. In order to use the Z-5500 internal DAC you'd need to plug them into your computer with a digital interface like AES/EBU, S/PDIF optical or coaxial, USB, or whichever of these it supports.
The reason why people want you to upgrade from Z-5500 is because they're very "low-end" in comparison to any real speakers out there. You can get decent well performing active speakers for $200-400, like the M-Audio BX5a or Fostex PM.04 that will be much much better. Since you're not more than 20% into gaming, you don't need an explosive subwoofer and a speaker of that size should be very sufficient, for starters atleast.

I too have heard bad things about the Nuforce uDAC-2, it measures poorly, has channel imbalance at low volumes and over 1% total harmonic distortion at max volume (that is easily audible although doesn't sound like much). I have the FiiO E7 DAC myself and it has a good lot of functionality and power, but mine has a horrible amount of noise. This is most likely because my unit is faulty though, because nobody else is reporting any noise issues.

So yeah, the FiiO E7 should save you a big buck and end up being way better than any integrated sound card below $150. Also you gain lots more mobility, functionality and sound quality, and you can use it as a mobile amplifier when not using it as a DAC too!
Thank you, there was a lot of useful information in that one post. But one question about the FiiO 7, How can I use this as a regular DAC (like running speakers through it) if it only has 2 3.5mm outputs? I mean, lets say I grab the BX5A's, I of course it would be better to run them using an external DAC over onboard, so I want to use my FiiO E7. Do I just ran .25'' cables to each with .25'' to 3.5mm adapters? Then what about the addition of a sub? will that be possible?
    
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post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by buddyboy View Post
Thank you, there was a lot of useful information in that one post. But one question about the FiiO 7, How can I use this as a regular DAC (like running speakers through it) if it only has 2 3.5mm outputs? I mean, lets say I grab the BX5A's, I of course it would be better to run them using an external DAC over onboard, so I want to use my FiiO E7. Do I just ran .25'' cables to each with .25'' to 3.5mm adapters? Then what about the addition of a sub? will that be possible?
You would be going for a powered sub in this case I would assume; basically you would plug in your RCA output from the DAC into the sub. From there lower frequencies will be filtered and played by the sub, higher freq. will be sent to the speakers from the RCA output on the sub.
post #20 of 36
If you want a DAC that's really good, I would say the Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1 or the Cambridge Audio DAC Magic. Both are above $100 though.
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