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Noob Q's about 1/4" int DAC/AMP cards

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Noob Q's about 1/4" int DAC/AMP cards

Hey guys,
Sorry, not an audiophile, but loving my new HD 58X's and would really like to get better DAC/AMP audio out of my desktop.
I've got a relatively mobile build with my dual-socket Xeon server board/Cerberus X case, which is awesome, but doesn't even have audio out off the board.
Currently if I want to listen to my wired headphones, I need to plug into the headphone jack on the monitor, which can NOT be a great audio experience.
Additionally, with it being mobile, I'd like to preserve 1/4" compatibility, which brings me to the current list of options:

Asus Essence STX II
Creative Sound Blaster ZxR
EVGA Nu Audio

Any suggestions, insights, critiques welcome. Will be helping a friend get his audio podcast off the ground as well, so the audio-in stuff could certainly come in handy.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 12:37 AM
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The Essence STX II is not a good investment. I don't know much about the other 2, so I'll let others chime in.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 07:00 AM
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Sound BlasterX AE-5
Sound BlasterX G6
And if you really need good podcast stuff, then wait for AE-9 (or buy a Focusrite Scarlett).

Personally I would go with Schiit Fulla or something similarly portable.

Ppl should learn to add more info to their posts when they ask for help...
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 07:43 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Tiihokatti View Post



Personally I would go with Schiit Fulla or something similarly portable.

This any day over anything on-board.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Portable's good, onboard would be better. The reviews of the Nu Audio compare it pretty favorably to external units like the Schiit Fulla. Its enough of a hassle dragging around the rest of the peripherals. The Schiit Fulla was originally my first choice, next to the Fiio E10K, K3 or the Audioengine D1. I've also seen good reviews of the SMSL Audio M3.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2019, 03:40 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by AMv8(1day) View Post
Portable's good, onboard would be better. The reviews of the Nu Audio compare it pretty favorably to external units like the Schiit Fulla. Its enough of a hassle dragging around the rest of the peripherals. The Schiit Fulla was originally my first choice, next to the Fiio E10K, K3 or the Audioengine D1. I've also seen good reviews of the SMSL Audio M3.


Compares to the Schiit Fulla but is more then twice as expensive.
I’d rather have portable then onboard. It sounds better at a much lower price.

For that price you’re better off getting Schitt Magni and Modi.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by Shawnb99 View Post
Compares to the Schiit Fulla but is more then twice as expensive.
I’d rather have portable then onboard. It sounds better at a much lower price.

For that price you’re better off getting Schitt Magni and Modi.
Yeah, good point, although the Nu Audio is the most expensive of the bunch by a far margin. I was hoping to find something in the $150 range with more than just basic headphone DAC/AMP output to make up for the price. As mentioned, I'm not an experienced audiophile, or podcaster, but if a full featured internal soundcard with a useful software suite for input/output tweaks is available for $50 more, I'd happily pay it.
That said, I've seen some really positive reviews of the new Fiio K3 over the standard Schiit Fulla 2 suggestion. So if I end up giving up my dream of internal audio, I'll probably just go that route. Maybe slap some 3M velcro on it and mount it to the top of the case or something.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 04:26 PM
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Do you have any affinity for advanced PC modification?

Can you solder?

You can get a high quality USB dac, and put in the case of the PC. The you can get a PCI slot blank (that piece of metal that covers your PCI slots when they aren't being used) and drill a hole in it. Simply attach a panel mount 1/4 inch jack to the PCI blank and solder on the wires to run back to your dac and boom. Super stealth hifi on the go.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-23-2019, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow. My PC is already pretty custom, but I don't think I would be ready to start soldering USB DACs onto PCIe blanks. That sounds like a lot more trouble than it'd be worth, especially with me moving it around and dealing with airlines.
We'll see. I'm going to sit on it for a week or two before I decide.
With my current build, I've got more PCIe lanes than I know what to do with (80), so keeping things internal would make a lot of sense, but it wouldn't be the end of the world if I had to velcro mount a USB DAC.

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