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Discussion Starter #1
hi,

i have been using the Creative Soundblaster AE5 since last year and iam slowly getting fed up with their software (keeps forgetting settings after every reboot, software pretty slow on high-end PCs, microphone is total garbage).
iam using DT990 250ohm headphones, which i want to keep (i like the sound of it alot).

iam thinking about to buy the Mayflower ARC or O2/ODAC, i'd prefer the ARC because of the Bass Boost and Mic-In.
how do those external DACs compare to the AE-5 in sound quality? better?
should i rather get a schiit stack (magni/modi)?

does the windows driver have a "Bass Boost" feature on such external DACs? (i might need a small +5db boost)
 

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Generally, sound cards sound better than onboard and external DACs sound better than sound cards.
But that's like saying red cars are better than blue cars - it depends.



Music? Movies? Gaming? Stereo? Multichannel?


As for base, Equalizer APO.
 

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Bass boost does work on external DAC's. I have the magni/modi combo. I think you would be better off with a DAC with that headset you are using. I normally recommend a DAC with it's own power source.
 

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I have zero experience with Mayflower or their ARC, but I've used the ODAC/O2 combo before and it's a pretty decent solid-state amp. The ARC seems like an ODAC/O2 with an added mic input, so probably a good choice as a direct soundcard replacement. Not sure if it'll have the oomph to push those DT990s properly (if it is an O2 amp, it should be fine), but that's not a huge concern since it has RCA outputs you can connect an external amp to if need be. Which you should. A tube amp to be specific. Tubes are love, tubes are life.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Generally, sound cards sound better than onboard and external DACs sound better than sound cards.
But that's like saying red cars are better than blue cars - it depends.

Music? Movies? Gaming? Stereo? Multichannel?

As for base, Equalizer APO.
APO equalizer seems great, i already tested that on my AE5 :)
as for my usage:
iam a gamer but i have music on 24/7 and iam very keen on decent music quality.
stereo mode only for me without weird sound effects.
(i basically just need a small Bass Boost, thats really all i need sometimes).

right now, i would like to buy the magni and modi-uber from schiit. (the magni beeing more powerful than the odacs amp)
the normal schiit modi is powered via _USB_, i think that makes it worse?

iam not sure regarding a tube amp (Schiit Vali), from what i understand, it makes the sound less bright.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
a small update:
i have ordered Schiit Magni3 and Modi2U last week and the setup is already running since yesterday.
very impressed so far.

it does get a bit louder than the AE-5 on max. gain, but the soundstage is better on the schiit setup.
also the bass has more punch with the schiit setup, i had to use EQ on the AE-5 to have decent bass. (DT990 250ohm)
iam still comparing it to the ae-5 and switch my headphones between those two audio devices, but also the treble is different (schiit = brighter/clearer sounding?).
equalizer & other effects are disabled, running everything stereo atm.

APO Equalizer works without any problems too, alternatively theres the windows integrated EQ on the driver (install Schiit drivers for that).
 

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We're glad to see you're happy!
 
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