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well I own a pair of 650s, and they definantly sound better when they have more to drive off of (an amp). They work straight off of the back of my X-Fi Prelude, but I have a nice Millet MAX tube amp coming this month to get the most out of them... truly for a setup you could simply create a Bantam inline DAC and a Millet Max starving student, for under $100 and get great sound quality out of that.

Alien DAC Kit
Bantam DAC boards
Bantam DAC Overview
Millet Max Starving Student

For the Non DIYer
you could cruise Ebay for a Creative EMU 0404 which is a USB DAC with a built in headphone amp... it will drive the HD650s fine, and its a great 'bang for buck' option, should be around $200 NIB/Used

Here's one
 

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You'd definitely want an amp for HD650. You could go with Hd600 an save some $$$. there are lots of opinions on what amp is best. For price/performance I'd say a Millet Max or MiniMax would be the best.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by _^MeRcY View Post
now the amp connects through the soundcard, correct?
Yes - you'd run a cable from your sound card to the amp, then amp to headphones.
 

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Wow, talk about overkill. A KSC75 through a Xonar U1 is all I need on my laptop, and with an HD650, you might as well buy a HD 580/600 or lower if you're going to use it straight from a jack and just for gaming.
 

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soloz2 and hellscream both offered some great info. I'd basically be repeating their suggestions (Millet Max / Millet Starving Student / MiniMax). All three of those are designs by a guy named Pete Millet. The plans and parts lists are all readily available online, but if you're not the DIY type you can commission someone to build one for you. Generally, they offer excellent bang for the buck (and all pair well with Senn's high end offerings).

Since your application is predominantly gaming, I would not go the external DAC route. Though these devices can often provide far better sound quality for music than their internal counterparts, they lack any form of hardware audio acceleration which is a great part of immersive gaming.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by _^MeRcY View Post
I also do video editing and do alot of music as well though.

what do you mean by external dac?
In its most simple form, a device that takes a digital signal (often via USB) and makes it analog. The most basic versions are things like the AlienDAC - audio in, audio out. This would also include external sound cards and audio interfaces (like the E-Mu 0404 or M-Audio FastTrack)
 

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I have the HD 650's with a Little Dot Mk II with Mullard M1861 tubes and they are simply amazing.
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by shizdan
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I have the HD 650's with a Little Dot Mk II with Mullard M1861 tubes and they are simply amazing.

Id love to have a listen
Would be a good combination... Lucky man
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by _^MeRcY
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so really there is no point to buy a amp unless I do more then gaming

By no means - headphones that are difficult to drive will be just as difficult to drive if the source material is games rather than music. What I was suggesting is that you might want to avoid a DAC/amp combo because the DAC included there would not be able to utilize all the environmental audio features of your games.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Quote:


Originally Posted by Chipp
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By no means - headphones that are difficult to drive will be just as difficult to drive if the source material is games rather than music. What I was suggesting is that you might want to avoid a DAC/amp combo because the DAC included there would not be able to utilize all the environmental audio features of your games.

an example? to avoid it, sorry dont really know alot about audio
 

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alright, I'll take a stab at it. so let's say you play games like Bioshock which has DTS support. most sound cards will take advantage of it and immerse you in a simulated 3D environment through your headphones, using the DTS. But most DACs will not, they will provide a simple Stereo audio solution, although it may be of higher quality, it will not be as immersive... I hope this helps.. DACs are generally great for audio/video. but when it comes to games with CMSS/DTS those features get lost with the simplicity of a DAC. Honestly games are playable over DAC audio, but are not as immersive... honestly I'd invest in a budget soundcard, and a good AMP. Beezar now has the Minimax boards in.
 

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H3||scr3am, May i ask you a couple of questions about your setup. I just purchased a pre build M^3 amp, here is the link: http://www.rockhopperaudio.com/Site/...er_supply.html

Questions are:

Im using the Auzen X Fi Prelude as my soundcard and Senn HD595 as my headset .. Can you give me a step by step on how to hook all of this up?
Does the Auzen Prelude have an adequate DAC in your opinion?
Is the MMM amp a good choice? I have heard that it's incredible just want your opinion..

Thanks so much!
 

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Quote:


Originally Posted by michaelcooper5
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H3||scr3am, May i ask you a couple of questions about your setup. I just purchased a pre build M^3 amp, here is the link: http://www.rockhopperaudio.com/Site/...er_supply.html

Questions are:

Im using the Auzen X Fi Prelude as my soundcard and Senn HD595 as my headset .. Can you give me a step by step on how to hook all of this up?
Does the Auzen Prelude have an adequate DAC in your opinion?
Is the MMM amp a good choice? I have heard that it's incredible just want your opinion..

Thanks so much!


the amp is a good one... but pretty expensive for what you actually got...
but what's done is done.

You will need a mini-RCA to go from the main (front L/R) output on your Prelude to the input on your amp.

That's pretty much it for now. I would recommend some opa627 op-amps for your Prelude, but that is more or less to your taste.

I highly recommend upgrading the cable on your HD595's. Cardas goes very, very nicely with them and you'll notice more air and extension in the highs, smoother mids and tighter bass that digs deeper and hits harder
 
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