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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'm looking for some advice. I am pretty much a noob when it comes to audio stuff, so I'm looking to make a nice balanced setup.

So, right now, I have a Xonar Essence STX which uses the analogue RCA outputs into an amp (http://www.sansui.us/AU-X701.htm). It an old amp that I got from my uncle, but it's supposedly pretty good.

The speakers are 2 big old things, that I also got from my uncle.

Now the amp has died, and I'm most likely gonna give up on fixing it. So, I need a new amp.

I've also wanted an external DAC that supports USB so I can actually use any laptop with it, while avoiding crappy laptop sound. (Right now I'd just use a jack->RCA adapter when using a laptop.)

I also plan on changing the speakers if I find out they are ****.

So, the questions:

  • Would a DAC like the Zero DAC be better than the DAC in the Xonar Essence? (I'd sell the Xonar then)
  • Is there any difference between using the onboard optical out, and the optical out on a pricy card like the essence?
  • What amp would you recommend that would suit the Zero DAC, both in price level and quality? The speakers I have are 4 Ohms 60(100)W, but I'll most likely have some one check them out, so I'll know if they're worth the effort.
Thank you guys!

Edit: I never use my headphones for music, but I might start using them for gaming. Are my headphones (Creative Aurvana X-fi) capable of any useful 3D positioning?
 
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