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Computer setup - which soundcard?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I've been thinking about spending some money (well, a lot of money) on a headphone setup for my computer which do most of my listening from. Right now all I have is a pair of Shure E4s which I'm listening to out of the motherboard soundcard.

I'm thinking about getting this setup: ESI Juli@ - -- (optical cable) - -- > Lite DAC-AH - - (RCA cable) - - > Original Master headphone amp. I'll also buy a pair of full size open headphones which will probably be either the HD 600/650.

I think with this setup I won't feel the need to upgrade for a long time, but I was wondering if you guys think there are any better or cheaper things I could spend my money on to reduce cost. Is it necessary to buy the Juli@ or should I save some money and get an Emu 0404, or would I be better off saving even more and getting a USB/Optical converter or Chaintech AV710? I'm quite poor so the more money I can save, the better.

I'd also like to know what headphones you think would 'synergise' well with the DAC-AH and Original Master, and if you think that the E4s will synergise well with this combination?

post #2 of 7
I don't know all that much about the Juli@ but I own a Chaintech AV710, have used it in combination with a Pocket Amp 2 and a pair of MS2i's and UM2's; it sounds great!
The line-out of the AV710 is really clean and not prone to interference and best of all... it's very, very cheap!
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
What lineout are you talking about? I'll be using the optical out for the DAC-AH.

Can anyone tell me how much difference there will be between the optical output of the AV710 and the Juli@? I think if I bought a Juli@ I might be paying for a lot of things I don't need and won't use.
post #4 of 7
Why spend so much on a soundcard if you are going to use an external dac anyway?

Either get a good soundcard and forget about an external DAC or get an el cheapo soundcard if you think that DAC is better .

I would skip the DAC and go for the EMU 0404 or juli@. I thought the juli was cheaper than the EMU0404 though??? They should be about equal in term of sound quality anyway.
post #5 of 7
What lineout are you talking about? I'll be using the optical out for the DAC-AH.
Ah right, sorry about that!
If an optical output is the case, it's got to be the AV710 for sure; both the Juli@ and AV710 have a bit-perfect optical output! They will sound exactly the same...
post #6 of 7
The onboard DAC of the Juli@ is pretty nice. For awhile I was going analog out to my Headfive and it was pretty sweet. I would recommend going this direction which will leave you room for upgrading if you so desire. But if you are set on including an external DAC then go with the Chaintech to save yourself some money.

One other thing - from my experience with the LiTe AH unit, I don't recommend it. It seems to be a diamond in the rough so if you're into modding, the DAC will respond. I recommend the MHDT Constantine - my current unit. The darn thing simply works and sounds nice. There were 3 of them at the NYC meet yesterday which I think says something.
post #7 of 7
If you want nice computer setup, i'd advise that you go with RME HAmmerfall+a medium amp ~400-500$ + HD650. And eventually a DAC...
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