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Review: ZERO 24 BIT/192KHz DAC/Headphone Amp/Pre-Amp - Page 565

post #8461 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidw89 View Post
er i don't have a sound card my motherboard does have both coaxial and optical, can you output these to the zero say using optical?
Yes
post #8462 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandchak View Post
Hi Scottie, thats a very good solution for DaLiu, guess in my case its going to be a little more expensive.. All this while I have been thinking Zero as an external sound card, Am I wrong??.. or is it better to go through the USB digital PCLINK that came with ZERO.. and isnt a dedicated sound card prone to interference from MOBO?.. Or Am I just confused between a Soundcard and a DAC??..
It's possible anything in your case you get interference, but I think the onboard sound chips are more likely because they share circuitry with the rest of the mobo. A discrete sound card has the chips all sitting off the mobo and potentially on a shielded card. I've even seen mods where people place static shielding materials on their cards to prevent this. In my experience it isn't necessary. Sometimes I'll get some weird static, usually when switching modes on my x-fi, but a reboot solves it every tiime.
post #8463 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by les_garten View Post

Fast and Cheap, just like my first wife!
I had the first laugh of the day !!!

Well, now on the topic.. Have you seen anywhere anything called "audiophile motherboard" ..

I guess this will be as difficult and GOOD as finding my second wife !!
post #8464 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandchak View Post
I had the first laugh of the day !!!

Well, now on the topic.. Have you seen anywhere anything called "audiophile motherboard" ..

I guess this will be as difficult and GOOD as finding my second wife !!
See there ARE audiphile audio cards, but getting one and then using it with your Zero would be pointless. The audiophile cards use better components ON THE CARD - so they may have a better DAC chip for instance or better opamps. But none of them will be better than your Zero as a DAC. The only benefit of a discrete card when using an external DAC would be the better transport - the (hopefully) intereference-free SDIF connection. SO - if your onboard card is not exhibiting any issues, you're fine - stick with it. If not, I'd go with the cheapest card that has SDIF you can find - check ebay for audigy for example - unless you need the other features like gaming stuff (which is why I bought a more expensive one). The things that would make an "audiphile" card more expensive would all be bypassed (and outclassed) by the zero.
post #8465 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandchak View Post
I had the first laugh of the day !!!

Well, now on the topic.. Have you seen anywhere anything called "audiophile motherboard" ..

I guess this will be as difficult and GOOD as finding my second wife !!
Audiophile and Motherboard are pretty much mutually exclusive. However these links should amuse you...

AOpen AX4B 533 Tube Motherboard Review - Page 1 - Introduction

Sound section of the AOpen AX4B-533 Tube Motherboard

Vacuum Tube PC Motherboard - Retro Thing
post #8466 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by les_garten View Post

Haha - missed the motherboard part - that IS funny.... audiophile audio cards are one thing...
post #8467 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottieB View Post
Haha - missed the motherboard part - that IS funny.... audiophile audio cards are one thing...
Just what we need, a Blue Plasma Gassy tube taking out our Motherboards!
post #8468 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaMnEd View Post
Yes, your correct on all counts, but have a look at this: Introduction to the Zero DAC and Headphone amplifier. - Head-Fi: Covering Headphones, Earphones and Portable Audio

The 22uf cap mod is covered in the section: The unnecessary capacitors

The Frankenmod is a kit and you have to DIY, more here: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f6/fra...-heart-370985/
Perfect! Thanks DaMnEd!

Edit: I read through that post and now have a few more questions :3

The HDAM Earth would replace the DAC OPA's, but the preamp should still be upgraded to two LT1364. Then you snip the caps, add the frankenmod, acquire a new volume pot (if you can) with... What? Is the only possiblity the NOS ALPS? (What exactly does the volume pot even do?)

Also, is it generally agreed upon that the HDAM Earth allows you to reach a higher SQ than the brown OPA2604's?
post #8469 of 9361
Quote:
The HDAM Earth would replace the DAC OPA's, but the preamp should still be upgraded to two LT1364.
Yes.

Quote:
Then you snip the caps, add the frankenmod, acquire a new volume pot (if you can) with... What? Is the only possiblity the NOS ALPS? (What exactly does the volume pot even do?)
The pot mod may be unnecessary if you have a high impedance headphones, high impedance headphones usually require you to crank the volume past the point where imbalance exists in the default one. What does the volume pot do? Well, it controls the volume. pot = potentiometer

Quote:
Also, is it generally agreed upon that the HDAM Earth allows you to reach a higher SQ than the brown OPA2604's?
Definitely, I have yet to find anyone that didn't like it better, a lot better. Even better than the initial upgrade (OPA627) that was also noticeably better.
post #8470 of 9361
^There was one person who tried to argue that an opamp IC was better than the HDAM - I think it might have been Andrea. Regardless, the general consensus is that the HDAM modules offer a marked improvement over any opamp - very much so in my case.

~Phewl
post #8471 of 9361
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaMnEd View Post
The pot mod may be unnecessary if you have a high impedance headphones, high impedance headphones usually require you to crank the volume past the point where imbalance exists in the default one. What does the volume pot do? Well, it controls the volume. pot = potentiometer
Well I'll be using the Zero with a pair of 580's so I'm not so sure I'll need the pot. If for some reason I did though, are there any walkthroughs for soldering a new pot in? (which pots are compatible, only the ALPS?)

Thanks for the link btw

Also, thanks for the input AudioPhewl.
post #8472 of 9361
Well I used my ZERO with a pair of HD650, same impedance as yours (300 ohm), and I found that I didn't really need the pot mod, I never listened at such low volume, not with music, not with anything, not even talk radio.

Don't know of any other pot that fixes the issues, I may know some that fit, but I would have to test them to be sure they fix the imbalance.

Walkthroughs... well, you do not need one, really, as long as you know how to solder, it is a simple de-solder and solder job. But you can find some instructions on this thread, search for alps+solder etc, you'll find it. Penchum was the first to do it I think, so you may want to give his posts special attention .
post #8473 of 9361
Aww dang..

Good thing i have an extra logarithmic alps pot

I'll be using AD2000's and Grado's so there will probably be a need for it..
post #8474 of 9361
What's happening guys ?

Peete.
post #8475 of 9361
My father is heading to China in a few days so I may see if I can get him to pick up a Zero while he's over there.

Is there anything in particular I should have him look out for? (different versions etc)

Then again, I may just wait for the compass to come out...
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