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Quest for Holy Grail of gaming sound! - Page 9

post #121 of 238

Hmm I will just assume my PSU is fine for using the STX. Think I'm just gonna go for it with the DT880 250 and STX.

post #122 of 238

Same :)

post #123 of 238
Thread Starter 

Good choice guys, just remember to use eq in STX's control panel to fully utilize the potential of those hp and soundcard. Cheers!

post #124 of 238

I'm getting a pair of dt880's (600 ohm) for music and movies, but the fact is... I'll be using them when I game on my PC too and I do that a lot ha ha.

 

The STX just doesn't seem capable of driving the 600 ohm version so I'll be going X-Fi -> Amp -> dt880. I already have the X-Fi and may change it at a later date.

 

I just need a recommendation on the amp keeping in mind I'm running this setup 4-8 hrs a day minimum. This might not be the best place to ask, but it is definitely a gaming sound related question! Oh and budget is $200-300.

 

Actually... is there even a way to run CMSS3D to an amp to headphones? I may just be confused and it's not problem, but are you still able to get the 3D virtualization effects of the STX (or X-Fi for that matter) going Soundcard -> amp -> headphones? Can you get CMSS3D through Left/Right RCA?

 

Also, separate question, can you turn the STX amp off or is there an easy way to go STX -> amp -> headphones?


Edited by ninjowned - 5/26/10 at 3:25pm
post #125 of 238

Question:

 

I'm thinking about spending some cash on the audio part of my computer. I currently have a creative x-fi xtreme audio that's about 2.5 years old. I can get a dt880 for about 220 euro (the 250 ohm version). The question is what do I do with my soundcard. Should I buy a new one like the xonar or would an amp be better and then upgrade the xfi in a year or so?


Edited by imdaffy - 5/29/10 at 6:31am
post #126 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjowned View Post

I'm getting a pair of dt880's (600 ohm) for music and movies, but the fact is... I'll be using them when I game on my PC too and I do that a lot ha ha.

 

The STX just doesn't seem capable of driving the 600 ohm version so I'll be going X-Fi -> Amp -> dt880. I already have the X-Fi and may change it at a later date.

 

I just need a recommendation on the amp keeping in mind I'm running this setup 4-8 hrs a day minimum. This might not be the best place to ask, but it is definitely a gaming sound related question! Oh and budget is $200-300.

 

Actually... is there even a way to run CMSS3D to an amp to headphones? I may just be confused and it's not problem, but are you still able to get the 3D virtualization effects of the STX (or X-Fi for that matter) going Soundcard -> amp -> headphones? Can you get CMSS3D through Left/Right RCA?

 

Also, separate question, can you turn the STX amp off or is there an easy way to go STX -> amp -> headphones?

 

You can bypass the STX amp by going for the RCA outs or optical out. The annoying thing is that (AFAIK) you can't use Dolby Headphone modes with the RCA outs.

You can try a 3.5mm to 2 RCA cable to your amp to keep Dolby Headphone however it won't bypass the STX amp so to minimise the amping the STX amp does, you can the headphone amp gain to the lowest.

post #127 of 238

Dolby and CMSS do work with an amp in between the soundcard and the headphones. Whether you use RCA or whatever other input output method your amp and soundcard supports.

 

For imdaffy I suggest keep the soundcard (which is a perfectly fine soundcard) and get an amp and the DT880. You can use the RCA outs of your XFI to go to the amp, then the headphones, and turn on CMSS 3D.


Edited by Mochan - 5/29/10 at 11:47pm
post #128 of 238

Hmm and do you have a suggestion on an amp? I'm not really at home in the sound scene but I am pretty much a music addict. If i'm home, music's playing.

 

I do live in Belgium though, so availabilty is probably quite different from the US. Of course any suggestion would be greatly appreciated ;).

 

post #129 of 238

I don't live in the US either, so we're even on that one.  I don't now about availability, but I have friends who swear the Little Dot Mk II has incredible synergy with the DT880s. It's a pretty affordable entry-level tube amp, so you can try that one.

post #130 of 238

I just checked the site out, pretty handy you can order directly from them and the shipping of 51usd could be worse seeing as it comes from China. I've been reading some reviews on the different marks, if I take my budget between 400 and 500 tops, with about 230 euro for the 880dt pro 250, I could actually go for the mark 3. That would bring my usage of budget up to 440 euro. Well within the margin.

 

But I have some more time to make my final decision. It's still three weeks untill my exams are over, then it's weekend job time to make up the investment

 

 

Edit: the mark 4 would bring the price almost exactly to 500 euro, guess it'll be a tough call


Edited by imdaffy - 5/30/10 at 7:58am
post #131 of 238

So can i use CSM3D(or w/e it's called) or Dolby Headphone in gaming; even tho I don't have an astro mixamp?  Would i have to buy an X-Fi card? Would it even be worth it?
 

 

cause I already have a well regarded amp/dac, so i don't know if buying the X-FI card or the astro amp(just for the 5.1 in gaming only) would be worth the hassle. 2.0 stereo is still fantastic with the Beyers, but I'm wondering how much better 5.1 will be

post #132 of 238

Yes you need an x-fi card (i don't know if the xtremeaudio works, and that's not a real x-fi).

No you don't need a mixamp; mixamp gives you dolby headphone. CMSS headphone is creative's implementation.  There's a soundcard that does dolby headphone natively, without needing to use a creative card; I think it's called an oxygen or something? I forgot...

post #133 of 238

What's wrong with the Extreme Audio?I realize it's uber budget but it has CMSS 3D right?

 

One of the soundcards that do Dolby is the Asus Xonar stuff. 


Just to help clarify for DavidM, I see you have a LIttleDot DAC and a MkIII, which is indeed a very respectable sound setup. This, however, is not enough for a real 3D gaming experience. For 3D gaming you need something that gives either Dolby HP or CMSS HP -- Mixamp is Dolby while Creative/Auzen X-Fi cards give CMSS. 

 

Personally I think CMSS is superior at doing directional cues but many swear by the Dolby. The way they work is they take the game's 5.1 surround signals and transform them into a stereo output that your headphones can use, but retain the 5.1 cues. Again I think CMSS is better but YMMV, at this point just pick one and see if it works. I am sure it will be a huge improvement over the stereo sound you are hearing right now.

 

Once you have the soundcard/amp you route it into your amp. You will not be using your DAC for this one, if you go Mixamp just plug it into your PC's USB, then plug the MkIII into the Mixamp. If you go the X-FI route install it into your PC, then connect the headphone out to your LD MkIII. 

post #134 of 238

In order to take advantage of a lot of EAX and OpanAL stuff, you need the X-Fi DSP. Unless the Little Dot DAC adds some form of latency (does it?) I would say that the best set up for David would be to get a card that does either Dolby Headphone or CMSS-3D Headphone and connect the Little Dot DAC to the card via S/PDIF.That way the only changes that need to be made to switch between games and PC as source audio are all done in software, no input shuffling required. This is the set up I'm trying to come up with, but I'm missing the DAC/amp rather than the card.

 

I can't help but feel like there's some misinformation pertaining to what EAX is. EAX isn't used for positional audio, it's used for environmental effects. It simulates sounds echoing off of walls for more realistic audio. Only EAX 5.0 (aka, "EAX HD") is exclusive to the X-Fi, basically any modern internal sound card is (save for anything marketed for music listening as a DAC) will have some version. The Xonar STX has it as well, version 4.0 I believe. That said, EAX is essentially a depreciated feature, games from now on will most likely be using a feature common to OpenAL called EFX, and all source engine games (Valve games mostly) use their own host based audio engine.

 

Regardless of EAX's depreciation, the X-Fi is still one of the best DSP's for gaming because of how many voices it can support at once, 128 voices at a time, to be exact. You also gain access to Creative Alchemy, which restores 3D positional audio to most of the games that lost it when Microsoft got rid of DirectSound 3D in Vista and 7.

 

It seems as though it might vary between people whether CMSS Virtual and Dolby Headphone, but one important difference between the two is how they differ when it comes to OpenAL games. Dolby Headphone doesn't touch the audio until it's been sorted to each speaker, but OpanAL games are "aware" of CMSS's existence, and rather than mix audio into each speaker and then HRTF those speakers, CMSS simply simulates them in the game's environment, it skips the virtual speaker step.

post #135 of 238

Interesting, after reading some more I was actually wondering wether I'd be better off to wait another month to order a little dot amp mark 3/4 and dac1 at once, but I guess thats only a useful combo for music. Why can't it ever be easy...

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