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Need some help with D2000 setup - Page 3

post #31 of 37

Since you intend to use USB port on your notebook computer, bare in mind that USB interface requires CPU as central controller and most likely the USB bus has to be shared among various devices connected to it. Thus it will not be ideal with the shared bandwidth and restricted bit resolution imposed by USB standard. If your notebook computer is equipped with PCMCIA (old) or Express Card (new) slot, perhaps a dedicated sound card with SPDIF coaxial/optical outputs will be better than the USB port. I know that Creative Technology do offer such sound card for notebook computers. Take note that any on-board amplifier and its analog outputs are not needed in this case as only digital audio outputs of the sound card will be used. USB port can only be the last but not first resort as far as digital audio interface is concerned.


I decided to buy Denon D5000 instead of D2000 because of D2000's loose bass after extensive audition and comparison between these two headphones. So make sure you have audition before making purchase as headphone reviews are always subjective to individual preferences of reviewers. Though you have budget constraint right now, but it will be worthwhile to buy the right gear in the beginning than spend more money/effort to upgrade later on. Perhaps you can achieve what you want by buying one right item at a time rather than buying all wrong items at once. It will take longer to achieve want you want but with less regret/spending in the long run.


Just my two cents after learning through painful/wasteful experience.

Edited by littletree76 - 5/9/10 at 5:20pm
post #32 of 37

Any CPU put into a PC built in the past 10 years can *easily* do USB Audio and USB bandwidth is a total non-issue anyhow (redbook needs between 1.5 and 2mbit/s, USB 1.1 delivers nearly 12mbit).


The only issue with USB audio is that it's timing is not necessarily very good so you might get jitter - if you even believe in that. That's really the only part where ExpressCard would have a (theoretical) advantage- if it is actually using PCIE which is not a given as ExpressCard also provides for USB lanes which most penny pinching vendors would probably prefer. As for PCMCIA, I hate interface that with passion. It's a pain to use with 3G cards, I don't even want to think about how bad it would be with soundcards.


Anyhow, I have serious doubts whether you will be able to hear a difference when I look at the frequencies involved and the likely jitter they imply.

Edited by buz - 5/9/10 at 5:29pm
post #33 of 37
Thread Starter 

Ok I read all of that but started to get lost especially with your last post on page 2 buz. Were you just saying that I should buy the Audinst before the M-stage? If so, that is definitely my plan so no worries about that. My laptop was bought 2 years ago. It's a Dell XPS M1530 which was pretty top of the line (ok not alienware etc. but definitely high end) at the time. I actually have a Creative sound card lying around somewhere that I could put into the external card slot. I can't find it at the moment though  so I guess I just need to keep looking.


So basically what I'm getting from you guys is that USB is worse than coaxial or optical but not terribly so (unless I have the problems littletree talked about...but my computer is a newer model so hopefully not).


Littletree, I've called all around town but no stores have D2000's or D5000's for me to try out. I definitely want to but I guess that's just how it goes. In terms of going to the D5000, I just can't afford it right now. For the time being it is either D2000, or none at all (in terms of Denon, but by the descriptions they match the sound that I am looking for in a headphone). I will definitely want to upgrade eventually but for now it just isn't possible.

post #34 of 37

Yes, I would go for the Audinst, Aune, or NG98 before the M-Stage.


However, if you already have the Creative card, I would suggest looking for it first (although it likely won't be spectacular), then trying it and seeing if you like it. If so, you just saved yourself 180 bucks :)

post #35 of 37
Thread Starter 

I guess this is what I meant:


If I find said sound card, plug it into the outside card slot on my laptop, then using coax/optical (whatever it has), plug that into the dac/amp, would I see a large improvement in sound quality? I also read that many dacs reclock internally anyway so that the USB clock problem is null. I'm not sure how I could tell if the Audinst or any other ones do that though.


Edit: And now that I think about it, if I am trying to use coaxial or optical output anyway, shouldn't the Audio GD Fun basic ($190) be a major consideration? It's supposed to be better than the current amp/dacs we've been talking about. This is assuming I have a soundcard for digital output.


Sigh...this never ends.

Edited by DDVX - 5/9/10 at 7:40pm
post #36 of 37

Don't get me wrong, you still need an affordable DAC/amplifier combo unit to work with your headphone but not plugging headphone directly into headphone output of sound card. The sound card is meant only for digital transport through SPDIF coaxial/optical digital audio interface to the external DAC/amplifier unit since you are using PC without such interface built in (unlike all Mac models with optical output). Digital to analog conversion and amplification for headphone output are done in the external DAC/amplifier unit but not in sound card. On-board amplifiers of most sound cards are crappy anyway.


For choice of external DAC/amplifier unit, If you decided to go for Audio GD FUN Basic version (I own version A model), might as well go for version A-USB of newer Sparrow which is cheaper (USD 225) and much smaller than FUN but retain the same sound quality with exactly the same exchangeable modules. High grade components are used in version A whereas cheaper made-in-China components are used in Basic version for both FUN and Sparrow. Further more since version A-USB Sparrow come with USB/optical/coaxial interfaces, feel free to try out all three different interfaces to find out which will suite your need as technical specification can't tell whole picture. Using Denon D5000 headphone with headphone output of FUN DAC/amplifier gives decent sound quality (after at least 300 hours of burn-in). Please refer to following Audio-GD website for further details: http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/pre/Sparrow/Sparrow.htm and there are related threads posted in this forum (use search key Sparrow or FUN to find them).


As for Denon D2000 headphone, too bad most online stores such as www.amazon.com and www.ebay.com do not allow return of opened/used headphone. Perhaps best option for you is to go ahead and purchase it, mod it by swapping cushion pads(which I have done on my Denon D5000) or cover cup interior with special material (see threads in this forum) if you do not like the sound in stock condition. In the worst case sell it in eBay with minimum loss and look for other alternatives. Though Denon D2000 produces rather strong bass with less control, it is not a bad headphone and still sound musical to me after all (again depend on personal flair/preference and music genre).


You are right, there is no end in searching for best sound if you are an audiophile. I used to be a poor student who could afford only transistor radio, right now I am contented with whatever I have and never try to achieve last 5% of perfection unnecessarily with a lot of money (law of diminishing return in upgrading audio equipments). Enjoy music with whatever I have and never be bothered with what others are using.


post #37 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that detailed response. The Sparrow indeed looks like a great deal and I might have to scrounge up the extra cash. I'll look up some reviews comparing the Sparrow to the Audinst (at least in terms of how they work with the D2000). That helped with pretty much all the questions I had. 


Thank you everyone for your input! It'll be a while before I have the complete system set-up but I'll let you know how I like it. You guys saved me a lot of headache .

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