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XONAR STX or DIY DAC + DIY AMP or DAC + AMP?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone!

 

I just typed this whole thing up and pressed back, so now im pretty sad haha.  ANYWAYS ONE MORE TIME.  I'm new here and I'm looking to get into the audiophile stuff.

 

The current speakers I use are promedia 2.1s that I got about 4 years ago, still run great.  For current FPS gaming and music, I use my dsp 500s that I got for free 5 years ago yay :).  I'm looking to get a pair of ath-ad700 or m50s for listening to music + games. 

 

Budget is max 200 :)... for now, if I get hooked, then it will raise haha.

 

The type of music I listen to is basically just electronic.  I know the ad700 are bass light and the m50 has more kick, but what is more important to me is crisp sound and the soundstage.  I don't really care about watching movies with head phones because I'd probably blast the speakers because I enjoy action movies and the bass.

 

Anyways, my real quesiton is:

 

1. What are the advantages/disadvantages of using a XONAR STX vs. DIY DAC/DIY AMP vs. DAC/AMP?

 

I know the Xonar has like cool built in features that allow betting gaming/sound profiles.  I know it has great drivers for win 7.

 

2.  Whats the performance comparison of DIY DAC vs Store DACs?

 

I'm confident enough in soldering surface mount stuff so its not a big deal to me.  Would a DIY DAC+AMP ~ 100-150 be better than the XONAR STX?  Would one of those 50 dollar DIY DACs be comparable to a uDAC?

 

3.  Can I just be lazy and get a uDAC to act as a source for my new headphones and my current promedia 2.1s?  Would I be able to definitely tell and appreciate the sound quality from onboard sound to the DAC for both headphones and speakers?

 

 

Okay thank god I didn't press back again

 

Thanks for the help

Sorry if I confused anyone and I hope i got the right subforum..

 

-Ronald


Edited by rontruong - 7/27/10 at 2:59pm
post #2 of 2

This happens to be one of my research topics as of August 2012.  I am currently running an Asus® CM1630-06 with EAH6850 DirectCU® video and XONAR® Essence™ STX audio (plus an Antec® TruePower™ 750 Blue to keep everything fed), running Microsoft® Windows® 7.0.8001 (MultiProcessor Kernel 6.1.7601), and searching for DIY DAC/amplifier designs to A/B against the STX' stock Texas Instruments® PCM1792 DAC (feeding the stock JRC2114D op amps in the I-V section) and TPA6120A2 headphone amplifier, using the STX' stock Digital Out port (RCA Coax with integrated 3.5mm TOSLINK transmitter).  Although currently hamstrung by the lack of suitable headphones for the task, I anticipate using some 250Ω model, as the TPA6120A2 has a source impedance of 10.7Ω at the Headphone jack; AKG® and beyerdynamic® each have at least two candidate models for the task, with Heil Sound® providing a fallback in their intended-for-communications Pro Set™ (with 200Ω speakers).
 


Edited by bcschmerker4 - 8/18/12 at 11:10pm
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