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Show us your Head-Fi station at it's current state. No old pictures please... - Page 585

post #8761 of 19202
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

Whats colinhardings method? Also what are some inexpensive USB-only DAC's?

You can take a 1/8" to RCA cable and plug it straight from the audio out on your pc to the RCA input on the Valhalla.  The HRT Music Streamer II DAC is ~ $160 (available at Audio Advisor), and the stand-alone ODAC (from JDS labs) is ~ $160 with the RCA output option.  There are many more options on the market, but that's a start.  If your PC is a desktop, you could always get a new soundcard like the Asus Xonar Essence ST.

post #8762 of 19202

post #8763 of 19202

Just fixed my DIY tube amp :D It's an S5 Electronics K12G. 8wpc. 

 

Yesterday I built one of those little boxes to load the amp and reduce the signal voltage (I think that's what it does) so that you can drive headphones off the speaker taps. 

 

Feeding the amp with the tape-outs from my preamp and driving a pair of AKG K701s 

 

 

 

 

post #8764 of 19202
Quote:
Originally Posted by VaryCold View Post

just got it, but makes my ear painful in wearing, so maybe I have to sell it

That's too bad. I really was hoping they'd fix the fit/comfort issues of the Triple.fi 10 frown.gif

post #8765 of 19202
Quote:
Originally Posted by calipilot227 View Post

That's too bad. I really was hoping they'd fix the fit/comfort issues of the Triple.fi 10 frown.gif

Waiting on reshelled TF10s from Unique Melody...WOO for comfort and proper seal at the 3/5 the cost of the UE900:)

 

Kojaku

post #8766 of 19202

Shure SRH940, JDS C421 (OPA 2227).

 

Sorry for the crappy phone pic.


Edited by SixthFall - 9/28/12 at 8:36pm
post #8767 of 19202
Quote:
Originally Posted by colinharding View Post

So if you don't want a DAC just 1/8'' jack out of the pc will carry your music out via a Y cable with analogue on the other end into your headphone amp.  It will work, sound will suffer though as compared to using a DAC.  Technically you are still using a DAC, as the music resides on the PC digitally, you are also using the PC to convert that into an analogue signal to send out to your amp.

The PC actually has a bona fide DAC in it, but there's this huge disjoint between Digital To Analog Converters as a class of commodity ICs, and fancy aluminum boxed magic components that cost thousands of dollars and are built around those COTS parts, at least in the world of audio.

It isn't a Y cable either (that's a splitter) - you'd want a TRS mini (3.5mm or 1/8") to RCA stereo adapter, this may exist as a cable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by colinharding View Post

Well yeah, I'm sorry.  It isn't going to sound terrible by any means, but within the context of an external DAC there is a lot of improvement to be had.  

I think "lot" should be qualified here. A lot of people expect to hear this life-altering night and day difference between a PC soundcard and mega-buck external devices, and the reality is, that different just isn't there.

The biggest potential issue for onboard/integrated audio is grounding faults which will produce hum/buzz/etc on the output. A discrete soundcard will get you around this, as long as your power supply doesn't ripple like a hurricane (and if this is a cheaply built OEM machine, especially a white-box, it almost certainly does - cheap power supplies are like a plague).

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

Whats colinhardings method? Also what are some inexpensive USB-only DAC's?

See jazzerdave's reply. In addition to what he said, I'd echo that if you are using a desktop PC, get a soundcard instead - you'll save $100. At least. You should also look at the USB based audio interfaces from Creative and others, likely will save money too (spending a fortune for features limited "audiophile" parts has never made sense to me).

Also if your PC has a digital audio output (a lot of newer machines do), you could hook up to a S/PDIF DtoA. This assumes that you're having issues with the onboard output; if you just want to spend some money, there's a lot of better things you could spend it on (like new cans, new music, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzerdave View Post

You can take a 1/8" to RCA cable and plug it straight from the audio out on your pc to the RCA input on the Valhalla.  The HRT Music Streamer II DAC is ~ $160 (available at Audio Advisor), and the stand-alone ODAC (from JDS labs) is ~ $160 with the RCA output option.  There are many more options on the market, but that's a start.  If your PC is a desktop, you could always get a new soundcard like the Asus Xonar Essence ST.

This.
post #8768 of 19202
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post



I think "lot" should be qualified here. A lot of people expect to hear this life-altering night and day difference between a PC soundcard and mega-buck external devices, and the reality is, that different just isn't there.
 

 

Definitely agree. I use an AudioEngine D1 DAC and it does a great job for me. I didn't choose it because it was all I could afford, I chose it because it's all I need to get the job done. I've seen more and more people choosing it lately and they are finding out the same thing that i did...that's it's a very competent DAC (and also has a built-in headphone amp, to boot) that will allow you to allocate more money to your headphones since it's so inexpensive. I haven't heard the HRT piece, but I know it's very highly regarded, as well. Play around with higher priced DACs later on down the road...for the first time, I really think a product like either of these is ideal. 

post #8769 of 19202
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzerdave View Post

You can take a 1/8" to RCA cable and plug it straight from the audio out on your pc to the RCA input on the Valhalla.  The HRT Music Streamer II DAC is ~ $160 (available at Audio Advisor), and the stand-alone ODAC (from JDS labs) is ~ $160 with the RCA output option.  There are many more options on the market, but that's a start.  If your PC is a desktop, you could always get a new soundcard like the Asus Xonar Essence ST.

 

I run the Asus Xonar Essence ST myself and I must say it truly IS a night and day difference from the onboard sound. Very clean and the built in amp is quite nice. I frequently use it to switch from  low gain to mid gain when going from my HD280's to my HD590's and it works just as it should. I have not yet rolled any new chips into it, but even at it's baseline it is a fantastic card and well worth the price if you plan to use your PC as your source as I do.

 

Hope this helps

post #8770 of 19202

 

 

My everyday bedside rig. Fiio E10 not in pic. The table is actually for Go (self-made), but I barely use it anymore. Stand is a typical banana stand from a local store. Put a scarf to cover it so that the top of the headband doesn't press down on one specific point, which would probably make it deform.

.

post #8771 of 19202

Recently I built a dedicated music player which is totally fanless and silent. Running Win 7 64bit, 8Gb RAM, 250 GB SSD. More info HERE

 

 

post #8772 of 19202
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordShad0w View Post

 

I run the Asus Xonar Essence ST myself and I must say it truly IS a night and day difference from the onboard sound. Very clean and the built in amp is quite nice.

 

To be fair, I don't think this is a valid comparison. Onboard sound cards are *extremely* underpowered. Anything with a built-in amplifier will absolutely be a night and day difference. Run an amp off of your onboard sound card and you'll probably find a much smaller difference between it and the Xonar.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

I think "lot" should be qualified here. A lot of people expect to hear this life-altering night and day difference between a PC soundcard and mega-buck external devices, and the reality is, that different just isn't there.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Focker View Post

Definitely agree. I use an AudioEngine D1 DAC and it does a great job for me. I didn't choose it because it was all I could afford, I chose it because it's all I need to get the job done. I've seen more and more people choosing it lately and they are finding out the same thing that i did...that's it's a very competent DAC (and also has a built-in headphone amp, to boot) that will allow you to allocate more money to your headphones since it's so inexpensive. I haven't heard the HRT piece, but I know it's very highly regarded, as well. Play around with higher priced DACs later on down the road...for the first time, I really think a product like either of these is ideal. 

 

I agree here but I would add that the biggest difference I experienced going from my Realtek ALC888 onboard sound card to the HRT MSII was with the ASIO4ALL driver and bit-perfect audio. I know a lot of people say there is no difference between bit-perfect ASIO and Windows DirectSound but I disagree entirely. The combination of the MSII and the ASIO driver gives me a more dynamic sound, more "air", and just overall that slightly more detailed and spacious feel, similar to going from 320k mp3 to lossless. The first time I used ASIO with my MSII it actually angered me. "I've been using DirectSound all this time thinking I was getting full quality audio??? Grrrr." These days 99% of my listening is done with 16bit 44.1khz FLAC CD rips through the MSII with ASIO4ALL. I can never go back. ;)

post #8773 of 19202
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

Whats colinhardings method? Also what are some inexpensive USB-only DAC's?
Fiio D3
EDIT: that's a coax, optical dac, sorry
Edited by William007 - 9/29/12 at 12:05am
post #8774 of 19202
Quote:
Originally Posted by devhen View Post

 

 

 

 

I agree here but I would add that the biggest difference I experienced going from my Realtek ALC888 onboard sound card to the HRT MSII was with the ASIO4ALL driver and bit-perfect audio. I know a lot of people say there is no difference between bit-perfect ASIO and Windows DirectSound but I disagree entirely. The combination of the MSII and the ASIO driver gives me a more dynamic sound, more "air", and just overall that slightly more detailed and spacious feel, similar to going from 320k mp3 to lossless. The first time I used ASIO with my MSII it actually angered me. "I've been using DirectSound all this time thinking I was getting full quality audio??? Grrrr." These days 99% of my listening is done with 16bit 44.1khz FLAC CD rips through the MSII with ASIO4ALL. I can never go back. ;)

 

I have a lot of fun comparing the different levels of quality against each other...I've found myself listening to a lot of internet radio via my TuneIn Radio app. I put significantly more time on that app than I do MOG, and I love MOG. The streams  have varying levels of quality, anywhere from 28k to 320k. And then on top of that I have my entire CD collection ripped in Apple Lossless. When I saw the differences of file size displayed in graphical format, I was SHOCKED with how much less info there was in even a 320k track compared to a lossless track. It's pretty dramatic to see it on display like that. So the fact that I can say there are times when the MP3 level of quality can APPROACH the lossless level of quality says a lot about MP3. There are some tracks that I have in both formats and the lossless format is clearly better sounding, but then there are actually times when the MP3 file can hold it's own. I'm very impressed by this, especially since I can be very discerning when I'm focused on it. I find I can really enjoy the quality of something like MOG and the mp3 tracks. Or an Amazon/iTunes download. I'd always choose the lossless track over a lesser resolution, but the software that's in play these days to strip down the CD version and convert it to MP3 is really doing a great job, IMO. 

post #8775 of 19202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Focker View Post

 

I have a lot of fun comparing the different levels of quality against each other...I've found myself listening to a lot of internet radio via my TuneIn Radio app. I put significantly more time on that app than I do MOG, and I love MOG. The streams  have varying levels of quality, anywhere from 28k to 320k. And then on top of that I have my entire CD collection ripped in Apple Lossless. When I saw the differences of file size displayed in graphical format, I was SHOCKED with how much less info there was in even a 320k track compared to a lossless track. It's pretty dramatic to see it on display like that. So the fact that I can say there are times when the MP3 level of quality can APPROACH the lossless level of quality says a lot about MP3. There are some tracks that I have in both formats and the lossless format is clearly better sounding, but then there are actually times when the MP3 file can hold it's own. I'm very impressed by this, especially since I can be very discerning when I'm focused on it. I find I can really enjoy the quality of something like MOG and the mp3 tracks. Or an Amazon/iTunes download. I'd always choose the lossless track over a lesser resolution, but the software that's in play these days to strip down the CD version and convert it to MP3 is really doing a great job, IMO. 

I totally agree. Most of my music is in Apple Lossless format, but occasionally I will use either YouTube, Spotify, or Last.fm to listen to music. I even purchase some music from the iTunes store. I always prefer lossless format, but I don't rule out lossy codecs entirely (such as AAC).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin Morrow View Post

How is this setup? It looks nice.


Edited by Destroysall - 9/29/12 at 4:06am
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