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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added) - Page 1041

post #15601 of 37451

Yeah, that's true. I still haven't gotten a portable device yet. Reading in the portable amp subsection of these forums is like all the non-headphone gear sections. Full of magic. The minimum investment I want to make is a Fiio E12. 

post #15602 of 37451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Hence why I'll NEVER use software programs to manage my music. Enqueing in Winamp ftw.

Agree'd and I'm sure you all heard about that scare with iTunes downloading spy ware on your pc to make sure u weren't sharing files... well that wasn't a lie.

 

Non the less that software was just so darn intrusive. It assoicated EVERYTHING with it self  and was such a pain to undo. When it updated like every other week I'd have to go  un associate everything again q.q

post #15603 of 37451

Mad Lust Envy, I noticed you reviewed your Stax setup with one of the basic amps (the SRM-252 in particular that was sent out with the HeadAmp demo). Frankly, these amps are pretty bad and give you only a small idea of what Stax can do because they just don't put out enough power very well. After my SRM-Xh (a very close ancestor to the SRM-252) fried after using a power source of a wrong polarity, I bought a second amplifier and the difference between the two was shocking.

 

Even though my current amp (an SRD-X Professional) isn't anything to brag about either, it is a substantial upgrade to one of the basic amps. However, I recently purchased an SRM-1/MK2 Professional amplifier, which is a massive upgrade over all three amps described above. Once I receive it, and have had time to enjoy and become accustomed to it, I would be willing to send my complete Stax setup to you (with some conditions) to review on the guide if you wish to do so.


Edited by Tus-Chan - 8/5/13 at 8:20am
post #15604 of 37451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post


I'm assuming the DG is like the U3. The U3 doesn't have a true analog line out, which is why there is no legitimate methid to connect an amp directly to the U3, since the only audio out is the combination headphone/spdif jack. You'd be going through the crappy internal amplifier if you go analog. With the U3, I keep the signal (including Dolby Headphone) in the digital realm, transferring it to the Fiio D03k, and letting that convert it to analog for the amp.

If the DG has an RCA out that retains Dolby Headphone, then by all means, try it that way

 

 

in your honest opinion- is the u3 a piece of ****? should I return it while i'm still within my 30 days, or keep it? I guess it is useful, and in my testing it was better than onboard sound (but not by much)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


Firefly,
Dunno if you're gonna read this, but I have a similar setup as yours. I actually have been gaining more Mac games alongside PC (if available, I'm almost always picking the Mac version because so far I've found them less buggy, though I still have a bunch of PC games waiting for me to get to them), so I understand that you'd like surround gaming as well as a competent external device. Well, I've said time and time again, if you have a Mac, Windows, and console platforms, the best I've found so far has been Creative's Sound Blaster Recon3D USB processor. It has USB (and native drivers) for both PC platforms, and an optical input for consoles (I have a 360). And, it actually has pretty low noise, so it works well for double amping.

I have heard rumors that a few months from now, Creative is releasing a new version of this product to fit with their Z-series lineup. That's the one I want, but the wait is really under-living at the moment, if you know what I mean.

Alternatively, if your Mac has a Thunderbolt or HDMI port, you can connect to a home-theater receiver for surround. That's kind of a bulky solution, but it works, and it has it's advantages. I personally think Yamaha's Silent Cinema is comparable to Dolby Headphone, not much between them, although receivers usually have more tweaking options than standalone DH devices.
That's good news!
Though honestly, after never owning a Sony console yet (IMO the PS1 was graphically messy, then... Halo, so I picked an Xbox over a PS2, stuck with it for online gaming into the current gen), I think I'd get a PS4 this time around. Or maybe just a PS3 and catch up on goodies I missed. I'd be tempted to buy an Xbox One and Halo 5, just to finish the story that could've (should've?) completed in Halo 3 because I'm a completionist, and return it after beating the campaign. I'm really wishing to just move over to PC now, and I'm sick of paying for multiplayer when it doesn't seem like most games take advantage of LIVE in any way better than on PC (plenty of hackers everywhere these days, too).
If you wanted to try an E12, why didn't you just ask to borrow mine? It's been neglected lately, as I'm playing with tubes and considering a DAC/amp all-in-one for my iPods.

 

 

thanks for the reply

to be honest i've been spending a lot of time within windows recently and stereo sources sound awful with dolby headphone- so no netflix, no stereo movies or music, so i'm pretty happy to just stick with dolby headphone on games, and forget DH on mac- but good point about yamaha silent cinema, their receivers are good and pretty reasonable cost too- might be an option for the future- i'm already going HDMI into an onkyo receiver (home cinema in a box type thing but it sounds great)

 

thanks for the tip about the recon, i'll check it out. So it works like the DSS? Converting surround sound into virtual surround sound, and it does that over usb? if so, cool!

 

still undecided about headphones too

people keep talking about the AKG 701, but what about the 601? It's not that much cheaper but it's a fair saving- I've heard it's warmer and less analytical than the 701, so maybe it's not good for gaming, the 701's get a lot of praise- i'm tempted to save the extra. I'm thinking the 558 or 598 is the best balance between gaming performance and music/movies ability- but I do like the look of the AKG's and the x1- and yes looks are important... so what to do, hard to find somewhere to try them out. 

post #15605 of 37451
Thread Starter 
I don't believe in amps transforming headphones like that. I've owned everything from a lowly E5 to the Lyr and SA-31 (which pumps about 10watts at 40ohm). The difference between amps are so subtle, that I'm incredibly wary of people talking about a vast improvement. The only time I felt that was with the HE-4, which required so much power than most typical amps.

I enjoyed the SR-407 off the 252s. If there's better, great, I'm sure there is, but I'd be happy with it as a main stax setup, if the pads and design were better. I don't plan on revisiting them with a better amp or not. These demos are making me spend money to ship back. Money that right now, I really need. I'm scraping by, and can't afford to just throw money on demos.

Thanks a lot for the offer though!
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 8/5/13 at 10:39am
post #15606 of 37451
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by firefly89 View Post


in your honest opinion- is the u3 a piece of ****? should I return it while i'm still within my 30 days, or keep it? I guess it is useful, and in my testing it was better than onboard sound (but not by much)

If you're using it as a dac/amp, then yes, there is much better. However, the way I'm using it, I have it so it sends Dolby Headphone digitally to a real dac and a real amp. This will make the U3 as good as you want it to be, because you're not using anything except the Dolby headphone encoder. You can't make 0's and 1's sound better or worse. As long as the signal is good, the DAC and AMP will be the ones doing the work, not the U3. So the U3 is priceless, because it's cheap as hell, and allows you to use your own good stuff. Getting a better dolby headphone device is moot, unless you plan on using the internal dac/amp.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 8/5/13 at 8:40am
post #15607 of 37451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

I don't believe in amps transforming headphones like that. I've owned everything from a lowly E5 to the Lyr and SA-31 (which pumps about 10watts at 40ohm). The difference between amps are so subtle, that I'm incredibly wary of people talking about a vast improvement. The only time I felt that was with the HE-4, which required so much power than most typical amps.

I enjoyed the SR-407 off the 252s. If there's better, great, I'm sure there is, but I'd be happy with it as a main stax setup, if the pads and design were better. I don't plan on revisiting them with a better amp or not. These demos are making me spend money to ship back. Money that right now, I really need. I'm scraping by, and can't afford to just throw money on demos.

Yup. That's exactly why I don't like travelling demo pairs.
post #15608 of 37451

Took Mad Lust Envy's advice and took the plunge ordered from Amazon X1. I think i will only get them in like 10 days needing to forward them out from the US. gs1000.gif

 

My question is how would the sound quality compare using a DAC (ie E17 with out without E9) vs mixamp 5.8 using the X1?

post #15609 of 37451
Thread Starter 
If you're gaming, the Mixamp is a wiser choice. I would prefer playing and watching movies in Dolby Headphone off a horrible device than playing off the best stereo dac/amp in the world.

Also just in case you're ever considering it, don't get the E9 for the X1. The X1 has way too low of an impedance for the E9, and it may end up sounding worse, due to the E9's high output impedance. The E9 is more for headphones over 80ohms, though some exceptions (like the K70x aren't really affected by the high output).

Hmm, why did Fiio insist on putting the E12's analog input and headphone jack on the same side? Not to mention the USB on the side. All that stuff makes the front plate/side so cluttered with cables. I hate it when amps do this. Ah well.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 8/5/13 at 9:33am
post #15610 of 37451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tus-Chan View Post

Mad Lust Envy, I noticed you reviewed your Stax setup with one of the basic amps (the SRM-252 in particular that was sent out with the HeadAmp demo). Frankly, these amps are pretty bad and give you only a small idea of what Stax can do because they just don't put out enough power very well. After my SRM-Xh (a very close ancestor to the SRM-252) fried after using a power source of a wrong polarity, I bought a second amplifier and the difference between the two was shocking.

 

Even though my current amp (an SRD-X Professional) isn't anything to brag about either, it is a substantial upgrade to one of the basic amps. However, I recently purchased an SRM-1/MK2 Professional amplifier, which is a massive upgrade over all three amps described above. Once I receive it, and have had time to enjoy and become accustomed to it, I would be willing to send my complete Stax setup to you (with some conditions) to review on the guide if you wish to do so.

Nice offer indeed!

post #15611 of 37451
Hello
thanks for this wonderful guide

I'm on a laptop and leaning towards buying the X1 right now, might buy a Q701 later

as a fast check:
to get Dolby Headphone I should get Xonar U3.
the U3 has a high impedance so it will alter the X1 sound .
the U3 doesn't have a true analog line out so just plugging an amp (like FiiO E11) directly won't fix..
a fix is getting an AMP and a S/PDIF DAC .

so the setup will be something like:

Laptop > U3 > E17 > X1
or
Laptop > U3 > D3 > E11 > X1

these setups will give me the Dolby Headphones of the U3 without the high impedance problems and with the best of whatever AMP/DAC I connect .

am I right here and good to go? or did I miss something ?
also will the E6 be alright as a cheap alternative for the E11 in the second setup ?

Thanks,
post #15612 of 37451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post


If you're using it as a dac/amp, then yes, there is much better. However, the way I'm using it, I have it so it sends Dolby Headphone digitally to a real dac and a real amp. This will make the U3 as good as you want it to be, because you're not using anything except the Dolby headphone encoder. You can't make 0's and 1's sound better or worse. As long as the signal is good, the DAC and AMP will be the ones doing the work, not the U3. So the U3 is priceless, because it's cheap as hell, and allows you to use your own good stuff. Getting a better dolby headphone device is moot, unless you plan on using the internal dac/amp.

 

 

I just bought the AKG 701, so might need to look into amping these in the future. For now the question is do I keep the u3 and use it as a headphone out for the 701 (with dolby headphone), and get an amp down the line and use with optical DAC (but won't work on mac as can't use u3's optical out, only analogue output or macbook pro's built in optical/analogue out), or upgrade to the u7 now and that might have a better inbuilt amp/dac? Doesn't have DH though, it has something else- dolby home theatre, apparantly it's not as good

post #15613 of 37451
Quote:
Originally Posted by firefly89 View Post

 

 

in your honest opinion- is the u3 a piece of ****? should I return it while i'm still within my 30 days, or keep it? I guess it is useful, and in my testing it was better than onboard sound (but not by much)

 

 

 

thanks for the reply

to be honest i've been spending a lot of time within windows recently and stereo sources sound awful with dolby headphone- so no netflix, no stereo movies or music, so i'm pretty happy to just stick with dolby headphone on games, and forget DH on mac- but good point about yamaha silent cinema, their receivers are good and pretty reasonable cost too- might be an option for the future- i'm already going HDMI into an onkyo receiver (home cinema in a box type thing but it sounds great)

 

thanks for the tip about the recon, i'll check it out. So it works like the DSS? Converting surround sound into virtual surround sound, and it does that over usb? if so, cool!

 

still undecided about headphones too

people keep talking about the AKG 701, but what about the 601? It's not that much cheaper but it's a fair saving- I've heard it's warmer and less analytical than the 701, so maybe it's not good for gaming, the 701's get a lot of praise- i'm tempted to save the extra. I'm thinking the 558 or 598 is the best balance between gaming performance and music/movies ability- but I do like the look of the AKG's and the x1- and yes looks are important... so what to do, hard to find somewhere to try them out. 

Firefly,

Well, I haven't heard the k601 myself, but I've read people that prefer it, but generally people agree that it's not as refined as the current flagships. I would look at the AKG Q701, same "capsule" as a regular K701, little lime accents (unless you get the lime model, I have the white and I think it looks great, though a little big to wear on the bus of course), they usually sell for a bit cheaper if you look around. If you buy used, you can often find them around $200. The HD558 is no slouch, but IMO I think the 598 is close in cost enough to a Q701 that I'd just get the latter... unless you don't think you'll ever get an amp. The Q701 sounds good without an extra amp, but surround positioning, clarity, etc really come to life once you have a decent amp hooked up. Like Mad was saying about the Stax, you don't necessarily pick one amp over another because of the sound flavor, you pick any amp powerful enough for your headphone.

 

Dolby Headphone is one option of several virtual surround processing options. Mad's favorite. Mine is the "THX TruStudio Pro" that the Recon3D USB works with. It does work through USB, and Creative did make driver software for the Mac so games AND movies gain surround, which is great! I have a review and some usage tips linked in my signature.

post #15614 of 37451
The one that makes a good solution for both console, mac and pc will earn some pretty good cash.. Can it really be that hard?
post #15615 of 37451
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Firefly,

Well, I haven't heard the k601 myself, but I've read people that prefer it, but generally people agree that it's not as refined as the current flagships. I would look at the AKG Q701, same "capsule" as a regular K701, little lime accents (unless you get the lime model, I have the white and I think it looks great, though a little big to wear on the bus of course), they usually sell for a bit cheaper if you look around. If you buy used, you can often find them around $200. The HD558 is no slouch, but IMO I think the 598 is close in cost enough to a Q701 that I'd just get the latter... unless you don't think you'll ever get an amp. The Q701 sounds good without an extra amp, but surround positioning, clarity, etc really come to life once you have a decent amp hooked up. Like Mad was saying about the Stax, you don't necessarily pick one amp over another because of the sound flavor, you pick any amp powerful enough for your headphone.

 

Dolby Headphone is one option of several virtual surround processing options. Mad's favorite. Mine is the "THX TruStudio Pro" that the Recon3D USB works with. It does work through USB, and Creative did make driver software for the Mac so games AND movies gain surround, which is great! I have a review and some usage tips linked in my signature.

I just got the k701- at a too good to refuse price

 

been looking at the recon, looks like a good unit- twice the price of the u3 though, and from the sounds of it not as powerful amp as the u3- might keep the u3 for now, forget about dolby headphone on mac- but now I know the recon works on mac- perfect

 

need to spend more time to test out music and movies with dolby headphone to see if it's worth getting on mac, currently only use headphones for gaming, and occasionally music

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