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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (Update: 10/15/2014: Beyerdynamic T51i Added) - Page 1569

post #23521 of 27896
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmencius View Post

God I love their names.

Questions about some stuff that's been floating around:
1. Perhaps this has been discussed earlier in this thread (perhaps a zillion times) but I'm interested in opinions on tube amps vs solid state amps. I was looking at the Magni vs Vali and I noticed the massive difference in output impedance. Then I did some other reading about tube amps' "warm sound." Is it not the case that tube amps get this by massive distorting the sound, increasing the bass and colouring the mids? That if we want to listen to the whole sound we should just get a SS amp which just leaves the sound as is?

2. As for sound cards, I read some opinions that they make absolutely no difference over plugging headphones directly into the onboard audio (as long as you plug headphones into the motherboard directly rather than the front), and all they do is add output impedance.

3. In particular, Stillhart, you're using PC->Omni->Modi->M-stage? I don't understand what the Omni is doing here. I thought the point of a DAC+amp was to take digital audio from the harddrive and process it into an analog signal externally from the PC (and thus avoid all the introduction of noise inside the PC which is the reason some people use sound cards in the first place).

No disrespect intended, it's very likely that I'm missing something.

I may be able to answer some of these...

As for the Magni vs Vali, it all depends on what type of cans you are using. I'm gonna end up getting the Vali as it will help with the harshness of the K712's highs. Again, not all tube amps distort or make the sound warmer. It all depends on the tubes. It was mentioned here that some tubes can be very analytical and transparent.

Sound cards DO in fact make a difference. Plugging your headphones directly into a MOBO is essentially like using a bad source (depends on the MOBO). A soundcard is a nice thing to have. It all depends on whether you want an external or internal sound card. Both can help with sq.

When it comes to the Omni, Stillhart is using it as an external sound card. It's also how he's getting the virtual 5.1 surround sound. It is in fact a DAC and amp combo. It's taking the audio via USB and converting it into either 5.1 or two channel sound (depending on what you want).

I'm not the most knowledgeable when it comes to these things (especially when I'm compared to the others who frequently answer questions in the thread). Anyone, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong for any of these points.
Edited by grumpy1471 - 5/3/14 at 11:43am
post #23522 of 27896
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmencius View Post
 

God I love their names.

 

Questions about some stuff that's been floating around:

1. Perhaps this has been discussed earlier in this thread (perhaps a zillion times) but I'm interested in opinions on tube amps vs solid state amps. I was looking at the Magni vs Vali and I noticed the massive difference in output impedance. Then I did some other reading about tube amps' "warm sound." Is it not the case that tube amps get this by massive distorting the sound, increasing the bass and colouring the mids? That if we want to listen to the whole sound we should just get a SS amp which just leaves the sound as is?

 

2. As for sound cards, I read some opinions that they make absolutely no difference over plugging headphones directly into the onboard audio (as long as you plug headphones into the motherboard directly rather than the front), and all they do is add output impedance.

 

3. In particular, Stillhart, you're using PC->Omni->Modi->M-stage? I don't understand what the Omni is doing here. I thought the point of a DAC+amp was to take digital audio from the harddrive and process it into an analog signal externally from the PC (and thus avoid all the introduction of noise inside the PC which is the reason some people use sound cards in the first place).

 

No disrespect intended, it's very likely that I'm missing something.

2. I think that's simply wrong. Integrated on-board [Realtek, etc.] simply does terribly with headphones IMO. The sound is very often muddy and lacks any definition [tested with my own Realtek] and that's when an internal/external soundcard comes in. Some are made to work well with headphones and eliminate the purpose for a stand-alone headphone DAC/amp. Many headphones do fairly well with a decent soundcard, but the most demanding or power-hungry headphones will always benefit from a dedicated headphone amp/DAC. 

 

3. Omni serves to provide the signal processing [DH, SBX, THX, etc. ] only. It doesn't do anything else [like converting the signal from digital to analogue or amping, that's what the other two do.] but processing, much like U3, etc. can, then Modi does the DAC function and Mstage amps it.

 

EDIT: grumpy is right too.


Edited by conquerator2 - 5/3/14 at 11:53am
post #23523 of 27896
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post

2. I think that's simply wrong. Integrated on-board [Realtek, etc.] simply does terribly with headphones IMO. The sound is very often muddy and lacks any definition [tested with my own Realtek] and that's when an internal/external soundcard comes in. Some are made to work well with headphones and eliminate the purpose for a stand-alone headphone DAC/amp. Many headphones do fairly well with a decent soundcard, but the most demanding or power-hungry headphones will always benefit from a dedicated headphone amp/DAC. 

3. Omni serves to provide the DSP [DH, SBX, THX, etc. ] only. It doesn't do anything else but processing, much like U3, etc. then Modi does the DAC function and Mstage amps it.

EDIT: grumpy is right too.

You answered #3 a lot better. Essentially, Stillhart is bypassing the Omni's DAC and amp features and offloading those to the Modi and M-Stage, correct?
post #23524 of 27896
Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy1471 View Post


You answered #3 a lot better. Essentially, Stillhart is bypassing the Omni's DAC and amp features and offloading those to the Modi and M-Stage, correct?

yes, the Omni acts as a processor only, nothing more, nothing less.

post #23525 of 27896
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmencius View Post

God I love their names.

Questions about some stuff that's been floating around:

2. As for sound cards, I read some opinions that they make absolutely no difference over plugging headphones directly into the onboard audio (as long as you plug headphones into the motherboard directly rather than the front), and all they do is add output impedance.
Have you been watching TekSyndicate?
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post

yes, the Omni acts as a processor only, nothing more, nothing less.
Almost... It is also acting as a USB to Optical converter, and I believe the mic could still be used.
post #23526 of 27896

Just a quick update for the Vmoda BoomPro Headphone Compatibility List.

 

I am able to use the Vmoda's with the Martin Logan Mikros 90.  Tested on my desktop and laptop using Mumble, and on my phone with calls.

Once @Zombie_X has the mini XLR to 3.5mm adapter ready, I look forward to using with my K712's as well :L3000:

 

 

 

Quote:
 Vmoda BoomPro Headphone Compatibility List:
This list will be updated and may be changed. Currently, this is only a list of headphones I know that are capable of being used with the Vmoda BoomPro, not a list of recommendations.

Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro
Focal Spirit Pro, Classic (need confirmation)
M-Audio Q40
Monster DNA On Ear, DNA Pro
MrSpeakers Mad Dog (single ended version)
NAD Viso HP50
Nuforce HP800
Philips Fidelio X1
Skullcandy Aviator
Vmoda LP2, M80, M100, XS
post #23527 of 27896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


Have you been watching TekSyndicate?
Almost... It is also acting as a USB to Optical converter, and I believe the mic could still be used.

TekSyndicate is good IMO.

I enjoy watching it even though I am mostly a console guy... Logan & Wendel :D

post #23528 of 27896
Quote:
Originally Posted by kman1211 View Post
 


That is true, it's not warmth that separates tubes from solid state. Tubes do have a different sound though. Best way to describe tubes is that tubes have a more analog sound. Cheaper tubes can be a bit wooly like you said. And some tubes are extremely transparent and very clear sounding with sparkle but also sweet and smooth sounding.

I don't understand: I thought the whole point of modern SS amps was to reduce output impedance and power consumption and ultimately to affect the sound as little as possible. If you need a tube amp to tame the highs of a particular headphone (because the unaltered sound as the developers intended would be too harsh), doesn't that mean that you should just get a different headphone? I can see how a tube amp can a) subtract sound through impedance and b) colour sound... but what can it positively contribute?

Not meaning to be judgemental at all, I'm just confused what they add over SS amps.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kman1211 View Post
 


That's the analog sound. The sound has a certain body, depth, and roundness that I just haven't heard on a SS amp. The closer sounding something is to analog the more natural and real it sounds. I've heard a full analog system, it's so real and smooth sounding with the best soundstage I have ever heard. It was the closest I have ever heard music to the real thing on a headphone. I can't really use SS amps anymore for gaming because the soundstage doesn't sound right.

 

I know how that is. When I switched to my Siemens 6AK5W tubes a while ago the sound became so smooth, clear, and transparent.

Why should accurate uncolouring digital conversion make the sound less real?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


Have you been watching TekSyndicate?
Almost... It is also acting as a USB to Optical converter, and I believe the mic could still be used.

Yes.

 

OK so in summary, if I want to listen to game audio from a PS3/PS4 and music from PC, what do I need?

From PS3: no USB audio output, so no DAC, and a Magni/Vali doesn't have optical input (why on earth not) so I have to use component wires (is that lower quality than optical?).

For PS4: is a DAC and amp a good idea there?

For PC: even if you guys like sound cards, if I use a DAC + amp then I don't need a sound card, right? So why do people use sound cards (even if it is superior to onboard audio, is it superior to DAC+amp)?

post #23529 of 27896
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post

TekSyndicate is good IMO.
I enjoy watching it even though I am mostly a console guy... Logan & Wendel biggrin.gif
I only saw the one episode about soundcards... It was a bit like watching Bill O'Reilly, except there was nobody to provide a counterpoint (and talk over).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmencius View Post

I don't understand: I thought the whole point of modern SS amps was to reduce output impedance and power consumption and ultimately to affect the sound as little as possible. If you need a tube amp to tame the highs of a particular headphone (because the unaltered sound as the developers intended would be too harsh), doesn't that mean that you should just get a different headphone? I can see how a tube amp can a) subtract sound through impedance and b) colour sound... but what can it positively contribute?

OK so in summary, if I want to listen to game audio from a PS3/PS4 and music from PC, what do I need?
From PS3: no USB audio output, so no DAC, and a Magni/Vali doesn't have optical input (why on earth not) so I have to use component wires (is that lower quality than optical?).
For PS4: is a DAC and amp a good idea there?
For PC: even if you guys like sound cards, if I use a DAC + amp then I don't need a sound card, right? So why do people use sound cards (even if it is superior to onboard audio, is it superior to DAC+amp)?
For consoles, the surround processors are also DACs (digital to analogue). Amps only provide the power for analogue signals. The Magni and Vali are amps... that's why they don't have digital inputs.

Soundcards are a step up in DAC quality and amping power compared to motherboards (the best motherboard integrated sound components are still noisier and less powerful than an entry-level card like an Asus Xonar DGS or Creative Soundblaster Z/Omni), and they also offer headphone surround processing. Motherboards are getting more capable and often are good enough to get by (used to be you had to add a soundcard to get audio AT ALL), and a dedicated headphone gear will still be another step up from soundcards, but soundcards still have their place and are convenient all-in-one solutions.
post #23530 of 27896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


I only saw the one episode about soundcards... It was a bit like watching Bill O'Reilly, except there was nobody to provide a counterpoint (and talk over).
For consoles, the surround processors are also DACs (digital to analogue). Amps only provide the power for analogue signals. The Magni and Vali are amps... that's why they don't have digital inputs.

Soundcards are a step up in DAC quality and amping power compared to motherboards (the best motherboard integrated sound components are still noisier and less powerful than an entry-level card like an Asus Xonar DGS or Creative Soundblaster Z/Omni), and they also offer headphone surround processing. Motherboards are getting more capable and often are good enough to get by (used to be you had to add a soundcard to get audio AT ALL), and a dedicated headphone gear will still be another step up from soundcards, but soundcards still have their place and are convenient all-in-one solutions.


Stop changing the subject..what was in the packages? or is it a bit of a touchy subject!

post #23531 of 27896
Quote:
Originally Posted by martin vegas View Post
 


Stop changing the subject..what was in the packages? or is it a bit of a touchy subject!

 

Guys, the more you ask... the more you stroke his ego....

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The big package contains his K712 and my K612. My guess is the other package contains a Bifrost that was for sale in the classifieds, and is no longer there...

 

:p

post #23532 of 27896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Change is Good View Post

 

Guys, the more you ask... the more you stroke his ego....

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The big package contains his K712 and my K612. My guess is the other package contains a Bifrost that was for sale in the classifieds, and is no longer there...

 

:p

 

Right... ego...

post #23533 of 27896
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmencius View Post

I don't understand: I thought the whole point of modern SS amps was to reduce output impedance and power consumption and ultimately to affect the sound as little as possible. If you need a tube amp to tame the highs of a particular headphone (because the unaltered sound as the developers intended would be too harsh), doesn't that mean that you should just get a different headphone? I can see how a tube amp can a) subtract sound through impedance and b) colour sound... but what can it positively contribute?
Not meaning to be judgemental at all, I'm just confused what they add over SS amps.

Why should accurate uncolouring digital conversion make the sound less real?

Yes.

OK so in summary, if I want to listen to game audio from a PS3/PS4 and music from PC, what do I need?
From PS3: no USB audio output, so no DAC, and a Magni/Vali doesn't have optical input (why on earth not) so I have to use component wires (is that lower quality than optical?).
For PS4: is a DAC and amp a good idea there?
For PC: even if you guys like sound cards, if I use a DAC + amp then I don't need a sound card, right? So why do people use sound cards (even if it is superior to onboard audio, is it superior to DAC+amp)?
You're missing out on a MAJOR factor: surround processing. It's why we use things like the mixamp and the omni.

If you want surround from your console, get a mixanp or recon and work from there.

If you ONLY want to listen to music from your PC, get a USB DAC and an amp (or a combo) and skip the sound card.

If you game on your PC, you need a sound card for surround processing. All sound cards are amp and DAC too, you can start with that and then expand over time. Add an amp and then a DAC if you feel the need to upgrade.
post #23534 of 27896

I've not got a separate DAC or amp so am unable to test for myself, and the documentation for the Omni isn't the most comprehensive. So my question is, what connection out of the Omni do you use to bypass the DAC and amp? Do you use the line level speaker output? The reason I ask is because it seems to be intended as a speaker output. Therefore I wouldn't have necessarily expected it to carry the virtual surround signal, but instead bypass the headphone processing and send a standard stereo signal. Unless you guys have only been using it with DAC's and amps with optical inputs.

 

Can someone explain this to me please.

post #23535 of 27896

I just ordered up the Omni and the Vali. The Vali should be here in around 4 days and the Omni in 3-11 days. Hopefully these make the K712 worth keeping! :D

 

I had to pay $100 CAD for the Omni and.... *gulp* $170 CAD for the Vali. Darn those international shipping rates!

 

I sure hope that I will be in audio heaven when I combine the Omni, Vali and K712!

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