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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (Update: 7/9/2014: Ultrasone HFI-15G Added) - Page 546

post #8176 of 26085
Quote:
Originally Posted by proGressive13 View Post

Really epic review and thanks to all posters for your inputs.

I have a question concerning my current setup. I have a Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty XtremeGamer sound card (a 2008 version so it's getting old but still freaking good) I have coupled it with a DT 770 pro 250 ohms but I cannot get fully impressed by it because... This sound card doesn't have a built-in amp so it's not giving it's best.
 

I am a kinda competitive gamer, I love having a precise positioning but don't mind if bass take over it. I want my Beyerdynamic beast to be released !

What is my best bet:

Buy a new sound card with a built in amp ? If yes, which is your best advise for an audiophile/gamer ?

Buy an amp and stick it to my X-Fi. Tough I still wanna enjoy the CMSS-3D. Is it possible with an amp ? if yes which ?

 

In both case I'm ready to put up to 170$

Thanks a lot in advance for your replies.

Regards.

 

Upon recommendations in this thread, I'm currently buying a DT770 Pro 250ohm + x-fi Titanium HD + O2 amp, so I'm in a pretty similar case. I'm not sure what your sound card's worth, but I  think you should keep it and buy an external headphones amp. You can find the O2 for 150$, it should power the beyer properly (it can power 600ohm headphones) and is very transparent (won't colour the sound).

 

The amp will just amplify the signal and ensure stable voltage, it should not alter it and you will keep the CMSS-3D from your sound card.

 

This is just what I was recommended in this thread to go with the DT770, I'm still waiting for the O2 to be shipped :)

post #8177 of 26085
Quote:
Originally Posted by proGressive13 View Post
Really epic review and thanks to all posters for your inputs.

I have a question concerning my current setup. I have a Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty XtremeGamer sound card (a 2008 version so it's getting old but still freaking good) I have coupled it with a DT 770 pro 250 ohms but I cannot get fully impressed by it because... This sound card doesn't have a built-in amp so it's not giving it's best.
I am a kinda competitive gamer, I love having a precise positioning but don't mind if bass take over it. I want my Beyerdynamic beast to be released !
What is my best bet:

Buy a new sound card with a built in amp ? If yes, which is your best advise for an audiophile/gamer ?

Buy an amp and stick it to my X-Fi. Tough I still wanna enjoy the CMSS-3D. Is it possible with an amp ? if yes which ?

In both case I'm ready to put up to 170$

For the lowest cost way ($49.99) for driving 250-Ohm headphones from you current sound card, on Amazon they sell the

MUSE 6N11 Tube Headphone Amplifier

That's a lot less then $170.

post #8178 of 26085
Thread Starter 
The output impedance is 20-ohm. Jesus, I'll pass. That's distortion city. Shouldn't be too bad for 250ohm though.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/10/12 at 11:01am
post #8179 of 26085
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

I would have not wanted it, because it'd be too dark and smooth. I prefer bright and sparkly.

Yeah i hear yeah.. I can't do too bright n sparkly on any cans because for some reason my ears start to ring after listening to bright headphones after awhile.I hope the DT990 600 ohms are not too bright though from what I have red they are not susposed to be but my ears will let me know for sure! "ring,ring". Lol
post #8180 of 26085
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

For the lowest cost way ($49.99) for driving 250-Ohm headphones from you current sound card, on Amazon they sell the

MUSE 6N11 Tube Headphone Amplifier



That's a lot less then $170.
I have spent the last month looking into that amp and related, what I found is that the very similar Indeed G2 has upgraded parts, better reliability, and should cost about the same if you bid on it on eBay. You can also "buy it now" for a few more bucks. User Judge Buff has had a lot of success modding and upgrading his Indeed G2, check out everyone's feedback in threads like this one: http://www.head-fi.org/t/484975/indeed-g2

If you would be willing to wait like 2 weeks, I've got an even better single-ended 6DJ8 tube amp with boutique components being custom built for me right now. Its a better design, and it has been kitted out with a lot of the upgrades that made people excited about the muse/indeed/bravo amps. After everything I've read about capacitors, upgraded resistors, etc, I'm REALLY excited to hear this amp, the parts and design appear to add up to a pairing more synergistic than an O2!
http://www.head-fi.org/t/402067/a-super-simple-6dj8-headphone-amp/420

Mad,
You might want to borrow this, it may appeal to you as a replacement for your NFB-5, and a part of me is curious what you'd think of my incoming with your experience with the NFB-5, Lyr, and of course the FiiO E17 you use now. Dunno how it would compare to the Audio GD SA-31 you have on your wish list, of course.
Edited by Evshrug - 10/10/12 at 12:24pm
post #8181 of 26085

Thanks a lot for the heads up guys !

But of course... This is not the kind of stuff that can get shipped in Europe... (Yup... european people here)

If you have other ideas of stuff that are maybe more "commercial", it's welcome. Otherwise a good sound card for gaming and a built-in amp and Dolby or CMSS-3D (I dunno which would be best for a DT 770) is probably more available in here...

But thanks again ! Both of the inputs with the Muse and O2 were great ideas :( Thanks... Europe !
 

post #8182 of 26085
Quote:
Originally Posted by proGressive13 View Post

Thanks a lot for the heads up guys !

But of course... This is not the kind of stuff that can get shipped in Europe... (Yup... european people here)
If you have other ideas of stuff that are maybe more "commercial", it's welcome. Otherwise a good sound card for gaming and a built-in amp and Dolby or CMSS-3D (I dunno which would be best for a DT 770) is probably more available in here...

But thanks again ! Both of the inputs with the Muse and O2 were great ideas frown.gif Thanks... Europe !

proGressive,
RE: muse/indeed/bravo tube hybrids: Pretty sure shipping from china is similar no matter if the destination is USA or Europe.
RE: the O2 has a few European builders, check for Epiphany Acoustics in the UK.
RE: Super Simple 6DJ8 tube amp: the guy building it for me is in Latvia, he wants to turn his modified prototype of the original design into a commercial product.


If you already have a good soundcard, then all you need to do to pass CMSS-3D through the amp is to wire the headphone out of the soundcard to the amp's input, just a regular 3.5mm headphone cable with plugs at both ends will do fine.
Edited by Evshrug - 10/10/12 at 12:34pm
post #8183 of 26085
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


proGressive,
RE: muse/indeed/bravo tube hybrids: Pretty sure shipping from china is similar no matter if the destination is USA or Europe.
RE: the O2 has a few European builders, check for Epiphany Acoustics in the UK.
RE: Super Simple 6DJ8 tube amp: the guy building it for me is in Latvia, he wants to turn his modified prototype of the original design into a commercial product.
If you already have a good soundcard, then all you need to do to pass CMSS-3D through the amp is to wire the headphone out of the soundcard to the amp's input, just a regular 3.5mm headphone cable with plugs at both ends will do fine.

 

Thanks Ev,

Well I had a look on the Epiphany Acoustic website and I could get one of the O2 from there for sure. But i'm not quite sure of which Amplifier to choose since there is one without DAC (100£) and one with DAC (which is 199£ ofc.)

 
Personally I will avoid shipping stuff from china. Tbh, I'm just lazy and rather have a more eligible (not meant in a rude way) support when it comes about electronic components.

 

Last tought, what's your opinion about an FiiO E series ? I kinda got the hint that if I wanna keep my CMSS-3D I should avoid these. Could you confirm or deny this fact ?
Thanks !

post #8184 of 26085
Quote:
Originally Posted by proGressive13 View Post

Last tought, what's your opinion about an FiiO E series ? I kinda got the hint that if I wanna keep my CMSS-3D I should avoid these. Could you confirm or deny this fact?

 

You don't want the products that only take USB input, because those are effectively their own sound cards.

 

However, you can get something like the E9 that you can connect via analog, or the E17 that you can connect via S/PDIF as well as analog, if you really want to go the external DAC/amp route.

post #8185 of 26085
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

You don't want the products that only take USB input, because those are effectively their own sound cards.

 

However, you can get something like the E9 that you can connect via analog, or the E17 that you can connect via S/PDIF as well as analog, if you really want to go the external DAC/amp route.

Well, to keep my Sound card feature I need to go external so thanks for these inputs. The O2 from Epiphany Acoustic is darn expensive in compare of these and the E17 is pretty portable. I guess these two are my best choice for staying under 150$. I would probably rather the E17.

If somebody know better let me know but as from what I read about the E17 it is the best nomad Amp/DAC combo at it's price range.
Do you see any other external amp that could do the trick for the DT770 pro 250 at this price range ? (100-150$)

post #8186 of 26085

You should be able to find something in the used section of this forums in that price range that should work.

post #8187 of 26085

You don't need to buy an external DAC too keep your soundcard features. A DAC is the part that converts the digital signal into an analogue signal, which your sound card already do pretty well. The ODAC or E17 is rather useless for you I think.

 

Epiphany Acoustic's O2 at 112£ (shipping included) should be well inside your budget and do everything you need. Why does it have to be nomad though?

post #8188 of 26085
Quote:
Originally Posted by proGressive13 View Post

Thanks Ev,

Well I had a look on the Epiphany Acoustic website and I could get one of the O2 from there for sure. But i'm not quite sure of which Amplifier to choose since there is one without DAC (100£) and one with DAC (which is 199£ ofc.)
 
Personally I will avoid shipping stuff from china. Tbh, I'm just lazy and rather have a more eligible (not meant in a rude way) support when it comes about electronic components.

Last tought, what's your opinion about an FiiO E series ? I kinda got the hint that if I wanna keep my CMSS-3D I should avoid these. Could you confirm or deny this fact ?

Thanks !

Hey proGressive,
You figured out my real name, you sleuth! wink.gif

A DAC is a digital-to-analogue converter. Your soundcard already has one to convert digital 1s and 0s into the analogue signal that makes your headphones go VROO VROO (or whatever sound is playing), so you don't need to add an extra one. So thankfully, take that part out of the O2 and you get the same amping performance for less money!

I understand what you mean about support... I don't like to throw money away or wait a couple months for there-and-back-again hardware support through the mail, but the tube hybrids are so cheap that they might be worth the risk, and I've read situations with the Indeed that some people were just sent new amps instead of going through the repair process. It is a personal choice though, for others it has worked out, especially since the 2010 upgrades to the power switch.

I don't know how many € the tube amp I'm getting would be, but Zigis is very friendly and you can PM him here on Head-Fi. He has been working with the initial design in the posted thread for 3 years. Since it's hand built rather than manufactured, I expect he'll be very careful with quality control so he can build his reputation. As I'll get to later, he's actually the 2nd closest to you as a fellow European.

Lastly, I am a fan of the E series from FiiO. Each new product seems to be stronger than the last, and I'm intrigued by the new E12 slated for release between November and December. All of the E series have amps that compete well at their price range, though the one model you ought to avoid is the E10 – it's a good DAC/AMP, but it doesnt have any analogue inputs to use with your soundcard.
The E9 (or E9k with a new dock) is widely consider "the safe bet" for an affordable desktop amp and would have the most power to drive your headphones dynamically. They also come with docks -– the E9 has a dock for the E7, and the E9k is mostly the same amp with a dock for the E17.
The E17 is a popular portable amp/DAC combo unit. Since it has a regular analogue input, you can use it's amp section with your soundcard. The E17 docks with the E9k to lend it's DAC to the E9k, but that shouldn't be important to you in this situation. The E17 has another feature of an EQ – maybe not important to you because you can EQ with more granularity in your computer settings, but it's nice for others plugging into an MP3 player or game console that doesn't have it's own EQ.
The E11 is a portable amp, a little more powerful than the E17. It only has a switch on the side for 2 bass boost settings, but again, you have more control via PC settings anyway. If you look up head-fi'er ClieOS, you'll see that, for a portable, the E11 stacks up as one of the best sub-$100 (US) amps.

The funny part is that FiiO is a Chinese company too! They're a more established company, with better distribution and pretty solid products, but read their website and you'll see that they're definitely from China. That's really not a death sentence... so many things are made in china, after all.

And as long as an amp has analogue inputs, like a 3.5mm headphone jack, they can plug into your soundcard that will still do all it's CMSS-3D goodness like as if there isn't extra amping plugged in-between the card and headphones. Any more questions?
Edited by Evshrug - 10/11/12 at 6:43am
post #8189 of 26085
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

If you would be willing to wait like 2 weeks, I've got an even better single-ended 6DJ8 tube amp with boutique components being custom built for me right now. Its a better design, and it has been kitted out with a lot of the upgrades that made people excited about the muse/indeed/bravo amps. After everything I've read about capacitors, upgraded resistors, etc, I'm REALLY excited to hear this amp, the parts and design appear to add up to a pairing more synergistic than an O2!
http://www.head-fi.org/t/402067/a-super-simple-6dj8-headphone-amp/420
 

Ev,

Can I ask what price range Zigis was asking for his tube amp with shipping to US? If I need to PM you just let me know, I'd ask him myself but I'm embarrassed because my wallet is really tight atm and I feel like a cheapskate. 

post #8190 of 26085
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Hey proGressive,
You figured out my real name, you sleuth! wink.gif
A DAC is a digital-to-analogue converter. Your soundcard already has one to convert digital 1s and 0s into the analogue signal that makes your headphones go VROO VROO (or whatever sound is playing), so you don't need to add an extra one. So thankfully, take that part out of the O2 and you get the same amping performance for less money!
I understand what you mean about support... I don't like to throw money away or wait a couple months for there-and-back-again hardware support through the mail, but the tube hybrids are so cheap that they might be worth the risk, and I've read situations with the Indeed that some people were just sent new amps instead of going through the repair process. It is a personal choice though, for others it has worked out, especially since the 2010 upgrades to the power switch.
I don't know how many € the tube amp I'm getting would be, but Zigis is very friendly and you can PM him here on Head-Fi. He has been working with the initial design in the posted thread for 3 years. Since it's hand built rather than manufactured, I expect he'll be very careful with quality control so he can build his reputation. As I'll get to later, he's actually the 2nd closest to you as a fellow European.
Lastly, I am a fan of the E series from FiiO. Each new product seems to be stronger than the last, and I'm intrigued by the new E12 slated for release between November and December. All of the E series have amps that compete well at their price range, though the one model you ought to avoid is the E10 – it's a good DAC/AMP, but it doesnt have any analogue inputs to use with your soundcard.
The E9 (or E9k with a new dock) is widely consider "the safe bet" for an affordable desktop amp and would have the most power to drive your headphones dynamically. They also come with docks -– the E9 has a dock for the E7, and the E9k is mostly the same amp with a dock for the E12.
The E12 E17 is a popular portable amp/DAC combo unit. Since it has a regular analogue input, you can use it's amp section with your soundcard. The E12 E17 docks with the E9k to lend it's DAC to the E9k, but that shouldn't be important to you in this situation. The E12 E17 has another feature of an EQ – maybe not important to you because you can EQ with more granularity in your computer settings, but it's nice for others plugging into an MP3 player or game console that doesn't have it's own EQ.
The E11 is a portable amp, a little more powerful than the E12. It only has a switch on the side for 2 bass boost settings, but again, you have more control via PC settings anyway. If you look up head-fi'er ClieOS, you'll see that, for a portable, the E11 stacks up as one of the best sub-$100 (US) amps.
The funny part is that FiiO is a Chinese company too! They're a more established company, with better distribution and pretty solid products, but read their website and you'll see that they're definitely from China. That's really not a death sentence... so many things are made in china, after all.
And as long as an amp has analogue inputs, like a 3.5mm headphone jack, they can plug into your soundcard that will still do all it's CMSS-3D goodness like as if there isn't extra amping plugged in-between the card and headphones. Any more questions?

Fixed it for ya Ev!

Regarding the O2 + DAC, remember if you buy the combo in the same enclosure, you're also tying up the DAC with the amp, so you won't be able to use it with any future purchases/amps.
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