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Newbie Help, computer setup

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi, all

 

long story short, I want to update my gears for my work computer.

Currently I am using on board sound card, Bose On Ear. music source are 320k mp3s and flac.

I want to update to a sennheiser HD650 with a desktop amp(not too big), and I'll update the sound card to a better one(will consider used). I am looking for spend 500-700 dollars in total, and I never used any headphone amps before, what options do I have within the price range? I listen to pops mainly 

post #2 of 7

Hi,

 

Beside an amp and a new soundcard you can also consider an amp with built in DAC and at this price level it will be sure to get a really good one. I use the Meier Audio Cantate.2 at work in combination with my DT 880. Before I ve used this amp with the HD650 but now I ve sold them.

This is my personal opinion and every person will tell you another good combination :). So, just type some keywords or look at the Head Gear button above to get further impressions  

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi,monoethylene 

Thanks for the fast reply, I am new to the amp world, so I am so confused with choosing my first amp.

Does an amp with all headphones? 

Does the amp work for computer only, I mean if I purchase a decent cd player later, can I still use the amp?

what amp is the most recommended for hd650?

 

what about sound card, is ASUS Xonar Essence STX the primary choice for most users? Asus claims they have built in amp, is it true?

or should I go with a different sound card?

many thanks


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monoethylene View Post

Hi,

 

Beside an amp and a new soundcard you can also consider an amp with built in DAC and at this price level it will be sure to get a really good one. I use the Meier Audio Cantate.2 at work in combination with my DT 880. Before I ve used this amp with the HD650 but now I ve sold them.

This is my personal opinion and every person will tell you another good combination :). So, just type some keywords or look at the Head Gear button above to get further impressions  

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by shingo43 View Post

Hi,monoethylene

Thanks for the fast reply, I am new to the amp world, so I am so confused with choosing my first amp.

Does an amp with all headphones?

>> Objectively I would say yes, regarding only the technical side (if you are not using an exotic one or an electrostatic one) but subjectively there are different amps which play better with certain headphones. Further different designs maybe used to amplify the analog signal and so on. This is really a long long story  and every person has another preference..

 

Does the amp work for computer only, I mean if I purchase a decent cd player later, can I still use the amp?

>> The Cantate.2 in detail also has one RCA input. This means you can use the DAC of your CD player and go into the amp. I dont want to confuse you. In general or with other words an D/A converter can be seen as an (external) soundcard with the aim to provide an analog signal. In most of the cases this "D/A-chip" is superior to the onboard sound of the computer. To connect this D/A converter usb, toslink or spdif are possible. As a conclusion and with some "tweaks" at your computer, you can bypass the whole sampling and converting process of your computer and the digital signal is passed to the D/A converter. There it is converted :) and the analog signal goes to your amp (amp and DAC can be in one enclosure or not)

 

what amp is the most recommended for hd650?

>> Really I dont know and I never would state an opinion to a question like this :)

 

what about sound card, is ASUS Xonar Essence STX the primary choice for most users?

>> I ve read about this card a few good reviews and was a step away to buy her. IMO I think you cannot go wrong and perhaps all your needs are satisfied with this card at the moment.

 

Asus claims they have built in amp, is it true?

>> Yes.

or should I go with a different sound card?

>> The Asus is a good choice but also an expensive one IMO. I have a ESI Juli@ and I am happy eventhough I am using this card in general to record things.. Regarding stereo music and hearing at all I think that the ASUS is a very good choice but Soundcards are not really my subject..

 


 
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks again for the fast reply.

I think I'll update the sound card first, but I have a little concern about the Asus Xonar Essence STX 

1.If they have built in amp, does that mean if I use an external amp, the builtin one will be useless? I mean eventually I will buy an amp. probably in the next 6 months, so should I buy another sound card without the builtin amp to save a little? 

2.should I update the sound card first? will that give me whole lot of differences on sound quality? I heard people say some sound cards are expensive only because they have better recording quality, and the play back quality of all sound cards are about the same, is that statement true or false?

thanks

post #6 of 7


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shingo43 View Post

Hi, all

 

long story short, I want to update my gears for my work computer.

Currently I am using on board sound card, Bose On Ear. music source are 320k mp3s and flac.

I want to update to a sennheiser HD650 with a desktop amp(not too big), and I'll update the sound card to a better one(will consider used). I am looking for spend 500-700 dollars in total, and I never used any headphone amps before, what options do I have within the price range? I listen to pops mainly 

QA-350 WAV high fidelity music player from QLSHIFI

 

It’s a remote digital WAV transport integrated with an internal DAC and headphone amplifier.

It plays WAV audio files to headphones or to line out

So you could use it connected to your computer as a headphone amp and DAC

Plus using it in place of a CD player using its line out to a hi-fi amp and speakers

Exact Audio Copy (EAC) is free to down load and use, it makes a perfect copy of your CD’s so you don’t need a CD player

Instead you copy the WAV files made from your CD’s with EAC to SD cards and play them on the QA-350 WAV high fidelity music player

 

http://www.qlshifi.com/en/lxfs_e.htm

 

It’s a high quality device and has had some very good reviews

I’ll try and find a review and give you a link to it

 

Found a review

 

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/496326/review-qls-qa-350-solid-state-transport-amazing-sound-and-versatility

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by shingo43 View Post

Thanks again for the fast reply.

I think I'll update the sound card first, but I have a little concern about the Asus Xonar Essence STX 

1.If they have built in amp, does that mean if I use an external amp, the builtin one will be useless? I mean eventually I will buy an amp. probably in the next 6 months, so should I buy another sound card without the builtin amp to save a little? 

>>Right now I dont have the outputs of the Xonar in my mind but I dont think the built in amp will be useless when you buy another external amp because you can use both and when buying an external one, this one isnt connected to the headphone output. it will be connected to the line out of your card and you will use the built in DAC of the card. I wont be pathetic but the best would be when you have the possibility to test some cards with your headphones. As far as I know the headphone output of the Xonar is a "special detail" and there are not much cards with this feature. (Personally I dont know another one where there is so "much" concentration to the headphone out). The worst case would be that you will sell your card when you get your amp.   

 

2.should I update the sound card first?

>> The key question IMO. I would say that if you plan to use your headphone with your card then go with the Xonar. If you plan to read a little bit more here and get further opinions also buy the Xonar and use this card. Then two things may happen :). a) You really love your sound and wont change it or b) You will buy an Amp/DAC combo and then you can sell your card..

will that give me whole lot of differences on sound quality?

>> What means "a lot"?? Trust your ears and try it..

I heard people say some sound cards are expensive only because they have better recording quality, and the play back quality of all sound cards are about the same, is that statement true or false?

>> As far as I know there are cards with a really good ADC for purposes of monitoring and recording and to come back also the Xonar as a very good "stereo"-card..

 

I only can give some advices and I heard people say some cables are extra-super-cool because they can turn a bad ending film into a good one to justify the price:)). 

 

 

thanks

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