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Setup complete - time to tweak (xonar, LD - mk3, DT 880s)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

After about 2 years and tons of research I have the setup I've always wanted.

Asus Xonar Essence ST --> Blue Jeans LC-1 ---> Little Dot MK III ---> Beyerdynamic DT 880 (600 ohm)

 

 

Even though I am passionate about music I really bought this equipment for FPS gaming on my PC. Now that I am using the xonar only for the DAC and not the DAC+AMP I seem to have lost the ability to use Dolby Headphone.

 

Also, eve though the Little Dot has brought to life the Beyers and I do not regret the purchase, I seem to have lost some of that audio positioning us gamers love.

 

Anyone out there have a similar setup / interests that can provide some tweaking advice to get better positioning?

 

IMG_20110323_153651.jpg

post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 

anyone have a similar setup?

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

bump

post #4 of 16

I am new to the whole audiophile thing, but I have spent several, several, several hours on these forums the last week.  I have read several posters opinions and what I found interesting is this.  Apparently, an amp will not help in game for FPS in regards to directional sounds.  You may have better quality sounds, but the directional capabilities will not improve.  Have you tried switching the SVN option on for your sound in the xonar control panel?  Apparently that's the magic which makes it sound amazing positioning.


Edited by Nallows - 7/10/11 at 12:20pm
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by gg5004 View Post

After about 2 years and tons of research I have the setup I've always wanted.

Asus Xonar Essence ST --> Blue Jeans LC-1 ---> Little Dot MK III ---> Beyerdynamic DT 880 (600 ohm)

 

 

Even though I am passionate about music I really bought this equipment for FPS gaming on my PC. Now that I am using the xonar only for the DAC and not the DAC+AMP I seem to have lost the ability to use Dolby Headphone.

 

Also, eve though the Little Dot has brought to life the Beyers and I do not regret the purchase, I seem to have lost some of that audio positioning us gamers love.

 

Anyone out there have a similar setup / interests that can provide some tweaking advice to get better positioning?

 


Heya,

 

Have you tested with other headphones yet? Try to eliminate every piece of equipment to see what's causing the problem or if it's strictly the fact that you're not using Dolby Headphone. Some headphones just don't do positioning as well as others due to their channel separation. I use a Forte -> Little Dot MK3 -> DT990 600ohm for gaming/movies and positioning is fine for me.

 

I assume you had your DT880's plugged directly into the Xonar before and had the dolby and positioning you wanted, then added the LDMK3 and feel like you lost the positioning?

 

Very best,

 

post #6 of 16

I have the 250ohm DT880 and a LD MKIII. In FPS i can easily hear where an enemy is around me. Without experience i think good stereo headphones are better value than dolby headphones.

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

Yes that is right. Previously, I had the 880's plugged directly into the Xonar. Positioning was great. Then I purchased the Little Dot and plugged the 880's in that. The sound quality improved moderately but I lost the positioning benefits I had with the dolby headphone codec on the Xonar ST.

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

As an update to this, I have since plugged my headphones back into the xonar ST directly and really prefer this for gaming. Dolby Headphone really improves the positioning in games like bad company 2. With the MK3 I lose this so it looks like I will put it on ebay. It is unfortunate because I really liked the MK3 design a and audio quality wise.

post #9 of 16

 

Are you still on stock tubes with the MK3? Upgraded tubes will improve the sound dramatically. Likewise stock op-amp with the Essence ST?
 
If you have upgraded both I would recommend a better DAC, those sound cards don't hold there weight to a desktop equivalent, perhaps something along the Audio-GD line for around $200. Another step up would be fully discrete; Wyred4Sound DAC2, PS Audio DLIII, etc. I also do some gaming with my DT880 setup and moving from the soundcard to a good DAC is like making the switch from tape to CD, you loose the special effects but gain the sound quality.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphicism View Post

 

Are you still on stock tubes with the MK3? Upgraded tubes will improve the sound dramatically. Likewise stock op-amp with the Essence ST?
 
If you have upgraded both I would recommend a better DAC, those sound cards don't hold there weight to a desktop equivalent, perhaps something along the Audio-GD line for around $200. Another step up would be fully discrete; Wyred4Sound DAC2, PS Audio DLIII, etc. I also do some gaming with my DT880 setup and moving from the soundcard to a good DAC is like making the switch from tape to CD, you loose the special effects but gain the sound quality.


He wants the positioning, ie, the special effects.

 

Very best,

 

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post




He wants the positioning, ie, the special effects.

 

Very best,

 


Yeah that is correct. It seems that the Dolby Headphone codec built into the ST is responsible for the positional audio. Do any fellow ST / STX users feel the same?

 

All critique welcome on my setup - I'm thinking about modifying it and open to suggestions.

 

post #12 of 16

Do you run headphone-out to LD3? Why would you loose the Dolby Headphone if you're simply amplifying the signal?

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphicism View Post

Do you run headphone-out to LD3? Why would you loose the Dolby Headphone if you're simply amplifying the signal?


If you take a look at the configuration panel seen below...when you select the analog output option to carry the audio through the RCA cables into the MK3 the option to select the Dolby Headphone codec disappears. Could be the way the board is circuited?

 

xonar.png

 

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by gg5004 View Post




If you take a look at the configuration panel seen below...when you select the analog output option to carry the audio through the RCA cables into the MK3 the option to select the Dolby Headphone codec disappears. Could be the way the board is circuited?

 

xonar.png

 


Heya,

 

Use a 3.5mm jack that splits into two RCA's. Like this one.

 

Very best,

 

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post
 

 


Heya,

 

Use a 3.5mm jack that splits into two RCA's. Like this one.

 

Very best,

 

 


So something like this would work as well? http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/adapters/index.htm (last one at the bottom) ? Would I experience and degradation with all these adapters?

 

If this works...ahh man sometimes the best solution is always the simplest. 

 

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