First of all, I've been lurking in your forums for the past several months after purchasing a Sennheiser PC 350 to go with an Asus Xonar Essence STX card to drive it. Originally, I've had very little interest in Hi-fi or Head-fi and was really going for the best gaming audio setup, and it led me down an unexpected path. Simply, the ensuing upgrade in music quality blew me away. I simply did not realize that headphones could sound so great. I had always assumed great sound systems are in the 20K plus range including amplifiers and speakers, which is completely out of my price range for the moment. I've heard of headphones being a much value path and did not realize how true this was until I experienced my unintentional upgrade. The first thing I did was listen to all of the music I love again and re-experience them.
Ever since, I've poured over the internet and found myself researching headphones, amplifiers, and DAC. One of the first threads I encountered was a long thread that addressed whether Sennheiser HD 800 can be run on Asus Xonar STX. It seemed the consensus was a resounding "no." Maybe at the most 70% of HD 800's capacity. Afterwards, I did some careful researching for months and bought the following components:
1. HD 800
2. Headroom Ultra Desktop DAC
3. Rudistor RPX 35
The connection prospects between HD 800, Rudistor, and DAC are somewhat set in stone, but I'm still struggling with whether I'll be using USB to connect the uDAC to the PC or optical S/PDIF? I have not been able to find reliable answers on whether connecting the DAC via S/PDIF on Asus Xonar STX's out can take advantage of the surround sound and/or 3D gaming alterations that the card makes prior to digital information being sent out to the external DAC. Or does this even matter? Does the uDAC convert the digital signal rendering Dolby rendering pointless?
Perhaps gaming / watching movies on my computer and listening to music require two different setups. And I'll continue to use the Asus card solely for gaming / movies while using the uDAC plugged in via USB solely for music listening. I was wondering if anyone in this message board had any input regarding questions? Ideally, I want some feedback from an audiophile who also enjoys PC gaming.
Edited by Jh8cw - 9/13/11 at 6:53am