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Q701 impressions thread - Page 426

post #6376 of 9507
I think your budget makes sense but I don't know anything about sound cards these days. I do know the ODAC / O2 works really well with the Q's but I don't know if there's better out there within your budget. I bought the ODAC / O2 because I admire the ethos and I could source it in Europe. If you're in the USA you probably have more options such as Schiit.
post #6377 of 9507
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillhart View Post
 

 

And you have to understand that I can't and won't just tell you what to buy.  You need to look into the recommendations and do your own research and educate yourself.  You've gotten more than enough information to start researching and determining whether those suggestions will work for you.

 

If you have specific comments on any of the suggestions, ask away and I'll try to help.

 

Well, I pretty much have the soundcard I want locked in but DAC and amp I've no clue.  The nameless guide kind of stops when it comes to that point as well.  

post #6378 of 9507
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodus121 View Post
 

 

Well, I pretty much have the soundcard I want locked in but DAC and amp I've no clue.  The nameless guide kind of stops when it comes to that point as well.

 

Well like I said, I'm still researching the DAC myself.  For an Amp, anything that pairs well with the Q701.  Search this thread and you'll find 100 reommendations.  O2, Vali, Little Dot, Project Starlight, Matrix M-stage, etc etc.

post #6379 of 9507
Since nobody else seems to want to chip in I heartily endorse the ODAC/O2. I guess you know that already though.
post #6380 of 9507
Yulong D100 will get you clear and clean highs with sub-bass impact and a very slight forward mid. Excellent soundstage! Can be had for under $300 used (new is $450).

If you want compact, the audioengine d3 can drive the Qs to its full ability even at 50% volume (gets too loud for me at 75%). Sound is fantastic as well, leans to a warm sound very slightly but not enough to make it sound laid back or a slouch. Just enough to clear the highs from fatigue (that is if you're really sensitive to highs as the Qs are perfect to me in the treble). There's a roll off at the highest of the treble and slow roll off at the lowest of the bass (below 50hz)
Edited by Soundsgoodtome - 4/4/14 at 12:37pm
post #6381 of 9507
Beresford Bushmaster Mk II is a good DAC/ amp for $300.
Good clean transparent, excellent low level detail, even sounds good at low volumes, many DACs only sound good with the volume jacked up.
Doesn't have USB inputs though, does your system output digital via SPDIF?
post #6382 of 9507

Titanium HD is already a good DAC.  Try it before buying something else.  If it doesn't sound balanced then get an amp.

post #6383 of 9507
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

...even sounds good at low volumes, many DACs only sound good with the volume jacked up.

You don't happen to know why this would be the case do you?
post #6384 of 9507

I'm currently in the middle of editing instrumentals recorded with a single Zoom H4N. I'm the band's personal photographer and practice session audio recorder.
96kbps/24bits wavs.

Uncompressed and whatnot, I think you guys will like it, the background is so black and there's only 3 sources. 1 guitar amp on the right, a bass guitar on the left, and a drum set in the center that is very close.

Sadly it's not binaural :(

Just give me a few hours though! Heavenly with the Q701's imo.


Edited by Nec3 - 4/4/14 at 5:36pm
post #6385 of 9507

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zorrofox View Post


You don't happen to know why this would be the case do you?

I do and here's the answer: If you set the DAC in ASIO to bit match the input file and that file is 16-bit, then when you set the volume lower than 100% while using that 16-bit window of resolution, you lose some of the dynamics inherent to the track and it sounds mushy, boring and less realistic. Effectively, you normally get more or less 12-bits (or 4096 steps) of real world dynamic control versus the full 16-bits (65536 steps), a vast difference in quality in my personal experience. Visually, it would be akin to seeing this first image instead of this second image:

  

12-bit                           16-bit

 

It may be hard to see the differences given how small the images are. Here are the raw palettes for a better look at what's going on. First the 12-bit and then the 16-bit palette.

 

 

12-bit                                                   16-bit

 

The best way around the volume quality issue is to use WASAPI and force 24-bit output. This will digitally extend your 16-bit audio files by 8-bits with no loss in quality while also allowing you to decrease the volume without any perceivable quality loss.

 

In essence, you then get this much resolution elbow room to play with volume-wise.

 

24-bit


Edited by Hifihedgehog - 4/4/14 at 6:07pm
post #6386 of 9507
I do understand that I just never even gave it a thought that someone would be adjusting the volume before the DAC. I assumed you were referring to the amp.
post #6387 of 9507

Hold on now, you're talking about digital attenuation. If you're using Windows Vista or newer, it has a 32-bit float point so technically you can lower the volume to 66% and still have a full 16-bit output. Of course you don't do that and set the digital volume to 100% and adjust with your amplifier or amp/dac's analog volume pot. Depending on the pot, you might have channel imbalance at extremely low volumes but other than that you shouldn't have any loss in quality of the signal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonichedgehog360 View Post
 

I do and here's the answer: If you set the DAC in ASIO to bit match the input file and that file is 16-bit, then when you set the volume lower than 100% while using that 16-bit resolution, you lose some the dynamics inherent to the track and it sounds mushy, boring and less realistic. Effectively, you normally get more or less 12-bits (or 4096 steps) of real world dynamic control versus the full 16-bits (65536 steps), a vast difference in quality in my personal experience. Visually, it would be akin to seeing this first image instead of this second image:

post #6388 of 9507

The 32-bit floating point resolution you are referring to only occurs if you are using the Windows DirectSound API and that is only in effect in the digital preprocessing (referring to the device) phase, or before the data is passed to the audio device or DAC. It is a moot point if you are using ASIO or WASAPI which inherently bypass this in the operating system. Either way, the data will eventually be cut down to the DAC's highest supported bit depth (16-bit or 24-bit) or even not play if it is configured incorrectly, that is, referring to its bit depth and sampling frequency.

 

If the DAC is set to 16-bit in the audio format settings for playback devices which is often the default setting if using the generic high definition audio driver, then the case I explained in my last post will inevitably occur. See below to understand what I'm talking about.

 


Edited by Hifihedgehog - 4/4/14 at 6:25pm
post #6389 of 9507

So, I'm still VERY new to "quality" audio, but I've been a part of the Q701 club for a few days now. I had a Superlux hd668b for about a month. I was completely blown away with the quality from the Superlux. Then I bought an Aune T1. I was blown away again. And THEN I got a Q701 and...   wow. The biggest, most obvious thing I noticed going from the superlux to the Q701 is the soundstage. The headphones disappear and the must is just...   there. Amazing.


Also, I bought this used from Amazon last week but I was surprised by how low the serial number was. I'm curious as to what other people's serial number is.

post #6390 of 9507

Welcome to the Q701 club, dude! Mine is serial number 11529. :k701smile: 


Edited by Hifihedgehog - 4/4/14 at 6:40pm
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