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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 141

post #2101 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 


Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card, used $60.

Plug the Objective 2 (or Schiit Magni?) headphone amplifier straight into the Xonar DX.

No need for the DSS.

I'm also looking at the Schiit Magni.  I'm not a huge audiophile, so I most likely won't be able to tell the subtle differences between the two and the aesthetics care much more pleasing on it.  Me throwing the DSS in there was kinda just showing what I have now to give you guys a better chance to help me with moving forward. Thanks to you both!  

 

How would the Essence STX compare to the O2 (Schiit Magni) DX combo?  I've heard that these particular headphones are very selective with how they like to be amped. 

EDIT:  Or!  Getting the Schiit Magni Mod combo and using the cheapest dolby headphone processing sound card I can find, something like the ASUS DGX (30 bucks on amazon right now)  with the "listen" feature in windows?


Edited by OverlordMittenz - 11/27/13 at 10:29pm
post #2102 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverlordMittenz View Post
 

I'm also looking at the Schiit Magni.  I'm not a huge audiophile, so I most likely won't be able to tell the subtle differences between the two and the aesthetics care much more pleasing on it.  Me throwing the DSS in there was kinda just showing what I have now to give you guys a better chance to help me with moving forward. Thanks to you both!  

 

How would the Essence STX compare to the O2 (Schiit Magni) DX combo?  I've heard that these particular headphones are very selective with how they like to be amped. 

EDIT:  Or!  Getting the Schiit Magni Mod combo and using the cheapest Dolby headphone processing sound card I can find, something like the ASUS DGX (30 bucks on amazon right now)  with the "listen" feature in windows?

I'm not familiar with the Listen feature in Windows, So really can't say anything on it.

post #2103 of 3716
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverlordMittenz View Post

I'm also looking at the Schiit Magni.  I'm not a huge audiophile, so I most likely won't be able to tell the subtle differences between the two and the aesthetics care much more pleasing on it.  Me throwing the DSS in there was kinda just showing what I have now to give you guys a better chance to help me with moving forward. Thanks to you both!  

 

How would the Essence STX compare to the O2 (Schiit Magni) DX combo?  I've heard that these particular headphones are very selective with how they like to be amped. 

EDIT:  Or!  Getting the Schiit Magni Mod combo and using the cheapest dolby headphone processing sound card I can find, something like the ASUS DGX (30 bucks on amazon right now)  with the "listen" feature in windows?

 

If you want to get an external DAC, I've found that said "listen" feature inherently degrades the audio worse than any benefits you'll get out of using a USB DAC, so you'd better make sure it has S/PDIF input. That rules out the Schiit Modi and the ODAC alike.

 

Why not just use the DGX's own DAC in the meantime?

post #2104 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

If you want to get an external DAC, I've found that said "listen" feature inherently degrades the audio worse than any benefits you'll get out of using a USB DAC, so you'd better make sure it has S/PDIF input. That rules out the Schiit Modi and the ODAC alike.

Why not just use the DGX's own DAC in the meantime?

I just bought the xonar essence stx. :whistle: I'll use the built in amp on that and and eventually get a separate amp like the Schiit magna and use the line out on the essence. This gives me time to actually listen and improve my ears and get better at listening to improve my overall experience.

Thank you guys for all of your suggestions and such. I think I'll be very happy with this set up and my venture to becoming an audiophile. :P
post #2105 of 3716
OverlordMittenz,
Dolby headphone, CMSS-3D, SBX ProStudio, these are all different common headphone surround algorithms, and all sound fine. The Asus "Xonar" cards all use Dolby Headphone; currently I'm using SBX on my Creative "Sound Blaster Z."

I think the cheapest external DAC with optical input is FiiO's E07k portable amp/DAC? Haven't tried it myself. Honestly, I think the Sound Blaster Z sounds great with my AKG K712 (haven't tried it yet with my very similar Q701), you get a good DAC and a decent amp AND sound drivers that work pretty seamlessly so far. You could always purchase a Magni amp later if you want to compare to plugging Q701 straight into the card.

Edit: you posted while I was typing, and basically are doing what I suggested. Dolby Headphone is pretty good for games, the STX hardware is supposed to be great for music and movies. The amp section of that soundcard is suitable by itself for the Q701; I don't know what upgraded opamps you'll get but it should add a bit of warmth to the sound and work well. There's no objectively "best" amp for the Q701, it's just that you can hear differences between amps. "Best" for me is a tube amp, but you may find your own preference.


Nameless,
It's time, my friend. Over a year in the making.
I now have Borderlands 2 for PC, with a Creative sound card supporting OpenAL, with a NVIDIA graphics card supporting Tesselation and PhysX. I need to enable BL2's "hidden" OpenAL potential.

Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope.
Edited by Evshrug - 11/28/13 at 8:04am
post #2106 of 3716
I have two creative extigys and was not a huge fan of cmss3d, I did however like Dolby headphone. I figured what I'm doing is my best option so I can upgrade in the future, too.

Would better op amps help the RCA out to a better stand alone amp? I assume it requires soldering, so I'd have to have someone else do it because my soldering skills are sub par
post #2107 of 3716
The RCA line outs bypass any internal amp of the STX, so no, it wouldn't help.

For the record? I didn't like CMSS-3D much either, but that's personal taste and I think that (objectively) it's a good DSP. I have a Turtle Beach DSS too, and Dolby's alright, but it adds an echo effect that takes a little getting used to. I preferred the THX TruStudio best so far, but SBX seems as good. I haven't had a chance to compare those much to tell the difference, yet.
post #2108 of 3716
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post
Nameless,
It's time, my friend. Over a year in the making.
I now have Borderlands 2 for PC, with a Creative sound card supporting OpenAL, with a NVIDIA graphics card supporting Tesselation and PhysX. I need to enable BL2's "hidden" OpenAL potential.

Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope.

 

This is the thread where I first learned of that, I'm pretty sure.

 

Basically, you need to go into your \My Documents\My Games\Borderlands 2\WillowGame\Config\WillowEngine.ini file, scroll down to the WinDrv.WindowsClient section, and there you'll easily find the relevant lines to change.

post #2109 of 3716
Finally got PowerDVD. Dolby Headphone sounds great. smily_headphones1.gif
post #2110 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverlordMittenz View Post


I just bought the Xonar Essence STX. :whistle: I'll use the built in amp on that and and eventually get a separate amp like the Schiit Magni and use the line out on the essence. This gives me time to actually listen and improve my ears and get better at listening to improve my overall experience.

Thank you guys for all of your suggestions and such. I think I'll be very happy with this set up and my venture to becoming an audiophile. :P


Unless your going to be using headphones that are under 50-Ohms, can't really see a need to get the Schiit Magni, as the headphone amplifier on the STX should be roughly equal to the Magni, for headphones that are 80-Ohms or higher.

Make sure you disable the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS.

post #2111 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverlordMittenz View Post

I have two creative extigys and was not a huge fan of cmss3d, I did however like Dolby headphone. I figured what I'm doing is my best option so I can upgrade in the future, too.

Would better op amps help the RCA out to a better stand alone amp? I assume it requires soldering, so I'd have to have someone else do it because my soldering skills are sub par


Make sure you have removed all the Creative software/drivers, if your no longer using a Creative sound card.

Assuming your talking about swapping op-amps on the STX.

Check out the LME49990s, which you can buy presoldered off eBay, from a guy in Canada.

There is also the AD797BRs, which you can buy presoldered, from China.

These presoldered op-amps (Dual SOIC op-amps on a Dip-8 adapter) usually sell from $16-$19 each, so you looking at around $50 for three (6 op-amps soldered on to three adapters).

There are other op-amps to choose from, but can not remember their model number.

post #2112 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 


Unless your going to be using headphones that are under 50-Ohms, can't really see a need to get the Schiit Magni, as the headphone amplifier on the STX should be roughly equal to the Magni, for headphones that are 80-Ohms or higher.

Make sure you disable the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS.

 

Sadly, I never was able to use the Creative Exitgy through usb thanks to them not even releasing Vista drivers. I will uninstall the realtek audio drivers for the mobo, though.  

 

I probably am not going to swap the OP amps considering I plan on using the RCA out for the Schiit Magni, so really no need to swap them if they aren't going to help with the sound. 

 

I am going to be using the AKG Q701s which I heard are very picky with how they like to be amplified and are 68Ohms.  I also plan on buying the Schiit Modi in the future for listening to music and videos, so the Schiit Magni would be somewhat of a necessity.  I'll try to dig up some reviews of people who had the Essence STX and switched to a separate amplifier and see what their findings were.  I may never need a separate amplifier, but I am just keeping my options open!

 

EDIT:  After reading a little further into the card on the ASUS Essence STX forum here, one of the OP amps is a "buffer" for the RCA outs, so I will most likely change all of them anyway.  the RCA out one will be a very analytical and detailed OP amp for gaming because details and such are the most important thing and then warm "nicer" sound OP amps for the heaphone out so I can easily switch between the two for what kind of sound I am looking for.


Edited by OverlordMittenz - 11/28/13 at 1:36pm
post #2113 of 3716

If I'm not mistaken, aren't the RCA outs on the STX just for stereo? IE no Dolby Headphone unlike it's little brothers in the line which can do DH on their line outs.

post #2114 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaLX View Post
 

If I'm not mistaken, aren't the RCA outs on the STX just for stereo? IE no Dolby Headphone unlike it's little brothers in the line which can do DH on their line outs.

I believe that is the case, sadly. 

post #2115 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaLX View Post
 

If I'm not mistaken, aren't the RCA outs on the STX just for stereo? IE no Dolby Headphone unlike it's little brothers in the line which can do DH on their line outs.


Correct, when using the STX's line-out (RCA), the Xonar control need to be set to "Speaker" out, can't use the "Headphone" setting.

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