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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 158

post #2356 of 3095

I would generally and always stay away from any kind high impedance outputs to avoid mismatch and change of FGs, even when some headphones like planars are not affected. All headphones I owned responded best at <1 Ohm - in technical terms.

 

I can see someone using a higher output to give his headphone more warmth (and lose detail in the bass for instance for more bloom) but if a headphone is that strident or bothersome then it should be replaced before experimenting with more gear. I wouldn't keep a Grado and do everything to make it sound "right". Waste of time and money. Look at how many people want to get the HD 800 "right" when in the end it's just not their signature. Yet they want to be in the "game" (:evil:) and like it because a majority does, because the press does. There's so much psychology involved in wanting to like things. Let go, it's ok to not like the Sennie, the Fostex, the Hifiman or whatever.

 

The downside to a technical ideal in the chain is the price. After <1 Ohm output impedance you want noise and hiss-free signal with balanced armatures or sensitive headphones in general. That's where prices can go quite up, though in the end you can keep such a device for many many years.

 

If money allows then the cheapest soundcard with the same software features/dsp should be paired with a clean external device.

post #2357 of 3095
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

I would generally and always stay away from any kind high impedance outputs to avoid mismatch and change of FGs, even when some headphones like planars are not affected. All headphones I owned responded best at <1 Ohm - in technical terms.

 

Are we talking strictly direct output into the headphones, or with an amp in the chain, should output impedance somehow affect the signal being carried in any way?

 

I ask to set up my usual spanner in the works for every impedance discussion: electrostatics. Nobody really gives impedance figures for them, just required bias voltages, but it's said that crazy impedance swings are part of the technical challenge involved in making a good, transparent 'stat amp.

post #2358 of 3095

Hey guys, I use a Titanium Hd for the effects in games, connected to an external Dac and Amp via Optical.  I recently upgraded to a motherboard with Recon3d built in, I'm wondering if the gaming effects of Recon3d are suprerior to the T-HD when used with headphones?  

 

Anybody have any hands on experience with both? 


Edited by fluidz - 1/5/14 at 9:50am
post #2359 of 3095
Depends on whether your motherboard uses the thx pro studio or sbx pro studio. Ive seen some motherboards update their software suite to reflect the later.

Thx is generally known to be crap and your tihd will be better as it uses cmss3d.

Sbx is a lot better and I would put it in a tie with cmss3d. At least from my experience.
post #2360 of 3095

So which setup would be the preferred out of the ones listed...

 

SB Z w/ Schiit Magni (can you connect them together, I didn't see an optical. That is why I'm wondering)

or

SB ZxR and then buy an external DAC/amp down the road a little.

 

The headphones I think I've decided on are either the AKG K612 or Sennheiser HD598s(a lot of used ones around my area)

unless someone has a better option to pair with the above sound card/DAC choices.

 

Thanks again, learning a ton on here. You've all been a bunch of help.

post #2361 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluidz View Post
 

Hey guys, I use a Titanium Hd for the effects in games, connected to an external Dac and Amp via Optical.  I recently upgraded to a motherboard with Recon3d built in, I'm wondering if the gaming effects of Recon3d are suprerior to the T-HD when used with headphones?  

 

Anybody have any hands on experience with both? 

Maybe you can try using both setups (Titanium and Recon3D) and post back the results?

What external DAC/Amp are you using?

post #2362 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Maybe you can try using both setups (Titanium and Recon3D) and post back the results?

What external DAC/Amp are you using?

 

In my Sig :) 

post #2363 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluidz View Post
 

 

In my Sig :) 

You do know there are 7 different models listed as the "Musical Fidelity M1"?

post #2364 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

You do know there are 7 different models listed as the "Musical Fidelity M1"?

 

It's this one - http://www.musicalfidelity.com/m1dac/ combined with this amp - http://shop.emotiva.com/products/a100 

 

;) 


Edited by fluidz - 1/5/14 at 12:09pm
post #2365 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by fluidz View Post
 

 

It's this one - http://www.musicalfidelity.com/m1dac/ combined with this amp - http://shop.emotiva.com/products/a100 

 

;) 

I'm going to guess your new motherboard uses a Realtek audio processor, which I'm assuming is not as good as the 20KX series audio processor that is used on the Titanium-HD.

post #2366 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

I'm going to guess your new motherboard uses a Realtek audio processor, which I'm assuming is not as good as the 20KX series audio processor that is used on the Titanium-HD.

 

I assumed as much, I'll stick with the T-hd, thanks.  


Edited by fluidz - 1/5/14 at 1:08pm
post #2367 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post
 

I wouldn't get the D1 regardless, at least not if your planning on powering headphones directly from it.  It does not have much of an amp section.  It only puts ~100 mw into 32 ohms.  That's pretty weak.  For comparison, the TPA6120 amp used in the ZxR puts about ~900 mw into 32 ohms.  You do the math.  The D1 is essentially just a straight up line-out (2 vrms) DAC without an additional headphone amp section.  It's like powering all your headphones straight from an ODAC.

 

 

How did you come up with that 100mW @ 32Ohm figure for the D1?  Their specs only list the 2VRMS figure and output impedance and nothing else.  I'm still new to audio so I'm not too familiar with the math involved.  And that's like less than half the power of my E17's 220mW@32Ohm.  

 

I do agree that the D1 is weak.  I didn't realize how much I was under driving my K702 Annies until I got a E09K recently.  Wow... what a difference it makes to my Annies.  My current setup is:

 

soundcard SPDIF out > Audioengine D1 RCA out > Fiio E09K > AKG K702.65/Sennheiser HD598

post #2368 of 3095

What would you say the best DAC/amp would be to pair with the Soundblaster Z? At a $300 limit on the DAC/amp

 

The Schiit products look awesome like the Magni, but they can't be connected via optical to the Z as far as I can see unless there is another way.

 

I've heard mixed things about the Audio Engine D1 in regards to not being much better then whats in the ZxR, so I would choose the ZxR before hand.

 

Fiio e90x looks pretty sweet too, but again not sure how I'd connect to Soundcard. Do I not need a Optical In on whatever amp/DAC I'd get?

 

If there isn't a better option I will get the ZxR for now and end up getting the Magni/Modi stack eventually. I like the look of those products and been reading good things.

post #2369 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvroArrow View Post
 

 

How did you come up with that 100mW @ 32Ohm figure for the D1?  Their specs only list the 2VRMS figure and output impedance and nothing else.  I'm still new to audio so I'm not too familiar with the math involved.  And that's like less than half the power of my E17's 220mW@32Ohm.  

 

I do agree that the D1 is weak.  I didn't realize how much I was under driving my K702 Annies until I got a E09K recently.  Wow... what a difference it makes to my Annies.  My current setup is:

 

soundcard SPDIF out > Audioengine D1 RCA out > Fiio E09K > AKG K702.65/Sennheiser HD598

 

I didn't come up with that myself, I read it here:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/581815/review-and-discussions-audioengine-d1-24-96-usb-and-optical-dac-amp-for-laptops-and-computers

 

There is an article by you know who called "more power" with a bunch of math if your interested though.

 

The headphone amp and RCA outs are both 2 vrms max, which is not a lot.  That's a common line-out signal level on DACs (same output level for the ODAC), but it's combined with the 10 ohm output impedance which is going to reduce the power some IF you're plugging your headphones into the D1 directly.  So something along the lines of 100 mw into 32 ohms sounds about right.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woesty420 View Post

Do I not need a Optical In on whatever amp/DAC I'd get?

 

If there isn't a better option I will get the ZxR for now and end up getting the Magni/Modi stack eventually. I like the look of those products and been reading good things.

 

 

Yes, you need optical IN with whatever you get IF you plan on using it with your soundcard and KEEPING surround. 

 

Any USB DAC (like the Modi) will NOT keep the surround sound because it's going to act as the first device in the chain and bypasses all the DSP processing done by your internal soundcard.  It's essentially connecting straight to your motherboard through USB and it doesn't care about, see, or interact with the internal soundcard at all.

 

Only optical will allow the internal soundcard to apply DSP processing to the digital signal first, before sending it out to converted to analog by a DAC.


Edited by chicolom - 1/5/14 at 9:46pm
post #2370 of 3095

My old surround sound headphones on my gaming PC are in the process of dying, so I'm looking at picking up a new pair. I'm currently trying to decide whether it's worth getting a pair of "true" 5.1 surround headphones or using stereo headphones with virtual surround. Picking from Mad Lust Envy's guide, I can get a set of Philips Fidelio X1/00 or Sony MDRMA900 for about £180, which seems to be around the top end price for surround headphones (Creative Recon3D or Razer Tiamat). From reading around the site I've been made aware that the surround headphones are going to sound like **** in comparison the the stereo. So, two questions:

 

1) Is the benefit of surround sound for gaming enough to make up for the drop in quality? Is there even a significant benefit?

 

2) I'm currently using the on-board sound from my motherboard, which seems to be a Realtek ALC892. Is it worth picking up a separate sound card (guessing yes), and if so, how the heck do you choose one? There are dozens of them, with very similar-sounding names, and review sites don't seem to bother with sound cards any more. I could get an X-Fi Xtreme Gamer or Xonar XD/D1/DSX (see what I mean?) for about £50 - is that worth doing, or is there not much improvement up to the £100ish level?

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