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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 179

post #2671 of 3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillipJFy View Post
 

AvroArrow,

 

Do you feel the D1 or E17 is powerful enough to adequately drive HD558s? Which of the two, D1 and E17, was your favorite?

 

Well, the D1 is supposedly 100mW @ 32ohm and the E17 is 220mW @ 32ohm (E09k is 900mW @ 32ohm).  The D1 and E17 do sound different since they are using different DAC chips (D1:AKM4396, E17:WM8740).  I wouldn't say either sounded bad, just different.  Keep in mind that I'm still kind of a newbie to this hobby so my impression is not super critical and full of audio buzzwords.  :)  

 

I prefer the D1 since it's USB powered and I'm not constantly charging/discharging the Li-ion battery in the E17 and burning through its finite charge cycles since my primary use is on the desktop just sitting there.  That being said, the D1 alone is under-driving the HD598 a bit since I did notice an improvement after adding the E09k to the chain.  I could hear/feel a bit more bass impact and the female vocals sounded better (Adele's Rolling in the Deep).  It was a slightly noticeable improvement, but not night and day difference like it was with my AKG K702.65 since the D1 alone was massively underpowering my AKGs.  Powering those from the E09k almost made me wonder if I just got a new pair of headphones they sounded so much better, mostly notably the bass impact/feel.

 

If you don't need the portability of the E17 I'd say get the D1 and maybe an amp later, like the Fiio E09k, Schiit Magni, Schiit Vali, or JDS O2 if you're on the budget.  The only reason I got the E09k was that it was available at a local store, was on sale, and I could dock it with my E17.  That and importing the Magni/Vali into Canada would almost be double the cost of the E09k.  If I had to buy it all over again from scratch, I'd get the D1 + Schiit Asgard 2 since I want to get the Alpha Dogs in the near future.  I think the Schiit Bifrost w/USB is a bit too pricey otherwise it would be Bifrost + Asgard 2.

post #2672 of 3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvroArrow View Post
 

 

Well, the D1 is supposedly 100mW @ 32ohm and the E17 is 220mW @ 32ohm (E09k is 900mW @ 32ohm).  The D1 and E17 do sound different since they are using different DAC chips (D1:AKM4396, E17:WM8740).  I wouldn't say either sounded bad, just different.  Keep in mind that I'm still kind of a newbie to this hobby so my impression is not super critical and full of audio buzzwords.  :)  

 

I prefer the D1 since it's USB powered and I'm not constantly charging/discharging the Li-ion battery in the E17 and burning through its finite charge cycles since my primary use is on the desktop just sitting there.  That being said, the D1 alone is under-driving the HD598 a bit since I did notice an improvement after adding the E09k to the chain.  I could hear/feel a bit more bass impact and the female vocals sounded better (Adele's Rolling in the Deep).  It was a slightly noticeable improvement, but not night and day difference like it was with my AKG K702.65 since the D1 alone was massively underpowering my AKGs.  Powering those from the E09k almost made me wonder if I just got a new pair of headphones they sounded so much better, mostly notably the bass impact/feel.

 

If you don't need the portability of the E17 I'd say get the D1 and maybe an amp later, like the Fiio E09k, Schiit Magni, Schiit Vali, or JDS O2 if you're on the budget.  The only reason I got the E09k was that it was available at a local store, was on sale, and I could dock it with my E17.  That and importing the Magni/Vali into Canada would almost be double the cost of the E09k.  If I had to buy it all over again from scratch, I'd get the D1 + Schiit Asgard 2 since I want to get the Alpha Dogs in the near future.  I think the Schiit Bifrost w/USB is a bit too pricey otherwise it would be Bifrost + Asgard 2.

I wonder if there are any DAC+AMP combo units that have S/PDIF in and can do 50ohm out to adequately drive the HD558s... 

post #2673 of 3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillipJFy View Post
 

I wonder if there are any DAC+AMP combo units that have S/PDIF in and can do 50ohm out to adequately drive the HD558s... 

 

There are, they just cost a lot more than $150USD.  :D  Otherwise I would have bought one of those other devices instead.  Audio-GD 11.32 ($299), 15.32 ($235), and Cambridge DacMagic 100 ($299) come to mind.  There are probably others but I'm not that deep into the hobby yet so I can't name anymore off the top of my head.  The D1 itself with the HD598 sounds fine if I hadn't heard it with the E09k, and even then, the improvement is marginal even with the E09k.  In fact I was only using the D1 and flipping between the AKGs and HD598 for 2-3 months before buying the amp.  I actually preferred the HD598s because they sounded better/more fun than my AKGs directly from the D1.     

 

I personally prefer separate DAC and AMP rather than combo units because it's more modular.  If I have a decent DAC and need more power or want to try a tube amp, then I just need to buy a better amp, and not buy another DAC to go with it.  This is assuming that the DAC/Amp combo you get doesn't have a line-out/unamped output.  The D1 has a line level output and you can buy a Fiio L7 line-out adapter for the E17 to feed another amp.  

post #2674 of 3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvroArrow View Post
 

 

There are, they just cost a lot more than $150USD.  :D  Otherwise I would have bought one of those other devices instead.  Audio-GD 11.32 ($299), 15.32 ($235), and Cambridge DacMagic 100 ($299) come to mind.  There are probably others but I'm not that deep into the hobby yet so I can't name anymore off the top of my head.  The D1 itself with the HD598 sounds fine if I hadn't heard it with the E09k, and even then, the improvement is marginal even with the E09k.  In fact I was only using the D1 and flipping between the AKGs and HD598 for 2-3 months before buying the amp.  I actually preferred the HD598s because they sounded better/more fun than my AKGs directly from the D1.     

 

I personally prefer separate DAC and AMP rather than combo units because it's more modular.  If I have a decent DAC and need more power or want to try a tube amp, then I just need to buy a better amp, and not buy another DAC to go with it.  This is assuming that the DAC/Amp combo you get doesn't have a line-out/unamped output.  The D1 has a line level output and you can buy a Fiio L7 line-out adapter for the E17 to feed another amp.  

I don't have any problems with using a separate DAC and AMP. Do you know any separate DACs that have an optical in? I wish the Magni/Modi combo supported S/PDIF optical inputs :(

post #2675 of 3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillipJFy View Post
 

I don't have any problems with using a separate DAC and AMP. Do you know any separate DACs that have an optical in? I wish the Magni/Modi combo supported S/PDIF optical inputs :(

 

I guess I still don't know what you're trying to accomplish here. A basic Sound Blaster Z would provide you with SBX Pro Studio surround processing. It will also be your DAC and it has a small build in amp. The HD 558 isn't particularly hard to drive, so start with something like that and upgrade as you see fit. If you get some headphones that require more power, you can add an external amp later and the Z will still be your DAC. It's a much better starting base than motherboard sound. 

post #2676 of 3761

Hey guys,

 

So i searched around for some headphones to play competitively at Lan and came up with these two options. Mad Dogs or Ultrasone Pro900. What would i need to get them to give me great 5.1 and could i get something portable with the same results as an internal sound card? I was thinking CMSS3D but i dont mind dolby headphone.

post #2677 of 3761
If you're looking for an external soundcard and CMSS3D, Give the Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 (Surround, not Surround Pro) SB1090 a try. Or go Sound Blaster Omni for SBX Surround. If you're in the US and looking to try the SB1090, give me a PM. I accidentally won 2 on eBay and only needed 1.
post #2678 of 3761

BTW, why not the Surround Pro? What's their differences? I'm also interested. 

post #2679 of 3761
Pro doesn't have CMSS 3D support. It has THX TruStudio Surround.

E: Nameless says that THX is inferior for positioning LINK
Edited by MrEleventy - 2/20/14 at 11:31am
post #2680 of 3761

Is this a great PC audio setup?

 

Creative Sound Blaster ZxR
Schiit Vali
MrSpeakers Alpha Dog (AD002)
AntLion ModMic 3.0
ADAM F5
ADAM F5
ADAM Desktop Stand (black)
ADAM Desktop Stand (black)
Monoprice 6.35mm Stereo Plug to 3.5mm Stereo Jack (7139)
Monoprice 6.35mm Stereo Plug to 3.5mm Stereo Jack (7139)
Monoprice 3.5mm Stereo Plug/2 RCA Plug (665)
Monoprice RCA Plug/Plug M/M (654)
Monoprice RCA Plug/Plug M/M (654)

 

Please suggest changes or others.

post #2681 of 3761

I'm not from the US or i would take your offer :)

 

I still have a question, if i have two soundcards that have CMSS 3D will they output the same, directionality wise?

 

Btw, i just saw a youtube video from Tek Syndicate saying i dont need a soundcard for anything... If that is the case how do they get the surround?

post #2682 of 3761

Then you won't get that surround 3D effect... I've just learned it here. :)

post #2683 of 3761
The game will output from only one of them, usually the defaulted one in Windows. I don't know if you can choose it in game but the games that I've played, you can't.
post #2684 of 3761
There's software surround like razer surround, I tried it and found it to be more of a hassle than it's worth. (I tried it free wink.gif)
post #2685 of 3761
Quote:
Originally Posted by PippoXD View Post
 

Btw, i just saw a youtube video from Tek Syndicate saying i dont need a soundcard for anything... If that is the case how do they get the surround?

 

The Tek Syndicate video sort of glossed over the whole point of soundcards, which is that you need a soundcard if you want surround sound (I'm not counting Razor's free surround).

 

I ranted about some problems with that video a while ago:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/593050/the-nameless-guide-to-pc-gaming-audio-with-binaural-headphone-surround-sound/2220#post_10080022

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