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Please Help - dt 990 Soundcard/Amp Setup

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I am fairly new to the world of audiophiles... but since getting a pair of dt 990s, my mind has been blown and I am looking for more!

 

I have the 600ohm version of the dt990s and mostly use them for gaming and movies.

 

I used to do most of my gaming on console and have been using an Astro Mixamp to drive the headphones primarily because it could create surround for console gaming.

I am now mostly a PC gamer and am looking to get the most out of these cans.

My current setup is running an optical cable from an onboard soundcard to the Mixamp, which then has the dt 990s plugged into it.

 

 

1. Is this setup doing my headphones justice, ie is it powering my cans sufficiently and providing near optimal sound?

 

2. Would I improve quality by getting a dedicated soundcard or different amp (retaining surround sound is important as well)?

 

3. Will getting an amp/soundcard make the Mixamp redundant?

 

4. I have heard of people "double amping" the Mixamp to a Fiio e9 - would doing similar improve quality?

 

 

If you would please be so kind as to answer my questions and make some recommendations as to particular solutions.

I am willing to spend about $300 IF I will get a substantial increase in sound quality by changing my setup.

 

Thank you very much for any feedback

post #2 of 10

1. There really very little info on the nature of the amplifier in this unit, but I would guess it providing enough power. How good the amplifier is, however, may be a completely different story...

 

2. If you got higher quality sound card, you would be able to avoid the Mixamp, and plug your headphones directly in. The Digital to Analog conversion will be handled by the soundcard.

 

3. Look above.

 

4. In general, avoid double amping. It increases noise.

 

I would just get an Essense ST or the forte soundcard. Look here. http://www.head-fi.org/t/592581/best-pc-soundcard-for-music

 

 

Hope I helped!

post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynamis View Post

I am fairly new to the world of audiophiles... but since getting a pair of dt 990s, my mind has been blown and I am looking for more!

I have the 600ohm version of the dt990s and mostly use them for gaming and movies.

I used to do most of my gaming on console and have been using an Astro Mixamp to drive the headphones primarily because it could create surround for console gaming.

I am now mostly a PC gamer and am looking to get the most out of these cans.

My current setup is running an optical cable from an onboard soundcard to the Mixamp, which then has the dt 990s plugged into it.

 

 

1. Is this setup doing my headphones justice, ie is it powering my cans sufficiently and providing near optimal sound?

 

2. Would I improve quality by getting a dedicated sound card or different amp (retaining surround sound is important as well)?

 

3. Will getting an amp/sound card make the Mixamp redundant?

 

4. I have heard of people "double amping" the Mixamp to a Fiio e9 - would doing similar improve quality?

 

If you would please be so kind as to answer my questions and make some recommendations as to particular solutions.

I am willing to spend about $300 IF I will get a substantial increase in sound quality by changing my setup.

Asus Xonar Essence STX sound card,

Same headphone amplifier as the Fiio E9.

Comes with a good DAC (better then the Mix-amp's).

Dolby Headphone (7.1) surround sound.

Later on for $60 can upgrade the 3 op-amps (operational amplifiers) to LME49990.

 

Sell off your Astro mix-amp?

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies guys.

 

Would the Essense ST / Essense STX be enough to drive my cans, as they are the 600ohm version?

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynamis View Post

Thanks for the replies guys.

 

Would the Essense ST / Essense STX be enough to drive my cans, as they are the 600ohm version?

I guess a $250 tube headphone amplifier would be preferred.

My STX worked fine with my AKG K240 monitor 600-ohm headphones.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much to everyone for your comments.

 

I went out and bought an Essence STX and... WOW!

Big improvement over the Mixamp!

 

I think I will enjoy this sound card for now as the sound is rocking my world and maybe later on looking at getting a more expensive tube amp.

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynamis View Post

Thank you very much to everyone for your comments.

 

I went out and bought an Essence STX and... WOW!

Big improvement over the Mixamp!

 

I think I will enjoy this sound card for now as the sound is rocking my world and maybe later on looking at getting a more expensive tube amp.

For $60, you can replace the three op-amps (operational amplifiers), LME49990 op-amps are well liked over the Essence STX's stock op-amps.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynamis View Post

 

I think I will enjoy this sound card for now as the sound is rocking my world and maybe later on looking at getting a more expensive tube amp.

 

Glad you liked your pick. If you ever get around to buying a tube amp, I suggest the Bottlehead Crack. There are plenty of great solid state amps as well.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzjin View Post

 

Glad you liked your pick. If you ever get around to buying a tube amp, I suggest the Bottlehead Crack. There are plenty of great solid state amps as well.

 

Thanks mate, will keep that in mind!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

For $60, you can replace the three op-amps (operational amplifiers), LME49990 op-amps are well liked over the Essence STX's stock op-amps.

 



As I'm fairly new to this, I actually have no idea how to do this or where to source the op-amps... It has intrigued me though and if you would please be so kind as to explain what you mean or link me to a place where I can research more, I would be highly appreciative.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynamis View Post

 

As I'm fairly new to this, I actually have no idea how to do this or where to source the op-amps... It has intrigued me though and if you would please be so kind as to explain what you mean or link me to a place where I can research more, I would be highly appreciative.

Thread dedicated to the Asus Xonar Essence sound card(s)

http://www.head-fi.org/t/421890/the-xonar-essence-stx-q-a-tweaking-impressions-thread

 

Place to buy the LME49990, (should buy three).

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DUAL-SOIC-LME49990-DIP8-ADAPTER-/190682726763?pt=US_Amplifier_Parts_Components&hash=item2c6593816b

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