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Alright, first things first. I am currently at the brink of ordering a balanced Isabellina HPA from Vinnie at RWA, for use with my Sennheiser HD800. The chain setup would go like this:



foobar ( ASIO ) ---> Isabellina HPA ---> Sennheiser HD800 ( a Silver Dragon v3 with a balanced Neutrik XLR termination )



However, my current inbuilt sound card does not support native ASIO and I would be forced to install an ASIO4ALL wrapper instead in order to use ASIO with foobar. As far as I know, native ASIO is always better, so I am considering the purchase of a separate sound card, just for the purpose of it having an ASIO driver.

I am currently using Asus Xonar Essence One, but I will be selling that as soon as I grab the Isabellina. My former soundcard was Asus Xonar Essence ST, but I sold that one too, when I got the E1.

Since the cheapest Asus sound card option lacks ASIO support ( Asus Xonar DG ), I am currently planning to get Asus Xonar DS instead.

What exactly is the significance of the source with my setup? Would the Asus Xonar DS be enough, since I will not be using its DAC at all, and it will only be sending the digital data to the Isabellina?