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HD 598 sound card and amp question.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello Everyone, I've been lurking for a while and finally took the plunge and created an account.

 

I bought my first decent pair of headphones, as stated the HD 598s, and use them for both gaming and music.  I'm thinking about adding an amp, just to see how much better they would sound - they do sound great just using the front panel!  

 

I am considering two options, one is to add an amp with a DAC through USB but also utilize my front panel for when gaming so I can use my X-Fi's processor and it's gaming benefits.  I also thought about running an amp through the X-Fi (which would be going from X-Fi > to a power amp running my bookshelfs/sub > to the headphone amp).  My fear is that I might pick up crap going down the chain between the 6 fans, GTX 580, water cooler, etc. and hear it through the amp if I don't use a USB DAC.

 

My question is should I get a USB DAC or just get something like an E9 or Art Amp4 and add it to the end of the chain?  It seems to be clear running off the front panel, I'm not getting any static or other annoyances. 

 

If I can avoid the DAC and just use the sound card/amp I would be happiest. Thanks for your help!

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by hasten View Post

Hello Everyone, I've been lurking for a while and finally took the plunge and created an account.

 

I bought my first decent pair of headphones, as stated the HD 598s, and use them for both gaming and music.  I'm thinking about adding an amp, just to see how much better they would sound - they do sound great just using the front panel!  

 

I am considering two options, one is to add an amp with a DAC through USB but also utilize my front panel for when gaming so I can use my X-Fi's processor and it's gaming benefits.  I also thought about running an amp through the X-Fi (which would be going from X-Fi > to a power amp running my bookshelfs/sub > to the headphone amp).  My fear is that I might pick up crap going down the chain between the 6 fans, GTX 580, water cooler, etc. and hear it through the amp if I don't use a USB DAC.

 

My question is should I get a USB DAC or just get something like an E9 or Art Amp4 and add it to the end of the chain?  It seems to be clear running off the front panel, I'm not getting any static or other annoyances. 

 

If I can avoid the DAC and just use the sound card/amp I would be happiest. Thanks for your help!

Which X-Fi sound card?

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Sorry I should have specified.  Just the Xtremegamer.

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by hasten View Post

Sorry I should have specified.  Just the Xtremegamer.

If you used a USB DAC, it would bypass the sound card and it's audio features.

Maybe just get a Recon3D for $70.

Or wait until December when Creative labs comes out with their new sound cards.

post #5 of 9

If you don't hear any unwanted noise out of the X-Fi XtremeGamer's analog outputs, you might as well just keep using it and hook up an amp to it.

 

If you do, there's the option to use an S/PDIF DAC and keep the DSP features, but it'll take up your mic jack since that's where the mini-Toslink output is located. (I'm assuming that this is the low-profile XtremeGamer and not one of the full-size variants.)

post #6 of 9

YGPM

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

If you don't hear any unwanted noise out of the X-Fi XtremeGamer's analog outputs, you might as well just keep using it and hook up an amp to it.

 

If you do, there's the option to use an S/PDIF DAC and keep the DSP features, but it'll take up your mic jack since that's where the mini-Toslink output is located. (I'm assuming that this is the low-profile XtremeGamer and not one of the full-size variants.)

In the past I have run the S/PDIF to a receiver.  If I went this route I should just find an amp with a optical input?

post #8 of 9

ASUS Xonar D2 with HD598 sounds perfect to my ears. I had the some kind of doubt once, but I never tried something like an E9 because I already had the Xonar D2.

I don't like to keep switching cables everytime I want to use heaphones or speakers, though.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

So the more research I did the more I felt like it was a better idea to start with upgrading the Xtremegamer to something a little nicer and picked up a Titanium HD.  I think I'll hold off on grabbing an amp for a few months and get a feel for how the Titanium sounds.

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