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Help with Audio Setup

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I'm kinda new when it comes to high-end audio so please bare with me.

Essentially this is my question, whats the best audio setup for my needs? Currently I have logitech z5500's sourced from my computer soundcard, Auzentech x-fi forte, however eventually I want to invest in some better home music/cinema speakers/immersive gaming. Now I am thinking of getting some ultrasone 900's or DT 990 premiums (unsure whether I want close or open yet) and understand It would be best for me to get a DAC and Desktop amp, these will be used for music (hip hop) and gaming also, but I am unsure of what to get. I am looking to spend around $300 or so on the DAC/AMP but thought it may be better for me to maybe get equipment that could also be used for home cinema speakers if get them? or possibly to be used with my z5500's for now in case I never get them.

 

It is also worth noting that I will be building a new comp soon and will be getting an ASUS Xonar essence ST

post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron5 View Post

It is also worth noting that I will be building a new comp soon and will be getting an ASUS Xonar essence ST

You just solved your own problem and saved your wallet, epic congrats!

 

Might look into the 990 PRO if you are into hip-hop and the like.


Edited by RushNerd - 9/23/12 at 4:58pm
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron5 View Post

Hey guys, I'm kinda new when it comes to high-end audio so please bare with me.

Essentially this is my question, whats the best audio setup for my needs? Currently I have logitech z5500's sourced from my computer soundcard, Auzentech x-fi forte, however eventually I want to invest in some better home music/cinema speakers/immersive gaming. Now I am thinking of getting some ultrasone 900's or DT 990 premiums (unsure whether I want close or open yet) and understand It would be best for me to get a DAC and Desktop amp, these will be used for music (hip hop) and gaming also, but I am unsure of what to get. I am looking to spend around $300 or so on the DAC/AMP but thought it may be better for me to maybe get equipment that could also be used for home cinema speakers if get them? or possibly to be used with my z5500's for now in case I never get them.

 

It is also worth noting that I will be building a new comp soon and will be getting an ASUS Xonar essence ST

It might better to get the Phoebus to get the best audio quality for your Z5500, you would want to run 3 (3.5mm) analog audio cables from the sound card to the Z5500, as the Asus sound card(s) come (guessing) with a better DAC then whatever DAC the Z5500 comes with, so if you run optical from the sound card to the Z5500, your using the DAC built into the Z5500.

(DAC is a Digital to Analog Converter)

The Essence ST needs the H6 ($65) adapter to output analog 5.1 (or 7.1) to the Z5500.

Where as the stock Phoebus can output up to 7.1 (& 5.1) analog to speakers.

So you would have no need to spend cash for an external DAC & headphone ampliifer

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron5 View Post

Hey guys, I'm kinda new when it comes to high-end audio so please bare with me.

Essentially this is my question, whats the best audio setup for my needs? Currently I have logitech z5500's sourced from my computer soundcard, Auzentech x-fi forte, however eventually I want to invest in some better home music/cinema speakers/immersive gaming. Now I am thinking of getting some ultrasone 900's or DT 990 premiums (unsure whether I want close or open yet) and understand It would be best for me to get a DAC and Desktop amp, these will be used for music (hip hop) and gaming also, but I am unsure of what to get. I am looking to spend around $300 or so on the DAC/AMP but thought it may be better for me to maybe get equipment that could also be used for home cinema speakers if get them? or possibly to be used with my z5500's for now in case I never get them.

 

It is also worth noting that I will be building a new comp soon and will be getting an ASUS Xonar essence ST

Asus Xonar ST is a really good combo with DT990, had it and loved it.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies guys. So there is no need for a headphone amplifier? I would have thought that the fotre/Xonar would be hard pressed to drive the DT990/600ohm for optimal sound? I was originally going to get a fiio e9k, but wanted to check with you guys first, I just really looking for real immersiveness I plan to do a lot of gaming in my holidays.

Also right now I have the 6 channel direct (3 3.5mm) configuration with my forte for my z5500 and it seems to give decent output, so i guess ill do the same with the phoebus then, or get the h6 for the ST.

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron5 View Post

Thanks for the replies guys. So there is no need for a headphone amplifier? I would have thought that the fotre/Xonar would be hard pressed to drive the DT990/600ohm for optimal sound? I was originally going to get a fiio e9k, but wanted to check with you guys first, I just really looking for real immersiveness I plan to do a lot of gaming in my holidays.

Also right now I have the 6 channel direct (3 3.5mm) configuration with my forte for my z5500 and it seems to give decent output, so i guess ill do the same with the Phoebus then, or get the h6 for the ST.

You can always get a single tube headphone amplifier ($60-$96) off eBay, ships from China. lots of power (voltage) for driving headphones.

The Forte comes with a headphone amplifier rated up to 600-Ohms, so maybe you can just keep using the Forte.

post #7 of 10

Being completely honest: If you're really into the game, you can be wearing $20 headphones and not tell the difference. I sometimes take my headphones off in BF3 just because all the noise is too distracting.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Cheers fro the help guys. In regards to the headphones, judging by what you guys have read/heard which would be the best headphone for me (music - hip hop/rap and gaming) Please note I don't really want overwhelming bass!

 

DT 990 Premium (probably get 250ohm for my soundcard)

Ultrasone 900

Denon AH-D2000

 

From what I have read around the place it seems the DT 990 Prem may be better suited because it has less impact on the bass, however since I want immersiveness it seems closed cans would be better. I cant really find if the D2k are suited for gaming but have heard they are quite balanced which may be good for me. Whats do you guys recommend?

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron5 View Post

Cheers fro the help guys. In regards to the headphones, judging by what you guys have read/heard which would be the best headphone for me (music - hip hop/rap and gaming) Please note I don't really want overwhelming bass!

 

DT 990 Premium (probably get 250ohm for my soundcard)

Ultrasone 900

Denon AH-D2000

 

From what I have read around the place it seems the DT 990 Prem may be better suited because it has less impact on the bass, however since I want immersiveness it seems closed cans would be better. I cant really find if the D2k are suited for gaming but have heard they are quite balanced which may be good for me. Whats do you guys recommend?

The Essence ST, Essence STX, Phoebus and Fiio E09 all use the same headphone amplifier chip (6120A2), all these come with an impedance of 10-Ohms, which is a negative for headphones under 80-Ohms,

Which is not really a problem for like 50-Ohm or 60-ohm headphones.

But as the Denon AH-D2000 are only 25-Ohm, you might want to pass on them, or pick a different amplifier.

Personally I would take the DT990s over the DT770. I think open usually sounds better.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
So the ultrasone pro 900s will be no good either? That sucks because i was ready to pull the trigger on these. They have an impedance of 40ohm i believe, looks like I have maybe no option but the dt990 250ohm without buying an external amp.
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