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Question concerning computer sound card to headphone amp to LCD-2's

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hey guys I have a question and are in need of some help concerning my options and choices.  Currently I have a media center that has a Soundblaster X-Fi titanium sound card in it.  My question is:

 

Would it be possible to use my computer as the source and use my soundcard as the dac, and then hookup a headphone amplifier (Lyr) to the sound card and then to some LCD-2's?

 

http://www.amazon.com/D3-Digital-Converter-Optical-Toslink/dp/B005K2TXMO/ref=pd_sxp_grid_i_0_2/189-1332974-0447706

 

Would I lose any audio quality if I used the above?

 

The setup would look like this:

 

Soundcard------>optical to rca converter----->Lyr-------->LCD-2's

 

Is the dac good enough in the X-Fi or would I be better off betting a BiFrost + Lyr combo?

 

Thanks


Edited by MattSWE - 10/13/12 at 12:20pm
post #2 of 23

Yes, that'd definitely work. DACs seem to be one of the least discerning parts in the chain. As long as it's clean and does what it's supposed to, you  should be fine. Whether you want to upgrade to a Bifrost (or an ODAC, that'd work as well) later on is up to you. Problem is that the sound card can often pick up other noises from your computer system.

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

ok cool, I plan on using the cd player in the computer and mp3's from an external drive (.flac/lossless etc) then having the soundcard to all the processing, then to the tube amp (lyr).  The reason I want to use the X-fi is because I sounds amazing hooked up to my 500w yamaha reciever then to some vintage cabinets.  I have a klipsch center channel and is pretty darn clear.  What kind of DAC is on the X-Fi titanium?

 

How could I cut down on possible noise interference from the computer?

 

Thanks a bunch :)
 

post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattSWE View Post

ok cool, I plan on using the cd player in the computer and mp3's from an external drive (.flac/lossless etc) then having the soundcard to all the processing, then to the tube amp (lyr).  The reason I want to use the X-fi is because I sounds amazing hooked up to my 500w yamaha reciever then to some vintage cabinets.  I have a klipsch center channel and is pretty darn clear.  What kind of DAC is on the X-Fi titanium?

 

How could I cut down on possible noise interference from the computer?

 

Thanks a bunch :)
 

The X-Fi Titanium has a Burr-Brown PCM1794. A guide to reducing noise interference can be found here: http://home.roadrunner.com/~jgglatt/tutr/noise.htm

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

nice, ok thank you for the info.  you have been a huge help and have saved me some $$$ too  :)

post #6 of 23

No problem, hope you like your LCD-2s as much as I do!

post #7 of 23

Are you using the older Titanium (non-HD) or newer Titanium HD?

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
ill be using the older titanium
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinQY View Post

The X-Fi Titanium has a Burr-Brown PCM1794. A guide to reducing noise interference can be found here: http://home.roadrunner.com/~jgglatt/tutr/noise.htm

The Titanium HD comes with the PCM1794, but MATTSWE is using the older Titanium (non-HD).

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattSWE View Post

I'll be using the older Titanium

I'm guessing the Fiio D3 ($28) will not improve the audio quality that much, if any.

Maybe just plug the Lyr straight into the sound card's line-out/headphone jack.

Or sell off the your current sound card and get the Titamium HD (PCM1794 DAC chip)

 

Or just get this external DAC, put it between your current sound card and the headphone amplifier, $60

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SMSL-SD-793II-DIR9001-PCM1793-OPA2134-Coax-Optical-MINI-DAC-Headphone-Amp-B-/120974133185?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item1c2a9ec7c1

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The Titanium HD comes with the PCM1794, but MATTSWE is using the older Titanium (non-HD).

Ugh, you're right. Not sure about the old one, but the Burr-Brown on the HD is an amazing DAC, along with having proper EMI shielding.

 

Well, at least the old Titanium was fairly cheap tongue.gif

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 

i appreciate the info, however Im not really counting on the D3 to improve the quality at all considering im faily happy with my current sound card.  Would it make a difference weather I used the optical to rca converter or used the line out on the soundcard (3.5mm to rca cable)?  Basically what im asking is would there be any loss of quality using the line out from the soundcard instead of optical?

 

Since its all going to rca anyway from either line out or optical, does it make a difference?

 

Thanks :)

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattSWE View Post

I appreciate the info, however I'm not really counting on the D3 to improve the quality at all considering I'm fairly happy with my current sound card.  Would it make a difference weather I used the optical to rca converter or used the line out on the sound card (3.5mm to rca cable)?  Basically what I'm asking is would there be any loss of quality using the line out from the sound card instead of optical?

 

Since its all going to rca anyway from either line out or optical, does it make a difference?

Guess all I can say is get the Fiio D3 and compare using the sound card's headphone jack verses using the D3, see what your ears tell you.

post #14 of 23
Quote:

Originally Posted by MattSWE View Post

 

Soundcard------>optical to rca converter----->Lyr-------->LCD-2's


Do you already have the Lyr, or only plan to buy it ?

Regarding the FiiO D3, I do not think it would be useful if your card is not picking up any audible interference noise.


Edited by stv014 - 10/15/12 at 9:49am
post #15 of 23
Hi, guys. I am in a similar situation and would appreciate your suggestions. I have a Soundblaster X-fi in my pc . I plug my headphones in its headphone jack and there is not background noise , is dead silent even with my Triple Fi. 10. When listening with my Denon 5000 i use the volumen at 3% and with Q 701 at 5% beyond that it becomes too loud. My question is , Is the Soundblaster DAC and Amp good enough or should i buy and Amp/ DAC to improve performance ?
Thanks in advance for your help.
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