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DAC under U$ 150 ? ... DAC + SoundCard ?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

good day ... so I'm wanting to take some questions and also recommendations dac ...

recently got a fiio e11 and am very pleased with it. My setup is as follows: Asus xonar dx (3.5mm> 3.5mm)> FiiO e11> Jvc ha-s500 (then I'll buy a better one, but want a dac)

1 - I was wondering if I would have a better sound swapping my asus xonar dx for a dac to U $ 150.00?

2 - Any way I can enjoy the asus xonar dx + dac + amp? or I have to sell my sound card?

3 - What are the DAC's most recommended to U $ 150.00? (I can only buy at ebay, because I live in Brazil)

I really appreciate your help ...

post #2 of 21

Unless you hear some artifacts, skipping, or noise in your music your Asus Xonar is probably just fine for a DAC.  What exactly do you not like about it?  Upgrading your headphones is going to give you a change in sound signature that you may like.

 

Perhaps try a pair of Sennheiser HD-25-1-ii or V-Moda M80 if you can find them in your area.  They are around $200 new and sound awesome and should be a definite upgrade to your JVC headphones.

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

Unless you hear some artifacts, skipping, or noise in your music your Asus Xonar is probably just fine for a DAC.  What exactly do you not like about it?  Upgrading your headphones is going to give you a change in sound signature that you may like.

 

Perhaps try a pair of Sennheiser HD-25-1-ii or V-Moda M80 if you can find them in your area.  They are around $200 new and sound awesome and should be a definite upgrade to your JVC headphones.

I had a conversation with my friends the topic "o2 dac + amp" and decides that even ... I will not upgrade the dac, but I will make a headphone ... but I'll search long and hard before buying a

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

what would be the ideal upgrade for a $ 200 headphone?

1 - what would be the headphone?
2 - what is the amp?
3 - what would the dac?

post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by glunteer View Post

what would be the ideal upgrade for a $ 200 headphone?

1 - what would be the headphone?
2 - what is the amp?
3 - what would the dac?

Try using the "Unified Xonar Drivers" from the website Brainbit.

Get the program Foobar2000 for playing audio files.

 

As the Xonar DX already comes with CS4398 DAC chip, I see no reason to spend cash for an external DAC.

The Fiio E11 is a great little headphone amplifier that has an low impedance of around .5-Ohms :).

So I say put everything into new headphones.

Did you plan on selling the JVC HA-S500 and putting the cash towards new headphones?

 

Any idea's on what you want more out of your audio? Bass? sound stage?

Do you prefer closed or open headphones?

What places can you order from? Amazon? eBay? or from any on-line business?

 

Back in 1996 went to Rio and Buzios (1996) nice weather.

post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Try using the "Unified Xonar Drivers" from the website Brainbit.

Get the program Foobar2000 for playing audio files.

 

As the Xonar DX already comes with CS4398 DAC chip, I see no reason to spend cash for an external DAC.

The Fiio E11 is a great little headphone amplifier that has an low impedance of around .5-Ohms :).

So I say put everything into new headphones.

Did you plan on selling the JVC HA-S500 and putting the cash towards new headphones?

 

Any idea's on what you want more out of your audio? Bass? sound stage?

Do you prefer closed or open headphones?

What places can you order from? Amazon? eBay? or from any on-line business?

 

Back in 1996 went to Rio and Buzios (1996) nice weather.


hahaha... i'm live in rio ^^

 

I like neutral headphone with good soundstage and comfortable ...

 

i think i will buy in ebay

post #7 of 21

I own the Asus Xonar DX and I find that the sound coming from it to be very 'transparent' and 'clean'. It can indeed be very digital and fatiguing at times when paired with neutral phones.

 

Of course, the dynamics and depth isnt the best but the right headphones/amp will definitely compensate it's shortcomings. I'll leave the asus the way it is, invest on a good $200 headphones that is relatively easy to drive and probably a fiio e17 which acts as a headphone amplifier as well as a portable dac. All these are available from ebay so it shall be fairly accessible for you.

 

You may connect your soundcard ---> e17 ---> phones and select either the Xonar or Fiio as your dac.

post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by underhysteria View Post

I own the Asus Xonar DX and I find that the sound coming from it to be very 'transparent' and 'clean'. It can indeed be very digital and fatiguing at times when paired with neutral phones.

 

Of course, the dynamics and depth isnt the best but the right headphones/amp will definitely compensate it's shortcomings. I'll leave the asus the way it is, invest on a good $200 headphones that is relatively easy to drive and probably a fiio e17 which acts as a headphone amplifier as well as a portable dac. All these are available from ebay so it shall be fairly accessible for you.

 

You may connect your soundcard ---> e17 ---> phones and select either the Xonar or Fiio as your dac.


but how would I use the fiio e17 ... cable with a 3.5mm? (asus xonar> 3.5mm to 3.5mm> fiio e17)

and sell my fiio e11?

 

Note: I do not use headphone out ... then I can recommend without being portable ... (if of course)


Edited by glunteer - 12/1/12 at 8:56pm
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by glunteer View Post


but how would I use the fiio e17 ... cable with a 3.5mm? (asus xonar> 3.5mm to 3.5mm> fiio e17)

and sell my fiio e11?

 

Note: I do not use headphone out ... then I can recommend without being portable ... (if of course)

 

Yeah you could use that via the lineout (don't worry im sure FIIO has a manual).

 

Or you can actually utilize the SPDIF connection to connect the xonar to the E17. The xonar has a SPDIF slot and my set came with an adapter so I'm able to plug in the toslink cable into the 3.5mm slot.

 

I do not own the E17 but from what I read, it's capabilities are much better than the E11. I own the E11 a year ago but sold it off sooner or later as I quite didnt like it.

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by underhysteria View Post

 

Yeah you could use that via the lineout (don't worry im sure FIIO has a manual).

 

Or you can actually utilize the SPDIF connection to connect the xonar to the E17. The xonar has a SPDIF slot and my set came with an adapter so I'm able to plug in the toslink cable into the 3.5mm slot.

 

I do not own the E17 but from what I read, it's capabilities are much better than the E11. I own the E11 a year ago but sold it off sooner or later as I quite didnt like it.


I just buy the fiio e11 is not in my plans to sell it ... and headphones below U$200?

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by glunteer View Post

 

I just buy the fiio e11 is not in my plans to sell it ... and headphones below U$200?

 

Do you need isolation ? If not, then the HD598 may be a decent choice (neutral, good sound stage, under $200). The DT880 Pro is somewhat above $200, but it could be suitable, too. You may be able to find a used Denon AH-D2000 (semi-open level of isolation) for ~$200, although it has a slightly V shaped frequency response. If you do need good isolation, then the SRH-840 or the KNS8400 might be worth trying, these cost about $150.


Your setup of Xonar DX + FiiO E11 is fine (assuming that you do not find having to regularly recharge the batteries in the E11 too annoying), if you have $200 to spend, then spend it all on the headphones for the most improvement, but you need to find the best ones for your preferences.

post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

Do you need isolation ? If not, then the HD598 may be a decent choice (neutral, good sound stage, under $200). The DT880 Pro is somewhat above $200, but it could be suitable, too. You may be able to find a used Denon AH-D2000 (semi-open level of isolation) for ~$200, although it has a slightly V shaped frequency response. If you do need good isolation, then the SRH-840 or the KNS8400 might be worth trying, these cost about $150.


Your setup of Xonar DX + FiiO E11 is fine (assuming that you do not find having to regularly recharge the batteries in the E11 too annoying), if you have $200 to spend, then spend it all on the headphones for the most improvement, but you need to find the best ones for your preferences.


I was also thinking about the hd 558 ... I can not have insulation in my house because everyone calls me all the time ^ ^

but would my fiio e11 and asus xonar dx serve the hd 558?

if I have to buy an amp, what would it be? (just to get an idea of costs)

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by glunteer View Post

but would my fiio e11 and asus xonar dx serve the hd 558?

 

The E11 should be able to drive the HD5x8 fine, these headphones do not need that much power, they are just sensitive to the output impedance of the amplifier, but that is not a problem with the E11.

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

The E11 should be able to drive the HD5x8 fine, these headphones do not need that much power, they are just sensitive to the output impedance of the amplifier, but that is not a problem with the E11.

then think the hd 558 would be good for me?

neutral headphone with good soundstage (for some games too ... like bf3), comfortable and able to serve my equipment?

I also saw the hd 518 and many people saying that the difference is small for the hd 558 ...

here in Brazil is very difficult to find a good price headphone :(

post #15 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by glunteer View Post

then think the hd 558 would be good for me?

neutral headphone with good soundstage (for some games too ... like bf3), comfortable and able to serve my equipment?

I also saw the hd 518 and many people saying that the difference is small for the hd 558 ...

here in Brazil is very difficult to find a good price headphone :(

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