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Dac / Amp newbie looking for guidance / advice

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

I'm thinking of buying An Amp / Dac (I haven't fully understood the difference between them)

 

my current equipment:

 

Headphone :Audio Technica Ad900

Onboard sound card (with optical)

Logitech Z-5500 ( to which i connect my headphones)

I also own HiFiMan Re0 which i use with my iphone while I'm on the train each day - Don't know if I'm intrested in something portable (although if i will upgrade the expreince - then maybe it worth it)

 

Years ago, when I bought the headphones (Ad900) my main thought was - well, I don't need no amp for them so I'm saving some money.

I'm not in love with the sound of my equipment but I don't know if I can afford a new set of headphones that will be much better. and if I will buy one I'll probably need an amp / Dac anway :)

 

Music taste (I won't be using them for movies, gameing etc): rock, blues, prog rock (floyd, dylan, neil young, porcupine tree)

Headphone history: Grado Sr80

Budget: maybe not over 100$, though I'm open for excellnet value per buck.

 

 

So, I've tried to sum of my requiments and equipment and now I look forward for your advice / guidance.

 

*I've posted this in another forum but didn't get much attention 

post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by itayze View Post

I'm thinking of buying An Amp / Dac (I haven't fully understood the difference between them)

my current equipment:

Headphone :Audio Technica Ad900

Onboard sound card (with optical)

Logitech Z-5500 ( to which i connect my headphones)

I also own HiFiMan Re0 which i use with my iphone while I'm on the train each day - Don't know if I'm intrested in something portable (although if i will upgrade the expreince - then maybe it worth it)

Years ago, when I bought the headphones (Ad900) my main thought was - well, I don't need no amp for them so I'm saving some money.

I'm not in love with the sound of my equipment but I don't know if I can afford a new set of headphones that will be much better. and if I will buy one I'll probably need an amp / Dac anway :)

Music taste (I won't be using them for movies, gameing etc): rock, blues, prog rock (floyd, dylan, neil young, porcupine tree)

Headphone history: Grado Sr80

Budget: maybe not over 100$, though I'm open for excellnet value per buck.

Audio is stored and processed in a digital (ones & zeros) forum, amplifiers are analog (wave) forum, ears are analog (wave).

So after digital audio signal is processed, it needs to be chanced at some point to an analog audio signal,

that is where the DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) comes into play.

 

The Fiio E10 USB-DAC-Headphone amplifier, sells for $44.99 at Adorama.

http://www.adorama.com/FIE10.html

 

Chances are the E10 DAC chip is better the the motherboard's DAC chip

and the E10's amplifier is better at driving the 40-Ohm ATH-AD900 headphones, then the E5500 headphone jack.

 

The optical connection between your motherboard and Z-5500 means your using the Z-5500's DAC chip.

 

If you wanted to improve the sound quality of the Logitech Z-5500, then also get an internal sound card.

The Xonar DX (or D1) sound card (used $55) will have a much better DAC then what is in your motherboard.

You would need to used the three analog (3.5mm) cables that came with the Z-5500.

 

If you like to watch Blu-ray movies with the Z-5500, then the slightly cheaper Xonar DS ($31) or DSX sound card would be a good choice.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

thanks for the response PurpleAngel.

 

I'm Happy with the logitech Z-5500 Sound on speakers, So I'll foucus on the headphones.

 

Do you think I'm better off with the E10 then the E07k?  

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by itayze View Post

thanks for the response PurpleAngel.

 

I'm Happy with the logitech Z-5500 Sound on speakers, So I'll foucus on the headphones.

 

Do you think I'm better off with the E10 then the E07k?  

My best guess is for your current use, I can't see any reason to spend twice as much to get the E07K.

The E07K has more features that I can't see you needing.

If you had a need for a truely portable DAC/amp, then the E07K would be worth it.

 

But check around, the E07K is new and there might be something about the E07K that I've over looked.

But I'm guessing you will end up just getting the E10.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Just ordered the fiio e10, I'll probably will get in a month (delivary time to israel is a bit slow ...)

 

Thanks ! 

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