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Do I need a DAC

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey everybody. Not sure if I'm in the right section but I just ordered a Sennheiser HD650 and a shiit Valhalla. My source are all flac files from my computer. I have a  asus xonar DX sound card. Do you guys think I will need a DAC or will I be fine with the xonar hooked to the valhalla? I mainly listen to jazz, deep house, and oldies rock and do some gaming as well.

 

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyUser View Post

Hey everybody. Not sure if I'm in the right section but I just ordered a Sennheiser HD650 and a Schiit Valhalla. My source are all FLAC files from my computer. I have a  Asus Xonar DX sound card. Do you guys think I will need a DAC or will I be fine with the Xonar hooked to the valhalla? I mainly listen to jazz, deep house, and oldies rock and do some gaming as well.

 

For now, I would say to just keep using the Xonar DX sound card (for movies and gaming).

It comes with a CS4398 DAC chip.

 

Now in all fairness, the Creative Titanium HD sound card (better DAC chip and op-amps) is currently selling for $99, which is a really really good price, as some times is sell for as high as $150.

And I'm sure you could sell off the Xonar DX for $50-$60.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 1/9/13 at 6:27pm
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Ok thanks for the reply.  Usb DACs are strictly for music correct? I could potentially use my sound card for movies and games through my polk m40s and the usb DAC for my music through my cans. Am I understanding this correctly? If so, do you have any usb DAC recommendations or is that something I should just google ? lol


Edited by HeavyUser - 1/9/13 at 6:50pm
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyUser View Post

Ok thanks for the reply.  Usb DACs are strictly for music correct? I could potentially use my sound card for movies and music through my polk m40s and the usb DAC for my music through my cans. Am I understanding this correctly? If so, do you have any usb DAC recommendations or is that something I should just google ? lol

I guess you could say that usually USB is used for 2-channel audio, So i guess you could play games and watch movies in stereo, with USB.

I'm just about really to sit done to dinner, so I might have ideas in 30 minutes.

Or someone else on Head-Fi can offer some ideas.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyUser View Post

Ok thanks for the reply.  Usb DACs are strictly for music correct? I could potentially use my sound card for movies and games through my polk m40s and the usb DAC for my music through my cans. Am I understanding this correctly? If so, do you have any usb DAC recommendations or is that something I should just google ? lol


USD DACs only work for music. 

Also, you might not be able to use the USB DAC and soundcard in parallel, only one at a time.

 

But, I'm not sure how much of a difference you'll notice with the current DAC, so I'm with PurpleAngel on this one. Use the Xonar with the setup, its the headphone that makes the most difference, followed by the amp, and then the dac.

post #6 of 7

The Xonar should be good enough to get you started. If, however, you do decide to get a DAC down the road, get one with an optical (TOSLINK) input, and use the digital output from your soundcard rather than USB. Made a noticeable difference with my Emotiva XDA-1 (USB on that particular DAC is also limited to 24/48, TOSLINK to 24/192).

 

Edit: The Bifrost would look pretty cool under your Valhalla. You could save a little by ordering the non-USB option also.


Edited by calipilot227 - 1/10/13 at 1:22am
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses guys. Instead of the valhalla I think I'm going to purchase the woo audio WA6 instead of the valhalla. Doing more research on it now. Good to know I can save money by using my soundcard for the time being. Its kinda funny. I went from buy a sennheiser 380pro to a 650 with a cheap amp to a 700 dollar amp. Impulse buy really hurts but feels so good a the same time....

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