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Help On First Audio Setup - Gaming - Page 2

post #16 of 63

If gaming is your primary choice you should not pick up the Essence STX or the Titanium HD as these were designed specifically for music lovers in mind.  If gaming is your main focus as you stated above and you are looking for decent music quality as a secondary option you should get a card more catered towards gaming (gaming cards and music cards have different sound signatures).  I know Creative just came out with the ZxR and they have their Fata1ity series gaming cards as well as Asus has the Phoebus card.

 

I would upgrade in steps.  First step would be to get a new sound card or amp/dac and keep the headphones you have. 

 

Try them out for a couple of weeks then make the decision on whether or not to buy new headphones. 

 

A sound card or amp/dac do make a big difference to what you are hearing.
 


Edited by velvetx - 2/5/13 at 11:41am
post #17 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by velvetx View Post

I would upgrade in steps.  First step would be to get a new sound card or amp/dac and keep the headphones you have. 

Try them out for a couple of weeks then make the decision on whether or not to buy new headphones. 

A sound card or amp/dac do make a big difference to what you are hearing.

Sound advice (hur-hur). It's best to upgrade your system in pieces, finding the bits that are holding you back from what you're looking for and replacing them. I'd vote for an external DAC and AMP over a sound card. It gives you greater flexibility down the road and doesn't suffer from problems like system noise.

Even just for a cheaper system there was a time I ran my Leckerton UHA-6S mk.II and a pair of Denon AH-D2000's (all told you can probably grab this setup for around $500) and I found it to be very good for gaming as well as a solid, if v-shaped, setup for music.
post #18 of 63
Thread Starter 

My headphones right now are a $15 pair of logitechs that the cable is broken on the right speaker, so I need a set of phones also.

 

So it would be recommended to not get a sound card? I thought if your main intent was gaming the internal cards were preferred over external?

 

Benefits of ZxR over Zx?

 

I may just buy the card and a pair of phones for now and decide on an amp later, if the card I get has one.

 

Thanks

post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlauth View Post

$117 shipped for a new Titanium HD a good price?

Titanium HD, $109, free shipping.

http://www.jr.com/creative-labs/pe/CLN_SB1270/

post #20 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlauth View Post

Please clarify about the sound cards. Ive heard that one of the STX or HD do not work to their fullest potential when putting sound out to an amp. They don't convert the audio or something when going to an amp based on the outputs of the cards.

Both the Essence STX & ST and Titanium HD will output headphone surround sound thru the headphone jack and S/PDIF optical & coaxial outputs.

The Titanium HD will also output headphone surround sound thru the RCA outputs, but the Essence STX & ST can not.

post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlauth View Post

My headphones right now are a $15 pair of logitechs that the cable is broken on the right speaker, so I need a set of phones also.

So it would be recommended to not get a sound card? I thought if your main intent was gaming the internal cards were preferred over external?

Benefits of ZxR over Zx?

I may just buy the card and a pair of phones for now and decide on an amp later, if the card I get has one.

The SoundCore Audio processor used in the Recon series and Z series (Z, Zx, ZxR) is a stripped down version of the audio processor used in the Titanium HD (EMU20K2).

 

The SoundCore does come with intergrated Digital I/O and so-so quality DAC feature, these added features did not really improve sound quality, just lowered manufacturing costs.

Creative Labs ended up having to add a separate DAC chip to the Z series to improve the audio quality.

 

The $110 Titanium HD and $250 SB ZxR use the same op-amps and the same PCM1794 DAC chip for the headphones.

 

To me the Titanium HD with Schiit Magni is a good combo because the Schiit Magni's amplifier comes with a much lower headphone output impedance, .25-Ohm (point two five),

then the STX and Z series 10-Ohm headphone output impedance (10-Ohm)

The Magni's less then 1-Ohm impedance is a benefit for using lower impedance headphones,

also with the Magni you have a volume knob right at your finger tips.

Plus you can take the Magni with you and use it anywhere there is an A/C wall plug.

post #22 of 63
Thread Starter 

So the Titanium would be better if you were running an external amp because of the surround output to rca correct?

 

Even though the HD is not made for gaming, would you still recommend it over the Z Series cards that are?

 

And with the Magni, what Ohm phones would you suggest then?

 

Should I just focus on making a nice stereo setup and dont worry about the virtual surround stuff?


Edited by Dlauth - 2/5/13 at 5:16pm
post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlauth View Post

So the Titanium would be better if you were running an external amp because of the surround output to RCA correct?

Even though the HD is not made for gaming, would you still recommend it over the Z Series cards that are?

And with the Magni, what Ohm phones would you suggest then?

Should I just focus on making a nice stereo setup and don't worry about the virtual surround stuff?

The Titanium HD is a better choice because it has good audio hardware quality for the price and is a good match for external headphone amplifiers.

RCA (line-out) to an external headphone amplifier is better (cleaner signal) then hooking the external headphone amplifier to the sound card's dedicated headphone jack.

 

(I'm an Xonar fan and Essence STX user and have not used Creative Labs cards in years)

 

The Titanium HD is more of a gaming card then the Z series (& Recon3D series)

Creative Labs took the audio processor that is in the Titanium HD, removed some of the gaming features and stuck it into the Recon and Z series.

So it's beyond my little brain how anyone would think the Titanium HD is not a gaming sound card or think the Z series is a better gaming card.

 

Feel free to ask in these threads about the Titanium HD verses other gaming sound cards.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-updated-1-28-13-k702-65th-anni-ed-added

http://www.head-fi.org/t/593050/the-nameless-guide-to-pc-gaming-audio-with-binaural-headphone-surround-sound

post #24 of 63
Thread Starter 
I will do that then. So for sure get an internal audio card then over an external DAC such as the $100 Schiit?

Looks like the amp to get would be the schiit $100 amp. What ohm phones should I be looking for?

Also, I see you have the dt880 and 990s. What are the differences you hear in them?

Why did you choose stx over the hd?
Edited by Dlauth - 2/5/13 at 7:48pm
post #25 of 63
The best thing about the STX is the DAC. You can use the onboard headamp until you decide you want to spring for an external amp and then continue using the STX to feed your amp. I've no idea how the STX amp compares to something like the Magni, but I wonder if it would be a big enough difference to warrant the additional cost. Also the Dolby headphone works very well for games which implement proper directional sound. ( BC2 was brilliant for this, BF3 a big step backwards in my opinion).

I used the 880s + STX for gaming and music for a couple of years and thought it was brilliant. When I upgraded my music cans I got a Senn pc360 for gaming. I hated it - uncomfortable and sound was fine for gaming, not over the top brilliant, but fine. Finally I could no longer stand the clamp and have recently moved back to 880s for computer use and think they are actually better for gaming, much better for music, and no comparison for comfort.

Add a mic from Antlion and Bob's your uncle.
post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlauth View Post

I will do that then. So for sure get an internal audio card then over an external DAC such as the $100 Schiit?
Looks like the amp to get would be the Schiit $100 amp. What Ohm phones should I be looking for?
Also, I see you have the DT880 and DT990s. What are the differences you hear in them?
Why did you choose STX over the Ti-HD?

If all your into is 2-channel audio for music, then an external (USB, optical or coaxial) DAC is fine (and an external head amp)

If you want surround sound for games and movies, then a good internal sound card is better.

The Schiit Magni should be able to drive headphones from 16-Ohm to 600-Ohm.

 

The Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro 250-Ohm is usually the best choice, well balanced audio for music, movies and gaming.

The DT990s are more full bass & full treble, with slightly recessed mids, but vocals are clear (great for Blu-ray action movies).

 

The 600-Ohm versions are not that much better to justify the mark up in price, but if you can find a used (600-Ohm) one for around $200 or less, then go for it.

 

I was not happy with fixing/repairing problems with my older Creative Labs cards, like the Titanium non-HD.

I found the Xonar DX to have more stable drivers and was very easy and fast to resolve driver issues/problems.

I ended up getting the STX because I liked not having to take up space with a desktop (tube) amplifier.

The Titanium HD was not even available when I bought my STX. so was not even a factor in my choice.

 

I've heard Creative drivers have improved over the last few years.

post #27 of 63
Asus sound drivers are slightly worse than Creative IMHO, but the STX has slightly more headphone amp power, but I would buy the Creative Titanium HD myself.
post #28 of 63
Thread Starter 

Went ahead and bought the HD sound card.

 

Pretty sure im going to get the Magni, best option for an amp correct?

 

Now on to headphones. Think im going to a few stores around me to see what they have and listen to a few.

 

What prices should I be looking for on the DT880s and 990s? Found a used pair of DT880 pro 250ohm for $166, good price?

 

Still welcoming opinions!


Edited by Dlauth - 2/6/13 at 7:56am
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo Zuko View Post

Asus sound drivers are slightly worse than Creative IMHO, but the STX has slightly more headphone amp power, but I would buy the Creative Titanium HD myself.


Creative must have fixed their driver support because I have always considered Creative the worst in driver management (that and the drivers are resource hogs).  Asus drivers aren't that bad and if you don't like it you at least have a 3rd party alternative (I have an STX). 

post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlauth View Post

Went ahead and bought the HD sound card.

Pretty sure I'm going to get the Magni, best option for an amp correct?

Now on to headphones. Think I'm going to a few stores around me to see what they have and listen to a few.

What prices should I be looking for on the DT880s and 990s?

Still welcoming opinions!

As far as I know, the Magni is a good value for the price.

 

Check these threads a lot, might find some good deals on headphones.

http://www.head-fi.org/f/6550/headphones-for-sale-trade

http://www.head-fi.org/t/505970/the-deals-thread-beware-too-cheap-scam-or-fake-no-affiliate-links-permitted

 

Also check Amazon and eBay.

 

Prices can very from day to day.

I was very very lucky, I bought a used (thru Head-Fi) DT880 600-Ohm and a used (Amazon) DT990-Ohm 600-Ohm for about $200 each.

I also bought new ear pads for them $32-35 each.

 

You can also post at this thread for recommendions

State that your going to use the Titanium HD and maybe the Schiit Magni and what type of audio your going to use new headphones for.

See what others recommend for headphones.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/529144/full-size-headphone-recommendations-thread-i-e-dont-start-a-new-thread-ask-for-advice-here-please-read-op

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