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decent soundcard/dac for swans m200mkii speakers

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

hello guys

i just bought swans m200mkii speakers, i was using altec lansing (don't remember which model, but it looks somewhat like mx5021)

i did notice clarity and better sound quality from m200mkii but i'm not satisfied at all..i was expecting something more..

so i have decided to for a soundcard / DAC.

i'm a little bit tight on budget right now so i was considering asus xonar dx or asus xonar essence STX sound card

i would like to ask you guys whether STX would be audibly better than xonar DX or not for my new speakers?

if its just a minor improvement in sound quality then i would like to go for xonar dx

your thoughts and suggestions please :)

 

p.s: there is a used AUDINST HUD MX1 DAC for sale @ the price of xonar STX , should i buy this one instead?

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post #2 of 12
I'd go with the Schiit Magni or the ODAC, depending on whether or not you want a portable DAC. Both of those will equal or exceed the SQ of the STX. Just realize you would have to have a separate headphone amp to use one of these with headphones.
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I'd go with the Schiit Magni or the ODAC, depending on whether or not you want a portable DAC. Both of those will equal or exceed the SQ of the STX. Just realize you would have to have a separate headphone amp to use one of these with headphones.

That will almost certainly be true of the ODAC if not the Schiit. But so what? Jitter and noise from the DAC in a $30 media player are already below the levels a human being can hear (and this is according to the designer of the ODAC!) And a DAC doesn't really have an opportunity to contribute to sound quality in any other way. My advice to the OP is not to sweat it and to ignore people trying to hype him into expensive hw who can't quote lab or abx test results.

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by scuttle View Post

That will almost certainly be true of the ODAC if not the Schiit. But so what? Jitter and noise from the DAC in a $30 media player are already below the levels a human being can hear (and this is according to the designer of the ODAC!) And a DAC doesn't really have an opportunity to contribute to sound quality in any other way. My advice to the OP is not to sweat it and to ignore people trying to hype him into expensive hw who can't quote lab or abx test results.

First, you'll notice I said "Both of those will equal or exceed the SQ of the STX." That does not exclude what you have just said.

Next, I recommend the external DACs over the internal sound cards because the SQ of internal sound cards can be unpredictable. The computer environment can negatively affect the sound card performance. External USB is the better bet for good SQ. Even though theoretically, under optimal circumstances, the difference may be non-existent or marginal.

So Xonar STX or DX? Get the ODAC or Modi.

If an internal sound card and money is tight, get the DX as long as it as headphones are not being used. The DX has line level output that is not suitable for all headphones.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response guys but i don't think odac is available at my place..options are very limited over here in india..i don't require headphone amp as such as i will be using it with my speakers only...so is xonar dx a better buy for me?
post #6 of 12
If you don't plan on using headphones, the difference in the line out SQ for your speakers between the STX and the DX would be minimal. The advantage of the STX is that it has a separate headphone out and line out. The DX only has a line out and is not a great choice for using with low impedance headphones.

So no headphones, get the DX. Want to be able to use headphones, too, get the STX.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks that is exactly what i needed to know... +repped
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I'd go with the Schiit Magni or the ODAC, depending on whether or not you want a portable DAC. Both of those will equal or exceed the SQ of the STX. Just realize you would have to have a separate headphone amp to use one of these with headphones.

I think cel4145 meant the Modi not the Magni (the Magni is their headphone amp).  Regardless though I would recommend the Modi, I know I'm getting one for my Swan or Audioengine A5s (still deciding which to get... too many choices lol).

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrnie View Post

I think cel4145 meant the Modi not the Magni (the Magni is their headphone amp).  Regardless though I would recommend the Modi, I know I'm getting one for my Swan or Audioengine A5s (still deciding which to get... too many choices lol).

Opps. . . Yeah. My bad.
post #10 of 12

I'm sorry for bumping an old thread, but this fits my situation perfectly...

 

So how would a Sound Blaster Recon3Di compare to the Schiit Modi? Like the OP, i don't need any sort of headphone compatibility, just a way to connect my computer as a source to the 2.0 Swan system.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proto12 View Post

I'm sorry for bumping an old thread, but this fits my situation perfectly...

 

So how would a Sound Blaster Recon3Di compare to the Schiit Modi? Like the OP, i don't need any sort of headphone compatibility, just a way to connect my computer as a source to the 2.0 Swan system.

I would say it depends on your application.  If you are going to be doing a lot of gaming and you actually use the different sound add-ons (CMSS, EAX, etc.) then go for the SoundBlaster other Modi all the way.

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byrnie View Post

I would say it depends on your application.  If you are going to be doing a lot of gaming and you actually use the different sound add-ons (CMSS, EAX, etc.) then go for the SoundBlaster other Modi all the way.

+1

The Modi will have much better SQ.
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