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Suitable amp/soundcard for Beyerdynamic DT990 250 ohm pro?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, this is my first post here, and I have recently built myself a gaming computer and I wanted some headphones for music plus some casual gaming, so I have decided to go with the DT990s, only problem is, I am not too sure as to weather I should go with a soundcard or an amp... or would I need both? I did notice that a lot of soundcards provide 5.1/7.1 virtual surround, which sounds like it would make me buying an open back set of cans that much more worth it, but is this a feature available on amps too? I know these are difficult to drive, so I thought I should come to you guys for a bit of advice, thanks in advance (:

 

P.S, I am not a massive audiophile or anything, I am still pretty new to all this, and my only point of reference is my V-Moda M-100s, which were not comfortable enough for use as PC headphones, so I apologise for any terms or phrases I have used incorrectly. 

post #2 of 25

Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card, used $50-$60.

PAV2V (Pocket Amplifier 2 Version 2), sells on eBay for around $60.

For $120 you should have a good sounding setup.

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

Well I looked up that amp, and it is battery powered, do you think this is still suitable as a desktop amp? Does the fact that its battery powered mean it will not be able to drive the Dt990's? They are 250 ohms after all...

I also had a look at the fiio e9, and it seems good, but, I was wondering, does it require an e7 or e17 to be a DAC? Or does it have one inbuilt? And if I am running it out of a soundcard with a dac, would that be an issue? Hell, would it just be worth going all out on a good soundcard that has an amp/DAC in it??

Thank you for your help (:

post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonefission View Post

Well I looked up that amp, and it is battery powered, do you think this is still suitable as a desktop amp? Does the fact that its battery powered mean it will not be able to drive the Dt990's? They are 250 ohms after all...

I also had a look at the fiio e9, and it seems good, but, I was wondering, does it require an e7 or e17 to be a DAC? Or does it have one inbuilt? And if I am running it out of a soundcard with a dac, would that be an issue? Hell, would it just be worth going all out on a good soundcard that has an amp/DAC in it??

Thank you for your help (:

The PAV2V will run off AC power when plugged into a charger, that's plugged into the wall.

The Fiio E9/E09K does not have a DAC feature, docking a Fiio E7/E17 to the E9/E09K will prove a DAC feature, to the E9/E09K.

You can also plug the E9/E09K into an external DAC or sound card (which comes with a built in DAC chip).

post #5 of 25
Quote:

Originally Posted by gonefission View Post

 

I also had a look at the fiio e9, and it seems good, but, I was wondering, does it require an e7 or e17 to be a DAC? Or does it have one inbuilt? And if I am running it out of a soundcard with a dac, would that be an issue? Hell, would it just be worth going all out on a good soundcard that has an amp/DAC in it??

 

The E9 does not require the E7 or E17, you can use it with any other source with a line output (sound cards, etc.). Even relatively cheap sound cards can actually have decent DACs, so that should not be a problem, except if you get some interference from other parts of the computer (mainly the GPU). Note however, that quite often the "interference problems" reported by other people are in fact ground loops, but the E9 is fortunately not grounded as far as I know.

 

There are sound cards with built-in amplifiers that are comparable to the E9, like the Xonar Essence ST and STX, and the Sound Blaster ZxR (I am not sure about the exact specs of the latter, but the ST/STX have pretty much the same headphone amplifier as the E9). For gaming, maybe the ZxR is a better choice.

post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Ok
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The PAV2V will run off AC power when plugged into a charger, that's plugged into the wall.
The Fiio E9/E09K does not have a DAC feature, docking a Fiio E7/E17 to the E9/E09K will prove a DAC feature, to the E9/E09K.
You can also plug the E9/E09K into an external DAC or sound card (which comes with a built in DAC chip).
I suspected so, thanks again for your help!
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

The E9 does not require the E7 or E17, you can use it with any other source with a line output (sound cards, etc.). Even relatively cheap sound cards can actually have decent DACs, so that should not be a problem, except if you get some interference from other parts of the computer (mainly the GPU). Note however, that quite often the "interference problems" reported by other people are in fact ground loops, but the E9 is fortunately not grounded as far as I know.

There are sound cards with built-in amplifiers that are comparable to the E9, like the Xonar Essence ST and STX, and the Sound Blaster ZxR (I am not sure about the exact specs of the latter, but the ST/STX have pretty much the same headphone amplifier as the E9). For gaming, maybe the ZxR is a better choice.
I did have my eye on the STX, but its a bit taxing on my budget. I have heard bad things about creative, and considering I wont be doing an enormous deal of gaming, I doubt that will make too much of an impact. However, if I got just the STX, would that alone be enough?
post #8 of 25

ive got a SoundBlaster recon3d pcie card used off of amazon for $50 it has a built in heapdphone amp up to 600 ohms works perfectly

post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 

But what headphones are you using it with?

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

 

 

There are sound cards with built-in amplifiers that are comparable to the E9, like the Xonar Essence ST and STX, and the Sound Blaster ZxR (I am not sure about the exact specs of the latter, but the ST/STX have pretty much the same headphone amplifier as the E9). For gaming, maybe the ZxR is a better choice.

The ZxR uses the same headphone amplifier chip, Ti 6120, as the STX/ST/E9/E09K.

post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The PAV2V will run off AC power when plugged into a charger, that's plugged into the wall.

The Fiio E9/E09K does not have a DAC feature, docking a Fiio E7/E17 to the E9/E09K will prove a DAC feature, to the E9/E09K.

You can also plug the E9/E09K into an external DAC or sound card (which comes with a built in DAC chip).

Hi, I have another question. The PAV2V, do you know what output impedance that has? Specifications on this thing are quire elusive.

post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonefission View Post

Hi, I have another question. The PAV2V, do you know what output impedance that has? Specifications on this thing are quire elusive.

I have no idea on the PAV2V's output impedance, I've just always assumed it's impedance was well under 10-Ohms.

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I have no idea on the PAV2V's output impedance, I've just always assumed it's impedance was well under 10-Ohms.

then how will it drive the beyers? they are 250 ohms..

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonefission View Post

Then how will it drive the Beyers? they are 250-Ohms..

The output impedance is not what drives the headphones, I believe is voltage and current.

My O2 amplifier's output impedance is less then 1-Ohm, but the O2 can drive 600-Ohm headphones.

post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The ZxR uses the same headphone amplifier chip, Ti 6120, as the STX/ST/E9/E09K.

 

I know that, but not if there are any implementation differences that affect the output voltage, current, or impedance. It is likely very similar to the others, but without evidence I did not want to state this as a fact. The specs do say 80 mW into 600 Ω, though, which at least suggests the "usual" +/- 12 V power supply for the TPA6120.

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