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Selling my new ZXR and going for an external do it all amplifier/processor...where do I start?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I just got my ZXR but plan on selling it as I want to have an external amp/processor unit or combo for my headphones and speakers.  

 

My desk will have an LG 29ea93 on top of a short pedestal which should easily fit a headphone amp, but what are my options for an amp/processor that can handle the headphones (surround gaming/2 channel music) and a set of monitors such as the Q concept 20's?

 

I could settle for Audioengine A5+ monitors if it means a smaller amp/processor combination as it wont have to drive larger speakers.

post #2 of 8

Did you have a budget for this audio setup?

 

Would you settle for a low costing sound sound card for gaming functions and use an external DAC/Amp (S/PDIF connection) with the internal sound card (connect speakers to line-output on sound card)?

 

Or get an external DAC/Amp with both a headphone amplifier and line-out (for speakers) and connect the DAC/amp to the S/PDIF (optical or coaxial) connection on your motherboard (and use the motherboard's on-board audio for gaming)?

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

I can probably just hold onto this card until I get a new motherboard, as I don't know of anything that is external but still has that type of processing.

 

So I'm probably just looking to add something again.

post #4 of 8

Kind of asked the same thing here a few threads below (currently): http://www.head-fi.org/t/683474/better-external-dac-amp-than-essence-stx

 

PurpleAngel, Stv and cel were very kind in offering up options. If I may quote a post from Warrax about the Audio_GD ($300 all told inc shipping):

 

Quote:

 

I didn't have STX , but I've had Asus Xonar D1.

 

NFB12.1 (Audio_GD)> D1 by a lot, and I am almost sure, that it's > STX

 

There are more advantages, like you can switch between HP and DAC just with one button, and you can also have regulator of volume just next to your hand, without touching the software (which is important in bitperfect setup)


Edited by SaLX - 9/28/13 at 9:12pm
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by flomofo View Post

I just got my ZXR but plan on selling it as I want to have an external amp/processor unit or combo for my headphones and speakers.  

My desk will have an LG 29ea93 on top of a short pedestal which should easily fit a headphone amp, but what are my options for an amp/processor that can handle the headphones (surround gaming/2 channel music) and a set of monitors such as the Q concept 20's?

I could settle for Audioengine A5+ monitors if it means a smaller amp/processor combination as it wont have to drive larger speakers.

What is your total budget? And what kind of headphones do you have to hook up with the setup?

If you want one unit that can drive speakers, has a DAC, and a headphone amp, then your main choice is a home audio integrated amp, stereo receiver, or audio video/receiver. If you have low impedance headphones (say 32 ohm), those units are not a great choice. They also tend to be pretty big. An exception is the Teac AH01-S (which might handle lower impedance headphones--I don't know). Of those, audio/video receivers often offer the best bang for the buck because they are produced and sold in such large quantities. AVRs also have bass management, which is nice if you ever want to hook up a sub.

Otherwise, I'd look for a DAC/headphone amp that also has pre-amp capabilities for extra analog out. Then you would hook either powered speakers or a separate amplifier to power speakers up to that unit. Audioengine D1 or Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1 DAC will both work for that. There are better sounding options if you are willing to spend more.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'll follow your thread Sal and thanks for the post cel, the Teac seems like a good option as I do plan to run a subwoofer later on, but am not sure I need any bass management on the receiver.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by flomofo View Post

I'll follow your thread Sal and thanks for the post cel, the Teac seems like a good option as I do plan to run a subwoofer later on, but am not sure I need any bass management on the receiver.

I don't use bass management. I recently got an SVS SB-1000 that has RCA inputs and outputs with an 80hz high pass filter on the outputs. So I run audio from my Asgard 2 headphone amp that has pre-outs, to my sub, and then to my speaker amp, with the speakers crossed over at 80hz.

Kind of have to look for that feature if you are interested. Not all that common.
post #8 of 8

Aune T1?

 

Can be found relatively cheap, looks nice, and sounds pretty good too. Haven't noticed any latency either...

Works with Linux too!

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