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Need some advice...

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

After some advice...

 

I currently have AD700's running from my PC via optical to a Pioneer VSX-521 receiver.

 

I'm planning on upgrading to AD900x's.

 

What do you guys think of my current "source" situation? Is running this pioneer entry level receiver a better option than using say a soundcard like ASUS Xonar Essence STX or external DAC/AMP like fiiO e10 or schitt combo? Willing to spend up to $200 on a source if its a decent upgrade.

 

I'm using the VSX-521 receiver because it is also powering my floorstanding speakers and sub and i just plug my headphones into the front headphone jack. But i guess i could easily add a soundcard and switch between outputs in windows or something if it would make my AD900's sound better.

 

any help much appreciated, thanks.

post #2 of 18

Receiver's headphone output usually has a high impedance, which is not a great match for low Ohm headphones (ATH-AD700 32-Ohm & AD900X 38-Ohm).

 

So, one of two options.

Get a new headphone in the 250-Ohm to 300-Ohm range and plug those into the receiver.

AKG K601 or K612 Pro are both 120-Ohm and should work nicely with the receiver.

 

Or get the AD900X and invest into an external headphone amplifier, with a really output output impedance. Schiit Magni headphone amplifier, $99, has an output impedance of under 1-Ohm :)

 

If your a gamer, then also get a Xonar DX or D1 sound card, used $60.

The Xonar DX/D1 CS4398 DAC chip should be way better then your motherboard's built in DAC.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Receiver's headphone output usually has a high impedance, which is not a great match for low Ohm headphones (ATH-AD700 32-Ohm & AD900X 38-Ohm).

 

So, one of two options.

Get a new headphone in the 250-Ohm to 300-Ohm range and plug those into the receiver.

AKG K601 or K612 Pro are both 120-Ohm and should work nicely with the receiver.

 

Or get the AD900X and invest into an external headphone amplifier, with a really output output impedance. Schiit Magni headphone amplifier, $99, has an output impedance of under 1-Ohm :)

 

If your a gamer, then also get a Xonar DX or D1 sound card, used $60.

The Xonar DX/D1 CS4398 DAC chip should be way better then your motherboard's built in DAC.

 

Dont really want to look at other headphones....maybe DT880s, but would prefer to stick with AD900x

 

How do i find out the impedance from the headphone jack? is it listed on this spec sheet? not sure what to look for lol

http://www.pioneer.com.au/au/products/archive/VSX-521/page.html

 

If i got a Schiit Magni... would i run straight off my onboard pc audio? or somehow integrate with my receiver?

 

I am a gamer, but i always thought there was no point getting sound card if you were going to use an external receiver/amp/dac because it would get bypassed or something anyway?

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etherate View Post
 

 

Dont really want to look at other headphones....maybe DT880s, but would prefer to stick with AD900x

 

How do i find out the impedance from the headphone jack? is it listed on this spec sheet? not sure what to look for lol

http://www.pioneer.com.au/au/products/archive/VSX-521/page.html

 

If i got a Schiit Magni... would i run straight off my onboard pc audio? or somehow integrate with my receiver?

 

I am a gamer, but i always thought there was no point getting sound card if you were going to use an external receiver/amp/dac because it would get bypassed or something anyway?


Impedence is listed in the specs. It's the impedence of the voice coils which is significantly greater than the impedence of the wire leading up to it (i.e. irrelevant value).

 

A sound card is a DAC, if you plug in an external DAC then yes it will completely bypass the internal DAC (the sound card)

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kookoo View Post
 


Impedence is listed in the specs. It's the impedence of the voice coils which is significantly greater than the impedence of the wire leading up to it (i.e. irrelevant value).

 

A sound card is a DAC, if you plug in an external DAC then yes it will completely bypass the internal DAC (the sound card)

 

So it says... Impedance at Output Level 6Ω

 

is that good or bad?

post #6 of 18

6 ohms is quite high but still ok for high impedance headphones if you go by the general consensus of 8X damping factor then the minimum impedance headphones you would want would be no less than 48 ohms (6*8).

to put things into perspective, the O2 amp has output impedance of 0.5 ohms and my violectric V100 is 0.058 ohms

 

with 48 ohms minimum you can disregard almost all audio technica headphones over ear and on ear models, all denon models, quite a few sennheisers.... you get the idea

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

ah ok, i get it now thanks...

 

And this is the case with all AV receivers? im using my receiver with my AD700's at the moment, what affect is it actually having on my headphones? is it damaging them?

post #8 of 18

No it's not going to damage the headphones in any way, it's just not going to be able to dampen the moving diaphragm as efficiently as it could. That may present some bloated/slower bass notes, fast track music may sound muffled. The effects are...minute but noticeable if you listen closely so you decide if it's worthit. Remember that there is not real right or wrong (assuming you are not damaging them).

 

Most receivers deal with speakers and they typically have 8 ohms output. Not always the case so always read the specs.

Personally I wouldn't bother with more gear until you decide you want to move up and buy some more expensive headphones.

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Ok cool, thanks for all the info. very helpful :)

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etherate View Post
 

 

Don't really want to look at other headphones....maybe DT880s, but would prefer to stick with AD900x

 

How do i find out the impedance from the headphone jack? is it listed on this spec sheet? not sure what to look for lol

http://www.pioneer.com.au/au/products/archive/VSX-521/page.html

 

If i got a Schiit Magni... would i run straight off my onboard pc audio? or somehow integrate with my receiver?

 

I am a gamer, but I always thought there was no point getting sound card if you were going to use an external receiver/amp/dac because it would get bypassed or something anyway?

Receivers usually do not list the headphone jack's output impedance.

(I'm guessing listing it would not benefit sales)

You could hook up the Schiit to the motherboard's on-board (green jack), I would also assume you can also hook the Schiit to the RCA outputs on the Pioneer.

If you hook up the computer to the receiver using S/PDIF (optical or coaxial) or the on-boards audio's line-outputs to a receiver, you can still use the on-board (or add-on internal) audio sound card features.

Using HDMI from computer to receiver will usually bypass the on-board (and add-on internal) audio features.

 

Another option is to get the Creative Sound Blaster Z (SB1500?) sound card, $98 and plug your headphones into it. The Z's headphone output impedance is 22-Ohms, which should be lower then the receiver's headphone output impedance, but not as good as the Schiit Magni's 1-Ohm impedance output.

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etherate View Post
 

 

So it says... Impedance at Output Level 6Ω

 

is that good or bad?


The "Output Level 6-Ohm" is the speaker output impedance (not the headphone output).

Even thou the speaker amplifier also powers the headphone output, the headphone output impedance could be 50-Ohms or 75-Ohms or 100-Ohm, etc

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etherate View Post
 

ah ok, i get it now thanks...

 

And this is the case with all AV receivers? I'm using my receiver with my AD700's at the moment, what affect is it actually having on my headphones? is it damaging them?

I really doubt the Pioneer's headphone output is damaging the ATH-AD700, but it might be giving the AD700 a bloated (louder and crude) bass.

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Receivers usually do not list the headphone jack's output impedance.

(I'm guessing listing it would not benefit sales)

You could hook up the Schiit to the motherboard's on-board (green jack), I would also assume you can also hook the Schiit to the RCA outputs on the Pioneer.

If you hook up the computer to the receiver using S/PDIF (optical or coaxial) or the on-boards audio's line-outputs to a receiver, you can still use the on-board (or add-on internal) audio sound card features.

Using HDMI from computer to receiver will usually bypass the on-board (and add-on internal) audio features.

 

Another option is to get the Creative Sound Blaster Z (SB1500?) sound card, $98 and plug your headphones into it. The Z's headphone output impedance is 22-Ohms, which should be lower then the receiver's headphone output impedance, but not as good as the Schiit Magni's 1-Ohm impedance output.

 

 

 


Thanks for clarifying that PurpleAngel, I assumed the OP had it correctly.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

ok im now thinking ill get DT880 Pro's 250ohm... that should be alright?

post #15 of 18

I think you're going about this the wrong way, pick your headphone first then the other gear.

You can find plenty of decent amp for under $100 + AD900X would still be cheaper than the Beyer DT880.

 

If your logic is buy the Beyer and later upgrade your amp/dac, then yes that will also work, just bear in mind that the headphones won't perform as well as it could. Given what PurpleAngel said about the headphone output not being 6 ohms but actually higher than that, it's quite a tall order to find really high impedence headphones within your budget

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