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Modest upgrade for Titanium HD--->Schiit Valhalla---> Sennheiser HD 650 desktop setup

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, I recently bought the a schiit Valhalla and Sennheiser HD 650 (upgraded from E17+Senn HD 518). The quality gain was quite good, so I am a happy camper for now. The thing is that when I tried the combo at my local store, it seems quite noticibly better, can't really pinpoint where, but it just seems better (more relaxing and deep/crisps, i think) at the store than when I tried it at home.

 

I have been doing a little research and rounded up the possible solutions:

 

1. The tubes on the amp haven't "aged" enough yet. So basically it will eventually sound better if I use it everyday?

2.  I need a better DAC than the Creative Titanium HD that I have at the moment, the one that they hooked up at the store was a very high end one and diffinitely out of my range. Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't all DACs are actually the same? digital information is either there or it isn't, right? The main job of the DAC "Digital to Analogue Converter" is to translate the 1s and 0s into analogue sound.

3. I should turn off the CREATIVE effects ( Crystalizer, Cross-fade frequency, etc..), which I did, but still sounds nowhere near the what I expected.

 

Since I already spent quite a lot on my last purchase, I am willing to spend a little more to further improve my setup. Should I get a new external DAC? better cables? Willing to shell out around 400$. Any suggestions?

 

Thanks in advance. I am still new at this.

 

Santi

post #2 of 5

The T-HD (Titanium HD) should be about the best DAC feature you could get on a sound card.

Hopefully you have the Schiit VaIhalla hooked to the T-HD's RCA outputs?

Did you disable the motherboard's built in audio? in the BIOS

 

DAC (Digital to Analog Converters) job is to change digital zeros and ones, into an analog (wave) audio signal.

Some DACs do the job better then others.

 

For best audio quality, you want to turn up the T-HD's and computer's volume controls as high as possible and just use the control knob on the front to the Valhalla to adjust volume.

post #3 of 5

PurpleAngel's advice and suggestions are right-on. I also own a Titanium HD and set it up like PurpleAngel suggested and it sounds great, and I just have a FiiO E09K so not nearly as good of an amp as the Valhalla.

 

For me, I do not use any post-processing effects in the Creative Console (no Crystalizer, Cross Frequency, Speaker Size, THX, EAX,etc.) I used to use those but found that with all of the post-processing stuff disabled, it gives (at least to me personally) a more faithful and accurate reproduction of the source.

 

What is your source player? What source did they use at the store where you tested them? That could be a difference. If you have any special settings in your source player, that may be something you want to look at as well.

post #4 of 5

1) Might be that your files aren't as good as the one at your local store

2) "burn in", aka clamp force and pads aren't "broken in" with your new Sennheiser pair.

3) One of the billion settings in your sound card driver (oh how stupidly complicated they can be) is messing the signal.

4) Your mind is playing tricks on you.

 

1), 2) and 3) are VERY likely, especially 3). Disable all effects, EQs and sound enhancing magic schiit to make your sound card act like a perfect line out to your amp. That's all you want, trust me. If you can output sound without any Creative driver installed, do that.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Sorry for late reply guys. Tried out all suggestions. For better or worse I could feel this difference.

Thanks all for the advice.
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