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Suggestion over sound card or external amp

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi there,

I am pretty new to audio world but I'm getting more into it right now

to cut it short I'm getting an Aune T1 Headphone Tube DAC and Amp

I've read its a pretty good amp for the price.

 

question is currently I have a Shure SRH 1440 for music and Beats pro for FPS gaming and action movie 

and currently using a Xonar Phoebus for the sound card

 

I'm planning to do a rig upgrade soon, would I get better audio if I run the audio straight from my motherboard to the amp?

or should I keep the sound card and run the audio from sound card to amp?

 

enlighten me please :)

post #2 of 9
Your sound card definitely has better DAC chip, than on-board audio. So it will be better to keep your sound card and run the audio directly to amp.
post #3 of 9

It claims to be a USB DAC.

 

It will become your 'sound card' if you connect it to your PC with a USB cable.  No need to use on-board or PCI soundcards any more.

 

Tube DAC? That's like a horse drawn Ferrari. Bet it looks cool though.

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post

 

Tube DAC? That's like a horse drawn Ferrari. Bet it looks cool though.

 

:D That sounds fantastic.   I want a horse drawn Ferrari now, or at least a picture of one.

 

I think most tube DAC are just regular DAC with a tube headphone amp or preamp added on.  You could probably save quite a bit of money by buying a seperate tube headphone amp/preamp such as the Bravo v2 on Part's express and using your current soundcard.

 

Of course the Aune t1 is very pretty.  It is up to you on aesthetics.

 

After doing some rereading.  I think I understand what the actual question was meant to be...

 

The Aune T1 has a built in DAC that uses USB.  You want to know whether you are better off running USB to the Aune T1 or using the output of your sound card and inputting through the RCA cables.   You want to know whether the DAC in the Aune is better than that of your soundcard.

 

I would say the answer to how to run the cables depends on the quality of your external sound-card's DAC.  Having no experience with either product...  I have no clue.

 

 

 

If you've already bought the product, try it both ways and post your results.  Add to the hive mind's collective knowledge.


Edited by cheapfi - 11/4/13 at 8:05am
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jokrik View Post

Hi there,

I am pretty new to audio world but I'm getting more into it right now

to cut it short I'm getting an Aune T1 Headphone Tube DAC and Amp

I've read its a pretty good amp for the price.

 

question is currently I have a Shure SRH 1440 for music and Beats pro for FPS gaming and action movie 

and currently using a Xonar Phoebus for the sound card

 

I'm planning to do a rig upgrade soon, would I get better audio if I run the audio straight from my motherboard to the amp?

or should I keep the sound card and run the audio from sound card to amp?

 

enlighten me please :)

 

 

 

Headphones like the Shure SRH1440 (37-Ohm) and the Beats Pro (?-Ohm) are low impedance headphones, they are not going to have a big benefit, with a tube amp, for improving audio quality, even over the Phoebus.

And the Phoebus's built in TI 6120 headphone amplifier is already a fairly good headphone amplifier.

I would say a headphone amplifier with a very low output impedance, like 4-Ohm or less, would be a better choice for improving audio quality, with your current headphones (The Phoebus is 10-Ohms).

Solid state headphone amplifiers, like the O2 or Magni, both comes with an headphone output impedance of under 1-Ohm.

Also when you hook up an external headphone amplifier to a sound card (like the Phoebus), you lose Headphone Surround Sound, as it's best to hook up an external headphone amplifier to the Line-output (not the head amp) for best audio quality.

If you swapped out the Phoebus for an older card like the Xonar DX or D1, you could easily use an external headphone amplifier and still have use of Headphone Surround Sound.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
 
Thx guys for the reply, and wow I learn a lot

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

 

 

Headphones like the Shure SRH1440 (37-Ohm) and the Beats Pro (?-Ohm) are low impedance headphones, they are not going to have a big benefit, with a tube amp, for improving audio quality, even over the Phoebus.

And the Phoebus's built in TI 6120 headphone amplifier is already a fairly good headphone amplifier.

I would say a headphone amplifier with a very low output impedance, like 4-Ohm or less, would be a better choice for improving audio quality, with your current headphones (The Phoebus is 10-Ohms).

Solid state headphone amplifiers, like the O2 or Magni, both comes with an headphone output impedance of under 1-Ohm.

Also when you hook up an external headphone amplifier to a sound card (like the Phoebus), you lose Headphone Surround Sound, as it's best to hook up an external headphone amplifier to the Line-output (not the head amp) for best audio quality.

If you swapped out the Phoebus for an older card like the Xonar DX or D1, you could easily use an external headphone amplifier and still have use of Headphone Surround Sound.

 

So basically if I have low ohm headphone I should get a low output impedance amp/sound card?

also how could having older sound card like DX or D1 can let me keep Surround Sound in compare to Phoebus?

would a Xonar STX let me do that too?


Edited by Jokrik - 11/4/13 at 12:48pm
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jokrik View Post
 

So basically if I have low Ohm headphone I should get a low output impedance amp/sound card?

also how could having older sound card like DX or D1 can let me keep Surround Sound in compare to Phoebus?

would a Xonar STX let me do that too?

It's better to have the headphone impedance (Ohms) to be 8 to 10 times(or more) then the impedance of whatever the headphone is plugged into.

My 1-Ohm O2 amp can drive my 600-Ohm headphones just fine (so that's 600 times the impedance of the amp).

The STX & DX & D1 use the same CMI8788 audio processor, the Phoebus uses the newer CMI8888.

But as far as I can tell the CMI8888 just allows the audio processor to work directly with the PCI-E slot.

Where as the older model CMI8788 (native PCI) needs a bridge chip to work with a PCI-E slot.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

It's better to have the headphone impedance (Ohms) to be 8 to 10 times(or more) then the impedance of whatever the headphone is plugged into.

My 1-Ohm O2 amp can drive my 600-Ohm headphones just fine (so that's 600 times the impedance of the amp).

The STX & DX & D1 use the same CMI8788 audio processor, the Phoebus uses the newer CMI8888.

But as far as I can tell the CMI8888 just allows the audio processor to work directly with the PCI-E slot.

Where as the older model CMI8788 (native PCI) needs a bridge chip to work with a PCI-E slot.

 

Thx again for the explanation

from what I've been digesting from you explaination an older card would suit me better

I am using a max v formula which has built in sound amp already and I've noticed that somehow my shure sound a bit better if its plugged in straight to the motherboard than to my phoebus

(not sure since I'm a beginner)

since I have DAC incoming I might compare it first when its plugged straight to my phoebus and my motherboard

but would you reckon I'll get better sound if I get older version of sound card like stx and pair it with the DAC?

I have the budget to do so anyway...

 

And I've read some post regarding the tube amp, it says that

 

Q: Does the Aune T1 DAC utilize the tube, does the T1 headphone amp section use the tube, or do they both use the tube?

A: The Aune T1 is a USB tube DAC with a solid state headphone amp. What this means is that if you want the benefits of the tube, you must use the USB Input of the T1.  The amp section of the T1 does not use the tube by itself. Technically, you could bypass the DAC of the T1 and just use the amp but this type of use is not really what the T1 is for. One thing you can do is use the T1 USB input then hook up a different amp to the RCA out of the T1. This will give you the benefits of the tube and allow you to try a different/more powerful amp (though I think the amp in the T1 is quite good).  I personally have a speaker amp hooked up this way so I can use my headphones and some bookshelf speakers at the same time from one source.

 

sorry to keep throwing question but what does a tube does? 


Edited by Jokrik - 11/4/13 at 6:11pm
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jokrik View Post
 

 

Thx again for the explanation

from what I've been digesting from you explaination an older card would suit me better

I am using a max v formula which has built in sound amp already and I've noticed that somehow my shure sound a bit better if its plugged in straight to the motherboard than to my phoebus

(not sure since I'm a beginner)

since I have DAC incoming I might compare it first when its plugged straight to my phoebus and my motherboard

but would you reckon I'll get better sound if I get older version of sound card like stx and pair it with the DAC?

I have the budget to do so anyway...

 

And I've read some post regarding the tube amp, it says that

 

Q: Does the Aune T1 DAC utilize the tube, does the T1 headphone amp section use the tube, or do they both use the tube?

A: The Aune T1 is a USB tube DAC with a solid state headphone amp. What this means is that if you want the benefits of the tube, you must use the USB Input of the T1.  The amp section of the T1 does not use the tube by itself. Technically, you could bypass the DAC of the T1 and just use the amp but this type of use is not really what the T1 is for. One thing you can do is use the T1 USB input then hook up a different amp to the RCA out of the T1. This will give you the benefits of the tube and allow you to try a different/more powerful amp (though I think the amp in the T1 is quite good).  I personally have a speaker amp hooked up this way so I can use my headphones and some bookshelf speakers at the same time from one source.

 

but what does a tube does? 

I believe what your saying about the Aune T1 is correct, but you might find a thread on Head-fi dedicated to Aune and post your questions there.

A tube can be used to amplifiy a headphone or used to amplifiy a line-out/pre-out analog signal

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