or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › New member introduction and a question
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

New member introduction and a question

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi! I go by CrankyCorvus on most of the internet. I've lurked on these forums on many occasions during the past year or so and finally decided to actually register, chiefly because I feel I may need help from the much more experienced hi-fi audio enthusiasts.

 

I suppose I should tell you a bit about myself. I'm a 20-year-old Finn who has a passion for video games. You develop such a passion if you spend 75% of your life playing them regularly, I tend to find. For the first 13 years I played on various PlayStations but for the last two I've been PC gaming. It's definitely more my kind of thing than console gaming, that's for sure. I'm not however a "PC elitist", as someone might say. I have no problems with console gamers as long as they don't have a problem with me.

 

I also appreciate music. I can't really pinpoint specific genres I like, because I've heard songs I like from many different ones. Sure, there are some I don't quite get (Crunkcore, for example) but I don't have to listen to them so I don't. The aformentioned appreciation of music is the biggest reason I invested hi-fi-ish gear recently. I've only had the gear for about 2 months I think (may not even be that long). Definitely spiced game audio up, too.

 

Okay, now the question. The gear I'm talking about is a FiiO D03K DAC, E09K amp and AKG K272 HD headphones. It's a budget-oriented build for sure but I don't want to spend enormous amounts of money on this gear as a complete newcomer. Currently the config is as follows: Onboard soundcard --Toslink cable--> D03K --RCA cables--> E09K --> K272. I think it sounds very good but would using a different soundcard have a positive effect on sound quality? I have a feeling it won't but I'd rather ask people who know better first before coming to any conclusions. The onboard soundcard is supposedly some sort of Creative-backed thing but it's probably just a glorified Realtek (motherboard is ASUS Maximus V Gene).


Edited by CrankyCorvus - 11/12/13 at 3:27pm
post #2 of 7
Since you are feeding the digital audio via Toslink to the external DAC, I don't think your onboard sound card is doing much of anything other than interfacing to the Toslink. When it comes to playback of a digital audio file, a "soundcard" is generally just another name for a DAC. The digital stream is just being fed out the Toslink port to the DAC. Now, if the sound is being generated dynamically via software using the soundcard's digital signal processor, then that's probably a different story - but that isn't what happens when you hit play on an MP3 or FLAC file.

If I'm wrong - please - someone correct me! smily_headphones1.gif
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

I assume sound isn't generated dynamically during games, either. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't game audio work by loading the appropriate effects/music at set events? All the sound files are probably loaded into RAM when the game launches. You could say the game engine is pressing the play button on my behalf, if you will.

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyCorvus View Post

Okay, now the question. The gear I'm talking about is a FiiO D03K DAC, E09K amp and AKG K272 HD headphones. It's a budget-oriented build for sure but I don't want to spend enormous amounts of money on this gear as a complete newcomer. Currently the config is as follows: Onboard soundcard --Toslink cable--> D03K --RCA cables--> E09K --> K272. I think it sounds very good but would using a different soundcard have a positive effect on sound quality? I have a feeling it won't but I'd rather ask people who know better first before coming to any conclusions. The onboard soundcard is supposedly some sort of Creative-backed thing but it's probably just a glorified Realtek (motherboard is ASUS Maximus V Gene).

Currently the D03K is doing the DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) feature, so replacing the D03K should improve audio quality.

The Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z (SB1500) comes with the CS4398 DAC chip :), which should be a fair bit better then whatever DAC chip is in the D03K, and as the SB-Z comes with a built in headphone amplifier, you should be able to sell off the E09K and the D03K for cash.

Also the SB-Z's SBX Pro software is a little better (and newer) then the motherboard's TruAudio software.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

I do appreciate your recommendation, but I wasn't planning on replacing gear. I was just asking if connecting the D03K to an aftermarket soundcard rather than the onboard would make a difference. I assumed it wouldn't because I thought the D03K/E09K combo was doing most of the work and I suppose I was right. I'm perfectly happy with the gear I have. I can't quite believe a Sound Blaster Z would be better, though. Can't say for sure, of course, since I have no experience with said card.

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyCorvus View Post
 

I do appreciate your recommendation, but I wasn't planning on replacing gear. I was just asking if connecting the D03K to an aftermarket soundcard rather than the onboard would make a difference. I assumed it wouldn't because I thought the D03K/E09K combo was doing most of the work and I suppose I was right. I'm perfectly happy with the gear I have. I can't quite believe a Sound Blaster Z would be better, though. Can't say for sure, of course, since I have no experience with said card.


If it's a digital connection, it shouldn't make any difference.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

The D03K and onboard are connected via Toslink cable so yes, it is digital.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › New member introduction and a question