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Will the Sabre U2 Async be a noticable upgrade over the onboard Realtek ALC889A chip? - Page 2

post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks pleblanc,

 

I actually ended up buying the Sabre U2 and currently using it for about 3 weeks or so.

Everything worked out-of-the-box for me on Windows 8.1 (just had to change it to be the default audio output source), and I agree that it is money well spent.

 

The difference is less significant than what I imagined when originally starting to consider a dedicated DAC and much more in line with what I've learned to expect during my research, but it does make a noticeable difference. Music sounds roomier and more detailed.

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by AboutBlank View Post
 

Thanks pleblanc,

 

I actually ended up buying the Sabre U2 and currently using it for about 3 weeks or so.

Everything worked out-of-the-box for me on Windows 8.1 (just had to change it to be the default audio output source), and I agree that it is money well spent.

 

The difference is less significant than what I imagined when originally starting to consider a dedicated DAC and much more in line with what I've learned to expect during my research, but it does make a noticeable difference. Music sounds roomier and more detailed.

DAC's and Amp's may be compared to RAM and CPU. You'll get the best performance when you balance the two. Sounds like you now have a pretty good DAC... I think you'll notice a pretty good benefit from a mild or pretty good amp.

post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you hero,

 

I'm indeed considering adding an AMP or a DAC+AMP (depending on price, value, and a availability).

 

I've heard good things about the Objective2 from Mayflower Electronics, but there is quite a lot to choose from in different price points so I would have to research the topic further. For example, at the $120-150 price range there are a few options for a DAC+AMP combination, and there are cheaper standalone AMPs, so it seems, that also come quite recommended, so it is hard to just pick one over the others :).

post #19 of 22

yep. there's a lot out there. and i think different different amps pair differently with various DACS/Headphones/Personal listening preferences so it's quite the difficult selection process. 

 

good luck. try to go to a meetup if one is ever near you.

 

to start you might want to just get a really cheap one similar to the Pyle PHA 40, a powered multi headphone port output. it will let you reach a much higher volume. I wouldn't recommend the PHA 40 for a CIEM or any other sensitive headphone. I notice it adds a bit too much on the highs for those.

 

in regards to the Objective2, I have the O2 from JDS. It's a nice little bugger. I am surprised how much I appreciate it as a battery powered amp. I previously had the E17.

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the recommendation, hero.

 

Actually, I never had any issues with volume with my Shure 840, even when they were driven by the motherboard chip. My system volume level (Windows 8.1) is at about 40% and I sometimes even have to lower the volume on specific individual applications because it is near ear piercing. After switching to the Sabre U2 the audio got a bit louder even, which made me wonder if the U2 has some "amplification" built into it. I mean, not a dedicated AMP, but maybe this is a by-product of the electrons, or maybe the DAC chip affects the volume output somehow, or maybe it is as simple as a matter of better current input for being directly connected to a USB port rather than feeding off the Motherboard circuitry - I really don't know.

post #21 of 22

at first , I didn't notice a difference between my on-board card and the U2 , but after some critical listening I realized that the U2 improves the sound-stage and instrument/vocal placement GREATLY

post #22 of 22

veering off further into the amp topic.. a quality amp will do a lot more for your sound than simply make it louder. to me, the O2/E17, made the sound stage on my cans more full and rich at the same volume level. i don't think the PHA 40 will do much for your shures :-D

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