This is my first thread in this forum, so I would like to do a quick introduction.
I recently was introduced to this audio field a few months back. I come from another forum with the same username, OCN, and have a fairly extensive knowledge on computers and computer parts. Throughout my time there, I built my very first PC and a couple of other projects. Computer building is a costly hobby, with single parts that can go up to $1000 usd, a single rig can cost up to $10000. As such, I completely understand audiophile prices of systems as well, although I'm not sure if the cost is as steep. I recently discovered audio whilst trying to upgrade my onboard sound to something else (The upgrade bug is prone to computer enthusiasts as well), and I was completely enveloped by a massive new field of things I never knew about. I decided to go headfirst into the audio world and purchased a Asus Xonar D2 and Ultrasone Pro 650. They were impulse buys and on sale, but now they've I'm wanting more.
My Current setup is:
Asus Xonar D2 -> Ultrasone Pro 650
I am using the third party drivers UNi for my D2 and currently have left all the settings on default. The only real change I have done so far is some EQ'ing with a slight decrease on the 8k frequency to decrease the sibilance on the Pro 650s. Currently I am thinking about upgrading by adding an amp to the system, since the Pro 650s have an impedance of 75 ohms. I currently have my eyes set on the O2 amp, which I plan on buying off of another head-fi'er kyoshiro.
What would be the optimal settings on my D2 for Music or Gaming or Movies? I have tried Dolby Headphone + 7.1 virtual sound, and it certainly helps in gaming and adds immersion to movies, but I dislike the added reverb when listening to music.
How much of an improvement will I see in purchasing an O2 amp? The Ultrasones aren't particularly known for being difficult to drive, but with the Pro 650s at 75 ohms, the Amp might help a bit more, I'm guessing. Also, I currently find the volume highly acceptable, instead, I am looking for an improvement in SQ.
What type of Cable should I use? I see lots of very expensive and short interconnects, usually designed for DAC + Amp stacks. However, with a sound card, I need the wire to run the length of my computer to the top of my desk, which is 2-3 meters in length. Or is the difference in SQ caused by a cable something I shouldn't even bother with right now?
If I were to use the O2 amp, what type of volume settings should I use? Do I set the D2 volume all the way to max, and control through the amp?
More newbie questions to come!