I apologize, I'm a complete noob when it comes to this stuff, but any help would be appreciated :)
I'm currently running this setup:
xonar dg > 3.5mm jack on the card > 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch adapter > grado sr225i
However, I have a little bit of money to spend on upgrading this setup, but i'm confused on what would get me the best quality sound for my grados. At school, /i'm actually doing a little side project in engineering class making and soldering the JDS labs o2 amp, but I'm not sure this will necessarily work well with what I currently have
Would the spdif optical output of my soundcard give me better sound and if so how would I configure that? Or should I buy another soundcard, or if all else doesnt work, a new amp?
In the meantime Im working to finish the o2, if not for anything just for the fun of making my first DIY amp (plus it was essentially free). Do you guys think this amp would work well? What would you recommend me to do?
1.) hook up the o2 amp through the xonar dg to my 225is
2.) figure out how to get the optical spdif output to work?
3.) purchase another amp or DAC
4.) get a better soundcard than the dg
5.) something else?
As a side note, my headphone output on my laptop is broken, so a usb dac seems appealing, though most listening is at home on the desktop.
------- Random info that could be helpful? -------
I listen to mainly rock and electronic music (strokes, pink floyd, led zeppelin, beatles, doors, foo fighters, jimi hendrix, bonobo, passion pit, miike snow, phoenix, tycho, etc.) if that helps at all. Also play competitive tf2 in esea and cevo open divisions, but I can play the game fine with any headphones. Mostly concerned about music.
Current source is mostly 320 mp3s > foobar2000 > wasapi output, or a handful of lossless 96khz 24 bit albums on my external hard drive
The settings on the xonar are these: 2 channel, headphones, 32ohm - 60ohm amp, 24 bit, 96khz, all the other **** turned off.
Thanks for reading this and sorry again for my iignorance :P