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What is your desktop setup like?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I have been reading up on DACs and headphone amplifiers and pretty much have an idea on how they work. However, what I realised is that if I were to use an amplfier or DAC, I would be plugging it into the line out of the onboard/dedicated soundcard. This subsequently leaves (usually) a single 3.5mm/0.75" jack for the headphones. It wouldn't be a problem if I were to use headphones all the time. However I also use the speakers frequently, and was wondering how you go around the problem. Thanks!

post #2 of 12

Pre-out on your amp or multiple DAC outputs does it for me.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

I did see some amps like the Fiio e09k has a pre amp which can be used with speakers and the headphone jack which will mute the pre amp when used. Also the Xonar STX has a separate headphone jack from the 3.5mm line out which can be switched via the software.

 

I was just wondering for setups like the O2/ODAC combo, how would you use it with speakers. Cheers

post #4 of 12

A RCA switch is probably what you want then.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I'm assuming a RCA switch or aux input switch will not degrade the quality of the sound?

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenXiaoHai View Post
 

Thanks! I'm assuming a RCA switch or aux input switch will not degrade the quality of the sound?

Of course not, it's just a small wire in your chain.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks again for the reply! Just a quick final question. I am currently running Xonar DGX which apparently has an amplifier. I've read not double amplifying as that is bad. So does that mean I cannot use an external amplifier for this card?

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenXiaoHai View Post
 

Thanks again for the reply! Just a quick final question. I am currently running Xonar DGX which apparently has an amplifier. I've read not double amplifying as that is bad. So does that mean I cannot use an external amplifier for this card?

It's not meant for that, as you guessed. What headphones are you using?

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm using Audio Technica AD700, mainly for gaming and music (Jazz importantly). Just trying to figure what to upgrade and what kind of setup I need, because I use speakers too.

 

I guess I cannot just get an amplifier then huh

post #10 of 12

If you want a big jump in sound quality, you should try a new higher-end pair of headphones first. Buying a fancy new amplifier in your situation will have little to no benefit in my opinion.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

I think I might be able to still use an amplifier for the soundcard. I was just having a think about how it works, so correct me if I am wrong:

 

The same line out is used for speakers or headphones for the Xonar DGX, and speakers normally connect to un-amped line outs. Therefore I should be able to get a pre amp line out? Moreover, there is a headphone mode from the Xonar audio centre, which I presume "switches on" the amplifier. Therefore, if I select speakers mode, I can use my own amplifier (which is how I presume works with other soundcards like the DX) with headphones.

 

With this in mind, I might look into getting better headphones and amplifiers, since DAC's diminishing returns seem to come pretty fast

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenXiaoHai View Post

 

With this in mind, I might look into getting better headphones , since DAC's and amps diminishing returns seem to come pretty fast

Fixed that for ya.

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