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Looking to upgrade to external DAC

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Here is my current setup:

 

Asus Xonar ST (LME49720 OpAmp upgrade) > HD600 (also have Yamaha HS8 + M-Audio SBX10)

 

Is it worth to upgrade to Modi > Asgard 2 or Bitfrost + Asgard 2 if I spend most of my time listening to newer youtube music video, and gaming?

post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirkarma View Post
 

Here is my current setup:

 

Asus Xonar ST (LME49720 OpAmp upgrade) > HD600 (also have Yamaha HS8 + M-Audio SBX10)

 

Is it worth to upgrade to Modi > Asgard 2 or Bitfrost + Asgard 2 if I spend most of my time listening to newer youtube music video, and gaming?

Audio-GD NFB-11.32, external DAC/amp, $340+shipping.

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1132/NFB11.32EN.htm

 

Use the NFB-11.32's S/PDIF optical connection so as to be able to still use sound card (add-on or on-board) features.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Is the recommendation still true if I get rid of my sound card (I plan to sell it to help fund my purchase)?

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirkarma View Post
 

Is the recommendation still true if I get rid of my sound card (I plan to sell it to help fund my purchase)?

You can sell off your current Essence ST sound card and plug the Audio-GD directly to the motherboard's S/PDIF (optical or coaxial) connection.

You can also get a low cost sound card like the Asus Xonar DG/DGX and plug the Audio-GD (optically) into it.

The Audio-GD even comes with a 32-bit/384K USB input (the USB input is recommend for music).

 

I promised myself that I would sell off my Essence STX when I bought my Audio-GD NFB-15.32.

post #5 of 11

The weak link in your current setup is probably the integrated amp from the Xonar ST.

In that respect just upgrading to a good amplifier (like Asgard 2 you mentioned) could be a perfectly good choice.

The DAC section of the soundcard is pretty good by itself and it's likely entry level DACs will not make any substantial differences, especially if in the context you mentioned - "youtube music video, and gaming"

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

James got me thinking... isn't better to buy an amp and a DAC separate so that when you upgrade later, you won't need to replace both?

 

If I choose to only upgrade the amp for now, is Asgard 2 my best choice for a $250 budget?

post #7 of 11

It is one of the few amplifiers with pre-out (for controlling your speakers) and also one of the best sounding at this price point.

 

PS: I have no knowledge of the seller, so I don't want to appear biased.

I just saw the ad when browsing on the FS section and thought it looked like a very good deal (one of the better amps in the ~300$ range and with usb DAC built in).

http://www.head-fi.org/t/708037/matrix-audio-m-stage-hpa-2-w-usb-price-drop


Edited by James neutron - 3/17/14 at 1:36pm
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirkarma View Post
 

James got me thinking... isn't better to buy an amp and a DAC separate so that when you upgrade later, you won't need to replace both?

 

If I choose to only upgrade the amp for now, is Asgard 2 my best choice for a $250 budget?

With going with an external DAC your not getting the possible electrical noise that you might get with a DAC feature on the inside of a case.

For me swapping my Essence STX for the NFB-15.32 gave me a very quiet background.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by James neutron View Post

It is one of the few amplifiers with pre-out (for controlling your speakers) and also one of the best sounding at this price point.

It is pretty darn good smily_headphones1.gif
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by James neutron View Post
 

It is one of the few amplifiers with pre-out (for controlling your speakers) and also one of the best sounding at this price point.

 

PS: I have no knowledge of the seller, so I don't want to appear biased.

I just saw the ad when browsing on the FS section and thought it looked like a very good deal (one of the better amps in the ~300$ range and with usb DAC built in).

http://www.head-fi.org/t/708037/matrix-audio-m-stage-hpa-2-w-usb-price-drop

 

How would you compare the M-Audio to the Audio-GD 11.32? I'm considering it since the production of the 11.32 keep moving forward.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

I ended up with the following items instead.

 

Asgard 2

Bifrost DAC w/ Gen2 USB & Uber

 

I was able to find them cheaper on ebay. Additionally, I now have a spotify premium.

 

Thank you all for your replies!

 

 

Have a wonderful evening!

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