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Do I need to get a DAC/amp or not? I need advice...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I'm looking forward to my Head-fi journey by taking it small. I'm getting a Superlux HD-668B soon and I'm looking forward to it.

Ive checked my local store for some DACs because I think the Superlux needs more power from it. I took consideration of my laptop jack DAC because I think it might power it but I'm not sure. It is Conexant High Definition Audio CX20672-21Z according to the laptop's specs sheet. Is it powerful enough to drive my Superlux or i have to spend for a DAC/amp?

post #2 of 7

I think you're confusing DAC with amp?

DAC stands for Digital to Analogue Converter, while the amp just amplifies the signal from the DAC.

 

The only realistic reason for getting a separate DAC for your Superlux HD-668B is if you can hear hissing, humming or any other electrical background noise when it is plugged into your laptop.

The only possible reason for getting an amplifier is that you cannot listen at the required volume, however I'm sure you would be able to listen at reasonably high volumes straight out of your laptop's headphone jack.

 

If you cannot hear any electrical interference, then you do not need a DAC right now.

If you can reach the required volume, you do not need an external amplifier right now.

 

Your current level of headphone does not fully justify the purchase of either of these.

Your time/money would be better spent in acquiring flac or 320kpbs mp3 files (if you havn't got those already ;))

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post
 

I think you're confusing DAC with amp?

DAC stands for Digital to Analogue Converter, while the amp just amplifies the signal from the DAC.

 

The only realistic reason for getting a separate DAC for your Superlux HD-668B is if you can hear hissing, humming or any other electrical background noise when it is plugged into your laptop.

The only possible reason for getting an amplifier is that you cannot listen at the required volume, however I'm sure you would be able to listen at reasonably high volumes straight out of your laptop's headphone jack.

 

If you cannot hear any electrical interference, then you do not need a DAC right now.

If you can reach the required volume, you do not need an external amplifier right now.

 

Your current level of headphone does not fully justify the purchase of either of these.

Your time/money would be better spent in acquiring flac or 320kpbs mp3 files (if you havn't got those already ;))


Okay, so when I get my new headphones i'll test it first on my laptop jack, then if I hear any humming or hiss, etc. I'll probably get a DAC. Correct? And I pretty much have 320kbps music already so :ksc75smile:.

post #4 of 7

Correct.

If however you get an external DAC, you won't be able to regulate the volume by hand, so you'll have to control it through your operating system.

If you want to control volume by hand then you also need to get an external amp. 

post #5 of 7

I started with the same hp!! Good luck and enjoy. Pick up a used amp if you feel that you need it.

post #6 of 7

Usually laptops onboard sound it's pretty bad. Getting a usb dac it's not a bad idea. 

Some are very cheap, no need to spend lots. 

post #7 of 7

That's usually to do with laptops being electronically noisier than desktops because everything is much more compact and there is more electrical interference. 

Also some laptops suffer hugely when they're connected to their power supplies, and then become ninja's when running from their battery.

My laptops power supply makes my audio output hum ridiculously. Not everyone has the same experience though.

 

The actual DAC quality has got a lot better over the years and it'd be very difficult or impossible to tell the difference between a laptop dac and a low-end external DAC. 

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