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Do I need a DAC?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi I'm Corsus and I'm brand new to this forum. Looking forward to hearing from everyone and I hope I can add some modest input myself! I listen exclusively through sennheiser 598 headphones connected to an onkyo c7030. I also have a bravo one headphone tube amp that I'm not that happy with. I feel like something is missing from my sound. The onkyo has nice Wolfson DACS but I'm wondering if I might benefit from an external DAC? Any thoughts?
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corsus View Post

Hi I'm Corsus and I'm brand new to this forum. Looking forward to hearing from everyone and I hope I can add some modest input myself! I listen exclusively through Sennheiser 598 headphones connected to an Onkyo C7030. I also have a bravo one headphone tube amp that I'm not that happy with. I feel like something is missing from my sound. The Onkyo has nice Wolfson DACS but I'm wondering if I might benefit from an external DAC? Any thoughts?

 

The C7030 does come with S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) outputs that you can connect an external DAC to.

But i'm thinking a decent quality external DAC with S/PDIF input is going to cost you more money then you would want to spend.

Maverick Audio D2 external DAC, $250.

 

On EBay there are several lower costing external DAC with S/PDIF input (no-name Made in China),

But not sure how much you would have to spend ($105?) to make a noticeable difference compared to the C7030 built in DAC.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/111274353147?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

But the reliability on these products is iffy, I've waste $300 of these DACs. 

 

Also you might consider fine tuning the voltage adjustments on the Bravo One.

All you need is a small philipshead screwdriver and a $6 digital multi-meter (DT830).

http://www.ebay.com/itm/250910622711?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

The Bravo One might be outputing an under powered and unbalanced analog audio signal.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The C7030 does come with S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) outputs that you can connect an external DAC to.
But i'm thinking a decent quality external DAC with S/PDIF input is going to cost you more money then you would want to spend.
Maverick Audio D2 external DAC, $250.

On EBay there are several lower costing external DAC with S/PDIF input (no-name Made in China),
But not sure how much you would have to spend ($105?) to make a noticeable difference compared to the C7030 built in DAC.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/111274353147?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649
But the reliability on these products is iffy, I've waste $300 of these DACs. 

Also you might consider fine tuning the voltage adjustments on the Bravo One.
All you need is a small philipshead screwdriver and a $6 digital multi-meter (DT830).
http://www.ebay.com/itm/250910622711?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649
The Bravo One might be outputing an under powered and unbalanced analog audio signal.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks PurpleAngel I think I might try that. I love the huge sound stage my rig is capable of but it is ruthless with less than stellar recordings, especially classical. My tube amp is relatively new I've got about 50 hours of listening in. I'm new to rubes and I'm wondering if maybe I need more time to let it warm up?
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corsus View Post

Thanks PurpleAngel I think I might try that. I love the huge sound stage my rig is capable of but it is ruthless with less than stellar recordings, especially classical. My tube amp is relatively new I've got about 50 hours of listening in. I'm new to tubes and I'm wondering if maybe I need more time to let it warm up?

 

I'm assuming the audio quality is better when the headphones are plugged into the Bravo, then when plugged directly into the C7030.

I can only guess what you might be "missing" in your audio listening.

The HD598 come across as veiled to some people, usually a powerful amplifier helps, and those little tube amps do output some decent voltage.

The HD598 are not considered "bassy" headphones (more detailed, then thumping) and there is not a lot you can do to make them "bassy".

Or anything you might do the make the HD598 more bassy usually will just make the HD598 bass more bloated (louder, less detail).

I've heard that you want to let a tube amplifier warm up for 15 minutes before make adjustments to the voltage, but I would assume(?) a 5 minute warm up should be good enough for normal listening.

 

If you have $300 sitting around, you could get an Audio-GD NFB-15.32 external DAC amp (dual WM8741 DAC chips), the 15.32 would plug right into the C7030's S/PDIF port.

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

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