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Looking to get a nice audio setup for my gaming rig - need some guidance - Page 2

post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shammikaze View Post

Regarding a sound card, now I'm confused.  Make it stupid-proof for me -- what are my options?  

How about 3 options?

1) The Xonar STX (or ST) would give you excellent sound, and it would work well well with the DT990 Pro 250 ohms. With it you would get Dolby Headphone virtual surround for watching movies on your computer.

2) You could get the ODAC/O2 or Schiit Modi/Magni, and the this would be a better DAC/amp setup than the DAC/amp built into the Xonar. The sound would be a little better, and they would better drive a wider range of headphones should you ever decide to get more headphones. But you would not get Dolby Headphone.

3) You could buy the Schiit Modi with optical, the Schiit Magni, and then the Xonar DG (or DGX), and use optical out from the DG to the Modi to be able to use the Dolby Headphone virtual surround. Using the optical connection to the Modi bypasses the DAC in the soundcard, so you get the great sound of the Modi/Magni AND the option to use Dolby Headphone.

smily_headphones1.gif
post #17 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

3) You could buy the Schiit Modi with optical, the Schiit Magni, and then the Xonar DG (or DGX), and use optical out from the DG to the Modi to be able to use the Dolby Headphone virtual surround. Using the optical connection to the Modi bypasses the DAC in the soundcard, so you get the great sound of the Modi/Magni AND the option to use Dolby Headphone.
 

 

Thanks for all the good information!  I think I like option 3, but this also sounds like the most expensive option?  Is the Schiit Modi always optical or is this an option I need to request?  Also, that DGX video card appears ancient and only costs $40 - is this accurate?  Why 5.1?  Why does it cost so little?  Seeing such inexpensive products creeps me out when they're computer related...

 

So, option 3 looks like...

Xonar DGX = $40

Schiit Modi = $100

Schiit Magni = $100

Beyer DT 990 = $300

 

== $540  (actually less than the O2/ODAC).  For this price do you think it's a better setup than the O2/ODAC?

 

 

Also, how would this setup work?  Does the Dolby Surround go through the Schiit setup to the headphones?  Or do I need to alternate headphone plug-in location based on need?


Edited by Shammikaze - 4/26/14 at 5:36pm
post #18 of 52
I would get the 250 ohm Pro 990's for $150, no reason to spend more for truly minuscule differences.
post #19 of 52
The O2/ODAC and Schiit Modi/Magni are comparable in sound quality. The ODAC has only a USB connection. The Modi can be ordered with either a USB or optical connection.

When you use a USB DAC, it completely bypasses the sound card.

When you use an optical DAC, the sound card outputs the digital signal to the external DAC and can implement its digital signal processing before passing the digital signal along. With the DG, this includes Dolby Headphone and being able to use the graphic EQ in the Xonar control panel. Dolby Headphone takes a 5.1 channel audio signal and mixes it into 2 channel to create the virtual surround effect.
Edited by cel4145 - 4/26/14 at 6:16pm
post #20 of 52

I hope you wont mind if I hijack this thread with some similar questions.

 

I've been reading av lot of threads lately, and after reading Mad Lust Envy's guide (and from falling for AKG headphones a couple of years back) I feel that I should reward my ears with some AKG K612's :)

Now for my problem, I dont want to spend 100's of euros on a headphone amplifier, and I'm running a micro-itx build (no free expansion slot)...

My motherboard got optical SP/DIF (and usb, of course), cant I just find a relatively cheap amp that I can hook up trough that and still get better sound ? 

Give me some pointers please, I'm even open for a DIY project !

post #21 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

The O2/ODAC and Schiit Modi/Magni are comparable in sound quality. The ODAC has only a USB connection. The Modi can be ordered with either a USB or optical connection.

When you use a USB DAC, it completely bypasses the sound card.

When you use an optical DAC, the sound card outputs the digital signal to the external DAC and can implement its digital signal processing before passing the digital signal along. With the DG, this includes Dolby Headphone and being able to use the graphic EQ in the Xonar control panel. Dolby Headphone takes a 5.1 channel audio signal and mixes it into 2 channel to create the virtual surround effect.

 

Good to know.  Thanks a lot!  Does this mean the optical option also has the side-effect of being Xbox compatible?

post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shammikaze View Post

Good to know.  Thanks a lot!  Does this mean the optical option also has the side-effect of being Xbox compatible?

Possibly. Depends on what kind of digital signal the Xbox can output. Best to search for Xbox and optical DACs and see what you find smily_headphones1.gif
post #23 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Possibly. Depends on what kind of digital signal the Xbox can output. Best to search for Xbox and optical DACs and see what you find smily_headphones1.gif

 

Eh. I suppose I'm not too worried about it.  Worst case scenario I plug it in and it doesn't work?  Shouldn't break anything, right?

post #24 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodgey4 View Post

I would get the 250 ohm Pro 990's for $150, no reason to spend more for truly minuscule differences.

 

Didn't see this earlier - why the pro instead of the premium?  I feel like I remember seeing people say that there is a noticeable difference.  Something about the bass, soundstage, and overall clarity.  Should I disregard that?

post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shammikaze View Post

Didn't see this earlier - why the pro instead of the premium?  I feel like I remember seeing people say that there is a noticeable difference.  Something about the bass, soundstage, and overall clarity.  Should I disregard that?

How "noticeable" is relative to the individual person. I haven't compared the two, but I would bet that the difference is not significant to justify the price difference of $125 more. If you are going to spend the cost of the 250 Premiums, you should also consider the Phillips X1 and the HE-400s.
post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


How "noticeable" is relative to the individual person. I haven't compared the two, but I would bet that the difference is not significant to justify the price difference of $125 more. If you are going to spend the cost of the 250 Premiums, you should also consider the Phillips X1 and the HE-400s.


Exactly, I've heard too many conflicting reviews, Mad Lust Envy says they're the same besides comfort, while some say they are Christ's Second Coming. Your call, you're still in budget either way. Maybe find a place with a good return policy and try both.

post #27 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

When you use an optical DAC, the sound card outputs the digital signal to the external DAC and can implement its digital signal processing before passing the digital signal along. With the DG, this includes Dolby Headphone and being able to use the graphic EQ in the Xonar control panel. Dolby Headphone takes a 5.1 channel audio signal and mixes it into 2 channel to create the virtual surround effect.

 

I've become concerned again.  I was browsing the Magni and saw this...  "Magni is quiet enough for many IEMs, but provides up to 1.2W into 32 ohms,".  Does this mean it can only power 32 ohm headphones?

post #28 of 52
No, this is only a specification given so you can calculate poet output input into different loads using 32 ohms as a reference. Power (Watts) = Voltage^2/Resistance, so you can see that for example, a 64 ohm headphone could only get half that power or 600 mW, assuming the amp behaves nicely at all impedances of course smily_headphones1.gif.
post #29 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodgey4 View Post
so you can see that for example, a 64 ohm headphone could only get half that power or 600 mW, assuming the amp behaves nicely at all impedances of course smily_headphones1.gif.

 

So, does this mean it isn't viable to power a 250 ohm headset?  It seems like the wattage would be low.

post #30 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shammikaze View Post

So, does this mean it isn't viable to power a 250 ohm headset?  It seems like the wattage would be low.

It will be fine. Wattage needs for higher impedance headphones doesn't scale linearly from 32 ohm amp specs the way that you are thinking smily_headphones1.gif
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