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DAC/Amp Combo Vs External Sound Card - Page 2

post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Also, what is your budget?

Budget is around $250. I could do around $300 if I needed to.

post #17 of 27
Then you definitely want a good amp and DAC to make those sound awesome smily_headphones1.gif

What is your budget for amp/dac?
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Then you definitely want a good amp and DAC to make those sound awesome smily_headphones1.gif

What is your budget for amp/dac?

Probably $250 to $300 for the sound card/dac/amp. I can go more, I'd just prefer to keep it around that:dt880smile:

post #19 of 27
Schiit Modi DAC and Magni headphone amp are great choices for around $200. The Modi can be ordered with optical. Then grab a Xonar DG for the Dolby Headphone (they are not very expensive).
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Schiit Modi DAC and Magni headphone amp are great choices for around $200. The Modi can be ordered with optical. Then grab a Xonar DG for the Dolby Headphone (they are not very expensive).

Okay, two questions. Sorry for kinda being in the unknown on this stuff.

 

1) Will running an internal sound card harm the audio any? By harm, I mean will it lessen the audio quality?

 

2) How would I go about turning off the surround sound if I wanted to listen to music? Would I have unhook my DAC/Amp from the sound card, or could I do it from my computer?

post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielMiracle View Post

 

1) Will running an internal sound card harm the audio any? By harm, I mean will it lessen the audio quality?

 

There can be some interference from other components inside the chassis, which might not be audible if you use a typical PC speaker but can go and be audible through a more transparent hi-fi amp. Otherwise it's not really harming the signal, just not optimal - the outputs on these might not have the same output impedance and voltage as a standard DAC.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielMiracle View Post

 

2) How would I go about turning off the surround sound if I wanted to listen to music? Would I have unhook my DAC/Amp from the sound card, or could I do it from my computer?

 

 

Yes, you should disable it, unless it simulates speaker listening where one ear hears the opposite speaker. You can just disable this in Windows. Also note that if you use a USB DAC the processed surround simulation signal won't go through to begin with; I think it only works through SPDIF.

post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post

There can be some interference from other components inside the chassis, which might not be audible if you use a typical PC speaker but can go and be audible through a more transparent hi-fi amp. Otherwise it's not really harming the signal, just not optimal - the outputs on these might not have the same output impedance and voltage as a standard DAC.


Yes, you should disable it, unless it simulates speaker listening where one ear hears the opposite speaker. You can just disable this in Windows. Also note that if you use a USB DAC the processed surround simulation signal won't go through to begin with; I think it only works through SPDIF.
Do you think it would effect it enough that it would be noticeable?
One person told me that since it was digital it wouldn't effect it, and that noise only effected analog signal.
post #23 of 27
The Xonar software control panel has a configuration option for easily switching between stereo and virtual surround mode when using the optical out.

As for optical from a sound card vs USB, people argue over which soundd better--which means they are comparable smily_headphones1.gif
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

The Xonar software control panel has a configuration option for easily switching between stereo and virtual surround mode when using the optical out.

As for optical from a sound card vs USB, people argue over which soundd better--which means they are comparable smily_headphones1.gif

Okay, I think that's what I'm gonna do. I guess I have to if I want surround sound and a DAC/Amp. What internal sound card would you suggest to go with the Schiit Magni/Modi stack and a pair of AKG K712s? 

post #25 of 27
Xonar DG. No reason to pay more than that because you would be paying for DAY and amp in the sound card you will be bypassing with the optical.
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Xonar DG. No reason to pay more than that because you would be paying for DAY and amp in the sound card you will be bypassing with the optical.

Alright, I really appreciate your help. Thanks!

post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielMiracle View Post


Do you think it would effect it enough that it would be noticeable?
One person told me that since it was digital it wouldn't effect it, and that noise only effected analog signal.

 

If you're using the soundcard as the DAC, then there can be some interference as it has to process the signal into analog, which is usually not audible on cheap multimedia speakers' amps but might be on more hi-fi amps. What I described in my previous post is using an internal sound card as the DAC. An external sound card is basically also a DAC (device, not the chip, as all these have a DAC chip) - the difference here is the specific features manufacturers put in, which is generally that a DAC is focused on 2.0 music playback while an external soundcard has either discrete or simulate surround output.

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