or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Heavy computer/audio user in need of AMP/Soundcard help.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Heavy computer/audio user in need of AMP/Soundcard help. - Page 2

post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

You'll likely get more for your money with the schiit stack sound quality wise, but I guess you know that. Anyway, the ZxR will function fine as a DAC for future applications.

 

I had an idea that I would get better sound quality out of the stack, but am again hesitant since both would require a plug.  The ZxR is a good foundational piece for future expansion.  By this I mean I can first get the sound card to cut out my worry that my receiver is going to suddenly drop on me (which it is already doing almost daily)...  I'll have intermittent periods of which I have no audio at all.  Then I can expand to the schiit stack after the upgrade of the ZxR and not have to worry about the other sound card holding back or restricting the stack's ability - if not even be the cause of the problem itself.  I will plan on getting a new stack/amp/DAC as well so I am open to ideas for them as well.  Again, sticking to the sub-$300 range is optimal. 

post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnFoe View Post

Again, sticking to the sub-$300 range is optimal. 

Well, the Xonar DG or DGX coupled with the Schiit Modi/Magni stack would give you best functionality and sound for the money. You don't need an expensive card to get the surround sound processing--the Xonar DG/DGX can provide that just as easily as the Xonar STX.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnFoe View Post
 

 

I had an idea that I would get better sound quality out of the stack, but am again hesitant since both would require a plug.  The ZxR is a good foundational piece for future expansion.  By this I mean I can first get the sound card to cut out my worry that my receiver is going to suddenly drop on me (which it is already doing almost daily)...  I'll have intermittent periods of which I have no audio at all.  Then I can expand to the schiit stack after the upgrade of the ZxR and not have to worry about the other sound card holding back or restricting the stack's ability - if not even be the cause of the problem itself.  I will plan on getting a new stack/amp/DAC as well so I am open to ideas for them as well.  Again, sticking to the sub-$300 range is optimal. 

 

When using the optical output on a Creative Labs Z series, the Z, Zx, ZxR cards are the same/equal.

Save cash, get the Z for now and add the Schiit stack later.

post #19 of 34
+1 to the 2 above.
post #20 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Well, the Xonar DG or DGX coupled with the Schiit Modi/Magni stack would give you best functionality and sound for the money. You don't need an expensive card to get the surround sound processing--the Xonar DG/DGX can provide that just as easily as the Xonar STX.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

When using the optical output on a Creative Labs Z series, the Z, Zx, ZxR cards are the same/equal.

Save cash, get the Z for now and add the Schiit stack later.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

+1 to the 2 above.

 

Sorry if I'm not being clear about this.  I plan on getting the ZxR first because I need an immediate fix for the primary problem - my audio is cutting out right now.  Since the K701s are on a 1/4" jack it seems like the best immediate solution.  By this I am referring to it being the best sound-card that is sub-$300.  On top of that Amazon just price-dropped the soundblaster cards.  The ZxRs (Like-New in box) are $189 right now... 

 

The Schiit stack would be for providing a more enjoyable sound stage down the road and I would even say push for any stack/amp/DAC that is sub-$300 that will do this.  So sound card is sub-$300 and then the next part would be the stack/amp/DAC for sub-$300 (total of $600). I know it's an on-the-fly change that is very confusing. 


Edited by JohnFoe - 6/23/14 at 3:30am
post #21 of 34
Question is whether it'd be worthwhile upgrading to the schiit stack anyway by then, won't promise you it'll be a big improvement.
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnFoe View Post
 

Sorry if I'm not being clear about this.  I plan on getting the ZxR first because I need an immediate fix for the primary problem - my audio is cutting out right now.  Since the K701s are on a 1/4" jack it seems like the best immediate solution.  By this I am referring to it being the best sound-card that is sub-$300.  On top of that Amazon just price-dropped the soundblaster cards.  The ZxRs (Like-New in box) are $189 right now... 

The Schiit stack would be for providing a more enjoyable sound stage down the road and I would even say push for any stack/amp/DAC that is sub-$300 that will do this.  So sound card is sub-$300 and then the next part would be the stack/amp/DAC for sub-$300 (total of $600). I know it's an on-the-fly change that is very confusing. 

 

I just think once you have the SB-ZxR, getting the Schiit stack might not make a noticeable improvement in audio quality.

post #23 of 34

I would imagine that there is not much difference with sound quality between the 2 options or 3 if you consider the Asus Xonar Essence STX also.

There could be slight differences with soundstage and stuff like that. But nothing you can really put your finger on.

I actually think both options are good, getting the Asus Xonar DGX to get the dolby surround and other functions and Schiit Modi / Magni combo. Remember you can always plug the Schiit Modi straight to the computer if you don't need the dolby options. Over all the Schiit combo gives you more options to plug to your source, its slightly more versatile in that sense.

Do note that the Volume control on the Sound Blaster ZxR is digital, it adjusts the windows volume.

But i think no matter what you choose, you will get good sound quality.

post #24 of 34
Thread Starter 
This is going to show how new I am here, but I'm at work... Will a tube amp/DAC provide any different sound than the Schiit options or is that another unnoticeable change for inexperienced people?
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnFoe View Post

Sorry if I'm not being clear about this.  I plan on getting the ZxR first because I need an immediate fix for the primary problem - my audio is cutting out right now.  Since the K701s are on a 1/4" jack it seems like the best immediate solution. 

The jack size doesn't matter in terms of audio quality. And if you need an adapter, this Grado cable works very well: http://www.amazon.com/Grado-Mini-Adaptor-Cable-Inch/dp/B001DK1ZVO/

If you want the best audio quality you could buy for $500, ZxR + Schiit Modi/Magni is not the way to go. Step up to a better DAC/amp combo and go with a cheaper sound card if you want to maximize the audio quality for the money. Grab the Xonar DG/DGX, and then save up for the Modi + Asgrard 2 or an Audio-GD amp.
post #26 of 34
Depends. Many tube amps do have considerable and likely audible distortion or frequency response that isn't flat, especially cheaper ones.
post #27 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


The jack size doesn't matter in terms of audio quality. And if you need an adapter, this Grado cable works very well: http://www.amazon.com/Grado-Mini-Adaptor-Cable-Inch/dp/B001DK1ZVO/

If you want the best audio quality you could buy for $500, ZxR + Schiit Modi/Magni is not the way to go. Step up to a better DAC/amp combo and go with a cheaper sound card if you want to maximize the audio quality for the money. Grab the Xonar DG/DGX, and then save up for the Modi + Asgrard 2 or an Audio-GD amp.

 

So the Modi/Asgard 2 would provide a better quality of sound than the ZxR/Modi/Magni combo would...  That's good to know.  Doing a little digging around the forum, the Asgard 1 had some issues with supplying the proper power to the K701s to do them justice.  Did they fix that with the Asgard 2 or does it still have the same issue?

 

Sorry - I just thought about this now.  We have an old Kenwood KA-4006 Amplifier that used to drive a pair of Bose 901s (we still have them, and they're actually sitting next to my computer right now, ironically...).  Would this amplifier work?  It was used YEARS ago but hasn't been used since then. 

 

Again, the inexperienced student would like to learn.  :)

post #28 of 34

The Asgard has plenty of power for most things (on the paper).

 

Well, the kenwood would most likely pair very well with one of the planars out there (think hifiman and audeze and oppo). Not sure I'd really recommend for k701 because it'll likely have a high output impedance altering the sound characteristics of the k701.

 

Getting a used HE-4/HE-5LE/HE-500 etc. or something like that could be pretty sweet with the kenwood.

 

I can't really help you with what sounds best, though you should definitely take what people say with a pile of salt. The human auditory memory is very, very bad at comparing stuff reliably and one can very easily be fooled!

post #29 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

The Asgard has plenty of power for most things (on the paper).

 

Well, the kenwood would most likely pair very well with one of the planars out there (think hifiman and audeze and oppo). Not sure I'd really recommend for k701 because it'll likely have a high output impedance altering the sound characteristics of the k701.

 

Getting a used HE-4/HE-5LE/HE-500 etc. or something like that could be pretty sweet with the kenwood.

 

I can't really help you with what sounds best, though you should definitely take what people say with a pile of salt. The human auditory memory is very, very bad at comparing stuff reliably and one can very easily be fooled!

 

Sorry for the delay on responding to this!  I'm trying my best to do my own research and find out a great all around budget.

 

I'm just going to skip the HE series because those prices hurt my head.  Haha.  I will consider those prices after I start desiring something new to me. 

 

I know I should take everything stated by people with a pile of salt, but it appears to be a consistent suggestion...  Not just one person here and one person there saying it...  Everyone suggests getting a higher-end tube amp.  I also read that tube amps are much higher maintenance than solid-states (which might not be a worry because of how meticulously I maintain my computer). I really am looking to get the best bang for my buck here and apparently $300 for the AKG K701s is a light number.  What is the minimum to get the best sound out of these specific headphones?  I was trying to keep to $300 but if I need to put extra money into getting the best sound I will - up to $800.  However, some are saying $2K, others are saying ~$600.  What's the truth to this? 

 

So best AMP/Dac for <$800 to give me the best sound stage for AKG K701s... The lower the better.  Yes I know I keep pushing my numbers up, but with every extra dollar amount I have to save for a few more weeks/months.

 

Someone suggested the Bellari Rolls HA540?  $300 new, and I found one (used) right now very close to me for cheap.  I know the Lyr was recommended for the AKGs as well.  Opinions between the two?  Also, how do the amps you use david, drive your K702s?


Edited by JohnFoe - 6/24/14 at 5:50pm
post #30 of 34

True, some say that k701 transform with a proper amp. I have only tried mine with an e17.

 

Can't tell you what to do. Personally, I think that tube amps (generally) are only something I'd consider if I had some gear with a too hot sound trying to mellow it all a bit. Oth hand I have EQ for that.

 

Besides, the mentioned HE models go from 250-550$ used approximately.

 

You should also look into the bass mod for the k701.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Heavy computer/audio user in need of AMP/Soundcard help.