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Looking for Recommendations for DAC/amp

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Looking for recommendations for a reasonably priced (around $150 or less) dac/amp for gaming and music.

 

My motherboard is a Gigabyte Z97 Gaming 7 with Realtek ALC1150 and Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi MB3 gaming audio suite: http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4959#ov and I'm using an Audio Technica ATH-ADG1 gaming headset. I also have an Asus Xonar DX 7.1 sound card from my old build.

 

So far I've been looking at the Musiland Monitor 02US Dragon DAC/Amp: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/musiland-monitor-02us-dragon-dac-amp?mode=guest_open, but haven't seen many reviews about it. Anyone have this and can give some insight on it?


Edited by missalaire - 2/21/15 at 9:01pm
post #2 of 9

I say to disable the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS.

Install the Xonar DX sound card.

And get a FiiO E11K headphones amplifier ($60) and plug it into the DX.

Plug the ATH-ADG1 into the E11K

and plug the ADG1's mic into the DX's line-input jack.

post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I say to disable the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS.
Install the Xonar DX sound card.
And get a FiiO E11K headphones amplifier ($60) and plug it into the DX.
Plug the ATH-ADG1 into the E11K
and plug the ADG1's mic into the DX's line-input jack.

+1

Or if you want a desktop amp with more power instead of the E11K, grab the Schiit Magni on closeout for $79 (there is a new version).
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

I did actually look at the Schiit products and they are definitely something I'm considering. Forgive my ignorance (I'm just getting into audio), but why do you suggest amps over dacs?

 

Also, any thoughts on the Audioengine D1 dac/amp? http://audioengineusa.com/Store/D1-24-Bit-DAC

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

I say to disable the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS.

Install the Xonar DX sound card.

And get a FiiO E11K headphones amplifier ($60) and plug it into the DX.

Plug the ATH-ADG1 into the E11K

and plug the ADG1's mic into the DX's line-input jack.

 

just curious, why not the e10k?

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thilly View Post
 

Just curious, why not the E10K?

 

Nothing against the E10K......but

USB bypasses all the sound card features and your into gaming.

The Xonar DX already comes with a nice DAC chip (CS4398).

The E11K can be used with more then just a PC/Mac.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

Nothing against the E10K......but

USB bypasses all the sound card features and your into gaming.

The Xonar DX already comes with a nice DAC chip (CS4398).

The E11K can be used with more then just a PC/Mac.

Any insight on the Audioengine D1?

 

Also, the Audio Technica ATH-ADG1s came with a detachable USB DAC with built-in amp (unsure what parts it uses but it sounds better than plugging my headset into my Astro Mixamp Pro) so it'd need to be an upgrade over that.


Edited by missalaire - 2/22/15 at 1:18am
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by missalaire View Post
 

Any insight on the Audioengine D1?

 

Also, the Audio Technica ATH-ADG1s came with a detachable USB DAC with built-in amp (unsure what parts it uses but it sounds better than plugging my headset into my Astro Mixamp Pro) so it'd need to be an upgrade over that.

 

The Astro mix-amp has never been known to offer award winning audio quality.

and for the price you paid for the ATH-ADG1, it should at least come with a decent DAC chip built in to the USB DAC/amp.

I'm sure the DX/E11K combo would easily equal, and maybe even better the USB DAC/amp, that come with the ADG1.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

The Astro mix-amp has never been known to offer award winning audio quality.

and for the price you paid for the ATH-ADG1, it should at least come with a decent DAC chip built in to the USB DAC/amp.

I'm sure the DX/E11K combo would easily equal, and maybe even better the USB DAC/amp, that come with the ADG1.

 

Are there any other recommendations you'd suggest that you'd feel comfortable saying would definitely be better than the USB DAC/amp?

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