AD-700, Where to go from here?
Oct 4, 2009 at 3:58 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

Geohound

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so, quite happy with my purchase, I've had them for 2 months now and for the most part rediscovered my music and gained new appreciation for it
atsmile.gif


I've been reading Head-fi for longer than that, maybe 5 months, lead me to purchase the AD-700 over the HD555 (seems to be a common match up). My setup is simple,

Foobar creative ASIO, bit-matched playback, MP3s and Flac -> Creative Xfi-xtreme gamer -> AD-700

I've read that I can't mod my Xfi, kind of a bummer after reading an exciting thread on this forum about doing so, I didn't know any better when I bought the card
frown.gif


I'm definitely on a budget but I figure I owe it to myself considering the time I spend reading about audio/headphones to go a little further...hopefully in the least expensive way possible.

So, if you were me, where would you invest your attention? I assume I'm in good shape with the set of phones I have atm but I'm open to opinions there too.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 4:13 AM Post #3 of 18

Geohound

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price range would be under $100 and tbh I'm not sure what route to go, I'm assuming I should be looking into a better source, perhaps a dac or a new card but I'd rather your opinions.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 4:24 AM Post #4 of 18

RallyMaster

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You can't get much of an "improvement" so to speak with $100. You can get a sidestep and discover a different "flavor" of headphone but I really don't feel like that's enough breathing room. Up it to $200 and I think we'll have a case.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 4:27 AM Post #5 of 18

Geohound

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*sigh*, alright, maybe I can make it a christmas gift to myself, I have plenty of time to think about it then, $200 it is then....cheaper is better but some head room for further upgrading is a good thing if I so chose to.

I do plenty of gaming too if that influences your recomendations.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 5:06 AM Post #6 of 18

dweaver

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Used AD900 if you can get one should set you back about $200. It is supposed to be like the AD700 but do everything a bit better.

Otherwise a DAC/Amp combo, or even just a nice amp. I know the general opinion is that the AD700/900 don't improve with amplification much but I found there to be quite a bit of improvement when I bought an amp for my rig. It made the bass better and just made them pop that much more. I did end up going with an opamp upgrade though that added warmth to my amp.

BTW I have a pair of AD900 coming in next week. If your interested I'll post my finding in regards to difference, but only after a minimum of 50hrs of burnin as I here the phones need to be broken in to start to get their benefits.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 5:25 AM Post #7 of 18

Geohound

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that would be great dweaver, a lot of people consider that the route to go, getting the AD900, I guess I'm just getting attached to my set.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 5:28 AM Post #8 of 18

RicHSAD

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I'd say either get the AD900 if you want to change headphones or get rid of that poop soundcard for a Xonar Essence STX or ST.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 7:18 AM Post #9 of 18

dweaver

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I hear what your saying about getting attached to your AD700's they really are an awesome HP. Even after I get the AD900 I will not be getting rid of the AD700, if anything I will give them to my wife and son to use. (My 7 year old wears them when playing games and is entranced, they look funny on him but he is absolutely captured when wearing them).

I agree with getting a better sound card, I am using an Auzentech Forte that can power bigger headphones and it did improve my listening experience over my builtin sound a lot. The benefit of DAC/Amp combo though is that it gets rid of the electrical noise coming from your computer plus it can move from computer to computer. As for what DAC/Amp combo to get that I can't say as I have not gone that route myself.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 5:06 PM Post #10 of 18

Geohound

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from what I've read and been recommended, I'm torn between a dac/amp and something like the essence stx, the card really sounds like an end all solution for me, though I'm sure that's arguable. I do love the idea of the dac/amp having the ability to move from machine to machine, I can think of many benefits to that. Is the DAC/amp going to sound noticeably better to me than one of these super sound cards? I've read that they don't compare for some people but I'm far from experienced, then again, that dosen't mean I don't notice a plethora of benefits just from my headphone upgrade, otherwise I would'nt be so excited to upgrade.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 5:57 PM Post #11 of 18

RicHSAD

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There is no question that a good DAC/AMP combo will beat the Xonar Essence, but finding one that does for around $200 total won't be easy. The op-amps on the Essence are swappable so you could always improve/tweak the sound to your liking later on.

Also, if you play games at all then I would definitely get a sound card as they provide a small performance improvement that you wouldn't get out of an external setup.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 6:30 PM Post #12 of 18

Geohound

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is it something I would notice though? Between the external dac/amp and the internal card?
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 6:37 PM Post #13 of 18

momomo6789

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i don't have anything under 200$ but after i got my dac, i haven't used my sound cards for music. i have xonar stx and a x-fi forte and like my dac much more then both but if i had to pick forte or stx i would pick forte just b/c i game alot and i like the fortes stock sound better.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 6:43 PM Post #14 of 18

RicHSAD

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Geohound /img/forum/go_quote.gif
is it something I would notice though? Between the external dac/amp and the internal card?


Maybe, maybe not. The Essence has a very good DAC section and the AD700s don't benefit much from an amp, so I don't think you would have a whole lot to gain by going with an external setup.

You should notice an improvement over your X-fi either way though.
 
Oct 4, 2009 at 6:50 PM Post #15 of 18

Geohound

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I guess the forte then......I do game plenty, def torn now, the goal here was music quality but I can't deny where I spend a lot of time.
 

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