Amp or DAC for ad 700x
May 15, 2015 at 11:23 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

rrspamrr

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GIven it's low impedence, most people believe amping the ad 700x won't improve the sound much (if any at all). However, I haven't heard much about the improvements that could result from getting a DAC.Ii was hoping one of you (preferably someone who has tried these with an amp/DAC) could offer your thoughts on this subject.

Also, because I primary intend to use these phones for gaming, could someone explain wether or not it's possible to use CMSS 3d in conjunction with a amp or DAC (or both) and how to set up something like that?

Thanks a lot!
 
May 15, 2015 at 11:40 PM Post #2 of 12

cel4145

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If you get a Soundblaster Z or any other Creative card with CMSS 3d that has optical output, you can then hook an optical DAC to it.

The Creative soundcards do have a high output impedance, so using a headphone amp with them could improve the sound of the AD700X. Whether or not you would find that difference worthwhile, I could not tell you.
 
May 15, 2015 at 11:57 PM Post #3 of 12

PurpleAngel

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GIven it's low impedence, most people believe amping the ad 700x won't improve the sound much (if any at all). However, I haven't heard much about the improvements that could result from getting a DAC.Ii was hoping one of you (preferably someone who has tried these with an amp/DAC) could offer your thoughts on this subject.
Also, because I primary intend to use these phones for gaming, could someone explain wether or not it's possible to use CMSS 3d in conjunction with a amp or DAC (or both) and how to set up something like that?
Thanks a lot!

 
As your talking about CMSS-3D, I'm assuming your currently using a Creative Labs Titanium or Titanium-HD sound card (or other)?
Then get the FiiO E11K headphone amplifier ($60) and connect the sound card's line and/or headphone output jack, to the line-input on the E111K, and the AD700X to the E11K headphone jack.
The E11K less then 1-Ohm output impedance should be good for helping the 40-Ohm AD700X bring out it's best (like detail).
 
May 16, 2015 at 12:02 AM Post #4 of 12

rrspamrr

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I actually have a very old creative sb1040 card. Does that have optical output (not exactly sure what optical output means btw)? And if so, what optical DAC or AMP would you reccomed?
 
May 16, 2015 at 4:00 AM Post #6 of 12

PurpleAngel

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I actually have a very old creative sb1040 card. Does that have optical output (not exactly sure what optical output means btw)? And if so, what optical DAC or AMP would you recommended?

 
That is the XtremeAudio (SB1040) sound card, very bargain basement Creative card, replacing it with a newer Sound Blaster Z would improve the audio quality, plug the AD700X directly into the SB-Z.
Hopefully you have disabled the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS, before you added the Xtreme audio to the computer.
 
May 16, 2015 at 2:02 PM Post #8 of 12

PurpleAngel

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Thanks for the help guys! I think I'll go ahead and buy the sound blaster z instead of a DAC/AMP combo. I really appreciate all the help!

 
The SB-Z's headphone jack has a 22-Ohm output impedance, not the greatest for use with headphones that are 38-Ohm (AD700X)
But with the price the SB-Z costs for the possible amount of improvement in audio quality, it's still worth it
 
Here is a used one on eBay.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/181738265540?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
 
When you remove the Xtreme Audio card and it's Creative software, you might consider using a driver cleaner, before installing the SB-Z and it's drivers.
 
May 16, 2015 at 3:18 PM Post #9 of 12

rrspamrr

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I see. In that case I don't think I'd like to buy the soundblaster Z. What sound card do you think works best with the 38 ohm ad700x specifically? Price is not much of an issue.
 
Also, I'm really not sure how to install a sound card in the first place (nor do I I know how to clean the drivers). Could you walk me through this too? (I have the z77-x ud3h motherboard in case it matters: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128544 )
 
May 16, 2015 at 3:22 PM Post #10 of 12

rrspamrr

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I see. In that case I don't think I'd like to buy the soundblaster Z. What sound card do you think is best suited for my 38 ohm ad700x specifically? Price is not really a problem.
 
And also, I'm not really sure how to install a sound card in the first place (nor do I know how to clean the drivers). Could you walk me through that too? (I have the GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H motherboard if it matters).
 
May 16, 2015 at 4:11 PM Post #11 of 12

TheGiantHogweed

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GIven it's low impedence, most people believe amping the ad 700x won't improve the sound much (if any at all). However, I haven't heard much about the improvements that could result from getting a DAC.Ii was hoping one of you (preferably someone who has tried these with an amp/DAC) could offer your thoughts on this subject.

Also, because I primary intend to use these phones for gaming, could someone explain wether or not it's possible to use CMSS 3d in conjunction with a amp or DAC (or both) and how to set up something like that?

Thanks a lot!

 
   
As your talking about CMSS-3D, I'm assuming your currently using a Creative Labs Titanium or Titanium-HD sound card (or other)?
Then get the FiiO E11K headphone amplifier ($60) and connect the sound card's line and/or headphone output jack, to the line-input on the E111K, and the AD700X to the E11K headphone jack.
The E11K less then 1-Ohm output impedance should be good for helping the 40-Ohm AD700X bring out it's best (like detail).


I own the AD700s which are just the older model of the X's. Sound quality hasn't changed much from what I have read. I use mine with the FiiO E10 now. I use the E11 quite often too. I assume the latest E10k and E11k will be improvements. 
 
When I used the E11 with these headphones, I used the FiiO D03K DAC and used the line out to my E11. That sounded good but strangely my E11 sounds even better in the line out of the E10 with my AD700s.
 
As the E10k is a headphone amplifier as well as a USB DAC, it does a good job of getting rid of the computer's crackling and clicking noises. (that is if the soundcard isn't a very good one though)
With my E10, when nothing is playing, there is no background hissing at all, even at full volume.
 
Either the E11k with a DAC or a good sound card or just the E10k alone should be good. The main thing I like about these amplifiers by FiiO is how well they go with these headphones. They lack a lot of bass and with my E11's bass boost on, it really makes them sound better a lot of the time.
 
Both of these are very easy to set up if you are not planning on putting a new sound card into your PC.
 
Feb 9, 2016 at 1:59 AM Post #12 of 12

Matt21x

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Bump.
What will be a worthy upgrade over the AD700X,e.g. something around the Beyerdynamic and AKG line up, and retain the suitable Amps and DACs that can be used with AD700X now and later be able to drive at least 250ohm headphones
 

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