Bit perfect DAC/Amp?
Aug 2, 2008 at 11:54 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

Zorlac

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Hey guys,

I would like to buy my first headphone amp (non-portable). Not sure how much I want to spend yet, but I have a few requirements. This amp will be for a pair of Denon D2000 heaphones and I will be using optical out on my X-Fi Prelude sound card. The driver will be in audio creation bit perfect mode and I will be using Vista 64/Foobar2000/WASAPI plugin/wav files.

My requirements are this:

-Amp/DAC must be a good match for the D2000 and accept optical in.

-Would like to be able to swap OPAMPs without having to desolder/solder.

-And most importantly, I dont want the amp/DAC to mess with the signal at all. If I send it 44.1kHz/16bit audio, then I want it to play this exactly. If I send it 96kHz/24bit audio, then I want it to play this exactly. You get the point.

-I will be listening to game music (mainly MMOs) and metal/progressive CDs ripped to wav using EAC. So the DAC/OPAMP combo should complement this range of music if possible.

Are these requirements to strict for the world of headphone amps/DACs? Any recommendations?

Thanks all!
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Aug 3, 2008 at 9:54 PM Post #3 of 9

taso89

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Sounds like a Zero to me
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Aug 4, 2008 at 3:47 AM Post #5 of 9

Zorlac

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Assuming I go with a Zero and use it as a DAC and an AMP, then I have a few more questions:

1. Should I use the coax or the optical out on the Prelude?

2. Do I need to use Dolby Digital Live if I am just running in 2.0 mode?

3. Will I be missing out on gaming effects that come from OpenAL, OpenAL+EAX, X-RAM, etc.?



*** Also, are there any companies that make a stackable set where the AMP, DAC and Power Supply are all seperate? Im sure that would be insanely expensive...
 
Aug 4, 2008 at 3:50 AM Post #6 of 9

tpc41

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Zorlac /img/forum/go_quote.gif
*** Also, are there any companies that make a stackable set where the AMP, DAC and Power Supply are all seperate? Im sure that would be insanely expensive...


http://www.firestone-audio.com/
 
Aug 4, 2008 at 5:08 AM Post #7 of 9

taso89

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Zorlac:

1. Optical is preferred over coax. With optical there is pretty much zero chance of any kind of interference.

2. I'm quite sure you can't use anything other than clean PCM. The DAC would need a Dolby decoder to handle down-mixing the channels to stereo. I don't think there is a DAC that does this. Besides, Dolby Digital Live is 5.1 which you will not benefit from with stereo headphones. Virtualization of 3D positional sound should be done by the game or by EAX/OpenAL.

3. I haven't tried enabling EAX or OpenAL in any games, but I'm pretty sure that they will work.
 
Aug 4, 2008 at 5:57 AM Post #8 of 9

Zorlac

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Okay cool...final question (maybe):

The Denon AH-D2000 headphones run at 25Ohms ...will the Zero be a good match for this impedance? What does the Zero run at? (or does this depend on the OPAMP?)
 
Aug 4, 2008 at 6:11 AM Post #9 of 9

taso89

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There's quite a couple people around here with the Zero + D2000 combo, and I'm going to be joining them in a couple of weeks. I don't know if there's synergy to be said (you'd have to ask one of the people with this setup) but if you're asking whether the Zero can drive these headphones, then let me tell you that my MDR-V6's are 63ohm and I can't even go half up the volume knob without my ears falling off.

Again, I would PM one of the members with the Zero + D2000 as they would better advise you than I can.
 

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