Can a Xonar Essence STX ruin my Denon D2000's at the "high" gain setting?
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Spandy87

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Basically, the Denon D2000's are a low impedance headphone, but I'm wondering if increasing the power to the middle setting (+12db, 64-300ohms) would cause damage to the headphone. Or does it just make it really loud?
 
It still seems like the sound is being ever so slightly clipped when being pushed at the low setting.
 
Thoughts?
 
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maverickronin

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The D2000s are rated for more power than your card should be able to put out so I'd be very surprised if you managed to damage them.  Even if you did damage the drivers you'd damage your ear first.
 
In short, its nothing to worry about.
 
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mikeaj

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That said, if they're somehow distorting from being current limited at very high volumes (I couldn't imagine running out of voltage for a card like that, for the AH-D2000), increasing the gain shouldn't help with that.  I guess it doesn't hurt to try, in case it was something else that was the issue.
 
Are you sure it's the sound card at fault?
 
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Spandy87

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Well I only suspect it's because of this setting due to the fact that I can actually SEE it on the frequency meter that it's being cut off when there's a louder/stronger section of the song.
 
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mikeaj

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Quote:
Well I only suspect it's because of this setting due to the fact that I can actually SEE it on the frequency meter that it's being cut off when there's a louder/stronger section of the song.

Which frequency meter where?  What's being cut off?  Do you have any equalizer or DSP settings enabled?
 
If you're talking about software (please excuse me if you aren't), then that's looking at the bits before they're even sent to the DAC on the sound card.  Are you sure it's not just the music file?  The gain setting sets something different in the hardware...I think...so it shouldn't have an effect on any digital clipping you see.  Or are you talking about some oscilloscope or audio analyzer hooked up to the output of the sound card?
 
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Spandy87

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Haha much simpler, in Windows, on the volume tab, you can actually see a grey bar. I used to have 250 ohm headphones, and on the low gain setting, the bar was much different from what the volume actually was. When I cranked the volume up loud enough to be enjoyable, the grey bar was maxing out, and I would hear clipping when that happened. As soon as I turned the gain to 300, the disparity was much lower, and I didn't have to turn the volume up as high to get the good sounds I wanted, and subsequently, no maxing out, and no clipping.
 
The way it is now with these Denon's, there isn't really clipping so much as I can see it almost maxing out, and then occasionally hitting the very top. I have to really be watching for it and listening for a clip to be able to tell that there is one, but its there ever so slightly. If I don't turn the volume up as high, it's not there at all. So I want to turn the gain up and turn the volume down, so I don't get it at all, but can still listen at a good volume.
 
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