DAC to mobo sound card?
Oct 25, 2017 at 12:53 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

DAhn626

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Sorry, I have a really weird question:
Is it possible to route an external DAC to a PC and then have my IEMs connect to the motherboard headphone jack? From a wiring perspective, it doesn't make any sense in my head, but I'm not that smart, so...thought maybe one of you brilliant folks would be able to answer!


Basically, I'm trying to see if I can make use of a DAC in some way before I purchase an amplifier (waiting for the Crack to go on sale again before purchasing).

Thank you!
 
Oct 25, 2017 at 1:40 PM Post #2 of 12

cossix

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Sorry, I have a really weird question:
Is it possible to route an external DAC to a PC and then have my IEMs connect to the motherboard headphone jack? From a wiring perspective, it doesn't make any sense in my head, but I'm not that smart, so...thought maybe one of you brilliant folks would be able to answer!


Basically, I'm trying to see if I can make use of a DAC in some way before I purchase an amplifier (waiting for the Crack to go on sale again before purchasing).

Thank you!
Usually the sound card amp section isn't independent from the rest of the card, so using an external DAC probably won't work unfortunately
 
Oct 25, 2017 at 1:42 PM Post #3 of 12

Xelpud

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Unfortunately, you're out of luck on this one, barring some custom hardware that I'm not presently aware of. The only audio input port I've ever seen on a computer has been a line-in port on a sound card, but that just re-digitizes your music, rendering the entire exercise moot.
 
Oct 25, 2017 at 10:13 PM Post #5 of 12

PurpleAngel

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Sorry, I have a really weird question:
Is it possible to route an external DAC to a PC and then have my IEMs connect to the motherboard headphone jack? From a wiring perspective, it doesn't make any sense in my head, but I'm not that smart, so...thought maybe one of you brilliant folks would be able to answer!

Basically, I'm trying to see if I can make use of a DAC in some way before I purchase an amplifier (waiting for the Crack to go on sale again before purchasing).
Thank you!

So, we can assume you want to take the digital audio signal out of the PC, into the external DAC, maybe run the DAC's analog output to the line-input (mic jack) on the PC, then run the audio back out the PC's headphone jack.

Might be better to buy a FiiO A3 headphone amplifier ($60).

Why buy a Bottlehead Crack, for driving IEMs?
 
Oct 25, 2017 at 10:32 PM Post #6 of 12

DAhn626

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So, we can assume you want to take the digital audio signal out of the PC, into the external DAC, maybe run the DAC's analog output to the line-input (mic jack) on the PC, then run the audio back out the PC's headphone jack.

Might be better to buy a FiiO A3 headphone amplifier ($60).

Why buy a Bottlehead Crack, for driving IEMs?

Basically I ordered the hd6xx which won’t come until December and am holding off on the crack until it goes on sale since I have some time before I’ll actually need it. The DAC however, I may purchase early if a good deal comes my way and wanted to see if my iems could benefit from it as I wait the 6xx and crack.

So then a follow up question - could I hook up the schiit bifrost to 2 different Amps and have a switch of sorts to switch between amps? Since I know the bottlehead crack will destroy my iems (rated at 48ohm). Does something like that exist? Or again would I have to undo the chain and hook the bimby to the other amp?

Thank you for responding!
 
Oct 25, 2017 at 11:05 PM Post #7 of 12

ProtegeManiac

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Basically I ordered the hd6xx which won’t come until December and am holding off on the crack until it goes on sale since I have some time before I’ll actually need it. The DAC however, I may purchase early if a good deal comes my way...

I wouldn't do that unless you have, like, a speaker set up lying around to test the Modi with. You get it now and it's DOA or it's producing distortion, you won't know that it's actually DOA or otherwise broken until you get the Crack and HD6XX.


So then a follow up question - could I hook up the schiit bifrost to 2 different Amps and have a switch of sorts to switch between amps?...Does something like that exist? Or again would I have to undo the chain and hook the bimby to the other amp?

Schiit Sys


Since I know the bottlehead crack will destroy my iems (rated at 48ohm).

The Crack can not possibly destroy your IEMs, at least not the way you understand that it can.

First off, that 48ohm impedance isn't going to be a problem as far as the Crack's output power goes for two reasons.

1) The Crack is an Output Transformerless tube amplifier. This kind of amp design focuses on voltage output, not current, which is why it produces max output at 300ohms and even its 600ohm output is higher than what it can spit out at 32ohms (or even 48ohms). This is one reason why you rarely see anybody driving an AKG K7-- headphone with cheap tube amps.

2) Even if the output power is lower, the high sensitivity of the IEM will get it really loud for not a lot of power. Yes, you can easily put enough power into the IEM to play it loud enough to destroy the mechanical bits on the drivers by forcing them to move beyond their limits, or through heat build up, but barring putting the IEM on the table and cranking it up, your ears will cry for mercy long before you get to that point.

That said, the high output impedance and still probably high noise floor of an OTL amp on a high sensitivity, low impedance loads still makes it less than ideal to drive the IEMs. If you just want to test if the Crack for the most part works before the HD6XX arrives, no problem.
 
Oct 25, 2017 at 11:34 PM Post #8 of 12

DAhn626

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I wouldn't do that unless you have, like, a speaker set up lying around to test the Modi with. You get it now and it's DOA or it's producing distortion, you won't know that it's actually DOA or otherwise broken until you get the Crack and HD6XX.




Schiit Sys




The Crack can not possibly destroy your IEMs, at least not the way you understand that it can.

First off, that 48ohm impedance isn't going to be a problem as far as the Crack's output power goes for two reasons.

1) The Crack is an Output Transformerless tube amplifier. This kind of amp design focuses on voltage output, not current, which is why it produces max output at 300ohms and even its 600ohm output is higher than what it can spit out at 32ohms (or even 48ohms). This is one reason why you rarely see anybody driving an AKG K7-- headphone with cheap tube amps.

2) Even if the output power is lower, the high sensitivity of the IEM will get it really loud for not a lot of power. Yes, you can easily put enough power into the IEM to play it loud enough to destroy the mechanical bits on the drivers by forcing them to move beyond their limits, or through heat build up, but barring putting the IEM on the table and cranking it up, your ears will cry for mercy long before you get to that point.

That said, the high output impedance and still probably high noise floor of an OTL amp on a high sensitivity, low impedance loads still makes it less than ideal to drive the IEMs. If you just want to test if the Crack for the most part works before the HD6XX arrives, no problem.

This was extremely helpful! Thank you so much!!

As for the sys, my concern is if the chain goes pc > dac > amp > sys > HD 6xx(A) and iem(B), if I switch it and don’t change the volume in advance, couldn’t I blow out my drivers in my iem?

And if the chain goes pc > dac > sys > amp1(> crack) and amp2 (>iem), wouldn’t I have to get a separate amp?

Am I doing the mental chain wrong?
 
Oct 25, 2017 at 11:42 PM Post #9 of 12

Xelpud

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This was extremely helpful! Thank you so much!!

As for the sys, my concern is if the chain goes pc > dac > amp > sys > HD 6xx(A) and iem(B), if I switch it and don’t change the volume in advance, couldn’t I blow out my drivers in my iem?

And if the chain goes pc > dac > sys > amp1(> crack) and amp2 (>iem), wouldn’t I have to get a separate amp?

Am I doing the mental chain wrong?

Just a little off. The Sys takes the output from your DAC and splits it to either two different amps or an amp and a powered monitor. You're not gonna plug your headphones into the Sys, so the chain looks like PC > DAC > Sys > Amp > Headphones. Personally though, I really don't see the need for the Sys or a separate amp when you could just swap between whether your Senns or your IEMs were plugged into the Crack.
 
Oct 25, 2017 at 11:49 PM Post #10 of 12

DAhn626

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Just a little off. The Sys takes the output from your DAC and splits it to either two different amps or an amp and a powered monitor. You're not gonna plug your headphones into the Sys, so the chain looks like PC > DAC > Sys > Amp > Headphones. Personally though, I really don't see the need for the Sys or a separate amp when you could just swap between whether your Senns or your IEMs were plugged into the Crack.

And that would be the ideal situation in the event the crack doesn’t cause floor noise in the iems. But is there a way to switch between the senns and iems without having to unplug? Hence the question about the switch
 
Oct 26, 2017 at 12:06 AM Post #11 of 12

Xelpud

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And that would be the ideal situation in the event the crack doesn’t cause floor noise in the iems. But is there a way to switch between the senns and iems without having to unplug? Hence the question about the switch

The only such device I'm familiar with off the top of my head is something like an A/B/Y Stereo splitter, which while it might technically work, seems a bit much for your use case.
 
Oct 26, 2017 at 11:22 AM Post #12 of 12

ProtegeManiac

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As for the sys, my concern is if the chain goes pc > dac > amp > sys > HD 6xx(A) and iem(B), if I switch it and don’t change the volume in advance, couldn’t I blow out my drivers in my iem?

First off...you can't even hook it up that way. The amplifier will see the Sys as the load, so while the overall system volume adjusts when you move the knob on the amp or the Sys, this is at best kind of like an earphone that has a volume control from when those controls don't actually control the player they're plugged into (ie, pre-MiniDisc, pre-iOS/Android).

Second, you're more likely to blow your ears than the drivers. I'd worry about that a lot more.


And if the chain goes pc > dac > sys > amp1(> crack) and amp2 (>iem), wouldn’t I have to get a separate amp?

Well...yeah...because that's what I assume you wanted to do when you asked,
HF_quote01.jpg


And that would be the ideal situation in the event the crack doesn’t cause floor noise in the iems. But is there a way to switch between the senns and iems without having to unplug? Hence the question about the switch

Get a Violectric amplifier instead of a Crack or whatever.
violectric_v100_02.jpg
 
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