Is it worth getting the E07k/E17k over the Xonar DG?
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pyyy

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Hey guys, I'm fairly new here so apologies in advance if this is a silly question.
 
I recently bought myself my first pair of decent headphones (AKG K612) and was wondering if it was worth me upgrading my existing soundcard (xonar DG) into a desktop dac/amp.
 
I can't really spend too much money here, so I was looking towards the cheaper end of the scale at either the E07k or the E17k.
 
Any advice is much appreciated. 
 
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PurpleAngel

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Replace the Xonar DG with a Sound Blaster Z.
 
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pyyy

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Why would you say that the sound blaster Z beats an external amp/dac?
 
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PurpleAngel

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  Why would you say that the sound blaster Z beats an external amp/dac?
 
Using an external USB DAC/Amp like the E07K bypasses the build in or add-on sound card on a computer.
 
The FiiO E17 is fine for working with sound cards (optically), but is the more costly option.
 
As the SB-Z sells for $85, it's a good value.
 
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pyyy

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Hummm ok, thanks for the reply.
 
It seems that I can get them for roughly the same price.. So it all really comes down to which would sound better?
 
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Ok, sorry if this is another silly question, but could I buy something along the lines of the Schiit Modi, and use that for an external DAC, and use my xonar's amp?
 
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PurpleAngel

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  Hummm ok, thanks for the reply.
 
It seems that I can get them for roughly the same price.. So it all really comes down to which would sound better?
 
What price is the SB-Z and FiiO E17 in your area?
 
I would guess the FiiO E17 would be a better choice, over the SB-Z, for your current situation.
As you already have a Xonar DG to handle (Dolby) headphone surround sound.
The E17 can be connected optically to the DG :)
As the E17 is external from the computer case, it will not be effected by electrical noise inside the computer case.
The E17 can be used with more then just the Win PC (like Macs or modern  TVs), just about anything with a USB optical or coaxial output.
 
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PurpleAngel

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  Ok, sorry if this is another silly question, but could I buy something along the lines of the Schiit Modi, and use that for an external DAC, and use my Xonar's amp?
Nope, but I'll give you points for original thinking.
 
You could get a lower costing cmoy amplifier or a PAV2V (Pocket Amplifier 2 Version 2) off eBay.
Connect it's input to the Xonar DG and plug the headphones into the Cmoy or PA2V2.
 
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What price is the SB-Z and FiiO E17 in your area?
 
I would guess the FiiO E17 would be a better choice, over the SB-Z, for your current situation.
As you already have a Xonar DG to handle (Dolby) headphone surround sound.
The E17 can be connected optically to the DG :)
As the E17 is external from the computer case, it will not be effected by electrical noise inside the computer case.
The E17 can be used with more then just the Win PC (like Macs or modern  TVs), just about anything with a USB optical or coaxial output.
 
The price for the E17 is around 70, and the Sound blaster is 55.
 
I honestly don't get any kind of noise or anything from my DG, would it be a waste of money to go for me to go for something more?
  Nope, but I'll give you points for original thinking.
 
You could get a lower costing cmoy amplifier or a PAV2V (Pocket Amplifier 2 Version 2) off eBay.
Connect it's input to the Xonar DG and plug the headphones into the Cmoy or PA2V2.
Ah, somehow I didn't think so, but it was worth an ask :)
 
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Jim Wingnuts

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If you'd connect the E17, for example, to the analog input of the Xonar DG, you'd basically loop back the signal, but with one major difference:
The signal will be reconverted back to digital by the DG's ADC and you'd end up with a much poorer signal than you began with.
 
In terms of improvements, I've found the E10 (E17's precursor) a significant upgrade from the DG.
While I haven't heard the E17 myself, the general consensus seems to be it's a noticeable step up from the E10.
 
Personally I use a HiFimeDIY Sabre USB DAC 2 (with or without the BCL clone amp) to drive my K612 pro's.
The Sabre 2 is a simple and straight-to-the-point 70$ dac/amp. Compared to my Xonar DG the differences are pretty obvious to render the soundcard redundant for my music listening.
Even compared to the more upscale Xonar ST, which I've had briefly, I've found the DAC to be a more compelling option (sound quality is better and the cost is much lower).
 
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