Is This Setup Valid?? CPU Coaxial -> Zero -> DT-770s
Oct 30, 2008 at 1:48 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

Lenny_d

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Alright, so i just bought a pair of DT-770s (250ohm) and need a headphone amp and DAC to couple with it; I'm not looking to spend more than $200 on the amp and DAC combined. As such after reading reviews here and other places, it would seem like the upgraded Zero DAC/HeadAmp from eBay is my best bet.

This will cover my need for an amp to push the cans and also a DAC so that I can sell my SB Xi-Fi Xtreme Gamer card (since the card has no optical or coaxial out, it's basically useless to me right?). In its place I will be using the on-board coaxial out from my motherboard (ASUS P5Q Pro w/ Realtek ALC1200 audio chip set) since it does not have an optical out.

1) Am I correct in my assumption that since I am using the coaxial out from my motherboard into the DAC there will be little to no noise from the computer?

2) Would using the free "USB adapter" shown in the eBay auction be a better choice then using the motherboards coaxial out in terms of sound quality?

3) Are there any other setups for around $200 you guys might recommend that would be better than the setup I have mentioned?? I want to sell my xtreme gamer card, so any alternate setup will have to take that into account.


I'm new to this whole scene so any and all advice you guys can give me is much appreciated. Thanks in advance - I have total faith that the head-fi community will see me through!
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 3:51 AM Post #5 of 14

Planar_head

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Quote:

Originally Posted by glitch39 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
use coaxial. it's 0's and 1's.


So ASIO doens't matter? So the onboard sound doesn't have interference going through the cable and reaching the business end of the DAC?

Quote:

Originally Posted by glitch39 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
so soundcard conversion section is bypassed.


He doesn't have a Audigy.

Lenny_d, which one do you have? this one or this one? Both do have optical out with the right adapter, something like this, plugged into the flexijack out from the soundcard, with a regular optical cable from that.

Quote:

Originally Posted by glitch39 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
usb limits you to 44.1khz.


Where did anything say that? Besides, unless you are playing digitalized vinyl, tracks from Linn Records, or upsampling, then you don't need to worry about having a 44.1khz limit.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 5:35 AM Post #6 of 14

Lenny_d

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Planar_head;4924759 said:
Lenny_d, which one do you have? this one or this one? Both do have optical out with the right adapter, something like this, plugged into the flexijack out from the soundcard, with a regular optical cable from that.
QUOTE]

I have the latter of the two - the normal Xi-Fi Xtreme Gamer. I've never seen one of those adapters - would you recommend using that with the xtreme gamer card instead of selling it and using the USB adapter in the auction or coaxial out from the motherboard?

Also, I'm concerned about the Zero's headphone amp being able to supply enough power to allow me to fully enjoy these 250ohm cans - is this a valid concern?

Is the amp/DAC setup I have listed about the best I'm going to get for $200?
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 6:38 AM Post #7 of 14

Planar_head

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I can't say whether or not that the DAC and its amps is gonna be the best, but I'm sure it's gonna be far better than audio from a MP3 player or audio from the motherboard.

Don't forget, unless you hear better, than to your ears its good. You can hear the flews, but they're not glaring like they used to be. I enjoy my Grados straight out of the soundcard, and I thought that was good until... I heard something wayyy better. Just don't go looking for better until you're ready and your wallet will thank you for it.
normal_smile .gif


I'd suggest using the soundcard so you can use ASIO, primarily. With ASIO from foobar2000, you can get some good clean digital, free from any changes to the audio on its way out from the PC. Optical is light -- because of that, there is no electrical interference between the computer and the DAC. The only downside to optical is that it doens't like sharp bends, so if you're using it in a tight space, its best not to use optical and go with USB.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 4:03 PM Post #8 of 14

rms

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Hey Lenny - welcome to Head Fi. I'm fairly new here to but have gotten tons of great advice and learned a lot. I think you should do a comparison of all your available devices when you get the Zero, or whatever you end up with, and let us know what you think. It's fun and helps the community.

I say that because I have compared my output devices extensively and here is what I found: I have an RME 9652 card, the ASUS P5Q Deluxe mobo, and EMU 0404 usb. I use Foobar 0.8.3 playing flac to a AVA Omegastar DAC to a passive attenuator, Hafler DH500, and SP Tech Continuum Monitors.

The RME sounds the best - crystal clear, great soundstage, etc. But at $700 new it should. The ASUS P5Q actually sounds excellent too. The 0404 usb is very good but there is some distortion, barely audible but noticeable particularly in comparison to the RME.

I am not an engineer so I can't explain anything in technical terms, I only know what sounds good to me.

Good luck with you quest!
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 4:47 PM Post #9 of 14

Gollie

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To minimize noise and get the best sound quality possible, you should get an Auzentech Prelude and use the SPDIF output in the back to connect via coax to the DAC/Amp.

Going through your MB is nothing but trouble. A dedicated soundcard is the only way to go and the Prelude is one of the best.
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 5:41 PM Post #10 of 14

rms

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The spdif out on the ASUS P5Q Deluxe actually really surprised me since usually onboard sound is pretty bad. It's nowhere near as good as the RME but it is pretty comparable to the EMU 0404. I think if you get the Zero you should compare the included USB device to the s/pdif out from the ASUS and see which you like better. The onboard sound has some definite limitations but USB does not seem to be perfect either. I agree with gollie that a high end soundcard will get you the best digital signal but that requires some money. You may find that either the ASUS s/pdif or the Zero with usb gives you a very satisfactory result until you again get upgradeitis.
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 9:37 PM Post #11 of 14

Lenny_d

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thanks guys.

Anyone else have a response? I've received my DT-770s and they definitely don't have the bass that everyone is so fond of - at least not when hooked directly up to my Xi-Fi Gamer, even with equalization. Am I correct in my assumption that I need to amp these 250ohm cans?

I'm thinking about bring in my Sony receiver (its like 6-7 years old, 5.1 575watt system, but has optial/coaxial inputs) and using it to amp the phones for now -from a sound quality standpoint is this a valid option?
 
Nov 1, 2008 at 11:11 PM Post #12 of 14

AlexinExile

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I am in the same situation, I just got my DT770/250 and Zero DAC in the mail. The Zero is hooked up to my Macbook via optical digital cable with a Mini Adapter. The sound result is good, but the bass is definitely not what I expected. I was debating between the a900, dt770/250, and k271. I am thinking I will get a Corda Arietta in a couple months.
 
Nov 2, 2008 at 2:09 AM Post #13 of 14

b0dhi

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Lenny_d /img/forum/go_quote.gif
thanks guys.

Anyone else have a response? I've received my DT-770s and they definitely don't have the bass that everyone is so fond of - at least not when hooked directly up to my Xi-Fi Gamer, even with equalization. Am I correct in my assumption that I need to amp these 250ohm cans?

I'm thinking about bring in my Sony receiver (its like 6-7 years old, 5.1 575watt system, but has optial/coaxial inputs) and using it to amp the phones for now -from a sound quality standpoint is this a valid option?



You have to remember that a lot of the people calling the DT-770 a bass monster are the same people that will ask you to turn down the bass knob if you played them Classical music through a tweeter.

If you plug your DT-770s into your receiver's headphone output you should (depending on the receiver) get an idea of what the bass will sound like when driven by a powerful amp. Note that you might get some treble roll-off through the receiver that you wont get through a proper headphone amp.
 

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