Just making sure I understand what I'm getting into
Mar 6, 2009 at 8:48 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

driftingbunnies

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So after reading the forums like nonstop for the past 5 days i'm not sure what to do anymore. my setup is

emu 0202 -> ld2+ -> dt990 pro

it seems pretty straight forward and everything but i'm confused what happens if i get a dac that does not have a usb receiver. if i get a dac like say the compass, does that mean my emu 0202 and ld2+ is basically useless? also, if there aren't any drivers for a dac, does that mean that the sound card actually processes the music and then goes optical out? or does the optical make it skip the sound card and into the dac?

i've noticed that most dac's only have one output. right now i have both the ld2+ and audioengine A2's connected to the emu so i'd like to keep my setup that way.

It would help a lot if anybody had any suggestions about which component to upgrade (dac, amp, cans). my budget is around 300 bucks Thanks
 
Mar 6, 2009 at 11:08 PM Post #3 of 14
I'd highly suggest a Xonar STX for ease of use. It's a better deal, with a few more features, don't let the price fool you.
 
Mar 6, 2009 at 11:11 PM Post #4 of 14
yeah the 0202 sounds much better. especially if i use the ASIO drivers. i can switch between my onboard and emu in foobar with my receiver hooked up to my onboard and the headphones and A2's with the emu. While the paradigm's are still more refined than A2's, my dt990's are on par if not better with the emu setup. So i'm guessing if i had something else feeding into the receiver, i should be able to get better sound that way too.

There's not really any room in my computer for the xonar. I'm using a shuttle so the only free slot is a pci which i'm using for a wireless card. I could easily take it out but for the most part i'd like to use an external so it wouldn't have to deal with all the noise from the computer
 
Mar 7, 2009 at 12:17 PM Post #5 of 14
Quote:

Originally Posted by driftingbunnies /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So after reading the forums like nonstop for the past 5 days i'm not sure what to do anymore. my setup is

emu 0202 -> ld2+ -> dt990 pro

it seems pretty straight forward and everything but i'm confused what happens if i get a dac that does not have a usb receiver. if i get a dac like say the compass, does that mean my emu 0202 and ld2+ is basically useless? also, if there aren't any drivers for a dac, does that mean that the sound card actually processes the music and then goes optical out? or does the optical make it skip the sound card and into the dac?

i've noticed that most dac's only have one output. right now i have both the ld2+ and audioengine A2's connected to the emu so i'd like to keep my setup that way.

It would help a lot if anybody had any suggestions about which component to upgrade (dac, amp, cans). my budget is around 300 bucks Thanks



misconceptions are fun, so lets try and clear this up for you

the D/A is not a headphone amplifier, is not a sound processor, is not something that needs drivers, is not even seen by the computer, it sits between the digital output from your source transport, and the analog input of whatever other device

if you get a USB D/A, that'd probably be a massive waste of money (because throwing away your 0202 makes perfectly logical sense, just because head-fi is scared of walking away from USB
tongue.gif
)

personally I'd hold off on a D/A, as it won't give you all that much, especially at $300 (there aren't many solid options, I can only think of two off hand), you might consider tube rolling or something along those lines, but I'd basically just save the money

the whole "get an Essence STX", why? the LD2 will likely drive those hp's better, not to mention its tubed, so thats a massive sound signature change, and the 0202 has a very good analog output stage, so why are we just suggesting trendy FOTM?
wink.gif


your second post has me somewhat concerned, as you're talking about quite a bit more equipment, so I'm really gonna need a bigger picture of what you do/don't own, in order to give any suggestions for hook-up

and yes, you'd be correct in assuming the E-MU 0202 is *not* a USB DAC (waits to get flamed.)
 
Mar 7, 2009 at 7:34 PM Post #6 of 14
You're right, it's much more than just a DAC but I have my 0404 functioning as just a DAC by using digital in instead of USB (can't do that with 0202 though). The way I have it implemented it is exactly the same as any other DAC. Only I can do more with it than most DACs if I choose. Win/Win for me.
 
Mar 7, 2009 at 7:38 PM Post #7 of 14
Quote:

Originally Posted by milkweg /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You're right, it's much more than just a DAC but I have my 0404 functioning as just a DAC by using digital in instead of USB (can't do that with 0202 though). The way I have it implemented it is exactly the same as any other DAC. Only I can do more with it than most DACs if I choose. Win/Win for me.


yes, the 0404 is one of a few external solutions that can run more or less full stand-alone, very nice feature, especially for the price of some of these things
 
Mar 7, 2009 at 7:52 PM Post #8 of 14
Yea, but getting it to sync to sampling rates can be a PITA because you have to turn the power off/on to get it to external sync properly. Not a problem if you just leave it at default but if you want to upsample in foobar for music and then play a game with it it loses sync. Also I have an issue in foobar and always have. Whenever I click for anew song to play the EMU quickly switches to internal sync and back to external sync very briefly. This causes a slight beep tone every time I do that. I have not noticed any other medei player cause that behavior.
 
Mar 7, 2009 at 8:13 PM Post #9 of 14
so i guess 300 bucks won't really get me anywhere compared to what i have? I was thinking of getting the compass everybody is hyping up and just be done with it all. it seems like a fairly good deal since it's able to be an amp and dac even though i feel like my other equipment will just be a waste.

i didn't mean to make it sound like i was gonna change everything. i was just wondering which component was my weakest link so i would upgrade that first. either the dac, amp, or cans.

so from my computer i have
emu 0202 -> ld2+ -> dt990
emu 0202 -> fostex t50rp through emu headphone amp
emu 0202 -> A2 through line out
onboard optical-> onkyo receiver -> paradigm titans

So as you can see my emu does a lot for music. i can use computer speakers if i want to or switch between headphones whenever. So if i were to get a dac, i'd have to get an optical splitter unless i get another dac that can go through usb.

i was planning on staying away from sound cards because of the lack of space in my shuttle.

thanks a lot for info. thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 
Mar 7, 2009 at 9:09 PM Post #10 of 14
DACs don't make that much difference really and there is a good chance you won't hear any difference if you bought a standalone DAC for $300.00. If I was you I would save your money and just enjoy what you have. If I was going to upgrade anything I would get another pair of headphones with a different sound signature. I have DT990pro too and the headphone I would get to complement them and not replace would probably be Sennheiser HD600 or HD650, depending on budget. I think that would give you more listening pleasure than a new DAC.
 
Mar 7, 2009 at 10:15 PM Post #11 of 14
Quote:

Originally Posted by milkweg /img/forum/go_quote.gif
DACs don't make that much difference really and there is a good chance you won't hear any difference if you bought a standalone DAC for $300.00. If I was you I would save your money and just enjoy what you have. If I was going to upgrade anything I would get another pair of headphones with a different sound signature. I have DT990pro too and the headphone I would get to complement them and not replace would probably be Sennheiser HD600 or HD650, depending on budget. I think that would give you more listening pleasure than a new DAC.


QFT


or get $300 of music
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Mar 7, 2009 at 11:52 PM Post #12 of 14
hmm...this might be a lil off topic but i feel like if i'm not getting a new dac and move more towards a set of cans...beyer manufaktur or darths? or what's a good price for the hd650's? like a used one
 

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