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Looking for a DAC, AMP, Soundcard and headphone combo.

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by elmertheone, Dec 24, 2012.
  1. ElmerTheOne
    Hi!
    I'm looking for a DAC, AMP, Soundcard and headphone combo. for under 600 USD.
    I play games frequently, and my headset is partially broken (a Razer one, bought it a couple of years ago in my defense).
    I also listen to a lot of music, some rock, but mostly electronic music.
    What combination would you recommend me? Portability is not a huge issue.
    Also do I need any special cables?
     
    If this is the wrong sub-forum, I'm really sorry.
     
  2. euterpe
    Wow im at the exact same situation as you are: I play games a lot, listen to same music genres, and same budget
    I have 600$ as well and decided to buy Q701 and Titanium HD (did three straight days of reading and researching)
    for amp its either O2(Objective 2) or Schiit Magni
    The 600$ - 250$(Q701) - 100$(Ti-HD) = 250$ leftover for AMP
    and I dont think DAC can go thru the sound card and DAC on Ti-HD is pretty good(according to different forums and users)
    so I tossed the DAC...
    For amp (its a must for Q701), I haven't decided but Schiit Magni came out this month and someone with both setup (O2 and Magni)
    said they perform very close to each other but Schiit is cheaper, and a bit newer.
    For the reason behind Ti-HD: the direct competitor to Ti-HD is Essence STX but I see a lot of forums and users saying 
    that Ti-HD supports more of gaming side while the audio quality is very close with STX (more or less better than each other)
    The Q701, its a balance to entertainments (i.e. Music and Games)
    referring to Lust's thread(very helpful) Q701 are quite excellent for its price
       http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-updated-12-24-12-external-amp-section-added-w-3-amps
    and the explanations behind all the PC audio systems done by Nameless's Thread (he supports X-Fi's software and it's technology
    a lot) Nameless gives a lot of points to know to setup the pc audio system
       http://www.head-fi.org/t/593050/the-nameless-guide-to-pc-gaming-audio-with-binaural-headphone-surround-sound

    It is quite surprising that there is someone else that is in same exact situation as me (Im a newbie to audio)
    I credit all of this to PurpleAngel, I constantly PM'd with him regarding PC setup. He answered a lot of my questions
    in the most simple and easy to understand.
     
  3. rezel
    Quote:

     
    I'm not sure if I'd recommend a Q701/K701 for electronic music... they are known for their anemic mid-bass presence, which means no 'slam impact' to your bass.

     
    Quote:
     
    Well your request is multi-faceted so it wouldn't fit in any one sub-forum.
     
    Anyway, if you're purchasing a DAC, you won't be needing a soundcard as they are the same thing. 
    For primarily EDM music listening, I'd recommend this setup.
     
    Headphones: Ultrasone Pro 900 ~ $370
    Amp: Schiit Magni ~ $100
    DAC: Schiit Modi ~ $100
     
    Oh and don't worry about special cables anytime soon. 
     
    Merry Christmas~!
     
  4. euterpe
    Quote:
    Infinite x Agreed on what he said
    but its completely up to the user.. for me I like being able to control my sound (sound card) using X-Fi and get surround sound by CMSS-3D
    and not too sure on eQualizer settings for DAC, but being able to set up my personal equalizer setting.
    I play AVA and a lot of competitive players use eQualizer settings to make footsteps louder and other noises quieter
    I mean its an opinion, and what he said about Q701s are right but when I tried my friend's K701's they werent that bad
    well at least they were better than my PC350s with Titanium Fatal1ty combo...
    so assuming and putting things together: 
       - Most Quality Sounds (Music, Movies)
           Headphones > Amp > DAC
       - Balanced or being able to manipulate your sound (Game, Music, Movies)
           Headphones > Amp > Soundcard
    ------------------
    Edit: I read more reviews and If you are going towards DAC... then do the Schiit Stack (Magni and Modi)
    If not and want to go toward sound card.... Schiit Magni Amp and Titanium HD
    Headphones are user's own choice, but my opinion on Q701 is firm. Lust's thread on headphones actually made me feel
    confident on getting Q701s
     
  5. loafimus
    I was in the same spot as you guys and made my decision after obsessing on these forums for a month or so.  I went with the Titanium HD --> Schiit Magni --> HD598 and I couldn't be happier.  The Magni pairs very well so far with the Titanium HD and really widened the soundstage on the HD598's.
     
    Coming from a Fiio E10 with HD555's, it was a huge improvement in both music and games.
     

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