Looking to improve my ad 700's
Jan 8, 2013 at 1:41 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

lilVaratep

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So I got the ad700's last month and I promised myself I would get at least a sound card for it.
 
Main uses of my headphones: fps games (battlefield 3), rts games, league of legends, and vocal chillout/vocal trance music.
 
I currently only have slots for PCIe on my motherboard (msi gd65 z77) http://www.msi.com/product/mb/Z77A-GD65.html
 
I was wondering what I should get in order to improve the quality of my phones.
 
My friend told me I should get something along the lines of
a surround sound card, amp, dac, and cable but those seems like it would become so expensive together. Any recommendations?
 
Jan 8, 2013 at 2:10 PM Post #2 of 17

PurpleAngel

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Quote:
So I got the ad700's last month and I promised myself I would get at least a sound card for it.
 
Main uses of my headphones: fps games (battlefield 3), rts games, league of legends, and vocal chillout/vocal trance music.
 
I currently only have slots for PCIe on my motherboard (msi gd65 z77) http://www.msi.com/product/mb/Z77A-GD65.html
 
I was wondering what I should get in order to improve the quality of my phones.
 
My friend told me I should get something along the lines of
a surround sound card, amp, dac, and cable but those seems like it would become so expensive together. Any recommendations?

Creative Labs X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) PCI-E sound card, used or refurb for $50.
Creative Labs Z series PCI-E sound card, $120
Asus Xonar DGX (PCI-E) sound card $42
 
Jan 8, 2013 at 2:30 PM Post #4 of 17

lilVaratep

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thinking about getting this one:
 
http://www.amazon.com/gp/cart/view-upsell.html?ie=UTF8&HUCT=1&newItems=C39E127IKV5LZB%2C1&nodeID=541966&storeID=pc
 
Is that the correct one you recommended?
 
Do you know if the microphone is good quality? Reason I'm interested in this one is because a review stated that it has a built in amp/dac as well as a microphone (microphone would probably be a big upgrade from my $5 headset mic).
 
Jan 8, 2013 at 2:38 PM Post #5 of 17

loki993

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Dont know what that is its not showing up. But its an amp? dac and a mic? I doubt a mic is an issue. If thats some desktop thing though either no one will be able to hear you or you will sound like your in the toilet all the time. 
 
I bet the Xonar DX would be a good upgrade its got an built in headphone amp too. 
 
If you want standalone to go with it there are Fiio E10s all over the place under 60 bucks right now. 
 
Jan 8, 2013 at 2:40 PM Post #6 of 17

PurpleAngel

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What about an amp or amp w/ built in dac? Are those necessary at all?

Your ATH-AD700 really do not need an amplifier.
Both the Sound Blaster Z series and Xonar DGX come with a built in DAC chip and headphone amplifier.
The Titanium (non-HD) come with a built in DAC chip, but does not have an amplifier, but can easily drive the ATH-AD700.
 
Jan 8, 2013 at 2:41 PM Post #7 of 17

lilVaratep

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Will go with the sound blaster Z series then, since it seems to be very user-friendly, has lights, and comes with a mic!!! =D. thanks man. hope it's a good buy and that I'm satisfied with it
 
Jan 8, 2013 at 2:47 PM Post #9 of 17

loki993

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IIRC there are custom drivers out there for sound blaster too that make them sound a bit better too. Don't worry about power with the AD700s though, Ive never driven mine with anything more them an old SB card myself. Usually just with onboard on a desktop or laptop and they're fine. They don't take much.
 
Jan 10, 2013 at 9:41 AM Post #12 of 17

loki993

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The sound blaster z is out for delivery =D. Getting here today woot!
 
also, where would i get these custom drivers?

 
 
Its been so long since Ive had a creative card, ill have to see if I can track the site down. 
Quote:
on a kind of side note, should I have surround sound enabled only when playing fps games, or does surround sound option help for music on foobar 2000 as well? using soundblaster drivers

 
 
Totally my personal opinion here so take it with a grain of salt and definitely try it both ways to see what you like. Id say games in surround and music in stereo. 
 
Jan 10, 2013 at 10:51 AM Post #13 of 17

PurpleAngel

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Quote:
On a kind of side note, should I have surround sound enabled only when playing fps games, or does surround sound option help for music on foobar 2000 as well? using soundblaster drivers

From my best understanding of the Sound Blaster Z, it's add-on CS4398 DAC chip only works with the front (right & left) channels.
And the center, sub and rear channels use the DAC feature built into the Soundcore3D audio processor.
So your best audio quality is only going to come from the 2 front channels.
 
Jan 10, 2013 at 2:49 PM Post #15 of 17

lilVaratep

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what about the crystalizer? is that any good? it makes audio louder, which in turn SEEMS higher quality but also read that it's not that great for high bitrate music. there's also a bass booster that i messed around with a little bit, but sounds weird on my ad 700's.
 
what format do you guys use for listening to? i'm trying to find FLAC, but i'm only finding 320kbps all over the place.
 

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