microstack -> hd580s
Feb 16, 2007 at 5:59 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

rhy

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*posted this last night in the computer as source forum without a reply. figured i'd try my luck here especially with all the 580 related posts i've seen here lately*


just came in today (the microstack). few questions to anyone that's used the combination in question:

what gain do you keep it on? i'm comfortable on medium without ever having to reach even the halfway point. any advantages to using high or low?

EQ? this really isn't important to me, i love what i'm hearing. still never EQ'd a pair of phones in my life and am somewhat interested. anyone have any foobar EQs that in your opinion sound better than default with what i'm working with?

i'm using a cardas mini to mini. anyone use another IC that changed the sound enough for the better to justify the price?

i am a little concerned as i hear a pop every now and then in my mp3s. it's not the quality or the rip, but the stack itself. person that sold it to me has told me that this can happen with a busy outlet setup, which mine definitely is. not sure how i'm going to rearrange yet as everything i have plugged in around me here is all pretty essential. anyone had this random popping problem before?

anything microstack related that isn't also hd580 related but just in general that you might like to add would also be good.
 
Feb 16, 2007 at 7:30 AM Post #2 of 14

justhavingfun

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I have Microstack and HD580 but mine never makes any popping noise. I usually set the gain at medium but low setting gives me plenty of volume as well. Try to isolate your Microstack completely alone with power supply (with only source and hp hooked up) and see if it still pops. If you can duplicate same popping noise, maybe you should give Headroom service department a call.

As far as IC is concern, my Cardas mini-mini is plenty good enough for my ears. I have tried some other more expensive cables but change in sound was negligible for my ears. Hope you find the solution to your popping noise problem.
 
Feb 16, 2007 at 12:29 PM Post #4 of 14

luckybaer

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I keep mine on the lowest possible gain that allows me to achieve my desired volume. In my case, this happens to be low gain. That is enough to drive all of the headphones I own.

The Cardas mini-to-mini works fine for me. I can't really see spending $75 on a 6" interconnect. I am not sure if I could even notice any improvement - therefore, my money stays in my pocket.

What kind of soundcard do you have? If it has some kind of digital out, I'd recommend getting a coax mini-to-mini from some place like bluejeancables.com. The cable I have only cost $35 USD or so, and I don't have to use my USB connection.

I actually run a USB connection to another PC (the one that has all my ripped music) and I just toggle back and forth depending on whether I'm listening to ripped music or my cds.
 
Feb 16, 2007 at 11:19 PM Post #5 of 14

rhy

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i just don't know how to go about isolating it. i've got 2 row of plugs, one in each individual outlet (only outlet near where i'm set up). i've got 9 things plugged in between the two outlet rows (don't know the proper name for these) and i need them all.

1 cpu
2 monitor
3 modem
4 vonage router
5 wireless router
6 external hd
7 comp speakers
8 micro amp
9 micro dac

busy but i'm sure there have to be others with busier.

yes i'm using the usb outlet of the dac. is there anyway i could use the "optical/coaxical digital input" to hook up to my pc instead? i don't even really know what it is.

also low gain for the most part gives me enough juice, i just have to crank it a lot more. i figured keeping it on medium and barely having to touch it would be better for it. what is the difference?

also what should the volume level be on my pc?
 
Feb 16, 2007 at 11:26 PM Post #6 of 14

rhy

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and regarding my soundcard, i don't think i even have one. i'm using a stock sony vaio VGC-RB30 for anyone that could maybe look it up as i've tried and am finding nothing about this particular model coming with a sound card at all. (and forgive my stupiditiy if all computers come with soundcards).
 
Feb 16, 2007 at 11:33 PM Post #7 of 14

justhavingfun

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My PC setup is on par with your setup as far as number of outlets are concern if not more but still I don't get any popping noise. If you can, try different usb cable. I usually set volume on my computer to max and control volume using Microamp. If you can get enough volume with low gain setting, you should use that setting. Theoretically low gain gives out less noise than higher setting, but I can only tell difference with certain headphones not all. As far as more power isolating, just plug the bare minimum for testing purpose such as CPU unit, monitor, and Microstack or use the long extension cord from another outlet or room to plug power bricks for Microstack away from your computer setup.
 
Feb 16, 2007 at 11:50 PM Post #8 of 14

MaloS

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Quote:

am a little concerned as i hear a pop every now and then in my mp3s. it's not the quality or the rip, but the stack itself. person that sold it to me has told me that this can happen with a busy outlet setup, which mine definitely is. not sure how i'm going to rearrange yet as everything i have plugged in around me here is all pretty essential. anyone had this random popping problem before?


Not the micro stack, but rather the lack of memory space given to your player for compressed to wav conversion. I'd suggest using foobar2000 and in the settings increase the buffer size to the minimal setting where the pop does not occur. Much easier then going to other methods of solving it.

EQ settings are completely up to you honestly. Listen and think what you want from the sound. I personally keep EQ flat in my setup, but if you feel like you are missing something, tinker with it to see if you can get the sound to be more pleasant for yourself.
 
Feb 17, 2007 at 2:19 AM Post #9 of 14

rhy

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i'm going to just go the extension cord route so i can get the stack out of the mess that it is my "powerlines", if that doesn't work, i'd like to try getting a new USB, anyone have any recommendations? i'm just using one i got with my old canon a400 camera.

and malos i doubt the buffer thing will do much good as i also got a pop watching some random youtube vid, but just because i'm open to anything at this point, do you mind telling me where i go exactly to change the buffer settings? i couldn't find it.
 
Feb 17, 2007 at 3:28 AM Post #10 of 14

MaloS

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File -> Preferences -> Playback -> Output -> Buffer Length.
Mine is 1000 ms, and this is with a Core 2 Duo proc.

Also..do you have USB 1.0 or 2.0? That could change things...Also keeping the DAC in the plug where there is less power hungry stuff will help. I keep mine on the same that my computer and screen are, but the computer is a laptop (low power drain), so the screen is the biggest drain. My amplifier sits on a separate plug.

Edit: Yes that does mean that you might need to have a 4 plugs in use for all your electronics rather than 2, thats ALOT of stuff...
 
Feb 17, 2007 at 4:42 AM Post #11 of 14

rhy

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so what exactly does the buffer option accomplish?

usb 1.0 or 2.0 i'm unsure of. anyway to check?

crowded outlet problem will be taken care of just as soon as i get out to buy an extension cord.

also still wanting to know about the gain. would having it on low gain with the volume maxed out still be better than having it on medium with the volume only turned up about 20%? maxed out volume knob doesn't hurt it any?
 
Feb 17, 2007 at 6:04 AM Post #12 of 14

MaloS

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Level of gain should depend on the headphones you are using, I think high gain is better with hd580 due to...well..high impedance. You are trying to drive a certain amount of current through them, and by increasing gain you are making it easier for the amp to drive current. Volume knob attenuates the signal for your listening pleasure, but having volume knob up by alot is not a plus most of the time.

Buffer size accomplishes very simple thing - how much the player pre-loads the track you are playing, at 1000ms implies about 1 second of the song is loaded into wav at any given moment in time. It helps because of the sequential nature of the computer, the more you have preloaded, the less your computer has to worry about loading music to playback in case of a busy process taking up half a second of the processor time, since the actual act of sending from memory to usb does not take any effort from the processor really.

To check for usb 2.0 you need to go do this:
1. right click My Computer
2. hit properties
3. hit Hardware tab, and under it Device Manager
4. Under there go to Universal Serial Bus controllers.
Here things can get interesting. Most likely it will just state if its USB or USB2, but you might have to check by the name of the model listed, just take the name and google it and see what you can find if its not listed just like that.
It more or less might be a royal mess what you will see under USB controllers depending on what you have plugged in, since everything running through USB is listed there, and if you are like me and have a laptop, some of your internal devices might be listed there too (I have bluetooth that runs through USB even though its internal).
Just be careful, it should be self-explanatory.
 
Feb 17, 2007 at 6:15 AM Post #13 of 14

rhy

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had my buffer set at 1000. put it to 100 but it would skip everytime i minimized/maximized the interface so i set it to 500 and so far so good.

i have 6 usb2.0 ports.
 
Feb 17, 2007 at 6:24 AM Post #14 of 14

MaloS

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Ya your USB is fine.
So if the 500 ms does not fix it, try increasing further, if the issue persists still, then its something else.
 

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