My PC rig - perfection achieved for me
Nov 14, 2008 at 1:43 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2

taz

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 15, 2004
Posts
37
Likes
0
After aborting my attempts at trying to use my iPod as the source, I turned to using my PC. My PC has an HD sound chip on the motherboard and I decided to use the optical out on the motherboard to feed external devices. I was after a crushingly powerful sound - not in terms of volume, but in terms of authority. I wanted the ultimate level of detail with a warm tinge. I wanted a sound that could wash over you and reveal a big soundstage where individuals and instruments could be accurately placed.

This is what I ended up with:

1. iTunes on PC running Vista (64-bit) playing Apple Lossless music files (ripped from oriignal CDs).

2. Optical out from PC as source for Beresford TC-7510 MK6/4 DAC. The PC's optical out was set to 24-bit/96KHz and the PC was connected to the TC-7510 MK6/4 with a Fisual Pearl optical cable.

3. Beresford TC-7510 MK6/4 DAC used as source (fixed line-level) for Little Dot MKIII headphone amplifier. The connection was made using a stereo Profigold RCA interconnect cable.

4. Little Dot MKIII used as source for Sennheiser HD595 headphones.

The result? Quite stunning. Truly captivating. Even though the HD595s are easy to drive, the difference between plugging them into an iPod directly and plugging them into the LD MKIII is at least an order of magnitude in sound quality. There is a vast amount of difference in the authority of the music, the weight and the sheer musicality.

The Beresford TC-7510 MK6/4 is a remarkable DAC for the price. The LD MKIII warms up the sound very nicely and the effortless attack of notes takes your breath away. There are times when I listen to a track and have to look around the room even though the sound is in the track itself. The system sounds live and very natural. Vocals are so clear and natural that it seems like someone is singing into your ear!

The volume control on the LD MKIII isn't even at 20% if its capbility in order to produce a sound that is comfortably loud. That bodes well for a possible future headphone upgrade to headphones with a much higher impedance.

The sound exceeds my expectations by some margin. I imagine it could be bettered with an upgrade of the headphones but it's all that I need for now. The HD595s really shine with this system and never sound flustered. The sound is not fatiguing or harsh.

I've posted this in case anyone wants to start off on using their PC as the audio source for a fairly good headphones system. Both the Beresford TC-7510 MK6/4 and the Little Dot MKIII have preamp outputs so the system could easily be upgraded to a speaker-based system in the future with the addition of a power amp and a set of speakers. The TC-7510 MK6/4 also has the benefit of two optical digital inputs and two coax digital inputs. I have already plugged my Pure Evoke-3 DAB radio into the second optical input and audio quality has improved markedly, even considering the very low bitrates of DAB audio.
 
Nov 14, 2008 at 8:42 PM Post #2 of 2

FallenAngel

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Posts
9,627
Likes
72
Location
Toronto
Sorry to burst a few bubbles, apologies in advance.

Quote:

Originally Posted by taz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
1. iTunes on PC running Vista (64-bit) playing Apple Lossless music files (ripped from oriignal CDs).


Nice
wink.gif


Quote:

Originally Posted by taz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
2. Optical out from PC as source for Beresford TC-7510 MK6/4 DAC. The PC's optical out was set to 24-bit/96KHz and the PC was connected to the TC-7510 MK6/4 with a Fisual Pearl optical cable.


Onboard sound is almost never bit-perfect, resampling usually makes this worse. Optical is the most jitter prone format because because of the optical conversion.

Quote:

Originally Posted by taz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
3. Beresford TC-7510 MK6/4 DAC used as source (fixed line-level) for Little Dot MKIII headphone amplifier. The connection was made using a stereo Profigold RCA interconnect cable.


Never heard of IC and never heard the DAC so no comment.

Quote:

Originally Posted by taz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
4. Little Dot MKIII used as source for Sennheiser HD595 headphones


Never heard the combo, but sounds nice.

Quote:

Originally Posted by taz /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The result? Quite stunning. Truly captivating. Even though the HD595s are easy to drive, the difference between plugging them into an iPod directly and plugging them into the LD MKIII is at least an order of magnitude in sound quality. There is a vast amount of difference in the authority of the music, the weight and the sheer musicality.

The Beresford TC-7510 MK6/4 is a remarkable DAC for the price. The LD MKIII warms up the sound very nicely and the effortless attack of notes takes your breath away. There are times when I listen to a track and have to look around the room even though the sound is in the track itself. The system sounds live and very natural. Vocals are so clear and natural that it seems like someone is singing into your ear!

The volume control on the LD MKIII isn't even at 20% if its capbility in order to produce a sound that is comfortably loud. That bodes well for a possible future headphone upgrade to headphones with a much higher impedance.

The sound exceeds my expectations by some margin. I imagine it could be bettered with an upgrade of the headphones but it's all that I need for now. The HD595s really shine with this system and never sound flustered. The sound is not fatiguing or harsh.

I've posted this in case anyone wants to start off on using their PC as the audio source for a fairly good headphones system. Both the Beresford TC-7510 MK6/4 and the Little Dot MKIII have preamp outputs so the system could easily be upgraded to a speaker-based system in the future with the addition of a power amp and a set of speakers. The TC-7510 MK6/4 also has the benefit of two optical digital inputs and two coax digital inputs. I have already plugged my Pure Evoke-3 DAB radio into the second optical input and audio quality has improved markedly, even considering the very low bitrates of DAB audio.



Most importantly, if it sounds good, it is good.
wink.gif
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top