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My Plans for my PC audio system

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by d34dj3d1, Jun 20, 2018.
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  1. d34dj3d1
    Just got a pair of Sennheiser HD 380 Pros and I'm also getting some Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pros

    This is also what I plan on doing for the rest of the system.

    External Sound Card: https://us.creative.com/.../sound-blaster-digital-music...

    DAC: Modi Multibit http://www.schiit.com/products/modi-2
    Headphone AMP: Magni 3 http://www.schiit.com/products/magni-3

    Integrated AMP: Onkyo A-9010 or the A-9050 https://www.amazon.com/.../B00S.../ref=twister_B0738YMW5S...

    In terms of speakers I haven't decided yet (as I mainly listen to music and game with cans) but I know once I do get some i'll either be getting a pair of Bookshelf speakers and a sub or a 5.1 setup.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
  3. d34dj3d1
    Why shouldn't I get the DT 770s Modi and Magni ?
  4. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Because there are better headphones then the DT770
    For the cash you would spend for the DT770/Modi/Magni, you could get Beyerdynamic T90 headphones and use the Onkyo's headphone jack to drive them.
  5. d34dj3d1
    I can't afford $600 for a pair of headphones and they're open backed I want closed backed.
  6. PurpleAngel Contributor
    I would then have suggested the (250-Ohm) Beyer T70 and to buy used ($250) off eBay, but currently not many people are selling their used T70.
  7. d34dj3d1
    The reviews on the T70's aren't very good from what I've seen, while the DT770s have somewhat better reviews. I don't know maybe i'll forego Beyer completely and just get a pair of Meze 99 Classics instead.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  8. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    You have a LOT of problems on how to connect all of those together.

    First off, where do you connect the A-9010? It has either analogue RCA input or digital SPDIF. The soundcard only has one SPDIF output which will go to the ModiMB, while the ModiMB has only one set of RCA analogue outputs, which is going to the Magni3. You'll either use the analogue output of the soundcard to feed an analogue signal to the A-9010, or use a Schiit Sys to split the ModiMB's output between the Magni3 and A-9010. Alternately if the A-9010's line output is fixed voltage you can hook up the ModiMB's output to an input on the A-9010, then hook up its line output to the Magni3.

    Problem from that point on is...how do you power the Center and Surrounds, and control the Subwoofer? You'll need an HT receiver for that, and that introduces a whole host of other problems. Like how many of the newer ones use HDMI since they're meant to be used with video players and consoles, but no line output save for Zone 2 (which in some cases do not work with digital inputs) for the headphone amp, and no SPDIF outputs either so you can't just integrate the Modi into the same chain, much less the soundcard as well, so no headphone virtual surround (if that was what you wanted the soundcard for).

    Either you'll have to spend waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more, or just decide to spend more on either the headphone chain (with the speaker just for gaming and movies) or the speaker chain (with the headphone as a back up with more compromises)

    1. Headphone bias : Get a soundcard with 5.1 analogue output and SPDIF output; connect SPDIF to DAC-HPamp, connect analogue outputs to multimedia speakers

    2. Speaker bias : If your motherboard can output audio via HDMI while using the soundcard for video via other connections (HDMI has some limitations that affects the refresh rate), use HDMI into an HT receiver then run a high impedance headphone from the HT receiver's headphone output or the motherboard

    If you can blow even more money and do both right:

    1. Soundcard with 5.1 analogue output and SPDIF output; 5.1 analogue output into Emotiva power amp driving speakers and active subwoofer, SPDIF to DAC-HPamp

    2. HDMI from motherboard to HT receiver, USB or SPDIF from motherboard to DAC-HPamp to drive a wider range of headphones
  9. music_man
    d34dj3d1 is 12 years old.
  10. Redcarmoose
    The Onkyo A-9010 is nice but is only a 2 channel amp. Also the upgrade Onkyo A-9050 is also simply a 2 channel amp. Your going to need to find a home theater 5.1 or 7.1 amp to listen to games that way.

    I own the A-9010 and it works for my purpose, only because it basicly decodes everything with it’s onboard DAC to 2 channel. Home theatre amps also excel by getting you a dedicated subwoofer output as well as decode many of the different surround sound audio codecs into 5.1 to 7.1 audio. Here nothing like that is happening. Though I will say it’s honestly rated for power output and gets super loud with speakers.

    But your basicly looking at a 2 channel set up here. It’s an entry level amp with a relatively good DAC and acceptable headphone amps . It doesn’t really do anything super special but acts as an all rounder for a simple 2 channel home theatre set up.

    Also your external soundcard only has a 2 channel output with it’s DAC. The optical may send more channels to a 5.1 toslink optical cable to an optical input of a home theater amp, but your making a 2 channel system here?

    I have no experience with the amp below:

    But this is the style of receiver you need to go surround sound with a gaming computer.

    Note that the amp shows having audio inputs of both optical toslink and an RCA toslink which can be used to bring your digital in from a sound card. I’m not totally up on the best computer soundcards for this but your listed sound card has an optical toslink output. Though one major difference is if you were ever considering using the home theatre amp as a heaphone amp, they are never that great. That’s the upgrade with the A-9010 is that it has a separate headphone amp section, which is most likely better than the headphone amp out of this 7.1 receiver?
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  11. d34dj3d1
    Actually i'm 39
  12. d34dj3d1
    This is why I post here, to get advice, so what your saying is I should just forgo getting the DAC and headphone amp altogether and just get something like the Onkyo TX-RZ810 ?

    That's just outside my budget I'm only looking to spend between $200-$400. and like I said i'm only going to be using this stuff for listening to music and gaming with headphones most of the time. I still haven't decided as to whether or not i'm even going to buy speakers.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  13. Redcarmoose
    Well for 2 channel audio the A-9010 is super nice.

  14. d34dj3d1
    Yea that one I can afford and it seems to be all I would need for listening to music and gaming with headphones right? The only reason I'm asking all this is i've been getting conflicting advice on what I should do. Some people are telling me I need an external sound card, some I need a DAC and AMP some a Integrated AMP. While some are saying none of those , some are saying all of them.

    I honestly don;t know what to do here.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
  15. Redcarmoose
    Like the review talks about the amp is giant so be prepared to deal with the size. Reviewer in the video suggests putting a monitor on top as the amp takes most of your desk space up in a traditional computer desk.

    But be advised even though the headphone amp is powerful the DAC section is nice but your going to be pretty able to beat the DAC and amp section for headphones. So your idea of another dedication headphone amp/DAC is the route I would stay on.

    Look at the Z review guy’s other equipment reviews or contact him on Reddit. The games I played were starting in 1996 with Quake and Hexen. I still played games like Unreal and Unreal Tournament up until 2003 but I’m not a gamer now and don’t really know the best route for gaming today.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
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