Need help with DAC and how to set it up for my sytem
Jun 23, 2012 at 1:13 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

zakazak

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Hi there,
 
I could really need some help to improve/finish my audio system.
 
Most of the music/movies comes from my notebook (here is my review + information of my system: http://forum.notebookreview.com/sager-clevo-reviews-owners-lounges/620694-malibal-satori-p170hm-120hz-3d-matte-i7-2760qm-3-5ghz-8gb-ram-gtx-560m-intel-510-ssd.html ). I also use it for gaming.
 
Connteced to this notebook:
(Headphones) connected via aux -> Sennheiser HD555 (modded to 595)
(Stereo system) connected via cinch -> Sony TA-F690ES (Sony Esprit Amplifier) -> Magnat Zero 8 (http://www.hifi-forum.de/bild/magnat-zero-8_132640.html)
 
Now I wonder, how will I use the DAC ? As I am from Europe I planned on buying the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD. How should I connect it to my notebook? Is Aux just fine or should I use SPID/F, USB or AUX? Also what settings should I use in Windows? Currently I use "24 bit, 192000 Hz" in the "Sound -> Speakers Prosperities -> Advanced" settings. If I use the DAC, should I decrease the "Default Format" ?
 
Thanks
 
Jun 23, 2012 at 6:33 PM Post #2 of 9

PurpleAngel

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Quote:
I could really need some help to improve/finish my audio system.
Most of the music/movies comes from my notebook (here is my review + information of my system: http://forum.notebookreview.com/sager-clevo-reviews-owners-lounges/620694-malibal-satori-p170hm-120hz-3d-matte-i7-2760qm-3-5ghz-8gb-ram-gtx-560m-intel-510-ssd.html ). I also use it for gaming.
Connteced to this notebook:
(Headphones) connected via aux -> Sennheiser HD555 (modded to 595)
(Stereo system) connected via cinch -> Sony TA-F690ES (Sony Esprit Amplifier) -> Magnat Zero 8 (http://www.hifi-forum.de/bild/magnat-zero-8_132640.html)
Now I wonder, how will I use the DAC ? As I am from Europe I planned on buying the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD. How should I connect it to my notebook? Is Aux just fine or should I use SPID/F, USB or AUX? Also what settings should I use in Windows? Currently I use "24 bit, 192000 Hz" in the "Sound -> Speakers Prosperities -> Advanced" settings. If I use the DAC, should I decrease the "Default Format" ?

So you adding a Creative Labs external Sound blaster X-Fi HD to the laptop  (the external X-Fi HD contains a DAC)
Are you using the word DAC to also describe the X-Fi HD?
I'm guessing the best way to hook up the X-Fi HD is with the optical S/PDIF from the laptop.
And install the Creative Labs software.
Set the laptops built in audio for S/PDIF output.
 
Jun 23, 2012 at 11:17 PM Post #3 of 9

zakazak

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Yes with DAC I meant the X-Fi HD.
 
Okay so I should connected it via SPID/F instead of USB. And what about the settings in Windows 7 ? Should I change the Speakers,SPID/F,HDMI Quality to the lowest as the DAC will do the converting anyway? Or should everything be at the highest settings?
 
For foobar it seems like I should use the WASAPI component.
 
 
Jun 24, 2012 at 1:14 AM Post #4 of 9

PurpleAngel

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Quote:
Yes with DAC I meant the X-Fi HD.
Okay so I should connected it via SPID/F instead of USB. And what about the settings in Windows 7 ? Should I change the Speakers,SPID/F,HDMI Quality to the lowest as the DAC will do the converting anyway? Or should everything be at the highest settings?
For foobar it seems like I should use the WASAPI component.

Might be you leave both S/PDIF and USB hooked up?
USB is 2-channel digital audio.
S/PDIF is up to 6-channels digital audio.
USB or S/PDIF output bypass the computers built in DAC.
Your on-board audio will be taking a back seat to the Creative Control Panel
Most changes should take place in the Creative Labs control panel.
The Creative Labs manual should be able to tell you what settings to use.
 
Jun 24, 2012 at 1:47 AM Post #5 of 9

zakazak

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Alright, well I just ask because some websites claim that USB is the better choice.
 
Hmm so there is no way to run this setup without another driver/application running in the backround (creative labs)? I thought THX Studio Pro would be enough (which already runs on my laptop as the speakers suppoer THX). Hmm I really wonder if Creative Labs will tell me what settings I should use in the Windows Control Panel. Guess I will just have to find out :wink:
 
Thank you a lot !
 
Maybe you can also help me with a little follow up question:
 
I also have a setup:
 
HTPC -> TV -> Stereo Amp. Now how should I connect those and where should I put the DAC ?
 
HTPC --HDMI--> TV --SPID/F--> DAC --Cinch--> Stereo Amp (in that case the Creative X-Fi HD won't work as it needs a driver/computer?)
 
Or should I use:
 
HTPC --HDMI (Video)--> TV
+
HTPC --SPID/F (Audio)--> Stereo Amp
 
Thanks
 
@edit: when talking about SPID/F then you mean connected via optical SPID/F ?
 
Jun 24, 2012 at 2:40 AM Post #6 of 9

PurpleAngel

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Quote:
Alright, well I just ask because some websites claim that USB is the better choice.
Hmm so there is no way to run this setup without another driver/application running in the backround (creative labs)? I thought THX Studio Pro would be enough (which already runs on my laptop as the speakers suppoer THX). Hmm I really wonder if Creative Labs will tell me what settings I should use in the Windows Control Panel. Guess I will just have to find out :wink:
Thank you a lot !
Maybe you can also help me with a little follow up question:
I also have a setup:
HTPC -> TV -> Stereo Amp. Now how should I connect those and where should I put the DAC ?
HTPC --HDMI--> TV --SPID/F--> DAC --Cinch--> Stereo Amp (in that case the Creative X-Fi HD won't work as it needs a driver/computer?)
Or should I use:
HTPC --HDMI (Video)--> TV
+
HTPC --SPID/F (Audio)--> Stereo Amp
 
@edit: when talking about SPID/F then you mean connected via optical SPID/F ?

A problem with Toslink optical digital is jitter, I guess electrical noise can affect the electrical digital to optical digital conversion.
Which USB does not have to deal with.
So, your adding a Creative Labs external audio device to a computer (laptop) that already uses Creative's THX Studio Pro software?
 
Is HTPC another name for your laptop?
 
I would go with this
The HTPC-HDMI-TV (video)
and HTPC-S/PDIF-Stereo Amp.
 
S/PDIF comes in two forms, Toslink optical and Coaxial.
optical is used more the coaxial (but coaxial seems to be better).
 
Jun 24, 2012 at 2:49 AM Post #7 of 9

zakazak

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So I should use USB after all as I only have the optical SPID/F ? ;P
 
uhm it is not the software from creative.. I think it is just called "THX Studio Pro".
 
HTPC = a little PC mainly for movie/TV/music playback. Alright I will try that out.
 
Thanks
 
Jun 24, 2012 at 4:57 AM Post #8 of 9

PurpleAngel

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So I should use USB after all as I only have the optical SPID/F ? ;P
uhm it is not the software from creative.. I think it is just called "THX Studio Pro".
HTPC = a little PC mainly for movie/TV/music playback. Alright I will try that out.

I would think using S/PDIF would be better for surround sound.
THX Studio Pro software is used on Creative's newer Recon3D cards.
 
Jun 24, 2012 at 5:03 AM Post #9 of 9

zakazak

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I dont use Surround sone. I only have a stereo system (2 speakers or a headphone). So USB > SPID/F in my case?
 
Oh.. well.. I guess I will just try it then without installing the Creative Labs Software and using the already installed THX studio pro software. I also thought about getting the Fiio E17 but no idea which device would be better.
 

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