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need recommendations for different scenarios

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by cagriyil, Nov 6, 2018.
  1. cagriyil
    Hi all,
    firstly, I posted this topic to computer audio because my source will be a pc.
    my main goal is to listen high-quality music. I listen different types of music except hardrock-metal. I will also play games occasionally
    I'm planning to use a headphone and stereo speakers.
    for now, I have sennheiser hd598. Moreover, I will probably get headphones which are harder to drive.
    I want to get a new speaker and I need some advice what should I prefer ( amp, dac, sound card or combination of these )
    I have really limited information...
    I'm open to second-hand products. my budget is around 900 USD
    Thanks!
     
  2. ZMG885
    I'll just offer this: I feel your going to get better SQ from an outboard setup over a sound card, yet there are advantages to having a sound card for games AND the sound card can feed an outboard DAC via an Optical digital connections that bypasses USB issues. Here's a minimal setup using leaving about 320 for headphones or upgrades. The Schiit stack gives you an excellent DAC and a headphone amp/ pre-amp for speakers, and has enough power for hard-to-drive cans. I like the Audioengine A5+ speakers they deliver good sound for the buck, and are also aesthetically pleasing. I bypass the built-in DAC (the Modi is far better), and don't use wireless features but they're available. Another alternative are the JBL LSR305 MkIIs. BTW, I mention a lot of Schiit products as I think they bring the best bang for the buck. There are other great sounding alternatives, and perhaps other posters have experience and can recommend some. Here are some possible scenarios in your budget.

    Base level setup ($518 to 578) happy here, add other headphones:

    Sound card: (unless your PC already has something different) Creative Audigy 7.1 RX or Equiv. ~$60
    Outboard DAC: Schiit Modi $99.
    Outboard Amp/pre-amp: Schiit Magni 3 $99
    Speakers: JBL LSR305 - often recommended on Head-fi $260 or Audioengine A5+ $320 refurbed.

    Up level headphone experience ($820 to $880). Upgrade the DAC & AMP:
    Sound card: (unless your PC already has something different) Creative Audigy 7.1 RX or Equiv. ~$60
    Outboard DAC: Schiit Modi Multibit $250. This DAC punches way above it's price level (and the one I use on my desktop)
    Outboard Amp/pre-amp: Schiit Asgard 2. Gets you Class A goodness for $250.
    Speakers: JBL LSR305 - often recommended on Head-fi $260 or Audioengine A5+ $320 refurbed.

    Base headphone amp/DAC OK, want fuller speaker sound. Add sub ($817 to $877):
    Sound card: (unless your PC already has something different) Creative Audigy 7.1 RX or Equiv. ~$60
    Outboard DAC: Schiit Modi $99.
    Outboard Amp/pre-amp: Schiit Magni 3 $99
    Speakers: JBL LSR305 - often recommended on Head-fi $260 or Audioengine A5+ $320 refurbed.
    Add a sub: many options in the $200-350 range. Audioengine S8 $299 refurbed.

    There are lots of options, but I've narrowed the choices down to something that will sound really good. Yes, there is always something better, but with these rigs, you can move on to finding better and or different headphones and this system will support that. As far as speakers upgrades, I think you have to really jump in price and gear to best the A5+ or LSR305 mkII to get a dramatic upgrade which is what I look for when moving up the line. You are talking double or triple the speaker budget and perhaps add passive speakers with amp, and or pro-level audio monitors.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  3. cagriyil
    Thanks for detailed recommendations and I apologise for my late reply..
    I'm open to any other recommendations, I can increase my budget to $1000.
    Please write another brand because it is hard to find schiit products for me in Turkey..
     
  4. cagriyil
    If I increase my budget to $1000, which passive speakers + amp can you suggest? ( at the same time, headphone amp and dac could be schiit modi + magni = 200$, soundcard = 60$ so I have 740-750 $ budget for this combo )
     
  5. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Monoprice 5" studio monitors, $170.
    https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=605500
    Audio-GD DAC-amp NFB-11.28 or NFB R2R-11, about $400 (total) shipped to your door.
    http://www.audio-gd.com/Products-EN.htm
     
  6. PurpleAngel Contributor
    What brands of studio monitors do you have access to?
    Maybe JBL LSR305 studio monitors?

    With a $1000 budget, you could get the Monoprice/Audio-GD setup.
    And it would leave you with around $350, for new headphones.
     
  7. cagriyil
    I can get jbl lsr305, lsr 308, audio-engine a2+ and a5+, Microlab solo 9c.
    I guess audio-engine a5+ is the best one to pick but it is over my budget and lsr 308 is too...
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  8. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The Audioengine A5+ is not a serious studio monitor, it more for the average consumer who is more impressed by easy of use features.
    Go for the JBL LSR305.
     
    PleasantSounds likes this.
  9. cagriyil
    Thanks! Then what is the difference between the old and new model for lsr305?
    On amazon, I found for $ 178 for old model and $129 for the new one. On JBL's website, it says $ 149. However, @ZMG885 wrote that these are $260 so I'm a bit confused... Is the price just for single monitor
    Lastly, should I get a kable etc to connect this monitors to creative zxr soundcard?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  10. PurpleAngel Contributor
    To connect the SB-ZxR to the LSR305, you would need a RCA plug to 1/4" TS plug cable (two cables)
    I guess the newer 305P is better
    https://musikpak.com/jbl-305p-mkii-vs-lsr305-series-powered-studio-monitor-review/
    Guess prices are $130-$150 for each unit or $260 for the pair.
     
  11. cagriyil
  12. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The A5+ comes with RCA input and 3.5mm input jacks, so it would be a different cable, then one that comes with 1/4" plugs.
    With the SB-ZxR, you already have a good DAC function, which should be better then the DAC function built into the A5+.
     

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