Recent HD800 purchase; new to high-end audio, need suggestions for gaming/music
Jan 12, 2017 at 1:22 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2

term1nal

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Hello fellow audiophiles,
 
So, I just recently picked up a HD800 because my hands were itching for a newer set of cans. Now before everyone else tells me these aren't meant for PC gaming primarily or the type of music I'll be listening to on them, I totally understand that.
 
Being a gamer, my current setup consists of a Creative Sound Blaster Zx sound card. I used to have the HD598's open back that were driven by that card previously before the HD800's.
 
I stumbled upon this thread and downloaded the .flac files of Cowboy Junkies:
 
http://www.head-fi.org/t/644595/official-free-flac-file-music-sharing-thread
 
I disabled all that SBX studio crap, set it up for headphones, haven't messed with EQ settings except maybe switch it to the "rock" preset with that playing. I absolutely love the way it sounded and got me to even like Cowboy Junkies now! Haha. Now, I just want more and I know there's more to be had with these headphones to unleash their true potential with an external dac/amp.
 
I would say I'm going to be gaming the most, but I also love music as well. I mostly like EDM, house, electronica..those genres. From time to time though I do enjoy listening to Tool though and maybe some alternative rock.
 
Now that you know my wants and needs, my main question is, if I purchase an external DAC/AMP I know music will definitely become more alive, but will it sound worse for gaming? Considering all this virtualization and enabling all this 3D positional audio in my sound card's options can hinder the quality of sound of the HD800's.
I know there's tons of different types of setups of dacs and amps so it's a hard question to answer, but I guess I'm just looking for a ballpark answer.
 
Or..is it recommended I keep my Soundblaster Z, and buy an external amc/dac for it and run my headphones through that? I'm willing to sell my sound card if I know that an external dac/amp will be that much more superior even in gaming. I don't have the highest end sound card like the Soundblaster Zxr, or the ASUS Essence STX II, STRIX RAID DLX, etc..but I'd figure those still can't touch an external amp/dac and I should rather invest my money into those instead as it would be a waste to put money into an internal sound card with such an expensive set of cans.
 
If an external dac/amp is the route I am recommended, should I go for the schiit stack? (magni + modi), Valhalla 2 amp instead..or should I save up for the HDVD800 (I heard the DAC on this may not be the best) and use that for gaming/music and toss my sound card?
 
Suggestions, opinions, etc..thanks a bunch. :)
 
Jan 12, 2017 at 11:20 AM Post #2 of 2

term1nal

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Okay, so right now I'm definitely considering getting an external amp/dac and I'm in between justifying on spending on the Creative X7 LE version just for gaming (I've read though it may not be best for the HD800's because it's considered "bright" as well) or get a schiit modi 2/magni 2 for cheaper and use that for gaming/music.
 

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