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Sound BlasterX AE-5 to Schiit Vali 2

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by Bruc3, May 27, 2018.
  1. Bruc3
    Hi guys,

    I want to use my Sound BlasterX AE-5 with a Schiit Vali 2 amp.

    I will be driving a Beyerdynamic T90 headphone.

    As the AE-5 does not have a line out, it means I will have to connect the Vali 2 to either the Stereo out port or Headphone out port.

    I assume both of these ports will mean double amping?

    Also if someone has had actual real life experience comparing running an amp from a line out vs from stereo/headphone out and if they could really tell a difference?

    As I really prefer to keep using the BlasterX AE-5 dac as its really good enough for me and don't like to have so many devices on my desk.

    NOTE: your experience can be with different sound card e.g. Sound Blaster Z etc. as it is still relevant.
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The Sound BlasterX AE-5 does come with a line-output jack you can use, it's the Front Speaker jack.
    Just set the AE-5 to "Speaker" & "2.0 channel" output.
  3. Bruc3
    Thanks PurpleAngel, I will do that.
  4. PurpleAngel Contributor
    I'm fairly sure the AE-5 can not output the SBX Headphone surround sound thru the Front Speaker jack.
    So hopefully you ok just having stereo audio.
  5. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Power output of the AE-5 isn't that far behind the Vali2's at 32ohms, and it has a low output impedance. The latter won't matter too much for high impedance loads but either way I'm not too sure about how much of a difference the Vali2 will improve over the AE-5.

    The stereo out port is a line level output port. it's only affected by the digital volume control on some soundcards but if you keep OS volume at 100% then it should put out a fixed voltage output roughly around 2V.

    My old MSI motherboard has crappy sound of both but the headphone amp output into an amp has audible noise and sounds even more "hollow" in the percussions than the line level output.

    Looking at the specs it's got a fairly decent amp with decent power output and acceptable noise and distortion levels, without the main problem of every soundcard that came before it, as it now has low output impedance. Might as well save the $170 for the Vali2 for now.

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