Soundcard + External HPAmp
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BackBoneCrusher

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Hi guys, I'm just asking here if it's possible to get a soundcard (for the DAC part and surround things) with a good external amp

Thank you !
 
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tomb

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PurpleAngel

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Hi guys, I'm just asking here if it's possible to get a soundcard (for the DAC part and surround things) with a good external amp
Thank you !
Yes, I liked using (years ago) the Asus Xonar DX as a DAC and then connect an external headphone amplifier to it.
 
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PurpleAngel

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But could you still use the surround features of your soundcard ?
I could if i still used the Xonar DX sound card.
I had replaced my Xonar DX with the Essence STX and now use the Audio-GD NFB-11.28 DAC/amp.
Have no real need for the surround sound features of a sound card and PowerDVD takes care of headphone surround sound, while watching Blu-rays.
 
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BackBoneCrusher

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Nope, replaced Xonar DX with the Essence STX and now use the Audio-GD NFB-11.28 DAC/amp.
Have no real need for the surround sound features of a sound card and PowerDVD takes care of headphone surround sound, while watching Blu-rays.
Well I do need surroung for gaming. Is there a way to get surround with a DAC/Amp ?
 
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PurpleAngel

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Well I do need surroung for gaming. Is there a way to get surround with a DAC/Amp ?
If you get a DAC with a S/PDIF (optical or coaxial) input, you can connect the sound card (optical or coaxial) output to the input on the DAC.
Most sound cards can output the headphone surround sound out their S/PDIF port (jack).
An Asus Xonar DG/DGX sound card can send it's Dolby headphone surround sound out it's optical port.
A Sound blaster Z sound card (OEM is fine, used off eBay) can output it's SBX headphone surround sound thru it's output output port.

Most motherboard's can use Creative's Sound Blaster Cinema or X-Fi MB software ($30), which works with the motherboard's on-board audio processor (DSP chip).
Which i believe will send Creative's processed headphone surround sound out the motherboard's optical port.
 
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BackBoneCrusher

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If you get a DAC with a S/PDIF (optical or coaxial) input, you can connect the sound card (optical or coaxial) output to the input on the DAC.
Most sound cards can output the headphone surround sound out their S/PDIF port (jack).
An Asus Xonar DG/DGX sound card can send it's Dolby headphone surround sound out it's optical port.
A Sound blaster Z sound card (OEM is fine, used off eBay) can output it's SBX headphone surround sound thru it's output output port.

Most motherboard's can use Creative's Sound Blaster Cinema or X-Fi MB software ($30), which works with the motherboard's on-board audio processor (DSP chip).
Which i believe will send Creative's processed headphone surround sound out the motherboard's optical port.

It would not be very useful to me to buy a DAC with a soundcard. I think that the DAC in the soundcard is sufficient, my principal fear is that the amp part won't be good enough (by the fact that it will not get the best out of my futur headphones)
 
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CT007

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Well, the STX, at least, has tons of volume power and a decent DAC... What headphones are you using? And what soundcard are you looking at?
 
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Well, the STX, at least, has tons of volume power and a decent DAC... What headphones are you using? And what soundcard are you looking at?
I want to buy a AKG K702 or a K712 Pro if i can afford it or maybe a AD700X/900X but the lack of bass disgusts me a little bit or again a DT990 but the soundstage isn't as wide as the K702 or the AD700X (but it is better for music). Principaly for gaming usage

And a warmer headphone for music and movie only (maybe a HD6XX) but I still didn't make my choice

I'm looking at the Soundblaster AE-5 rn
 
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CT007

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I want to buy a AKG K702 or a K712 Pro if i can afford it or maybe a AD700X/900X but the lack of bass disgusts me a little bit or again a DT990 but the soundstage isn't as wide as the K702 or the AD700X (but it is better for music). Principaly for gaming usage

And a warmer headphone for music and movie only (maybe a HD6XX) but I still didn't make my choice

I'm looking at the Soundblaster AE-5 rn
With a soundcard like the STX(probably any of it's relatives, or competitors), you're pretty much covered with all those headphones, IMO. Adding surround features to an external DAC+amp is gonna be the tricky part(and cost a lot more money for equal sound quality), without a soundcard to feed it. Just grab a soundcard with an amp that has good reviews, and you should like it.

If you're a competitive FPS gamer, that lack of bass is critical :wink:
 
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BackBoneCrusher

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With a soundcard like the STX(probably any of it's relatives, or competitors), you're pretty much covered with all those headphones, IMO. Adding surround features to an external DAC+amp is gonna be the tricky part, without a soundcard to feed it. Just grab a soundcard with an amp that has good reviews, and you should like it.
Well I have another idea

I could use a Soundcard only for my gaming headphone, and I could use a DAC/AMP for my music headphone. But I don't know how to switch between these 2 "systems"
 
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CT007

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Well I have another idea

I could use a Soundcard only for my gaming headphone, and I could use a DAC/AMP for my music headphone. But I don't know how to switch between these 2 "systems"
That's exactly how I do it, and how I would recommend! Buy a soundcard for gaming(assuming you NEED surround features), then go balls-to-the-wall on external gear, and experience the sound quality difference. : )

If you're using a PC, all you would do is change your audio device, like here... In this list, from top to bottom
1) external DAC(USB)
2) random external USB soundcard I don't use(for my microphone)
3) soundcard
4) soundcard's optical output
5) external DAC & amp for my speakers
 
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