Upgrading audio gear for HD-600
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TimS

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Hello !

I listen to a broad range of music as well as I do watch movies and TV with my headphones on, and I also play games with them, so I really need a very verstile setup.

After using the HD-570 for quite some time, I decided to upgrade to the HD-600s. I just couldn't resist buying them for just 180€

Sooo, I guess now I'm also forced to upgrade the rest of my audio equipment, which consists only out of a crappy SbLive! value card so far. My first buy is probably an Audigy. I guess I'll go for the player model since the more expensive ones doesn't seem to have a headphone amp or anything else of use to me.

From what I've heard headphones of this class basically need a headphone amp to make any sense. Since I'm totally clueless about such devices, what would be a good stationary amp for little money ?

What do you audiophile experts think of an Audigy + Headphone Amp + HD-600 combo ? Any suggestions ?

Thanks for your time !
Tim
 
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andrzejpw

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Well, an audigy would be ok. . . I'm still not a fan of using your computer as a source though. I think you would be served better by a cd player. On the other hand, if your budget is a big factor. . .

If you really want a soundcard, I would look at the more audiophile-oriented cards, suchs as the 24/96. Creative is still on my black list. . . I won't forget the problems I've had with live cards. . .

Anyway, as for a headphone amp, you'll get millions of opinions. Personally, I'd say to go for a meta42, which will be a bit more totable than some other amps. Contact JMT, tangent, or eric343.
 
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mercid

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Hi,

I am a new member to this forum and dont really know squat about audio... but im learning
What I do know is computers, and the Audigy is no better then the live card. Creative touts their '24 bit' card like mad but what they fail to tell is that the card downsamples to 16 bit in the emuk core of the Audigy then upsamples to 24 bit again. In short you are getting 16 bit audio and if you want the absolute truth; the Live and Audigy are the same exact card. They both use emuk processor, the only thing the audigy add's is firewire... Do a little more investigation and i am sure that you will find a WHOLE LOT of info on the subject.
 
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TimS

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andrzejpw, I agree with you about that Creative thingie. My sblive is surely among my most hated HW ever, pretty buggy. But Audigy looks like they improved quality. Not talking about anything like the DSP, but I think output quality and, noise and drivers should be improved.

I think I'm also gonna buy a few more CDs since already my current setup painfully reveals some limitations of MP3s... Still won't be anything close to a 1000$ CD player, but that's the kind of setup I'm stuck with for some time.

Forgive my ignorance, but I really don't know what a 24/96 is, please enlighten me :wink: Other than this, I heard the Santa Cruez Turtle Beach card is good, would you recommend that one over creative ?

I'll see if I can listen to some of the headphone amps you mentioned, maybe that will make my decision a bit easier.

Thanks,
Tim
 
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aeberbach

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Is the Audigy _really_ an upgrade over the SB Live? I don't think so. I don't believe Creative really care about making it better, just about changing the packaging every year or so and making people pay all over again. This year they release Audigy II, THX certified! Guess who owns the THX trade mark now? Yes, Creative.

Keep the SB Live for games, get a real audiophile card (as suggested, the 2496 etc.) for audio output. I don't believe there is one PC sound card that does both jobs well. If there is it is probably Terratec 6-fire.

Here's the 2496 people are talking about:
http://www.midiman.net/products/m-audio/audiophile.php

Of course they don't sell for MSRP.
 
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Magicthyse

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TimS

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That card certainly looks nice, does that nice "interface unit" actually free me from purchasing a headphone amp ? Otherwise I could hardly justify that price for myself, I just don't have such a high budget ;-(

Thanks,
Tim
 
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SumB

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Forget any and all soundcards unless you intend to go to an external DAC fed by a jitter box. Those that eschew their own PSU to leach off the one in your PC are lifeless and abrasive.
 
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TimS

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I already expected that a Soundcard that draws its power from the PCI bus of a PC motherboard isn't going too cut it.

So I guess I'll get a resonable priced sound card like an Audigy or a Santa Cruez Turtle Beach and combine it with a headphone amp. Is there any chance I get get one for like 100€ or slightly above ? It should have a power adapter, no batteries please. Oh, and can I order that MARK42 from Germany ?

Also I would appreciate a link to an online shops that sells quality cables, I guess I need one to hook up the amp.

Thanks,
Tim
 
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jpelg

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Tim,

Our own "lini" is in Germany. He writes reviews on alot of electronic stuff for a living, and seems to have a good handhold on gadgets available in Europe as well as elsewhere. Perhaps a PM to him my yield some good results for you.

(Apologies to lini for offering his services
)
 
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TimS

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Ok, I'll politely ask him for advice, thanks ! :wink:
 
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i-don't-know-how-$-SB-audigy-costs-in-germany-but-for-that-money-you-better-get-a-external-cd-player-and-make-sure-it-has-coaxial-digital-output-so-later-you-can-have-external-DAC.

Computer-is-basically-a-very-noisy-(electronically)-environment-for-audio-reproduction.
 
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planar

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sorry-the-spacebar-on-keyboard-is-broken-i-can't-believe-this
 
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bifcake

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Tim,

What's your budget? Personally, I would not get a sound card for music reproduction. Too much noise inside the PC and not enough high fidelity in the sound cards.

If you have the money, spend the $1300 and get the Musical Fidelity A324 CD player and good headphone amp such as Creek OBH-11, Musical Fidelity Xcan v2 or any of the headroom products. Stay away from portable amps. Go with the non-battery powered ones. A Musical Fidelity player and a Creek headphone amp will run you about $1500. With that combo, you'll think you've died and gone to heaven.
 
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