Amp/DAC or Soundcard? seeking recommendations

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by shawns_maggot, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. shawns_maggot

    shawns_maggot Member

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    Hi all. Apologies in advance, I'm sure similar questions have been asked a million times before. I've been reading up here but I'm still unsure of what to do.

    I've recently purchased a decent Gaming rig and after assembling it realised I had pretty much completely forgot about Audio >.< I currently only have a new pair of Audio Technica AG1X's. My motherboard is the AX370 Gaming K5 and GFX is a Vega 64.

    My aim is to buy some decent quality speakers and also a DAC/Amp or even an internal Sound Card in order to provide decent quality audio to both my new speakers AND my headphones. I'm no audiophile by any means but I've been running Logitech Z5500's for quite some time now and would like to get a decent audio setup for once. I aim to start off with 2x Bookshelf speakers but the ability to expand to at least 5.1 in the future is important for me

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    My main question is: should I get an Amp/DAC or an internal Sound Card?

    I've been emailing Mark from EasthWood HiFi and he has recommended the Yamaha RX-V483 Amp. The only downside to it that I can see is it can't take the Microphone jack from my headphones - but I assume I can simply plug the audio jack from headphones into the Amp and the Mic jack into the motherboard mic port?

    Secondary question: What speakers should I get? The quote I received from EastWood Hifi includes a pair of Paradigm Atom Monitor V7 Bookshelf Speakers; and they look like they suits my needs. If not I could always add a Sub and/or satellites down the track.

    Most importantly - Budget! I was hoping to spend no more than $800 all up but can stretch it to ~$1k if absolutely necessary. The quote from EastWood came in at just over $1000 excluding post.

    As far as usage goes, I will mainly be listening to music and gaming. Multiplayer games on my headphones and singleplayer on speakers. Music wise I listen to a wide range of genres; some FLAC but mostly 320kbps MP3's on streaming services. Once I have decent quality equipmonk I'll be trying to replace everything with FLAC as much as possible! I will also be watching some HD Netflix videos and H.265 etc.

    Volume isn't really a huge concern, as I'll be sitting right in front of the speakers.

    Thank you very much for reading my incoherent wall of text, any advice is much appreciated :lol::thumbup:
     
  2. deluxe

    deluxe Member

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    Yes correct

    Whatever fits the budget; first figure out what you can afford- then find what sounds good

    I too am always wanting better quality equipmonk- it's a never-ending cycle of audio lust ;)


    Your budget is decent. You could definitely pick up something nice for that- you'll do even better if you don't mind secondhand. Especially true for speakers! And that is where you should spend the bulk of your money.

    I'm a big fan of using surround receivers connected via HDMI- this allows for full 5.1/7.1 passthrough. (Optical is fine for 2ch stereo). You could use your motherboard's onboard hdmi for this purpose.

    Receivers are cheap as chips and reliable- you can get crazy cheap secondhand ones. You definitely want the amp to have HDMI inputs and to support decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD.

    such as:
    https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/mir...audio-video-multi-channel-receiver/1157631608


    Speakers- listen to them if possible, particularly with music you like

    There are bargains to be had, for example:

    https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/hor...eal-wood-veneer-bookshelf-speakers/1158464935
     
  3. OP
    OP
    shawns_maggot

    shawns_maggot Member

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    Excellent, this puts my mind at ease!

    Hehe yep, wasn't quite sure exactly what I needed though! and I had to restrain myself from the "if I spend just a little but more I can get X feature" I've already spent over 3 grand on this build ( more than I had intended :p ) so wanted to keep it keep the budget reasonable ;)

    Don't even get me started about the hunt for better equipmonk. I don't even want to know how much I've spent on E-quipmonk the last few months >.<

    Excellent, I believe the Yamaha Amp that Eastwood Hifi recommended has HDMI - I had actually completely forgot about things like Dolby/DTS until you mentioned it! Cheers for reminding me they exist :D I'll have to check if the Yamaha Amp supports them.

    If I were to use HDMI for audio would it be going from my Vega 64 HDMI > Amp or from Mobo HDMI > Amp?

    I had thought about second hand but decided against it. Too many issues with warranty/reliability and I'm in the middle of nowhere so it would be al post/expensive courier costs. I've already had enough of a headache with my Ryzen 1800x arriving damaged from the US -.-

    Also I live in the middle of nowhere so it's a 4+ hour drive for me to check out prospective noisemakers in person.
    Thanks so much for the tips mate, appreciate it :thumbup::thumbup:
     
  4. deluxe

    deluxe Member

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    What output on the vega are you using for your display?



    If you're getting from Eastwood, the RX-V383 will be plenty of power for what you need. Highly recommend the Tannoy Mercury speakers- have a listen to them too
     
  5. OP
    OP
    shawns_maggot

    shawns_maggot Member

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    Using Displayport currently.

    Thanks, I'll have a look into the differences between the RX-V483 and the RX-383. There's a big price difference between the two!
     
  6. deluxe

    deluxe Member

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    Ok so use the vega's HDMI out for audio :thumbup:
     
  7. FNQer

    FNQer Member

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    how much did they quote you for the RX-V483?

    i was looking at this amp and it's bigger brother. i thought the Yamaha's were better sound than the Onkyo/Pioneer counterparts (at the comparable prices). I think the RX-V483 is about my baseline - it had just the right specs for my purposes.
     

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