What amp/dac & headphones/speakers are you using?

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by ajkun, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,384
    Location:
    Melbourne
    External sound card for sure.
     
  2. Perko

    Perko Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    NW Tasmania
    Do you mean discrete PCIE or external USB? only reason I make the distinction is that if your power's a bit grubby, an internal PCIE card will be power filtered by the PSU, whereas most of the bricks I've had with external DAC/Amp setups have been junk.

    But yeah, I heard one of the new "premium" on board ones recently and it was ok I guess. The Xonar STX I have is still noticeably better though, and they're pretty cheap second hand now. This is my second one after I stupidly sold the first one.
     
  3. Kookooburra

    Kookooburra Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    4,658
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Okay guys thx, good to know.
     
  4. Hive

    Hive Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    Messages:
    5,515
    Location:
    Some place far away
    A set of random Teac bookshelf speakers on the PC desk, a 25 year old Pioneer VSX-D603s. It sounds decent.

    Headset is a HyperX. Good budget gaming headset.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
  5. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,384
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Anything that isn’t on board. Add on sound cards or external dac/amp units.
     
    Perko likes this.
  6. Dalork

    Dalork Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    674
    Location:
    Southern Adelaide
    I don't know, what about something like the top Gigabyte G1 boards, the audio is completely separate from the rest of the MB . Even different PCB layers and you can replace/change out op-amps, 115dB to 124dB SNR and rear audio amp to help drive 600Ω loads. They even use Nichicon gold caps etc... That doesn't sound too shabby to me from on MB performance and would most likely do for a great many of us that enjoy sound.
     
  7. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,384
    Location:
    Melbourne
    The circuit isn’t separate.
     
  8. Cannula

    Cannula Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2002
    Messages:
    1,722
    Location:
    Lisarow 2250
    Gigabyte G1 boards and many of their other boards do have one good feature though. They have one or two "USB DAC-UP" port(s) for using external DACs if you are worried about noise on USB.
    I'm not sure if other companies have a similar design.
     
  9. Kookooburra

    Kookooburra Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    4,658
    Location:
    Brisbane
    What do you guys mean by noise?
    Static and vibrations etc?
     
  10. Perko

    Perko Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    NW Tasmania
    Anything that's not meant to be there. Generally static, humming, any interference at all that isn't the signal that you're meant to be hearing.
     
  11. Bourke

    Bourke Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2017
    Messages:
    408
    Electrical noise mostly, as you get more sensitive DAC's and Amp's, the noise begins to be picked up more.
    Ground loops, dirty house voltage, an old PSU, internal vs external DAC, a dodgey USB cable with poor terminations, dodgey RCA cables.

    I swear i was picking up the noise of the spinning rust drive when the music was silent.
    If I was building an Audio rig PC, only SSD's and no GPU at all, no GPU fan noise and i'd go no CPU fans, so a NUC is perfect for transport duties.
     
  12. Kookooburra

    Kookooburra Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    4,658
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I can't say I hear much noise on my system.
    I mean if you look at the audio upgrade from a $150 mobo to $480/530 mobo there's something like 3 levels of upgrades...surely they must sound decent
     
  13. Perko

    Perko Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    4,418
    Location:
    NW Tasmania
    I could faintly hear my electric fence unit through my old Antec Truepower, and it was obvious through the brick on my ASUS Xonar STU. Since I've gone back to internal and gone to the Enermax Platimax it's as quiet as I've heard.

    Good PSU and internal is the best defense against dirty power, wireless interference is another one, but the shield on the STX seems to keep that out well.

    $330 is a whole lot of sound card though.
     
  14. ska'

    ska' Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    1,615
    Got a Khadas Toneboard & JDS Labs Atom, pretty amazing duo for ~$250.
     
  15. Cannula

    Cannula Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2002
    Messages:
    1,722
    Location:
    Lisarow 2250
    No moving parts and decent power delivery is the best.

    If people want an all rounder PC though including gaming AND audio "Fan Stop" is a must.
    For those that don't know (hopefully none) Fan Stop means that at low usage basically anything below gaming or equivalent computation the GPU fan doesn't turn. A lot of these GPUs have a fan stop light which lets you know if you can only see the top side of the GPU and not the side.
    Great compromise if you use the same machine for gaming and listening to decent audio.
     
  16. Bourke

    Bourke Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2017
    Messages:
    408
    Lossless WAV > RME-ADI PRO > KG GG > SR-009
     
  17. Daveros

    Daveros Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Messages:
    75
    I have a FiiO E10k on one of my PCs, just powering whatever cans I have close (HD6XX usually) - but I'm starting to lose some hearing in my right ear, which isn't much fun. I've decided in that case that I am gonna run some speakers on my primary PC, using the N22 Desktop Amp, but I'm really unsure about feeding it. Is the Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD any better than onboard on a Maximus XI Hero these days?
     
  18. Bourke

    Bourke Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2017
    Messages:
    408
  19. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,384
    Location:
    Melbourne
    How much are the rmepro’s going for nowadays?
     
  20. Bourke

    Bourke Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2017
    Messages:
    408
    prob 2k-2.2k, aud has gone to hell, there's no real secondhand on them...mine was ex-demo buy-in from AUS.
    SOUNDSEASY stocks them and Benchmark, RME DAC is $1700aud, RME FS is $1900approx, RME PRO is $2200approx.
    They don't sound that musical, like "Damped", crystal clear but no real feeling for the performance.
    I'd buy a Benchmark1 for around $600, no HP amp on it though.

    Have to use it for STAX coz XLR IN, I nearly bought a Big Dac but offer ended too soon.
     

Share This Page

Advertisement: