[SOLVED] DAC recommendation

Yarberger1

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Apr 22, 2015
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Hello folks

I have an X570 Aorus Master MB, which by all accounts has good onboard audio. I don't mind it, but it can seem a little thin. Would a reasonable DAC (up to CAN$300 or so) provide better overall sound quality? If so, are there recommendations? Audioengine D1? Schiit DAC/Amp combo? Other? This would be less for gaming and more for music.

I have Audioengine A5+ speakers at the moment.

Thanks!
 

delaro

Splendid
Ambassador
I'm very grateful for your reply. For gaming I prefer a V-shaped signature, but for music I prefer a more balanced signature. As you're suggesting, sound appreciation is very subjective. I guess my question is more directed towards whether (with the onboard ESS SABRE reference DAC) adding an external DAC would improve anything. I will have a look at those reviews - thanks again.
As stated above add a sub first.

Examples "Small Room 50W-100W nominal"

Polk Audio PSW505 $249 150W RMS 23Hz - 160Hz
BIC America F12 $209 150 W RMS 25Hz - 200Hz
Dayton Audio SUB-1200 $150 120 W RMS 25 - 140 Hz
Polk Audio PSW10 $130 50 W RMS 40 - 160 Hz
Dayton Audio SUB-1000 $120 100 W RMS 30 - 140 Hz

Monoprice 9723 $100 150 W RMS 50 - 250 Hz

That will add depth but you will need to tailor the sound signature, A5+ are rather flat and unimpressive as a monitor should be.

Fxsound This is the free version but it still manages to do wonders by adding tasteful processing.




Then you have Equalizer APO with the Peace interface which allows you to customize frequencies as you please without the processing.

 

Yarberger1

Honorable
Apr 22, 2015
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I'm very grateful for your reply. For gaming I prefer a V-shaped signature, but for music I prefer a more balanced signature. As you're suggesting, sound appreciation is very subjective. I guess my question is more directed towards whether (with the onboard ESS SABRE reference DAC) adding an external DAC would improve anything. I will have a look at those reviews - thanks again.
 
It really depends on the type of headphones that you wear sometimes the onboard audio just can’t get the volume up properly for me. If you are a gamer I would recommend the Mayflower arc because it has an integrated Mic That everyone says sounds fantast

ARC Mk2 - Headphone Amplifier & DAC https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082J3QBLG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_.Vh8Fb5Y2DJXA?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

I use a Schiit stack. Modi Multibit DAC and a Magni amp. But this does not have the microphone input
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
I'm very grateful for your reply. For gaming I prefer a V-shaped signature, but for music I prefer a more balanced signature. As you're suggesting, sound appreciation is very subjective. I guess my question is more directed towards whether (with the onboard ESS SABRE reference DAC) adding an external DAC would improve anything. I will have a look at those reviews - thanks again.
It may improve things for you, but no way to tell without actually listening with your ears and your equipment. In theory better things are better, but in the real world there are many people that like the sound of "worse" equipment or that can't tell the difference. Different does not often mean better. I have about a half dozen headphones, I would only call a few of them actually better to me than the others, for the most part they are just different sounding, but all are enjoyable to use. Same thing for speakers and amps, and just about anything else a person interacts with.
 

delaro

Splendid
Ambassador
I'm very grateful for your reply. For gaming I prefer a V-shaped signature, but for music I prefer a more balanced signature. As you're suggesting, sound appreciation is very subjective. I guess my question is more directed towards whether (with the onboard ESS SABRE reference DAC) adding an external DAC would improve anything. I will have a look at those reviews - thanks again.
As stated above add a sub first.

Examples "Small Room 50W-100W nominal"

Polk Audio PSW505 $249 150W RMS 23Hz - 160Hz
BIC America F12 $209 150 W RMS 25Hz - 200Hz
Dayton Audio SUB-1200 $150 120 W RMS 25 - 140 Hz
Polk Audio PSW10 $130 50 W RMS 40 - 160 Hz
Dayton Audio SUB-1000 $120 100 W RMS 30 - 140 Hz

Monoprice 9723 $100 150 W RMS 50 - 250 Hz

That will add depth but you will need to tailor the sound signature, A5+ are rather flat and unimpressive as a monitor should be.

Fxsound This is the free version but it still manages to do wonders by adding tasteful processing.




Then you have Equalizer APO with the Peace interface which allows you to customize frequencies as you please without the processing.

 
As stated above add a sub first.

Examples "Small Room 50W-100W nominal"

Polk Audio PSW505 $249 150W RMS 23Hz - 160Hz
BIC America F12 $209 150 W RMS 25Hz - 200Hz
Dayton Audio SUB-1200 $150 120 W RMS 25 - 140 Hz
Polk Audio PSW10 $130 50 W RMS 40 - 160 Hz
Dayton Audio SUB-1000 $120 100 W RMS 30 - 140 Hz

Monoprice 9723 $100 150 W RMS 50 - 250 Hz

That will add depth but you will need to tailor the sound signature, A5+ are rather flat and unimpressive as a monitor should be.

Fxsound This is the free version but it still manages to do wonders by adding tasteful processing.




Then you have Equalizer APO with the Peace interface which allows you to customize frequencies as you please without the processing.

That peace equalizer thing is written by a guy over at the autoIT forum. I think he did a very good job using that language
 

delaro

Splendid
Ambassador
That peace equalizer thing is written by a guy over at the autoIT forum. I think he did a very good job using that language
The windows interface "Peace" is done by a different person, Equalizer APO is rather a pain to use without one of the more popular interfaces. Equalizer APO can run with
Room acoustics software, so you can optimize everything around your room size and speakers if you take the time to do so.
 
It’s written by Peter Verbeek over at autoIT the EQ part

 

delaro

Splendid
Ambassador
Jonas Therdering wrote Equalizer APO

Peter Verbeek wrote the Peace overlay

That just repeats what I have been saying...... "it's the interface" ;)

Equalizer APO without peace is rather unpleasant to use, he took it to another level and added an expanded mixer. 5.1, 7.1 support and the ability to swap out L/R and Rear channels as you please. It's a great program that takes some time to learn.
 
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badaxe2

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Aug 27, 2008
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I'm also curious about how worthwhile an amp/DAC is, in particular this one -

Amazon.com: AudioQuest Dragonfly Red Mobile Bundle with DragonFly Red (Portable USB Preamp, Headphone Amp/DAC) and Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter for Compatible Connection with Select iPhones, iPads, and iPods: Camera & Photo

I have a Z270 Mk1 MB and Klipsch 2.1 desktop THX speakers, but mostly listen through Sony MDR-7506 headphones now.

Curious if the Dragonfly significantly improve sound quality/depth with the Dragonfly before spending $200 on it. It seems pretty high quality as-is but I'm also not messing with equalizers or anything. Using the VLC player atm for music and videos.

Thanks for any input.

Oh, and I highly recommend the Killzone: Shadowfall OST for any audiophiles; especially the Lorn half. Here's a link if interested -

Killzone - Shadow Fall (Official Soundtrack) (2014) MP3 - Download Killzone - Shadow Fall (Official Soundtrack) (2014) Soundtracks for FREE! (khinsider.com)
 

anort3

Titan
Moderator
  1. Please start a new thread.
  2. You'll never notice a difference with those headphones. Move to something in the upper mid-fi realm or to real hi-fi and yes, there will be a difference depending on what you use as a source now.
  3. My impressions about that whole line of Dragonfly products is they are overpriced for what you get.
 
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