Personal computing discussed

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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:09 pm

Soundblaster Z and Klipsch promedia 2.1 speakers.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Thu Apr 04, 2019 11:56 am

Currently a pair of KRK Rokit RP8s. Still need to add sound treatment and rearrange desk+monitors so that they're angled better.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:13 pm

Since the last time I responded here, I've moved on to an Audioquest Dragonfly 1.2 feeding a 2.1 set comprised of Audioengine HD3s as satellites and an Audioengine S8 (sub)woofer.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:32 pm

Since I upgraded my rig decided to change up the audio side as well:

Default sound device (game audio, browsers, youtube etc): Z390 Aorus on-board ALC1220VB into 2.1 soundbar + sub
or into Polk Audio Ultrafocus 8000 via front headphone out

Music (foobar2000 WASAPI): NuForce DDA100 into PSB Synchrony Two + Mirage Omni S8 (via speaker level connections)

Movies (Plex, MPC-HC): Nvidia HDMI out into NAD T748 into 4x Polk Audio TSI100 (front and surround left/right), CS10 (center), Mirage Omni S8 (via line level out from receiver)

Yes, there are three different audio paths running out of this lol. By default I just use a soundbar I got free with a TV. It's good enough to hear game audio/youtube and whatnot.

Music played via foobar2000 goes into a NuForce DDA100. This is sort of a combination DAC/amp, called a PowerDAC by some because the signal stays completely into the digital domain until it reaches the speaker out. Basically a DAC with speaker-level output instead of line-level. It sounds incredibly clean and detailed. When I'm feeling more analog I still have a NAD C372 with 150WPC of pure class A/B. You can see the DDA100, C372, a Rega P1 and the right Synchrony Two in this here:
Image

For movies played via Plex or MPC-HC I output via HDMI out into a NAD T748 receiver, with Polk Audio speakers mounted to the walls and video projected onto a 100" screen. My monitors swing down in order to unblock the projector screen and center channel.
Last edited by jihadjoe on Thu Apr 04, 2019 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:46 pm

A set of Audioengine A5+ speakers (in bamboo) powered by a Schiit Jotunheim with the 4490 DAC and a modded set of Sennheiser HD 598's for headphones.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:11 pm

My PC is my 2-channel music system as well. Last year I decided to go all out. I priced myself out of the market (will have to sell body parts to get better speakers than these), so this is it for a good long while.

Sound: ASUS Xonar STX

Amplifier: dual Outlaw 2200 monoblocks

Speakers: something really large, really heavy, really expensive, really German. Got a helluva good deal, but still a lot of money. But absolutely worth it... Those won't be going anywhere any time soon.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:29 pm

These days mostly https://www.amazon.com/PC-Motherboard-internal-speaker-Corpco/dp/B01527H4W2/ref=sr_1_6?keywords=pc+internal+speaker&qid=1554406077&s=gateway&sr=8-6

I do most my computer stuff with audio on my TV... either NVidia shield or just consuming media.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:33 pm

kvndoom wrote:
Speakers: something really large, really heavy, really expensive, really German. Got a helluva good deal, but still a lot of money. But absolutely worth it... Those won't be going anywhere any time soon.

Jebus... y so power?
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Thu Apr 04, 2019 9:37 pm

@kvndoom, yeah...wow! You'll probably have those a long time. I also love a silk dome tweeter, but I get my fix from a pair of JBL Arena 170 ($79.99 each from Newegg a couple black fridays ago). They are fed from {current receiver/amp*} <- Schiit Modi2Uber <- Nvidia ShieldTV USB port <- Spotify Premium for music selection control. I've imported plenty of music so it's not always streaming, but usually it is streaming to learn about new stuff, or old stuff that I missed.

This is technically a living room audio setup, not a PC audio setup, but I don't do much PC audio. If i did, I would probably just move the Modi over to a PC USB port (or optical, although I think I prefer USB) and I have a pair of JBL Loft 40 bookshelf speakers, that are basically the Arena 170s in a smaller package. They can be setup in any room and banana-plugged up in a few seconds. I wouldn't mind a pair of JBL Studios (530, 580, 590, that line) one day but my house isn't soundproof enough to crank any more than I already do, so I've reached the "what's the point to more" phase for now. I would like to do some minor room treatment before new gear, as my hard floor living room opens to a tile floor kitchen, hard floor hallway, stairway, and hard floors upstairs. Volume upstairs isn't that much lower than volume downstairs, which is a problem when there are no speakers upstairs.

*Normally a Pioneer SX-5580 receiver (West German blackface model ~1978) which is very powerful and accurate/neutral. i would say that it has fist-sized capacitors, but that may be an understatement. It's taking an awful long time to come out of protection mode lately, and its backup is a ~1978 Marantz 2250B receiver. Less accurate, much warmer, but lots of fun and spare power at old school 50w/c. For curiosity and backup purposes, I also have out and ready an SMSL SA-98E Class D amp, which at 80W/channel gets the job done at less than 1/4 volume in my setting.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:17 am

Nothing too special - my motherboard's onboard audio and a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones, or if I don't want 'phones a Dell speaker bar. I don't suffer from Audiophilia nervosa and many of my games don't need the sort of positional audio that headphones give you.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:20 am

bthylafh wrote:
...or if I don't want 'phones a Dell speaker bar...

I love the Dell speaker bar. They make so much sense for many environments. Physical volume. Easy headphone jack. LED showing on/off.
Last edited by Usacomp2k3 on Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:25 am

bthylafh wrote:
or if I don't want 'phones a Dell speaker bar.

I have this soundbar attached to a Dell monitor for work. It's surprisingly decent. No low end to speak of, but for its intended purpose, which is mostly Skype audio, it does great.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:59 am

Altec Lansing ATP3 speakers with the central woofer. I tried an ASUS Xonar DG card for sound but kept having driver problems. So, I'm using the motherboard chipset for sound.
Last edited by Mr Bill on Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:02 am

Mr Bill wrote:
Altec Lansing ATP3 speakers with the central woofer. I tried an ASUS Xonar DG card for sound but kept having driver problems. So, I'm using the motherboard chipset for sound.


If you are using any flavor of Asus Xonar you really should be using the Unified Drivers for them.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:13 am

While I have a generic logitech 2.1 setup somewhere on a shelf, these days I basically only use my G933 headset.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:01 pm

Since my Apartment is not very well isolated, I stick to headphones.

Currently using a Titanium HD for my stereo needs and my trusty Yamaha RX-V377 for multichannel movies.

These as my workhorse cans: Beyerdynamic DT-880
These are used for pure music enjoyment: Focal Clear Professional

Since the X-Fi line faces problems yet again due to end of support and drivers, I am considering moving on to an external DAC/Amp: RME ADI-2 DAC
Not sure if I will go through with it, for now the May update is postponed, b/c I hope Creative will do a driver update for my card.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:42 pm

Mr Bill wrote:
Altec Lansing ATP3 speakers with the central woofer. I tried an ASUS Xonar DG card for sound but kept having driver problems. So, I'm using the motherboard chipset for sound.

The speakers that came with one of my first computers as a kid came with Altec Lansing speakers. I have no idea if they're "good", but because I spent so much time with those speakers and that PC the company will always be special to me.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:51 pm

Ifalna wrote:
Since my Apartment is not very well isolated, I stick to headphones.

Currently using a Titanium HD for my stereo needs and my trusty Yamaha RX-V377 for multichannel movies.

These as my workhorse cans: Beyerdynamic DT-880
These are used for pure music enjoyment: Focal Clear Professional

Since the X-Fi line faces problems yet again due to end of support and drivers, I am considering moving on to an external DAC/Amp: RME ADI-2 DAC
Not sure if I will go through with it, for now the May update is postponed, b/c I hope Creative will do a driver update for my card.


I had some issues with the X-Fi series some years ago but had better luck on drivers with Creative's Zx version. I still keep the sound card in my PC but now primarily use external DACs for music in digital lossless format using the Foobar player on PC. I did take the plunge with the RME ADI-2 DAC and it is impressive with the amount of options it has. Bit of a learning curve to it but it has a good manual. With headphones I like to use the balanced line-outs on Sennheiser HD-58X Jubilees and on Hifiman HE-4XX Planar Magnetics. For external audio I'll switch output to a TEAC Integrated Amp to KEF Q100 coaxial speakers.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Apr 06, 2019 5:47 pm

crappy onboard realtek alc 1220, that puts out static in games. not sure if blame is on motherboard design, psu, or other.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:58 pm

G8torbyte wrote:
I did take the plunge with the RME ADI-2 DAC and it is impressive with the amount of options it has. Bit of a learning curve to it but it has a good manual. With headphones I like to use the balanced line-outs on Sennheiser HD-58X Jubilees and on Hifiman HE-4XX Planar Magnetics.

So you plug them in using the big XLR connectors at the back of the unit? Do these even have enough juice to drive HPs? Thought they were meant as preamp outputs. :O
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:45 pm

Ifalna wrote:
G8torbyte wrote:
I did take the plunge with the RME ADI-2 DAC and it is impressive with the amount of options it has. Bit of a learning curve to it but it has a good manual. With headphones I like to use the balanced line-outs on Sennheiser HD-58X Jubilees and on Hifiman HE-4XX Planar Magnetics.

So you plug them in using the big XLR connectors at the back of the unit? Do these even have enough juice to drive HPs? Thought they were meant as preamp outputs. :O

Those HE-4XX's are only 35 ohms so it shouldn't be that hard to drive them. The Jubilee's on the other hand are 150. Might need an amp to get real quality of those.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:43 am

DancinJack wrote:
Ifalna wrote:
G8torbyte wrote:
I did take the plunge with the RME ADI-2 DAC and it is impressive with the amount of options it has. Bit of a learning curve to it but it has a good manual. With headphones I like to use the balanced line-outs on Sennheiser HD-58X Jubilees and on Hifiman HE-4XX Planar Magnetics.

So you plug them in using the big XLR connectors at the back of the unit? Do these even have enough juice to drive HPs? Thought they were meant as preamp outputs. :O

Those HE-4XX's are only 35 ohms so it shouldn't be that hard to drive them. The Jubilee's on the other hand are 150. Might need an amp to get real quality of those.

The ADI-2 DAC has a quality HP amp built in, it is single ended though, that's why I was confused.
The unit has balanced and unbalanced preamp out though, so it is possible that he feeds it to an external balanced amp.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:04 am

Ifalna wrote:
DancinJack wrote:
Ifalna wrote:
So you plug them in using the big XLR connectors at the back of the unit? Do these even have enough juice to drive HPs? Thought they were meant as preamp outputs. :O

Those HE-4XX's are only 35 ohms so it shouldn't be that hard to drive them. The Jubilee's on the other hand are 150. Might need an amp to get real quality of those.

The ADI-2 DAC has a quality HP amp built in, it is single ended though, that's why I was confused.
The unit has balanced and unbalanced preamp out though, so it is possible that he feeds it to an external balanced amp.


I'm using an XLR adapter that takes the left and right XLR outputs into one 4-pin XLR connector direct to my headphones. The XLR outputs push the Sennheiser Jubilees pretty well from what I’m experiencing and oddly I need to turn up the volume a few more dB’s on the Hifiman. Maybe the dynamic drivers are more efficient in the Sennheisers than the planar drivers in the Hifiman?
RME has built-in auto-switching as the volume is adjusted. Here is the XLR Line Out information from the manual:

“The ADI-2 DAC has two balanced analog outputs that can operate at levels up to +19 dBu. The short circuit protected, low impedance line outputs are available as XLR jacks on the back of the unit.
To maintain an optimum level from devices connected to the analog outputs and to maximize the dynamic range, the ADI-2 DAC internally uses hi-quality electronic switches, which realize a hardware-based Reference Level selection in steps of 6 dB over a range of 24 dB: +1dBu, +7dBu, +13dBu and +19dBu.
The analog outputs also feature a mechanism to set the reference level automatically. Auto Ref Level maximizes the signal to noise ratio when using the volume knob. It changes to the next higher and lower reference level setting when the gain chosen via the volume knob would suggest to set a better fitting value, with optimized signal to noise ratio.”

On my setting at +1dBu the volume shows -32dBr (below reference level) then the volume adjusts in 0.5 increments. At -25.5dBr it goes into the next higher (+7dBu) level and it makes a slight “click” noise (from the box, not in the output) as it switches up the power. At -16.5dBr it clicks up again to the +13dBu level and it is getting too loud for me. On the Sennheisers I’m listening at -24dBr comfortably. I cranked it up as much as I could take up to -10bBr and no distortion at all. RME has put an insane amount of engineering into this compact unit and it even allows for dual EQ/gain adjustments for each left and right output separately.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:45 am

DancinJack wrote:
Those HE-4XX's are only 35 ohms so it shouldn't be that hard to drive them. The Jubilee's on the other hand are 150. Might need an amp to get real quality of those.
Pet peeve: using impedance alone to determine how hard it is to drive a set of headphones.

Sure, it's part of the equation--high impedance models generally need higher voltages to drive properly--but you really need to consider efficiency/sensitivity as well. The 58X Jubilee is listed at 104 dB (at 1V, 1 kHz), and the HE-4XX just lists 93 dB (also, the AKG K7XX is shown at 105 dB/V).

Specs can be wonky and non-standardized, but wrt to the HE-4XX, you have a less efficient planar driver that might need some extra power. The 58X Jubilee is more efficient, but that higher impedance indicates a desire for higher input voltage to get the best drive.

And G8torbyte...why aren't you using the headphone output on the ADI-2? I'd imagine that output is probably better at driving both sets of headphones without distortion...
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:33 am

superjawes wrote:
DancinJack wrote:
Those HE-4XX's are only 35 ohms so it shouldn't be that hard to drive them. The Jubilee's on the other hand are 150. Might need an amp to get real quality of those.
Pet peeve: using impedance alone to determine how hard it is to drive a set of headphones.

Sure, it's part of the equation--high impedance models generally need higher voltages to drive properly--but you really need to consider efficiency/sensitivity as well. The 58X Jubilee is listed at 104 dB (at 1V, 1 kHz), and the HE-4XX just lists 93 dB (also, the AKG K7XX is shown at 105 dB/V).

Oh, I don't disagree at all, but there were a lot of data I didn't have at the time, and it's the easiest way to get an idea of how things will play out.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:47 am

I use an old pair of Teac HiFi speaks connected directly to the back of my PC. Inside the PC is an old 2x30W car amplifier with a molex connecter on the end of its power supply cables. The output from that goes to a PCI bracket that I fitted with a bunch of female banana connectors.

I made this for a laugh because I found the car amp in an old shed I was clearing out and yes, when I first turned it on I got a truly epic amount of interference being picked up. I was a little surprised at how well it worked just by turning the gain down on the amp and I've ended up sticking with it. Even with the gain turned right up I'd only get interference when the graphics card was working hard.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:04 am

Mine is a bit janky, but I love it. Dayton bookshelf speakers (B-652), a Cerwin Vega Vega! 10D4 in a ported box @ 33 Hz, and a Lepy 2.1 (2x45 + 1x68W) amplifier fed from my onboard sound.

Cheap, decent SQ with a bit of EQ, and can go to output levels high enough to annoy if asked to.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:06 am

Waco wrote:
Dayton bookshelf speakers (B-652), a Cerwin Vega Vega! 10D4 in a ported box @ 33 Hz, and a Lepy 2.1 (2x45 + 1x68W) amplifier fed from my onboard sound.

I've got 7 of the B652's for my theater room. They are perfectly adequate. Especially for the price. The LCR are the "Air" variant and the rest are the normal config.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:42 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
I've got 7 of the B652's for my theater room. They are perfectly adequate. Especially for the price. The LCR are the "Air" variant and the rest are the normal config.

Oh yes, you can't beat the cost. The ribbon tweeter supposedly sounds quite a bit better, but at a significant (given the low cost) price increase. I'm pretty happy in general with all of my Dayton Audio purchases (drivers, amps, and prebuilt speakers).
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:00 pm

Steelseries Siberia V3. Gonna move on to a Magni/Modi w/ V-Moda M-100s soon tho.
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