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HI there...I need some advice!


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Hi everyone here!

I'm new to the forum and i'm italian...

sorry for my bad english!

 

I've some questions...

i want to push my audio to the next level...

Just don't stand here with a pair of ipod's earphones listening to mp3's.

I've bought a pair of Koss UR-40 and i'm looking for a good sound card for the playback of some flac sudio files that i've bought.

This is the sound card...

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Audiophile2496.html

The m audio 2496...

Do you think with this and my pair of Koss i will full enjoy the flac files or i need something else????

 

Thanks for the advices,

 

Best regards.

 

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If you've not already bought the M-Audio card, I've heard good things about the Muse DAC / Headphone amp. Usually sold via eBay costs around £60 / $100. I you have a little more, the Aune is a step up. Connects to your computer via USB and can also accomodate analogue and digital sources via S/PDIF.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I own the 2496. It has a very nice sounding analog out as long as the computer is set up right and the power supply has enough extra power. I've owned it for several years, as it was released probably 8 years ago. If I were buying today, I'd get something else because technology has moved on since then. I'm not familiar with the product Eloise recommends, but it seems like good advice to look at that or similar products.

 

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The m-audio is outdated you think....

Well as commented it's been out 8/9 years and M-Audio have released an Audiophile 24/192. That doesn't make it bad, but there are other option. It also (as far as I can tell) doesn't have a dedicated Headphone output so t use your headphones you may need a headphone amp anyway.

 

Well, i search google for Muse DAC but...

i can't find anything clear

There are quite a lot of comments on the Head-Fi forum. This is one thread on Head-Fi about and this thread on the Naim Audio forum starts about the Muse before heading off to the Aune. Searching Google gives several others.

 

The main source for it is via eBay (though searching today didn't net me any results. The other option is the Aune DAC which is very similar though uprated and slightly higher cost - also via eBay.

 

and i don't know what is a dac so...?? Can someone explain me??

A DAC (standing for Digital to Analogue converter) takes the digital signal, from a CD or file on your computer, and converts it into an analogue electrical signal which the transducer in your headphones (or speakers) convert into sound waves. When peple talk about "a DAC" they are usually referring to an external box, but every digital device - CD player, sound card, digital radio, etc. contains a DAC - usually a chip from one of the big companies.

 

By using a DAC external to the computer, rather than an internal sound card, the DAC is no longer affected by electrical interference within your computer. Often it will also have extra facilities - such as the headphone amp in the Muse and Aune DACs. External DACs can vary in cost from £60-£100 of the Muse and Aune (and other) DACs I'm suggesting you consider, upto to 10s of thousands for a full dCS stack.

 

I hope I've helped rather than confusing you further.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I looked up your headphones. Judging by customer reviews, it sounds like you'll be happy with them.

I like the M-Audio and it's a solid product, but I think it's possible to do better. That said, mine is still great for all my needs after several years of use, so that's a recommendation.

I wonder, 1) what have you been using with your headphones so far, 2) do you plan to use them only in one place or mobile, and 3) do you have a receiver or some other type of amp?

As Eloise pointed out, the M-Audio sound card doesn't have a powered headphone out, so you'll need another piece of hardware to amplify the signal.

Are you using an iPod already? If so, which model? It may be possible to get quite good sound out of that using a headphone amplifier and a cheap cord. Something like these two things would give you a sound I think you might like from an iPod.

 

Cord to get un-amplifed signal from iPod

Audio Out Cable for iPhone/iPod (Apple Connector to Audio 3.5mm Connector)

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=108&cp_id=10831&cs_id=1083101&p_id=6225&seq=1&format=2

 

Inexpensive Headphone Amp

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E5-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B002OG5GT8

 

 

 

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Thanks to ALL guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well....

I will you use my headphone in mobile but, for now, i don't really care the audio quality in mobile.

For now, i just want to be sure to REALLY full enjoy the sound quality of the flac files from the pc.

I can buy the DAC but my question is:

(The british english purists will headshot me)

Yea i have my super quality flac file.

And i have my external dac witch is connected to my realtek built-in sound card in the P5K-SE motherboard.

IF the soundcard can't reproduce at the proper quality the 96/24 flac file(i suppose), the external DAC CAN'T HELP ME....

So, i need first a new soundcard (i guess)...more money will fly away..

and after that the external DAC...

 

What's wrong on that?

I hope my theory is wrong and i can save some money..

 

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The External DAC (at least the one's I have been suggesting) will connect via USB. They are not the last word in sound quality, but are good for the money.

 

As one of the links I posted tells, there are people who have compared the Aune to Naim systems and while not up to the same quality, the Aune hasn't totally disgraced itself.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Oh Thanks Mike!

i wasn't aware of that!!

That sounds good because i will not need another sound card yea!!!!

 

Just the last question guys.......

Reading around topics on the internet and in the list posted above, i found lot of Dacs...

In some cases the price is under $200 but some items have crazy prices...

Ex:

Ayre Acoustics QB-9 Asynchronous USB (!!!)

compared to some DAC discussed above there's an enormous difference!

Why then?

 

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Which depending on your system and your expectation may be worthwhile or not.

 

The Ayre uses a sophisticated asynchronous transfer protocol licensed from Wavelength Audio that reduces jitter with USB substantially, and has very good build quality and sound quality, though it still might be considered a midrange product, not top of the line.

 

DAC's are like the automotive world- there is nice performance to be had with a Volkswagen Jetta, but no one would compare it to an Audi R8, much less an Enzo Ferrari. That Ayre QB-9 is perhaps an Audi R8, say, the 8 cylinder version, not the 10 cylinder version. A Berkely Alpha DAC or Metric Halo LIO-8 might be the 10 cylinder Audi, or a Lamborghini Gallardo, to cite a mark you may be familiar with. ;^)

 

What it is worth to you depends on your overall system needs, personal expectations, and listening experience.

 

In DACs, the equivalent to the Enzo Ferrari might be the dCS Puccin or Scarlatti system.

 

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BlueErnest asked... "Ok... to use with my Koss UR-40 and in the future maybe with a pair of HD595 Sennheiser, what is the best DAC i can buy then?"

 

Well it really does depend on how much you wish to spend...

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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How about another way to look at this... do any of you have suggestions for a good budget distribution? BlueErnest, I'm not sure if you're in Italy or U.S. or somewhere else, but it appears that in the States these headphones run in the $30-$50 range. They appear to be a great value based on their reviews. Does anyone else here have guidelines for how you set up your system and where you like to spend the greatest portion for the best "bang for the buck"? That may help to figure out the appropriate budget.

 

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Well...

i think i can buy now a good dac and improve the headphone and/or the speaker system...

I think i can spend $200 max for my new DAC.

Again thanks for your time guys.

 

Ernest

 

PS: i live in italy and i've bought this pair of koss in the UK.

There are none here in italy....

 

Only lamborghini :D

Just kidding

 

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