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Dynaudio Xeo 2 connected to PC (Do I need a DAC?)


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Hello! 
Please forgive me if this question sounds silly, I'm still learning!

My Xeo 2's are connected via RCA cables to 3.5mm jack of my PC's motherboard (Onboard soundcard), I got a recommendation to get either an external sound card ( Sound Blaster X3) or external DAC ( SMSL Sanskrit 10th mk2) or just a digital to analog converter to improve the sound quality of my speakers. Which of these options will work best? As I understand correctly, connecting speakers to an board sound card bypasses the DAC that's built in into the speaker.
On the other hand I'm looking to get a DAC (Schiit Modi 3) to compliment my headphone setup ( Hifiman Arya+ Schiit Magni 3). Is Schiit Modi 3 a better DAC than the one inside Xeo's?

Thank you for the help!

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29 minutes ago, Rafael G said:

Hello! 
Please forgive me if this question sounds silly, I'm still learning!

My Xeo 2's are connected via RCA cables to 3.5mm jack of my PC's motherboard (Onboard soundcard), I got a recommendation to get either an external sound card ( Sound Blaster X3) or external DAC ( SMSL Sanskrit 10th mk2) or just a digital to analog converter to improve the sound quality of my speakers. Which of these options will work best? As I understand correctly, connecting speakers to an board sound card bypasses the DAC that's built in into the speaker.
On the other hand I'm looking to get a DAC (Schiit Modi 3) to compliment my headphone setup ( Hifiman Arya+ Schiit Magni 3). Is Schiit Modi 3 a better DAC than the one inside Xeo's?

Thank you for the help!

Hi Rafael, in this case I don’t believe you’ve been given the best information. The Xeo uses digital signal processing on all incoming audio. Thus, it’s best to give it a digital signal rather than convert digital to analog back to digital back to analog. Can you get the Xeo hub and stream to them digitally or use a digital input?

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4 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Hi Rafael, in this case I don’t believe you’ve been given the best information. The Xeo uses digital signal processing on all incoming audio. Thus, it’s best to give it a digital signal rather than convert digital to analog back to digital back to analog. Can you get the Xeo hub and stream to them digitally or use a digital input?


Thanks for the quick answer! To be honest I am a little bit confused myself already. If you have couple of minutes to read the topic I would appreciate it! I started the topic as a recommendation to swap my Xeo's to something that can sound better.
https://www.avforums.com/threads/pc-speakers-upgrade.2343008/
And sorry, I'm not sure if I can post links on this forum

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6 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

If you have an optical toslink output on your computer, connect that to the Xeo 2. It’s the best option. 


I don't have any optical outputs on my PC unfortunately. The only audio output is th 3.5mm on my motherboard.

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59 minutes ago, Rafael G said:


I don't have any optical outputs on my PC unfortunately. The only audio output is th 3.5mm on my motherboard.

Use this. USB to toslink. you can’t do better by double converting D to A to D to A. 
 

https://www.minidsp.com/products/usb-audio-interface/usbstreamer-box

 

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Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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9 hours ago, Rafael G said:


I don't have any optical outputs on my PC unfortunately. The only audio output is th 3.5mm on my motherboard.

Sometimes the 3.5mm jack doubles as a toslink connection...I would verify.

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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  • 2 months later...

I connect my Mac Mini to Dynaudio Xeo 20. Using a direct mini toslink to optical into Xeo 20's, the sound is decent. When I put a Schitt Modius DAC in the middle some of the audio from Roon on Mac becomes a bit more...'clean'...especially with well recorded jazz etc. Audio is totally subjective but I've left Modius connected for this reason. This defies any logic because Xeos have DSP inside them already, so I cannot explain why this happens. 

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4 hours ago, morespin said:

I connect my Mac Mini to Dynaudio Xeo 20. Using a direct mini toslink to optical into Xeo 20's, the sound is decent. When I put a Schitt Modius DAC in the middle some of the audio from Roon on Mac becomes a bit more...'clean'...especially with well recorded jazz etc. Audio is totally subjective but I've left Modius connected for this reason. This defies any logic because Xeos have DSP inside them already, so I cannot explain why this happens. 

Yes I use the analogue in instead of the digtal on my speakers, makes perfect sense if the digital input is not well implemented. 

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5 hours ago, morespin said:

I connect my Mac Mini to Dynaudio Xeo 20. Using a direct mini toslink to optical into Xeo 20's, the sound is decent. When I put a Schitt Modius DAC in the middle some of the audio from Roon on Mac becomes a bit more...'clean'...especially with well recorded jazz etc. Audio is totally subjective but I've left Modius connected for this reason. This defies any logic because Xeos have DSP inside them already, so I cannot explain why this happens. 

 

This has been the story of digital playback ever since it started ... where there is the least length of the pathway, it becomes more critical to get that path, "exactly right" - having other hops on the way "rounds the edges" - which may, or may not, be acceptable ...

 

The trade-off is, that the extra circuitry means the SQ will be more generally acceptable, without going to the effort of really pushing the optimising of the whole chain; but the ultimate potential of the system will never be realised, because of the compromises added.

 

A car analogy could be appropriate 😉 - the vehicle with the most powerful engine may never win a race; because the fine tuning to make sure everything is exactly right, to balance that power, is not done - and it always has a problem when it competes.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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14 hours ago, fas42 said:

 

This has been the story of digital playback ever since it started ... where there is the least length of the pathway, it becomes more critical to get that path, "exactly right" - having other hops on the way "rounds the edges" - which may, or may not, be acceptable ...

 

The trade-off is, that the extra circuitry means the SQ will be more generally acceptable, without going to the effort of really pushing the optimising of the whole chain; but the ultimate potential of the system will never be realised, because of the compromises added.

 

A car analogy could be appropriate 😉 - the vehicle with the most powerful engine may never win a race; because the fine tuning to make sure everything is exactly right, to balance that power, is not done - and it always has a problem when it competes.



I think you explain it more accurately than I do :) All I know is between these two possible "chains"-- 

 

  1. Mac Mini --> Xeo 20  

 

  2. Mac Mini --> Modius --> Xeo 20 

 

...#1 should technically either be better with Xeo's innate DSP, or should not make much of a difference, but #2 is markedly better for my ears. I didn't realize this was "analogue"! 

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6 hours ago, morespin said:



I think you explain it more accurately than I do :) All I know is between these two possible "chains"-- 

 

  1. Mac Mini --> Xeo 20  

 

  2. Mac Mini --> Modius --> Xeo 20 

 

Quote

...#1 should technically either be better with Xeo's innate DSP, or should not make much of a difference, but #2 is markedly better for my ears. I didn't realize this was "analogue"! 

 

With the Modius there's an analogue hop - the DAC analogue output being fed to an analogue input of the Xeo; so, an extra digital to analogue, followed by an analogue to digital conversion in the speakers, pair of steps.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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