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#1
Faulty Krew

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I want to get a good setup going for sound.

Looking for a good DAC and some monitor speakers to go with it.

Do I need a good sound card if I do this setup?

I am a complete noon when it comes to audio.
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#2
Morg

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I want to get a good setup going for sound.

Looking for a good DAC and some monitor speakers to go with it.

Do I need a good sound card if I do this setup?

I am a complete noon when it comes to audio.

There is 1 golden rule.

 

Bose -> B.O.S.E -> Better Off with Something Else

 

 

______

Edit:

Ok, for a short time I tried the whole "muh music sounds" thing. Find a guide, do some research. Here's what I compiled off what I remember + what I've read around.

 

First, get yourself some FLAC files and compare them to MP3 files on your best current headphones. Notice a difference? Probably. Even a bitrate difference on MP3 samples will sound different (you can try the standard 128 kbps and compare it to a 320 kbps file). Now you know there's a difference here, MP3 is lossy while FLAC is lossless. I know you have storage to spare so work on getting your library in high-quality FLAC.

 

Now that you can hear some difference, you want to upgrade your hardware. No sound card required, you've got that shit already in the mobo so whatever. Invest in a good receiver, which generally contains your DAC, amplifier, pre-amplifier, and tuner. Go with a good brand here, NAD, Rotel, Adcom, and Marantz are all solid. Used/vintage ones are also good, as these are solid pieces of equipment that can last for years and can be repaired if needed. You can find these at Audiogon, sometimes Craigslist or similar places. Power, 20W or something should do idk.

 

 

Speakers are the important part, they have the most impact on how your sound sounds (duh). Spend most of your money here. 2.0 or 2.1 - the .1 refers to adding in a subwoofer (aka the black box that makes the floor and windows rumble a bit). Don't both with 5.1 and 7.1 because that's home theater shit and music isn't produced with that in mind. Most music is produced to be played back on a 2.0 setup.

 

If possible, you should not be shopping for speakers online. While speakers have a variety of specs that can make them look good on a sheet of paper, it's a piece of audio equipment. Much like a guitar, a lot of things can affect the sound it produces - spend the time to listen to the speakers in a store or something, especially if you're going to plunk down a fat stack of money. Burn-in on speakers, don't worry. Whatever sounds good when it's new will sound better burned in. Again, good brands are important here - Bowers and Wilkins, Dali, Mirage, PSB, Paradigm. Stand/bookshelf speakers are the bottom rung in terms of loudness and depth, if you want more then you go with two-way speakers (one woofer, one tweeter). This gives a deeper bass and more loudness if that's your thing.

 

Speakers should be at least six feet apart, creating an equilateral triangle with the speakers and the listener as the vertices. Ideally your speakers should be at least 20" from the back wall and should sit flat, can be slanted in a bit (toed-in) and can be experimented with for positioning.

 

Your setup should be like PC/Mac > Lineout > DAC > Receiver/Amplifier > Speakers (on a speaker stand perhaps)
As for speaker lines and all that shit, Monoprice. The only thing you have to worry about is shielding, I have some wires that aren't shielded right and it SUCKS because if you coil them or cross them at any point BOOM static.

 

Places to pick up FLAC files and other good quality files (remember you can be a sea-loving swashbuckler for this too) - http://www.head-fi.o...-download-sites

If you want to say "fuck speakers I like headphones" - http://www.head-fi.o...ne-buying-guide

Top 10 list of best speakers for you - fuck you, go to the store or shop used. but also, you can flip through guides you find on google, like this one http://www.electroni...nt-sound-cheap/


Edited by Morg, 31 May 2016 - 02:58 PM.

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#3
Faulty Krew

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Alright I'm on it!
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#4
Faulty Krew

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Pre Amp


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#5
Morg

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jesus

 

edit: I said spend most of your money on the fuckin speakers not the goddamn pre-amp!

your money you put into speakers is the highest dollar per arbitrary quality measurement ratio. Buying an all-in-one DAC (which includes the tuner, pre-amp, amp) will either save you money or allow you to spend more on your speakers.

 

here's one I found, wireless too if you're into that http://www.amazon.co...eywords=nad dac

 

Also look at Crutchfield, they're a decent source. Here's a list of DACs rated best by their users http://www.crutchfie...ml?o=v&tp=59309 with buy links. If you're conscious about money-spending go look the model you want up on Craigslist or something similar.


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#6
Faulty Krew

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Yea went through all those pages today the whole day. I guess from purely reviews I though that was the best bang for the buck.


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#7
Faulty Krew

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This one one massdrop looks great and 37% off

 

https://www.massdrop...op-m9xx-dac-amp

 

 

 

but seems like just for headphones.


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#8
manz

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This one's a good guide for gaming headphones: 

http://www.head-fi.o...her-c-1-1-added


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#9
Morg

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This one one massdrop looks great and 37% off

 

https://www.massdrop...op-m9xx-dac-amp

 

 

 

but seems like just for headphones.

with Massdrop, be aware that everyone says shipping takes forever. If you want it right now, Massdrop is not the place to go.


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#10
Nox

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Massdrop always has DACs and Monitor speakers on sale...but yah depending on the product, it could take an extra week or two to get it all.

 

They sometimes have some nice deals on vacuum tube dacs, which look pretty nice if you're into the style of it all...