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Thread: Audio Gear Info and Buyer's Guide

  1. #21

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    I'm still considering to get the Fiio E10k or to pick up a normal amp instead. Thinking that it might be more worth it to grab something like a Schiit Magi/similar amp since onboards are somewhat decent now, but mine's a Realtek ALC 892 which is the lowest grade Realtek onboard.

    Not too sure if the FiiO E10k would give a better bang for my buck, or a good amp. Like you mentioned for the E10k, there would be no going back or upgrade options without grabbing a full DAC+amp set.

    Or grab a soundcard + amp..

    But in the meantime, I've dropped an order for the K612.
    Last edited by AcrylicBlaze; 21st July 2015 at 01:45 PM.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by AcrylicBlaze View Post
    Spoiler!
    That's entirely up to you, the ALC892 is actually a decent on-board chipset. If you already don't hear any or much noise through the ALC892, there's not much reason to upgrade to a dedicated DAC except you want it for other purposes.
    「僕たちの前にはいまだ巨大すぎる人生が、茫漠とした時間がどうしようもなく横たわっていた。 」
    "We live in a very special time: the only time where we can observationally verify that we live at a very special time." -Lawrence Krauss

  3. #23
    IAちゃんまじかわイア blankaex's Avatar
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    I went through a bit of a fiasco the past couple of days over audio gear, but I think I'm happy with where I'm standing.

    TL;DR
    I bought this.

    Two days ago I went to Akihabara to look for a pair of headphones and a DAC/amp. I had all of your suggestions written down, and was on the lookout for those especially. While I was there, I got to try out a bunch of different headphones, and the HD598 was clearly my top choice. However, the 25,000-27,000 yen price tag was a little over the budget, and the colour wasn't particularly to my tastes either. Due to this, I decided to hold off on buying it. I did, however, come across a second hand one, for a much more reasonable (for lack of a better word) price of 16,800 yen, if memory serves. I debated this purchase for quite a while, but I decided against it in the end, though I did have half a mind to turn back when I was already 40 minutes away. I decided that, if it was still there the next time I came back, I would buy them.

    Regarding the DAC/amp, there were several available, but none of the models I was after. The entire FiiO line was for sale in two different places, but both were missing the E10k. The only one that I could find was the NuForce uDAC3, but that still was a little pricey, coming close to 14,000 yen, and also a lot smaller than I thought it would be. Since I get static in my speakers but in none of the headphones I tried, I figured that there were no issues with my on-board mobo DAC, but rather with my speakers, and I didn't need to make the immediate investment in purchasing an external sound card, so again, I decided against this purchase.

    The next day (yesterday), though, I up and went back to Akiba again because I really wanted the HD598. An hour's train ride and 637 yen train fare later, I was met with crushing disappointment as the second hand HD598 was already sold. I was unable to find it anywhere else, and I was tempted to pick up the NuForce uDAC3 just so that something would come out of the trip, but my reason and girlfriend stopped me from making the stupid purchase. Instead, I ate a kebab and returned home, down four hours and nearly 2000 yen for no real reason. On the way back, I arrived at the optimistic, spiritual realisation that "I wasn't meant to have those headphones yet", and "I can enjoy my current headphones (ATH-PRO5MK2) for a while longer".

    Still, I did want to buy something, so I ended up ordering a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD from Amazon when I got home. As far as I know, an amp alone does little to nothing for sound quality and just makes your headphones louder, but the main reason for purchase was so that I didn't have to reach back to my case to plug in my headphones. A secondary reason was to add to the collection of pretentious hardware on my desk. A guy actually tried to deliver it this morning while I was asleep, so I couldn't pick up and sign the package. Hopefully he comes back later today.



  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by blankaex View Post
    Spoiler!
    Dang, I keep forgetting you're living in Japan for some reason... I'd imagine Japanese brands might be cheaper than the imported stuff there? If so, the 500/700/900X (some minor driver differences if at all, I sampled all three and the difference is so minor it's very hard to notice many significant differences between them without good quality lossless tracks and a really clean amp) might be a better buy for the money if you can find them for dirt cheap o_O Otherwise just stick with your guns, the Pro5Mk2 is still a good headphone... if you're into that V-shaped sound :P

    On the other hand, the X-Fi HD is an amp that I would generally pair with headphones that are generally high sensitivity, high efficiency, and preferably 150+ Ohms because the output is a bit on the higher side, but if you don't care about what that entails then it'll be a perfectly serviceable DAC/Amp unit. Having easy access to a software equalizer through the drivers is a nice touch that the gaming amps have over some of the other stuff, too. :D
    「僕たちの前にはいまだ巨大すぎる人生が、茫漠とした時間がどうしようもなく横たわっていた。 」
    "We live in a very special time: the only time where we can observationally verify that we live at a very special time." -Lawrence Krauss

  5. #25
    IAちゃんまじかわイア blankaex's Avatar
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    Thanks, it actually arrived just now, but I'm having some issues with it. I immediately unboxed it and plugged everything in, installed the drivers that came with it and everything. Thing is, I'm not getting sound out of any of my programs. I have my headphones plugged into the 6.35mm jack at the front, but nothing I do on my computer seems to get sound to play through the headphones... Except the left/right channel & noise in the "entertainment console" of the program... I've been digging around my windows settings and trying to set the output device and such but I can't seem to figure out what to do. Any ideas?

    EDIT: NEVER MIND I'M DUMB

    I do have some money left over, though, so I'll keep an eye out for those headphones at any rate. I really am quite partial to the HD598... If only it were a different colour!

    Edit 2:
    Here's a pic.
    Spoiler!
    Last edited by blankaex; 2nd August 2015 at 03:39 PM.



  6. #26

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    Sorry to bust your bubble about the color, but once you get to higher end headphones, color options generally aren't an option anymore unless you go for the stuff marketed for the general populous like Beats was.
    「僕たちの前にはいまだ巨大すぎる人生が、茫漠とした時間がどうしようもなく横たわっていた。 」
    "We live in a very special time: the only time where we can observationally verify that we live at a very special time." -Lawrence Krauss

  7. #27
    IAちゃんまじかわイア blankaex's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've come to accept it as an undeniable truth. Hopefully Sennheiser comes out with a similar pair in black, though the 558 already exists. I hear the foam mod makes it sound almost exactly like the 598 for a lower price, but when I tried them both on, the difference in comfort was astronomical. In any case, I have no immediate need for a new pair, even less so if I can figure out a way to stretch the earcups out on my Pro5MK2.



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