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  • Tripwire
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
I got my Aureon 7.1 today, and it actually has a dedicated headphone preamp on the PCB (my old Audigy apparenly didnt). Now, when I set the master volume to 50%, I got my desired volume on the headphone, and seems to sound OK. When I turn on the preamp, it almost blows my head and the headphones at 50%. I need to turn the volume down to 10% when using the preamp to get the same perceptual volume as without.

Now the thing is, do I really NEED to use the preamp on headphones? Does it affect the quality using it or not?

Thanks.

  • indybrett
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #1
Quote
I got my Aureon 7.1 today, and it actually has a dedicated headphone preamp on the PCB (my old Audigy apparenly didnt). Now, when I set the master volume to 50%, I got my desired volume on the headphone, and seems to sound OK. When I turn on the preamp, it almost blows my head and the headphones at 50%. I need to turn the volume down to 10% when using the preamp to get the same perceptual volume as without.

Now the thing is, do I really NEED to use the preamp on headphones? Does it affect the quality using it or not?

Thanks.

I have the Prodigy 7.1, which is the same card re-branded. I have to use the amp with my Sony V6 phones, and they are relatively easy to drive.

I would say that it depends on the sensitivity and impedance of the headphones that you are trying to drive.

Edit: let me know if you have any static/crackling problems. I downgraded from XP to Win2K and the problem seems to have gone away. Not sure yet.
  • Last Edit: 18 June, 2003, 10:29:40 AM by indybrett
flac>fb2k>kernel streaming>audiophile 2496>magni>dt990 pro

  • Tripwire
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #2
I only hear my DVD drive spinning up and down, that's it, no crackling whatsoever. I'm running the Win2k3 360day Trial though.

  • sthayashi
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #3
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Now the thing is, do I really NEED to use the preamp on headphones? Does it affect the quality using it or not?

Thanks.

My guess is, with those headphones, probably not.

However, there are some high end headphones that DO require pre-amping, like the Sennheiser HD-600s, which have a 300 Ohm nominal impedence.  That means that it takes a bit more power to drive it than your typical headphone, which probably have a nominal impedence of about 32 Ohms or so.

So, I wouldn't worry about it too much if it sounds pretty good without the amp.

  • Tripwire
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #4
Ok, thanks!

  • RIV@NVX
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #5
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Edit: let me know if you have any static/crackling problems. I downgraded from XP to Win2K and the problem seems to have gone away. Not sure yet.

What kind of crackling? Just curious.

  • indybrett
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #6
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Quote
Edit: let me know if you have any static/crackling problems. I downgraded from XP to Win2K and the problem seems to have gone away. Not sure yet.

What kind of crackling? Just curious.

Pretty bad, actually. You'll know it if you here it. Severe distortion.
flac>fb2k>kernel streaming>audiophile 2496>magni>dt990 pro

  • Tripwire
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #7
Blergh. I get noise when moving the transparent window frame around on window moving. :/

--edit: On 88200 and 96000 stuff
  • Last Edit: 18 June, 2003, 06:22:50 PM by Tripwire

  • indybrett
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #8
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Blergh. I get noise when moving the transparent window frame around on window moving. :/

--edit: On 88200 and 96000 stuff

Yes, exactly. Same problem I had. So it is (probably) the card after all, or the driver. I have switched back to Win2000. The problem is not as bad.

Edit: mine would crackle even at 48000
  • Last Edit: 18 June, 2003, 07:31:50 PM by indybrett
flac>fb2k>kernel streaming>audiophile 2496>magni>dt990 pro

  • picmixer
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #9
Am having those exact same problems with my Terratec SixPack as well.  Static and very faint noises when moving things in the Windows (XP) GUI.  Already wrote to the Terratec Support about it a few days ago.  Didn't think it woud have to do with the OS though.  Already tried moving the card to different PCI slots and that did not help either.

  • indybrett
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #10
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Am having those exact same problems with my Terratec SixPack as well.  Static and very faint noises when moving things in the Windows (XP) GUI.  Already wrote to the Terratec Support about it a few days ago.  Didn't think it woud have to do with the OS though.  Already tried moving the card to different PCI slots and that did not help either.

I already wish I had bought the M-Audio...


Win2000 does not completely eliminate the problem, but it does seem to be a lot better than XP. I'll need to stress test it for a week.

Even so, I don't plan on running Win2K forever.

I had tried changing slots, changing IRQ's, changing drivers, etc.

Audiotrak suggested I change the latency. That didn't help. I suspect that there is a hardware problem here that can not be fixed with a driver.

I'll let you know how it works after a week with Win2K. One other thing to note is that my motherboard has a VIA chipset. Not sure if that matters.

Edit: spelling
  • Last Edit: 18 June, 2003, 08:38:15 PM by indybrett
flac>fb2k>kernel streaming>audiophile 2496>magni>dt990 pro

  • indybrett
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #11
Well, I just tried ripping a CD with EAC while listening to some MPC files. Started getting static immediately.

I set the latency to 1024 and the static stopped. Changing the latency did not help in XP, but seems to in Win2K.
flac>fb2k>kernel streaming>audiophile 2496>magni>dt990 pro

  • Tripwire
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #12
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Yes, exactly. Same problem I had. So it is (probably) the card after all, or the driver. I have switched back to Win2000. The problem is not as bad.

Edit: mine would crackle even at 48000

I had no issues while listening to music when the box is under heavy load. Even with tons of screen refreshes per second. Just when moving windows around (Transparent frame, no contents). I can scroll a huge HTML page in IE tons of times up and down as fast as I can, no issues. Games with +100fps, no issues. Just moving the window frame on screen. That's the weirdest thing.

As said though, I run the Win2k3 Server trial. Newer kernel and base system than XP.

--edit: VIA 694D here.
  • Last Edit: 21 June, 2003, 10:08:08 AM by Tripwire

  • indybrett
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #13
I after my CD ripping experience, I started to wonder why EAC was maxing out my cpu. Started thinking, and decided to download and install the VIA 4in1 drivers.

That solved that problem.

I still get some static from moving windows, but it is much less, and much less often. XP was really bad. Win2K with the VIA drivers is much better.

I think that if I had a different motherboard, and a current model CPU (I have a P3-800), the problem might go away completely.

I was planning to upgrade my MB and CPU soon anway. Probably be about a month before I do.
flac>fb2k>kernel streaming>audiophile 2496>magni>dt990 pro

  • picmixer
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #14
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I think that if I had a different motherboard, and a current model CPU (I have a P3-800), the problem might go away completely.

Don't want to discourage you.  But I run a fairly recent system (Gigabyte 7VAXP Ultra, Athlon XP 2200, 512 MB RAM) and have those same problems you mentioned (Windows XP though).

  • indybrett
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #15
I looked up that board. Also a VIA chipset. Maybe just a coincidence.

It would be nice to hear from someone who has that card on a motherboard that doesn't have a VIA chipset to see if they have any problems.

Probabably will take some time for the card to be more widely used before we get more feedback.
flac>fb2k>kernel streaming>audiophile 2496>magni>dt990 pro

  • picmixer
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #16
As I said, Iam running not exactly the same card as you do.  Mine is a Terratech SixPack.  But the problems I am suffering from are exactly the same ones as you do with your Prodigy aka Aureon 7.1.

  • Xenno
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #17
I don't know what you guys are using for players, but what playback mode are you using? As I'm sure y'all know, there's WaveOut, DirectSound, ASIO, and Kernel Mode. I've tried WO, DS, and Kernel. DS has worked the best. I'm using a 700 MHz PIII, with W2k (SP3), Turtle Beach soundcard (Montreal?) and Media Center set to DS. With the slider (more skip resistant <> more responsive) moved almost all the way over to more responsive, I get pops & clicks only when I run an intense application. To date, that's been one (Rhinocerous...a 3D modeler). It occurs when the cursor snaps to the grid or to object points (end, center, mid, etc.).

I did notice on a couple new Dells (2.56 GHz P4's running W2k) that when playing a CD from their RW drives (using Foobar), playback would pop everytime the disk was accessed. Changing playback mode did not help (so I left it set to DS). The solution was not to play CD directly from the drives. If they were mine, as God as my witness, I would have fixed it.

xen-uno
No one can be told what Ogg Vorbis is...you have to hear it for yourself
- Morpheus

  • picmixer
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #18
The static has nothing to do with what player I use.  It is there constantly, wether any player is active or not.  It will even be present if I mute the Headphone volume in the control panel.  There are no issues when using the line out with any player.

  • Xenno
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #19
That is strange. Sounds like a ground problem but how could that be when it's in contact with the grounded case (plus it would probably show up where ever an analog signal leaves the card). Bad headphone implementation?

xen-uno
No one can be told what Ogg Vorbis is...you have to hear it for yourself
- Morpheus

  • picmixer
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #20
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Bad headphone implementation?

Probably.  But then switching back from Win XP to Win 2K seemed to really have improved things for Indybrett.

  • picmixer
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #21
Well, I decided to go for the most practical solution here and dug out a mixing panel.  Got that plugged in to the line out of my soundcard now and take the headphones from the mixer.  Problem solved, although not as intended it's still a good sollution and I don't have to break my head anymore about getting a new soundcard, or trying to fix a problem on the old one, that should not be there in the first place.

Can finally enjoy my music again without constant annoying static in the background.

  • SNYder
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #22
i had static problems using Windows XP too when I had my Terratec DMX 6Fire.  Had it for about 5 months before I returned it.  This was last year some time.  I went a few months without a soundcard and in january I got the M-Audio Revolution.  Now all is good

  • GenjuroXL
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #23
Disabling line-in in the soundcard mixer worked wonders against crackling/static  here. (Windows XP, Terratec DMX Xfire 1024)

  • indybrett
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Headphone preamp on soundcard
Reply #24
Anybody want to buy my Prodigy 7.1? PM me if you're interested.
flac>fb2k>kernel streaming>audiophile 2496>magni>dt990 pro