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Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #25
Both of your headphones have fluctuating impedance:
https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/GradoSR325e.pdf - (not the exact same model) impedance of 30 ohms, peaking at 60 ohms (at 70Hz).
https://www.innerfidelity.com/images/SennheiserHD598.pdf - impedance of 50 ohms, peaking at 300 ohms (at 90Hz).

So going by the 1/8th rule, you want an output impedance under 4 ohms to keep the EQing to a minimum. There is a good article here with more information: http://nwavguy.blogspot.ca/2011/02/headphone-amp-impedance.html

Check RAA, they have a nice list and already graph how much they're EQed with different output impedances:

225e: http://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/report/hp/grado-sr-225e.php




Phoenix1 - thanks for linking that table of output impedance measurements on reddit, looks handy.

The best way you can thank me is by contributing to that list.

Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #26
That's really cool, I have looked at RAA but glossed over the fact that they have those EQ simulations for different source impedances.

Yeah, I'm thinking of getting a cheap multimeter and measuring the sources I have.
I'm assuming the ones on Amazon with a 2V AC range should be OK? It's hard to find cheap meters that give the frequency range for the AC measurement.

Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #27
That's really cool, I have looked at RAA but glossed over the fact that they have those EQ simulations for different source impedances.

Yeah, I'm thinking of getting a cheap multimeter and measuring the sources I have.
I'm assuming the ones on Amazon with a 2V AC range should be OK? It's hard to find cheap meters that give the frequency range for the AC measurement.

You don't actually need a mutltimeter for measuring output impedance, checking how many dBs the volume drops when connecting the headphone tells you that, the problem here would we determening the exact impedance of the headphone, so a dummy load would be better.

Either way, check this one (has uV resolution) (and you can find it for less than 20$ on ebay):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdGQEVdxmQQ


Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #28
No idea where to put it. I got an Asus Prime z370-A (SPECTRE inside) lately and it has a Realtek s1220 onboard marketed as Crystal Sound 3.
The front panel connector is fed directly from the codec chip. No additional OP amps.
It looks like the output uses the 75Ohm resistor and 100µF pieces the shematic already for the ALC1150 suggests.
The shielding on the chip seems to work nicely. It doesn't catch obvious noise from other components even at high loads. My X-Fi was bad with collecting graphic cards noise when loaded.
I tried to check the interaction of the output together with my HD-590 that has a nominal impedance of 120Ohm.
Still playing around but the sound is not to bad. Here is a pic showing the FR without load, with HD-590 attached with a Y cable and an EQ attempt.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #29
That's really cool, I have looked at RAA but glossed over the fact that they have those EQ simulations for different source impedances.

Yeah, I'm thinking of getting a cheap multimeter and measuring the sources I have.
I'm assuming the ones on Amazon with a 2V AC range should be OK? It's hard to find cheap meters that give the frequency range for the AC measurement.

The new flock of sub-$20 true RMS DVMs generally have FR up to only 400 Hz or 1 KHz. If you consider that most of their real-world usage is power line or DC related, that is just fine for their purpose. If you want a DVM with response up through the audio range, the cheapest one I know of is the Uni-T UT-61 for about $50. https://www.markhennessy.co.uk/budget_multimeters/unit_ut61e.htm    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAF7N6S60059

Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #30
I ended up getting an ANENG 8008 on eBay for around $20. It's a true RMS, auto-ranging 9999 count model. The specs say  it does AC measurements between 40Hz-1kHz.

I used a 60Hz sine wave generated in Audacity, and a 100 ohm dummy load, and the "(Rload * (Vnoload - Vload)) / Vload" formula to measure the output impedance of all of the headphone jacks I had easy access to:

Apple MacBookPro10,1 (laptop)    1.1 ohm
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro (phone)  1.8 ohm
Apple iPad 2 (tablet)            3.0 ohm
Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 (tablet)         1.4 ohm
Yamaha R-S300 (stereo receiver)  476 ohm
Denon AVR-1603 (AVR)             483 ohm


Nothing new here, just thought I would share. The Yamaha is a stereo-only receiver and was purchased circa 2012, and the Denon is 5.1 channel from circa 2003.

Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #31
What is even the point of headphone outs with such a crazy output impedance...

Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #32
What is even the point of headphone outs with such a crazy output impedance...

You get to add "headphone output" to the spec sheet.

Does anyone actually use the headphone output on an AV receiver?

Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #33
What is even the point of headphone outs with such a crazy output impedance...

It makes a good place to plug in a good headphone amp like a Topping NX-1 and fix things up! :-)

Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #34
What is even the point of headphone outs with such a crazy output impedance...

You get to add "headphone output" to the spec sheet.

Does anyone actually use the headphone output on an AV receiver?
Probably, yes! 

I have an integrated amplifier on my desk: I plug my headphones into it. I do have more 'audiophile' options, but this one is, subjectively, quite good enough for me. Especially as the least audiophile kit in this house is now my ears.
The most important audio cables are the ones in the brain

Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #35
Having owned every high end internal sound card in the past 10 years and moving to external audio interfaces about 2 years ago, I can only ever reccomend external from now on.

This is especially the case if your PC is loaded internally with a high output PSU, big graphics cards etc... This is subjective, but I think my audio output since going external is definateley cleaner / artifact free.

Simple really, get your sound processing & DA converstion away from all the electronics in your PC.
Hi-Fi: Audio Technica AT-LP5 Turntable | Cambridge Audio CXC CD Transport | 851N DAC/Streamer | 851W Pre-amp | 840W Power-amp | Cerwin Vega XLS215 Speakers

Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #36
What is even the point of headphone outs with such a crazy output impedance...

You get to add "headphone output" to the spec sheet.

Does anyone actually use the headphone output on an AV receiver?

(1) If it works well other than the output voltage and impedance, add a headphone amp like a ToppingNX1.

(2) Again, if works well enough, plugging it into the aux input on something big  can work very well.

Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #37
Having owned every high end internal sound card in the past 10 years and moving to external audio interfaces about 2 years ago, I can only ever reccomend external from now on.

This is especially the case if your PC is loaded internally with a high output PSU, big graphics cards etc... This is subjective, but I think my audio output since going external is definateley cleaner / artifact free.

Simple really, get your sound processing & DA converstion away from all the electronics in your PC.

So which external card is as close to 120 dB dynamic range as the better internals, say RME or Lynx?

Not to mention that we are well inside the event horizon of that black hole called overkill!


Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #38
Having owned every high end internal sound card in the past 10 years and moving to external audio interfaces about 2 years ago, I can only ever reccomend external from now on.

This is especially the case if your PC is loaded internally with a high output PSU, big graphics cards etc... This is subjective, but I think my audio output since going external is definateley cleaner / artifact free.

Simple really, get your sound processing & DA converstion away from all the electronics in your PC.

So which external card is as close to 120 dB dynamic range as the better internals, say RME or Lynx?

Not to mention that we are well inside the event horizon of that black hole called overkill!



My Favourite from the 'sound card' category is the Creative Soundblaster X7.

If we go over to the 'USB DAC' category (which we know is the same thing) then well how much do you want to spend.... I currently use a Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus, which has replaced my Cambridge 851D due to space limitations.

When I had a home recording studio, I was a fan of Focusrite gear, and used a Clarett 8PreX Thunderbolt interface.
Hi-Fi: Audio Technica AT-LP5 Turntable | Cambridge Audio CXC CD Transport | 851N DAC/Streamer | 851W Pre-amp | 840W Power-amp | Cerwin Vega XLS215 Speakers

Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #39
This is especially the case if your PC is loaded internally with a high output PSU, big graphics cards etc... This is subjective, but I think my audio output since going external is definateley cleaner / artifact free.

This is bad advice.  Plenty of internal hardware is excellent (most actually).  Plenty of external hardware is crap.  It is absolutely not true that going external will be "definitely cleaner".  It depends on the hardware.

Simple really, get your sound processing & DA converstion away from all the electronics in your PC.

You can do this if you want, but it makes no difference. 

Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #40
This is especially the case if your PC is loaded internally with a high output PSU, big graphics cards etc... This is subjective, but I think my audio output since going external is definateley cleaner / artifact free.

This is bad advice.  Plenty of internal hardware is excellent (most actually).  Plenty of external hardware is crap.  It is absolutely not true that going external will be "definitely cleaner".  It depends on the hardware.

Simple really, get your sound processing & DA converstion away from all the electronics in your PC.

You can do this if you want, but it makes no difference. 

Agree with saratoga on the hardware part(internal vs external), the only thing I would add about internal is that sometimes there are issues with powerful GPUs interference and also IRQ sharing(both rare but annoying to deal with). (I'm no audio expert at all, just seen some issues in the past). External I do not have experience to comment about, issues wise.

Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #41
Agree with saratoga on the hardware part(internal vs external), the only thing I would add about internal is that sometimes there are issues with powerful GPUs interference and also IRQ sharing(both rare but annoying to deal with).

While the limited number of IRQs in 1990s x86 hardware was an issue with Windows 98 and 98, that has not been the case for almost 20 years, and no longer relevent to modern OSes and hardware which use xAPIC (or newer) for interrupts.

Re: looking for a soundcard to improve the builtin realtek

Reply #42
Agree with saratoga on the hardware part(internal vs external), the only thing I would add about internal is that sometimes there are issues with powerful GPUs interference and also IRQ sharing(both rare but annoying to deal with).

While the limited number of IRQs in 1990s x86 hardware was an issue with Windows 98 and 98, that has not been the case for almost 20 years, and no longer relevent to modern OSes and hardware which use xAPIC (or newer) for interrupts.

I've seen it more recently than 90s but what you said about modern OSes makes sense as it explains why it's been a while since i heard about anything related to irq sharing issues. Thanks for the feedback, glad it's no longer an issue

 
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