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should i use dedicated DAC

i am mostly using 16 bit and 24 bit FLAC's on my PC(Intel DG41RQ on-board DAC) with sennheiser HD 598 headphone(50 ohm) and always use foobar. I have also little equalized headphone towards flat from sonicware PE-1 equalizer VST (out from equalizer is adjusted by cut -6db) . But still many times i can;t play files at desire volume because music start clipping. and i also applied gain (with avoid clipping option) in foobar.
should i use other DAC or audio interface or headphone amplifier to avoid clipping. I have budget under 5000 rupees or 80$.
i have also  pretty bad English  :))  :))  (maybe that can't be solved right away)

Re: should i use dedicated DAC

Reply #1
Better designed DAC's do sound different, mostly better, but I do not know how your built in sound card sounds. When I switch between my built in soundcard on my old motherboard and my RME Fireface 802 I immediately hear a difference. I do not know how I can prove it though without doing some kind of ABX between them and write extensive logs and results. The price difference between the two is very big though.

Re: should i use dedicated DAC

Reply #2
In general, unless the on-board DAC is complete garbage (picking up lots of noises/interference, or insufficient output power), the chance that a DAC replacement will give audible improvements is almost 0, because most DACs already have so low distortion/noise that further improvements are unlikely to be noticeable by ear. 
That is, if you have an okay DAC, then the only way to make another DAC sound differently is to introduce imperfections. Some people like imperfections (hiss, clicks and all that), though…

In your case with headphones, 50 ohm is pretty low, so the problem which you are experiencing is really strange. Normally, almost any device would almost rip and tear the ears at maximum volume when used with 50 ohm headphones. 
If the problem is indeed with the DAC, you may try any cheap external DAC and see if the problem is solved. I'd first try to re-check system mixer settings, disable DSP in foobar, etc.; you can spend money later if all of that doesn't help.

Re: should i use dedicated DAC

Reply #3
Better designed DAC's do sound different, mostly better, but I do not know how your built in sound card sounds. When I switch between my built in soundcard on my old motherboard and my RME Fireface 802 I immediately hear a difference.

Do you have any evidence for that?

To the OP, definitely check the settings first. Saying that my girlfriend listens to music at a volume that hurts my ears so maybe check your hearing as well? Or it could be that it simply won't go as loud as you want.

 

Re: should i use dedicated DAC

Reply #4
50 ohms is on the low side, so some headphone amplifiers could lose some bass.

Re: should i use dedicated DAC

Reply #5
Better designed DAC's do sound different, mostly better, but I do not know how your built in sound card sounds. When I switch between my built in soundcard on my old motherboard and my RME Fireface 802 I immediately hear a difference.
Do you have any evidence for that?
Did you intentionally miss the part about that I have no ABX or evidence for it? Have you ever listened to a >$1000 DAC vs a built in on an old motherboard? You are probably one of those who are happy with using 64kbps opus for archiving.

Re: should i use dedicated DAC

Reply #6
Better designed DAC's do sound different, mostly better, but I do not know how your built in sound card sounds. When I switch between my built in soundcard on my old motherboard and my RME Fireface 802 I immediately hear a difference.
Do you have any evidence for that?
Did you intentionally miss the part about that I have no ABX or evidence for it? Have you ever listened to a >$1000 DAC vs a built in on an old motherboard? You are probably one of those who are happy with using 64kbps opus for archiving.

There is a way to ABX this if both devices have line in ports.  You just need a headphone switch and a second person to switch for you and external device like a CD Player or MP3 Player connected to the line in ports.

RME Fireface 802 looks more like a device that someone would use if they need multiple inputs for recording or music production than something you would use for normal music listening at home.

Re: should i use dedicated DAC

Reply #7
Did you intentionally miss the part about that I have no ABX or evidence for it? Have you ever listened to a >$1000 DAC vs a built in on an old motherboard? You are probably one of those who are happy with using 64kbps opus for archiving.

Wow, straight into insulting me. Why would I want to pay $1000 for a DAC? You're now claiming that it must sound better because it costs over $1000.

Why would anyone use 64kbps of any codec for archiving? All that was was an direct insult.

Re: should i use dedicated DAC

Reply #8
Did you intentionally miss the part about that I have no ABX or evidence for it? Have you ever listened to a >$1000 DAC vs a built in on an old motherboard? You are probably one of those who are happy with using 64kbps opus for archiving.

Wow, straight into insulting me. Why would I want to pay $1000 for a DAC? You're now claiming that it must sound better because it costs over $1000.

Why would anyone use 64kbps of any codec for archiving? All that was was an direct insult.
Wow, you are easily offended if that offends you. If you question the difference between the two, old built in soundcard vs RME Fireface 802, then I am certain that you are blind to the difference in quality and could never notice the difference.

Re: should i use dedicated DAC

Reply #9
Did you intentionally miss the part about that I have no ABX or evidence for it? Have you ever listened to a >$1000 DAC vs a built in on an old motherboard? You are probably one of those who are happy with using 64kbps opus for archiving.

Wow, straight into insulting me. Why would I want to pay $1000 for a DAC? You're now claiming that it must sound better because it costs over $1000.

Why would anyone use 64kbps of any codec for archiving? All that was was an direct insult.
Wow, you are easily offended if that offends you. If you question the difference between the two, old built in soundcard vs RME Fireface 802, then I am certain that you are blind to the difference in quality and could never notice the difference.

Hrm... No, I feel the same way as probedb, I took your comment the same way, and claiming things is fine, but when in accordance to TOS 8. And no, price != quality.

Re: should i use dedicated DAC

Reply #10
Did you intentionally miss the part about that I have no ABX or evidence for it? Have you ever listened to a >$1000 DAC vs a built in on an old motherboard? You are probably one of those who are happy with using 64kbps opus for archiving.

Wow, straight into insulting me. Why would I want to pay $1000 for a DAC? You're now claiming that it must sound better because it costs over $1000.

Why would anyone use 64kbps of any codec for archiving? All that was was an direct insult.
Wow, you are easily offended if that offends you. If you question the difference between the two, old built in soundcard vs RME Fireface 802, then I am certain that you are blind to the difference in quality and could never notice the difference.

Hrm... No, I feel the same way as probedb, I took your comment the same way, and claiming things is fine, but when in accordance to TOS 8. And no, price != quality.
You interpreting does not automatically make it true. There was no insult. Obvious things like old motherboard sound cards vs  really good (often more expensive) sound cards is not something fan boys should waste their time throwing TOS 8 replies at. The difference is so obvious that you asking for evidence is almost an insult.

Re: should i use dedicated DAC

Reply #11
You interpreting does not automatically make it true.

Point of tos8 is to discourage people from making unsupported claims. If you say that you have no evidence, then people are going to interpret your statement as being unsupported by evidence.

The difference is so obvious that you asking for evidence is almost an insult.

If you feel insulted by the way this community operates, then you should probably find a different community to post in.

Re: should i use dedicated DAC

Reply #12
Wow, you are easily offended if that offends you. If you question the difference between the two, old built in soundcard vs RME Fireface 802, then I am certain that you are blind to the difference in quality and could never notice the difference.

You should probably reread the TOS you agreed to when you signed up to this forum. Also back to the insults again.

 
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