Help me install this Schiit Amp.

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by TroyX, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. TroyX

    TroyX [H]ard|Gawd

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    my sound card doesn't have RCA outputs, so I have to use the "headphone out" or "Front/Left speakers out"?

    Note: sound card has its own headphone amp, but its garbage.
     
  2. Viper87227

    Viper87227 [H]ard as it Gets

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    What sound card do you have?

    Chances are what you need is a mini stereo to rca cable.
     
  3. MrkXCeL

    MrkXCeL [H]ard|Gawd

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    Also some soundcards have an un amplified out at times, usually the rear channel, you may be able to use that for better quality . Again. Depending on sound card and what it can do via software routing the outputs, etc.
     
  4. Godmachine

    Godmachine [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Not all RCA outputs the same voltage either so even with a RCA to 3.5mm cable or adapter you might not get the correct "loudness" you might be expecting.
     
  5. Gmok Bonecrusha

    Gmok Bonecrusha [H]ard|Gawd

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    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  6. TroyX

    TroyX [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have that Sound Blaster Z

    so do I use headphone out or L/R speaker out?

    I have RCA to 3.5mm cable.
     
  7. Viper87227

    Viper87227 [H]ard as it Gets

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    Between the two, I'd guess it's probably better to use the L/R speaker out (unless you are already using it for a set of speakers). But, try both and see what happens, can't hurt.

    Is the RCA to 3.5 cable you have a decent quality one? You don't need anything crazy, but if it's a $2 chinese cable, you may want to invest in a nicer one considering you've got a $200+ amp and I'm assuming equally expensive headphones. A decent ~$20 cable could go a long way if what you've got isn't up to snuff with the rest of your gear.
     
  8. djoye

    djoye 2[H]4U

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    If this is for headphone use and you want to bypass any amplification from the sound card, wouldn't it be better just to use an optical cable to send stereo PCM to the receiver (assuming it receives optical) to avoid any noise or is there a reason for using an analog cable?
     
  9. FSCDiablo

    FSCDiablo Limp Gawd

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    The headphone out port is an amped signal which I would think you would not want to send to your external amp. I would use the speaker L/R outputs with a mini-port to RCA converter.

    I use a Bifrost+Valhalla combo myself with HD650 headphone. Love it.
     
  10. Viper87227

    Viper87227 [H]ard as it Gets

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    He's not outputting to a receiver, he's outputting to a dedicated headphone amp. He didn't specify which model, but Schiit does not make any DAC and AMP combos that I'm aware of, which means his only option is to send an analog signal.
     
  11. TroyX

    TroyX [H]ard|Gawd

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    that's correct, you nailed it.

    ok, I tried the headphone out and it didn't seem right, way too sensitive at low volume.

    switched it over to L/R out and it was much better, the only thing is that its picking up a lot more noise from inside my system now.

    time to get external DAC?

    if I do get a DAC, how would I connect it to my sound card? with optical cable? the Z model does have optical out but will I still get 3d surround for games? how does that work.
     
  12. FSCDiablo

    FSCDiablo Limp Gawd

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    On my sound card, Xonar STX, in the software I choose to pass a signal out the SPDIF in addition to one of the other normal paths (front or rear headphone jacks, or speaker outs). I can also elect to enable or disable surround processing to the SPDIF output.

    So I go optical or coax SPDIF out to the Bifrost. I really only listen to music on this path so I disable surround processing (set SPDIF to PCM).

    I can also plug another headset into the front or back plus I have a 2.1 desktop speakers using the L/R speaker outputs. Regardless of whether I select a headphone or speaker output on my card, as long as the SPDIF option is enabled the signal will also go to the Bifrost in addition to the other path chosen.

    I can't speak for your sound card, but check the software settings for something similar.
     
  13. Ed_Straker

    Ed_Straker n00b

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    Windows set at 100% and using the amp to control volume? Set to low output headphones? I've heard of quite a few people using the headphone amp out, with one guy specifically using the Schiit - he said there was no distortion or SQ problems whatsoever. Headphone out to a low THD and gain amp can work.

    Using an amp via the speakers out isn't optimal on the SB > it's now designed solely for speakers and not for the Surround HRTF of headphones in gaming/movies. Older X-Fi's didn't have this restriction. Neither do regular Xonars with the exception of the ST/STX (for some bizarre reason).

    Discussion over at Head-Fi you should read about optical out (near end): http://www.head-fi.org/t/623079/creative-sound-blaster-new-s-rie-z
     
  14. TroyX

    TroyX [H]ard|Gawd

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    thanks everyone, the feedback was very helpful.