the Interceptor's general AUDIO thread

Luca

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Mainboard audio has been improving and has gotten some attention over the past 3 years. You will find that most manufacturers now have mainboards in their lineups with isolated audio sections, high SNR, 600ohhm amp, caps and whatnot, overall there are some good implementations of the ALC1150.

In the past I have used cards from Creative and was happy with them.

Currently using a gigabyte mobo where the front L/R on the REAR panel is amped. The front audio on the case however is not! And you can definitely hear the difference not only in loudness.

I think the loudness of the headphones will also depend on their sensitivity as well as the mentioned impedance ohm.
 

Juge

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I have DT990 Pro 250ohm, and an asrock mobo, with ALC1150 for the rear ports, and a NE5532 amp for the front port. I've been using that combo for couple of years now.

When using the front NE5532 port, I usually keep the volume around 15-20%, and at around 30% it start to be too loud. For example The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcE-m7ntESQ sounds good and detailed. When there is no sound playing, there is no background hissing sounds. I also now tested the rear ALC1150 port, and had to turn the volume up to around 45% and that was pretty much the only difference.

When I bought these headphones, I also bought a headphone usb amp (can't remember the model, was around 80-100 euros). After couple of days I returned it, because not I or any of my friends could hear any difference between the external amp or the front port. I have also used these headphones with couple different laptops, and there was plenty of volume, but I can no longer remember how good the sound was.
 

eizbaer

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i'd venture the guess that the shielding on a mobo can never be as good as having the circuitry on a dedicated card or in an external case. yes, it might have improved, but still...

also, with front audio, you have those flimsy little cables dangling through the case and shitty connectors at both ends, you just know the signal will be subjected to who knows what kind of interference. i'd always try and stay as far away from that as humanly possible... even with a shitty 4? (literally) microphone, you can clearly hear the difference in sound quality even through teamspeak.

i'd say with the possibilities of online shopping and return policies as they are... just try it out, if you don't hear any difference, good for you, send it back and save yourself some money :p
 

ahpadt

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Mainboard audio has been improving and has gotten some attention over the past 3 years. You will find that most manufacturers now have mainboards in their lineups with isolated audio sections, high SNR, 600ohhm amp, caps and whatnot, overall there are some good implementations of the ALC1150.

In the past I have used cards from Creative and was happy with them.

Currently using a gigabyte mobo where the front L/R on the REAR panel is amped. The front audio on the case however is not! And you can definitely hear the difference not only in loudness.

I think the loudness of the headphones will also depend on their sensitivity as well as the mentioned impedance ohm.
My motherboard appears to have a variant of the ALC1150 aswell (Asus Maximus Gene 6). However, the annoying thing is that I currently use software to switch between the rear ALC1150 output for my main speakers and the front audio for my headset. This obviously means that I am running the headphones on a worse output, but aside from a dodgy Y-splitter I can't think of another way for both the speakers and headset to share the ALC1150 output...
 

Luca

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I can't think of another way for both the speakers and headset to share the ALC1150 output...
I use a male - female 3.5mm extension cable, I connect that cable to the rear panel of the case, then route the cable through the top of my desk and have a clip for it. So the female input is always within an arms reach then I just plug in the speaker front in 3.5mm or a headphone 3.5mm. This way I don't have to crawl under the desk behind the case to change it. So it is like hot swapping, a little more convenient but still no at the same time connected solution type of thing.
 

Blayde

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So i moved back to Bahrain for the time being, and left my speakers behind, need an audio solution and might as well get some good quality headphones.

Looking at
[edit: removed 990s cause theyre open, didnt realise, DT770s is what i originally wanted]

for 170$ that seems like a good deal, and

http://www.amazon.com/SMSL-SD793-II-PCM1793-DIR9001-Amplifier/dp/B00A2QLPJM/

to drive it, does this combo work? My mobo has an optical out so it should plug into the DAC, and from what i read it can drive 250ohm cans fine.

Advice?
 
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eizbaer

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Ah come on, tubes are like vinyl - definitely not for everyone!

Blayde: seems like a solid combo. SMSL build quite high quality stuff for being one of "those chinese manufacturers", I have an SA50-amp from them and am very happy with it. And at 65 bucks for a DAC/headphone amp combo, it should be quite good value for money.

edit:
i've been thinking about getting myself some really nice minidsp thing to go all out digital. go full retard and build some 8 channel DSP with a minisharc or something, put some dumb icepower AMPs behind that and you have something that can't be beat in terms of flexibility :think: it'll cost me and it'll mean quite a few grey hairs, but god damn i want to do it :D
 
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eizbaer

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well... i've done it :|

this might be something a little different... but it's gonna be fun and a hell of a pain in the ass :D

order A:

- miniDSP miniSHARC DSP with assorted connectivity options

- miniDSP 8 channel DAC
- one nice little aluminium case for these
- one more nice not-so-little aluminium case for order B

order B:
- one Hypex 1500W power supply

- 2 Sure class-D 2x250W amp modules
- 2 Sure class-D 2x125W amp modules

combined, this should make for possibly the most flexible arrangement for driving speakers i could possibly get :)
 

Adunaphel

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I am looking into new earbuds to replace my slightly aging Sony MH-EX300AP that I got for free with my Xperia Z phone 3 years ago, and since I'm not really into this stuff, I was hoping for some pointers what to look for. To give you guys some more clues: I mostly listen to heavy metal and hard rock, and incidentally some electronic stuff. I prefer in-ears that allow me to still hear what's going on around me. I don't need a mic or controls for my phone, but it's not a bad thing if they're there. An asymmetric cable layout is a plus in my book. My budget is about ?100 max. I kinda like how the sonys sound, although they sound a bit "small". Before them I had a Beats set that I got with my HTC phone, and I dislike the comically overdriven bass.
 
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Luca

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Shure SE215. Has a warm english sound. Is very comfortable and has a very secure fit. You calso lay on your side with these. No remote though. Thought they might be a good fit because they don't make heavy metal and hard rock sound to tinny and hard. Good match. Runs around 99?.

RHA MA750i may also be a good choice. Around the same price.

The Sony MH1C is a bit of a hidden gem, runs around 50 bucks these days, it came in bulk a few years back for 20eur.

Otherwise don't know many, more into full size cans.
 

93Flareside

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And if you want the earbuds to fit your ears and to sound amazing while also spending more than top gear does on a cheap car, get some 1964 earbuds.
 

Adunaphel

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I did some of my own research in the mean time, and ended up ordering these. They should arrive today, while I'm away on a train journey...


Sony XBA-H1 earbuds. Hoping they will arrive before my thursday train journey.
 

Nabster

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I'm considering something that may be some combination of crazy, silly, futile, stupid, or genius. I'm not really sure yet, so I'm looking for input.

I recently upgraded my home theater receiver, so now I have my old one, an Onkyo TX-SR606 sitting around doing nothing. It's still perfectly good, I've offered it to some friends and none wanted it because they don't bother with receivers and are happy with their TVs built in speakers. So, the thought occurred to me that maybe it could be put to use in the log house our family has as a stereo for background music/radio when wanted or during events when we rent it out. People could plug in their phones or media players with the AUX input, maybe we stick a CD player with it as well, or use the built in tuners, whatever really. That part seems perfectly logical yes? Currently we have an old Bose stereo thing in there which is past its prime and doesn't always work properly, so this should be a good upgrade I think.

The catch is the size of room this would be going in, the great room in the house is roughly 30 feet by 80 feet with cathedral ceilings that go up something like 15 feet at the peak. A couple decades ago there was a 100 record changer and radio unit that was setup with 4 speakers, one in each of the corners of the room about 10 feet up, and it worked fine from what the family that used to use it tell me. Those old speakers are still there, but the rest of the setup is gone. I'm working on the assumption I'd have to get new speakers for this as the old ones are likely far gone and not very good to begin with. I'd probably go with some basic bookshelf speakers, which should be enough to get decent sound. I'm not at all expecting to get audiophile quality here, just enough for good background sound.

The main issue I'm seeing is probably the wiring and speakers. Due to the size of the room there's going to be some pretty long cable runs. Assuming we stick the receiver in one of the corners we'd be looking at cable runs of approximately 15', 45', 95', and 125' for the speakers to each of the corners. Placing the receiver more toward the middle of the room in order to shorten and even up the runs might be possible, but I'm not sure. Assume it will go in the corner and get the uneven and long runs. 12ga cables should be more than adequate for those runs, 14ga may even be OK as well I think, yes? I know the uneven length runs are, according to some people, undesirable but considering adequate cable size, and electrical signals traveling at essentially the speed of light, and the fact that I can program the receiver to compensate for those differences in distances I think we won't have an issue with the uneven and long runs. I guess the main concern becomes making sure I get speakers which are appropriately rated for a setup like this.

Input from anyone else who may have some experience or knowledge on this? I figure this sort of thing is done all the time in larger stores and banquet halls that use multiple speaker systems across large rooms for background music and similar things (though likely with purpose built audio equipment), so it can't be all that difficult to do. I guess I could just jump right in with a big spool of monoprice speaker cable and a pair of their basic bookshelf speakers, but I figured I'd at least run this by others first.
 

Nabster

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Which direction are the speakers going to be aimed? Are they shooting 30 ft deep and 80 ft wide or the other way?
Here's a strange mixed-media layout of the room:



I figure the speakers will go in the corners by the blue star things up about 10 or 12 feet and point downward and roughly 45? between the perpendicular walls. In the middle of the room is a giant floor to ceiling fireplace which essentially divides the space in half. On the right half here it's mostly tables and chairs that get reconfigured for whatever is needed with some tables and buffets/cabinets against the walls. The left half is further divided by a giant tall bookcase with a TV, on the back side of the bookcase is the sort of gaming area with a pool table and card table, between the bookcase and fireplace is a giant couch and some chairs. I think essentially we'd want the speakers on the left side to serve the gaming area between the walls and bookcase, leaving the area for the couch and seating to just get "overflow" sound if that makes sense. We'd want the right side speakers to more or less cover the whole right half of the room.

Looking at this now I think maybe we need to add in another pair somewhere roughly where the edge of the fireplace would intersect the walls and pointed into the big right half as well just to ensure good coverage. That shouldn't be a problem since the receiver can handle six speakers, but it does add more to this mess. This shouldn't be too hard, as there are a few short outcropping walls to support the logs roughly in the right areas they could be put on top of, or worst case there are also large truss beams across the room every 10 feet or so which they could be mounted on as well.

Here's a giant resolution panorama picture of the room I took standing in the lower right corner of the diagram above several years ago. Layout is mostly the same now. You can see the truss beams, outcropping mini-walls, and one of those old speakers up in the corner on the very right.
 

marcos_eirik

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B&O just launched the Beolab 50, successor to the very distinctive Beolab 5. :drool:







AMPLIFIERS

For tweeter
1 x Bang & Olufsen ICEpower 300 watts

For midranges
3 x Bang & Olufsen ICEpower 300 watts

For woofers
3 x Bang & Olufsen ICEpower 300 watts

SPEAKER DRIVERS

Tweeter
1 x 3/4-inch - double motion Acoustic Lens Technology

Midrange
3 x 4-inch

Woofer
3 x 10-inch
Really expensive though... :|
 
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eizbaer

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How expensive exactly? The Beolab 90 were a bit steep at 35k? a pop, maybe these are more reasonable... :|

ah, here we go, much more reasonable indeed!
Bang & Olufsen (B&O) has announced its latest aural offering, the BeoLab 50, which is available for an eye-watering $39,170 (?22,930) per pair.
 
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