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Will a DAC improve sound quality if paired with my sony str-2800l and a pair of Sennheiser hd 599?

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The motherboard that my amp is hooked up to at the moments it the Asus Rog Strix b450-e. If it will affect sound quality I'm willing to spend up to 100$ for a DAC.
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Eragaurd
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postwarscars
1105
Mar 3, 2020
I'm going to walk back this conversation a little, I think it got a bit too dense and confusing considering your question. To answer you directly: probably not. The reason is simple: you're using a stereo receiver for a headphone amp, which will be the weak link for your headphones. If we got into the technical reasons it would derail a proper answer. If you are looking to improve your headphone listening experience, you would need to spend a little more money and purchase a headphone amp ($100 for the JDS Labs Atom or the Schiit Heresy), and join it with a dedicated DAC ($100 for a Schiit Modi or $175ish for a Topping D50s). You could also, simply, buy a headphone amp and run it from your motherboard's output, but there's a good possibility it wouldn't be ideal for technical reasons. That said, it would still be a better investment than a DAC, since it would power your headphones correctly, which would improve the sound.
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Whitedragem
179
Mar 3, 2020
$100 for a DAC, for that ‘level’ of equipment isn’t necessarily a good value proposition. Probably NOT worth it. Would depend on what sort of music you are listening too, how critically you would choose to listen to the music, and what config you are aiming for. (reads ambiguous as to what the amp is used for - headphones AND speakers?) So, gaming? IF so- the HRTF capability of the included Asus software would probably make a usability difference that would make sticking with the inbuilt chipset worthwhile. I know the ASUS marketing makes out like the audio chipset ‘is all that’ (and ASUS are my fav manufacturer of PC equipment), but it is still a PC sound chipset, admittedly vastly better than what we had decades ago.... (but nothing AUDIOPHILE; for the record I use a few hundred dollar dedicated sound card (an Asus Essence STX) for the software and a higher quality digital output than my $600 mainboard; but then it was feeding into a sound system worth north of $100k when I implemented it). On the weekend, being unhappy with the sound from a set of Beyerdynamic T90, the bass being lean, I used a Samsung phones’ ‘Adapt Sound’ feature to tailor the headphones to ‘flatline sound’. The sound quality improvement was so vast that that setup made the sound way more listenable than using a dedicated FiiO X5(III) or the matching K5 dock etc... I would hazard that using some system equalisation would net a sound quality inline with the majority of improvements you might find with an outboard DAC etc. definately play with the included Asus sound software (and if you listen to classical music, critically, from lossless and/or hi res sound files, then maybe save the pennies...)
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Holy smokes mate; that receiver ISN’T a massmarket modern ‘hifi’ surround receiver. (soz most people touting ‘its a Sony’ are after big speakers and thousands of watts)... Definately add a nice DAC if listening to music through that thing! I would probably take the headphone function of that amp of just about the majority of headphones amps for less than a few hundred dollars (so long as the Sony drives those Sennheisers’ correctly eg without an impeadance mismatch that can reveal itself as bass bloat etc). As for a fitting DAC? Well the inbuilt DAC circuit in your mainboard is super basic by ‘hifi’ standards... For a budget pricepoint try to avoid anything with a headphone out, and pre amp capabilities. Look for a design where consideration has foremost gone into the output type you wish to use (eg USB or fibre optic). Most new to the hobby love USB (cause it is easy to play a numbers game and achieve 32bit and 768khz etc). If you are playing a lot of DSD rips then USB *might* be prefereable, and TRUE, most budget DACs will use it (modern DAC chips play well in an easy to configure build, and generally can bypass allocating $$ to power supply etc). Myself, I’d generally, as a rule of thumb, prefer the fibre optic route, and I ALWAYS prefer COAX over Fibreoptic... But for 100quid you will probably be looking for a nice lil USB job. Cables DO make a major difference at a USB level (no matter what the monkeys tell you), as USB cables were designed to transmit data, like for printers, where if any data errors happened the data could be resent. USB audio is a tricky beast. (hence why many audiofools, like myself, do everything to avoid it or use it as a last resort- honestly though it is probably because we all have nice cables for ‘antiquated’ formats (like COAX and FibreOptic) If my cable talk has devalued my ‘opinion’ due to not being the common consensus between people who actually think MP3s are great, then ‘more power to you’, you can read and think that audio science is purely about the numbers. A dangerous game to play. Myself- I think that amp would make some gorgeous audio, and I’d encourage you to look for something with a tube (or two ) in it... help smooth that digital sound;-) Just avoid Chi-fi companies that overvolt the tubes because people think tube glow is what it is ‘all about’.
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Eragaurd
4
Mar 3, 2020
I didn't quite understand what you said about the quality of my amp/receiver. Is it any good? And second, what did you say about the headphone out? And, I have NO idea how good my speakers are, but I like them. Check out this https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/1083421-do-you-know-anything-about-the-brand-of-this-monitorspeaker/?tab=comments#comment-12736979 forum post I made about them to see some specs.
Eragaurd
4
Mar 3, 2020
AND, I don't have fiberoptic on my pc, so USB it is.
Wonky23
21
Mar 2, 2020
This dude wanted a $100 solution to question, and you gave him that? First, That cable...Get a Chroma cable for half the price or less...same value. Second, Recommending extremely specific items without having any extra information is not ideal. Third, adding links was a good move i grant you.
rastus
1260
Mar 2, 2020
Well, you will want a DAC/amp combo, $100 is a tough budget,,, but... having HD 599 headphones is a nice start;) Your Asus Mobo does not have swap-able op-amps so best bet is to go with an external dac/amp using USB out. Your Sony receiver,,, the headphone out was an afterthought for convenience,, not quality... I would honestly tell you to go used and jump to something like the CTH + SDAC for your best value, offer $150-160, get a nice NOS tube later; https://www.ebay.com/itm/Massdrop-x-Cavalli-Tube-Hybrid-w-SDAC-CTH-SDAC- For new @ $100,, coming close... perhaps the ifi Zen:https://www.amazon.com/iFi-Zen-DAC-Converter-Unbalanced For any choice, a decent USB cable is useful: https://www.amazon.com/Pangea-Audio-Premier-Cable-Meter
Eragaurd
4
Mar 3, 2020
A bit strange then that these are sometimes sold for above 200$ when restored, new pots, new caps etc.
Eragaurd
4
Mar 3, 2020
Yes, but how does those lower cost components affect sound?
Wonky23
21
Mar 2, 2020
Yes.