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HD6XX + Focusrite Scarlett + Creative X3 combination?

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I have recently purchased HD6XX and I have a Scarlett Solo audio interface and Creative X3 DAC. Primarily I’m listening to classical music and film scores. I’m using Scarlett Solo audio interface to record classical music (with acoustic guitar, digital piano and signature frequency energy chimes, singing bowls and tuning forks). Ideally, of course, I understand that HD6XX require something like a quality tube amplifier. As I was experimenting with settings I put Scarlett Solo in a chain with X3 both set on 192kHz/24bit/1024 and when I started listening I realized the sound is completely different than when I used each separately. I have no experience in the field and these are my first top level headphones. I just have very good ears and performance experience in acoustic guitar and piano. I’ve heard tube amplified and vinyl analog signals before and what I heard processed through the chain sounded very close to tube signal. Deep and warm sound. Not just clear sound but all bands are clearly independently resonating, there is less phasing and it sounds like entire signal is coming through and forming a more balanced sound, meaning you hear every instrument and it doesn’t disappear without fully playing itself out and disturbing any other instrument. Its almost like it faster at compressing the signal without dampening any specific band and you hear all of it, no note missing. So my question is, is it technically true that combining uncolored clear Scarlett with highly sophisticated and unique X3 can do that work? Is chaining usually producing this type of effect? Am I “right” that running uncolored signal 192/24/1024 through Solo and feeding it into X3 for balancing, compression, coloring and processing would allow the signal to be deep, precise and fully expressed? And what are you general thoughts on it? P.S. I’m using gold plated oxygen-free copper with am-phenol cables to connect Solo to X3.
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raansire7
1296
Sep 28, 2021
What exactly do you mean by "As I was experimenting with settings"? What settings? Please be clear, because what you wrote is convoluted and difficult to understand, yet I'd like to help you, as I own many audio interfaces. The Scarlett Solo is an audio interface with its own DAC and headphone amp, and the Sound Blaster X3 is an external DAC and headphone amp. I failed to understand from what you wrote the relationship between the Scarlett Solo and the Sound Blaster X3, and what you want to achieve with both. The ideal thing is to use either equipment separate from each other. You should not be feeding one with the other...if that's what you want to know, unless you like what you're hearing. It's all about what YOU like even if technically it's incorrect. You wrote a lot, but I still failed to understand what you meant. I hope I was of at least a little help, and I expect your reply, since I'm genuinely curious about your intentions.
raansire7
1296
Sep 28, 2021
Oh OK, you're feeding the Scarlett's line outputs into the X3's LINE IN. Yeah, you're fine that way. Just make sure to watch the Scarlett's volume output so it's not so high that you possibly clip the X3's ADC, but also not so low that you have to raise the input level and get excessive noise.
Creanus
8
Sep 28, 2021
Thank you! So that was one of my concerns, there are 4 volume knobs in the chain, source volume in PC, Scarlett’s volume, X3 line-in volume and X3 output volume. As I understand PC volume can be set at 100% as there is no amplification there, on Scarlett I keep it at 75%, line-in is also at 75-85% and output volume is at around 90%. I tried different volume levels and 100% at any step is not a good idea.