I am finally looking to take the plunge and get a proper headphone setup for my home PC. I would say it will be 70% gaming and 30% music but maybe 60/40.
My budget all in is between £600-800 with a preference to the 600 side but I will spend what gets me in a good spot.
The games I play are mainly open would RPGs like AC Odyssey or Tomb Raider with a mix of some first person shooters such as Hell Let Loose and R6 ( HLL being much more popular), MS Flight Sim, and League. The open world stuff is the majority of what I play.
I mainly listen to acoustic music (piano/violin/guitar) with some vocals but from time to time I slide back to my younger days and listen to some GnR, Offspring, etc. I listen to little trance, dance and no RnB.
As for sound I would like something with a good sound stage and I believe I would favour something more to the warm side but I am not entirely sure. I like a little bit of bass but just enough that it gives depth to the music, nothing over powering.
I spent most of the afternoon reading other threads and I am not much further ahead. I figured if I am going to take sound more seriously then it may be better getting a quality amp/dac which could fit with different headphones as I do not want to end up re-buying everything in a year or two.
Since I live in the UK Hd6xx is out of the question since I would have to import it and anything from schiit will be hard to acquire due to no stock and unknown lead times which is from their UK website.
I think that is it. Unfortunately my only reference point for previous headphones are just cheap portable ones and I currently use Hyper Cloud X 2s on my PC. These are pretty generic and leave me wanting a lot more.
If you need anymore information for recommendations then I will be happy to answer what I can.
Guess I will add a bit more information. After reading more threads I have decided that the DT800 600 would probably be the best first set of headphones for me and from there I can branch out to HD600, 1990, Sundara at a later date.
I think the topping E30 DAC would be a good starting point. It seems to pair well with many different AMPs and from what I have read I would need to jump up a lot to get a very noticable change in sound quality. It seems just like very good value even though I originally allotted more however this could change based on what AMP is recommended.
The AMP is a lot trickier for me to pin point. If I could get an Asgard 3 I would but the earliest they will ship is December 10th and I prefer not to import from the US for warranty purposes. What would be a comparable AMP around the same price point? The JDS el II is around £100 more but it is also in that weird price point between the Asgard and the G111/RNHP. I am not sure if the latter are really good first time AMPs and I struggled to find any good comparisons and reviews for the el II as most of those threads kind of side tracked to getting an Asgard 3 which is why I am hesitant in picking 1 up.
On the other hand I could potentially just pick up a Liquid Spark or Atom but I am concerned about getting the most of the DT800 600 and at the same time I would to avoid upgrading my AMP a year down the road because I want more.
This is the only G103 I can find but I am not sure it is balanced or not.
How does this pair with the E30? Should I look at another DAC?
My next issue is cables as while my motherboard does have an optical output it may be limited to stereo only. Unfortunately I cannot find anything on this. So would RCA or USB be preferred or does it matter? For reference my motherboard is a Gigabyte x570 Aorus Master.
To be honest I just saw the stereo comment on reddit and I had no clue if it was important or not. I am running out of USB ports but I can deal with that at another time (flight sim hardware eat up ports quickly). I guess my final question is what sort of cable quality do I require? Can I get away with bog standard USB cable and what about the RCA between the amp and dac?
I think that is it. All in all I should come well under my 600-800 budget.
You don’t really need to worry about it unless you want to set up a multichannel speaker system. If you wanted to you can use optical on the e30 if you are pressed for usb ports and you should be just fine
Just make sure you have a short usb cable and shorter decent quality rca interconnects and you should be just fine
I’ve used the e30 with optical out from a rig using the x570 Master, and it worked great. I had the e30 connected to an Atom amp (substitute for your amp of choice).
Here are some ideas for interconnects. I’m in the US but used Amazon UK to look up these:
These were the shortest I could find. You may be able to find similar in a shorter length 20cm - 30cm, I do not know.
Edit: I bought a separate power supply for my e30 and I keep forgetting that this is not a common scenario, and I did not think about that you would still need to power the e30, and that will use a USB port anyway (Unless you buy a separate power supply and use the barrel connecter on the e30) So, since you have to use the USB port anyway you might as well use it for the data connection too. Something like this will work fine.
FYI - This is the PSU I picked up for my e30 - It allows me to power the e30 and use the optical source without a USB connection to PC
The Lake People G 103 is available in 2 versions with Rca and Xlr 3 pin.
They are called G103 S is Rca and G103 P is Xlr.
Because the Topping has Rca connector you need the G103 S.
So the one in the link:
As far as cables are concerned, I don’t think the Audioquest is wrong, but the plugs are really bad because they are too tight and bend when you pull them out and they break.
That’s why the Cordial are not bad if you order the G103 S from Thomann.
The Amazon basics are just made in China according to Amazon specifications to make it easier to press out.
And the Rca cables you have chosen I wouldn’t use, firstly they can form condensation and secondly they are susceptible to electronic magnetic fields and interference.
Make sure that they are shielded so that you have less problems with this and also the plugs should be shielded.
Do not plug everything into a power strip.
If the pc plug gets power from another corner and the audio is plugged in somewhere else that is enough.
And don’t connect the topping directly to the pc with a usb port distributor - that should cause problems.
Otherwise I share the setup with Mon, which is surely a very good setup he has found out for you.
Thanks for the additional information. For the time being I will power the E30 with the USB cable supplied and my motherboard however it is good to know what I need if I decide to go optical later because I need to free up an USB port.
I searched Amazon and found a 0.30m Cordial RCA cable and have added it to my basket. I think that should be me all sorted.
I’ll report back in 3 weeks when I return home to try the new gear! At least it will all be waiting for me.
I am a bit confused here. What exactly causes the ground feedback loop? Is it if the amp and pc share the same power bar/socket? I plan to connect the DAC via USB and I will have the amp plugged into a different wall socket.
Also, do you have a schematic of the G103 so I know which jump to pull if this problem arises?
When putting AC through a transformer, you have a different circuit, so to speak. That circuit can have a different potential (= voltage) to earth than another circuit causing a current to flow. That current causes the typical 50 (or 60) Hz humm known as a ground loop.
Yes. Is also on page 22/23 of the included manual.
What they don’t tell you is that you need to take out just the top screws. So two screws remain in the front and back panel.
Yes, many have just the hum loop through the transformer.
Most of the time the cause is if something is not grounded correctly like the PC or other devices.
But also if you take a huge power strip where everything is plugged in and it draws power when everything is switched on, especially with cheap power strips.
Either one distributes everything over the sockets or compensates it with a power plug strip which is cleanly built up, then the phases are also correctly switched and usually have an overload protection.
Just for fun now if you have too much money left, take a look at the Taga Harmony Pf 1000.
I have it now for example at home where the pc, dac, stereo amplifier, monitor, occasionally the Playstation runs with it and have no problems with it and it doesn’t cost you too much.
You don’t need to invest more to protect your equipment from such things and of course from overloading.
But this is mostly done by everyone as he wants.
It is important that everything is connected correctly.
Although so that you have no problems with it.
Just wanted to mention it because it is a typical beginner’s mistake.
I read again and again that people say that the Dac is not good because it hums and that it was expensive and the cause is usually always the way it was connected.
Have a lot of fun with the new devices and hope you are happy when you have listened to them.
This is all good information, thank you. I’ll hold off on the power filter for now but it is not that much. I had to spend some money on a new microphone which ate the power filter budget but I do not think it should be a problem as I have good quality PC parts.
Everything should be delivered on Tuesday but I will not be home for 2.5 weeks…doh!
So I have finally had time to set everything up and try the setup for a week or so. Initially the music quality was amazing but as of the last couple of days I am getting crackling, distortion, etc. I am not sure what the cause of this or if I have some faulty equipment. This crackling, hissing and distortion can happen at any volume level.
Should I look to remove the jumper from the AMP? How difficult is it to damage the headphones? Not that I put them that loud but can they be damage from going too loud? On my PC I have the PC volume sliders at full and then the AMP volume at about 10 o’clock.