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DAC/AMP: Computer + TV -> Powered Speakers + Headphones

bradlys

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#1
This thread was awfully similar but the answer isn't what I'm thinking of going with: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-speakers-usb-midi-keyboard-controller.15481/ Mostly due to my woes of devices that rely solely on USB power from the computer... but change my mind. Maybe the Scarlett I have is just a bad apple.

I won't get into how I acquired these things over time or the decisions that lead to them... Is what it is...

Current speakers:
- 2xYamaha HS80M, 1xYamaha HS10W (XLR and TRS in - but they accept TS too apparently)

Current headphones:
- Sennheiser HD558... but going to likely get the HD6XX soon because the pads on the HD558 are falling apart and I wanted to try something new.

Current devices:
- LG B7 (optical out)
- Windows desktop computer with noisy USB (has a special "DAC" port though - somewhat less noisy)

Current DAC+AMP combo:
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (1st gen?)

I also have a Heil PR40 microphone that I use with that Scarlett but I think it's a bad pairing since the Heil PR40 basically only works with the gain turned to 95%+. Thus, I'm thinking of replacing the Scarlett.

Problems that I've been encountering: With the microphone, Scarlett doesn't have enough gain or the right range of gain or something (there's like 1mm of play at the very end I can do between you can hear me and it clipping to infinity). With the speakers, depending on the day and whatever else - the Scarlett can really produce a lot of noise on my speakers. A lot. If my graphics card is fired up, there is likely some background noise going through the speakers. If I use the wrong USB port for the Scarlett, I can hear my mouse move. Doesn't happen on the headphone port at all though.

So, lots of nonsense. I've dealt with this nonsense for about 7 years and it's been painful. I'd like to solve the noise issue permanently, connect the tv to the speakers better (currently using this cheap optical to RCA converter to then 1/4" but the sound level is pretty low and not adjustable), and then be able to power the headphones... The headphones are the breaking point for this setup as I don't think they'd work with the Scarlett.

Started going down quite the rabbit hole with all of this. Eventually found the Schiit products and thought maybe that'd work with some rca to ts. (Schiit stack + sys) Didn't really like the idea of the setup or relying on USB power or having a bunch of wall warts (I'm just a bit tweaked on USB power, obviously). Saw the Topping DX7 Pro ... thinking maybe that's the way to go?

Thinking:
- Computer does USB to Topping DX7 Pro
- TV does optical to Topping DX7 Pro
- Topping DX7 Pro does XLR out straight to my subwoofer -> speakers
- Topping DX7 Pro does 1/4 out to HD6XX or whatever

Any thoughts? I know this is a weird ramble that's probably typical of first time posters here who have no idea what they're doing. I'm a bit peeved about spending somewhere near $600 to get a solution here - I would prefer to spend less but I don't know if these other solutions will work as well. The other concern I have is I need a physical volume adjustment knob. I will be putting this device right on my desk and need the ability to quickly switch output sources and their respective volume. I'd love to be able to have independent volume controls for multiple outputs at the same time but I'd be willing to give that up.
 
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bradlys

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Thread Starter #3
Topping DX7s is cheaper then the DX7 Pro.
https://drop.com/buy/topping-dx7s
Get a balanced cable for the HD6XX headphones.
How much was it for the DX7s on massdrop? It says sold out now. I guess it would have likely been close to $200 cheaper... Hmm, guess that might have been better deal than the DX7 Pro for $545. What would be the downsides vs upsides? Just a loss of a couple inputs/output options - but otherwise basically the same?
 

twsecrest

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#4
DX7s on Massdrop sold for around $360ish.
DX7 Pro comes with a nice ES9038 Pro DAC chip.
The DX7s uses 2 older model DAC chips and the DX7 Pro also comes with a 4.4mm balanced headphone jack.
Not sure what other improvements the DX7 Pro, has over the DX7s.
 

Racheski

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#5
DX7s on Massdrop sold for around $360ish.
DX7 Pro comes with a nice ES9038 Pro DAC chip.
The DX7s uses 2 older model DAC chips and the DX7 Pro also comes with a 4.4mm balanced headphone jack.
Not sure what other improvements the DX7 Pro, has over the DX7s.
Pro has Bluetooth, I2S, and a slightly lower output impedance for headphones.
 
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bradlys

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Thread Starter #6
Pro has Bluetooth, I2S, and a slightly lower output impedance for headphones.
DX7s on Massdrop sold for around $360ish.
DX7 Pro comes with a nice ES9038 Pro DAC chip.
The DX7s uses 2 older model DAC chips and the DX7 Pro also comes with a 4.4mm balanced headphone jack.
Not sure what other improvements the DX7 Pro, has over the DX7s.
I see. $360 - so about $185 less than DX7 Pro. Seems like the DX7s is probably a better deal but the DX7 Pro does offer a few more pleasantries and some slightly better performance from what I've seen.

That said - it seems the performance levels are probably beyond what I'd hear on most any system, right?

Well, I already ordered the DX7 Pro from Apos for $545 - lol. Did it yesterday because no one was responding and figured it was a safe buy. I can always return and buy the DX7s if it really makes sense. I wouldn't mind saving some dollars. I'm not sure how much I'd take advantage of the few advantages the DX7 Pro has. I just bought the overkill one to be safe and seemed people thought the DX7 Pro was a good successor to the DX7s.
 

Racheski

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#7
I see. $360 - so about $185 less than DX7 Pro. Seems like the DX7s is probably a better deal but the DX7 Pro does offer a few more pleasantries and some slightly better performance from what I've seen.

That said - it seems the performance levels are probably beyond what I'd hear on most any system, right?

Well, I already ordered the DX7 Pro from Apos for $545 - lol. Did it yesterday because no one was responding and figured it was a safe buy. I can always return and buy the DX7s if it really makes sense. I wouldn't mind saving some dollars. I'm not sure how much I'd take advantage of the few advantages the DX7 Pro has. I just bought the overkill one to be safe and seemed people thought the DX7 Pro was a good successor to the DX7s.
I think you will be happy for an all in one solution. The main problem with the DX7s/Pro is the output impedance on the headphones, but it won't matter with the Sennheisers.
 
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