USB DAC and studio monitors best option?

jarablue

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I am using onboard audio. I would like to pick up something like a dac and studio monitors. What would you guys recommend for 600$ total package? Also, what cables to do I use to connect the monitors to the DAC?

Thank you!
 
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Zepher

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cables are going to depend on the DAC you choose. Mine has RCA outs and my Studio Monitors have XLR in so I just use RCA to XLR.
Actually, my setup is like this, RCA to XLR to the Sub and XLR to XLR from the sub to the studio monitors. My sub has a bypass pedal to disconnect the sub and send full range to the studio monitors.
DAC is a Soundblaster ZxR Soundcard Set, M-Audio BX10 Sub, Alesis M1 Active MK2 Studio Monitors.

Yamaha, Behringer, M-Audio, Krk, JBL, and others make really good studio monitors but they all sound a bit different. If you have a Guitar Center or other musical store locally, maybe go and demo different sets and sizes to find one that you like.
I can't recommend any external DAC's as I haven't used any personally, just my SoundBlaster ZX and ZxR cards.

this is my setup with the Alesis and BX10 Sub
IMG_3164.JPEG



And my other setup with onboard sound and M-Audio BX5 Studio Monitors. Using a 3.5mm to two RCA female jack adapter and XLR to RCA cables.

IMG_2385.JPEG
 

jarablue

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I think I am going to get a usb DAC, install its drivers and connect it to my pc via usb. Then maybe xlr cables out to the powered studio monitors. Call it a day. I just need to find a decent usb dac and go to my local guitar center to see what kind of monitors they have.
 

Zepher

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I think I am going to get a usb DAC, install its drivers and connect it to my pc via usb. Then maybe xlr cables out to the powered studio monitors. Call it a day. I just need to find a decent usb dac and go to my local guitar center to see what kind of monitors they have.
Focusrite is a popular DAC, they probably have them at guitar center as well, possibly set up for demo too..
https://www.amazon.com/Focusrite-Scarlett-Audio-Interface-Tools/dp/B07QR73T66

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QR6Z1JB
 

jarablue

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I grew up poor as hell and had to work my ass off for everything in my life. Sometimes I feel bad spending money but I did it all on my own. I just purchased this combo from Guitar Center. I don't think I'll ever upgrade my audio ever again. LOL. Live once and live well I say!
Screenshot_20221123_031718.png
 
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atarione

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Do you need the extra inputs / outputs of the 8i6 vs The 2i2 for $110 less... if you are doing home studio stuff or want more outputs.. great but if you just need usb dac and TRS balanced output 2 channel the 2i2 is $110 less? I have been using this for many years Steinberg UR22 mkII, I also have a 2i2 my wife has it at her computer now for zoom along with a spare AT microphone I had around here. In my own case my *gen 1 2i2 was giving me hassles coming out of sleep mode and I got sick of it and bought the steinberg... conveniently and slightly annoyingly the 2i2 works fine on my wife's pc now...

wow this is really dumb... single HS7 speaker is $262 ea on amazon but the pair is $639...?? and also at Guitar center... Am I missing something or are they just charging you another $100 for ordering a pair rather than 2x single HS7's???
 

jarablue

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Haha yeah I got GC to price match to the single price. I noticed that too and was like waiiiittttt. I called them up and they are going to refund the price of the pair to what two single units cost. I caught that as well!

I am going to use the inputs in the future as I play guitar and wanted something more versatile for the future. I will def record stuff later on so I figured buy it now to save later.

Also any model of focusrite less than the one I have does not come with a power adapter. There were reviews stating that it might give more usb bandwidth with a power adapter. Just future protecting myself.
 

jarablue

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Yeah. The Yamaha HS7s seems to have better reviews than the iLoud MTM Studio Monitors. I went with the Yamaha cause they have really good reviews and are only 12$ more per monitor at 262$ a pop. I plan on hooking up musical instruments to the focusrite in the future. That is why I bought it.
 

jarablue

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I was playing D2 resurrected and the number of ambient sounds I now notice is laughably awesome. I hear so many environmental and background noises that simply were not there on my Logitech/onboard sounds, it's worth it alone for just this one difference between the two setups.
 

Mad Maxx

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I was playing D2 resurrected and the number of ambient sounds I now notice is laughably awesome. I hear so many environmental and background noises that simply were not there on my Logitech/onboard sounds, it's worth it alone for just this one difference between the two setups.
That's the first thing I noticed when I switched to studio monitors, too. They reveal so much detail that I never heard from my LS50 Metas and other passive speakers. It was quite a nice surprise. (y)
 
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DoubleTap

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That's the first thing I noticed when I switched to studio monitors, too. They reveal so much detail that I never heard from my LS50 Metas and other passive speakers. It was quite a nice surprise. (y)
What were you doing to those poor Metas that you were missing details?

There is nothing magic about self powered speakers named "studio monitors"
 

jarablue

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What were you doing to those poor Metas that you were missing details?

There is nothing magic about self powered speakers named "studio monitors"

For me, my Logiectech z313 and motherboard audio just couldn't produce those sounds. I have a higher quality dac and speakers now that can. I notice the difference as clear as night and day.
 

Mad Maxx

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What were you doing to those poor Metas that you were missing details?

There is nothing magic about self powered speakers named "studio monitors"
Never claimed any magic was involved. I owned the original LS50, original LS50 Wireless, and the LS50 Metas. "Muffled" is the term that best describes how they sounded compared to the Adam Audio speakers I now own. It's not exactly a fair match up. All LS50 versions have a 5.25" driver. The Adam A7V have a 7" driver + an excellent ribbon tweeter. I'm not an audio engineer. I just know that these Adams blow away any of my LS50 speaker systems.
 
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Zepher

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The Alesis M1 Active MK2's that I am using are now over 20 years old. I got them in a trade 20 years and I think they were 1 or 2 years old at the time.
I did have to repair both of them a number of years ago, a couple of capacitors are really close to a transistor or mosfet and end up drying up and dying causing the speaker to take some time to fully power on and eventually not powering on.
I can hear precisely where people are when playing FPS games, even when they are behind me, which is uncanny.
 

DoubleTap

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Never claimed any magic was involved. I owned the original LS50, original LS50 Wireless, and the LS50 Metas. "Muffled" is the term that best describes how they sounded compared to the Adam Audio speakers I now own. It's not exactly a fair match up. All LS50 versions have a 5.25" driver. The Adam A7V have a 7" driver + an excellent ribbon tweeter. I'm not an audio engineer. I just know that these Adams blow away any of my LS50 speaker systems.
What dac/amp were you using with the passive LS50s/Metas?
 

xDiVolatilX

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I'm not an audiophile but I have the latest creative sound blaster X EA-5 RGB (sound blaster ZX before I upgraded and the ZX was a beast also) card I got for $79 using optical out to the digital Optical Z5500 5.1 with 10" sub speaker set. I'm sure all you audio enthusiasts have crazy setups. But for me this is already mind blowing. I can't even turn it up half way. It will blow my ears out and destroy my belongings in my house from the vibrations. Nothing stays on the desk everything will fall off from the power. More of a sound system I could ever desire or handle for my small dedicated PC room. Lol.
 

Mad Maxx

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What dac/amp were you using with the passive LS50s/Metas?
Amps were a pair of Outlaw monoblocks for the LS50 and an Avantone Pro CLA200 studio amp and for a short time a Crown XTI 2002 with the Metas.

Dacs were the Topping D90 and FiiO K9 Pro ESS.

I'm using an SMSL D400EX dac with my Adam A7V & Sub8 subwoofer.
 

jarablue

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I am within the return period of my focusrite....are there better external/dacs/amps that would better for playing games/music output to studio monitors than my focusrite 8i6?

Anything better than it for gaming audio quality at 269 bucks? I bought the focusrite but I think that is geared toward recording and headphone/mic use. I just have two studio monitors and care about playing games audio out and music.

What I want is better quality audio output to my studio monitors for playing games and listening to music. I do not have headphones or will record anything with this. This is strictly for output of gaming audio and music audio to two yamaha hs7 studio monitors.

I have them currently connected to a newly bought focusrite audio interface. But for 269.00 I am thinking I could get something better suited for gaming/listening to music instead of recording.

What would work well for me at 269. price point? I am using trs to xlr cables to the balanced jack in my HS7s. Thank you!
 
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celwin

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I am within the return period of my focusrite....are there better external/dacs/amps that would better for playing games/music output to studio monitors than my focusrite 8i6?

Anything better than it for gaming audio quality at 269 bucks? I bought the focusrite but I think that is geared toward recording and headphone/mic use. I just have two studio monitors and care about playing games audio out and music.

What I want is better quality audio output to my studio monitors for playing games and listening to music. I do not have headphones or will record anything with this. This is strictly for output of gaming audio and music audio to two yamaha hs7 studio monitors.

I have them currently connected to a newly bought focusrite audio interface. But for 269.00 I am thinking I could get something better suited for gaming/listening to music instead of recording.

What would work well for me at 269. price point? I am using trs to xlr cables to the balanced jack in my HS7s. Thank you!
A digital signal is a digital signal from PC to USB DAC. Without switching out the monitor speakers, you won't notice any better quality of sound by changing USB DAC. Especially since you already are using balanced cables.
 

LukeTbk

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Anything better than it for gaming audio quality at 269 bucks?
Are you asking if there any DAC better for $270 or less has all the other feature provided by an USB audio interface are useless to you ?

A digital signal is a digital signal from PC to USB DAC.
If I understand correctly that not want he considered changing the signal from the PC to the USB dac, but the DAC itself.
 

jarablue

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Ok. I thought there was a better-quality sounding audio for playing games than my focusrite for 270. If not I will keep the focusrite.
 

DoubleTap

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Amps were a pair of Outlaw monoblocks for the LS50 and an Avantone Pro CLA200 studio amp and for a short time a Crown XTI 2002 with the Metas.

Dacs were the Topping D90 and FiiO K9 Pro ESS.

I'm using an SMSL D400EX dac with my Adam A7V & Sub8 subwoofer.
Well, if you didn't think it sounded good, who's to argue?

I have my LS50 Metas on a Parasound Halo Integrated Amp and paired with an SVS Micro 3000

I find them to be very detailed and revealing...
 

Mad Maxx

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Well, if you didn't think it sounded good, who's to argue?

I have my LS50 Metas on a Parasound Halo Integrated Amp and paired with an SVS Micro 3000

I find them to be very detailed and revealing...
I've always liked your setup. That Parasound integrated is a beast!
 
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