Sound card(internal amplified) combined with external HP-amp rule?

Kaygun

Honorable
Oct 25, 2013
6
0
10,510
0
Hello,
I'm just wondering if there's some rule against using an amplified signal from say, a XONAR DGX on headphone mode, into an external headphone amplifier.

I have the XONAR DGX it has 3 settings for the headphone option
I also own the Schiit Magni.

I might be getting some ' hard to run ' headphones in the future.
-Just curious if there's some rule Against using an internal amp and an external amp combined. is it dangerous to send 'more of a signal to the magni? That's the main thing I'm wondering about

Thanks.

I've marked ssddx as the solution but check her other post if you're interest, it's lower down on this page.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
what you are referring to is called double amping.

while technically it is completely possible to run your configuration this way, its not generally suggested as there will be more distortion than using line out. there are however many people who do thisi.

a few things should be noted:

A) amping then double amping will distort an already distorted signal. you could end up with clipping or other issues. some people will do this for hard to power cans to get extra volume so your question is not exactly odd but audiophiles will never recommend it.

B) the headphone/front speaker out on the back of a soundcard is not high output unless noted. the headphone amp normally works for the internal connection for front 3.5mm jack connectors. if you must use a non aux/non line out connector then this rear jack is the one you would use.

C) if using other than line out push volume to minimum in windows and check your volume output on the magni. you should set windows volume at a level where the magni can push from zero to full listening volume.

D) unless using a strongly amplified signal you arent likely to damage the magni but double amping is not suggested more of a just in case scenario to prevent any accidental damage other than the loss in signal quality.

E) using optical out and using the modi or using a soundcard with analog aux/line out is suggested if quality is desired.

F) the amount of distortion from double amping can be inaudible. honestly it depends on how high of a level the original signal is, the quality of the first amp, etc.

G) as mentioned earlier, an attenuator will reduce a signal to line-level though i dont think it would be required in this case.

H) the dac in the xonar dg is really only entry level so its not a very even match up with the magni. upgrading to a dac as well or using a combo unit like fiio e10k or audioengine d1 might be possible solutions
 

Rocky Bennett

Respectable
May 25, 2016
236
0
1,960
30
You can not feed two amplifier signals into one pair of drivers because it will not work. And you can not send the output signal from one amplifier into the input jack of another amplifier, it will not work. There is no rule against it, it just will not work.

 
The headphone output of the soundcard will have more output than the input of the Magni will handle. If it's overloaded you will get distortion that will not change with the volume setting of the Magni. You can turn the volume down on the soundcard to get it to work.
The downside is you are adding the sound qualities of the soundcard headphone amp to the Magni which isn't going to sound as good as using the line level audio output on the soundcard.
 
You can attach an inline attenuator between the 2, but the added distortion defeats the purpose of all these fancy add-ons$$ you are throwing at it.

The Sonar has no line level output? What about optical output?, optical output directly from the Mobo? that's actually the preferred way. Take optical output from PC and let your outboard gear do the DAC conversion.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
what you are referring to is called double amping.

while technically it is completely possible to run your configuration this way, its not generally suggested as there will be more distortion than using line out. there are however many people who do thisi.

a few things should be noted:

A) amping then double amping will distort an already distorted signal. you could end up with clipping or other issues. some people will do this for hard to power cans to get extra volume so your question is not exactly odd but audiophiles will never recommend it.

B) the headphone/front speaker out on the back of a soundcard is not high output unless noted. the headphone amp normally works for the internal connection for front 3.5mm jack connectors. if you must use a non aux/non line out connector then this rear jack is the one you would use.

C) if using other than line out push volume to minimum in windows and check your volume output on the magni. you should set windows volume at a level where the magni can push from zero to full listening volume.

D) unless using a strongly amplified signal you arent likely to damage the magni but double amping is not suggested more of a just in case scenario to prevent any accidental damage other than the loss in signal quality.

E) using optical out and using the modi or using a soundcard with analog aux/line out is suggested if quality is desired.

F) the amount of distortion from double amping can be inaudible. honestly it depends on how high of a level the original signal is, the quality of the first amp, etc.

G) as mentioned earlier, an attenuator will reduce a signal to line-level though i dont think it would be required in this case.

H) the dac in the xonar dg is really only entry level so its not a very even match up with the magni. upgrading to a dac as well or using a combo unit like fiio e10k or audioengine d1 might be possible solutions
 

Kaygun

Honorable
Oct 25, 2013
6
0
10,510
0


-
Thanks so much for your reply, thanks to the others also.
-
Hello ssddx,
I Guess I'll just go through your letters, seems the simplest way. But before i do I just thought I'd make clear about my sound card the DGX and the headphones I've been looking into.

Xonar DGX
PCI Express 5.1-channel gaming audio card

https://www.asus.com/us/Sound-Cards/Xonar_DGX/


Headphones - I'm looking at: 40 or 50 mk3, by FOSTEX, Haven't decided.

http://www.fostexinternational.com/docs/products/RP-Series.shtml#content-3-tab-tab


MAGNI - I can't seem to find the official page for the MAGNI 1 anymore but, there's a small pdf online the manual.

https://schiit.com/public/upload/PDF/magni_modi_manual.pdf

For the 3 settings for the headphone option I Said originally these are the amplified signal as far as I Know

Instead of using '2 channel / 2 speaker' you select headphone.
then hit the button -
" Select the gain tuning based on your usage scenario of the headphone impedance "

mode 1= <32ohms headsets
mode 2= 32~64ohms headsets
mode 3= >64ohm Headsets

Just to add: I currently own the LINDY HF-110 Open Back headphones

http://www.lindy-headphones.co.uk/hf-110-open-back-hi-fi-headphones-i58

Impedance: 64 Ohm

I set the headphone setting to Mode 3, and use this VolBox I got off amazon, it works.

The 40 or 50 mk3's : 50 ohm .. But I heard they're very hard to power or drive.

// Replies to your lettters //
A: I Don't want to have distortion or clipping

B: I Don't know if it's high output but it's considered an internal amplified signal, Unless I'm mistaken.

C: are you talking about the volume mixer for windows, I pretty much always have them at 100% (right click windows speaker icon / volume mixer ) - Also I'm not using the magni with the Lindys, I use the volbox as volume control. =

https://www.amazon.com/Volbox-Adjuster-Stereo-Control-3-5mm/dp/B00XDKKQ9E

D: noted, thanks.

E: Using something else other than my internal sound card is not an option for the source-output, The Xonar Uni-drivers combined with XonarSwitch, is just so convenient, I Can set up profiles for each thing like 2 channel speaker, 5 channel speaker, different headphone profiles etc.. It's nice.
-I've considered upgrading to the 7channel xonar version at some point. =
Xonar DSX
https://www.asus.com/us/Sound-Cards/Xonar_DSX/
-
Xonar DX
https://www.asus.com/us/Sound-Cards/Xonar_DX/

F: Noted, Thanks.

G: yeah, probly not required. If necessary I just thought about this, I _COULD_ set it to 2 channel speaker or maybe just <32 because that's probly the least 'added on amplification' from the sound card. AND THEN use a headphone amp(?..)

H: yeah, I Don't want to change my source output -I like the internal sound card setup like I said. :)
What did you mean by 'even match'? not sure, just wondering.

Notes:
1.Keeping internal sound card or upgrading to 7 channel version (in future)
2.Fostex 40 / 50 mk3 - Hard to drive, when / if I get them - then, I shale see.

Might edit
write back ssdx when you have time.
sorry for long post.
Hope the additional info helped or clarified things.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
i'm well aware of the dgx. its a good replacement for bad motherboard audio but still its entry level. i know it has optical out but i did not see anything about line out listed unless your manual says something about this?

those headphones look to be 50ohm impedance and 92 db/mw sensitivity. while the specs would hint at otherwise despite the low sensitivity it seems like many people are saying to get the best sound they need a strong amp.

the magni1 is discontinued, the magni 2 is the current model. my understanding is that the magni 2 is a built upon of the magni 1 and is an improvement. both are considered good products.

b) it was just a note that generally front headphone jacks get the more heavily amped signal while the rear jack is more set up for speakers with lower output. some soundcards differ but this is fairly common.

c) yes. pushing 100 means you are going to be pushing the most power out of your soundcard that it can. highly not suggested if you plan on connecting an amp up afterwards. that volume control thing is a potentiometer. i'd get rid of that if you get an amp.

h) quality difference. the magni is a decent mid level amp while the dgx is very entry level. this does not mean you will hear a difference or that you will have problems but you might get less quality because of a poorer dac. hard to quantify yes/no without testing the specific scenario and equipment.

the dx has the same dac as the $200 stx soundcard but doesnt have a strong amp. i often suggest using it if you want virtual surround but need a headphone amp although i do not think it has a line-out jack which means the same as i discussed earlier. if you keep windows volume down and use your amp for the signal boosting i doubt you will have problems though.

i do not know much about the fostex. normally i answer on audiotechnica, sennheiser, akg, beyerdynamics, etc.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
F Audio 0
C Audio 2
C Audio 3
S Audio 1
hong_kong_dusk Audio 4
genkoftw Audio 0
Koterko Audio 1
M Audio 2
R Audio 5
A Audio 9
K Audio 2
A Audio 1
SlayerNebula Audio 1
DasHotShot Audio 4
K Audio 2
Myntekt Audio 8
PC-Noobist Audio 7
M Audio 2
M Audio 2
M Audio 1

ASK THE COMMUNITY