External DAC + Sound Blaster Z worth it?

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by Adil0n, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. Adil0n

    Adil0n Active Member

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    Hi guys,

    I'm not a huge audiophile (I'm trying to), and I've been wondering for a time... currently my audio setup is 2 monitors and they're connected to this Audioengine D1 DAC. It's connected to my PC through USB, would it be an improve if I get a SoundBlaster Z and then connect my DAC to the soundcard through TOSLINK?
     
  2. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    All the sound blaster Z would be doing is sending an signal to your dac besides sending it features over to your setup.It only worth it if your planning on using the software and sound card features, such as support for legacy EAX3-5 games, or using SBX surround with some headphones, or your monitors.

    Other wise it not worth it if your just doing it for an source, unless your onboard audio doesn't have an optical or your having problems with the usb of the D1.
     
  3. Cidious

    Cidious Member Guru

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    Above me is explained most. I would just like to add a bit. I don't know what kind of speakers you have but it could be more interesting to upgrade the D1 if you are ready to spend some money anyway.

    I currently own a set of QMS Q5 speakers (which I conclusively find a higher class of speaker than the Audioengine A5's, because they perform better in every aspect.) I used the D1 for a while as a DAC and while it's not bad, it's definitely ready for improvement.. There are way better DACs to be found. The Soundblaster card would maybe even outperform it. connected through analog cables.

    But if you are willing to look into Chinese products you can get a much higher sound quality than the D1 is offering for less money. Look at products from Aune, SMSL or FIIO, which are all recognised brands. Even cheaper would be the noname Chinese DIY devices which are a gamble sometimes but I've had great luck with them.

    The Aune T1 would outclass the D1 easily with the right tube if you like a bit warmer sound. The SMSL Sanskrit is a better choice even for it's ridiculous low price. SMSL has some higher priced products (but still cheaper than the D1) like the M8 which is really good for its money. And can be paired with a separate PSU eventually.

    Audioengine is overhyped in my opinion. They have great design but they don't sound THAT good..
     
  4. Adil0n

    Adil0n Active Member

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    Thanks both for your explanations, finally I got a SBZ as birthday present and I'm pleased with the result.

    And yes I know that Audioengine is an overated brand, but I learned that too late. Currently I own the A5 on their bamboo model, they look incredibly nice (on my bamboo desk). For me they were an incredible change since I came from a creative 5.1 that were like 15 years old and since I just opened my eyes to the world of sound, the DAC did wonders for me and still I think they still do, games sound like if I had a 5.1 with a crystal sound.

    I've been looking at the Aune T1 and SMSL and they are incredible for a possible upgrade, however I think I will try to get me a subwoofer. I'm a bass lover.
     

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