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Sound BlasterX AE-5

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by angelgraves13, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. pimpernell

    pimpernell Master Guru

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    Bought the G6 at black friday. The surround is amazing. Even with a just ok headset the hyperx alpha i can pinpoint exact movement in games like cod and music is great with tidal hifi. The dac in that thing is better than anything at that price point.
     
  2. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    Once you step into audiophile world, you will see more options and not just toys (G6) with surround ( AKA: "bathroom effects" ) that being advertised towards gamers.

    I guess you don't know even know brands like JDS Labs, Topping or even Schiit. Those got actually high quality components for cheaper price.

    EDIT: I don't say that G6 sucks, it probably gonna be the only DAC/AMP you ever need in your life (Unless there some crazy 800Ohms headphones exists).
    There just more options for potentially cleaner stereo sound output.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 6:09 AM
  3. pimpernell

    pimpernell Master Guru

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    Yes , maybe for music. But is there really better dacs for gamers out there? the "bathroom effect" works wonders ( turning it off, it's like being half blind without the positional audio). After tested most of other surround headsets from dolby to physical elements, this is the best i ever tried.

    (Got a rotel rc-972 pre amp i use for music. That old thing bring wonderful sound to any headset, had it for over 20 years)
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018 at 7:35 AM
  4. hakka69

    hakka69 New Member

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  5. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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  6. hakka69

    hakka69 New Member

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    I added both Schiit components at the same time, and had very limited experience with the DT-990 before adding the Schiits. Prior to this I was using the AE-5 with AD900x.

    I've just finished some A/B testing of the individual components. It's a bit difficult as I can't just flick a switch, I need to shutdown and pull cables due to the way I have my rig setup so there's a good 5 minutes inbetween listening tests.

    Testing was done in Battlefield 5, in game audio set to surround speakers, AE-5 in 7.1HP mode with SBX at 67%. Also a little bit of 2ch music in direct mode.

    With the AE-5 analog line out to the Magni 3 amp the bass sounds a bit cleaner and deeper, I can also push the volume a bit higher before it becomes harsh. Dynamics are better, explosions have more punch.

    Adding in the Modi 3 DAC bass gets a bit loose/boomy. This was a noticeable step back from just the AE-5 and Magni 3. This went against all the reviews I read before purchasing the Modi.

    Playing around with audio settings and I'm noticing some strange behavior from the SPDIF output on the AE-5. If I click on the volume icon in the system tray I have 2 AE-5 output devices available, SPDIF and speakers. Both of these output audio to the SPDIF but they sound different, when set to SPDIF the overall level is lower and the virtual surround steering doesn't seem right, especially for sounds behind me. When set to AE-5 speakers it all seems right.

    I ran some measurements using roomEQwizard with the AE-5 in direct 2ch mode:

    [​IMG]

    (I should point out that I wasn't using a calibration file for the external soundcard so the hi&low rolloff on the graph is slightly off, the magni line should be straighter than what the graph shows)

    The problem isn't with the Modi3, it's the SPDIF output on the AE-5.

    I get the same results using either the Modi or a Denon 3808 receiver. I've tried pretty much every setting I can find in windows and nothing changes the SPDIF output.
     
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  7. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    Thanks for detailed reply. Cant tell about SPDIF, maybe try optical if dac has it.

    I am still interested why you went for better source, instead of better headphones?
     
  8. hakka69

    hakka69 New Member

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    I bought the 990s because I wanted more bass than the AD900X.

    The Schiit stack is something I can take with me when I travel and run from my phone, I was also curious to see how it compared to running just the AE-5. The whole upgrade wasn't really planned out.
     
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  9. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    I see, yeah DT990 has some nice punchy bass to it. I got myself DT1990, those make other headphones I auditioned dull and boring ;)
     
  10. hakka69

    hakka69 New Member

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    Nice.

    In regards to the dodgy frequency response I was seeing from the SPDIF output on the AE-5, I've reinstalled the software and drivers and everything seems to be working correctly. I cannot hear any difference between the Modi3 and the Sabre DAC in the AE-5. Looking at measurements the Modi rolls off the highs very slightly, it's 0.5db down at 20khz.

    Still trying to work out what caused the issue.
     

  11. Octopuss

    Octopuss Master Guru

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  12. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Better s/n.
     
  13. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    If it does take the juice from the 6-pin connector, there's a chance that the power is cleaner than what the USB powered devices get (or what random China bricks can provide).
     
  14. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    It was mentioned in the video that it does take power from the 6 pin connector and is for the card and the External box.
     
  15. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    I mean to say "because it takes the juice...". :D
     

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