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Sound card plus Dac?

Would it be a good idea to connect the sound blaster x ae-5 to an arctis pro with game dac?

or would it be pointless? Should I just get a normal arctis pro and use JUST the sound card? 

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19 minutes ago, BrolySmash said:

Would it be a good idea to connect the sound blaster x ae-5 to an arctis pro with game dac?

or would it be pointless? Should I just get a normal arctis pro and use JUST the sound card? 

Skip the gaming headset all together and purchase a good set of headphones with whatever budget you have and plug em into the sound card and your done.   If you need a mic purchase a mod mic or something similar .

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11 minutes ago, Shimejii said:

sound cards 100% never worth it. DAC and other stuff are worth it though on the outside of the case.

Really? Why are they not worth it?

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11 minutes ago, Tz000 said:

Skip the gaming headset all together and purchase a good set of headphones with whatever budget you have and plug em into the sound card and your done.   If you need a mic purchase a mod mic or something similar .

Skip the gaming headset? I really like the arctis pro.

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I would use one or the other. The soundcard has plenty of power on its own and will sound great, as does a DAC. If you want portability, get the DAC. If you want more power/quality and software, get the soundcard.

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31 minutes ago, Shimejii said:

sound cards 100% never worth it. DAC and other stuff are worth it though on the outside of the case.

False. I own a DAC and several soundcards, including the SoundBlaster ZXR. The DAC is great on my laptop with my Sennheiser Momentum's, but doesn't have quite the quality of my ZXR. On my desktop, I run a 5.1 channel stereo and my Sennheiser HD 650's... the USB Dac doesn't cut it on this setup. The higher end the speakers are, the higher end the source will need to be. PCIE > USB

QUOTE ME IF YOU WANT A REPLY!

 

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Samsung 960 256gb | Samsung 860 1gb | Samsung 850 500gb

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Sapphire R9 290x 4gb | Asus Xonar DS | Corsair RM650

Samsung 850 128gb | Intel 240gb | Seagate 2tb

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GTX 1060M 3gb | FiiO E10k DAC

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4 minutes ago, BigDamn said:

False. I own a DAC and several soundcards, including the SoundBlaster ZXR. The DAC is great on my laptop with my Sennheiser Momentum's, but doesn't have quite the quality of my ZXR. On my desktop, I run a 5.1 channel stereo and my Sennheiser HD 650's... the USB Dac doesn't cut it on this setup. The higher end the speakers are, the higher end the source will need to be. PCIE > USB

So, you’d say for quality sake (which is what im after) I should just go with a normal arctis pro wired and use the x ae-5? I also saw the Sound Blaster G6 dac which i’ve been told is even better than most sound cards. I just dont know what to believe tbh lol.

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Well, usually you buy a sound card if you plan on using the line in or any of the processing. But the g6 got a pretty good review in audiosciencereview, so it holds its own even if you don't plan on using those features.

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1 hour ago, BrolySmash said:

Really? Why are they not worth it?

3.5mm jacks on a motherboard or on a PCI / PCI-e card are not fully shielded and will pick up noise from the computer and you'll hear it in the audio. The gaming sound card companies will EQ the low end and high end of the card so you don't hear the hiss.

 

When you go external through a digital connection you're going into a shielded enclosure with grounded outputs that have a much lower noise-floor and you'll be able to listen to audio at a much greater depth of quality than anything on-board or in the box. 

 

with a Digital Out, if you're running Stereo any external DAC will do. Go with a quality box if you can, check out https://www.schiit.com/ (the name is funny but the gear is real). DACs can get expensive, most consumer grade stuff is sub $500 where better Pro DACs can reach into the thousands. RME ADI-2, Benchmark Media, etc. 

 

While DACs are popular because of their size, if you have a surround sound receiver that has SPDIF or TOSLink input, you can go out of digital audio output of your computer (if it's on the mainboard or on your soundcard) into that and use it for your game audio surround sound decoding and most receiver have a 1/4" headphone jack that you can use with a good pair of headphones. 

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2 hours ago, BigDamn said:

False. I own a DAC and several soundcards, including the SoundBlaster ZXR. The DAC is great on my laptop with my Sennheiser Momentum's, but doesn't have quite the quality of my ZXR. On my desktop, I run a 5.1 channel stereo and my Sennheiser HD 650's... the USB Dac doesn't cut it on this setup. The higher end the speakers are, the higher end the source will need to be. PCIE > USB

what usb DACs are you using? doubt it's anything actually good if  your sound carb beats it. 

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My portable setup: fiio Q1 mk2, fiio ubtr, fiio btr1k,fiio btr5---> whatever bud or IEM Im feeling that day

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3 hours ago, BrolySmash said:

Skip the gaming headset? I really like the arctis pro.

if you can afford an arctic you can afford a better proper audio setup. something like a dt 770 80 ohm with a modmic maybe grab like fiio k3 as a dac amp. and if you really want 7.1 just use the razer software. but for $300+ you have many options

***FEEL FREE TO DM ME QUESTIONS ABOUT MY GEAR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR JUST CURIOUS***

CPU : ryzen 3600x  Motherboard: msi mag b550 tomahawk RAM:32 gig G.Skill Neo GPU: RTX 3070 Case:phanteks p400 

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Speaker Setup: Topping PA3--->Micca RB42

My portable setup: fiio Q1 mk2, fiio ubtr, fiio btr1k,fiio btr5---> whatever bud or IEM Im feeling that day

 AKG y50bt,Sennheiser HD 4.40

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32 minutes ago, rice guru said:

if you can afford an arctic you can afford a better proper audio setup. something like a dt 770 80 ohm with a modmic maybe grab like fiio k3 as a dac amp. and if you really want 7.1 just use the razer software. but for $300+ you have many options

Well, i’m set on a wired arctis pro, and I virtually have no budget, what do you recommend for the best quality setup?

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1 minute ago, BrolySmash said:

Well, i’m set on a wired arctis pro, and I virtually have no budget, what do you recommend for the best quality setup?

you gotta set yourself a budget headphones can reach up to the cost of a new car look at the sennheiser orpheus 

***FEEL FREE TO DM ME QUESTIONS ABOUT MY GEAR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR JUST CURIOUS***

CPU : ryzen 3600x  Motherboard: msi mag b550 tomahawk RAM:32 gig G.Skill Neo GPU: RTX 3070 Case:phanteks p400 

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Speaker Setup: Topping PA3--->Micca RB42

My portable setup: fiio Q1 mk2, fiio ubtr, fiio btr1k,fiio btr5---> whatever bud or IEM Im feeling that day

 AKG y50bt,Sennheiser HD 4.40

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here is what I told someone else on this site who also said they basically had no budget then said they had a 500 pound budget this probably would apply to you has great options for gaming pick a headphone and I'll tell you about them and probably many people can too. 

 

 

 

for around 300 to 500 pounds you have a good budget to have a nice full setup. 

for around a good entry level dac amp combo is $200  or 200 pounds for shipping and handling you can get a great amp dac setup. for 64 pounds from amazon uk you can grab a topping d10 which si a great usb dac for the price that is easily available to you . other alternatives are the schiit modi , and the grace design sdac. for around  80 to 140 pounds I dont live in the uk so I dont know you can import  headphone amps like the jds labs atom or the monolith liquid spark or a jds labs atom. The atom sounds better and a little bit cleaner but the build quality kinda sucks. the monolith liquid spark is among the best looking and built amps ever made very clean and is more powerful than the atom many would reccomend magni but as of recently due to the release of the other 2 amps it isn't the best sounding $100 amp anymore.  buy either based on availability.  leaving the rest of your budget on any headphone you want. for gaming and music I would reccomend grabbing open back headphones as they provide wider more open sound stages better for positional audio and makes music frankly more enjoyable. 

 

The amp and dac are essential to using any hi fi headphone around your budget. These are my reccomendations at a few pricepoints I tried to pick ones that you should be able to pick up  from amazon or massdrop but most of these companies should have EU or UK stores that you can probably buy from. 

 these are my reccomendations gor gaming and music cans some do gaming better than others and some do musc better than others it just depends on what type of music you like to listen to, how much you wanna spend, and if gaming is more of a priority to you. these are all quality headphones and they generally warrant the price relative to the quality of other headphones at their respective prices, 

open backs

sennheiser HD 58x : these are  $160 off of mass frop don't need an amp or dac to be powered  

 sennheiser hd 6xx  

hifiman he4xx 

beyerdynamic dt 990 and 880 

akg k712 

ath ad 1000x and ath ad 2000xs 

monoprice m560

monoprice monolith m1060   make sure you get version 2 if you plan on this

 

closed backs

 

fostex t60rp

dekoni blue

ath m60x

beyerdynamic dt 770

monoprice m1060 c

 

now you can definitely own more than one pair of headphones for different purposes I own a few generally though I keep one for music and one for gaming. I have a grace design sdac that goes into a monolith liquid spark  as my dac amp and dt 990's for gaming and hd 58x for music. which in total costs me roughly 380 british pounds

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CPU : ryzen 3600x  Motherboard: msi mag b550 tomahawk RAM:32 gig G.Skill Neo GPU: RTX 3070 Case:phanteks p400 

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Speaker Setup: Topping PA3--->Micca RB42

My portable setup: fiio Q1 mk2, fiio ubtr, fiio btr1k,fiio btr5---> whatever bud or IEM Im feeling that day

 AKG y50bt,Sennheiser HD 4.40

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55 minutes ago, rice guru said:

what usb DACs are you using? doubt it's anything actually good if  your sound carb beats it. 

FiiO E10k. Good sounding DAC, but it doesn't come with software, doesn't sound as good as the ZXR, and doesn't have a 600ohm amp. Also doesn't have S/PDIF output, which is a requirement for a 5.1 channel stereo.

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4 minutes ago, BigDamn said:

FiiO E10k. Good sounding DAC, but it doesn't come with software, doesn't sound as good as the ZXR, and doesn't have a 600ohm amp. Also doesn't have S/PDIF output, which is a requirement for a 5.1 channel stereo.

that's a combo unit though It's a budget dac/ amp  typically sold for $60-70 for headphones of course it won't do as good as your $200 soundcard. but you know what would sound just as good if not better? a $200 dac and amp combo for dacs around $100 or cheaper you can get Topping d 10 or d30, schiit modi , massdrop sdac, jds odac, and for amps you have the monolithi liquid spark, jds labs atom,magni 3. you can have combo units like the aune x1 usually onsale for around $200 ,ifinano, audio engine d1.  these are all purpose built for headphones, but surely you can get things that are purpose build for speakers too. or for $150 you can grab smsl ad 18 its a dac headphone amp and a speaker amp that can power 80 W speakers. which is insane for the price. that's why soundcards are never wtrth it because their is always a better option unless you need the $20 sound card for you 15 year old computer

***FEEL FREE TO DM ME QUESTIONS ABOUT MY GEAR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR JUST CURIOUS***

CPU : ryzen 3600x  Motherboard: msi mag b550 tomahawk RAM:32 gig G.Skill Neo GPU: RTX 3070 Case:phanteks p400 

Storage:x1 500 gig WD blue SSD x1 500 gig 860 evo SSD x1 1tb WD blue hdd x1 2tb seagate barraccuda 

 PSU:750W Focus G Cooling:be quite! dark rock pro 4Keyboard:ducky one 2 rgb full sized Mouse:G502, Model o Operating System:win 10

Desktop audio gear: topping d10 ---> Liquid spark DAC---> monolith Cavelli Liquid Spark---> Beyerdynamic dt 990 , Sennheiser Hd 58x, Hifiman HE4xx, AKG k240, AKG k52

Speaker Setup: Topping PA3--->Micca RB42

My portable setup: fiio Q1 mk2, fiio ubtr, fiio btr1k,fiio btr5---> whatever bud or IEM Im feeling that day

 AKG y50bt,Sennheiser HD 4.40

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21 minutes ago, BigDamn said:

FiiO E10k. Good sounding DAC, but it doesn't come with software, doesn't sound as good as the ZXR, and doesn't have a 600ohm amp. Also doesn't have S/PDIF output, which is a requirement for a 5.1 channel stereo.

also curious as to how the software would help? what does it even do might change my opinion on it also forgot to say 600 ohm amp tells me nothing thats an impedance value not power. 

***FEEL FREE TO DM ME QUESTIONS ABOUT MY GEAR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR JUST CURIOUS***

CPU : ryzen 3600x  Motherboard: msi mag b550 tomahawk RAM:32 gig G.Skill Neo GPU: RTX 3070 Case:phanteks p400 

Storage:x1 500 gig WD blue SSD x1 500 gig 860 evo SSD x1 1tb WD blue hdd x1 2tb seagate barraccuda 

 PSU:750W Focus G Cooling:be quite! dark rock pro 4Keyboard:ducky one 2 rgb full sized Mouse:G502, Model o Operating System:win 10

Desktop audio gear: topping d10 ---> Liquid spark DAC---> monolith Cavelli Liquid Spark---> Beyerdynamic dt 990 , Sennheiser Hd 58x, Hifiman HE4xx, AKG k240, AKG k52

Speaker Setup: Topping PA3--->Micca RB42

My portable setup: fiio Q1 mk2, fiio ubtr, fiio btr1k,fiio btr5---> whatever bud or IEM Im feeling that day

 AKG y50bt,Sennheiser HD 4.40

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45 minutes ago, rice guru said:

that's a combo unit though It's a budget dac/ amp  typically sold for $60-70 for headphones of course it won't do as good as your $200 soundcard. but you know what would sound just as good if not better? a $200 dac and amp combo for dacs around $100 or cheaper you can get Topping d 10 or d30, schiit modi , massdrop sdac, jds odac, and for amps you have the monolithi liquid spark, jds labs atom,magni 3. you can have combo units like the aune x1 usually onsale for around $200 ,ifinano, audio engine d1.  these are all purpose built for headphones, but surely you can get things that are purpose build for speakers too. or for $150 you can grab smsl ad 18 its a dac headphone amp and a speaker amp that can power 80 W speakers. which is insane for the price. that's why soundcards are never wtrth it because their is always a better option unless you need the $20 sound card for you 15 year old computer

I told you just one of my soundcards. I will also take my SoundBlaster Fata1ity Recon3D over my USB dac. My Asus Xonar DS? Nah, I'll take the DAC over that one. I think I need to clarify what I mean by "stereo". I'm not talking about a 5.1 channel desktop speaker setup, I'm talking about an actual stereo. Yamaha receiver, Paradigm Monitor Series (floorstanding), BIC subwoofer, and so on. This is where software designed for my soundcard comes in handy. Setting up an equalizer, profiles for different music, surround options for movies/games. My DAC has none of these options, however, I do have 3rd party equalizer software. For your personal using a DAC may be the better option, use what sounds best to you. For me? My soundcards are convenient and sound great.

QUOTE ME IF YOU WANT A REPLY!

 

PC #1

Ryzen 7 3700x@4.4ghz (All core) | MSI X470 Gaming Pro Carbon | Crucial Ballistix 2x16gb (OC 3600mhz)

MSI GTX 1080 8gb | SoundBlaster ZXR | Corsair HX850

Samsung 960 256gb | Samsung 860 1gb | Samsung 850 500gb

HGST 4tb, HGST 2tb | Seagate 2tb | Seagate 2tb

Custom CPU/GPU water loop

 

PC #2

Ryzen 7 1700@3.8ghz (All core) | Aorus AX370 Gaming K5 | Vengeance LED 3200mhz 2x8gb

Sapphire R9 290x 4gb | Asus Xonar DS | Corsair RM650

Samsung 850 128gb | Intel 240gb | Seagate 2tb

Corsair H80iGT AIO

 

Laptop

Core i7 6700HQ | Samsung 2400mhz 2x8gb DDR4

GTX 1060M 3gb | FiiO E10k DAC

Samsung 950 256gb | Sandisk Ultra 2tb SSD

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2 hours ago, rice guru said:

also curious as to how the software would help? what does it even do might change my opinion on it also forgot to say 600 ohm amp tells me nothing thats an impedance value not power. 

Considering the Sound Blaster X G6 tbh. 

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10 hours ago, CruncyLicensePlates said:

3.5mm jacks on a motherboard or on a PCI / PCI-e card are not fully shielded and will pick up noise from the computer and you'll hear it in the audio. The gaming sound card companies will EQ the low end and high end of the card so you don't hear the hiss.

 

When you go external through a digital connection you're going into a shielded enclosure with grounded outputs that have a much lower noise-floor and you'll be able to listen to audio at a much greater depth of quality than anything on-board or in the box. 

 

with a Digital Out, if you're running Stereo any external DAC will do. Go with a quality box if you can, check out https://www.schiit.com/ (the name is funny but the gear is real). DACs can get expensive, most consumer grade stuff is sub $500 where better Pro DACs can reach into the thousands. RME ADI-2, Benchmark Media, etc. 

 

While DACs are popular because of their size, if you have a surround sound receiver that has SPDIF or TOSLink input, you can go out of digital audio output of your computer (if it's on the mainboard or on your soundcard) into that and use it for your game audio surround sound decoding and most receiver have a 1/4" headphone jack that you can use with a good pair of headphones. 

So there is this spectrum, where being on the motherboard is the worst case for noise, and then being on a different pcb is better, and being out of the computer is even better than that. I don't want to overstate those differences though. For example. if you set windows to output 16 bit audio, then there is no difference between a high end soundcard and a high end dac, because the main source of noise is the dither used in the 16 bit conversion.

 

And then low end external dacs, despite being outside the computer, can still get emi from the computer through usb if the usb connection isn't isolated. That happened in this review https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/budget-dac-review-schiit-modi-2-99.1649/

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7 hours ago, BigDamn said:

I told you just one of my soundcards. I will also take my SoundBlaster Fata1ity Recon3D over my USB dac. My Asus Xonar DS? Nah, I'll take the DAC over that one. I think I need to clarify what I mean by "stereo". I'm not talking about a 5.1 channel desktop speaker setup, I'm talking about an actual stereo. Yamaha receiver, Paradigm Monitor Series (floorstanding), BIC subwoofer, and so on. This is where software designed for my soundcard comes in handy. Setting up an equalizer, profiles for different music, surround options for movies/games. My DAC has none of these options, however, I do have 3rd party equalizer software. For your personal using a DAC may be the better option, use what sounds best to you. For me? My soundcards are convenient and sound great.

All I was arguing was your comparison over a $70 DAC amp combo vs a $200 soundcard in terms of sound quality was a wee bit unfair. As if you were to get a $200 external DAC amp set up you will get a better sounding setup regerless if it's USB or if it's toslink.

***FEEL FREE TO DM ME QUESTIONS ABOUT MY GEAR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR JUST CURIOUS***

CPU : ryzen 3600x  Motherboard: msi mag b550 tomahawk RAM:32 gig G.Skill Neo GPU: RTX 3070 Case:phanteks p400 

Storage:x1 500 gig WD blue SSD x1 500 gig 860 evo SSD x1 1tb WD blue hdd x1 2tb seagate barraccuda 

 PSU:750W Focus G Cooling:be quite! dark rock pro 4Keyboard:ducky one 2 rgb full sized Mouse:G502, Model o Operating System:win 10

Desktop audio gear: topping d10 ---> Liquid spark DAC---> monolith Cavelli Liquid Spark---> Beyerdynamic dt 990 , Sennheiser Hd 58x, Hifiman HE4xx, AKG k240, AKG k52

Speaker Setup: Topping PA3--->Micca RB42

My portable setup: fiio Q1 mk2, fiio ubtr, fiio btr1k,fiio btr5---> whatever bud or IEM Im feeling that day

 AKG y50bt,Sennheiser HD 4.40

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5 hours ago, BrolySmash said:

Considering the Sound Blaster X G6 tbh. 

Consider getting other options like the schiit fulla, fiio k3 , micca origen g2. But from what I remember the sound blaster X g5 is a pretty solid unit anyway just a bit expensive for what you were getting.so I imagine it's also true with the g6

***FEEL FREE TO DM ME QUESTIONS ABOUT MY GEAR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR JUST CURIOUS***

CPU : ryzen 3600x  Motherboard: msi mag b550 tomahawk RAM:32 gig G.Skill Neo GPU: RTX 3070 Case:phanteks p400 

Storage:x1 500 gig WD blue SSD x1 500 gig 860 evo SSD x1 1tb WD blue hdd x1 2tb seagate barraccuda 

 PSU:750W Focus G Cooling:be quite! dark rock pro 4Keyboard:ducky one 2 rgb full sized Mouse:G502, Model o Operating System:win 10

Desktop audio gear: topping d10 ---> Liquid spark DAC---> monolith Cavelli Liquid Spark---> Beyerdynamic dt 990 , Sennheiser Hd 58x, Hifiman HE4xx, AKG k240, AKG k52

Speaker Setup: Topping PA3--->Micca RB42

My portable setup: fiio Q1 mk2, fiio ubtr, fiio btr1k,fiio btr5---> whatever bud or IEM Im feeling that day

 AKG y50bt,Sennheiser HD 4.40

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59 minutes ago, rice guru said:

Consider getting other options like the schiit fulla, fiio k3 , micca origen g2. But from what I remember the sound blaster X g5 is a pretty solid unit anyway just a bit expensive for what you were getting.so I imagine it's also true with the g6

A but expensive for what I was getting? What do you mean?

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15 minutes ago, BrolySmash said:

A but expensive for what I was getting? What do you mean?

Like their are better cheaper options but it's is one of the better "gaming" dac amps

***FEEL FREE TO DM ME QUESTIONS ABOUT MY GEAR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR JUST CURIOUS***

CPU : ryzen 3600x  Motherboard: msi mag b550 tomahawk RAM:32 gig G.Skill Neo GPU: RTX 3070 Case:phanteks p400 

Storage:x1 500 gig WD blue SSD x1 500 gig 860 evo SSD x1 1tb WD blue hdd x1 2tb seagate barraccuda 

 PSU:750W Focus G Cooling:be quite! dark rock pro 4Keyboard:ducky one 2 rgb full sized Mouse:G502, Model o Operating System:win 10

Desktop audio gear: topping d10 ---> Liquid spark DAC---> monolith Cavelli Liquid Spark---> Beyerdynamic dt 990 , Sennheiser Hd 58x, Hifiman HE4xx, AKG k240, AKG k52

Speaker Setup: Topping PA3--->Micca RB42

My portable setup: fiio Q1 mk2, fiio ubtr, fiio btr1k,fiio btr5---> whatever bud or IEM Im feeling that day

 AKG y50bt,Sennheiser HD 4.40

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