ASUS Xonar Essence STX, nice sound card with SNR up to 124dB

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by DiGiTaL MoNkEY, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. flopper

    flopper Member

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    the one built in is more than enough.
    its one of the best even for external ones.
    Just make sure you use foobar2000 or similiar software and flac recordings, as the card is revealing for bad sources of music.
    No, mp3 dont cut it.

    asus software has 3 settings for headphones, I use the highest for my sennheiser, and I use a low sound setting as the sound truly is high if pushing it.
    The soundcard is one of my best buys ever.
     
  2. m0tyrider

    m0tyrider Member

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    Neverr heard of foobar

    I use winamp....recken thats ok for this sound card?
    Im also on windows 7. The Smart volume feat doesn't work.
    Nor the volume/mute controller in the control panel. and what does "SVN" do?
     
  3. alexanderino

    alexanderino Member

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  4. okydoke

    okydoke Member

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    I would give you a huuuuge cookie if you could discern 320 from flac. Even if you can 250+vbrs are fine, not a noticable difference above that, too far below 256 and you're be wishing you had better quality
     
  5. Zardoz

    Zardoz Member

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    I found my 600s improved slightly with the Xonar's headphone amp -but I don't know whether I liked the sound of them anymore! I have a pair of 650s which I prefer to use on the Xonar and these are night and day compared to an un-amped source.
     
  6. m0tyrider

    m0tyrider Member

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    Oh yea. The new ubuntu build works with this sound card. Comes with the newer kernel :thumbup:

    Forgot to tell you guys about it!
    I installed the Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 2 ( i tink it was 2...just use the latest)
     
  7. Rhimes

    Rhimes Member

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    Can anyone comment as to whether the quality/performance in games has improved over the last couple of months?

    Specifically the positional/mixing quality.

    Trying to decide on Auzen X-FI forte or STX. Always on headphones.
    XP atm, but probably moving to windows 7. Is the STX comparable with ALchemy in vista/win7 for games?
     
  8. diablosv

    diablosv Member

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    I just tried the Windows 7 64 bit drivers on Vista and they work fine... don't really know if there is any improvements though:confused:.
     
  9. jpw007

    jpw007 Member

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    I havent read anything in detail, but there are no reviews that have passed which compare it with drivers from now versus old ones but i cant imagine the audio quality itself would change for music etc, but for the positional etc in games i definately imagine it should have improved, if only by a very marginal amount.

    ______________________________________________________

    Audiophile is such a loosely used term that alot of people dont know the proper meaning of, i refer to the below

    If you compare and STX to a proper external Headphone amp/DAC, then you can tell a difference and the dedicated external Amp will supply more juice and allow the high impedence phones like the HD600/650's to work to their full potential. It will still sound good on the STX amp, just not as good.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2009
  10. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

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    Even if you are looking to upgrade in the future, the STX is still a very good choice. The DAC's on the STX are in the top 5 of all DAC's made today that money can buy, $5000 CD players use the same DAC's (with a bit more circuitry ontop). The amp on the STX is a great performer, I designed and built my own DIY headphone amp using the exact same headphone amp chip on the STX about 5 years ago and it gives other dedicated headphone amps in the $600 price rage a good run for their money, it is extremely fast and technically brilliant and you have to start looking at $1000+ amps to go over and above this amplifier, and even if you do decide to do that you can still use the STX as a fantastic source to feed it. The only drawback is if you want to go fully balanced driven, which is approaching the lunacy end of headphone setups
     
  11. jpw007

    jpw007 Member

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    I do agree that the STX is the best soundcard out there atm and the quality of all its componests are excellent, but when it comes to high impedence headphones i was under the impression it could not hold up against an external dedicated setup.

    Obviously these would be much more expensive and unless someone was serious about their audio i wouldnt advise getting the external setup if its going to be used on a PC when the STX is as good as it is.

    I dont have an STX (should be getting ones soon as long as i find a nice 2nd hand one as i am too cheap after all the other audio junk i have bought), but this is what i am understanding from all the reviews i have read. Then again, some of these have been on Head-Fi which imho is an absolute load of crap website....$300+ cables that change the sound dramatically?!?! MY ARSE!

    Anyway...different topic for another time lol.
     
  12. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

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    High impedance headphones are harder to drive by the fact that they need more voltage to get the same loudness, if the amp has the voltage headroom then higher impedances are an easier load to power as you need less current and pretty much everything has lower THD v's increasing load impedance. I don' know what the supply voltages are on the STX, so I can't comment on how good it is in that reguard
    There is nothing wrong with using a PC in an uber expensive high end system, FLAC rips and ASIO streaming are as good as it gets pre DAC stage
    I wouldn't say all of Head-Fi is crap just because there is a few members on there who hear far too much in their cables, once you ignore and look past that which is mostly contained in the one section then is great forum full of members with vast knowledge and experience in headphone related audio. I never venture out past the DIY section on there, which is home to the designers and builders of the best headphone amps ever made who frequent often, stuff that is so over the top it could never be done commercially, which I just love.
     
  13. jpw007

    jpw007 Member

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    Yeah as far as its driving power, i think that is where the STX falls behind the dedicated stuff even when you give it alot of juice from the card.

    Definately agree the STX is fantastic even in a high end system, i was referring to if you dont have a PC hooked up to the sound system though. I'd personally be tempted to somehow hook my PC up to it if i could if i had an STX though XD

    Yeah, i only look directly in the Amp & Headphone sections nowadays. And the For Sale section...mainly for some eye candy there though as i would rather buy locally (but most stuff i want i own now anyway, just things like Grado cans, but thats why there is Alessandro! THough, slightly different sounds still apparently.)
     
  14. broddo

    broddo Member

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    Can someone identify these connections for me please

    [​IMG]
     
  15. telefragd

    telefragd Member

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    1 + 2 : RCA stereo output

    3 : 6.3mm headphone output

    4 : 6.3mm line-in input (mic)

    5 : SPDIF (optical/coaxial) combo port
     
  16. broddo

    broddo Member

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    Thanks telefragd :).
     
  17. VeeK

    VeeK Member

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    Not sure if it's been mentioned here yet, but Windows 7 ( 8.17.71 ) drivers seem to be out and any problems I was having like the volume knob not working or sound cutting out are all squashed :)
     
  18. Spiffy!

    Spiffy! Member

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    Is it really worth forking out $200 for a sound card? I don't want to buy it and then realise I can't tell the difference. I use Z5500s as well
     
  19. VeeK

    VeeK Member

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    You'll be able to tell the difference, it's just whether the difference is worth it for you :lol:

    For me it was definitely worth it, especially with a good pair of headphones. Only problem is I can't stop listening to music :upset:
     
  20. raGneG

    raGneG Member

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    Ordered and paid for mine yesterday, hopefully get it tomorrow (Friday) along with my LG Blu-ray/HD-DVD reader. :) Been using an Audigy2 ZS for some time now.. keen to hear the difference as I know there will be one!
     

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