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

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

  1. Skobb

    Skobb Member

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    The Essence ST PCI version is already out, albiet with extremely scarce availability..

    I personally am waiting for this card, it's supposed to be better than the STX and will support 7:1 in the coming future.. If you want to by the HDAV Deluxe and steal the daughter board, you can do 7:1 on it straight away lol
     
  2. diablosv

    diablosv Member

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    Ive had this soundcard for a bit now and love it, but today I tried Foobar with the WASAPI plugin and swear it sounds better than ASIO... which is odd because they are suppose to both be bit perfect...

    Anyway guys give it a go if you haven't and see what you think?
     
  3. jpw007

    jpw007 Member

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    Well, just bit the bullet and ordered the STX. I had a bid on my titanium so i was obligated to buy a new card :lol:
     
  4. oohms

    oohms Member

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    If you are using the digital connection, don't bother buying a sound card.

    If you are using the analogue connections, buying something with enough analogue outputs (eg xonar D2X) will give you a bit of a quality boost because the DAC's on the xonar are much better.

    But in the end you are still limited to the Z5500's themselves, so you most likely won't hear a big difference.
     
  5. diablosv

    diablosv Member

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    I am having problems with the STX Windows 7 drivers in the 7600 (x64) RTM, once ive installed the drivers some programs like wmp, firefox... etc don't open when i click on them.
    I think it is a problem with the Asus control panel, I tried installing the drivers through device manager which doesn't install the Asus control panel and now it all works fine...
     
  6. m0tyrider

    m0tyrider Member

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    What does the sample rate mean in the control panel? Better to have it higher or lower?
     
  7. carbon_death

    carbon_death Member

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    Im reading in alot of places that using the essence STX with z-5500d's would be a waste of money.
    I shtta true?
    Would i be better off getting a lesser sound card?
     
  8. telefragd

    telefragd Member

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    It's a waste because you're pairing a good quality stereo sound card with a mediocre 5.1 surround set. Also, the only way you're going to be able to maintain surround capability is to use digital ouput which bypasses the DAC in the sound card which defeats the purpose of having a sound card with good quality analog output. As most audio enthusiasts will say, ouput quality will only be as good as your worst component.

    Unless you plan on getting some better speakers or decent headphones, I'd get a different sound card. Something like the Xonar DX perhaps.
     
  9. carbon_death

    carbon_death Member

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    Just to be sure, the digital output is the optical one yes?
    Is there a highend sound card with this output?
    Sorry about my ignorance, im only just starting to get into audio stuff. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2009
  10. Skobb

    Skobb Member

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    Unless you;re watching movies or need FULL positional audio in a game or something, 99% of your music will be in stereo. With the Z-5500s you can just upmix to dual stereo for games, or put it on music mode for full 5:1 upmixing.
    I personally am gettin an Essence ST with 7:1 support :)
     
  11. raGneG

    raGneG Member

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    Well I just put mine in.. loving it so far.

    Previous card: Creative Audigy 2 ZS
    Headphones: Sennheiser HD590's (soon to be Audio Technica AD900's possibly).

    The things i'm noticing.. drums are much more defined, the general warmth of songs are much more apparent in terms of emphasis on beats and changes in songs..

    It's hard to explain and harder to say how much of an improvement it is, but it's definately a good one. Time to enjoy all the stuff i've listened to over the years again with renewed 'ears'. I've already heard a bunch of stuff that i hadn't heard in songs, at least the ones meant for it. Some metal songs still sound pretty much the same with a better soundstage.
     
  12. Skobb

    Skobb Member

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    Was gonna suggest some nice bands to listen to.. But checking your top 10 on last.fm I can see you've heard em all :p
    For drums go Chris Adler/Drum Nation :)
    If you're into Dimmu Borgir, and Symphonic Metal in general I'd like to know what you think of it on the STX :)
     
  13. raGneG

    raGneG Member

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    Well Hellhammers work in In Sorte Diaboli after having a listen is much more prominent in terms of his cymbal work.. you get to hear the nuances in his hi-hat work etc. Triggers will always sound like triggers though. lol. It's more 'up to speed' with things, that could be the proper ampage on the headphone (HD590's are 120ohms so i set it to +12db), pushing my headphones properly.. or close to. The programmed symphonic (the programmed brass) elements seem cooler and more resonant if that makes any sense.. that whole section of The Serpentine Offering seem much cooler.

    The new Lamb of God album sounds brilliant.. that is one near over mastered album.. but it sounds really really good on this soundcard.

    It's hard to immediately hear more detail in more extreme metal but it's there.. it's just not as apparent as a slower song like when i put on some Empire Of The Sun... cause that shit just bounced out of the headphones all 'holy shit new sound card' like.. where as the metal stuff is still full on and takes more time to adjust/hear it out.

    EDIT: Can't WAIT to listen to some NIN!! OMG!
     
  14. Skobb

    Skobb Member

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    Haha, can't wait for the ST to get to Aus :wired:
    I'm so tempted to go out and buy an STX right now..
     
  15. raGneG

    raGneG Member

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    The way i see it.. i never use my speakers in 5.1 these days anyway.. 95% of everything is done on headphones and when the speakers are on i just use 2xstereo anyway (crappy logitech z-680's).. so the 2xRCA -> 3.5mm adaptor you get in the pack will output fine to my speakers in stereo.. everything solved!

    Kinda over 5.1 in a bedroom right now, theres just no orientation i can put my room in to get a nice basis for a 5.1 set up so all speakers face me at a relatively same distance.. tower blocks the right speaker.. door to my left of desk.. cable not long enough to put the left surround where i'd like.. the only speaker in a good position is the back right surround cause it's right in the back right corner of the room, but its too far away in comparison to the others! Not to mention the 'stfu and put your headphones on' heard all the time. /rant
     
  16. Automaton

    Automaton Member

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    Using DS3D GX.

    I picked up one of these from the forums. Was a little nonplussed about it's speaker performance (but I'm only using a 2.1 Klipsch setup) but I've noticed a massive improvement with headphones even those I'm using a busted pair of Razer Barracudas.

    Got a question about the DS3D GX. Do I simply set it using the green button in the Xonar control panel, then, assuming the game has EAX support (eg. Doom3), turn on EAX from within the game's options?

    Also, do you need to simultaneously set the 'Game' button in the Xonar panelor are the two seperate?
     
  17. telefragd

    telefragd Member

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    Enable DS3D GX mode and turn on EAX in your game's settings. You can just leave DS3D GX mode on.

    You don't need to turn on the 'Game' button. That's just an EQ mode, so it's up to you whether you want it enabled.
     
  18. ihavesoldout

    ihavesoldout Member

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    Just Splurged:
    STX: $235
    Aktimate's: $470
    Sennheiser HD 215: $100
    Total: $805

    I think I got a decent price on them, time to plug them in.
     
  19. Automaton

    Automaton Member

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    Thanks dude. Will install Thief 3 to try it out.
     
  20. windsok

    windsok Member

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    I am sorry if questions like these have been done to death, but 32 pages is a lot of backreading!

    With a pair of phones like the Beyerdynamic DTX800's, would I see much difference in sound quality between the Xonar DX and the Essence STX? Especially for watching movies (with dolby headphone) and playing games.
     

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