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Asus Xonar Essence One MUSES Edition

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Asus Xonar Essence One MUSES Edition
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The Essence ONE MUSES Edition is built using the best audio op-amps we could find. When placed in the Essence One, JRC's MUSES op-amps deliver musicality and sparkle that justified releasing a model incorporating them from the get-go. Feature wise, this model is identical to the Essence One, barring one small change to our design; adding a configurable gain jumper for high sensitivity headphones, making this one of the most versatile products available at the price. Whether you need a headphone amp, DAC or pre-amp, the MUSES Edition delivers. - Powered by six top-notch MUSES 01 Op-Amps for crystal clear and spacious sound - MUSES 01 feature a custom layout providing 150dB channel separation, and are built using oxygen-free copper lead-outs - 8x symmetrical up-sampling technology for ultra-low sound distortion - Dedicated 600ohm headphone amplifier for clearest detail - Ultra-high 120dB SNR for pure sound Product page: http://www.asus.com/Sound_Cards_and_DigitaltoAnalog_Converters/Xonar_Essence_One_MUSES_Edition/ Audio Performance: ● Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted) (Front-out) : 120 dB ● Output THD+N at 1kHz (Front-out) : >0.000316 %(-110 dB) ● Frequency Response (-3dB, 24bit/192KHz input) :10 Hz to 48 KHz Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage: ● Balanced Output: 4 Vrms ( Vp-p) ● Unbalanced Output: 2 Vrms ( Vp-p) ● Headphone: 7 Vrms ( Vp-p) Sample Rate and Resolution ● Playback Sample Rate and Resolution: 44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192KHz @ 16bit/24bit ● Upsampling capability: Up to 352.8 kHz (44.1K 88.2K 176.4KkHz input) or 384 kHz (48K/96K/192KkHz input), 32bit Connectivity: ● 1 x 6.3 mm jack (1/4") Headphone out ● 2 x RCA (Un-Balanced) ● 2 x XLR (Balanced) ● 2 x S/PDIF in (1 x Optical (Toslink)/1 x Coaxial) Components: ●S/PDFI Receiver: AKM 4113 ●DSP: ADI ADSP-21261 ●D-A Converter for Analog Inputs: TI PCM1795 ●Power Input Jack: IEC AC Inlet ●Volume controller: Balanced Output: Quad Units Taper B Potentiometer; Headphone Output: Quad Units Taper B Potentiometer ●Voltage Selector: AC 115V/223V Slide Switch Operational amplifier: ●Balanced/Un-balanced I/V: 4 x MUSES 01 ●Balanced/ Un-balanced LFP: 2 x MUSES 01 ●Balanced /Un-balanced Buffer: 3 x LM4562NA ●Headphone: 2 x LME49600 Clock: ●Crystal clock: 12MHz For USB; 24.576MHz For S/PDIF ●Oscillator: 45.1584MHz (for 44.1KHz sample rate); 49.152MHz (For 48KHz sample rate) LED Indicator: ●One color LED: Ø3mm Lamp LED Blue color ●2 color LED: Ø3mm Lamp LED Multi color(Blue and Red)

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"Unknown to me is the sonic upswing between the various Asus versions. It's outright shocking that the very same machine with less costly opamps and no gain jumper starts at $599. That really has got to be the ultimate audiophile starter machine. At $899 as reviewed, the Muses Edition remains fiercely competitive on both features and performance. The only nod at midfi is the somewhat garish super-bright light ring around the power button. Very useful and 100% audiophile approved meanwhile is the incoming sample rate confirmation which even far costlier DACs like Burson's Conductor lack. Further kudos are due the elegantly swooping extrusion and dirt-simple 'disassembly' to get at the socketed opamps for those inveterate rollers...."

 
"In the realm I'm most comfortable in, the three most exciting digital discoveries were the Asus Xonar Essence One Muses Edition, the Burson Conductor and the Metrum Hex. At $899 the Asus is poster child for what can happen when a mega corporation from another industry, here IT/computer, throws their massive engineering and supply network resources behind a new-to-them category. The Xonar Essence is a fully balanced DAC, preamp and headfi amp with socketed opamps whose base version starts at $599. The top unit I reviewed adds $300 to come with what the firm considers the very best opamps for the application. You can start at $599 and roll your way up if so inclined. I just got in the base and middle versions to pen an add-on to my review."

 
"I certainly enjoyed my time with the Asus Xonar Essence One MUSES Edition. It's rich sonic character is forgiving of digital harshness that can creep into some (most?) recordings and music is served up big, fat and full with a generous helping of tone caressed from every recording. And you're also getting a very nice preamp and headphone amp and if you want you can think of it as getting them for free. If you like your music mid-range rich and on the natural-sounding side, the Asus Xonar Essence One MUSES Edition may be calling....

 
"Is the MUSES Edition worth it? We've only just upgraded the six opamps inside our Xonar Essence One to MUSES Edition specs, and an already awesome DAC/amp has improved, this MUSES Edition sounding more dynamic, more full-bodied. To my ears, the upgrade to the MUSES Edition puts the Xonar Essence One in league with the outstanding NuForce DAC-100, which I also enjoy for its touch of lushness and smoothness. So, on sonic merits alone, to my ears, it's worth it. In my opinion, though, at a 50% price premium over the standard Xonar Essence One, the MUSES Edition is a good value--just not as remarkable a value as the standard Xonar Essence One at only $599..."
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