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Asus Xonar 'Essence' card in the works - Page 2

post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum 9598 View Post
Wow, this Essence card offers incredible 124dB dynamic range? What about its THD+N? Eager to listen how the symphonic music and Blu-ray disc sounds over my Sennheiser 300 ohms headphones :-)

basically, specs mean nothing when it comes to how the piece will actually sound, I'm not saying this thing will sound horrible, however just because it looks very nice on paper doesn't mean its going to be the absolute end-all of computer audio (even if thats Asus' goal)
post #17 of 62
What I find incredibly interesting about this card is the external power connector.

The HT Omega Claro is powered by the PCI bus. Assuming no tricks in the hardware, the headphone out can swing 5 volts. An external power connector could mean the headphone amp can swing 12 volts. If Asus uses this particular advantage to power the headphone amp, the Asus card will, arguably, be a better card for high impedance headphones.

Of course, this is just speculation and dreaming on my part.
post #18 of 62
the Claro Halo uses an external connection as well, as I recall, however consider, if these are in fact taking +12V from the computer's PSU, all the people out there with junk are gonna hear it (and by junk, I mean basically any stock PSU in an OEM box, and most cheapie units)

although, at +12V, assuming its the same circuit as the Halo, which is similar to the CI VHP1, methinks it could be a serious thorn in the side of most headphone amps under $1k
post #19 of 62
It uses the same TI headphone amp as the Claro Halo. The publicized specs look good: ASUS Xonar Essence STX, nice sound card with SNR up to 124dB - Expreview.com

While ASUS could easily undersell HT Omega, it looks like they are targeting the Essence as a premium product, probably over $200. Although for that amount you do get a neat looking gimmicky EMI shield.
post #20 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
...although, at +12V, assuming its the same circuit as the Halo, which is similar to the CI VHP1, methinks it could be a serious thorn in the side of most headphone amps under $1k
This piqued my interest, I guess I'll do some subjective listening between the on-board amp and my other amps.
post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
the Claro Halo uses an external connection as well, as I recall, however consider, if these are in fact taking +12V from the computer's PSU, all the people out there with junk are gonna hear it (and by junk, I mean basically any stock PSU in an OEM box, and most cheapie units)

although, at +12V, assuming its the same circuit as the Halo, which is similar to the CI VHP1, methinks it could be a serious thorn in the side of most headphone amps under $1k
I'm looking at the pictures of the Claro Halo on newegg and I don't see an external power connector.
post #22 of 62
then I was wrong, and the Xonar will probably have a leg up in that department, lulz
post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by odigg View Post
I'm looking at the pictures of the Claro Halo on newegg and I don't see an external power connector.

As a proud owner of the Claro Halo, I can confirm it does not have an external power connector. It is a 5v PCI card. How limiting is the 5v source? I don't know to be honest. They are using OP Amps somehow to amplify the signal before it reaches the TI headphone amp. What this does exactly I'm not sure. I can tell you the card will play my HD595s so loudly I could use them as speakers or blow them out.
post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnieD View Post
How limiting is the 5v source? I don't know to be honest. They are using OP Amps somehow to amplify the signal before it reaches the TI headphone amp. What this does exactly I'm not sure. I can tell you the card will play my HD595s so loudly I could use them as speakers or blow them out.
I just looked at the datasheet for the TPA6120A2 and something makes me scratch my head. The TPA6120A2 requires a minimum of a 10v(-5,+5) supply. PCI is 5V and PCIe is 3.3 volts.

So I went and looked at this page for the PCI pin specification. It has a +12v and a -12v. Then I went and looked a the PCIe spec. It has two 12 volt pins as well. PCI also has 5 and 3.3 volt pins, whereas PCIe does not have 5 volt pins.

Assuming the 12 volt pins are not used, this would explain why the Asus needs an external power connector. The Halo could use two 5 volt pins whereas the Asus is stuck with two 3.3 volt pins. But then I have to ask the question, if the 12 volt pins are there in the spec, why does it seem like nobody ever uses them?

Regardless of my rambings, the TPA6120A2 requires a 10 volt supply to work. Unless this statement by TI is false, any sound card using this chip, in a minimum supply voltage design, is within 4 volts of the 14 volt VHP-2.

Vinnie-To answer your original question, all this voltage stuff is just speculation and curiosity on my part. It's also more of an issue with high impedance phones rather than your HD595. I've tried to find an engineering answer as to what is voltage is required for high impedance headphones during very dynamic music with large voltage swings, but have never got a definitive answer.

Unless there is something wrong with the implementation of the Halo, I doubt 5v, 10v, 12v, 24v, is going to make any difference to low impedance headphones.
post #25 of 62
I emailed HT about this yesterday and got a reply in 3 hours! Very impressive.

The email wasn't 100% clear, but I think the gist of it was that the Claro uses the +12v and -12v pci pins. So it seems the TPA6120A2 gets 24 volts. I'm a lot more impressed with the Claro Halo now. 24 volts should be enough rail to rail voltage for just about any dynamic headphone.

Since the PCIe spec has four twelve volt (all positive) pins, I'm not entirely sure why the Asus card needs external power. Surely it doesn't need more power (in terms of watts) than the PCIe bus provides?
post #26 of 62
Thread Starter 
It has limited power available from the PCI-e slot due to it being x1, if it used a full x16 slot then external power would no doubt not be needed.
post #27 of 62
This is a great looking card with very nice specs. Would be interesting to try it out.
post #28 of 62

voltage

i have the xonar D2X i and i know that the digital section needs 5 Volt and if you need the analogue outs you have to feed 12 volt .( i use it in a pc with an external PS.
post #29 of 62
hum... this is indeed a nice looking card.



Hope to see the full preview or review soon. I really need something to drive my new headphone HD600 :-)
post #30 of 62
I wonder will the audio quality (SQ) will be in pair with the D2X or even better.
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