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Upgrade to Xonar Essence or buy Headphone amp? - Page 4

post #46 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post
After all of the actual owners of both the 650's and the STX telling the forum the card can drive the headphones, what more do you want?
Yes, they did say that they can drive the 650. But I'll repeat again myself again: COMPARE TO WHAT?
post #47 of 102
FWIW I sold Zero (a dedicated DAC/amp) with Earth HDAM + Little Dot I+ amp with upgraded tubes (in total, like a $400 setup) and find the Essence far superior.
post #48 of 102
That's fine, but Robscix is claiming the Essence is as good of a DAC and amp as anything out there. Moreover, the Zero and Little Dot I+ are at the bottom of the chain in terms of performance. So it doesn't support the theory of the Essence being a high-end DAC and amp.
post #49 of 102
Remember, being able to drive it power wise != able to drive it to the headphone's potential sound quality wise.
post #50 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post
Remember, being able to drive it power wise != able to drive it to the headphone's potential sound quality wise.
Different major here. I would use ~= or ¬=.
post #51 of 102
The STX can fully drive 600ohm headphones, how can it not if its headphone amp supports up to 600ohms headphones, That wouldnt make any sense if it didnt.Because I know HD600/650 needs 600ohms no doubt about that. But it seems a few people dont want to accept that or some reason get mad that a 200 dollar sound card has a amp which can drive the phones.

Rob does has a point, if he talked/know to people that own HD600/650 and they said it fully driven. Isnt that enough to say that it does get fully driven. Because if it wasnt those same people would had said it wasnt.

Or do you rather just sit and not accept it and rather fight with him instead because you simpley cant belive what your reading.


Now to the thread maker its up to you , if you buy a STX you dont have to worry about a headphone amp as its amp will handle 600ohm headphones, But if you have a diffent sound card or perfer to use a usb dac then go for it. But you have to pick since its your money and you will be the one to be using it. Not us.
post #52 of 102
You're missing my point here. We all know that anything can drive the HD650. ANYTHING. But how well does it drive it? That's my point.

Rob refers to the experience of people who own both the HD650 and Essence, YES, but everyone of them upgraded to the Essence from...wait for it...another soundcard. That's why I repeated asked what they're comparing the Essence to. A person needs a point of reference in order to be able to tell others how well their headphones are driven. How can anyone honestly say that their headphone are driven to the MAX when the Essence is the only thing they have tried?

I'm only trying to dig deeper to the truth. Heck, if the Essence is indeed as awesome as Rob claims to be, which is supposedly AS GOOD AS ANYTHING OUT THERE, I'll be the first one to bite and get the card. On the other hand, Chinesekiwi compared the Essence to his Little Dot MKV and found the MKV to be "superior hands down". Totally opposite of what Rob was claiming. When Rob makes such claims, I would like to know what he has compared the Essence to.

Do you have anything to support either claim?
post #53 of 102
I would if you buy me some HD650 and a STX but sady I dont since I cant afford the headphones.
post #54 of 102
Yeah, I'll like from some of the doubters some evidence/comparisons tbh.
As I said before, just because an amp can power them does not mean they will drive them properly to their potential sound quality wise.

Hell, a cMoy can drive the HD650......

Also I compared it to two amps tbh and the MKV did and should win hands down.
post #55 of 102
@Moonboy, don't put words in my mouth.

As for the HD650's comments, I am more then sure the actual owners are pretty confident they are being driven Properly.
Lumping them all into the same group saying they have all upgraded from others soundcards is incorrect.

As for to their potential, are you serious? Does your current amplifier drive you headphones to their potential? -are you sure?
Audio is very subjective, so now we are getting into potential sound quality for a product? -are you sure your headphone amplifier is driving them to their potential?

As for what can and cannot beat the amplifer on the STX, what are we talking about? -Measurments? Personal opinion?
personal preference of one signature over another? -again audio is subjective...

Are people not giving you the answer you want to hear?
Perhaps you need to go and buy the card and the headphones and make your own opinion based on actual tests.
Negative opinion based on nothing but you don't want a soundcard to be able to perform how people are saying it can.

The amplifiers on the STX and ST swings from +12 to -12 so has more then enough power to power these hard to drive headphones.
Considering the specifications and actual measurments I would say it can easily compete with or surpass anything close to it's price range. Will it compete with items 2,3,4 times it's price. Chances are no but depends on the unit.

I don't use the amplifier myself, I use the line outs. However, I have been a part of tests using many different headphones using the amplifier and comaprisons to a great deal of other gear aroudn the time of the cards inital release.
As I may have mentioned in other threads I have no desire to get into argument after argument about what the card can and cannot do when compared to product X,y or Z.
post #56 of 102
On one of your post, you said:

"Just for the sake of discussion let's take the Essence STX, $180
Now add,
Milled metal Case +$200
Powersupply unit w/o fan +$100
Add control circuits -Knobs pots -$75
Add indicators, LCD, Level monitors +$150
Add a super duper class A output section with dual mono outputs. +$350
Add inputs for S/Pdif in optical, Coaxial +$100
Add inputs for analog TRS,XLR and supporting ciruits +100
Add high quality gold plated speaker jacks or heapdhone outputs $50

Total -$1305, and the next have to have external DAC.
-Free Stickers and labels.
"

At $1305, maybe I should rephrase it to "high end" as opposed to "everything out there".

As for lumping them into same group, that's the truth. Find me one of the 650/STX owners who upgraded from a decent source.

I never claimed my amp is driving my cans to full potential. Not even close, I know it because I've heard better. However, you're the one claiming the STX to be able to drive all cans to their full potential such as the HD650. When you make such a claim, how can you not bring other high end offering into the account?

As for audio being subjective, yes, but only to a degree. I don't believe anyone will claim the iBasso D2 Boa is better than a Little Dot MKIII (both of which I owned).

As for product comparison, how can we know if one product is good if we don't compare them to other ones? Heck, I wouldn't have known my onboard sound is no good if I didn't buy my first soundcard.
post #57 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonboy403 View Post
On one of your post, you said that if the STX is in an actual case, it would be just like products that are selling for $1300 which is very high end. Maybe I should rephrase it to "almost anything out there".
I was making a point about items that are external and people making decisions about them based on price.
I was not trying to make the point that the STX can compare with a $1300 DAC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonboy403 View Post
As for lumping them into same group, that's the truth.

I never claimed my amp is driving my cans to full potential. Not even close, I know it because I've heard better. However, you're the one claiming the STX to be able to drive all cans to their full potential such as the HD650. When you make such a claim, how can you not bring other high end offering into the account?
Originally what many were talking about is that a soundcard would never have enough power to drive them properly. -That is wrong, the card can drive them properly from a electrical point of view. As for potential, that is really subjective. Potential in what sense, low distortion? Good Dynamics range? subjective opinion about a pleasing sound signature?
The STX can amp sounds good but of course there are units that sound better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonboy403 View Post
As for audio being subjective, yes, but only to a degree. I don't believe anyone will claim the iBasso D2 Boa is better than a Little Dot MKIII (both of which I owned).
Audio is 100% subjective, If you look at the specs for the card, it has some of the most impresive specifications of any audio device. So if it is better or worse then any other units, you are using your subjective opinion, nothing else. If we want to just go by actual signal quality according to the sepcifications alone, the STX is one tough customer. We all know there is more to it then just numbers. You can never know how another person will judge a product, There are guys out there that think onboard audio is the best you can get for PC audio.
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonboy403 View Post
As for product comparison, how can we know if one product is good if we don't compare them to other ones? Heck, I wouldn't have known my onboard sound is no good if I didn't buy my first soundcard.
Nothing wrong with comparisons, I do them all the time. Trouble is when Bias gets into the comparison. When people want a specific product to suceed or fail or have a opinion based on preconceptions such as a external units is always better.
If your curious as to how the card sounds, go and buy one, test it out and return it or find a buddy that has one to lend you. That is really the only way your going to find out what you want to know.
post #58 of 102
Without getting into further argument, I just want to state that I'm not against soundcard. I only want to see how good it actually is. Well, the only way I would know is by comparison. That's why I've been especially harsh on the STX. Because I've hardly seen any comparisons, especially against higher end offerings.

I would like to test it myself, but since the STX isn't available at a retail location and none of my friends have anything better than onboard sound, it's not possible.
post #59 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonboy403 View Post
Without getting into further argument, I just want to state that I'm not against soundcard. I only want to see how good it actually is. Well, the only way I would know is by comparison. That's why I've been especially harsh on the STX. Because I've hardly seen any comparisons, especially against higher end offerings.

I would like to test it myself, but since the STX isn't available at a retail location and none of my friends have anything better than onboard sound, it's not possible.
Agreed. I'd like to see some tougher comparisons in the future. I think we all know that the STX is the king of soundcards when it comes to analog stereo output, and we know that it beats out the Zero DAC (someone compared in the STX thread). Alienns also claimed that the STX beat out some $2000 standalone DACs, and there's some info on his testing in that thread as well. He PM'ed me about his test equipment:

"I`m still reading huge bunch of pages about this sound card from link that You give.
btw. I`m waiting for tommorrow to see how input works.
We have Kuzma reference turntable with moded power supply, changed wires, power wires, head etc. i will tell in post exactly which one was used in that post, can`t remember all that now because that is not my system.
Phono amplifier is "MODED" Pass Aleph, btw Pass Aleph e-mailed that guy pesonally and congratulation to him how he moded his best Amp wich is already 10 years by many high-end magazines NO1.
Soon we will have his brand new model of phono-amp. wich is now No1 i think. And i will post some samples what we do in 24bit - 96khZ so we all can hear."

-Alienns

Edit: Here's his post which I referred to earlier: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/5580826-post14.html
post #60 of 102
Shahrose, you're a prime testing subject!

How does your Essence compare to your M^3 with your HD650?
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