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Xonar Essence ST Sneak Peek

post #1 of 1781
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, seems the STX has become a great card for many and ASUS has decided they will eventually release a PCI version of the Essence known as the Xonar Essence ST. The two main differences between these cards is the ST is a PCI soundcard and the ST allows the use of a expansion board allowing full analog 7.1.
While the ST allows full 7.1 analog, the card remains true to it's roots and still offers all the headphone features of the STX.
Here is the full sneak peak for those interested. LINK


Opinions?
post #2 of 1781
Rob,

You state in your preview that there is something a little different about the response compared to the STX. Could you possibly expand on what those differences are?

Thanks.
post #3 of 1781
Thread Starter 
The sound signature, it is just different. When I looked over the design to figure what they may have done differently, I noticed a different clock circuit. How much the clock can influence the sound signature is debatable, however the card sounds different to me.
post #4 of 1781
That's a good idea to start a new thread for this card, The old one was long as it is already. I will ask my questions from the previous thread here as well - Is there any word on pricing and release dates? Will the add-on module be sold with the retail version or as a standalone add-on to the card?

Are the sonic differences between this card and the STX worthy of a detailed comparison or is it just a slight change/improvement?
post #5 of 1781
Thread Starter 
No word on pricing nor release date. ASUS doesn't take very long to go from drawing board to the market place. There is also no information to suggest how the card will be released. I am unsure if the ST will be in a Deluxe form, offering the expansion board right form the start or if the expansion board will be offered down the road. I just do not have that information.
post #6 of 1781
I wonder if the clock is different becaues its a PCI interface instead of a PCI-E

Now the real question is.. is it better?

Ugh you know what... maybe its better not to ask that. I don't want buyer's remorse
post #7 of 1781
Holy ****! And what asus thinking about when after few months launching new flagship after another
post #8 of 1781
The thing is this for folks who dont have a spare pcie so this really make sense. like those with sli setups with there pcie slots covered. Or are planning to use a card which covers it and what not.
post #9 of 1781
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by henuM View Post
Holy ****! And what asus thinking about when after few months launching new flagship after another
This is not a new flagship model. The ST is a variation on the STX...
post #10 of 1781
I've not read yet a serious comparison between the STX/ST versions in terms of sonic signature, despite all the requests. Also in the article you are really vague:
Quote:
The card has a similar sonic flavor presented by the Essence STX however, there is something a little different about the response. The ST has a crystal clear ultra detailed sound combined with warmth and articulation for bass, mids and high frequencies alike.
What do you mean? Doesn't the STX have a crystal clear ultra detailed sound combined with warmth and articulation for bass, mids and high frequencies as well??
Quote:
This opamp configuration not only allows you to install higher quality units but also allows you to tune certain channels more to their duty. For instance there is a separate I/V opamp for the center and subwoofer outputs. You could use a 2107 for increased clarity on the center channel and install an OPA2227 for better bass response for the subwoofer channel.
Is it a good idea to use two different I/V converter opamp with the same output buffer?

BTW, I forgot to mention: really nice pictures
post #11 of 1781
Damn, and I JUST bought my new soundcard. If this card ends up being as good as the STX (which I'm sure it will be) I'll probably make the switchover.
post #12 of 1781
Quote:
Damn, and I JUST bought my new soundcard. If this card ends up being as good as the STX (which I'm sure it will be) I'll probably make the switchover.
Same here...
post #13 of 1781
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by riderforever View Post
I've not read yet a serious comparison between the STX/ST versions in terms of sonic signature, despite all the requests. Also in the article you are really vague:
Yes, That was just a sneak peak not a full on review. There is nothing to suggest the card I currently have will end up being the exact card desing that ASUS releases to the public. I have a engineering sample, when the actual production version comes out I will do a full review and most likely compare cards then. This is just a quick look at this new hardware for the audio community...

Quote:
Originally Posted by riderforever View Post
What do you mean? Doesn't the STX have a crystal clear ultra detailed sound combined with warmth and articulation for bass, mids and high frequencies as well??
Yes the STX has the same type of sound, I wrote the information for people that have never heard a STX and people who have.
Quote:
Originally Posted by riderforever View Post
Is it a good idea to use two different I/V converter opamp with the same output buffer?
They were just suggestions and I have tried this configuration with great success on the HDAV 1.3 Deluxe.
The output buffer amplifier is shared between the center and subwoofer but the channels are seperate, so it doesn't make a difference. I was just putting out ideas for people to consider.
Quote:
Originally Posted by riderforever View Post
BTW, I forgot to mention: really nice pictures
Thanx I would like to think I am getting better over time.
post #14 of 1781
Quote:
Originally Posted by riderforever View Post

Is it a good idea to use two different I/V converter opamp with the same output buffer?
I believe ROBSCIX is referring to swapping opamps on the expansion card. If you look there, each channel has its own buffer and its own opamps, so mixing and matching from channel to channel is possible.

Yo ROBSCIX, when you listened to the ST and noted a different sound than the STX were you listening through the HP-out or RCA's? Or both?

Also, did you hear any differences between the engineering and retail samples of the STX? I ask since maybe the differences you hear between the STX and ST are because your ST is an engineering sample...
post #15 of 1781
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alydon View Post
I believe ROBSCIX is referring to swapping opamps on the expansion card. If you look there, each channel has its own buffer and its own opamps, so mixing and matching from channel to channel is possible.
Exactly, I used a similar setup when running the HDAV 1.3 Deluxe. Which the H6 DAC Expansion board is currently bundled with.
I would never use two different I/V for a stereo pai like the Fronts etc. For the Center and subwoofer though you can think of them as a mono pair.
Using different opamps for the I/V for those channels is fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alydon View Post
Yo ROBSCIX, when you listened to the ST and noted a different sound than the STX were you listening through the HP-out or RCA's? Or both?
I tested the card fully using on hand headphones (HD595, Beats) monitors and speakers system. -Same gear I used when testing the STX except for the surround system.
TO note, I tested the STX using monitors and headphones first before I pulled out the surround channels.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alydon View Post
Also, did you hear any differences between the engineering and retail samples of the STX? I ask since maybe the differences you hear between the STX and ST are because your ST is an engineering sample...
No, the Eng sample of the STX sounded the same as the production version.

Maybe I will see if I can do a side by side with them this week and post it for those interested.
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