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The Xonar Essence STX Q/A, tweaking, impressions thread - Page 286

post #4276 of 4910
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeizo View Post

 

Essence ST uses Burr Brown PCM1792A which is a high end stereo-DAC, your Yamaha-receiver most likely uses a much lesser model and a multichannel one to that. However, the bottleneck is not the DAC but most likely the receiver itself, to fully appreciate the difference in favor of Xonar ST I guess you need better gear. You can use the card as a HP-amplifier to get better sound than from the receiver, and as such the card is marketed, as a headamp-card!

 

It's not entirely impossible the difference may shine through despite the receiver, I have a Sony-receiver in the livingroom using a Wolfson-DAC and a Sony bluray-player also using a Wolfson-DAC but a slightly better model. Not as good as PCM1792A, but it can easily be heard that the analog out from the bluray-player sounds better than the sound through HDMI(on stereo-Music that is!). For one, one is bypassing the DSP of the receiver entirely, and I think it would be the same in your case if your receiver has a "source direct" button. You can't bypass the DSP of the receiver using HDMI.

even if you run HDMI to the receiver and doing Pure Direct, although you're bypassing all the DSP, you're still using the receiver's DAC and Amp. you're essentially just running the digital to digital output from your STX to the receiver, but your receiver is still the one doing the digital to analogue output to your speakers. but i would say, and willing to guess that running HDMI to your receiver and letting your receiver do the work will 'probably' yield better results than running analogue RCA to your receiver, in which case you're decoding the signal and amping the signal twice, which possibly will degrade the signal by a whole lot. when possible, you should avoid amping twice. but who knows, unless if your receiver has really ****ty DAC, which i doubt it. 


Edited by howzz1854 - 5/3/13 at 11:01am
post #4277 of 4910
Quote:
Originally Posted by howzz1854 View Post

even if you run HDMI to the receiver and doing Pure Direct, although you're bypassing all the DSP, you're still using the receiver's DAC and Amp. you're essentially just running the digital to digital output from your STX to the receiver, but your receiver is still the one doing the digital to analogue output to your speakers. but i would say, and willing to guess that running HDMI to your receiver and letting your receiver do the work will 'probably' yield better results than running analogue RCA to your receiver, in which case you're decoding the signal and amping the signal twice, which possibly will degrade the signal by a whole lot. when possible, you should avoid amping twice. but who knows, unless if your receiver has really ****ty DAC, which i doubt it. 

 

I don't know about the Yamaha, but my Sony bypasses ALL digital stuff when doing "pure direct" ie eq etc. stops working. On Sony the signal is redirected straight to the power amp, and that one is good enough to hear the difference. May be different on the Yamaha though, in which case he needs better stuff to hear the difference - which I wrote from the start  :-)

 

edit. if it wasn't obvious, the Sony-version of "pure direct" only works on the analog inputs of the receiver as it IS "analog direct".


Edited by xeizo - 5/3/13 at 11:12am
post #4278 of 4910
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanseivan View Post

I'm trying to connect my new Xonar Essence ST card to an AV-receiver (Yamaha rx-v373 with Dali Zensor speakers 3.1), is this best done through anolog coaxial for DAC or using the digital output?
Just learned that the Yamaha receiver are using Burr Brown DACs just like the sound card. Would the SQ be the same using HDMI, from PC to receiver, without the sound card?

Kill the cable mess and use optical. The DAC in your Yamaha will take care of the sound output. 

 

Matter of fact, you could eliminate your ST altogether with this type of setup if your onboard has optical out.

post #4279 of 4910
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeizo View Post

 

I don't know about the Yamaha, but my Sony bypasses ALL digital stuff when doing "pure direct" ie eq etc. stops working. On Sony the signal is redirected straight to the power amp, and that one is good enough to hear the difference. May be different on the Yamaha though, in which case he needs better stuff to hear the difference - which I wrote from the start  :-)

yes it'll by pass all eq, level control ("ALL digital stuff"), standing wave and what not, but your SONY is still the one converting the digital signal to analogue and outputting to the speakers, hence DAC. the eq, level, standingwave all that you're referring to are just DSP. whenever you have a digital signal being output to analogue speaker/headphone, the last stage of that conversion is the DAC. 

post #4280 of 4910
Quote:
Originally Posted by howzz1854 View Post

yes it'll by pass all eq, level control ("ALL digital stuff"), standing wave and what not, but your SONY is still the one converting the digital signal to analogue and outputting to the speakers, hence DAC. the eq, level, standingwave all that you're referring to are just DSP. whenever you have a digital signal being output to analogue speaker/headphone, the last stage of that conversion is the DAC. 

 

Yes, of course, if the signal is DIGITAL. But I was talking about a analog source, not a digital one, and as I said it is ANALOG direct not anlog-to-digital-to-analog-direct which sounds real crumpy ....

 

edit. as TheShaz said, if he insists on using a digital signal he doesn't need the soundcard at all, spdif from the onboard sound or HDMI is exactly as good as any digital coming from ST.


Edited by xeizo - 5/3/13 at 11:19am
post #4281 of 4910
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeizo View Post

 

 but it can easily be heard that the analog out from the bluray-player sounds better than the sound through HDMI(on stereo-Music that is!). For one, one is bypassing the DSP of the receiver entirely, and I think it would be the same in your case if your receiver has a "source direct" button. You can't bypass the DSP of the receiver using HDMI.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xeizo View Post

 

Yes, of course, if the signal is DIGITAL. But I was talking about a analog source, not a digital one, and as I said it is ANALOG direct not anlog-to-digital-to-analog-direct which sounds real crumpy ....

 

edit. as TheShaz said, if he insists on using a digital signal he doesn't need the soundcard at all, spdif from the onboard sound or HDMI is exactly as good as any digital coming from ST.

 

 

i just re-read your post three times... unless you didn't mean what you said. you pretty much suggested using HDMI to his receiver and suggested that it'll by pass the DSP by using pure direct. in which case, the receiver is still the one doing the digital to analogue conversion (DAC). HDMI simply by-passing the digital signal. the receiver is still the last stage doing the conversion and amping. regardless of DSP ("all that digital stuff" eq), if you're outputting that way like you suggested, your receiver IS the DAC and AMP. it doesn't get more clearer than that. unless you meant otherwise, but what you wrote doesn't suggest otherwise. 

 

either case, what i am saying is it's "probably" still in his best interest to use the HDMI since when posible, one should always avoid dual amping. 

post #4282 of 4910
Quote:
Originally Posted by howzz1854 View Post

 

 

 

i just re-read your post three times... unless you didn't mean what you said. you pretty much suggested using HDMI to his receiver and suggested that it'll by pass the DSP by using pure direct. in which case, the receiver is still the one doing the digital to analogue conversion (DAC). HDMI simply by-passing the digital signal. the receiver is still the last stage doing the conversion and amping. regardless of DSP ("all that digital stuff" eq), if you're outputting that way like you suggested, your receiver IS the DAC and AMP. it doesn't get more clearer than that. unless you meant otherwise, but what you wrote doesn't suggest otherwise. 

 

either case, what i am saying is it's "probably" still in his best interest to use the HDMI since when posible, one should always avoid dual amping. 

 

I never suggested anything of the like, but I wasn't clear enough I guess. I was only talking about a pure anlog source ie analog out on a bluray-player or the the rca-outs on Xonar ST _VS_ a digital source like HDMI or spdif from Xonar(or onboard or whatever).

 

He was wondering about how to get the best sound from ST and as the best part of ST is the DAC, he must use analog out to accomplish that, of course his receiver may be to lowly to benefit from that - but with a good analog amplifier that is the way to go. My example with the Sony was intended to show it isn't necessary to use super high-end gear.

 

Pure practical speaking so is HDMI or spdif the easiest way to go, but a Xonar Essence ST isn't needed for that since he already hinted at having HDMI on the computer.

post #4283 of 4910

^^^ unless you're suggesting him to run Analogue from his STX to Receiver and doing pure direct. is that what you're suggesting? because if that's the case, that's EXACTLY what i said one should avoid. analogue from STX to receiver is dual amping regardless of pure direct or not. 

post #4284 of 4910
Quote:
Originally Posted by howzz1854 View Post

^^^ unless you're suggesting him to run Analogue from his STX to Receiver and doing pure direct. is that what you're suggesting? because if that's the case, that's EXACTLY what i said one should avoid. analogue from STX to receiver is dual amping regardless of pure direct or not. 


Well, it may be on Yamaha but it sure is not on Sony,  when using the direct-button on Sony the signal is routed to the power amplifier directly. And you can't do without a power amplifier if you whish to drive any speakers, so your "dual amping" is totally unavoidable in the "driving speakers" case ...

post #4285 of 4910
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeizo View Post


Well, it may be on Yamaha but it sure is not on Sony,  when using the direct-button on Sony the signal is routed to the power amplifier directly. And you can't do without a power amplifier if you whish to drive any speakers, so your "dual amping" is totally unavoidable in the "driving speakers" case ...

you can if you run the source to the AVR digitally through HDMI or SPDIF. 

post #4286 of 4910
Quote:
Originally Posted by howzz1854 View Post

you can if you run the source to the AVR digitally through HDMI or SPDIF. 

 

The DAC inside still has to make an analog signal to send to the built in power amplifier, in essence it's no difference to using an external DAC except mabe some shorter cables involved ... in short it comes down to if the difference between the DAC:s are smaller or larger than the difference between very short cables(internal) vs some longer ones(external) ....


Edited by xeizo - 5/3/13 at 12:06pm
post #4287 of 4910
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeizo View Post

 

The DAC inside still has to make an analog signal to send to the built in power amplifier, in essence it's no difference to using an external DAC except mabe some shorter cables involved ... in short it comes down to if the difference between the DAC:s are smaller or larger than the difference between very short cables(internal) vs some longer ones(external) ....

 

if he's using the HDMI / SPDIF to his AVR yes, his receiver will be the DAC and AMP, and no dual amping. but if he's running analogue out to his receiver he'll bypass the AVR's DAC, but he'll be dual amping. either case the AVR's amp is used regardless. it's whether you're dual amping or not. 

post #4288 of 4910

Thank you for the replies, your discussion is quite interesting.

 

Originally I purchased the sound card, because the audio on the HDMI would cut out when the monitor entered power saving mode. Realize now I could just have used SPDIF on the motherboard. Certainly I hoped the ST would give clearer audio, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Switching between the ST and HDMI many many times, I have a hard time hearing any difference.

With my current setup, what would you suggest for clearer audio, without buying a new receiver or speakers? (maybe it's just me that's never satisfied, it sounds fantastic!)
 

post #4289 of 4910
Quote:
Originally Posted by howzz1854 View Post

 

if he's using the HDMI / SPDIF to his AVR yes, his receiver will be the DAC and AMP, and no dual amping. but if he's running analogue out to his receiver he'll bypass the AVR's DAC, but he'll be dual amping. either case the AVR's amp is used regardless. it's whether you're dual amping or not. 

 

If any "dual amping" will occur depends on the construction of the actual amplifier, if there are any "pre amping" going on from the inputs or if it's just passive circutry. If the circuit before the power amp is passive in "direct mode" there will be NO dual amping. There are different constructions out there so you can't generalize. Anyway, an easy way to guess what's going on is if the volume control is analog or digital. If the volume control is digital there will be NO real analog direct, so in that case you're right, but if the receiver has a good old analog volume control chances are the routing  are smarter done ... some higher end "pre amps" are entirely passive and just routes the different inputs to an external power amp. Also, to avoid "dual amping" I assume the user is not connecting the HP-out to a receiver, because that output is indeed amped so there will be dual amping. The line-out on Essence ST is just buffered and of much higher signal quality and could drive a power amplifier directly without any pre amp whatsoever, even if risky because it's too easy too accidentally raise the volume on a PC.

 

As I said, I don't know how the actual Yamaha is constructed, but the questioner says he can't hear any difference so it's probably done the not so pure way.

 

The best way to enjoy the ST in this case seems to use it as a headphone amplifier only, for that it is very good and borders on high-end territiory ...  :-)

post #4290 of 4910

The volume control is digital.
 

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