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The Xonar Essence STX Q/A, tweaking, impressions thread - Page 316

post #4726 of 4875
Quote:
Originally Posted by eliben85 View Post

Hi everyone,

I'm a happy owner of the Xonar Essence STX for about a year now but I have a problem that is driving me crazy. The card is picking up noise from the PC all the time and in the past few months it has become very audiable. I hear the hard drives spinning and this very annoying tzzzzt sound. Has anyone experienced this and if so, is there a solution other than getting an external DAC?

Did you disable the motherboard's on-board audio? in the BIOS.

 

I'm in the process of replacing my Essence STX with a Audio-GD NFB-15.32 DAC/Amp ($255+ shipping).

No background noise and does a nice job of driving all my headphones (dual WM8741 DAC chips).

Comes with USB/optical/coaxial inputs.

post #4727 of 4875
I did not disable the on-board audio. Hope I find how to easily :/
I read a few posts back and in some other places about grounding the computer. I'm not entirely sure what that means but the symptoms others who got that advise seem identical. Also, the card makes more noise since I moved to a new flat so it makes me think grounding is the issue.
I'm using the rca out all the time. I just connected headphones to the headphone out and it makes the same noise, just louder.
I will disable the on board audio and move the card further from the graphics card and hope that helps. Any advise on grounding would be appreciated :-)
post #4728 of 4875
On board audio is disabled (always was it apears) I also removed the video card but the noise is still there. Any advise?
post #4729 of 4875

Just bought this card!  I plan on pairing it with a pair of AKG Q701's.  After I get it all set up, I plan on evaluating whether or not to get a stand alone amp or not (Schiit Magni or O2), and am currently reading through to decide what OP amp upgrades would fit me best.  This set up will mainly be used for gaming, so sound stage, clarity, and slightly less bass or at least less extended becuase I don't want my audio cues be drowned out by explosions and such.  However, I do enjoy music also (Who doesn't?), and some of it is bass, so I'd like to be able to switch between inputs and be able to get more detailed or extended bass for music.  I'm not expecting amazingly extended bass or anything from the Q701s, though.  I mainly chose the Q701s over the K701s because their better overall better usage and did not want to purchase multiple headphones for different uses just yet.  Well, I say me, but I mean the wife. :P

post #4730 of 4875
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverlordMittenz View Post
 

Just bought this card!  I plan on pairing it with a pair of AKG Q701's.  After I get it all set up, I plan on evaluating whether or not to get a stand alone amp or not (Schiit Magni or O2), and am currently reading through to decide what OP amp upgrades would fit me best.  This set up will mainly be used for gaming, so sound stage, clarity, and slightly less bass or at least less extended because I don't want my audio cues be drowned out by explosions and such.  However, I do enjoy music also (Who doesn't?), and some of it is bass, so I'd like to be able to switch between inputs and be able to get more detailed or extended bass for music.  I'm not expecting amazingly extended bass or anything from the Q701s, though.  I mainly chose the Q701s over the K701s because their better overall better usage and did not want to purchase multiple headphones for different uses just yet.  Well, I say me, but I mean the wife. :P


To me the only real advantage the Magni and O2 have over the STX' amp is with headphones that are under 50-Ohms.

And you get an external volume knob at your finger tips.

Also when you hook an external headphone amplifier up to the STX's RCA outputs, you lose Dolby Headphone Surround Sound.

 

Or you could try what I'm doing, replacing my STX with a Audio-GD NFB-15.32 DAC/amp, $255+shipping.

As the 15.32 comes with USB and S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) inputs, it can be connected straight to a motherboard and used with lower costing sound card (SB-Z OEM or Xonar DX).

post #4731 of 4875
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 


To me the only real advantage the Magni and O2 have over the STX' amp is with headphones that are under 50-Ohms.

And you get an external volume knob at your finger tips.

Also when you hook an external headphone amplifier up to the STX's RCA outputs, you lose Dolby Headphone Surround Sound.

 

Or you could try what I'm doing, replacing my STX with a Audio-GD NFB-15.32 DAC/amp, $255+shipping.

As the 15.32 comes with USB and S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) inputs, it can be connected straight to a motherboard and used with lower costing sound card (SB-Z OEM or Xonar DX).

I had considered other options, although not that one specifically, but the STX is in the price range I have to work with right now.  I might consider a different option down the road, but this is basically the best I can get with the amount of money I have to work with.  I'm already pushing the budget my wife gave me of 150 bucks.  

 

Ahh, okay, I didn't know I'd lose DH using the RCA. That's saddening.  I guess OP amp upgrades are really my next best option for improving sound until I switch to a different set up.  I'd just use the STX's SPDIF, though.  I'd rather not sell it and then purchase a cheaper sound card with a better quality amp/DAC.  

 

EDIT: For grammar.


Edited by OverlordMittenz - 11/28/13 at 2:47pm
post #4732 of 4875
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverlordMittenz View Post
 

I had considering other options, although not that one specifically, but the STX is in the price range I have to work with right now.  I might consider a different option down the road, but this is basically the best I can get with the amount of money I have to work with.  I'm already pushing the budget my wife gave me of 150 bucks.  

 

Ahh, okay, I didn't know I'd lose DH using the RCA. That's saddening.  I guess OP amp upgrades are really my next best option for improving sound until I switch to a different set up.  I'd just use the STX's SPDIF, though.  I'd rather not sell it and then purchase a cheaper sound card with a better quality amp/DAC.  


The Essence STX, ST and Xonar DX & D1 all use the same C-Media CMI8788 audio processor.

So the "audio controls" are really the same and everything is equal, when using the S/PDIF optical output.

But I guess the wife has set your budget.

 

Check out the LME49990 and AD797BR op-amps, they are around $50 for a set of three (presoldered).

There are other op-amps options, just can't remember their model numbers.

 

Might also try the third party "Unified Xonar Drivers".

post #4733 of 4875
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 


The Essence STX, ST and Xonar DX & D1 all use the same C-Media CMI8788 audio processor.

So the "audio controls" are really the same and everything is equal, when using the S/PDIF optical output.

But I guess the wife has set your budget.

 

Check out the LME49990 and AD797BR op-amps, they are around $50 for a set of three (presoldered).

There are other op-amps options, just can't remember their model numbers.

 

Might also try the third party "Unified Xonar Drivers".

Have the ASUS drivers not been fixed? What would be the benefit of using the Unified Xonar Drivers?

post #4734 of 4875
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverlordMittenz View Post
 

Have the ASUS drivers not been fixed? What would be the benefit of using the Unified Xonar Drivers?


From my best understanding, the Unified Xonar drivers are Asus drivers that have been stripped of unnessary stuff and also some enhansement that Asus has not gotten around to incorperating.

But just search for the 'Unified Xonar Drivers" and read up for yourself.

post #4735 of 4875

I've been using the STX with LME49990's from eBay user 'frugalphile' and I just wanted to do a little update for anyone that's thinking about these. They definitely do make a difference. The music is a bit more defined and the biggest difference is in the bass. It's feels way "fuller" and punchier without taking away from the awesome definition. It's almost like the headphones have more power behind them. It's hard to remember exactly what the stock op-amps sounded like since I can't do a side by side comparison but the difference is there. The more I listen the more I enjoy. I apologize but I'm not very good at describing sound.

 

Was it a HUGE difference over the stock op-amps? No, they were in fact quite decent. Do I regret spending 50 bucks for better ones? To me, it was worth it, it's not a fortune and everything sounds better.

 

Also, thanks for everyone that helped me decide on the LME49990's as well as helped me with the STX!

post #4736 of 4875

Speaking of the National Semiconductor®/Texas Instruments® LME49990HA, are there different workable designs of adapter board from the frugalphile@ebay.com kit for the JEDEC 8-pin DIP socket (for replacing the stock JRC2114D dual op amp)?  I anticipate doing some compensation circuitry along with the two '49990HA's at each of the two I/V sockets on my XONAR® Essence™ STX™; as a descendant of the LM318, the LME49990 has Balance/Compensation (rather than Offset Null) provisions for the input side, in addition to an Output Compensation provision.

 

And links to the alternate adapter boards would be appreciated. :) 


Edited by bcschmerker4 - 12/2/13 at 9:42pm
post #4737 of 4875
Quote:
Originally Posted by eliben85 View Post

On board audio is disabled (always was it apears) I also removed the video card but the noise is still there. Any advise?

 

All I can suggest is to check your grounds and make sure that your motherboard or any other component isn't possibly shorted to the case.

post #4738 of 4875

I have a few questions, hopefully someone can help me with. I debated on a separate thread but Ill post here first. My audio setup is as follows Foobar2000>Asus Stx Optical out>schiit bifrost> Schiit asgard2. 

 

Should I set my windows playback to 'Digital output Asus Xonar Essence Stx'? And if so, how do I enable dolby headphone processing, and take use of the Xonar Audio Center?

Or Should I set it to 'Speakers Asus Xonar Essence Stx audio'? This is how I am currently running with SPDIF OUT enabled. I wish it didnt send a signal to analog out as well, but thats me nitpicking. 

 

Also, how should I handle different sample rates? Do I have to change the sample rate in Xonar Audio Center? I was hoping that it would send the signal to my Bifrost and not up/down sample. 

 

Thanks in advance! And I apologize if someone else has already asked this question. 

post #4739 of 4875
Quote:
Originally Posted by davisman View Post
 

I have a few questions, hopefully someone can help me with. I debated on a separate thread but Ill post here first. My audio setup is as follows Foobar2000>Asus Stx Optical out>schiit bifrost> Schiit asgard2. 

 

Should I set my windows playback to 'Digital output Asus Xonar Essence Stx'? And if so, how do I enable dolby headphone processing, and take use of the Xonar Audio Center?

Or Should I set it to 'Speakers Asus Xonar Essence Stx audio'? This is how I am currently running with SPDIF OUT enabled. I wish it didn't send a signal to analog out as well, but thats me nitpicking. 

 

Also, how should I handle different sample rates? Do I have to change the sample rate in Xonar Audio Center? I was hoping that it would send the signal to my Bifrost and not up/down sample. 

 

Thanks in advance! And I apologize if someone else has already asked this question. 

"Digital Output Asus Xonar Essence STX" will bypass the STX's audio processor (no Dolby Headphone surround sound), but you could still use a program like Foobar2000 to play music audio.

"Speaker Asus Xonar Essence STX" allows the STX's audio processor to be involved, so you can use Dolby headphone surround sound.

I usually just leave Xonar control panel sample rates at 96Khz.

post #4740 of 4875

Thanks, 99% of my music is 44.1 anyway so Ill probably just leave it there. 

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