Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › X-fi Elite Pro vs Asus Essence ST
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

X-fi Elite Pro vs Asus Essence ST - Page 2

post #16 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonci View Post
Sometimes when I change DAC, speakers, soundcards, etc I feel the later its better,
but I would advice to give some time to both cards and then consider again,

as for the Elite, don't forget its price tag when first released, its totally different with the other xfi cards, and I think its still the flagship of Creative,

so, no surprise if its better then the essence..
I know but the Elite Pro also comes with an external consoles and other extras and all. I would think it would probably been cheaper without the external console. Price is not always a good measure on performance either. The console broke after three years or if it´s the cable so I am just running the card on itself now. But yes the DAC part of it is a nice improvement over the X-fi Xtrememusic I tried before. Pretty much night and day. Only Auzentech card I tried was the X-meridian but it was just to warm with the lm 4562s.

As mentioned most creative cards are good with soundstaging. I can´t recall if the Elite Pro improved in that matter over previous X-fi I would think they are quite similar. But the lower noise floor and no hiss certainly helped over my previous Creative cards. The Elite Pro was simple a lot cleaner, better dynamics, smoother, richer sounding.

As for Elite Pro to Essence ST it´s just as clean. Dynamics is the same but the Essence. It´s smooth it´s mostly the soundstaging and the balance it fails a bit at for me. And the driver department it´s not even trying to compete in. If you put the cards side by side the Essence ST impress more with their bigger sizes caps and such. But that is partly due to it´s amp section.

The stock opamps I found was rolled off in the highs on the Essence ST. It was great for the K701 which have a bit of hot treble. They also have a nice bass boost which suited the K701 but none of my other gear needed that. I haven´t experienced much ear fatigue on it or the Elite Pro for that matter but I rarely listen to above 80 db anyway. Not after switching to the 49720s either.

As for new toy syndrome I know the Elite Pro inside and out so it´s not really new. I suppose my ears are burned in on it lol. I have for some months exclusively tried to get into the Essence ST but also my Keces DAC 131.1 mk 2... It also trounches the Essence ST particularly in term of soundstaging as well. I value soundstage a lot I have figured out and I don´t need much extra warmth. Proper soundstaking just make the instruments sound more real and let you buy the illusion of live sound more easilly.
post #17 of 82
The X-Meridian 7.1 was/is a awesome soundcard. Especially with some nice opamps installed.
post #18 of 82
These are practically the same things i have been pondering for the last weeks. I have and X-FI elite pro with some Senn HD 650, and soundstage is very important to me as well as detail.

Im still debating to either get the best X-Fi card out there (that lets me swap opamps of course) or just give the ST a shot.
post #19 of 82
Funny I replaced my Elite Pro with Xona D2 initially then the Essence STX & noticed improvemets in these very areas in both steps moving away from the Elite Pro. No headaches here. Just smooth clean Audio with huge soundstage even bigger than the Elite Pro with improvements in instrument placement & seperation when stepping up to the STX. The Elite pro had conjestion at times while the STX did not.
post #20 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanium View Post
Funny I replaced my Elite Pro with Xona D2 initially then the Essence STX & noticed improvemets in these very areas in both steps moving away from the Elite Pro. No headaches here. Just smooth clean Audio with huge soundstage even bigger than the Elite Pro with improvements in instrument placement & seperation when stepping up to the STX. The Elite pro had conjestion at times while the STX did not.
What opamps are you using with your STX?
post #21 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by forciano View Post
What opamps are you using with your STX?
Stock opamps but line out is now direct coupled, my mod.
post #22 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanium View Post
Stock opamps but line out is now direct coupled, my mod.
Interesting - could you elaborate on this mod i.e SQ improvement and rest DC on output ?
post #23 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhenckel View Post
Interesting - could you elaborate on this mod i.e SQ improvement and rest DC on output ?
Slightly more open soundstage from the line out jacks. better image placement of the instruments.slightly mor of a sense of space between instruments. D.C. output less than 2 millivolts. No effect on headphone amp.

Headphone amp already D.C. coupled to the I/V amps which are D.C. coupled to DAC. So the entire output section is now D.C. coupled no matter which output you use. By the way when I use the term D.C. coupled it actually goes a step beyond direct coupling as in the D.C. coupled arrangement the amps can in fact amplify D.C. input voltages whereas if something is only direct coupled but not D.C. coupled D.C. cannot be amplified as there is a cap going to ground that comtrol the gain of the amp in the negative feedback loop. There is no cap in the negative feedback loop to ground of a D.C. coupled amp. The line out on my STX is actually D.C. coupled, not just direct coupled.
post #24 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanium View Post
Slightly more open soundstage from the line out jacks. better image placement of the instruments.slightly mor of a sense of space between instruments. D.C. output less than 2 millivolts. No effect on headphone amp.
It's been a while that every soundcard thread in HeadFi transmute in Opamp Wiki..
Well, I admit, I've done it myself on xfi Platinum and sound changed from night to day with LME4562, but in this case I replaced some ****ty opamp with some good ones,
I'm a bit sceptic, that replacing good opamp like LME or AD with other good ones OPA, or even Burson, gives you better SQ, all you have is music to your taste, different color of the sound, good for you, but it can't be more instruments separation, or detail etc,
They're just opamp lol,
Since replacing opamps is somehow cheaper then replacing speakers/headphones/ampl, then its a good trend, but it has nothing to do with SOUND QUALITY.
post #25 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonci View Post
It's been a while that every soundcard thread in HeadFi transmute in Opamp Wiki..
Well, I admit, I've done it myself on xfi Platinum and sound changed from night to day with LME4562, but in this case I replaced some ****ty opamp with some good ones,
I'm a bit sceptic, that replacing good opamp like LME or AD with other good ones OPA, or even Burson, gives you better SQ, all you have is music to your taste, different color of the sound, good for you, but it can't be more instruments separation, or detail etc,
They're just opamp lol,
Since replacing opamps is somehow cheaper then replacing speakers/headphones/ampl, then its a good trend, but it has nothing to do with SOUND QUALITY.
Note I did not change the opamps only D.C. coupled the line out which gets rid of the losses caused by electrolytics when used in this application. Electrolytics are even worse sounding when used as a bleed to ground in the negative feedback loop of high gain amplifiers. Amps that do this typically have flat soundstages with little instrument seperation or sense of space between instruments. My old Adcom GFA 545 was a perfect example of this as it was very very flat sounding as far as soundstage when stock. When I replaced the bleed cap with metallized filmes the sound really opened up. Same with the M-Audio BX5's which I still use. Incredable sounding once I got rid of all the electrolytic coupling & bleed caps in them.
post #26 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanium View Post
Note I did not change the opamps only D.C. coupled the line out which gets rid of the losses caused by electrolytics when used in this application. Electrolytics are even worse sounding when used as a bleed to ground in the negative feedback loop of high gain amplifiers. Amps that do this typically have flat soundstages with little instrument seperation or sense of space between instruments. My old Adcom GFA 545 was a perfect example of this as it was very very flat sounding as far as soundstage when stock. When I replaced the bleed cap with metallized filmes the sound really opened up. Same with the M-Audio BX5's which I still use. Incredable sounding once I got rid of all the electrolytic coupling & bleed caps in them.
Yeah, it was wrongly quoted..
post #27 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonci View Post
I've done it myself on xfi Platinum and sound changed from night to day with LME4562, but in this case I replaced some ****ty opamp with some good ones,
I'm a bit sceptic, that replacing good opamp like LME or AD with other good ones OPA, or even Burson, gives you better SQ
it's your right to be sceptic, but LM4562 is not "good"....it's a slight improvement over the stock stuff I'm sure, but this is still a very poorly sounding chip: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f6/aud...-v-2-a-397691/
Quote:
LM4562 – just a lesser version of the LME49720. Its midrange is on the warm-bright side instead of neutral, overall good and rich presentation, unfortunately too obviously defined hence predictive and limited sometimes.
post #28 of 82
I think I'm gonna buy the ST later today, now my only concern is to get some nice "neutral" opamps with great soundstage. Any suggestions would be greatly apreciated
post #29 of 82
Actually according to National the LM452 is the same opamp as the LME49720 the only difference is the paint. Everybody has different tastes so opamp rolling is a very personal thing. Tuning the output more to your liking.
You can however, improve the output. Say for instance you have a card such as a Creative X-fi 7.1 that comes outfitted with generic opamps. Using higher quality opamps can improve the sound output.
post #30 of 82
duh plz disregard this
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › X-fi Elite Pro vs Asus Essence ST