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X-Can V3 - is it an upgrade from ASUS Xonar STX ??

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Please point me in the right direction if this has been answered/ discussed elsewhere, couldn't find anything on a search...

Will connecting my Xonar STX (either via line outs or headphone out using an adapter) into the X-Can V3 be an upgrade for my HD 650's?

Looking at the specs, I would say no (10Hz - 90Khz vs 20Hz - 20Khz & 120SNR vs 108SNR), but I would like opinions from people who have tried and tested this if possible??

Thanks!
post #2 of 41
...Well, of course a dedicated amp would be an upgrade (if connected via line-out RCAs)...
post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 
On what technical information is that answer based on? So, even though the specs of the STX are better than the X-Can - it would be an upgrade?

Besides paying to have a case and volume control knob, where does the improvement come from with the X-Can?

I'm not trying to be smart, I really want to know if the money for the X-Can is worth the improvement it will provide over the STX (if any)?
post #4 of 41
IMO and speaking from owning and using a MF X-can V3 with X-can v8 power supply I can say I love the sound of this (TUBED) Head amp with my HD650s and other phones....I'm sure there are many great combos out there but IMO you can't beat it for the price and sound.
post #5 of 41
Well the sound that comes out from your headphones is not made by the "numbers" such as S/N ratio and freq response...

I mean... It is, but... how where they numbers calculated? putting a dummy load that would optimize the card's specs...


Coupling the headphone to a head-amp is, technically, but not only, a matter of impedance, current and voltage swing provided (to a certain impedance).

And... what's behind those sockets?


post #6 of 41
the HP amp in the STX is very digitis-sounding $2 IC from TI, and it shares its power w/ the other computer components in a highly EMI polluted environment..not the smartest things to do.

and specs don't mean jack as far as SQ is concerned...don't get too brainwashed by clueless reviews conducted by computer websites

Beyond THD+N: How does your power amplifier REALLY perform?
Quote:
Actually, there were many scientific researches that proved that all variations of IMD, THT, THD+N tests, and all other specific tests can't be used to say how well the sound is reproduced in terms of subconscious human perceptions. And there still are some stubborn engineers and scientists who won't see any evidences.
iXBT Labs - ASUS Xonar D2 Sound Card
Quote:
ASUS apparently fights Creative with the same marketing weapon - high SNR. Measured in the standard de factor, Audio Precision, the ASUS D2 demonstrates 118 dBA, while the Creative Elite Pro offers 116 dBA. In fact, SNR values above -100 dBA do not make practical sense. Such values are lower than quantization noise power of a 16 bit signal with TPDF (Triangular Probability Density Function). As no one has complained about noises in AudioCDs yet, high SNR for audio playback is overkill.
post #7 of 41

yep

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edoardo View Post
Well the sound that comes out from your headphones is not made by the "numbers" such as S/N ratio and freq response...

I mean... It is, but... how where they numbers calculated? putting a dummy load that would optimize the card's specs...


Coupling the headphone to a head-amp is, technically, but not only, a matter of impedance, current and voltage swing provided (to a certain impedance).

And... what's behind those sockets?


Hey Edoardo, What's the old sayin', (A picture is worth a grand worth of words) Great pics to help explain to the OP......
post #8 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input everyone.

Expecting delivery of my X-Can V3 in a few days. Will post my impressions

I also plan to get the cardas cable upgrade, but want to listen to the X-can with the stock cable first to observe the level of improvement. Then I will get the cable and will observe the level of improvement of that.

THEN I plan to do the X-Can upgrades including a new PSU and observe the level of improvement with THAT.

Here's to hoping it's not all a placebo effect and I don't have to just put it all back on ebay
post #9 of 41
Power supplies can definitely make a difference, it's not really controversial. As for amplification, really we've quite a few threads* on that recently, and my reasonably well informed opinion is if you can't tell the difference with a quality amp, then you need to work on your hearing.

* See the HD800 out of Xonar STX, High End Headphone Myth and Stereo Receiver threads, amongst many others
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ypoknons View Post
Power supplies can definitely make a difference, it's not really controversial. As for amplification, really we've quite a few threads* on that recently, and my reasonably well informed opinion is if you can't tell the difference with a quality amp, then you need to work on your hearing.

* See the HD800 out of Xonar STX, High End Headphone Myth and Stereo Receiver threads, amongst many others
A PSU upgrade should be expecially good for the XCAN since MF ships a too weak wall wart with the xcan v3, they say. I've ordered a new PSU for mine, so I'll be able to post some impressions of the differences that I can hear (if any) in a few days.
post #11 of 41
Great to see the X-CanV3 get some love. It was my first tube amp and with all the amps that are out, it usually gets lost in the shuffle. For three years I used the stock JAN tubes and about six months ago I threw in some Siemens 6DJ8s and it took it to another level in terms of clarity. Great little amp and it's my favorite volume pot.....
post #12 of 41
Having owned the X-Can V2, V3 X10, X10V3 I can tell you the X-Can V3 is a superb sounding piece of equipement that can be bought used for very little ($250). Before buying any upgrade cable live with the amp for a few weeks to get used to its sound signature. If you still want to improve on the sound I would first purchase the PinkFloyd kit and one of his Little Pinkie V3i before buying an upgrade cable. The cable may come but it would be after improving on the X-Can V3 internal components and PSU.

As far as the PinkFLoyd mods I am including a before and after pictures of my V3. Cheers.
LL
LL
post #13 of 41
Thread Starter 
Once again, thanks for the input.

Couldn't help myself - I have already ordered the cardas cable! With shipping times the cable and amp should be here either the same day or maybe a day apart. Either way, I will definitely be listening to the amp alone for a few days before I put in the cable. (well, I will try! gonna be pretty hard to resist using the cardas straight away).

Also picking up some high quality RCAs tomorrow to connect the stx to the x-can.

I am very interested in the little pinkie and the PinkFloyd mods, but I am in Brisbane, Australia. Does anyone know if the PSU works here? How do the mods work - do I have to send the amp away to have them done?

Cheers
post #14 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ypoknons View Post
Power supplies can definitely make a difference, it's not really controversial. As for amplification, really we've quite a few threads* on that recently, and my reasonably well informed opinion is if you can't tell the difference with a quality amp, then you need to work on your hearing.

* See the HD800 out of Xonar STX, High End Headphone Myth and Stereo Receiver threads, amongst many others
Apologies, but I am little confused. I am not very technical when it comes to the finer details of electronics, but what I gathered from the article in the link you posted contradicts what you said 'Power supplies can definitely make a difference'.
From the article - "...speed is valid for a regulated supply for a critical application, but is completely meaningless for a power amplifier with an unregulated supply - which is 99.9% of them."

"I can make a power supply "slow", simply by placing some resistance in series - the caps will no longer be able to discharge at their maximum rate. Will this affect an amplifier? Only in that the maximum power will no longer be achieved, but this will also happen if the AC mains supply is 10% low. Does this somehow degrade the sound of an amplifier? I think not."

For a layman such as myself, I am getting a little lost...

I guess all I can do is an A/B test for myself (which in themselves are flawed as you know which component you are listening to before the test starts).

Some hard, scientific evidence for one way or the other would be great!
post #15 of 41
You could buy the kit from Mike (PinkFloyd) and install the parts or you could send the amp to Great Britain and he would perform the mods. The PSU are made for various voltages.
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