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Xonar Essence ST bypass built-in amp - Page 2

post #16 of 39
Does anyone know of a way to keep the option to use Dolby Headphones while using the RCA plugs hooked up to an external amp? I know the Dolby is done in software so I don't see any reason it wouldn't work besides the drivers.
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MohawkUS View Post

Does anyone know of a way to keep the option to use Dolby Headphones while using the RCA plugs hooked up to an external amp? I know the Dolby is done in software so I don't see any reason it wouldn't work besides the drivers.


Dolby output, like Dolby Headphone 5.1, is six separate audio streams, the RCA jack are stereo 2.0, just two audio streams.

The Essence ST takes the Dolby Digital 5.1 info, processes into the Dolby Headphone 5.1, then takes that and makes a virtual 5.1 signal into right and left channels, then amplifies the signal to the headphones.

 

For most Essence ST/STX owners, they do not really need to use a separate headphone amplifier.

 

The RCA jacks are used for 2.0 or 2.1 speakers

 

I "believe" Dolby is built into the audio processor (CMI8788) of the Essence ST/STX, so it would be more then just software.

 

 

post #18 of 39
The Essence amp is not good enough for my 2900s. I've heard that when using the RCA hookups dolby is disabled, but seeing as it is in fact software I was wondering if there was a way to bypass whatever makes it unavailable. I don't really want to have to buy the mixamp or something else when I have a perfectly good sound card already.
post #19 of 39
Open up the Xonar window, select speakers (that sends output through the RCA) and you'll see that you can select Dolby speakers. I don't bother with it, but the option's there.
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MohawkUS View Post

The Essence amp is not good enough for my 2900s.


Really? Ultrasone Pro 2900? It's efficient enough (96dB/mW, at least I think it's mW) and has a low impedance (40 ohms). The card should drive it easily. If you aren't getting enough volume, change the gain setting.

 

The only problem I see with using the headphone out and those headphones is the 10.7 ohm output impedance of the card will (probably audibly) alter the frequency response.

 

The ST isn't considerably less powerful than the STX is it? I'm getting more than enough volume and head room with an LCD-2 and STX.

post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


Really? Ultrasone Pro 2900? It's efficient enough (96dB/mW, at least I think it's mW) and has a low impedance (40 ohms). The card should drive it easily. If you aren't getting enough volume, change the gain setting.

 

The only problem I see with using the headphone out and those headphones is the 10.7 ohm output impedance of the card will (probably audibly) alter the frequency response.

 

The ST isn't considerably less powerful than the STX is it? I'm getting more than enough volume and head room with an LCD-2 and STX.


Volume isn't the problem, even on the lowest gain I only turn it to 20-25%. The problem is that its distorting badly on certain songs to the point where its just vocals and static. The higher gain settings don't help, infact I think the highest one makes it worse. The PRO 900/2900 are known for being a little hard to drive.
There is also just something to the sound that screams that they are not receiving enough power, its like a flat soda compared to a fizzy one.

Also what was previously said is not true, when you switch it to speakers, the option for dolby headphones disappears.
Edited by MohawkUS - 9/5/11 at 10:49pm
post #22 of 39

This?

 

2 Channel.JPG

post #23 of 39
Does that do the same thing as Dolby Headphones?
post #24 of 39

Unfortunately I dont have the equipment to test it out. Probably you can let us know?

post #25 of 39

My two cents

 

The STX uses replaceable op-amps (Operational Amplifiers), when I first got my STX, the headphone connection was not working.

So i pulled the card, took off the cover plate and push down on the replaceable op-amps, one of then was lose and gave a click as  pushed down on it, fixed sound problem, so maybe one or more of your op-amps is lose.

 

Also you try replacing the two 2114D op-amps for newer chips, like the LME49860NA (which i did).

You can get two LME49860NAs for $12 off eBay.

 

Or even try the newer LME49990.

 

Check the power connector, maybe it's not on all the way.

 

Maybe try the third party "Xonar Unified drivers".

 

post #26 of 39
It was working fine with all my other headphones, and is plays most of my collection perfectly except sounding a little flat. Seriously volume is not a problem here, I'm on the lowest gain and I'd say about 18% is what would be considered normal volume levels.
I also get the static at any volume, it is mainly on songs on youtube, but it isn't the songs themself as I've had friends test them out for me.

I'm checking out the unified drivers by the way, looks like it could be the fix I need. biggrin.gif
post #27 of 39

You only get the static during streaming?

Is the static constant or once in a while?

How about playing CDs or RIPs directly out of your HDD?

Are you multi-tasking on your PC? Is your PC stressed at that moment? Some aged PC and old explorer version may not be able to handle multi tasking well, and will almost certainly result in sound distortion.

That's weird. ST is a onboard sounds and still have some limitations to it. I still hear statics or hiss, when the computer is under heavy load, for example, opening 30-40 web site at a time from Firefox, but only for 2-3 seconds or so, but it goes away after the load is finish, and I don't hear static on normal operations.

Btw a good motherboard really makes a difference. Currently I'm using some budget motherboard (I think this 3 phase layout or something) after my previous performance motherboard die out (8 phase with good capacitors - according to their marketing). How ironic a good board due out on me - but it was the BIOS having issue, not hardware. Anyway back to the topic, I almost experience 0 static on my old motherboard.

Not that I don't what to by a performance replacement, but they discontinued performance line motherboard for 775 socket :(

Of cause you can go extensively to quiet your PC replacing motherboard, using non-mechanical hdd, larger fan... but if you only have issue when streaming audio, these may not be the factor.

post #28 of 39

As a person who just recently got a dedicated amp and who used the stx to amp my HD650's ill put in my 2 cents.  Like said above the volume isnt the problem its how it sounds.  It does do a good job but the sound difference in a proper amp is apparent within the first few seconds listening to it.  The stx's best part is the DAC anyway and thats how im using it right now and couldnt be any more happy.

post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneSec View Post

You only get the static during streaming?

Is the static constant or once in a while?

How about playing CDs or RIPs directly out of your HDD?

Are you multi-tasking on your PC? Is your PC stressed at that moment? Some aged PC and old explorer version may not be able to handle multi tasking well, and will almost certainly result in sound distortion.

That's weird. ST is a onboard sounds and still have some limitations to it. I still hear statics or hiss, when the computer is under heavy load, for example, opening 30-40 web site at a time from Firefox, but only for 2-3 seconds or so, but it goes away after the load is finish, and I don't hear static on normal operations.

Btw a good motherboard really makes a difference. Currently I'm using some budget motherboard (I think this 3 phase layout or something) after my previous performance motherboard die out (8 phase with good capacitors - according to their marketing). How ironic a good board due out on me - but it was the BIOS having issue, not hardware. Anyway back to the topic, I almost experience 0 static on my old motherboard.

Not that I don't what to by a performance replacement, but they discontinued performance line motherboard for 775 socket :(

Of cause you can go extensively to quiet your PC replacing motherboard, using non-mechanical hdd, larger fan... but if you only have issue when streaming audio, these may not be the factor.


So far its only had static with youtube, I don't stream, I wait for it to fully load before listening. It has no problems with anything from my personal collection, CD or rip.
I don't think my computer is the problem either, its a 4-5 month old intel core i5 2500K gaming computer I build myself. The only thing that could be off would be the sound card itself, it was in my last build which fried when the PSU went out. The motherboard and hard drives were killed, but everything else was in good shape as far as I could tell.
I'm not sure if that would be the problem though, I don't even get so much as a crackle or pop with anything except youtube and other headphones don't have that issue.
post #30 of 39

Yeah problem doesn't sound like hardware issue to me. From problem analysis this sounds like problem with... youtube!! Perhaps you could log this in Asus support forum and see if they can help you.

 

Could be driver issue or system configuration somewhere.

 

 

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