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Asus Essence One Headphone Amp/DAC (CeBIT 2011) - Page 150

post #2236 of 3016
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

Sorry, I meant millimeters, not centimeters... That would be bad!!! (above post corrected).

 

Can anyone else comment on theirs?

Tighten it up!  Sometimes items work loose during transport or whoever built it didn't tighten it enough!

The ones I have tested, they are all tight, the only thing you can feel is the detents.

 

Wait, what is shifting a few mm, the knob itself or is it the POT?

post #2237 of 3016
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

I've gotta say I am more and more pleased with my Muses the more I use it. The differences between this amp/DAC and my other amps weren't apparent at first listen but as I spend more time with it, I'm noticing a level of musicality that I just haven't heard with other amps in the past. I usually fall on the objective side of all things audio but I must admit, the definition, PRaT, bass control, sense of 3D space are all just really enjoyable with the Muses.

I must admit when I ordered it I fully expected to use it for a couple of weeks, be underwhelmed, attribute the positive reviews to FOTM hype, and send it back for a refund. Well, not this time!

Asus clearly put a lot of effort into making this a serious audio component for headphone (and 2-channel) enthusiasts. The performance is what I would expect from a "high end boutique" product (although I think few really deliver), but at a price I think reflects the actual product and not a desire to fill a niche with smoke and mirrors. In other words, I feel for once that I got my money's worth.

I did contact ASUSXONAR about my lack of jumpers and loose volume knobs and he didn't hesitate to arrange a swap for a newer unit. So my hat is off to Asus for having pride in the Essence One and going to the effort to please their customers with support that exceeds expectations.

Congrats.

 

I am interested to read your thoughts/finding between the one you have now and the replacement.

post #2238 of 3016

I have been getting tons of requests to compare the Stock version to the Muses Edition. 

post #2239 of 3016
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

Congrats.

I am interested to read your thoughts/finding between the one you have now and the replacement.

The amp I was using is just the headphone jack of my Pioneer home theater AVRs. As I have tried amps/DACs at home, I have rolled through many amps over the past few years (all solid state) and I have found the differences to be very subtle. Maybe its just me, but I find it very difficult to detect differences and so I have never been blown away before.

No, the Asus didnt blow me away either. It snuck up on me. At first all I could detect was a slightly leaner more controlled bass response. Then as I listened more, I began to notice the Asus sounded more dynamic - if the Pioneer and Asus were both identical polo shirts, the Pioneer has been through the wash 100 times while the Asus is new, if that makes sense.

The Asus sounds more vivid, snappier, faster, cleaner where the Pioneer sounds a little flat and lifeless. It's a very subtle thing though - I really have to focus to detect it. But then when I turn off the Pioneer and just kick back with the Asus, it just moves me more. The Asus is more musical. I don't mean to saythe Pioneer sounds bad - it's hard to describe subtle differences without hyperbole because it's the only way to express the differences. But the differences are so small as to be near,y imperceptible without extensive listening and focused concentration.

It's a small thing but for me it's worth it. Not to be cliche, but the Asus just has that "toe-tapping" quality that my Pioneers lack. Amd it has it without sacrificing detail or adding coloration/distortion. It just sounds more natural to me - which is kind of hard for me to admit because I am quite an objectivist.

EDIT: Other Headamps/DACs I have owned and/or tried in my home include - Peachtree Nova, Schiit Asgard, Lyr, Objective2, Violectric V90, V200, V800, Burson HA-160D, Woo WA6, WA7, Benchmark DAC1, Grace M901, Cambridge DacMagic.

I have detected differences in frequency response before, but never do I remember noticing the more subjective differences I tried to describe above regarding the Essence One Muses.
Edited by palmfish - 7/3/13 at 2:40pm
post #2240 of 3016

Testing differences between DACs can be a bit tougher than one would expect in my experience.  Takes much concentration and time.

post #2241 of 3016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Sneis View Post

Testing differences between DACs can be a bit tougher than one would expect in my experience.  Takes much concentration and time.

 

Absolutely depends on the DAC. I have tried using the Asus DAC output into my Pioneer to see if I can ID which part of the E1 is giving the improvement, but I just can't tell.

 

I had a listen to the new Bottlehead DAC a few weeks ago and it was easy to tell it from the Benchmark DAC1 I had next to it. Much warmer and richer sounding. Obviously having an analog tube output is the difference there. With Solid State, who can say where each amp gets its "personality?"

 

I honestly still don't understand how changing opamps can change the sound of an amp. It doesn't make sense to me...lol.

post #2242 of 3016

Hi guys new to the forum so treat me a bit gentle for my first post since I have not read all 150 pages and had no idea what I should search for with regard to this question.

 

I am a new owner of the Xonar Essence One muse and it is working fine.  The question I have is I find it a bit weird that I have volume control of the xlr outputs that I have ran to my a/v pro.  It makes no sense for me to have volume into my volume.  Is this normal, why and what would be the best volume setting to pipe into my avm50v on this little black box?  

 

Regards

post #2243 of 3016
The speaker volume knob is for people using the Essence One as a pre-amp; running line out directly to powered speakers or a power amplifier.

In your case, you don't need to use two volume controls, so just turn the Asus speaker volume knob all the way to max volume. Maximum volume (speaker volume knob fully clockwise) corresponds with standard line level output (2V peak). You'll notice it matches the "normal volume" of your other sources.
Edited by palmfish - 7/3/13 at 7:03pm
post #2244 of 3016

Thank you sir much appreciated. 

post #2245 of 3016

From memory XLR is 4v and RCA 2v peak

post #2246 of 3016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandah View Post

From memory XLR is 4v and RCA 2v peak

That is correct :)

post #2247 of 3016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandah View Post

From memory XLR is 4v and RCA 2v peak

 

Yup, wasn't thinking about XLR.

post #2248 of 3016
Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post


The amp I was using is just the headphone jack of my Pioneer home theater AVRs. As I have tried amps/DACs at home, I have rolled through many amps over the past few years (all solid state) and I have found the differences to be very subtle. Maybe its just me, but I find it very difficult to detect differences and so I have never been blown away before.

No, the Asus didnt blow me away either. It snuck up on me. At first all I could detect was a slightly leaner more controlled bass response. Then as I listened more, I began to notice the Asus sounded more dynamic - if the Pioneer and Asus were both identical polo shirts, the Pioneer has been through the wash 100 times while the Asus is new, if that makes sense.

The Asus sounds more vivid, snappier, faster, cleaner where the Pioneer sounds a little flat and lifeless. It's a very subtle thing though - I really have to focus to detect it. But then when I turn off the Pioneer and just kick back with the Asus, it just moves me more. The Asus is more musical. I don't mean to saythe Pioneer sounds bad - it's hard to describe subtle differences without hyperbole because it's the only way to express the differences. But the differences are so small as to be near,y imperceptible without extensive listening and focused concentration.

It's a small thing but for me it's worth it. Not to be cliche, but the Asus just has that "toe-tapping" quality that my Pioneers lack. Amd it has it without sacrificing detail or adding coloration/distortion. It just sounds more natural to me - which is kind of hard for me to admit because I am quite an objectivist.

EDIT: Other Headamps/DACs I have owned and/or tried in my home include - Peachtree Nova, Schiit Asgard, Lyr, Objective2, Violectric V90, V200, V800, Burson HA-160D, Woo WA6, WA7, Benchmark DAC1, Grace M901, Cambridge DacMagic.

I have detected differences in frequency response before, but never do I remember noticing the more subjective differences I tried to describe above regarding the Essence One Muses.


Nice write-up palmfish, that's quite a line up of Dac's you've auditioned, and good to see your enjoying the muses edition thus far. It never fails to amaze me just how good the SQ of muses are compared to the standard 5532.

 

I've also auditioned Burson ha-160, Grace M903, and Fostex HP-A8C and found the E1 muses SQ more to my liking, however with the E1 standard 5532, theses 3 dac's would blow it out of the water

 

I really want asus to continue there drive into this overpriced market which I feel is better for the end user, although I also don't want to see a monopoly of mainstream companies like Asus out pricing small Boutique companies to the point of no return, which most of us have all seen in other markets

post #2249 of 3016
Ok...I finally got the time to change the stock NE 5532 op amps to the Muses01s.

Firstly I must said that Asus has done a really good job on designing this unit for amp rolling because the screws were so EASY to come off and the case also slides off very easily. The op amps themselves were a pain in the butt to take off though and in the process I have bent the legs on quite a few of them tongue.gif. I have taken the advice of previous posters and put them all on an adapter so it will be easier for me to change them again and again in the future.

To compare the sound of these 2 different op amps, I have been changing them back and forth with listening to the same song.

This is what I think of the sound differences and I hope those of you that also have the muses01 can tell me if you think the same:

At first I was really DISLIKING the sound of the Muses01 (still not liking them very much atm), I thought they sounded a bit less detailed compared to the stocks?? However, for some reason I also think that the stock has better sound stage, with more details. I could hear much more details on the little things such as the voice echoing in live concert songs. The Muses01 makes the sound feel like its closer to my ears than the stock.

I have decided to keep the Muses01 in for now because I want to see if I would grow to like them or not. If not, I am going to SELL them!!!mad.gif

Oh yeah...and about the thingy behind the volume knob, unfortunately I have the B10K version too and I could also see the gain switch jumper next to it smily_headphones1.gif but can not be changed frown.gif

ps. I wonder if there's a way to check the authenticity of these Muses01, maybe the less sound stage and detail is because they are fake??

Here are some photos:


(Opened for the first time)


(Stock NE 5532)


(B10K and gain Switch)


(Muses01)


(Muses01 close up)


(Muses01 on adapter)
Edited by DMax99 - 7/4/13 at 10:18am
post #2250 of 3016
Asus's audio device…well…
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