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Asus Essence One Headphone Amp/DAC (CeBIT 2011) - Page 218

post #3256 of 3300
Originally Posted by milosingh View Post

It isn't neutral.


Have you compared E1 with anything else in A/B test, please?

post #3257 of 3300

Read reviews about it. Only own the Muses, not the basic variant. But read reviews about both.

post #3258 of 3300

Actually, may not be bright, can't recall everything I have read in detail. May in fact be a bit warm, but I am not sure from memory. The Muses isn't bright.

post #3259 of 3300

I had blind A/B test between stock E1 vs. stock ODAC and sound was very similar on both of them and all head-fiers call ODAC as being really neutral, this is why I'm telling here that E1 sounds quite neutral to my ears.


With OPA2132 or OPA1652 in I/V stage E1 sounds bright indeed, but with stock NE5532 it's dead neutral I'd say (with MUSES01 in I/V sound is a little bit on the brightest side than NE5532). I had also access to 2xE1s to compare NE5532 vs. OPA2132/OPA1652/MUSES01.

post #3260 of 3300
Originally Posted by milosingh View Post

HD 700 is bright, Essence One is a bit bright, Valhalla is a bit bright. So it would be a pretty hot combination.


Being a complete n00b just starting to get into these things, do you mean bright + bright + bright is a bad or a good thing?

post #3261 of 3300



Save yourself the nightmare of trying to match amps and headphones, its a never ending journey especially if you listen to lots of genres, just EQ instead, or at least give it a try first.


Voicemeeter Banana has an excellent Parametric EQ and it works great with the essence one, you can output WASAPI or ASIO. I've not had any negative results, just make sure you turn the gain down so its not peaking into the red.

post #3262 of 3300

I'm with you 4Real, EQ never hurted if it's correctly and subtle used.


Even foobar's Graphic Equalizer DSP plugin works just fine, at least I have no issues using it. Read more about soft EQ here on Head-Fi:

- http://www.head-fi.org/t/413900/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-a-tutorial

- http://www.head-fi.org/t/265316/is-it-a-crime-to-use-eq

- http://www.head-fi.org/t/559247/why-dont-more-people-use-eq-to-get-the-desired-sound

In case you need decent test tones to make you headphones sound as flat as possible while EQ-ing, feel free to use audiocheck website's sinewave generators.


If you need some friendly DIY hardware EQ, then start reading Frans de Gruijter's website (aka solderdude): http://diyah.boards.net/thread/92/headphone-correction-filter-board

post #3263 of 3300

Okay, I will hold off on the dedicated amp for now. But I have to admit I just love the overall look of the Schiit Valhalla 2!


I'm also interested in some op-amps rolling, but I have no past experience with changing op-amps so I have tried to do some research and have ended up with this setup;


2x LME49990 for Low Pass Filter

4x LME49990 for IV's

2x Dual LT1057ACN8 for Buffers



How does that sound? It will be used for my aging Sennheiser HD 650 and my new Sennheiser HD 700.

post #3264 of 3300

Most people who tried MUSES01 in I/V liked the sound enough to consider this OPAMP as being an end-game for I/V rolling. I'm one of them as well and I believe that next step might be a passive I/V, but in no way a BJT input OPAMP, like 49990. I also did proper A/B testing between 2 E1 DACs: one having MUSES01 and another one having a lot of OPAMPs like NE5532, OPA2132, OPA1652, MUSES8920, AD8672, AD8599 etc. MUSES01 in I/V stage won in a matter of seconds in all blind tests (2 people with trained ears were involved in this test)!


Theoretically, what you need is a fast FET-input OPAMP with a very low settling time as I/V converter; feel free to dive deep into this by Googling around. This has been discussed a lot here on Head-Fi, in this thread and in many other threads and also on DIY forum. You might like how BJT-input OPAMPs like LME49990 will sound, but this is a subjective oppinion I'd say. :) Anyway, fast OPAMPs in Essence One is not a good idea, because of the way PCB is routed and OPAMPs bypassing is done, so just stick to MUSES if you need a decent sound in your E1 DAC. You may also try LT1498, because lot of people say it's good enough to worth the try: http://forum.doctorhead.ru/index.php?showtopic=7305&st=8700 (use Google translate to read it).


I don't recommend OPA2604, LT1028, LME49990 or AD797 in either I/V or LPF stage because of possible oscillations. Feel free to try those OPAMPs, but only if you have a 40MHz (or even 100MHz) good scope and if you want to improve OPAMPs bypassing by yourself with 10uF tantalums and 0.01-0.1uF film caps! I used myself for a couple of days OPA2604 and the sound got more wide and open; I really liked it, but OPA2604 were very hot to touch and when I measured E1's power consumption I realized that each OPAMP is getting an additional power of almost 1W/each (over 15W with OPA2604 vs. almost 12W with NE5532)! Scope did proved that OPA2604 is oscillating in E1's I/V stage, so I removed them for good. Same might apply to LT1028, LME49990 and AD797, even if the sound is very good to your ears: http://www.head-fi.org/t/542563/asus-essence-one-headphone-amp-dac-cebit-2011/795#post_8275193 or http://rockgrotto.proboards.com/thread/7599/assus-xonar-essence-dac?page=2 etc.


L.E.: http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/analog-line-level/191389-swapping-op-amps-you-have-checked-see-its-stable-havent-you.html

Edited by raoultrifan - 1/27/16 at 11:09am
post #3265 of 3300

Hmm.. This is surely some difficult times for me as a audio rookie.... I've been offered some really great prices on Hegel units through my employer. And now I'm considering whether it might be a good choice to simply sell my Asus Xonar Essence One and move to Hegel HD12, HD25, H80 or H160. But then again, I'm rather clueless and a rookie so I'm not really sure whether they would be any noticeable improvement and worth the move or not for my current Sennheiser HD 650 and my upcoming HD 700.


From what I can read online these Hegel units are seeing some really great feedback. But there aren't really that many reviews on them which make me somewhat uncertain on how much attention I should pay to them. Norwegian reviews are really promoting them, but then again Hegel is a Norwegian based company so I'm not entirely sure if I should take those reviews with a grain of salt or not.

post #3266 of 3300

RamGuy, Hegel DACs and amps are playing in a different league, so if you can afford Hegel then I'd say go4it! If you can do an A/B compare prior to buying it would be better; a decent A/B device you can do it by yourself by purchasing a couple of switches and Neutrik/Amphenol plugs (6.3mm jacks for testing amped devices and RCA/XLR for testing through an external monitoring amplifier).


While looking to inside pictures of Hegel HD12 and HD25 I realized they are using many power regulators (I was counting at least 5), not like Essence One with only 3 of them (+/-12 V and 5V) and also many small LDO regulators soldered onto motherboard + decent capacitors (20.000uF?) used as "reservoirs" and ripple softing, so this is why Heged DACs have a noise of -145dB. :) Despite the fact that Essence One sounds decent enough to be considered an OK DAC with a good neutral sound, though a bit grainy, this is how ripple and noise of Essence One's +5V power supply measured directly on PCM1795 pins looks like: http://www.head-fi.org/t/542563/asus-essence-one-headphone-amp-dac-cebit-2011/3195#post_12052686


So, like I said before, go for Hegel if you can afford it, but try doing an A/B test prior to buying and please tell to headfiers your thoughts.


BTW, there's no need to sell your Essence One, because for the price paid for it it's a good looking & decent sounding DAC + preamp + headphone amplifier that deserves to be placed on top of your desktop computer or at least somewhere on your desk/office. :)


Thank you, 



L.E.: In case you go for an A/B test Hegel vs. Asus, please use good resolving headphones (try borrowing from someone if you don't have some yourself). Usually "brighter" headphones might resolve better than "darker" ones; myself I'm pleased with Beyers DT880 600 when A/B testing.

Edited by raoultrifan - 1/29/16 at 11:09pm
post #3267 of 3300
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

It's definitely not USB-powered IME but some USB controllers need to have something pulling +5V to enable a port, some DIY guys put a dummy load: http://grizzlyaudio.blogspot.com/2015/08/diy-solid-core-audio-usb-cable-with.html
Might this be what I've heard referred to as "handshaking"?
post #3268 of 3300
Originally Posted by wakka992 View Post

OK, thank you for your time raultrifan, I'll see what I can do with with the tons of info you gave me!

For the Burson I'll post my thoughts as soon as I get other 2 opamp and then I'll be ready.
By the way, the burson doesn't like I/V, they get hot really quick, I use them on buffer and LPF. For I/V the muses01 are the best!
Thank you again!

Hi guys, been a while since I wrote here on the Xonar One forum.
I know I promised month ago to return here for telling how was the Burson SS V5 doing in one beloved One, but many things as changed from then.

I tried them on LPFilter and Buffer with MUSES01 as I/V converter; then following @raultrifan advice I discovered that I could make a Full Burson unit as the headphone amp uses only half the I/V opamp and so I went Full Burson (1 on Headphone Buffer, 2 on LPFilter and 2 on I/V stage). 

All I can say is that they were a marvellous combination: perfect PRat; the bass is more controlled and refined, quite visceral (not excessively darker like OPA2134 on MUSES02 I auditioned before); Mids engaging and musical such as with MUSES01; far Less fatiguing Highs/Treble than with the lme49710HA as Headphone Buffer.
A perfect combo.
On several Italian's forum some guys wrote that Full Burson Supreme Sound V4 was the perfect combo for our Xonar. I'd have liked to hear a SS V4 vs SS V5 comparative (as I'd already got my hand on two SS V4 in the past) but I couldn't find them anywhere for a reasonable price so I skipped that. Now I can trust those V4 addicted, as the SS V5 is really on another league.

If I had to choose I'd pick the Full Burson SS V5 sound any day over any combination of MUSES01, MUSES02, LME49710, OPA2134, OPA2111, OPA2107, OPA627, LT1028, LME49990, etc.



And that's when I contacted Burson for praising their work.
They actually appreciated my interest, since back in October I was one of the few to have tried their new Discrete Opamp, so they talked me about their new project: a DAC/Amp/Pre-Amp based on their flagship Conductor Virtuoso implementing the new discovery made while developing the SS V5.
Now that project is reality, and It's been crowdfounding right now on Indiegogo at " https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/conductor-v2-usb-soundcard-8watt-head-amp-preamp#/ ".

I liked so much the Burson sound that I bought a Conductor V2+ unit last month, and my Beast should arrive it later this week! 
When I'll receive it I'll post my thought on the new Conductor V2+ thread here on headfi. 

So, Out is the Xonar, In is the Burson
Thanks for all the info and advice you've given me through the years here on the Xonar One thread!


If you can, I advise you give it a try to Burson SS V5 on our Xonar One, you won't regret it!

post #3269 of 3300

Thanks for trying the V5s; I'll probably give it a try myself soon, at least in LPF, Buffer and VAS (headphone amp gain).


Congrats for the new V2+. :D

post #3270 of 3300
Originally Posted by raoultrifan View Post

Thanks for trying the V5s; I'll probably give it a try myself soon, at least in LPF, Buffer and VAS (headphone amp gain).

Congrats for the new V2+. biggrin.gif

Thanks mate, I'll enjoy it for sure! I'm counting the days untill it'll arrive!

Btw during my SS V5 evaluation I confirmed with Burson's Tech that the opamp is designed to work admirably in all the Xonar One stage. Just buy a couple of chip and rotate on the 3 stage for see for yourself!
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