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Asus Essence One Headphone Amp/DAC (CeBIT 2011) - Page 4
Gear mentioned in this thread:
If this thing sounds the same or better than the ST, I might replace it just for the volume knob (if it is an actual pot, not a "digital knob").
If it can work as a standalone Dolby/DTS decoder (for a game console, for example) and DAC, then it is almost a day-one buy.
It would be pure flexibility if it could work either through its own power supply or through USB power.
Edited by kumaiti - 6/2/11 at 10:13am
I really do think ASUS has addressed many issued to get the best sound.
That combined with the fact that they are a $10 Billion dollar corporation means [to me] that they can turn the stand alone Dac market upside down.
Their production and piece cost has got to be dirt cheap. They have not one or two engineers at their disposal like 99% of the high end Dac companies, Lavry, Weiss, Audio-GD, etc. etc. but can put a team of engineers on the task. Looking at past ASUS sound card products they seem to really "want" to make a Audiophile product that addresses Audiophile concerns.
I really do think this Asus Essence One will be one great Dac....or at least it has the potential to be.
I have a thought that it will be a GOOD DAC, but I have my doubts that it will be great.
The fact that they have so many engineers on staff will certainly help, but it's a matter of ROI to a certain extent. It's not their core function, their Essence soundcards notwithstanding. It's a drop in the bucket when compared to their motherboard business, and will continue to be even if it's wildly successful IMHO. Unless they can make a LOT of money doing it, it's not going to be an area of focus. Generally speaking, the market at that end is too small for a mass-producer to be interested.
BTW - I would add that good technology and access to engineering resources doesn't necessarily mean that they can implement it well in an audiophile target market even if they WANT to. DACs and amps are still going to have to SOUND right, and IMHO the best designers are in fact audiophiles/music nuts themselves.
I have a thought that they will give it enough attention that it will be an upgrade from your headphone out (hopefully a significant upgrade!) but not a lot more. I've heard the Essence card, and it's not bad...may pick on up myself. That said, it's not the earth-shattering sonic revolution that one might have read about in Stereophile. It's not going to replace the Ayre QB-9 any time soon.
Having said all this, I'd be happy to be proven wrong. A high quality but inexpensive DAC and headphone amp from a mainstream electronics manufacturer would be nothing but good IMHO.
and the others listen w/ their oscilloscope(Benchmark DAC-1 anyone?) and throw measurements at you, in order to try proving their point(and impress newbies)..."OH MY GODZ, 150dB SNR...it's gonna rule!"
Hey how ya doing Lee....long time.
What you don't like the sound of an oscilloscope???
The thought came to mind.
How would Asus sell the Essence One??
Certainly computer stores are not the place, neither is Best Buy, Walmart, etc.
They might have a issue on their hands because if they cant move the unit it will get discontinued very quickly.
No updates yet? I'm starting to think this is some type of mystical creature like a leprachaun or a unicorn. I'm debating if I should just get an external amp for my X-Fi titanium until this card comes out.
- Asus Essence One Headphone Amp/DAC (CeBIT 2011)
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