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Asus Essence One Headphone Amp/DAC (CeBIT 2011) - Page 65

post #961 of 3014

Can I just ask... So for me to get dolby surrond sound gaming on my headphones I would need to have a internal sound card in my PC as well?

post #962 of 3014

Yes, I believe you would Jamie - this is specifically a 2 channel music playback device, AFAIK it has  no support for dolby etc...

 

DMarasovic, thanks for the feedback I think I will give those a go sometime. They were on my candidate list before I upgraded, but I read too many comments regarding oscillation/stability issues with them. Where abouts would you recommend I order from? I see they're dirt cheap from China on eBay (£2.50 a chip) but I have heard stories you get a lot of fake chips on eBay.

post #963 of 3014
Quote:
Originally Posted by daws0n View Post

Yes, I believe you would Jamie - this is specifically a 2 channel music playback device, AFAIK it has  no support for dolby etc...

 

DMarasovic, thanks for the feedback I think I will give those a go sometime. They were on my candidate list before I upgraded, but I read too many comments regarding oscillation/stability issues with them. Where abouts would you recommend I order from? I see they're dirt cheap from China on eBay (£2.50 a chip) but I have heard stories you get a lot of fake chips on eBay.


I have ordered my modules (as well as some other members of Head-Fi) from here: http://tinyurl.com/995d5tf
 

post #964 of 3014

Just received my Bottlehead Crack kit, and was comparing sound between the headphone output on the E1 vs.the non-balanced output to the Crack (using Senn 650's).

 

 

E1 by itself - Highs are strong and impacting (sometimes a bit harsh), and the mid-range lacks some depth.  Bass is up front and snappy.

 

E1 interconnect to Crack - Highs are crisp without being harsh.   Mid-range is warm.  Bass is deep.

 

Crack and E1 make a nice pair!  It is better in all the right places without taking anything away.  I think adding some op-amps and some tube rolling might improve the sound even further.


Edited by mojorific - 11/28/12 at 3:12pm
post #965 of 3014

A quick question about how the "asymmetric upsampling" work.

 

If 44/88/176 kHz --> 352kHz

and

48/96/192 --> 384kHz

 

I assume this upsampling is done by the SHARC chip. Then how does the dual PCM1795's (I think this is the DAC in the Essence One) handle the 300+kHz data when it's only able to handle up to ~192kHz?

 

Also, with the firmware updates, did they fix the common complaint about high frequency roll-off with the upsampling?

post #966 of 3014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Archimago View Post

A quick question about how the "asymmetric upsampling" work.

 

If 44/88/176 kHz --> 352kHz

and

48/96/192 --> 384kHz

 

I assume this upsampling is done by the SHARC chip. Then how does the dual PCM1795's (I think this is the DAC in the Essence One) handle the 300+kHz data when it's only able to handle up to ~192kHz?

 

Also, with the firmware updates, did they fix the common complaint about high frequency roll-off with the upsampling?

 

Honestly i'm not sure technically, but from my personal experience I do not like the upsampling ability.  It brings a bit more clarity to instruments, but it has a more 'tinny' sound to my ears and less 'warmth'.    I also tried the foobar2000 DSP upsampling ability, and while that also increases the sample rate, it again, takes something away from the warmth of the sound in doing so.

 

Yes, the firmware did fix the high frequency roll-off.  I didn't experience it because I updated the firmware knowing this when I got it.

 

Upgrading the firmware requires you use a USB 2.0 port (I tried with a USB 3.0 port and it fails).  Also, there are 2 firmwares to update (which wasn't really clear from their website).  There is an Essence One firmware (latest 1.27), and an Audio Chip F/W (latest 0111).

 

 

For those looking to roll op-amps, I recommend for your first go at it that you should swap out the 2 low pass filter op-amps from slot 2 in the manual (it comes with NE5532's) with LM4562NA's.  It was a noticeable improvement in the low-end sound depth and impact.


Edited by mojorific - 11/30/12 at 11:56am
post #967 of 3014
Quote:
Originally Posted by mojorific View Post

 

Honestly i'm not sure technically, but from my personal experience I do not like the upsampling ability.  It brings a bit more clarity to instruments, but it has a more 'tinny' sound to my ears and less 'warmth'.    I also tried the foobar2000 DSP upsampling ability, and while that also increases the sample rate, it again, takes something away from the warmth of the sound in doing so.

 

Yes, the firmware did fix the high frequency roll-off.  I didn't experience it because I updated the firmware knowing this when I got it.

 

Upgrading the firmware requires you use a USB 2.0 port (I tried with a USB 3.0 port and it fails).  Also, there are 2 firmwares to update (which wasn't really clear from their website).  There is an Essence One firmware (latest 1.27), and an Audio Chip F/W (latest 0111).

 

 

For those looking to roll op-amps, I recommend for your first go at it that you should swap out the 2 low pass filter op-amps from slot 2 in the manual (it comes with NE5532's) with LM4562NA's.  It was a noticeable improvement in the low-end sound depth and impact.


Great tips mojo! Good to hear the high-end roll off is gone. I'm expecting delivery of one of these early next week... Probably will do some opamp rolling in time. I assume the LM4562NA have absolutely no issues with oscillations and such...  If I can get a good deal on more of these opamps, would you recommend replacing some of the other NE5532's in the I/V? I'm particularly interested in optimizing the headphone output.

 

Is there a good web page of opamp recommendations out there for the Essence One?


Edited by Archimago - 11/30/12 at 6:28pm
post #968 of 3014

I've been hearing people saying that there are unpleasant noise when using USB input, is it real?

post #969 of 3014

@syryanyang On my unit there's no unpleasant noise when using the USB input.

 

Two weeks ago I've purchased an Essence One to go along with my HD 650 and K 550 headphones. I've previously used a Xonar Phoebus (which is comparable to Essence STX on the headphone output) and the step up is huge. The HD 650's have woken up with this. They were not "lazy" anymore :) The K550's are no longer sibilant and have way more bass now :)

 

I know that only 10% are going to believe this but after changing the stock cables with a Wireworld Ultraviolet USB cable and a Wireworld Stratus Power cable everything changed. I was blown away. Like I've replaced the Essence one with another (more expensive) DAC. I suggest that you at least give audiophile USB and Power cables a try. I wasn't a believer before but I sure am now.

 

Thursday I've also got a new pair of LCD-2 Rosewood to go with them. The Essence One drives them beautifully and the sound is great. Big bass, great mids, and detailed sweet treble.

 

Has anybody tried the MUSES op-amps yet? I'm thinking of replacing all stock op-amps to match the configuration in the MUSES edition, basically turning my stock Essence One into a Muses edition Essence One. Will this work or are there any other hardware changes in the new edition?

post #970 of 3014
Quote:
Originally Posted by citraian View Post

@syryanyang On my unit there's no unpleasant noise when using the USB input.

 

Two weeks ago I've purchased an Essence One to go along with my HD 650 and K 550 headphones. I've previously used a Xonar Phoebus (which is comparable to Essence STX on the headphone output) and the step up is huge. The HD 650's have woken up with this. They were not "lazy" anymore :) The K550's are no longer sibilant and have way more bass now :)

 

I know that only 10% are going to believe this but after changing the stock cables with a Wireworld Ultraviolet USB cable and a Wireworld Stratus Power cable everything changed. I was blown away. Like I've replaced the Essence one with another (more expensive) DAC. I suggest that you at least give audiophile USB and Power cables a try. I wasn't a believer before but I sure am now.

 

Thursday I've also got a new pair of LCD-2 Rosewood to go with them. The Essence One drives them beautifully and the sound is great. Big bass, great mids, and detailed sweet treble.

 

Has anybody tried the MUSES op-amps yet? I'm thinking of replacing all stock op-amps to match the configuration in the MUSES edition, basically turning my stock Essence One into a Muses edition Essence One. Will this work or are there any other hardware changes in the new edition?

Thanks man. I do believe power cable can make a big difference sometimes.

Hey what do you think it will do with sub-100 ohms headphones like Q/K 701s or mad dogs.

post #971 of 3014

If it can drive LCD-2 it will surely drive the Q/K's. To their full potential? I don't know, it depends what someone means by full potential. It will sound better with multi-thousand dollars sources but, at this price range, I didn't find anything better.

 

EDIT:

I'm having some problems with the Essence Once and I'm not able to pinpoint the cause.

1. From time to time, Essence One is not recognized by Windows. In order to solve this I need to turn it off and turn it on again. This happened to me twice in the two weeks that passed since I got it.

2. Earlier today, after I finished playing some songs I left my computer for a few minutes and when I came back I couldn't get any sound from my DAC. A few minutes ago this happened again. In order to solve this I need to turn it off and turn it on again.

 

Did any of you experience issues like this? I'm pretty sure that this is not an Essence One only issues since a friend of mine experiences them with the new Burson Conductor.


Edited by citraian - 12/1/12 at 4:43pm
post #972 of 3014

Just like to mention that I've upheld my purchase for a dac upgrade for a long period of time. Looked to many dacs along the way, including the ESSENCE ONE. Been keeping myself informed by many sources through this path. I finally did the plunge. For my benefit, l did not have to replace my soundcard being the X-MERIDIAN operating in 2.1 channel configuration and totally modded....opamps, clock and caps. I am now utilizing iZotopes professional studio software tools. Licensed to a few developers. The tools are a  SRC sample rate convertor with upsampling from 44.1 to all rates including 192. Also a MBIT Dither bit convertor to 24 or 32 bit for a 64 bit Windows OS. Its SONY SOUND FORGE PRO 10. Price l paid $250.

 

For those STILL in need to hear more info about the ESSENCE ONE. Here is the latest review.

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/488-asus-xonar-essence-one-review/
 


Edited by morfeeus - 12/3/12 at 2:12pm
post #973 of 3014

Just chiming in to echo mojorific's advice re:op-amp upgrading...

 

The first change I made to mine was replacing the stock LPF chips with LME9720HAs (they're LM4562NA's, with metal cans bodies) and noticed a significant improvement in sound quality... Increased bass "weight" and mid-range presence, and a less eager top end. Much better, and well worth the £££ it cost to do.

 

Since then, I've replaced the rest of the stock NE5532 and RCA output stage with LME9720HAs aswell.

post #974 of 3014

Just got my E1 2 days ago.  The firmware update to USB 111 and MCU 1.27 certainly improved the sound - was a bit of an adventure on my Windows 8 PC (initially the firmware program refused to run so had to use a Win 7 laptop, the MCU firmware ran fine on Win 8).

 

I was experiencing odd "pinging" like sounds/distortions every 30 seconds until I updated the USB firmware from 107 -> 111.

 

Have already opened up the unit to put a few heatsinks on the DAC chips, SHARC, and headphone amps. I should be getting 6 LM4562NA's by the end of the week to try the "Xonar Essence One LM4562 Edition" :-)

 

For those wondering, it sounds great with Senn HD800's. Plenty of power for AKG Q701's also. The Windows driver so far seems *much* better than the old E-MU 0404USB I was running. Sound compared to the 0404 also fuller and more authoritative in the midrange. The 0404 was unable to power the Q701's to a high enough volume.


Edited by Archimago - 12/5/12 at 7:41am
post #975 of 3014

Enjoy :) The LME9720HAs will yield further improvement again, and I have read people have had good results with LME49990 and AD797 BRs too.

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