which has the better dac? the e7 or the stx?
- productASUS Xonar Essence STXtagged by System, 5/26/11
- productFiiO E7 USB DAC and Portable Headphone Amplifiertagged by System, 5/26/11
- productFiiO E9 Desktop Headphone Amplifier and Dock for E7 USB DACtagged by System, 5/26/11
- categoryHeadphone Amplifierstagged by System, 5/26/11
- categoryPortable Ampstagged by System, 5/26/11
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FiiO e7/e9 or Xonar STX - Page 2
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Get all 3. The STX makes a lot of sense for so many applications other than music, but is also highly regarded for its DAC.
Other than a brief audition of the Heed Canamp, the Stello HP100 along with a couple of mains-powered DAC/amps I owned for about six months sometime back, I havent heard a lot of desktop amps, but I will say this - the E9 eats the aforementioned alive in terms of the way it scales as you turn the dial. Eats them alive and dresses inappropriately at their remembrance services. I know of nothing else with that sort of horsepower-per-dollar in this hobby - happy to hear otherwise.
^true. The stx is actually one of the best measuring dac's you can buy, but whether you like it is dependant on whether you are looking for a coloured sound or not and whether or not you want a shiny audiophile product.
Well, I just went ahead and purchased the Xonar again (my original was open box) to test.
I am going to test the line out going to the e9 and if I like it I will sell the e7.
Who here thinks that the FiiO e17 will be better than the Xonar STX?
So I am testing my setup in different configurations: (FLAC(44.1Khz) ---> Foobar (WASAPI) ---> * )
STX line out ----> e9 (gain on/off) ----> Ultrasone PRO900
e7 ----> e9 (gain on/off) ----> Ultrasone PRO900
STX line out ----> Ultrasone PRO900
STX HP out ---> Ultrasone PRO900
Overall the e7 gives me more of an exciting sound allowing the lows and highs really shine. I can tell the the mids are lacking, but I don't really miss it since it is a fun listen. If I end up keeping the e7 its portability wont really be the reason since I don't like the e7 by itself. I guess I can say that I like the e9 (even though I know they serve different purposes) more than I like the e7.
When the sound comes out of the STX it sounds full and more complete. I get the sensation of the music being relaxed and I can hear more of the nuances from the music. When I connect the e9 to the mix (from the STX's line out) I get a little more of both worlds (a mix between the STX alone and the exciting sound of the e7/e9 combo,) which is starting to grow on me. This makes me want to keep the STX/e9 as my setup. I can definitely see what fuels this place and how people can spend tons of money on different gear!
Me being the OCD person that I am, it bothers me to keep the e9 with en empty dock (maybe later down the line the e17 will fill that void but who knows if it will be better than the STX?
I've ran RMAA tests on my STX and power supply or floor noise aren't an issue (other than the known issue with 44.1KHz amplified on low impedance headphones.)
Headphones: Ultrasone PRO900
Speakers: Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
If anyone has any input on the following questions it would be great:
- If I go from the STX (line out) to the e9 what volume should I set the STX? (I know that the e9 has a sweet spot of 9 o'clock to 12 o'clock)
- Would changing the opamps on the STX make it perform closer to the sound that comes out of the e9?
- Should I go with a different DAC/Amp solution for under 309.98? (Price of the STX and e9, which I can still return)
Thanks to all who read and/or give me suggestions.
It's impossible to tell really. But I wouldn't count on it.
I set everything to maximum and adjust all volume through the amp. I read somewhere that adjusting volume through software adds interference to the sound. Can't be sure its true though.
Perhaps, although what I'd personally do is lose the E7 and E9 and buy a better amp for the STX. That's just me.
Edited by theeyealtering - 5/24/11 at 1:59am
Greetings, slidesear! I own a Xonar Essence STX card and I hear no noise whatsoever. If you're using windows xp, things might be a little tricky in terms of configuration. If it's Vista/7, you must set the sample rate both in the xonar taskbar application and in the windows configuration. Otherwise you'll get resampling. This means that if you're playing a 44.1KHz FLAC file on the right configuration, direct output should be uncolored unless another sound is dumped into the mixer (windows sounds/applications). I recommend you installing this driver for best results and don't forget to read the documentation!
The noise is indeed still there, and unlike connecting my cans directly to the STX-the volume on the e9 does effect the level of the noise.
Thank you, I thought that attacking another amplifier to the Headphone line out would have "attenuated" the noise, even if you still use the ST amp this way; at least we know that this "solution" it's not working.
You mean you want the white noise? It takes your headphones to be low impedance...
how low? I have plugged iems into them without hearing white noise
- FiiO e7/e9 or Xonar STX
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