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DT880's (250 ohms) with a Xonar Essence STX ?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi, I've just bought some AD1000's and an  Asus Xonar Essence STX . The problem being i wanted the DT880's (250ohms) but was told that the Xonar would not be able to drive them . I've been searching forum's and have found conflicting reports ? So can someone please help me out with a more definative view , i'm able to return the AD1000's for the DT880's ?

post #2 of 14

The Asus Xonar Essence STX does not give the DT880/250 enough juice to properly amp them. They would sound constrained and a bit flat out of it. Despite what many say, the STX sucks for anything over 32Ohms. Your AD1000's do just fine since they are only 25Ohm but the beyers will sound like poo. 

 

If you're up to getting a cheaper add on amp I can give some recommendations.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfugu View Post

Hi, I've just bought some AD1000's and an  Asus Xonar Essence STX . The problem being i wanted the DT880's (250ohms) but was told that the Xonar would not be able to drive them . I've been searching forum's and have found conflicting reports ? So can someone please help me out with a more definative view , i'm able to return the AD1000's for the DT880's ?

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

The DT880's are only 250ohms the AD1000's are only 40 ohms ?

 

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

So you would recomend and Xonar > amp > DT880's over the AD1000's with the Xonar ?

 

post #5 of 14

Oops my bad. I was thinking of a different headphone. The AD1000's should do fine on the STX.

 

A good cheap amp for both would be the FiiO E9. It won't power the DT880 perfectly but would do a good job.

 

I would run it like: ST > RCA > FiiO E9 > Headphones. This would be the best way IMO.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfugu View Post

The DT880's are only 250ohms the AD1000's are only 40 ohms ?

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

So please excuse me for being a bit slow but can you please help me understand why the Xonar wont drive the DT880's (250 ohms) , the Xonar essence STX has three headphone impedance settings from , +0dB ( 0-64 ohms) , +12dB (64-300 ohms) to +18dB (300-600 ohms ) and the DT880's have 250 ohms ?

post #7 of 14

My Essence ST drives my HD650 fine with plenty of volume (way more than I need) when using the +12db gain setting. There's even a +18db gain setting if you really need it.

 

I'm sure more powerful amps will give a better sound, but the Essence certainly does not sound bad, everything is punchy and lively.

post #8 of 14

The STX has a very limited voltage supply. I would say maybe 5V max for headphones, but I am unsure because I could not find any technical data. That being said the DT880/250Ohm models needs at least 20V, but ideally right around 30V (estimates from my own gear). The limited voltage causes all sorts of issues. The bass would be flabby and the highs would be somewhat strident or brittle sounding and dynamics would be squashed.

 

All the STX is provide gain to the audio signal so the headphone can become loud enough. It doesn't send any more voltage to the drivers at all. Trust me I have the same sound card as you and it does a horrible job at amping them.

 

Maybe someone else can chime in and explain this a little better than I can?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigfugu View Post

So please excuse me for being a bit slow but can you please help me understand why the Xonar wont drive the DT880's (250 ohms) , the Xonar essence STX has three headphone impedance settings from , +0dB ( 0-64 ohms) , +12dB (64-300 ohms) to +18dB (300-600 ohms ) and the DT880's have 250 ohms ?

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie_X View Post

The STX has a very limited voltage supply. I would say maybe 5V max for headphones, but I am unsure because I could not find any technical data. That being said the DT880/250Ohm models needs at least 20V, but ideally right around 30V (estimates from my own gear). The limited voltage causes all sorts of issues. The bass would be flabby and the highs would be somewhat strident or brittle sounding and dynamics would be squashed.

 

All the STX is provide gain to the audio signal so the headphone can become loud enough. It doesn't send any more voltage to the drivers at all. Trust me I have the same sound card as you and it does a horrible job at amping them.

 

Maybe someone else can chime in and explain this a little better than I can?

 


Is this going to be true with a more powerful power supply or is the voltage from the card independent? Sorry if this is a pig-ignorant question. I have the same set up and have noticed some stridency on some tracks even with a higher gain setting.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you i understand better now , it just was not making sense to me :)

post #11 of 14

That I'm not too sure about. I believe the more powerful the PSU is, the better the amp would sound but it's hard to say. Most of the time computer components have specific power needs and won't draw any more power than they are designed to need. I don't know if this is true for the STX, but with stand alone headphone amp's it is quite true. Maybe someone can step up and clarify this?

 

I know when I bought my Pinkie PSU for my X-CANV8P that in changed the sound a lot. I know when I changed the transformer in my WA3+ it all changed the sound a lot (went from 80W to 120W).
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rroseperry View Post

Is this going to be true with a more powerful power supply or is the voltage from the card independent? Sorry if this is a pig-ignorant question. I have the same set up and have noticed some stridency on some tracks even with a higher gain setting.

Edited by Zombie_X - 8/28/11 at 5:41pm
post #12 of 14
I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and buy that desktop amp after all.

Thanks, Zombie_X
post #13 of 14

Xonar STX is actually a pretty strong sound card. If you pick up the opamp upgrade for it (don't buy the one from ASUS), you can improve the sound a lot more over the cheap opamp that they used on it.

 

It's the socketed DIP version of the one I'm using

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

Xonar STX is actually a pretty strong sound card. If you pick up the opamp upgrade for it (don't buy the one from ASUS), you can improve the sound a lot more over the cheap opamp that they used on it.

 

It's the socketed DIP version of the one I'm using

I've ordered two LME49860 op-amps, off eBay, total $11.75

The LME49990 might be even better, but have not found any STX/LME49990 reviews.
 

 

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