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Any difference between front and rear audio with the Asus Essence STX?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I recently ordered the Essence STX and am still waiting for it to come in. I'm going to use it to power my DT770 (which I've had for 2 years now, and I'm excited to finally hear what they are fully capable of). My question is, if I install the sound card and use it to power my front audio ports, is there a difference in SQ? The rear port is a full size headphone jack (they offer a 3.5" adapter). Not sure if there is any diff connecting to the card directly (rear), or from the front.

post #2 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sovelin View Post

I recently ordered the Essence STX and am still waiting for it to come in. I'm going to use it to power my DT770 (which I've had for 2 years now, and I'm excited to finally hear what they are fully capable of). My question is, if I install the sound card and use it to power my front audio ports, is there a difference in SQ? The rear port is a full size headphone jack (they offer a 3.5" adapter). Not sure if there is any diff connecting to the card directly (rear), or from the front.



I don't think so. I can't hear any difference. 

post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sovelin View Post
I recently ordered the Essence STX and am still waiting for it to come in. I'm going to use it to power my DT770 (which I've had for 2 years now, and I'm excited to finally hear what they are fully capable of). My question is, if I install the sound card and use it to power my front audio ports, is there a difference in SQ? The rear port is a full size headphone jack (they offer a 3.5" adapter). Not sure if there is any diff connecting to the card directly (rear), or from the front.


I've never heard anything that the front and back jack are different.

But the wires from the sound card to the front jacks might pick up more interference.

So just use the back panel jack.

 

 

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post


I've never heard anything that the front and back jack are different.

But the wires from the sound card to the front jacks might pick up more interference.

So just use the back panel jack.

 

 



That was my worry, since it isn't a direct connection to the sound card. Kind of a pain to have to keep connecting my headphones to the back, but I prefer the purest sound. Can I leave the adapter plugged into the back without disabling the speakers, or do I have to pull that out each time as well?

post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sovelin View Post
That was my worry, since it isn't a direct connection to the sound card. Kind of a pain to have to keep connecting my headphones to the back, but I prefer the purest sound. Can I leave the adapter plugged into the back without disabling the speakers, or do I have to pull that out each time as well?

Not sure, I'm not with my beloved Essence STX to test.

Hopefully the rear panel headphone jack is only enabled when the circuit is open/closed?

You might be able to run a 1/4 extension cable from the back of your PC.

 

Have you though about replacing the op-amps, three LME49860NA op-amps are $15.

AD797 are $25 for a pair.


 

 

 

post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'm not to familiar with how to do this. Is it an easy process? Does it affect the warranty? And is the SQ drastically improved?

post #7 of 24

The rear jack is activated or deactivated through hardware switch controlled by software & is controlled through the control panel. You controll which output you want through the drivers control panel. You can only use one output at a time, any outputs that you are not using are disabled so if you set the driver up to output to the headphones the speaker outputs are disabled & if you select the speakers the headphone jacks are disabled.

 

All front panel function are handled by the headphone amp & there is a fair amount of D.C. offset on it (15-20mv) which is ok for driving headphones directly but not ok for driving D.C. coupled amps as with these amps D.C. will be amplified. Capacitor coupled amps are ok. D.C. coupled amps must be plugged in to the rear panel RCA jacks & that preferably after the replacement of the coupling caps with wire. This allows the soundcard to sink any D.C. ofset coming from the input jack of the D.C. coupled amp as this will in most cases reduce the D.C. offset at the output of the D.C. coupled amp provided there is D.C. offset coming out of the input jack. D.C. offset coming from the card is very low (2-3mv) & is lower than the D.C. offset coming out the input jack of most amps whick is why the card will sink most of the D.C. offset if the caps are replaced with wire at the RCA jack outputs.

 

Yes you can safely leave the headphone adaptor plugged in even when not in use. The headphone amp is disabled when not in use.


Edited by germanium - 11/10/11 at 3:36am
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sovelin View Post
I'm not to familiar with how to do this. Is it an easy process? Does it affect the warranty? And is the SQ drastically improved?

I'm sure replacing the op-amps voids the warranty.

I bought my STX used.
 

 

 

post #9 of 24
My front panel audio - in and out - sounds like complete rubbish. I'm sure it has everything to do with the cheap flimsy little wire that is running right through the middle of the computer case. I've never had front panel audio that sounds good though.
post #10 of 24

Same I tried my front panel once on my STX and it was the same way Pudu. I don't think a good front panel exist unless its user made.

post #11 of 24

Same I tried my front panel once on my STX and it was the same way Pudu. I don't think a good front panel exist unless its user made.

post #12 of 24
I came up with a half way solution by turning my rear audio ports into top audio ports with the help of this:

233
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post

Same I tried my front panel once on my STX and it was the same way Pudu. I don't think a good front panel exist unless its user made.



There is no difference in using the front panel of my STX or the rear headphone jack. If there is any difference, it certainly isn't audible. In fact, I keep 2 pairs of headphones plugged into it at all times, and depending on which one I want to listen to, determines whether or not I use the front or rear jack. 

post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies everyone! I guess I'll just test it out myself to see if I can hear a difference. But right now it is connected to the back and I'm enjoying these too much to do anything!

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sovelin View Post

Thanks for all the replies everyone! I guess I'll just test it out myself to see if I can hear a difference. But right now it is connected to the back and I'm enjoying these too much to do anything!



Good plan as it will vary with your computer or computer case design. With my old case I had problems with the front headphone jack picing up interferance but not with my new case (same computer inards). The interferance though was the only sonic issue though for the headphone out. I do not use the front panel mike input though, only the headphone out as I feel the Essense's mike sound to be less good than the onboard audios mike input. the rear panel line-in is excellent though. The mike in on the Xonar Essense cards use a cheap AC97 codec chip whereas the Line-in uses a relatively high end ADC chip.

 

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