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Asus Xonar Essence STX vs E9/E7 combo...whats better or do i need both?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

See topic title above....can I run senheiser 555s and 600s off the sound card alone? or do  i need the e9/e7 combo to get the most out of it?

 

Also considering getting the AKG 701/702s right now, will the soundcard alone run those well also?

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post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by carefullistener View Post
See topic title above....can I run senheiser 555s and 600s off the sound card alone? or do  i need the e9/e7 combo to get the most out of it?

Also considering getting the AKG 701/702s right now, will the soundcard alone run those well also?

The headphone amplifier on the Essence STX, ST and Fiio E9 use the same headphone amplifier chip, that is rated up to 600-Ohms.

HD-555   50-Ohm

HD-600  300-Ohm

Essence STX or ST will do the job fine.

 

 


 

 

 

post #3 of 15

I have the K702 and the HT|Omega Claro Halo sound card (people say the two sound very similar) and it runs them fine. Get the sound card, they get the job done and does alot more than just power headphones. And chances are the E9/E7 won't sound all that better if they sound better at all.

post #4 of 15

I have used 595 through the STX and it sounded absolutely lovely.

 

650 also sounds pretty good from the STX, but you will find improvement with a better amp (think $400 and above).

 

I would recommend using the STX, and also swapping opamps for 49720s.

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funky-kun View Post
I have used 595 through the STX and it sounded absolutely lovely.

650 also sounds pretty good from the STX, but you will find improvement with a better amp (think $400 and above).

I would recommend using the STX, and also swapping opamps for 49720s.


Get the LME49860NA op-amps, they are the same as the LME49720NA, but with a better (wider) voltage range.

 

 

post #6 of 15

I've read somewhere that the E7 is actually a downgrade from the Essence ST(X) DAC. It's a pretty bad ass DAC for the price, my Audio-GD NFB-3 was only a minor upgrade from it.

I would think the E9 would be better as an amp, but I doubt the difference would be worth it.

 

I'd just go with the Essence for now, you can always upgrade to a better amp later.

post #7 of 15

The Xonar ST/X will work wonders Thu its RCA Output to a external amp, as its RCA output line is higher quality then its headphone amp output line.  So  pretty much plug the Xonar ST/X RCA to a external amp and you be good to go. Also when you do this you would need to change all 3 op-amps as all 3 is used when the RCA outputs are used. When your using the headphone amp output only the I/V is used. Like it was mention, the E7 is the weak link in the Fiio E9 combo, using a Xonar ST/X or a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD  would give best results with the Fiio E9 over the Fiio E7.


Edited by genclaymore - 11/30/11 at 8:42am
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post

The Xonar ST/X will work wonders Thu its RCA Output to a external amp, as its RCA output line is higher quality then its headphone amp output line.  So  pretty much plug the Xonar ST/X RCA to a external amp and you be good to go. Also when you do this you would need to change all 3 op-amps as all 3 is used when the RCA outputs are used. When your using the headphone amp output only the I/V is used. Like it was mention, the E7 is the weak link in the Fiio E9 combo, using a Xonar ST/X or a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD  would give best results with the Fiio E9 over the Fiio E7.

 

Uhm, as far as I know none of the op-amps are used when you use the RCA-output since it completely bypasses the internal amp.

post #9 of 15

Actually your wrong, I know first hand. I owned a Xonar STX my self, also a Xonar card prior that uses the same layout. The RCA output doesn't bypass the op-amps, as it uses all 3 of them. The headphone amp output uses The first Two I/V op-amps. The RCA output do in fact uses both JRCs and the LME's.  Who ever told you that it didn't or read that it didn't is wrong.

 

Also others with the Xonar ST and STX will tell you the same thing first hand. The only thing that by passes the op-amps is Coaxial/TosLink that's it.


Edited by genclaymore - 12/1/11 at 7:16am
post #10 of 15

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post

Actually your wrong, I know first hand. I owned a Xonar STX my self, also a Xonar card prior that uses the same layout. The RCA output doesn't bypass the op-amps, as it uses all 3 of them. The headphone amp output uses The first Two I/V op-amps. The RCA output do in fact uses both JRCs and the LME's.  Who ever told you that it didn't or read that it didn't is wrong.

 

Also others with the Xonar ST and STX will tell you the same thing first hand. The only thing that by passes the op-amps is Coaxial/TosLink that's it.



Strange, everyone I've read about who has an ST/STX claims the RCA-output bypasses the internal amp... That would also make most sense since using two amps would seem a bit unnecessary :P

 

Also, I tried something to disprove you, I connected my headphones to the RCA output with a phono > RCA-adaptor and it sounded way worse then when connecting them to the HP-out, the volume was also a lot lower. This would suggest that the amp isn't being used :)

 

And another thing, if you go in to the Xonar Audio Center-software and select "2 speakers"(aka. RCA-output) you'll notice that there is no button for any gain-setting, this would also suggest that the amp isn't being used :)


Edited by GamerOne - 12/22/11 at 12:16pm
post #11 of 15

The amplifier chip (which is soldered in SOIC package on a separate part of the board, it is not a swappable opamp) is bypassed when RCA is used, but the I/V opamps are used in both cases. For RCA output, the buffer opamp is used in placed of the headphone amp.

post #12 of 15

I have a Xonar Essence ST and they powered my HD650 fine.  Also did the op-amp upgrade mentioned above.  You'll have to get better than a E9/E7 combo to make a noticeable difference in sound quality.  I have since upgraded to the Audio-gd C-2.1 amp and Audiolab 8200CD CD\DAC unit.  $1400 combo mind you.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

whats the best place for me to buy those op amps for my stx?

post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by carefullistener View Post
whats the best place for me to buy those op amps for my stx?

I bought my three LME49860NAs on eBay, the seller was dipmicro, in Canada.

I'm thinking of getting three LME49990NAs, but not too may places have them for sale.
 

 

 

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I bought my three LME49860NAs on eBay, the seller was dipmicro, in Canada.

I'm thinking of getting three LME49990NAs, but not too may places have them for sale.
 


I think you can get free samples of those from National.com 

 

http://www.national.com/pf/master_LME.html

 


Edited by ZorgDK - 12/24/11 at 1:17am
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