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Figuring out my Computer Audio??? - Page 2

post #16 of 30

I think the STX is a better value for money option if you are not using a outboard USB. STX has lower crosstalk(base on the jacks alone, you get line outs as opposed to 3.5mm minis), MUCH better SNR, and its amp section is no slouch either with lower distortion values than the E10. I bought it for an uncle who wanted a HTPC and he is very pleased with it. You can line out to your speakers and let the STX do its job. It is not like you are gonna bring out the E7/9 combo where ever you go. 

 

On the side note: I would consider the E10 for mobility though.

post #17 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


No, you'll need to find one. There appears to be several options, just type "winamp wasapi" into Google.

 

The STX will have a better signal-to-noise ratio regardless of output plugin. This won't necessarily matter when playing 16-bit files at regular listening volumes.

 


It has plenty of power for the headphones he currently has, and most headphones. Rated for 150 mW into 32 ohms which is 2.2 Vrms. With that voltage, the impedance isn't necessarily the limiting factor, but the sensitivity.

 

I wouldn't recommend it for the DT880-600 though. It's fairly inefficient as well as high impedance. One of the hardest headphones to drive. It'll still manage 105 dB which should work fine, but not as loud as it could be.


I downloaded the WASAPI plugin and I set it in my preferences as my default output. So is that all I needed to do it is working properly now?

 

I know that all of these options have way more than enough power to drive my current headphones considering they don't even need an amp. But you think it can push those 600 ohm cans up to 105 dB though? If the DT990-600 is what I plan to upgrade to would you recommend another amp/dac entirely? If so, what would you suggest? Remember that I need the DAC to be able to switch over to my studio speakers as well. They have TRS and XLR inputs.

Thanks for the help, much appreciated.

 

post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyZ532 View Post

I downloaded the WASAPI plugin and I set it in my preferences as my default output. So is that all I needed to do it is working properly now?

 

I know that all of these options have way more than enough power to drive my current headphones considering they don't even need an amp. But you think it can push those 600 ohm cans up to 105 dB though? If the DT990-600 is what I plan to upgrade to would you recommend another amp/dac entirely? If so, what would you suggest? Remember that I need the DAC to be able to switch over to my studio speakers as well. They have TRS and XLR inputs.

Thanks for the help, much appreciated.


I can think of nothing better than the Essence STX for The DT990-600. It performs best with high impedance headphones, and has plenty of power (at maximum, about 7 Vrms or 115 dB for the DT990-600). You can still spend less (like the E10) if you don't play your music very loud or use any digital attenuation like ReplayGain.

post #19 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by firev1 View Post

I think the STX is a better value for money option if you are not using a outboard USB. STX has lower crosstalk(base on the jacks alone, you get line outs as opposed to 3.5mm minis), MUCH better SNR, and its amp section is no slouch either with lower distortion values than the E10. I bought it for an uncle who wanted a HTPC and he is very pleased with it. You can line out to your speakers and let the STX do its job. It is not like you are gonna bring out the E7/9 combo where ever you go. 

 

On the side note: I would consider the E10 for mobility though.


I am not to worried about the portability aspect as I am working on a CMOY currently. Quite a few people have recommended the STX now so I am leaning towards it over the Fiio E7/E9. However, some people in other threads I am following have simply said that external is better than a sound card. If the STX performs better than the E7/E9 why do they say this? Or are they referring to high-end amp/DACs? If/when I decide to upgrade my cans to something like the DT990-600 would I still want to use the STX or a completely new/better external amp/DAC? In this situation could I just use the DAC in the STX for my speakers and headphones still and use the external amp for my headphones purely. Would they work together or is that crazy?

Thanks for the help.

 

post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parak View Post



The e10 is a great dac and amp for the money, though I don't know how it does past 300 ohms. I am of the firm opinion that expensive cables are all about psychoaucoustics (especially digital ones), but obviously opinions differ. There's only two factors that I consider important about cables, in the following order:

 

1. Distance vs gauge used (you need lower awg/thicker wire the longer the cable is). There are some charts on this if you're interested, but they are mostly of interest for analog speaker cables.

2. Flexibility, durability, and connector quality. This is a far lower priority compared to #1, especially when you're not spending $arm+$leg per cable. You can buy a ton of cheap cables for the price of one expensive cable, even if you somehow manage to break the cheap ones.

 

In short, it's far better to invest the money you'd essentially waste on cables firstly on better output devices (headphones, speakers), and then secondarily on better audio sources. Monoprice cables are excellent as far as the price/quality (#2) is concerned.


Yeah I definitely agree with what you had to say about putting that marginal cable money into something like my actual headphones or a better amp, etc. Thanks for the help regarding the cables Parak, greatly appreciated.

 

post #21 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post


I can think of nothing better than the Essence STX for The DT990-600. It performs best with high impedance headphones, and has plenty of power (at maximum, about 7 Vrms or 115 dB for the DT990-600). You can still spend less (like the E10) if you don't play your music very loud or use any digital attenuation like ReplayGain.



Okay thanks a lot, you've helped a lot and I think I am going to be buying the Xonar STX. Can anybody help with what cables will I need to hook up my speakers? Would a male XLR to male RCA work to hook it up to the STX? The only other input on my speakers is a TRS 1/4 inch.

post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyZ532 View Post



Okay thanks a lot, you've helped a lot and I think I am going to be buying the Xonar STX. Can anybody help with what cables will I need to hook up my speakers? Would a male XLR to male RCA work to hook it up to the STX? The only other input on my speakers is a TRS 1/4 inch.



It already comes with a 2x rca male to 3.5mm female adapter, and you know what to do from there.

post #23 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parak View Post



It already comes with a 2x rca male to 3.5mm female adapter, and you know what to do from there.

Ok sounds good, that should be no issue then, all of you have been a great help, once again convincing me to drop $180 wink.gif atsmile.gif

post #24 of 30

I wanted to follow up and see and looks like you've already made your choice. rolleyes.gif
Just another side thing, there are two versions of the card, ST and STX it's pretty much the same thing but then I figured that PCI cards are gonna be gone soon so just make sure you know what slot you have available for your mobo. Also, see if you can get a used one if you don't mind I got mine for a ridiculously good price 2nd hand with no flaws at all with original box/receipt/warranty whatnot. Might save you some cash for your future purchases lol cool.gif

post #25 of 30

People are inclined to disregard computer audio because of the interference/electromagnetic signals within the computer itself, but mine is dead quiet and plays bit-perfect what more can I ask especially for an HTPC.

post #26 of 30
Thread Starter 

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheGomdoRi View Post

I wanted to follow up and see and looks like you've already made your choice. rolleyes.gif
Just another side thing, there are two versions of the card, ST and STX it's pretty much the same thing but then I figured that PCI cards are gonna be gone soon so just make sure you know what slot you have available for your mobo. Also, see if you can get a used one if you don't mind I got mine for a ridiculously good price 2nd hand with no flaws at all with original box/receipt/warranty whatnot. Might save you some cash for your future purchases lol cool.gif


I have noticed while only just beginning to get into hi-fi that the possibility of upgrading makes me anxious to have the hardware already, so I tend to make rather rash decisions haha biggrin.gif

My mobo's expansion slots are as follows: 

  1. 1 x PCI Express x16 slot, running at x16 (PCIE_16) 
    (The PCI Express x16 slot conforms to PCI Express 2.0 standard.)
  2. 4 x PCI Express x1 slots
  3. 2 x PCI slots

So I should be good with the STX since I have 4 PCI express x1

 

Thanks for the continued help by the way and I will definitely look into getting one used. 

 

post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyZ532 View Post
However, some people in other threads I am following have simply said that external is better than a sound card. If the STX performs better than the E7/E9 why do they say this? Or are they referring to high-end amp/DACs? If/when I decide to upgrade my cans to something like the DT990-600 would I still want to use the STX or a completely new/better external amp/DAC? In this situation could I just use the DAC in the STX for my speakers and headphones still and use the external amp for my headphones purely. Would they work together or is that crazy?

Thanks for the help.

 


Why? I don't really wish to say this, but some of these fears are unfounded myths made from the previous era, where most soundcards back then were noisy and poorly shielded from EMI. Nowadays this is not the case with the STX which has proven to have good performance even as a PCI-E card which put many outboard DACs to shame. 

 

Edit: Something like the 600ohm beyers will require a line out to external amp, thats it.

post #28 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by firev1 View Post


Why? I don't really wish to say this, but some of these fears are unfounded myths made from the previous era, where most soundcards back then were noisy and poorly shielded from EMI. Nowadays this is not the case with the STX which has proven to have good performance even as a PCI-E card which put many outboard DACs to shame. 

 

Edit: Something like the 600ohm beyers will require a line out to external amp, thats it.


Yeah I have read great things about the shielding capabilities of the Xonar STX so I am not going to worry about that aspect of it. I will look into the line out to external amp when the time comes (after I buy the DT990s with 600 ohms) haha

 

Hey, also I noticed that newegg has the STX for $180, while amazon seems to have multiple versions??? One of which is $170. They all say 'STX' so I am assuming they are the same, but why are there multiple listings with different titles but what appears to be the same product? Thanks a lot.

 

post #29 of 30

Same but probably just different batches, thats all, beyond that I can't tell you the difference, if any.

post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyZ532 View Post

Hey, also I noticed that newegg has the STX for $180, while amazon seems to have multiple versions??? One of which is $170. They all say 'STX' so I am assuming they are the same, but why are there multiple listings with different titles but what appears to be the same product? Thanks a lot.

 



If you only show those that are sold by amazon.com then it brings it down to one. Be wary of other sellers, unless it's fulfilled by amazon.

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