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Best PC soundcard for music? - Page 2

post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHOE View Post
Isn't the ST better for music-only than STX? ST has the Precision clock tuning feature... And you can upgrade to 7.1 if needed (just saying, not relevant for me I guess)

Yes, the Essence ST has the Precision clock tuning feature, I guess it helps for sound (music) quality.

Just know the STX (PCI-Express) is cheaper then the ST (PCI) and PCI-Express is more future proof.

The analog 7.1 speaker upgrade for the ST is around $60-$70, but as your into music, you really only need analog 2.0 or 2.1.

The E9 and Essence ST (& STX) use the same T.I. 6120A2 headphone amplifier chip.
I guess get the Essence ST.

 

 

post #17 of 47

There is a thread somewhere here where some experienced members say that auzentech cards have better audio quality than asus for music.

It says that Auzentech HTHD has better headphones function that STX. Auzentech forte 7.1 has comparable headphones component to HTHD. There is also the bravura card from auzentech which has a good headamp section.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MHOE View Post



Isn't the ST better for music-only than STX? ST has the Precision clock tuning feature... And you can upgrade to 7.1 if needed (just saying, not relevant for me I guess)



 

post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnoiserdc View Post

There is a thread somewhere here where some experienced members say that auzentech cards have better audio quality than asus for music.

It says that Auzentech HTHD has better headphones function that STX.

 

The Auzentech cards are not unlikely to have a headphone amplifier with lower output impedance (for the ST/STX, it is 10Ω, which may affect the sound of lower impedance headphones). Although I am not sure if there are any extensive and reliable measurements of these available anywhere.

 

post #19 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

The Auzentech cards are not unlikely to have a headphone amplifier with lower output impedance (for the ST/STX, it is 10Ω, which may affect the sound of lower impedance headphones). Although I am not sure if there are any extensive and reliable measurements of these available anywhere.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/592581/best-pc-soundcard-for-music/15#post_8091917


You're right but on the other hand, it has lower signal-to-noise ratio (109 in comparison with 124 of xonar essence ST) and costs significantly more because of all these Blu-ray features etc. And it doesn't include 1/4 headphone jack =/

 

I discovered for example here (http://www.head-fi.org/t/527937/denon-ah-d5000-asus-essence-st-configuration) that it should be fine... I have Fiio E9 which works pretty well according to me and a lot of other people even the denon's low impedance of 25 doesn't match E9 perfectly so it should be alright, I guess...

 

 

post #20 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnoiserdc View Post

There is a thread somewhere here where some experienced members say that auzentech cards have better audio quality than asus for music.

It says that Auzentech HTHD has better headphones function that STX. Auzentech forte 7.1 has comparable headphones component to HTHD. There is also the bravura card from auzentech which has a good headamp section.
 



 

 

Auzentech Forte 7.1 looks good... But it has no 1/4 headphone jack and I heard that drivers are not very stable within Auzentech products (mine works well for majority of time along with auzen xplosion...). And does it have a headphone amp?
 

 

post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHOE View Post


You're right but on the other hand, it has lower signal-to-noise ratio (109 in comparison with 124 of xonar essence ST) and costs significantly more because of all these Blu-ray features etc.

Blu-ray features?
 

 

 

post #22 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Blu-ray features?
 

 

 


I mean things like Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio or HDMI outputs...

 

post #23 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHOE View Post
Auzentech Forte 7.1 looks good... But it has no 1/4 headphone jack and I heard that drivers are not very stable within Auzentech products (mine works well for majority of time along with auzen xplosion...). And does it have a headphone amp?


The Auzentech Forte 7.1 does come with a headphone amplifier, rated 16 to 600-Ohms.

The Forte uses a Auzentech custom designed headphone amplifier.

The Forte uses a Creative Labs audio processor.

 

 

post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHOE View Post
I mean things like Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio or HDMI outputs...

Could not find any HDMI output features listed for the forte?

Or can it sent processed audio to the graphics card's HDMI output?
 

 

 

post #25 of 47
Thread Starter 

From what I've read here in dedicated threat, Asus Xonar Essence ST is better for music (and movies) than Forte but Forte is better for games... I think I will go for Asus Xonar Essence ST and if not satisfied with the integrated AMP, there is still an option for me to use Fiio E9 :-)

post #26 of 47

I like my ESI Juli@. It was only $120 on amazon, easy to install, and I've had no issues. I only use it for SPDIF carrying duties, but there's published RMAA tests out there that show it's DAC stacks up to a Lynx. It also does up to 192/24. No idea about the HPA though, but if you have an E9 you should be set there.

post #27 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Could not find any HDMI output features listed for the forte?

Or can it sent processed audio to the graphics card's HDMI output?
 

 

 



Well, I didn't mean Forte but Home Theater :-) Sorry for misunderstanding...

 

As I stated above, Asus is better for music (than Forte) according to what I've read here and on the internet as well... It has also 1/4 headphone jack and as far as I know, more stable software drivers than Auzentech products (which are quite "famous" for that...). I can still use Fiio E9 when not satisfied with the integrated headamp...


Edited by MHOE - 1/26/12 at 11:41am
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by MHOE View Post
Well, I didn't mean Forte but Home Theater :-) Sorry for misunderstanding...

As I stated above, Asus is better for music (than Forte) according to what I've read here and on the internet as well... It has also 1/4 headphone jack and as far as I know, more stable software drivers than Auzentech products (which are quite "famous" for that...). I can still use Fiio E9 when not satisfied with the integrated headamp...

You can always plug the Fiio E9 into the RCA outputs on the Essence ST, use the Essence ST's DAC.
 

 

 

post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post


The Auzentech Forte 7.1 does come with a headphone amplifier, rated 16 to 600-Ohms.


That means nothing. What you need to know is voltage or power at different impedances. Everything has an "amp", some are dedicated chips and some aren't, and they're not all equally powerful. You can slap 16-600 on just about anything, doesn't mean it's ideal for any of those impedances.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MHOE View Post

From what I've read here in dedicated threat, Asus Xonar Essence ST is better for music (and movies) than Forte but Forte is better for games... I think I will go for Asus Xonar Essence ST and if not satisfied with the integrated AMP, there is still an option for me to use Fiio E9 :-)

 

The integrated amp of the ST basically is a Fiio E9. They use the same opamp. The ST might perform better, especially in noise, as long as your computer isn't an EMI hotbed.

post #30 of 47
Thread Starter 

Got the card (Essence ST) today and it seems like a HUGE upgrade from Auzen Xplosion+Fiio E9... Absolutely clear and balanced sound and great options with 24/192 playback. :-)

 

As I expected, harware ASIO is not very useful (it tends to clip and raise the overall volume that much that I am not able to set my Jriver player to the 100% volume even I set the card's volume to the minimum... seems like a driver issue) but that's not a problem for me as Jriver's WASAPI Event Style works great...

 

Seriously, this card offers crystal clear and neutral sound and the headamp works pretty well even with Denon D7000! Absolutely worths the money...


Edited by MHOE - 1/27/12 at 5:21am
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