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DAC and amp or Xonar STX - Page 2

post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuny View Post
I was reading some of the threads about this problem in the STX/ST series, and after this I am totaly sure I don't want to spend 160 bucks in a defective product

I'm thinking about an Xonar DX + desktop Amp

Is it a good combo? i own a Xonar DG right now, is it a good upgrade?

I like the idea of the Xonar DX used with an external headphone amplifier.

I've also hooked up an external headphone amplifier to the DG, fairly decent.

The Xonar DX (& D1, DS, DSX) use the same audio processor (C-Media CMI8788) as the Essence STX (& ST).

So the DX has the same surround sound features as the STX.

 

I do not myself consider the STX to be a defective product, I would say it's as good as it can be, for price it is selling for.

Works great with the 8 different headphones that I have used with it.

post #17 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

It might be helpful to know what you use your computer audio for?

Music?

Movies?

Gaming?

Also what headphones your currently using or planning on buying in the future?

(I am biased toward the STX myself).

music, games and movies 

i am using right now an AD700, but i plan to upgrade them soon, probably DT990 250ohms

post #18 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I like the idea of the Xonar DX used with an external headphone amplifier.

I've also hooked up an external headphone amplifier to the DG, fairly decent.

The Xonar DX (& D1, DS, DSX) use the same audio processor (C-Media CMI8788) as the Essence STX (& ST).

So the DX has the same surround sound features as the STX.

 

I do not myself consider the STX to be a defective product, I would say it's as good as it can be, for price it is selling for.

Works great with the 8 different headphones that I have used with it.

 

do you know the diference between the DAC of the DX and STX? is it much better?

post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuny View Post
music, games and movies 

I am using right now an AD700, but i plan to upgrade them soon, probably DT990 250ohms

The Fiio E11 ($65) can decently power the DT990 Pro 250-ohm

and it can plug into the Xonar DG, thus is just one option.

 

Also for $65 you can get a decent single tube headphone amplifier off eBay, ships from China and takes ten days.

Lots for voltage for powering up to 600-Ohm headphones.

post #20 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuny View Post
Do you know the difference between the DAC of the DX and STX? is it much better?

Off hand I do not remember,

but I'm guessing the STX uses the PCM1794

and the DX might be the CS4398?

But I have to run off now, be back in a few hours.

Spending the extra $110? for buying the STX over the DX just for the DAC?

Where as you could spend just $65 for a simple tubes amplifier that do the job with the DX.

post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuny View Post

thanks everybody for the infos and help

@stv014
i was reading some of the threads about this problem in the STX/ST series, and after this i am totaly sure i dont want to spend 160 bucks in a defective product

It's not perfect, but it is hardly defective. There are outboard DACs costing many times the price of the STX which will perform worse than it does.
post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post


It's not perfect, but it is hardly defective. There are outboard DACs costing many times the price of the STX which will perform worse than it does.

 

Thats what I'm worried about. I'm purely interested in audio, not gaming. So if it wasn't for this hiss problem for the STX, I would've gone for it. Still waiting for the measurements of the ODAC, for the cost its pretty good if it can perform well.

post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post
Thats what I'm worried about. I'm purely interested in audio, not gaming. So if it wasn't for this hiss problem for the STX, I would've gone for it. Still waiting for the measurements of the ODAC, for the cost its pretty good if it can perform well.

I would guess the O2 is a better amp. then the STX's.

post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

Thats what I'm worried about. I'm purely interested in audio, not gaming. So if it wasn't for this hiss problem for the STX, I would've gone for it. Still waiting for the measurements of the ODAC, for the cost its pretty good if it can perform well.

I've never heard any hiss out of the STX through a variety of headphones and one pair of speakers, even at 44.1khz. It may be that the STX is being fed cleaner power/isn't running into interference, or that I'm not listening loud enough on the headphones (though I've cranked the speakers with the line out at 100).

Given the testing and feedback the ODAC's going through, its performance is a safe bet.
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I would guess the O2 is a better amp. then the STX's.

The ODAC, not the O2. The O2 is of course better than the STX's amp.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post


I've never heard any hiss out of the STX through a variety of headphones and one pair of speakers, even at 44.1khz. It may be that the STX is being fed cleaner power/isn't running into interference, or that I'm not listening loud enough on the headphones (though I've cranked the speakers with the line out at 100).
Given the testing and feedback the ODAC's going through, its performance is a safe bet.

 

From what I've heard from others here, it affects when using low impedance headphones/IEMs, because the amp impedance is ~10 Ohms. With >250 Ohms, not much (as stv014 reported). 

And some users on other forums have reported no change in this noise by using on other PCs. Also, the noise disappears if you resample to 48kHz, so its probably the DAC that has the problem.

Anyways, I'm mostly interested in the DAC section and line outs for using speakers, for the headphones I can just use the line out with an amp.

I just think a soundcard should have lesser latency compared to USB, but I'm not sure about that. But, an external DAC has the usefulness of being external, so can be used with any PC/laptop.

So I'm thinking that I can use the soundcard for using with speakers as most audio is PC based nowadays, and use the external DAC with my amp/headphones.


Edited by proton007 - 5/13/12 at 6:02pm
post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

From what I've heard from others here, it affects when using low impedance headphones/IEMs, because the amp impedance is ~10 Ohms. With >250 Ohms, not much (as stv014 reported). 
And some users on other forums have reported no change in this noise by using on other PCs. Also, the noise disappears if you resample to 48kHz, so its probably the DAC that has the problem.
Anyways, I'm mostly interested in the DAC section, for the headphones I can just use the line out with an amp. I just think it should have lesser latency compared to USB, but I'm not sure about that.

The output impedance would alter the frequency response of low z phones, but the hiss would be brought out by high sensitivity. I've used high sensitivity phones with the STX without hearing any hiss, though this is just my experience and I'm not aware of the details of the sorts of problems others have been having.

Unless there's some glaring bug in the implementation, latency shouldn't be noticeable in USB v. soundcard output. Humans are slow bunches of neurons.
post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post

It may be that the STX is being fed cleaner power/isn't running into interference

 

I do not think I have interference, as the noise is very low at 48, 96, or 192 kHz. Although maybe the DAC clocking at only the other sample rates is very sensitive to interference ? But that would not necessarily be a good thing, since the problem could be worse then on some other machines.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post

or that I'm not listening loud enough on the headphones (though I've cranked the speakers with the line out at 100).

 

The absolute noise level of the headphone output does not depend on the volume or gain setting at all, since both are digital. When using the line output, the volume is controlled downstream of the DAC, and then the reduced ~110 dB dynamic range (roughly comparable to the ODAC) is still plenty low enough to be inaudible, especially on speakers. With speakers that have 90 dB/W sensitivity, and 1000 W amplifier power at 0 dBFS, the A-weighted DAC noise SPL would be only 10 dB. Only with sensitive (and isolating) headphones is there some slight hiss. Using my high impedance headphones, I hear no noise at all.

Note also that depending on the configuration, 44.1 kHz audio may be resampled to e.g. 96 kHz by Windows.

post #28 of 63

I have now reproduced the same noise issue with the Xonar D1 (CS4398 DAC) confused_face.gif It is of less significance, however, since this card does not have a built-in headphone amplifier anyway. The line out noise level at 44.1 kHz is basically the same as that of the STX.

post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

So if it wasn't for this hiss problem for the STX, I would've gone for it.

 

It is only relevant if you are using the built-in amplifier of the STX with sensitive headphones, which would likely also be affected by the 10 Ohm output impedance. Even then, it can be worked around to some extent (software sample rate conversion, external voltage dividers that could also be used to reduce the output impedance).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

Still waiting for the measurements of the ODAC, for the cost its pretty good if it can perform well.

 

ODAC measurements are already available (link not allowed), not all of them, but enough to give a decent picture of what it is capable of.

post #30 of 63

If you need Dolby Headphone or other virtual surround (THX Surround or SRS TruSurround HD like many motherboards uses now days), then you could use optical out and external DAC/AMP..

 

I´m using DG optical --> X-fi USB HD and dont have any hissing + Dolby Headphone works. Easiest would be STX "all in one" wink_face.gif .. My dream setup, Xonar phoebus (Xear 3D surround, dolby v4) optical --> Xonar One devil_face.gif


Edited by Migi06 - 5/14/12 at 6:45am
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