Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › 2(.1) setup for my new Asus Xonar DX
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

2(.1) setup for my new Asus Xonar DX

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

Beside a couple of days of intensive reading I'm relatively new in the world of more advanced audio experience. A couple of years ago I started out with a low-tech Logitech Z-4 (2.1) connected to my MoBo. At the moment I'm not happy with the sound quality it produces. The mid-tones and high-tones are bad and there is nothing such as clarity. Just today I have ordered the Asus Xonar DX as the first attempt to improve my audio experience (which I will receive tomorrow).

 

I think/know my current speaker setup is insufficient to make use of the Xonar' qualities. Therefore I would like to upgrade my speaker system with another set which can make use of the Xonar qualities/connections.

 

Additional information:

- Budget: less than 250 Euro

- I have just a small room of 17 square meters.

- I'm listening mostly to Folk & classic rock music.

- Speakers will have to fit on my desk

- I want a 2(.1) speaker setup

 

Additional question: is the choice for the Xonar DX a good one in the first place?

 

You're help and opinions are highly appreciated!!!

 

Tom


Edited by Tomboco - 10/1/12 at 12:42pm
post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomboco View Post

Beside a couple of days of intensive reading I'm relatively new in the world of more advanced audio experience. A couple of years ago I started out with a low-tech Logitech Z-4 (2.1) connected to my MoBo. At the moment I'm not happy with the sound quality it produces. The mid-tones and high-tones are bad and there is nothing such as clarity. Just today I have ordered the Asus Xonar DX as the first attempt to improve my audio experience (which I will receive tomorrow).

I think/know my current speaker setup is insufficient to make use of the Xonar' qualities. Therefore I would like to upgrade my speaker system with another set which can make use of the Xonar qualities/connections.

Additional information:

- Budget: less than 250 Euro

- I have just a small room of 17 square meters.

- I'm listening mostly to Folk & classic rock music.

- Speakers will have to fit on my desk

- I want a 2(.1) speaker setup

Additional question: is the choice for the Xonar DX a good one in the first place?

I think the Xonar DX is a good choice, comes with the CS4398 DAC chip, should be a way better DAC chip then what come in your motherboard's built in audio.

 

Speaker wise, a 2.0 setup should give you better all around sound then a 2.1, for a given budget.

You might lose some bass, but everything else should sound better.

Or go on Craigslist for a used receiver with 2.1 speaker setup, might get a good deal.

You can easily connect the Xonar DX to the receiver, using digital optical or analog RCA cables.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply! What 2.0 set can you recommend?

 

I'm living in the Netherlands so unfortunately I can't use Craigslist. When I connect that future receiver to my Xonar DX, does the sound card offer a benefit over the on-board sound card? My On-board soundcard offers the following:

 

VIA VT1818 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC 
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- Absolute Pitch 192kHz/ 24-bit True BD Lossless Sound
- ASUS Noise Filter
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomboco View Post

Thanks for your reply! What 2.0 set can you recommend?

 

I'm living in the Netherlands so unfortunately I can't use Craigslist. When I connect that future receiver to my Xonar DX, does the sound card offer a benefit over the on-board sound card? My On-board soundcard offers the following:

 

VIA VT1818 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC 
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- Absolute Pitch 192kHz/ 24-bit True BD Lossless Sound
- ASUS Noise Filter
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel

If you connect your computer to the receiver using S/PDIF optical or coaxial, both connects are using the receiver's DAC.

If you use analog (3.5mm or RCA) from the computer to the receiver, if would be preferred to connect from the Xonar DX's analog outputs, not the motherboard's

This way your using the Xonar DX's DAC.

 

If you went with a receiver, you would use unpowered speakers.

If you connected the Xonar DX straight to the speakers, you would use self powered speakers.

I would say to get some self-powered speakers (skip getting a receiver), like the Audioengine A2s and plug them straight into the Xonar DX's analog output.

I have zero experience with self powered speakers, but the AudioEngine A2's seem to be well liked.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the helpful response. Is a self-powered speaker the same as an active speaker?

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomboco View Post

Thanks for the helpful response. Is a self-powered speaker the same as an active speaker?

I believe that's true.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

What do you guys think of the Jamo P 404?

post #8 of 13

Don't know anything about their powered speakers, but Jamo has a reputation for making good passive speakers. They are a good audio company. 

 

Also, you might look into Swan. Some of their multimedia speakers have a very good rep for desktop use among audiophiles. 

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately Swan isn't available in the Netherlands.

During an other search I found the Adam A3X where everybody seems to rave about. Do you think this is a good option in combination with my Xonar at €400 for a set? Are there any better active speakers in this price ranges?

post #10 of 13

Don't know about that specific model, but you are right. Adams do have a reputation for being excellent studio monitors. 

post #11 of 13

One possible source of problems is that these apparently need a grounded (3-prong) AC connector, so there is some risk of a ground loop, and computer noise (interference on moving the mouse and other activity) leaking into the audio signal. Then again, maybe it would be OK in practice.


Edited by stv014 - 10/2/12 at 10:57am
post #12 of 13

I actually have some questions that fit this topic very well.

 

I've had the xonar DX for about 2 years now and have nothing but trouble with it Mostly 3 main problems.

Problem 1) Channel mismatch
- I've read the forums on the website, tried the motherboard bios DOS update patch, stopped using the asus driver and use the UNI drivers (update them frequently) and this issue still persists. I'd say about once every month or two I'll come back to the computer to find the RIGHT channel is almost inaudible while the left channel is fine. To fix it, I have to reinstall the drivers and it gives me another month or two. (very annoying)

Problem 2) Random Pink Noise
- I'll be typing a word document or just clicking a website link and suddenly get an extremely loud startling burst of pink noise that sometimes lasts for 2 seconds... Slometimes lasts for 15ish. I assume this has something to do with the processing of the wav file's envelope for sudden sounds. Possibly the "smart" audio setting not processing it fast enough and freaking out?

Problem 3) unnecessary distortion
- I've noticed that my speakers distort when I send signal to them that's not that loud. I have the klipsch pro media 2.1 system - which I thought were rated to be very good with loud cinematic explosions and such and beautiful for music. (this has not proven true, but I wonder if its because of the sound card)

I A/B'd the speakers changing the output on my computer form the xonar dx to the on board realtec hd output and found the realtec output had a lot more head room than the xonar card's - I'm wondering if this is a settings issue I have on the card or something's calibrated wrong? It just doesn't add up that this card could be less capable than the on board. But then again, I imagine it's possible that the speaker are just a bad match for the card though I find the same lack of headroom plugging my Sony md7506's in.

post #13 of 13
Quote:

Originally Posted by sli4 View Post

 

Problem 1) Channel mismatch

- I've read the forums on the website, tried the motherboard bios DOS update patch, stopped using the asus driver and use the UNI drivers (update them frequently) and this issue still persists. I'd say about once every month or two I'll come back to the computer to find the RIGHT channel is almost inaudible while the left channel is fine. To fix it, I have to reinstall the drivers and it gives me another month or two. (very annoying)

 

Is it possible that the balance settings simply get changed in the mixer ?

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by sli4 View Post

Problem 2) Random Pink Noise
- I'll be typing a word document or just clicking a website link and suddenly get an extremely loud startling burst of pink noise that sometimes lasts for 2 seconds... Slometimes lasts for 15ish. I assume this has something to do with the processing of the wav file's envelope for sudden sounds. Possibly the "smart" audio setting not processing it fast enough and freaking out?

 

I did not encounter this problem myself, but I do not use the card on Windows often, and it is most likely a software (driver) issue.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by sli4 View Post

 

Problem 3) unnecessary distortion

- I've noticed that my speakers distort when I send signal to them that's not that loud. I have the klipsch pro media 2.1 system - which I thought were rated to be very good with loud cinematic explosions and such and beautiful for music. (this has not proven true, but I wonder if its because of the sound card)

I A/B'd the speakers changing the output on my computer form the xonar dx to the on board realtec hd output and found the realtec output had a lot more head room than the xonar card's - I'm wondering if this is a settings issue I have on the card or something's calibrated wrong? It just doesn't add up that this card could be less capable than the on board. But then again, I imagine it's possible that the speaker are just a bad match for the card though I find the same lack of headroom plugging my Sony md7506's in.

 

The hardware on the Xonar should never audibly distort if it is working properly. Perhaps your speakers cannot handle the full scale output voltage of the card, but that would not explain the problem persisting also with headphones. Some possible explanations/fixes:

- check any software settings (EQ and other DSP in particular, boosting frequencies in an EQ can cause clipping)

- make sure there are no power supply problems, and the 4-pin Molex connector on the card is properly connected

- maybe you have a faulty card


Edited by stv014 - 12/7/12 at 9:20am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › 2(.1) setup for my new Asus Xonar DX