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Asus Xonar STX + Sennheiser HD650 - Optimal effect settings

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
So i recently recieved both my new headphones and my sound card.

My problem is that i seem to have to tinker a lot with the effects settings to get the desired sound. I've been looking around on forums, and most people seem to think that the optimal effect settings are the default ones, which i find to be horrible.

For example the default settings seem to have no bass - at all. Therefore i have increased some of the lower frequencies by +20 dB. On the other hand i've had to tone down some other settings. Is it really necessary to change the values this much?

I tried updating drivers, and i also installed the Unified Xonar Drivers with no result.
post #2 of 22

By the effects, do you mean the equalizer presets?

 

I generally keep the equalizer off, but that is up to you. Some people like it unaltered, some like a bass boost amongst other things. People who get really into EQing generally use a more powerful equalizer.

 

However, the default settings for music also has Dolby Headphone on. I don't really like this for music, so I turn it off. Hifi mode has everything like this off.

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
For some reason the Xonar Audio Center calls the equalizer "Effects".

But i just think that every preset sounds horrible, weither it being the music, movie or game setting. They all sound pretty much the same in my opinion. I just had to ask, because i was afraid that the sound card was broken.
post #4 of 22

The game preset is good for games, but I just use the HF preset for music since it essentially turns everything off. None of these presets mess with the equalizer, mostly just with Dolby Headphone. Movies and game settings are the same I believe, but Music has a larger room setting.

 

Equalizer presets are generally bad on everything.

post #5 of 22

What programs do you use to play audio files?

Maybe swapping out the stock op-amps might give you more of the sound your looking for?

Did you disable the on-board sound, in the bios?

post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
I usually use Spotify Premium, and while the sound quaily ain't consistent, certian music seem to sound VERY bad.

I uninstalled on-board sound driver, but i'll try to disable it instead.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by karred View Post

So i recently recieved both my new headphones and my sound card.
My problem is that i seem to have to tinker a lot with the effects settings to get the desired sound. I've been looking around on forums, and most people seem to think that the optimal effect settings are the default ones, which i find to be horrible.
For example the default settings seem to have no bass - at all. Therefore i have increased some of the lower frequencies by +20 dB. On the other hand i've had to tone down some other settings. Is it really necessary to change the values this much?
I tried updating drivers, and i also installed the Unified Xonar Drivers with no result.

Mess with the Xonar EQ all you want, just make SURE you turn the volume down under Mixer>Playback or else you will get clipping and distortion. Obviously you should use foobar or itunes if you want consistency since you have control there. Do be aware the 650s are not bass monsters and if you are using the STX to amp them, it may not be optimal. I didn't mind them out of the stx actually, but they sure crave more power or tubes.

post #8 of 22

I am so ******* pissed at this combo.

The default is hideously low-fidelity , I am getting a perfect EQ but I have to add which leads to clipping :(

Does this harm the driver in any way I don't care if my STX dies I just want my 650 to be safe.

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by RushNerd View Post

Mess with the Xonar EQ all you want, just make SURE you turn the volume down under Mixer>Playback or else you will get clipping and distortion. Obviously you should use foobar or itunes if you want consistency since you have control there. Do be aware the 650s are not bass monsters and if you are using the STX to amp them, it may not be optimal. I didn't mind them out of the stx actually, but they sure crave more power or tubes.

When my gain is between 300-600 ohms and the volume channels in the mixer is full I don't go over 50% of the volume knob , it leads to the same sounds which you explained.

post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTechAgent View Post

I am so ******* pissed at this combo.
The default is hideously low-fidelity , I am getting a perfect EQ but I have to add which leads to clipping frown.gif
Does this harm the driver in any way I don't care if my STX dies I just want my 650 to be safe.

I think you are expecting the headphones to do things that it can't.

First off, an EQ setting of +20 in the bass is just... wrong. If you want to boost the bass a bit, set it at +10 max. That is already overkill in my view. I would leave it at flat, aka no EQ or just click the little HI-FI button. This disables the EQ entirely. Make sure you have 48 selected and also set your windows to that.

Now, how does your headphone sound out of a different source? iPod/phone, whatever you can find. If it sounds similar you have found the problem.


It is strange you are not happy, because I am totally happy with the card and its sound quality. I don't have your headphones however. But all my other headphones sound like they should with it.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ev13wt View Post


I think you are expecting the headphones to do things that it can't.

First off, an EQ setting of +20 in the bass is just... wrong. If you want to boost the bass a bit, set it at +10 max. That is already overkill in my view. I would leave it at flat, aka no EQ or just click the little HI-FI button. This disables the EQ entirely. Make sure you have 48 selected and also set your windows to that.

Now, how does your headphone sound out of a different source? iPod/phone, whatever you can find. If it sounds similar you have found the problem.


It is strange you are not happy, because I am totally happy with the card and its sound quality. I don't have your headphones however. But all my other headphones sound like they should with it.

Well I did what you said and there is no difference at all , go to my profile and see all the headphones all of them I use it with the STX and padapumpa it sounds bad.

post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ev13wt View Post


I think you are expecting the headphones to do things that it can't.

First off, an EQ setting of +20 in the bass is just... wrong. If you want to boost the bass a bit, set it at +10 max. That is already overkill in my view. I would leave it at flat, aka no EQ or just click the little HI-FI button. This disables the EQ entirely. Make sure you have 48 selected and also set your windows to that.

Now, how does your headphone sound out of a different source? iPod/phone, whatever you can find. If it sounds similar you have found the problem.


It is strange you are not happy, because I am totally happy with the card and its sound quality. I don't have your headphones however. But all my other headphones sound like they should with it.

+20Db when did I say that ?

post #13 of 22
I paired the asus stx with little dot mk3 tube amp and the hd650 sounds fantastic. The bass is now punchy the soundstage is bigger the mids and highs are upfront and centre. Using the Asus stx dac and using little dot amp instead of the integrated stx amp has made a bit of difference. The stx was ok but I found the hd650 bass was very neutral and a little boring it lacked depth without an external amp. The hd650 is very picky in which amp drives them properly not knocking the stx at all for the price/performance ratio it's a steal. Just find the tube amp to compliment the cans better than the stx amp, to my ears anyway :-).
Edited by foreign - 7/13/13 at 4:53pm
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by foreign View Post

I paired the asus stx with little dot mk3 tube amp and the hd650 sounds fantastic. The bass is now punchy the soundstage is bigger the mids and highs are upfront and centre. Using the Asus stx dac and using little dot amp instead of the integrated stx amp has made a bit of difference. The stx was ok but I found the hd650 bass was very neutral and a little boring it lacked depth without an external amp. The hd650 is very picky in which amp drives them properly not knocking the stx at all for the price/performance ratio it's a steal. Just find the tube amp to compliment the cans better than the stx amp, to my ears anyway :-).

 

Excuse my ignorance here... I am new to all this, I have an ASUS STX I just purchased to replace a broken x-fi hd, they are running K702 65th anniversary.  I have to say, I like the STX sound way better then the x-fi card so far. 

 

My setup is STX HP out -> Bravo Ocean hybrid amp -> K702.

 

How do you by pass the ATX built in amp?  is this as simple as using the 1st option in the headphone settings? and any recommendations on volume/gain from the sound card to the amp?  I have been reading quite a bit, but have not found any concrete answer to the best way to set gain... right now, the HP are set to middle range (300ohms) on the STX control panel. The volume on windows aobut half way, and the gain on my amp is very low.  

 

Regards,

 

J


Edited by d3javu - 7/15/13 at 8:55am
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by d3javu View Post

 

Excuse my ignorance here... I am new to all this, I have an ASUS STX I just purchased to replace a broken x-fi hd, they are running K702 65th anniversary.  I have to say, I like the STX sound way better then the x-fi card so far. 

 

My setup is STX HP out -> Bravo Ocean hybrid amp -> K702.

 

How do you by pass the ATX built in amp?  is this as simple as using the 1st option in the headphone settings? and any recommendations on volume/gain from the sound card to the amp?  I have been reading quite a bit, but have not found any concrete answer to the best way to set gain... right now, the HP are set to middle range (300ohms) on the STX control panel. The volume on windows aobut half way, and the gain on my amp is very low.  

 

Regards,

 

J

 

You bypass the amp in the card by connecting line out (RCA out) of your card to bravo amp. In the asus control panel you must set output to "2 speakers".

For maximum SQ set the volume in the asus panel to 100 and use only bravo amp to regulate volume.


Edited by Redshift Rider - 7/15/13 at 9:25am
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