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Upgrade from my Xonar STX? Schiit Magni and Modi maybe?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Would Schiit Magni and Modi offer much of an upgrade over my STX?

 

I rarely game and when I do its not serious, and mainly listen to music. Wondered if Schiit Magni and Modi would offer much of an upgrade or wouldnt it be worth the money?

post #2 of 16

probably for the amp alone, yeah

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

should i ditch the DAC then?
 

post #4 of 16

i ditched my xonar essence st for the ODAC, but it's really up to you
 

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tofu View Post

i ditched my xonar essence st for the ODAC, but it's really up to you
 

difference?

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Headzone View Post

difference?

 

yes, but i bought into the opamp rolling hype, so i don't even remember what the soundcard is SUPPOSED to sound like.

 

i get much less interference though.  and i do have a high quality PSU, so that wasn't the issue.

post #7 of 16

Modi/Magni sounds more transparent and less aggressive opposed to the STX. Which i have both.

 

I'd say the Modi sounds better as a DAC, and the Magni is stronger/more neutral sounding as an amp.

 

Tim

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks. Would have purchased both minutes ago but theres nothing available in the UK yet. Dont mind ordering from the US. But....Plugs.... (No Pun Intended) are different. $300 seems a good price.

post #9 of 16

You can always just get an amplifier first and plug into the STX's RCA jacks.

 

Maybe upgrade the STX's op-amps to AD797BRs?

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

You can always just get an amplifier first and plug into the STX's RCA jacks.

 

Maybe upgrade the STX's op-amps to AD797BRs?

eh, he rarely games.  may as well sell the STX for a quick $150 (while it's still fetching that much) and hop on the external bandwagon instead of investing more $ in opamps and stuff

post #11 of 16

The Schiit Modi is (judging from their own specifications) in fact more of a downgrade from the DAC of the Xonar Essence STX, and the ODAC is not an improvement either. You only really need a DAC "upgrade" if you have interference or ground loop problems. However, if you stop using the built-in amplifier of the sound card, it is no longer very good value for the money, and you may sell it and get the Schiit instead (which is probably still not bad) simply to save money. Alternatively, you could replace the STX with another, cheaper sound card that has no headphone amplifier, but still a good DAC (e.g. used X-Fi Titanium HD, or Xonar D1 or DX), and then combine that with an external amplifier. Sound cards tend to have good DACs, but the headphone amplification is lacking more often than not, and is never really great. Instead of the Magni, you may also consider the O2; not that the Schiit is necessarily bad, but the O2 has been tested extensively and is known to perform well with almost any headphone. The Schiit has the advantage of cost and aesthetics/better layout of connectors, though.

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

The Schiit Modi is (judging from their own specifications) in fact more of a downgrade from the DAC of the Xonar Essence STX, and the ODAC is not an improvement either. You only really need a DAC "upgrade" if you have interference or ground loop problems. However, if you stop using the built-in amplifier of the sound card, it is no longer very good value for the money, and you may sell it and get the Schiit instead (which is probably still not bad) simply to save money. Alternatively, you could replace the STX with another, cheaper sound card that has no headphone amplifier, but still a good DAC (e.g. used X-Fi Titanium HD, or Xonar D1 or DX), and then combine that with an external amplifier. Sound cards tend to have good DACs, but the headphone amplification is lacking more often than not, and is never really great. Instead of the Magni, you may also consider the O2; not that the Schiit is necessarily bad, but the O2 has been tested extensively and is known to perform well with almost any headphone. The Schiit has the advantage of cost and aesthetics/better layout of connectors, though.


I wish all answers were like that!! Thanks.

 

I will price things up and see what suits me from what youve suggested.

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael172 View Post

I wish all answers were like that!! Thanks.

I will price things up and see what suits me from what you've suggested.

Currently the best price for a new Essence STX is $185, so I'm guessing you could clear maybe $140 (after shipping) for selling your Essence STX.

 

The Xonar DX & D1 sound cards have the same audio processor as the Essence STX, the C-Media CMI8788.

The Xonar DX/D1 are currently selling used for around $67.

With the Xonar DX/D1 (7.1 headphone surround sound), you would be covered for movies and gaming.

With the Modi, you would only have 2-channel audio for movies and gaming..

Yes, I know your doing the "improvements" for music, but just wanted you to know your options.

post #14 of 16

After playing around this weekend with HE400/HE500/Magnum V4/HD598, from an Essence ST & Modi+Magni, my impressions are that the Essence for most of the cans is a better/fuller sounding DAC to my ears, but the Magni is preferable to the built in amp, this is more then likely due to the power on tap I'd assume. Oddly the Magnums sounded best with the schiit stack, while both of the hifimans sounded best with Essence as DAC, Magni as amp. The HD598 sounded the worst on the Schiit stack to my ears, it really seemed to be bass shy through the Modi.Though not related to the question at hand, the hifimans sounded best with Essence as DAC &  Emotiva Mini X as amp to my ears at least.  Just my $.02.


Edited by MrTie84 - 2/3/13 at 6:08am
post #15 of 16

Yes, ST/STX has aquired a larger than life reputation for it's headphone-out, mostly because soundcards in general have terrible hp-out. In the real world ST/STX:s largest value is as a DAC using it's RCA line outputs to power an external headphone amplifier of better quality. The hp-amplifier on ST/STX doesn't sound particlarly good imho it just makes it possible to play loud ...
 

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