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Extremely Low Volune on Shure SRH440 and ASUS Essence STX

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I've been using my Shure SRH440 on a crappy AC97 for a while, then I decided to go with the best and got myself a Xonar Essence STX.

I got really excited when it arrived today, but when I set it up, all my excitement turned to dust. Even when both Winamp and Windows are at 100% volume level, the actual volume I get from my headphones is extremely low. It's even lower than it was on the AC97 with 30% Windows volume and 50% Winamp volume.

I've tried everything I could think of; I tried different drivers, I tinkered with every setting on Xonar's panel, Iused both the headphones' and the card's 3.5 to 6.35mm converters, the 3.5 to RCA converter, the front panel, and I even tried different molex connectors to power the card, but nothing seems to have worked.

My worst case scenario is this: the headphones don't have a problem at all, and changing drivers didn't have the smallest effect, and other cards on the PC work flawlessly so there's no power issue, and the only explanation is that I got a bad card.

Do you think that's the case? Does anyone use the same setup and have any problems? I already wrote to ASUS about the issue but since I live in Turkey where ASUS doesn't provide support directly, I'll have to contact the store I bought the card from. I guess you all know how frustrating it is to be in this situatuon, so I'd appreciate any feedback and suggestion. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 10
Have you tried the brainbit Xonar unified drivers?

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yes I did. In fact I'm running on those drivers right now, but I haven't made any extra configuration at all.


I still hope that this is a software related issue, so I'll give it a try on Ubuntu as well.


Thanks for the reply.


Edit: Nope, no change at all. And when I run the volume up higher than 100% the highs begin to crackle.

Edited by kojiroh - 2/15/13 at 12:48pm
post #4 of 10

Are you using the higher gain settings on the STX? Although even normal gain shouldn't be very low volume on those headphones...


By the way it is only the headphone out(6.3mm) on the back of the card that is amplified.

Edited by chewy4 - 2/15/13 at 1:36pm
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Well I switched between normal/mid/high a couple of times, but then I stayed on normal because it had the appropriate range for my headphones. And yes, I've been using the 6.35mm out.


Here's an interesting thing, though. I realized that a part of one of the pins on the board was missing, and I thought this could be relevant. I've opened a ticket on the store's support section, but I'm pretty sure that they will hold me responsible for this. And no, it really wasn't me. I've done my part on this when I broke a pin on my mobo's CPU socket, so never again.


post #6 of 10

Although you could very well have a faulty card, the shorter pin is probably not responsible for the problem, and it may even be shorter intentionally so that it only makes contact when the card is fully inserted (the purpose of that particular pin is to indicate to the motherboard that a card is present in the slot); some other PCIe cards have a similarly short pin there. If there is a hardware failure on the card that causes too quiet and distorted sound, it is more likely to be in the analog section or its power supply.

post #7 of 10

I'm pretty sure the shorter pin is supposed to be like that.


There is no harm or reduction in sound quality when using the other gain settings. They only change volume. But still if I remember correctly the normal gain volume for me was about as loud if not louder than my audigy soundblaster on my HE-400's, and definitely louder than onboard. So there's a good chance the card is defective.

post #8 of 10
So you don't worry, I just took a picture of my Xonar STX before putting it up for sale on Ebay. You can see that the missing part of the gold on the connection is on mine, too.

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Sorry, I haven't been able to post since yesterday. Thanks for all your replies.


When I was talking to a friend yesterday he said, "Hey, don't most PCIe-x1 cards have that half-pin feature?", so then I immediately looked up and found out that all Xonar STXs had that. I was both relieved and worried by that fact, because if the card is fine, then it means that it's my PC.


I've phoned the store and talked to their technical support, and they told me to try some different methods and then send the card back to them if nothing helps. Having already tried everything they told me to, I sent it back along with a list of everything I did, as well as my system specs.


Also, ASUS replied to my ticket and suggested that I try the card on another PC, but since the only person that could help me on that is on military leave (all my friends and family use laptops :( ), it's not something I can do.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the extremely late reply (and a little bit of thread necromancy that comes with it), but I thought it might help someone some day if I posted an update.


I sent the card back to where I bought it from, and they've sent it to ASUS for inspection, who replaced the card with a new one, free of charge. The whole process took about a month and I've been using the card without any problems since then.

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