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TWO Asus Xonar sound cards one ONE motherboard. HELP

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi there,

Many people have some Asus sound card and was "dreaming" about Asus Essence ST (stx) and was wondering about sound quality improvement. So do i.

So i have Asus Xonar D2x (7.1 sound card for my old`ish logitech z5500)

And now bought another Asus Xonar Essence ST for normal stereo AMP and floorstanders.

ASUS Rampage III Extreme motherboard.

Problem: both cards are using ASUS Xonar audio Centre, and if i install D2x drivers, i will "see" only d2x, if install Essence ST, will see only ST.

So i have great possibility to do A/B testing between sound cards, but software do not aloud me to do so.

Re-install every time "buggy" asus drivers is real pain at the back and takes too long for A/B testing.


I know its totally different sound cards designed to do different  job, but STILL would like to try some testing.

First impression comparing headphones built-in amp is tremendous. Essence ST simply easy can handle sennheiser  HD650 and volume is more than enough. Totally happy about headphones output.

And Stereo must sound a bit better, but we don`t know, because need to set all volume at same level and all default settings and so on.


So any advice how can i "see" TWO ASUS sound cards in control panel/ sound devices and be able to switch to default?


P.S. emailed Asus tech support too. But we all know how "good"  A.S.U.S  support is.

post #2 of 7

I recommend the following steps. As I currently have an Asus Xonar DG 5.1 running at the same time with Supreme FXiii on my crosshair v formula-z motherboard.

1. Remove your pci cards from your computer
2. Boot PC
3. Uninstall all audio drivers through Device Manager
4. Turn off PC
5. Turn on PC and enter the bios
6. Disable onboard audio
7. Boot PC
8. Run a registry cleaner such as CCleaner to wipe all history of old drivers. Make sure you only wipe your audio drivers.
9. Run a driver cleaning software such as Driver Sweeper and ONLY remove your audio drivers.
10. Enter the BIOS by rebooting and enable audio devices
11. Find your latest audio drivers for your pci cards and onboard.
12. Good luck!

Your pc should be able to handle the drivers so that they don't conflict with each other.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for your replay Nec3, but i have no problems run on-board and dedicated sound card.

I have problems use x2 dedicated Xonar sound cards.

They using same software, i tried many things, and i always end up with Xonar_EEPROM_Failure.

So i don`t see any sound card, cant install drivers and i need "tell" my PC which one i want to use. So have to go to bios/ dos, play around to make it work AT ALL. lol

I was always saying for myself: Its a last time - Asus!!! But still repeating my mistakes.


So practically impossible to Make Accurate Comparison between  two XONAR sound cards on one pc i guess. 

Unless someone have an idea how.

Hmmm... just remember VmWare Player, i guess i shall try some "cheating". :)

Edited by Artcheezzz - 4/8/13 at 4:49pm
post #4 of 7

Why would you want two soundcards on the motherboard, and more importantly, in the computer case? The first one is giving you this issue, the latter means you may be adding to airflow problems (although of course this may be negligible, but along with your driver problem...)


The D2X has SPDIF outputs, so why not use a clean-sounding stereo DAC that doesn't use the computer PSU? I mean, if you have space for an amp and floorstanding speakers, why not a DAC?

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi ProtegeManiac :) 

I have huge case with 12 fans or so, its not a problem airflow or power or even noise. 

Well i don`t really need them both run all a time, i can easy buy the Ultra-fidelity 7.1 channel output upgrade for Asus Essence ST and that`s it. But main point is accurate comparison, do some A/B testing between cards. Its for personal interest and for guys who interested to buy a "better" sounding sound card, 

You all testing, changing, swap dac`s, amp`s... So why don`t u try sound cards? I know real hi-fi MUST be proper CD-player >>> DAC >>> amp. BUT

Seriously , have you tried a proper sound card? I told you before, i done some comparisons and found that DAC Magic Plus is not worth £350 when you comparing with sound card. Its worth maximum extra 50£. PLUS with DAC you don`t have equalizer which is important and is big advantage of sound card. IF i would have the laptop or any apple product, then YES i would rate DacMagic Plus worth £1000. 

I can tell my impression what i remember only Xonar D2x vs Essence ST, that Essence sound much brighter, colder, more analytic sounding and louder at default settings and headphone "built-in amp" is amazing compare to d2x. Plus i can play with opamps on Essence ST. 

So i can tell only what remember, but i trust myself and others ONLY after direct A/B comparison so thats why i want to run two sound cards at same time :)

Maybe i`m "strange", but tha`ts what u all do here most of the time. Just "licking" the sound :D

Edited by Artcheezzz - 4/9/13 at 8:46pm
post #6 of 7

This is a well-known bug in the Xonar Audio Center (inherited from C-Media's similar tool); there is just no mechanism to choose between multiple instances of the same driver.


Using VMWare won't help you; an emulated sound device inside the virtual machine would require a working driver on the host, and accessing the original PCI device from inside the VM is not possible.


You could put the cards into different computers, or run the A/B tests in Linux.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks cladish, looks like you right. Its odd that ASUS driver support always been poor and targeted to average consumer. 

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