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Asus ST vs. STX (I'm not crazy, right?)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Okay, so after reading a plethora of views and opinions and what not on the ST vs. STX, I find it hard to believe that some people say it is the same card.

 

I had the STX for about a week and I have enjoyed it thus far, but I feel like I'll be going the 2.1 route later on (after I get my Emo Airmotiv 5's), so I ordered the ST...

 

Straight away, the ST is different... I started playing some of the regular stuff I test with and WOW! Like the difference is DEFINITELY there.

The ST seems to separate things more than the STX and it seems like it accentuates the small details... Which is a good thing and a bad thing.

It's good because I'm rediscovering music and I'm hearing things I didn't before (weird, right? It's the same card...)

The bad thing about it is that the extra "detail" is overwhelming and quickly fatigues the ears... Which is unfortunate because hearing little details is amazing.

 

Any owners prefer one or the other?

 

EDIT: I've actually found a comparison. The ST sounds kinda like the HK 3940 Headphone amp. Interesting...


Edited by MrFahrenheit - 6/15/13 at 7:14pm
post #2 of 9

The ST/STX is divided into two parts the one inside the EMI Shield is protecting the DAC and the AMP componentry  (Its not a real word :P) and the rest is all the power output components with the "Golden Nichicon caps" pretty much the audio  componentry  is exactly the same , only the output of the PCI VS PCI-E is different , so I think that may be placebo , remember when you are comparing audio equipment the interval between the switch must not exceed 5 seconds (Its Science) :D

Forget Science its the real way to test equipment :D


Edited by MrTechAgent - 7/22/13 at 11:03am
post #3 of 9

Both are not the best choice for low impedance headphones, but the STX has afaik a higher output impedance. Output impedance can have a real effect on how a headphone sounds.

Measurement wise they are not that different. STX is more powerful though.

That's the real science behind it. tongue.gif


Edited by xnor - 7/22/13 at 4:16pm
post #4 of 9

the ST is missing the PCI-E controller chip which contains a separate clock to deal with the PCI-E bus. Not sure if this has an effect on sound (it shouldn't as far as I understand).

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

Both are not the best choice for low impedance headphones, but the STX has afaik a higher output impedance. Output impedance can have a real effect on how a headphone sounds.

Measurement wise they are not that different. STX is more powerful though.

That's the real science behind it. tongue.gif

Like headphones of low impedance with less damping factor right ?

post #6 of 9

I'm guessing it's down to impedance differences. Possibly also if you are used to use certain volume level setting and you set the ST the same as STX then you might have tiny bit different vol levels when listening with ST which is giving you that impression too.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 7/22/13 at 11:49pm
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

Both are not the best choice for low impedance headphones, but the STX has afaik a higher output impedance. Output impedance can have a real effect on how a headphone sounds.

Measurement wise they are not that different. STX is more powerful though.

 

Shouldn't they have the same output power and impedance ? The analog section is identical, other than the fact that the STX has a separate power connector, while the ST is powered from the PCI bus. But both cards generate a regulated +/- 12 V supply for the analog circuits.

post #8 of 9

Lot's of guessing from people who don't have any of the cards, both cards have an extra power connector. The analog section and the analog power regulation section are identical on both cards. What differs are purely digital; the ST is PCI, the STX is PCI-E and has a PLX PCI-E to PCI-bridge chip. The ST has a socket onboard for a multichannel daughterboard, the STX don't.

 

None of the above should affect SQ. The only thing that should/could is the fact that ST has a crystal-clock filter chip to get less jitter on digital i/o. The STX don't. Any, if any, difference should logically be attributed to that clock-filter chip. Or placebo.

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by xeizo View Post

both cards have an extra power connector.

 

Correct, I only have the STX, and assumed the ST is like the other PCI Xonar cards that have no power connector.

 

I doubt the low jitter clock on the ST makes a real difference, but I wonder if it fixes the higher noise floor at 44.1/88.2/176.4 kHz sample rates (which can be audible with some sensitive headphones, and is a clock related issue). Unfortunately, the RMAA results I could find only include 44.1 kHz at 16 bit resolution. But if the "high quality clock" is before the C-Media chip (which then re-clocks the problematic sample rates), then it probably does not make any useful difference.


Edited by stv014 - 7/24/13 at 3:39am
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