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Xonar Essence STX + Q701 = Overrated?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

So I recently bought an ASUS Xonar Essence STX and I was very disappointed with how my Q701s sounded with them.

I set the amp option to High Gain, EQ disabled w/ Hi-Fi Mode ON, and my listening volume was at 40 in the Windows Volume Mixer. The highs were ear piercing and there was literally no bass at all. My previous setup was an ASUS Xonar DX + AKG k271 MK2 and that setup sounded so much better and way more fulfilling.

I did notice however that the Q701s are dramatically clearer and it was much easier to distinguish multiple instruments playing at once. I love the soundstage of the Q701s, but I feel like I'm not even getting 50% of the full sound the Q701s can offer.

 

Did anyone else have the same experience or is it just me? I borrowed my friend's Q701s and had the same result so it wasn't my headphones. I feel like all the reviews saying that the Essence alone can drive the Q701s is a total lie. 

 

I'm just going to settle for an external DAC + AMP. I was thinking of getting the DAC Destroyer + Little Dot 1+. Do you guys think this combination is better than the Essence STX alone? They both cost roughly the same. I hear mixed opinions about the Fiio E17+E09k

 

If you guys have any better setups around $200 please let me know. I'd deeply appreciate it.


Edited by AuTra - 9/25/13 at 10:06pm
post #2 of 6

Did you disable the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS?

When listening to music, do you have the STX's Audio Channel set to 2-channel?

Try installing the third party "Unified Xonar Drivers".

Try using Foobar2000 for playing audio files.

 

Is there a A/V receiver around that you can plug the Q701s into, compare the audio quality to the STX?

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Did you disable the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS?

When listening to music, do you have the STX's Audio Channel set to 2-channel?

Try installing the third party "Unified Xonar Drivers".

Try using Foobar2000 for playing audio files.

 

Is there a A/V receiver around that you can plug the Q701s into, compare the audio quality to the STX?

 

Yes I disabled the mobo's onboard audio in BIOS. I have the STX's Audio Channel set to 2-channel.

 

I used Winamp and Google Chrome when listening to my .WAVs and MP3s.

I don't have money to even afford an A/V receiver haha.

Thanks for you help thus far

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuTra View Post
 

Yes I disabled the mobo's on-board audio in BIOS. I have the STX's Audio Channel set to 2-channel.

I used Winamp and Google Chrome when listening to my .WAVs and MP3s.
I don't have money to even afford an A/V receiver haha.

Try the "Unified Xonar Drivers" (they are a free download, install over current Asus drivers), would be nice to know if a bad driver installing is holding back the STX.

Have you tried a sample rate of 44.1K or 48K for music?

 

What does your friend plug his Q701's into, do they sound better with his audio setup?

I have the DD (DAC Destroyer), great little USB DAC, but you might do better with the Xonar DX, do you still have it around?

I would think the DX's CS4398 DAC chip is better the the DAC Destroyers PCM2704 DAC chip.

The Xonar DX might also provide a stronger audio signal (over the DD), to an external amp.

 

The Fiio E09K and STX use the same TI6120 headphone amplifier chip, so I would assume the E09K would not be an improvement.

 

Try asking here what amplifiers work well with the Q701.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/582276/q701-appreciation-thread


Edited by PurpleAngel - 9/25/13 at 11:42pm
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Try the "Unified Xonar Drivers" (they are a free download, install over current Asus drivers), would be nice to know if a bad driver installing is holding back the STX.

 

What does your friend plug his Q701's into, do they sound better with his audio setup?

I have the DD (DAC Destroyer), great little USB DAC, but you might do better with the Xonar DX, do you still have it around?

I would think the DX CS4398 DAC chip is better the the DAC Destroyers PCM2704 DAC chip.

The Xonar DX might also provide a stronger audio signal (over the DD), to an external amp.

 

The Fiio E09K and STX use the same TI6120 headphone amplifier chip, so I would assume the E09K would not be an improvement.

 

Try asking here what amplifiers work well with the Q701.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/582276/q701-appreciation-thread

 

I just returned the Essence STX and I sold my Xonar DX to help fund the Essence. I'll try asking in that forum thread. Thanks for your help man.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

So after some researching, I've come down to 2 setups. Either the DAC Destroyer + Little Dot 1+ or Schiit Modi + Magni. Anyone have experience with or opinions on either of these?

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