the two on either side of the rca aux in, between the xlrs? look like rca out to me
ASUS Launches Essence III USB DAC/Preamp/Headamp - Page 2
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Essence III appeared in one shop in Poland, but without price or any date when it will be available. I send e-mail to the stuff and got reply. They don't have final price but it should be around 7000 zł (PLN, with taxes), which is ~1700 euro or ~2200 $. They also wrote that DAC should be available with end of the year or at the begin of 2014.
I know muses has a much better dac than the conductor but much much worse amp section. Same goes for senn hdvd 800. There is only point if it can beat a $1500 amp with a $1000 dac or something like that. If they have to be competitive.
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We know that the DAC section of the E1 is phenomenal value for the asking price. It is often compared to DAC costing up to $2k and shown that ASUS R&D team did their homework. However, the only let down of the E1 (beside the volume imbalance issue) is the AMP section doesn't quiet match with the DAC section.
Not sure how much more of an improvement on the DAC section of the E3 over the E1. One thing is certain though, ASUS is going all out on the AMP section this time. But to warrant a minor improvement over the DAC and an all out balance headphone section is a bit steep for an extra $1k.
Edited by Mach3 - 11/22/13 at 6:38pm
Is there still problem with volume balance?
I found another price information. This time from some french website (http://www.on-mag.fr/index.php/topaudio/actualites-news/12343-convertisseur-asus-essence-iii-un-stu-sur-vitamine). E3 is listed as 1600 euro. And they got some inside picture:
Edited by matthewpl - 11/25/13 at 2:58am
On the Asus website they imply it's stepped attenuators for both "Essence III includes a set of stepped attenuators that works for headphones and line outputs."