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Projected improvement with Xonar Essence STX

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I am looking to upgrade to the Xonar Essence STX with 3x LME49860 Opamps. I am currently running the Xonar DX paired to the Sennheiser HD598's.

 

My question is; Anyone with experience with both, know about how much improvement I should expect? Or then again is it even worth the upgrade cost? I am looking to get the most from these headphones that I've spent 250$ on based on everyone raving about them and how good the sound stage is. I am not getting the sound stage I expected to get and thought perhaps a better sound card would be in order.

 

I mainly listen to Music with some Gaming. I have purchased the FiiO E11 Amp, since the Xonar DX has no built in amp and at 100% system volume it was too weak for me.

post #2 of 4
The Sennheiser HD598s do have a very good soundstage. Having owned both the STX and DX myself, I would recommend not to expect miracles. Some people find DAC/amp upgrades to provide superior soundstage. Myself, I find the improvements to be small. Everyone's interpretation is different.That's a relative value judgement that is personal, and no one can predict it for you.

Instead of the FiiO E11, you might try a Schiit Magni headphone amp. That would give you better headphone output than the DX alone or with the E11. It definitely has more power. The Schiit Magni is also arguably a better headphone amp than what is built in the STX.
post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by DnaAngel View Post

I am looking to get the most from these headphones that I've spent 250$ on based on everyone raving about them and how good the sound stage is. I am not getting the sound stage I expected to get and thought perhaps a better sound card would be in order.

 

The best advice would be upgrading your headphones first.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you,

 

I will try your suggestions with just upgrading the Amp first. Quick question. The Vali is 20$ more then the Magni and it looks to add in tubes. Is this a no brainier upgrade to just spend the extra 20$?

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