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ASUS Xonar Essence STX II - Page 3

post #31 of 128

You are right.

I think they made the choice for TPA6120 with power output in mind. Given the low voltage at which the soundcard operates (much lower than O2) it's possible that the TPA opamp would output more mW than NJM4556 for the same gain.

But this is just an assumption, I don't have enough experience with opamps or circuit design.

post #32 of 128

Just a heads up, Asus has posted the STX II on their website...

 

http://www.asus.com/Sound_Cards_and_DigitaltoAnalog_Converters/Essence_STX_II/

post #33 of 128
Quote:
Analog Playback Sample Rate and Resolution :
44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16bit/24bit

ASIO Driver Support :
44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192KHz @ 16bit/24bit

 

 

What does that mean?

Can it play FLAC @ 24bit 88.2kHz & 24bit 176.4kHz or not?

post #34 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by James neutron View Post
I think they made the choice for TPA6120 with power output in mind. Given the low voltage at which the soundcard operates (much lower than O2) it's possible that the TPA opamp would output more mW than NJM4556 for the same gain.

 

Actually, both the O2 and the analog output section of the STX operate at +/-12 V regulated supply voltage. In the case of the O2, the voltage is even slightly less, because of the power management/protection circuit.

 

However, the TPA6120 can output more power into low impedance loads (although this is mostly useful only for orthodynamic headphones), as it has a higher current limit than even two parallel NJM4556's. Also, sound card manufacturers may prefer the use of a single SMT chip for the headphone amplifier. Still, it is surprising that no sound card uses a similar solution to the O2, given that it can perform so well at a low cost.


Edited by stv014 - 3/21/14 at 3:19pm
post #35 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by cimbolic View Post
 

What does that mean?

Can it play FLAC @ 24bit 88.2kHz & 24bit 176.4kHz or not?

 

The hardware does support analog output at 88.2 and 176.4 kHz sample rates, I can confirm this on Linux. However, it is possible that C-Media/ASUS did not implement those sample rates in the WIndows drivers because of the lack of market demand.

post #36 of 128

Well, Maxed Tech® has no qualms about handling 176.4 kHz in UNi XONAR® Audio Software™ 1.7x, which packs the same C-Media® CMI-8788 Driver going into the Win8 version of Asus® XONAR® Audio Center™. ;-) I'm running Release 1.63 in my Asus® CM1630-06 as modified, as of 21 March 2014; with an EAH6850 DirectCU® video card right alongside the XONAR® Essence™ STX™ (literally!) on my rig (forced by both the slot layout of the stock M4A78LT-M mobo and the DirectCU® fansink contraindicating the Essence™ ST™ on account of airflow issues), I can vouch for the STX'™ shielding, and the STX™ II should perform equally well. :)

post #37 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackbird09 View Post
 

 

Weird. On the old STX there are two regulators (silkscreen component labels: U20, U24) plus empty outline on the silkscreen where another regulator could go (U34). On the STX II the U20 regulator (I assume this is still a 7805) is still there. Both the U24 and U34 spots are populated with two identical ICs. Could these be some weird SMD regulators? 

 

Here is the area I'm talking about on the STX II:

Yes, I saw those two odd ICs too.  Without the card in my hands, or a proper photo quality, or someone to write what ICs are they... we can't say anything about them.

post #38 of 128

I used to have STX. It is quite a good card except for the pre-installed OP-AMPs. It looks like ASUS has slight improved the clock by using TCXO clock. As for the red WIMA, it could be a downside for some.

 

Again, Asus is pre-installing weird OP-AMP combos. I happened to have 8820 and 8920. Both are very expensive but not good at all for music playback. OPA2111 will be a lot better in terms of SQ and keeps the same warm signature... Perhaps MUSES are just more tempting for many.

 

Anyway, it is good to see new music-oriented product coming out.


Edited by HiFan - 3/24/14 at 11:50am
post #39 of 128
Hmm, I guess the release date for this will be towards the end of this year? Can't find anything about that on the Internet.

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post #40 of 128

I hope you are wrong, I'm waiting for the release and plan to buy the card asap.

As the pictures and card information are already available on official Asus pages, I'm expecting the actual release date to be sooner than later.

 

If anyone here knows more details, please share :)


Edited by blackie333 - 3/26/14 at 3:09am
post #41 of 128

I sure do hope I'm wrong too. These card looks pretty interesting. Looking to upgrade from my DX to this one.

post #42 of 128

I also am excited about this card (I just sent back an ST to wait for this). I would think this would hit the US market just ahead of the holiday buying season.

I have not seen any reviews or talk of them as of yet and the US version of the Asus site still does not list them.

 

We might be in for a wait until it's released.

post #43 of 128

Looking forward to picking one of these up, including the daughterboard.

 

How to the muse opamps compare to LME49720 and LM6172?

 

A little bummed they are still using a molex and not a sata connector...

 

Pricing is also yet to be seen...

post #44 of 128

On this Hungarian website: http://prohardver.hu/hir/asus_xonar_essence_stx_ii_7_1_hangkartya.html

I have found information that the card should be available from the middle of April for a price approx. 200 EUR.

 

If it's true, then the price is little higher than I have expected, probably because of those expensive MUSE opamp chips included (although I plan to use LME49720 chips for my card). Whether the new card is really better sounding(and by how much) compared to the original STX has yet to be seen ;-)


Edited by blackie333 - 3/31/14 at 12:13am
post #45 of 128

Yet again, those are cheap MUSE chips. No where near the price of a MUSE 01 or MUSE 02, they are different things.

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