Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › ASUS Xonar Essence STX II
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

ASUS Xonar Essence STX II - Page 5

post #61 of 109

If any STX II purchasers are either disappointed with their purchase/or doesn't need it or wants to try something else I'd gladly trade my SoundBlaster ZxR for your STX II. :)

post #62 of 109

So is the consensus that the STX II isn't worth the $200 to upgrade over the STX 1?

post #63 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by networkn View Post
 

So is the consensus that the STX II isn't worth the $200 to upgrade over the STX 1?

 

I would guess it a better value to just get better(?) op-amps ($55) for your STX.

AD797BR or LME49990, or other.

post #64 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by networkn View Post
 

So is the consensus that the STX II isn't worth the $200 to upgrade over the STX 1?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

I would guess it a better value to just get better(?) op-amps ($55) for your STX.

AD797BR or LME49990, or other.

 

I consider the STX™ II more an outright replacement for the ST™ when upgrading to a new system with PCI-Express x1.  I'm currently awaiting a reply on another Thread concerning a TCXO retrofit to the original STX™; all three will use dual amplifiers consistent in supply parameters and pinout with the National Semiconductor®/Texas Instruments® LM4562N (a broad field including several MUSES, Brown-Burr/TI, Analog Devices, and competitive items in the JEDEC DIP8 package), in addition to modifications to retrofit pairs of surface-mount op amps (such as the NSC LME49990MA) and splice bypass capacitors from the adapter PCB's to the card's supply rails.

post #65 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

Why not just replace the Essence STX with a cheaper Xonar DX?

Connect the Bifrost with the optical and connect the Logitech speakers to the analog outputs on the Xonar DX.

I would guess the Xonar DX's CS4398 DAC chip should match or better the Logitech's DAC chip.

 

 

Well the STX has analog outs too right via RCA? Actually my Logitechs seem to have only a 3 x 3.5mm input, or Coax or Optical.

post #66 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linkin View Post
 

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...

 

So I picked up a second hand STX II for $250 AUD including daughterboard (Retail price here is $399 AUD)

 

The muses op amps are ****. Listened to them once and put the LME47920NA's straight back in.

 

Now it sounds as good as the STX. Yet to evaluate if it sounds better or worse.

 

 

So as it stands, if you have the STX, upgrade the op amps and don't worry about an STX II. I prefer the styling on the old card anyway (black and gold, not grey and silver like on the new one)

post #67 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linkin View Post
 

 

So I picked up a second hand STX II for $250 AUD including daughterboard (Retail price here is $399 AUD)

 

The muses op amps are ****. Listened to them once and put the LME47920NA's straight back in.

 

Now it sounds as good as the STX. Yet to evaluate if it sounds better or worse.

 

 

So as it stands, if you have the STX, upgrade the op amps and don't worry about an STX II. I prefer the styling on the old card anyway (black and gold, not grey and silver like on the new one)

 

Well, exactly. After 6 years or so, one would expect that Asus move things a bit forward with the Essence ST(X) series. It's same old anti-inovative tech, tweaked here and there with the same old problems. To put it blantatly, STX II was the card to begin with back in the days.

 

Regarding opamps, I had best of luck with dual mono LME49900

 

My Essence ST is up for sale not because it's a bad card or I want to upgrade to STX II (although I did consider) ... but funny enough I dusted off my Cantatis Overture 192 for a quick run and was properly blown away. I recently upgraded my system and it's extremely reveling, so it may happen that Overture is now properly picked up in the audio chain. It's a great card: dual (mono) PCM1794A DAC design, four stage analogue power supplies,discrete design and made in the UK! I guess that it can compete with the DACs many times the price. I'm sucker for the sound cards btw :-) ... I've been integrating them for over 20 years or so. They are incredibly underestimated as excellent (and wallet friendly) source in the audio chain. So yeah, it was completely unexpected upgrade and didn't cost anything :-)

 

I may be tempted with the second hand (only) STX II for my second system, as I don't have many motherboards left with native PCI slots. Actually, I don't understand why Asus didn't opt for native PCI-e chipset this time (like for example CMI 8788DH Oxygen Express) but still using that dreadful Asmedia PCI bridge.

post #68 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incognito73 View Post
....I may be tempted with the second hand (only) STX II for my second system, as I don't have many motherboards left with native PCI slots. Actually, I don't understand why Asus didn't opt for native PCI-e chipset this time (like for example CMI 8788DH Oxygen Express) but still using that dreadful Asmedia PCI bridge.

CMI-8788? :D I think ye refer to the C-Media® CMI-8888DHT around which ASUSTeK Computer designed the gaming-specific ROG® XONAR® Phoebus™.  The STX™ II is a product improvement of a known working package for the music fan - does "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" ring a bell?  Should I land an STX™ II at some future date, I'll swap in an I-V major upgrade around up to sixteen National Semiconductor®/Texas Instruments® LME49990MA's (in for the eight stock MUSES dual op amps) and call it done. :L3000:

post #69 of 109

Yes, CMI-8888 native PCI-e chipset from Xonar Phoebus ... you are right about the error. I was thinking about Phoebus but writing about Essence :smile_phones:  Your moto "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" does ring a bell for me and it's perfectly fine in general world - but Head-Fi wouldn't exist today if that's general practice in HiFi :biggrin:  In some sense, one should never stop at what has been already accomplished and I still believe that Essence sound cards can be improved. Asus is just a bit lazy imho and STX II is just basic product refresh.

 

Sound cards for music fans ... well that's a good thing to thinker about. Quite probably Cantatis Overture for me, at the moment. Pure stereo design, no fuss, no unecessary features, excellent discrete design, exemplary build quality, stable audio drivers hacked to support 88.2 and presenting the sound card as digital audio device (so no nasty windows mixer involvement) ... but I have a feeling that Cantatis will suffer the same fate as Auzentech. Speaking of Auzentech,  Meridian 7.1 2G was probably only sound card I found better then Essence series. I've sold it ages ago and I'm  deeply regretting it now. Anyhow ... don't want to drift from the thread subject.

post #70 of 109
Apparently Asus isn't planning on selling the STX II in North America as per the following link:

http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?46619-ASUS-Essence-STX-II&s=ff2ae0d8bc47213f362a07de229c7dec

Amazon in the UK has them for sale, the STX II 7.1 version is currently going for 189.99 GBP.
post #71 of 109
post #72 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Savian View Post
 

Here is the english version of my review:

http://soundnews.ro/2014/06/28/asus-essence-stx-ii-review-english-version/


You got me slightly curious on the STX II now. I've got a ZxR sitting on the shelf since I didn't like the sound of it (I prefer the onboard Realtek ALC1150 with NE5532 opamps that my new motherboard has over it even). Particularly I liked the comment versus the other source that STX II has a more "closer to the scene" presentation which is to my taste, I don't like a laid-back concert hall sound but want to be engaged with more in your face sound so transparency isn't my number 1 concern, do you think STX II might be a good fit for me?

post #73 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post
 


You got me slightly curious on the STX II now. I've got a ZxR sitting on the shelf since I didn't like the sound of it (I prefer the onboard Realtek ALC1150 with NE5532 opamps that my new motherboard has over it even). Particularly I liked the comment versus the other source that STX II has a more "closer to the scene" presentation which is to my taste, I don't like a laid-back concert hall sound but want to be engaged with more in your face sound so transparency isn't my number 1 concern, do you think STX II might be a good fit for me?

 

When you were using the SB-ZxR, was the on-board disabled?

post #74 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

When you were using the SB-ZxR, was the on-board disabled?



I've tried the ZxR like 3-4 times and made sure onboard is disabled in BIOS and always came to the same conclusion; what's bugging me on ZxR is the soundstage is very "in-your-head" and the bass is bloated & muddy in the subbass. I think it's how the Creative has its own way of handling speaker config in the Z series which is the problem. The soundstaging improves slightly if I choose the RCA out and use "speakers" as output device, the "Headphone" setting in Creative's control panel messes with soundstage negatively (I'm the person that prefers more a out-of your head soundstage and the onboard does this suprisingly well if using 5.1 speakers (soundstaging sucks with stereo though on the onboard).

The onboard solutions these days, the ALC1150 is the "flagship" Realtek chip these days surprise me, then couple together with a very nicely configured package on the ASRock boards dubbed "Purity Sound" (I did get the chance to compare them both with ASUS ROG VI Hero since I had both boards ordered which also uses ALC1150 chip but different amping/caps config and in comparison the ASUS motherboard sounded a lot worse (muddy, lacking highs but had quite sweet fullbodied mids but bass was also waaaaaay too bloated, it was way bassier and bloated than ZxR even).

The only thing I reaaally liked in ZxR was the midrange, that was beautifully sounding with very lifelike piano/vocals voicing etc but both highs and bass and soundstaging goes to the onboard.

Since the ASUS Xonar drivers seems to have a lot more common software wise with onboard (CMedia if I'm not mistaken?), maybe I'm more lucky with that, I still think it's the way Creative handles speaker config and possibly add some own HRTF (because the settings in creative driver panel and windows isn't synced like they are on onboard) is the thing that simply doesn't work for my ears/mind.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 6/28/14 at 12:53pm
post #75 of 109

Quick question, the STX II version without the extra daughterboard for analog 7.1 output, it still allows up to 7.1 processing internally right? (it's still selectable in the software?) Surprisingly hard to find an answer since all the reviews of the STX II is the 7.1 analog output version.

For gaming in mind, I'm slightly curious in the Xonar ROG Phoebus card too due to Dolby Home Theater v4 which seems to work pretty well for gaming but the sound quality again is a lot worse of that card in comparison to STX/STX II. It's a shame STX II doesn't support it!

EDIT: Nevermind on Dolby Home Theater v4, everything sounds too "distant" after checking a couple of youtube vids which leads to less immersion.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 6/29/14 at 4:55pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › ASUS Xonar Essence STX II