Asus Essence One Headphone Amp/DAC (CeBIT 2011)

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by g-san, Mar 3, 2011.
  1. EternalChampion
    Maybe I bypassed it, but I haven't seen any post which emphasizes on my concerns. So, can you please state your own opinion in regards to mid-bass and drums on the E1? Do they feel lightweight and calm to your ears or feel heavy?

    Thanks in advance
  2. Karllin
    Thank you. I was just returning to the thread to clarify I am connecting to a HDVA600 with its own volume control. I think you assumed that I meant to indicate an amp with its own volume and answered my question. Thanks again.
  3. raoultrifan
    @EternalChampion: I would say that with default opamps bass is on the heavy side. However, changing the I/V opamps with original MUSES01 bass is exactly how it should be (also, clarity & details & soundstage increase too).
    @Karllin: I see now, however I still suggest turning the volume to the max. at the source (Essence One), then HDVA600's volume can be adjusted as desired. Essence One has an output voltage of about 2-2.1V RMS, so I don't see any compatibility issues.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
    Karllin likes this.
  4. wanted110
    Hi raoultrifan,

    From all these mods, which one would your recommend the most ? I have the Muse Edition, free of mod, but I'm interested in trying, provided there is an audible benefit.
    Worth it to buy some V5 or V5i ?

    Regards, wanted.
  5. raoultrifan

    2 x SS V5 in LPF stage caused sort of a "radio" noise while moving the volume knob between 90 - 100%, though I couldn't see any oscillations on my scope. Sound was very good, not much of a difference comparing V5 with MUSES02, but without a proper A/B test I can't decide which one would be better.

    I believe now I'm using 2 x V5i in LPF and 2 x V5i in VAS and sound is very good, maybe a bass is a bit overemphasised on the headphones, but this is a subjective test anyway. :)

    Besides the 4 x MUSES01 in I/V (you already have those) I can only recommend 2 x MUSES02 or 2 x V5i in the LPF stage; optionally you could do the same in VAS stage, but to be honest difference will not be night & day, so feel free to try this only if you really have the money for and really-really want to try some mods.

    Regarding to my other mods I've did:
    - if you don't have hum on your headphones then I see no reason to shield the transformer
    - if you have a scope then please measure the -12V rail and see if you can identify those spikes I was speaking about; if not, there's no reason to move further with -12V ground loop mode
    - without a scope I see no reason to move on with replacing power regulators or by adding a dedicated +5V to PCM1795 DAC chips
    Also, replacing power regulators, resolving ground loops and adding a new +5V PSU for the DACs is extremely "intrusive" and could damage the PCB and electronic components, so please take care when doing some of these mods! The least intrusive mods could be: increasing PSU caps filtering value (either by replacing the original caps, either by adding more caps in parallel) and adding more decoupling caps nearby the 2 DACs (WIMA MKP, but also tantalums should help).

    The most improvements I've noticed when I've upgraded default I/V opamps to 4 x MUSES01 (details, clarity, soundstage, more relaxed sound), but also when I've added a separate +5V power source for the 2 x PCM1795 DACs (the original E1 had a "grainy" sound and a bit fatiguing too). I had access to 2 identical Essence One to do A/B test and an additional audiophile to help out with the tests.

  6. wanted110
    Thanks for your answer.
    I'm lucky to have no hum on mine.
    For the rest, guess I'll jump on my probes and test the rails.

    Saying free of mod was not perfectly exact since I have AD797BR (tuned following the datasheet) as buffer aop.
    I might try some V5i as well for I have bass-shy headphones.

    Regards, wanted.
  7. dclaz
    Hi guys,

    I've been enjoying my Essence Xonar One for quite some time now, it's been absolutely fantastic. Unfortunately, I just reinstalled win10, and as far as I can tell, the process has corrupted the devices firmware. Windows cannot correctly identify the hardware, and the official drivers insist that i connect the device and will not proceed with installation.

    I've done a bit of googling and it looks like similar things have occurred to owners of internal PCI/PCIE Xonar cards (see: but I can't find any similar cases with the Essence One.

    Anyone have this problem before? Any suggestions?

  8. dclaz
    Managed to 'somehow' fix it, but plugging the device into another computer and then back in to my primary one. Very odd.
  9. mBTX
    I also have a mkii that is undiscoverable via USB. (USB)1, 2, or 3. It matters not. I've searched around, but I can't find much mention about this issue. Both the SPIDIF and the optical work fine. I just happen to prefer the sound of the USB, I know this only because I bought a second.... However, now my second one has started to pop/crackle/hiss in the XLR. It's not right off the bat either. It takes a minute or two to start showing its audio artefacts. Is that what a dying capacitor would sound like???

    IDK, I may just end up selling the pair and picking up a new dac.... Audio GD has some stuff thats piqued my intrest.

    But in the meantime if someone could kindly point me in the right direction as per the USB issue, it'd be greatly appreciated.
  10. rennwerkes
    Has anyone had any issues with the faceplate cover delaminating? If so, any suggestions on getting it to remain fixed and flat? Thanks
  11. Hopup
    You could try installing latest drivers for your motherboard/chipset.
  12. mBTX
    I did give that a shot as well as a BIOS update to no avial. It's also worth noting that I have this problem on any computer. I have access to 5 in my house, and after testing on 3, I was convinced it wasn't a computer issue.
  13. raoultrifan
    mBTX, how did your Essence One DAC got defective on the USB part, please? I wonder what could get wrong with the USB interface during the time and if this could affect other devices...or how to prevent such issues.

    BTW, I had upgraded from Win7 to Win10 myself with DAC unpowered, but connected to computer's USB port; I had no issues, DAC is working perfectly, even if I'm using the Win7 drivers (didn't upgraded the drivers and it still works fine under Win10).
  14. mBTX
    Unfortunately, it came to me with that problem. I bought it used, and the seller happened to forget to add that small detail. Like I said though, it's not too problematic because both the SPIDIF and the optical inputs work just fine.

    I've been thinking it could be one of two things, a failed attempt at updating its firmware, or physical damage to the USB port itself.

    I do also have another question. Does anyone know of a schematic or manual that lists the internal jumpers and their function? I know it's a long shot, but I was hoping that the 4-pin was an internal USB...
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  15. raoultrifan
    Teaser with 8x Burson:
    - 4xV5-D in I/V
    - 2xV6-D Classic in LPF
    - 2xV5i-D in VAS

    WP_20171108_21_57_53_Pro.jpg WP_20171108_22_01_06_Pro.jpg

    - no oscillations
    - no overheating
    - 1st class quality sound
    - still testing, review will get finished later

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