Asus Xonar Essence STX ii - What to pair with?
May 29, 2020 at 9:01 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

Freshage

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I've got the mentioned soundcard with 3x Burson vivid V6 Op-amps which I've fallen in love with. However, it's time to expand my audio footprint, as it stands the soundcard drives some Sennheiser HD 650's for headphones and a pair of Audioengine HD3's for desk speakers.

I'm about to buy a house and will have a dedicated office and will likely get the Audioengine HD6's, but I've yet to start research on speakers, I'm just making this assumption on the sound profile of the HD3's being perfect for me thus far.

My question is, I've been looking at some Schiit gear and I'm wondering what would compliment the soundcard I have. I'm thinking just the Schiit Valhalla, I'm not looking for a absolute insane setup, just something to compliment what I already have in an inexpensive way. The reason for Schiit is I hear great things and they are based in California which is where I'm currently living (from England, moving to Holland). So it works out.

As for the end result, the amp would be purely for the speakers and the soundcard would drive the headphones. All audio is coming from my PC and no other sources.

Thanks!

P.S. if you can't tell, I'm not knowledgeable on the audio front, my previous choices were based on research and thoughts of others. I love decent audio but it's a the audiophile world is one I'm just not initiated in.
 
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May 30, 2020 at 11:32 PM Post #2 of 5

PurpleAngel

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What I would do.
Make sure the motherboard's on-board audio, is disabled in the BIOS (but it's not a big deal)
Install the Unified Xonar Drivers.
Pass on the Audioengine and get JBL LSR306 studio monitors.
So run audio cables from the STX II's line-output jacks (RCA) to the Schiit Valhalla's RCA input jacks.
Then run cables from the Valhalla's line-output (RCA) to the 1/4" input jacks on the JBL LSR306.
Using the STX II's line-output bypasses the STX II Dolby Headphone surround sound function, if you really only listen to stereo (2.0) audio, then everything is good.
 
May 31, 2020 at 3:59 PM Post #3 of 5

Freshage

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What I would do.
Make sure the motherboard's on-board audio, is disabled in the BIOS (but it's not a big deal)
Install the Unified Xonar Drivers.
Pass on the Audioengine and get JBL LSR306 studio monitors.
So run audio cables from the STX II's line-output jacks (RCA) to the Schiit Valhalla's RCA input jacks.
Then run cables from the Valhalla's line-output (RCA) to the 1/4" input jacks on the JBL LSR306.
Using the STX II's line-output bypasses the STX II Dolby Headphone surround sound function, if you really only listen to stereo (2.0) audio, then everything is good.

Thanks mate, the onboard is disabled via BIOS, running the latest unified drivers and use RCA to my current speakers (HD3's). I use the lineout for the speakers and have my headphones in the headphone socket. I hate the dolby digital encoding option, so use it at 2 channels on the 2 speaker option in the audio center for speakers, and simply change it to 6 channel and headphones when switching to headphones. No other 'processing' options enabled, just a slight tweak for a bit more heft on the lower frequencies for a touch more bass.

I'll check out those suggested speakers (thanks!), the Valhalla does look like the best option, do you think I will notice much of a difference? Again, just looking to enrich the audio for speakers, headphones are really only for late night music listening and mostly gaming. I'd say 80% of the time I use speakers for everything though.
 
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May 31, 2020 at 5:21 PM Post #4 of 5

PurpleAngel

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The 300-Ohm HD600/HD650/HD6XX series are considered to improve with the more power they get, so I say yes to the Valhalla.
The Audioengine speakers are great easy to use for the average consumer.
But the JBLs units come with a built in amplifier for each tweeter and each woofer.
 
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