ASUS Xonar Essence STX II

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by blackbird09, Mar 6, 2014.
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  1. xxAMAROKxx
    I had K712 (now have K701) and I am very satisfied with 2x MUSES01 and 1x MUSES02 opamps. They had very clear sound from beginning, no muddiness in bass and not peircing treble. They do not add any warmth or brightness in my oppinion - HPs sound as they should be.
  2. Jonathan Crouch
    I personally prefer the V5's to the V5i. Although, I used 3 V5-D for a good while on my STX which have a sound signature and separation than the V5i has. I'm temporarily using a Conductor Air with a V5i until my upgrade gets here with the V6 vivid. The V5i was generally made for smaller devices that a V5 can't fit in.
  3. Mihaidmg
    After listening around 48h, they started to gain a bit more detail and separation, not so much muddiness in low area, mids a bit more clear but the highs will need more pressence, also around 3khz , but i like the low mid area, is getting punchy, but overall still is softer than my Jds Element and the dac on it is not so great. But it did gained more soundstage and separation between instruments, especially on cielo and accoustic bass you can hear it nice, on accoustic guitar you hear better the low mids. At first i wanted to go with V6 vivid but because they are too big, i wanted to use the RF shield, at this moment i have only 1 gpu but i will install shortly the 2nd one and is no space in the case. But if the sound doesn't gets better after 100hr+ then i will think about v6s.
  4. Jonathan Crouch
    Still waiting on the Play unit to come in. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted when I finally get some time with mine.
  5. AltCtrl
    I'm also wanting to upgrade from my STX. I'm trying to decide if the STX II upgrade is worth it or if a opamp upgrade is enough.

    Ultimately my setup will be: STX II w/ 3x Sparkos SS3602 or Burson V5 or V6 --> RCA(Cable+ Pro?) --> Matrix m-stage amp --> Balanced Senn HD6XX/Hifi 4XX/Beyer 1990 Pro. What do you guys think of this setup? I'm trying to figure out what has the most bang for the buck, obviously the setup is only as good as the weakest link in the chain but we all know audio equipment has diminishing returns up to a point.

    Another options is to get the Burson Play as a dac/amp or pre-amp. Thoughts?
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
  6. xxAMAROKxx
    In my opinion, try to remove Matrix m-stage amp, because it has only cheap OPA2134 Op-Amps. And there is no sense to have more than one op-amp in row - the basic guideline for best sound is: "less components, better sound".
    Option for better sound is to add Full Tube amp behind the STX II. But they are very expensive.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  7. Mihaidmg
    After listening 100+ hours on my v5i they burn in pretty well, all that lack of mids and highs camed out good, not too harsh, nice soft, the low end is not muffled anymore, it's a good sound, good separation, not great but good, now the low mids are not that much upfront, comes better with the high mids, plenty pressence (it was lacking before), but still i feel it can do better on lows, from the dac that i have in The Element, they are much better lows, now i can hear better the lows that this headphones can bring (AKG K712), but still i feel they are a bit muffled, i will say a bit extra around 80-90HZ, and 1 octave up around 160-180, maybe will get down after more burn in. But other than that i really like them more than my dac inside The Element. I want to mention that i have the 1st Jds Labs The Element that camed on market, it was preorder, it camed without the function to switch between input for amp and ouput for dac, only input and the only way to switch to dac output it was to solder some pines on the board. I will give 50 more hours and i will try the soundcard headphone amp, but so far i am good with element amp and v5i & stx II. If you have no problem with space in your case go with v6 or v5 , Burson doing a great job.
    Update: after switching between stx and element , i am still thinking the element dac is better, and i getting hiz sound from stx II, even i am using a good psu like corsair axi860 and an UPS. I have the shield as well, this is not nice, with element i am dead silent full volume, with this one 9'oclock on the volume knob i can hear the hiz. Not good, before changing the opamps didnt got this :frowning2:.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  8. xxAMAROKxx
    Hello everyone,
    I have question about Xonar sample rate setting. I can set proper sample rate on Audio Center Main tab. Equally, I can set proper sample rate in Audio Player (AIMP) preferences. Do I have to set it in both applications? Or one setting is real and other only virtual?
    I don`t want to let sound card or player to resample my music. But changing rate twice is boring...
  9. FrameBit
  10. deafmutelame
    I have found this valuable information.

    According to Skyward @ gamezone24:!-(for-advanced-users)

    "As I am using an Asus Xonar Essence sound card, i'm gonna take it as example: old Asus Essence devices used crappy OP amps, so in order to improve the sound you will have to replace all of these.
    Their latest product brings two Muses 8920 and one Muses 8820. In the package they include 3 exchangable op amps: x2 LME 49720 and x1 Muses 8820. All you have to do is to take off the Muses 8820 from the Buffer and place a LME 49720 instead.

    Muses 8820: The dark beast! Commercially speaking it sounds great because there's the name Muses on it, and they're well known for their Muses 01 which are certainly the most renowned op amps actually on the market. However, they are very crappy and you must take these off and use better ones!

    Muses 8920: The best one, why? because it's specs are very close from the Muses 01 and it costs only 17€ instead of 75! It's pratically the same as the LME 49720 but the sound rendering is more like what tube amplifiers provides (J-FET technology) so that makes it a bit better than the LME 49720.

    LME 49720: Well as I explained above, it's more like the same as the Muses 8920, slightly less good since it uses bi-polar technology. But it remains a sure value.

    Muses 02: Don't get fooled! Its name would make you believe it's right behind the Muses 01, but that's not the case! That thing is not worth better than the crappy Muses 8820. And it's 50€ one!

    Muses 01: The reference, the legend. Renowned by every audiophile, those amps belongs to the best actually comercialized on the market. It's 75+€ one.

    Beware! Yes, some Chinese manufacturers are selling false copies! So watch out if you see, on ebay especially, resellers selling those for 15 bucks only.

    There are a lot more models but I don't know them all. Those I listed above belongs to the biggest references and are probably the most used on all "audiophile" devices and materials. There are also some that costs a lot more money, but remember that in the audiophile world, the price doesn't always justify the quality!"

    "For anyone using that kind of sound card with 3 double OP amps, i'd recommand to use:

    • x3 Muses 8920
    • x2 Muses 8920 (I/V) and x1 LME49720 (Buffer)
    • x3 LME49720
    • x2 LME49720 (I/V) and x1 Muses 8920 (Buffer)
    • x3 Muses 01 (if you got the money)
    • Any other OP Amps you think would be better than those listed above"

    What do you think?
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
    MightyMany and xxAMAROKxx like this.
  11. bcschmerker4
    Anyone A/B the MUSES® 01 against the Burson® V5i? Financial restrictions slowed my STX I-V upgrade plan, but I've a Signetics® NE5534 preplanned for the line-level buffer on cost-effectiveness. Neither my ViewSonic® display nor my PYLE® PCA02 quibbles with sources.
  12. xxAMAROKxx
    Have to agree. I have one for Buffer and output from RCA doesn't sound so good.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  13. deafmutelame
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  14. xxAMAROKxx
    Differences in sound and soundstage are there, no doubt about that. But some headphones are less sensitive to amps.
    I can recommend x2 LME49720 or Muses 8920 for I/V. Headphones have live v-shaped sound. (And x1 Muses 02 or 01 for Buffer.)
    Different sound is with 2x Muses 01 for I/V (hp's). They have less bass and very flat frequency resp. and soundstage.

    EDIT: Muses02 in Buffer has more laidback sound, with treble placed far from head. Not as defined sound, but great for music sessions, with legs on the table :gs1000smile:
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
    MightyMany likes this.
  15. mikerrr
    Essence STX II 7.1 is very good card but i dont know if windows 10 supports the drivers
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