Modi 2 vs xonar essence stx
May 16, 2015 at 12:59 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

Spandy87

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Hey guys. So my current setup uses a xonar essence stx -> EF5 amp -> headphones. I am thinking about getting the Modi 2 to replace the essence stx. Would this even be an upgrade though? 100% of my audio is played from my computer, and while i like the sound of the stx, im hoping to move to an external setup. Do I need to get into a higher price bracket to notice much of a difference between a standalone DAC and the essence stx?

Thanks.
 
May 16, 2015 at 1:04 PM Post #2 of 6

cel4145

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How much "difference" you would notice is very much a personal evaluation thing, and it is also dependent on your computer. Moving to an external DAC can eliminate EMI interference, assuming that your STX is experiencing any. Whether or not you would experience even better sound going to a higher model DAC than the Modi 2 is also debatable since the Modi 2 is in that range of DAC quality where distortion measures inaudible. So you can't have more inaudible past that.

Also, depending on your headphones, upgrading your headphones could certainly be a better option. Headphone upgrades tend to give more bang for the buck in SQ improvement than electronics.
 
May 16, 2015 at 2:21 PM Post #3 of 6

PurpleAngel

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Hey guys. So my current setup uses a Xonar Essence STX -> EF5 amp -> headphones. I am thinking about getting the Modi 2 to replace the Essence STX. Would this even be an upgrade though? 100% of my audio is played from my computer, and while i like the sound of the STX, I'm hoping to move to an external setup. Do I need to get into a higher price bracket to notice much of a difference between a standalone DAC and the Essence STX?

 
Hopefully you disabled the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS, before you installed the Essence STX.
What headphones are you using?
Switching from the Essence STX to an external DAC like the Modi 2 would help with any electrical noise that might be generated inside the computer case.
Not sure it would make any improvement in audio quality.
 
May 16, 2015 at 5:46 PM Post #4 of 6

Spandy87

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Hopefully you disabled the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS, before you installed the Essence STX.
What headphones are you using?
Switching from the Essence STX to and external DAC like the Modi 2 would help with any electrical noise that might be generated inside the computer case.
Not sure it would make any improvement in audio quality.


Yeah it is disabled. Thing is, i am using windows 10, and have to use tge uni drivers. But windows 10 updates every few weeks, so it is a pain in the ass when it breaks the sound card drivers. That is one of my main motivations. Eliminating software screw ups, whethere done by me accidentally, or just due to the nature of sound cards.

I am using tge philips shp-9500 right now, but i am upgrading soon. I have used the he-500 in the past, so i will probably be getting something in that range.
 
May 16, 2015 at 5:57 PM Post #5 of 6

PurpleAngel

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Yeah it is disabled. Thing is, i am using windows 10, and have to use tge uni drivers. But windows 10 updates every few weeks, so it is a pain in the ass when it breaks the sound card drivers. That is one of my main motivations. Eliminating software screw ups, whethere done by me accidentally, or just due to the nature of sound cards.

I am using tge philips shp-9500 right now, but i am upgrading soon. I have used the he-500 in the past, so i will probably be getting something in that range.

 
So your currently using a $500 headphone amplifier to drive $100 headphones?
 
Guess it makes sense to swap the STX for an external DAC, Modi DAC being one option.
Would you get a USB input DAC or optical input DAC?
I would assume a USB DAC would be the safer choice for working with a new OS (Win 10).
As optical would work off a sound card (on-board or add-on).
 
May 16, 2015 at 11:02 PM Post #6 of 6

Spandy87

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So your currently using a $500 headphone amplifier to drive $100 headphones?
 
Guess it makes sense to swap the STX for an external DAC, Modi DAC being one option.
Would you get a USB input DAC or optical input DAC?
I would assume a USB DAC would be the safer choice for working with a new OS (Win 10).
As optical would work off a sound card (on-board or add-on).

 
Yeah, USB.
 
And, I was using the EF5 with the HE-500. But I sold the HP not long ago because it's too heavy.
 

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