The Xonar Essence STX Q/A, tweaking, impressions thread
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Ra97oR

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I am not hearing any difference here, am I doing it wrong? :p
 
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dex85

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^probably not, there is not much to it,right?  just uninstall old and install new drivers 
  all i can say that between old and new drivers i hear a tremendous difference. there could be many reasons for that (e.g. flawed installation of previous drivers), but i rule out placebo. i have no problem admitting i could be experiencing placebo when hearing something subtle, but this is a striking difference.
 
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zenpunk

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Somehow with the new driver I am able to play  24-bit/88.2 kHz files, which wasn't supported before and needed software conversion. I am using JR Media Jukebox 12. Can anybody confirm that with another player??? Are those drivers really bit perfect? I also experience random static noise, especially  when navigating within the media player. But those driver are only beta so things should improve. I just can't believe it took  so long for a company as big as Asus to get those new driver!
 
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levlhed

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re: opamps
 
After running through quite a few different combos of a lot of the recommended chips:
 
Buffer = LME49720HA
I/V = OPA2137P
Seems to have the right balance and tone.  Nothing jumps out and hurts me anyway, everything else had some particular flaw.
 
The LME49720NA are a waste of time, I can't believe anyone would like those.  Seriously, if you are reading this thread trying to figure out what to try DO NOT BOTHER with the NA's. 
 
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KingFiercer

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49720NA are good for turbid bassy headphones like Beyerdynamic DT990, D2000, and slightly for HD650.
Everything depends on the tract and headphones. Although I also think there are better solutions for I/V.
 
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walsh

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Re: the new drivers -
 
No way is this placebo, in my case at least. It made much more difference to my system than replacing my $250 external amp with a $1000 one. It's noticeable in movies as well, not just music so I will have to put it down to issues in the previous drivers. I'm thrilled, it sounds like a $3000 system now.
 
Just curious - are the people hearing a difference using windows 7?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-o27 View Post
Well I installed the new drivers and I didn't feel the difference... I'm using Win 7 x64 + foobar2k with ASIO4ALL. I tried the „bit perfect drivers” but I didn't hear any difference except the fact that everything was played at a much lower volume. Isn't Asio4All doing the same thing as the these new drivers? I mean I tried everything, mp3s, 16bit FLACs, even 24bit/96KHz FLACs comparing ASIO4ALL and this new driver and I can't hear a damn difference. When I was using wasapi I was able to differentiate wasapi from ASIO4ALL because 24bit/96KHz files sounded muffled when using wasapi.

I have the same system as you except i'm using ASIO in foobar2k, not ASIO4ALL. Try using ASIO if you can - download the foobar2k component and add it to the output menu in preferences. I don't think ASIO4ALL is the same thing so there might be a difference.
 
 
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walsh

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edit: double post, can't figure out how to delete
 
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wasp131

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Im hearing a big improvement too,im using spdif out to my dacmagic/dv337/dt990 600ohm ,sounds much cleaner and better focused than with the old drivers,(this is using flac on win xp).
 
I did notice opening things like windows control panel while foobar is playing results in a considerable delay in the window popping up,so does right clicking a track in the playlist and selecting open containing folder,but it did this with the old drivers too,using KS fixes the delay.
 
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TitaniumDust

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This sound card is very intriguing to me.  I currently own an X-Fi Prelude.  I have a headphone amp connected (analog) and a receiver (analog or digital) that I wish to have connected at the same time.  Due to the way the Prelude works, I have to split the line out, which isn't ideal.  I had a couple of questions about the Essence STX if any of the gurus have a minute...
 
(1) I understand that I can have the analog out and the digital out active at the same time.  Does the windows volume control affect both the analog and digital outs, or only the analog?  I wish it to do both since I wish to operate the headphone amp and receiver independently and volume control on both is very important.
 
(2) Dumb question, the obvious answer is to use the line-out, but for people with dedicated headphone amps, would you hook it up to the RCA outs, or is there something special about the headphone out circuitry that would make it better to hook the amp up to the headphone jack?
 
I didn't want to start a new thread to ask these questions, so I hope it is ok that I post here.  Thank you!
 
EDIT: I bought it not knowing the answer to question 1, and the answer is: Yes it does.  Volume works for both analog out and digital PCM out.  I think I'm gonna love this card. 

 
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dex85

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^(2): most people with dedicated headphone amps use the line-outs. it's less aggressive and you can adjust sound more to you liking because of the buffer. try for yourself, don't forget to set the gain to 0 dB, if you're going to use headphone out + external headphone amplifier
 
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Elanoir

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Is anyone getting crackling sounds on the beta drivers, when playing a game or doing anything else than just having your music player up? Using foobar2k with asio 
 
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freestyler

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I guess this is because the default delay value is 10 ms.
Which is extreme low and with the first "struggle" your pc have, it will skip.
Try and set it higher to see if the situation is better. I don't think the quality will be affected but someone else can clear this for us.
 
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Elanoir

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Going back to the old drivers, waiting for the new drivers to release, this is beta drivers you'd know.
 
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Bojamijams

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Quote:
I guess this is because the default delay value is 10 ms.
Which is extreme low and with the first "struggle" your pc have, it will skip.
Try and set it higher to see if the situation is better. I don't think the quality will be affected but someone else can clear this for us.

Latency won't affect sound at all so set it as high as you want, its only for recording that it matters.
 
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Zoltan99

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Can I ask why benifits this card has in comparison to some external Amp/Dac Combos like the Zero, and Audio-GD Fun & Sprarrow?
 
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