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

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by telix, Apr 28, 2009.
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  1. Bojamijams
    I've always been line-out and still am.. I was just referring to Shahrose's setup where he feeds the M3 through the headphone out.. I'll try it when I get around to picking up a 1/4 -> RCA connector.
     
  2. ROBSCIX
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bojamijams /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I've always been line-out and still am.. I was just referring to Shahrose's setup where he feeds the M3 through the headphone out.. I'll try it when I get around to picking up a 1/4 -> RCA connector.



    Just some tests. I see. I use the line outs also.
    You could always use a 1/4" to mini adapter and add a minijack to RCA cable. Not optimal but I figure you may have these cables and adapters around around.
     
  3. taso89
    Quick question.. the sound on headphones straight through the line-out is fantastic, even better than the headphone out jack.. But I read somewhere that the impedance (40-50ohm) of the line out is not designed for headphones and that extended use can overload and wear out the opamps. Is this true?
     
  4. Bojamijams
    Well don't take my answer as the ultimate truth on this, but 40-50ohm shouldn't be TOO bad. Its when you get to 32 and under and that you really really shouldn't use the line-out.

    For example, that D2000 which is 25ohm, really shouldn't be plugged in there. HD600 would be okay, except I doubt you could get sufficient volume. But can try.
     
  5. taso89
    Oh, you can get sufficient volume no problem. On the HD600, by like 20% it's already more than loud enough! I was just concerned with overdriving the sound card or opamps.
     
  6. leeperry
    ouh, the idea of going through the 3x LME49720 only makes me all wet dreaming [​IMG]

    the impedance setting in the drivers still works on the line-out [​IMG]

    you have to choose "2 speakers" I guess?
     
  7. Bojamijams
    You have to use 2 speakers to use line out.. which doesn't have the gain options available to it
     
  8. ROBSCIX
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by leeperry /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    ouh, the idea of going through the 3x LME49720 only makes me all wet dreaming [​IMG]

    the impedance setting in the drivers still works on the line-out [​IMG]

    you have to choose "2 speakers" I guess?




    There is no "impedance setting" -it is gain setting.
    Headphone settings do not affect the line_outs...
     
  9. taso89
    Yeah there are no gain settings but I don't see why they would be needed, my HD600s are driven well at "20% speaker volume" driven straight out of the RCA to mini female cable that comes with the Essence.
     
  10. ROBSCIX
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by taso89 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Yeah there are no gain settings but I don't see why they would be needed, but HD600 are driven well at "20% speaker volume" driven straight out of the RCA to mini female cable that comes with the Essence.



    I think most around here would tell you to use a amplifier with the HD600's but it's your gear and your ears. Set it up how you wish.
    To note: The line outs have 124dB SNR and the Headphones out has a 117dB SNR.
    You have good bass and signal response with just line outs?
    Do you have any external amplifiers to connect to line outs to compare?
     
  11. leeperry
    alright, makes sense...so I guess it'd be more or less equal to the min. impedance setting...that sounds dull, still worth a try I guess [​IMG]

    anyway, I've ordered some Monster cables so whenever the bloody ST will be available, I will RMAA the mid impedance HP setting and the line-out w/ the stock op-amps/the metal 49720 and w/ and w/o the shield [​IMG]

    ixbtlabs.com says that D2 shield actually doesn't do ANY shielding(it's all done on the PCB) and that the additional heat will actually increase the distorsion...time to double-check on that [​IMG]
     
  12. Shahrose
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ROBSCIX /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    The ones you linked to are 3.5mm to dual RCA. Are you using a 1/4" to mini jack adapter on the end?

    I have a huge tupperware container filled with every kind of cable you can think of and a smaller tacklebox full of adpters. -Very handy when recording and using a mixer. I still run into situation where I don't have the right adapter or cable for the job.[​IMG]




    Yes, I'm using a 1/4 inch adapter at the end. I've also accumulated a library of cables that I store in multiple bags now. Always good to have the right cable on hand!

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bojamijams /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I'm just surprised that an amplified signal thats amplified again by the M3 wouldn't create some weird oscillation issues and that it wouldn't sound just.. bad... but apparently it sounds quite good .. to one person I understand, but I'm curious now to see if I'd like it too.. I just assumed that was a big no-no



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ROBSCIX /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    It depends on how you look at it. Your basically driving one amplifier from another, actually that is done all the time in different ways.
    Aslong as your not overdriving the inputs of your second amplifier you should be good.
    Many might say it is frowned upon, but your gear and your ears. Enjoy.




    If we were technically proficient enough, we'd be able to explain the phenomena, but the truth of the matter is, we're not. From our relatively basic understanding, amping a signal twice would sound worse than the line-outs, (and it does with a lot of opamp combinations), but with my setup that's not the case. Thus, the basic rule I've come to follow for audio is whatever sounds good is good.

    I suggest you try it out yourself. If you'd like to emulate my gear/opamps to test it, check my profile.

    Something else I noticed that would be important to keep in mind: the gain settings on the card matter and make an audible difference in sound quality. I found the low gain sounds loose and flat, the extra high gain can get too dry and harsh. The medium gain setting I found was the best of the three.

    Edit (Update): My equipment is always in flux and so for anyone seeing this post for the first time, it would be confusing to read advice that was made concerning my old gear. I have since switched back to the line-outs to feed the M^3 amp because of a change of opamps in the M^3. All changes are reflected in my profile, and this is the setup I've found to have the best SQ thus far.
     
  13. taso89
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ROBSCIX /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I think most around here would tell you to use a amplifier with the HD600's but it's your gear and your ears. Set it up how you wish.
    To note: The line outs have 124dB SNR and the Headphones out has a 117dB SNR.
    You have good bass and signal response with just line outs?
    Do you have any external amplifiers to connect to line outs to compare?




    I have a Little Dot I+ which isn't the best amp suited for the HD600, but to my ears it sounded just about the same as the line-outs themselves, perhaps a little more "warm" which can be attributed to the tubes but not necessarily "better" than the line-outs themselves.

    To my ears, the HD600 is driven better from the line-out than from the built-in headphone amp. On the line-outs the sound is more "balanced," the bass has great texture and authority (something I was missing with the headphone out) but also getting more detail and across the board is pleasant to listen to. Can't wait for my LME49720's to come in [​IMG]
     
  14. Bojamijams
    Just goes to show you how different phones are [​IMG] When I tried the RS1 through the Lineout (vs the headphone out) it lacked a lot of 'oomph' and punch.. I'm guessing this is whole "grado's like current" thing.
     
  15. taso89
    I know what you mean, there was a good kick in the headphone out, very fast and dynamic, but for me at the expense of a pleasant listening experience. The headphone out made me twitch sometimes from too much punch, you could say. Not to say one is better than the other, but certainly quite different.
     
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