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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. Burson Audio
    Burson Audio Stay updated on Burson Audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    https://www.facebook.com/BursonAudio https://twitter.com/bursonaudio http://www.bursonaudio.com/products/
    alphanumerix1 and alfa42 like this.
  2. cdelucia
    Any word on what the AC and DC voltages should be on those 0.1uf MKPs?
     
  3. vegards
    Burson Audio,

    Does the 0.1uf MKP capacitors come with if you buy the V5 Op-Amps? Do you have a higher resolution picture of the soldering? 
     
  4. lucianpescaru
     
    I don't think they're included. The MKP caps as far as I can tell can be 30vac/50vdc (5mm pitch that's important) they won't see more than 12vdc anyway and they're soldered to the 2 opamp decoupling caps, the 2 headphone amp caps and the 2 output rca coupling caps. From my modding experience bypassing with MKP on the OPA caps degrade the sound quality somehow but the headphone amp and the output ones benefit from bypasses.
     
  5. cas33
    Does anyone have experience in these burson vs Muses01+02 in I/V slot?
     
    alphanumerix1 likes this.
  6. funkisound
    I want to give some impressions/thoughts on the Essence STU, the external dac/amp that is more or less based on the STX, and also compare it to the STX II. Before I bought it (a week ago), I didn't know what to expect, because while there's reviews out there there isn't any mention anywhere on how it compares to the STX cards (only vague mentions of how it compares to the Essence One).
    So I figured there might be more people wondering the same thing. You always hear about the E1, but almost never about the STU, which costs somewhere between the STX and E1, but just like the E1 is a USB dac. Reviews do mention the STU on the inside is pretty much an STX with slight improvements, and that's what I expected. However, I was surprised that the sound quality was actually a good step up from the STX II, which I used before this for nearly a year. (I'll simply call it STX now so I don't have to add the "II" every time.)
     
    First of all, it's not a "huge" difference by any means (the STX of course already sounds very good), but for music listening imo it's definitely another step up in sound quality. The difference? Well, the sound is cleaner, for one, so I think it's more pleasing to listen to. Music also sounds less distant that on the STX. Mainly I just think that music sounds more real and natural, with a less distant sounding soundstage (but better depth to the music) and cleaner sound. So overall I think it's a pretty good upgrade from the STX.
     
    Anyway, those are my initial thoughts, who knows more might follow later. I might wanna add that I only used the headphone out so far, and used the same opamps while comparing (LME49720). Also, I haven't used for example the Essence One or any other DAC/amp that competes in the STU or E1 price range, so I don't know how the STU fares against those, so I'm simply comparing to the STX.
     
  7. funkisound
    By the way, the price is also important, and I think the price of the STU over here is I think much less than in the U.S., so whether this is worth it or not also depends on the price.
     
    I got it for 300 euros, and for that price I can definitly recommend it, seeing that the STX is almost 200, and the STU (1) has better SQ, and (2) is an external device, nice looking too I might add (and no chance of random noises due to interferance, and can be used with PC, laptop, windows, mac, pretty much anything with USB).
    I think I can recommend it for even twice the price (around 400) of the STX, if you already like the SQ and sound signature of the STX. Of course, from 400 euros and on it's tricky as there's bound to be a lot of strong competition there (also you get pretty close to the price of the E1).
     
  8. kire101
    Ive checked the forums via the search feature and haven't found much on this. So if anyone knows the answer that'd be great!
     
     
    Does anyone know if this sound card can output to two difference sources at once, primarily speaking of the headphone out on the back and the RCA/Phono/Stereo out at the same time?
     
    Ideally I'd like to have my headphones plugged into the headphone slot on the back (DT990 Pro's) - but ALSO have the same sound coming out via the Stereo Out Phono jacks on the back at the same time. . The reason being I want to send all my audio also to a secondary PC since I do online twitch streaming. - I currently just use a FiiO E10 which allows me to use the headphone jack on the front with my DT990's and output the same sound simultaneously via the Line Out 3.5mm on the back to my 2nd computer. 
     
     
    Also, if that isnt possible, does anyone know how much sound quality would be lost via using a Y splitter?
     
  9. cdelucia
    I use an STX II in Windows 7 (x64) and I'm sorry to say it can only output one (RCA or headphone) at a time. It can however simultaneously output to the SPDIF. Of course you'd be using a coaxial or Toslink line from the SPDIF port, so that's something you'd have to take into consideration.
     
  10. PurpleAngel Contributor
     
    I believe the Xonar control panel only allows you to use one output at a time, from the STX.
     
  11. bcschmerker4

    Thanks for the installation question.  I reckon ye meant up to two loads at once from the XONAR® ST/STX/STX II (two sources mean simultaneous inputs from the Mic In/Line In jack, Aux In header, and Wave digital input signal).  Sorry, hardware safety situation here - the XONAR® Essence™ series uses relays off the AV-100 DSP/controller to direct output signal to one of the Line Out jack(s) via the buffer dual-audio-amplifier IC ("2 Speakers"), the headphone jack via the integrated Texas Instruments® TPA6120 headamp ("Headphone"), and the internal Intel® High Definition Audio™ header ("Front Headphone/Front 2 Speakers"), so, unless one of the developers at the Advanced LinUX Sound Architecture Project managed to incorporate multiple-simultaneous-load output control into the snd-virtuoso driver, no, multiple simultaneous loads would not be possible.  To my knowledge, C-Media® incorporated only the output switching originally requested by ASUSTeK Computer for the XONAR project into the CMI-8788 Drivers for Microsoft® Windows® 6.n and 10.0 (used in the MaxedTech® UNi™ XONAR® Audio Software™ suites).
     
  12. Michael V
    I read somewhere that using the front left+right rca ports with the 2in1 adapter on the STX is better than using the headphone jack since the SNR of the rca ports is 124 vs 110 of the headphone jack. Can anyone chime in?
     
  13. PurpleAngel Contributor
     
    You want to connect headphones to the STX's headphone jack.
    And connect studio monitors (self powered speakers) or amplifiers to the STX's RCA line-output jacks.
    Not sure where (or why) the 2 in 1 adapter fits in this issue?
     
  14. rjm003
    Sorry for the long delay getting back to this.
     
    I think you nailed the sound perfectly. Dirty but enjoyable, weighted to the lower midrange / midbass.
     
    Yesterday I switched the output op amp briefly back to the LM4562 (DAC I/V still 5532) and confirmed that the balance does indeed shift up dramatically to the upper midrange, being dryer and harder. Not my thing at all. I remain quite satisfied with the 5532, my only remaining complaint with the STX is really not the op amps but the power delivery (regulation) which I feel holds back that last 10%. What missing is the real high end sense of presence you can feel with the best audio sources.
     
  15. tkoreaper
    Yes, I've used the Muses02 and I can tell you that the Bursons are better... similar in sound, but better. Either one is a great choice though, you can't go wrong.
     
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