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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. phaenius
    Anyone having the problem with sound entering a "loop mode" when using ASIO drivers ? It's very annoying. It works ok with WASAPI, Direct Sound, Wave Out, etc., but, randomly, on ASIO mode, it enters a mode where a short sample is repeated indefinitely until you stop the player. I am using JRiver Media Center 20 player and UNi drivers. Thanks.
  2. shadowlord
    I moved my xonar essence st to a secondary music system, where it would be really helpful if both, RCA line out ( on the back) and front panel line out, could work simultaneously.
    Playback software is foobar2k.
    Unfortunately i can only alternate between back rca, headphone and front panel in the control center drop down menu.
    anyone here knows a workaround for this ?
  3. Rainjam
    As far as I know there is no workaround. The outputs on the STX get switched with relays, that's the clicking noise you're hearing. Thus the other outputs that are not in use get muted.
  4. recepky
    Hi guys
    I replaced all of my stock op amps with NE5532s. And applied rjm003's capacitor upgrade in the IV stage. These NE5532s are very cheap op amps but the result is not very cheap. Actually I now understand how important the op amps in this card. Sound is improved in every way. Bass become tight powerful amd impactful. Trebles are very detailed and there is no sign of harsness. Mids are very clear and lush warm. Sound stage from left to right is now razor sharp.
    I can clearly say that before buying any expensive op amps everybody "must" try NE5532. also you can apply @rjm003 capacitor upgrade in the IV stage if you have good soldering skills.

    These are my subjective comments based on my stereo system. Not through headphones. Still didnot try these opamps with my HD600.
  5. recepky
    One last comment: music is now less fatiguating compared to stock op amps. Actually stock opamps are terrible after hearing NE5532s IMHO.
  6. bcschmerker4
    @recepky Glad the Signetics® or equivalent NE5532's worked out; I had them shortlisted for my Asus® STX' line-level buffers (with Sparkos® 3362's in the I-V where op amp performance is critical) before I read of a regression in the audio stack in Microsoft® Windows® 10.0.x and pulled the STX for a Creative Laboratories® SB1550, which the 6 kHz scream turned on and off by OS events is not currently known to afflict (see also "Xonar Essense stx Random LOUD high-pitched Ringing Noise?").  I've a contingency for a review of the SB1550, which has to run alongside the EAH6850 DirectCU® in my Asus® CM1630-06 as upgraded due to the way the expansion slots are laid out on the stock M4A78LT-M LE.
    Update:  As of 2 April 2016 I have the STX running in my hot rod LinUX box under Ubuntu® 16.03b2, and I have availability of all inputs, with gain control and selectable boost on the Mic In, in ALSA; the Aux In is a fixed-gain input consistent with some switchers used in home stereo.
  7. Unclewall
    NE5532s are way better than stock Im using opa2134 which is a big improvement over both
  8. wrists
    Hi, I got the Xonar Essence ST and Sennheiser HD650, using foobar2000 for music.
    What settings do you recommend for kHz? I just noticed I got some tracks with 48khz and 24bit but most are lower (44.1khz/16bit). Should I use 48khz at the driver (I use uni drivers) and windows settings anyway or 44.1?
  9. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Set sample rate at 48K, in the ST control panel, should cover you for any music files (or 99% of them).
  10. Unclewall
    use 24 bit 48k in control panel it sounds better to me 
    The best sound I am able to get out of this card is to use ASIO to use go into settings in F2k File - preferences go to playback tab - output tab and select asus ASIO driver 
  11. wrists
    Ok thanks, and Unclewall: I dont have this option, Im using WASAPI there sometimes, though
  12. eXistencelies
    I have been using this card close to two years. I game with it 99% of the time and then listen to music with it the other 1% haha. I was wondering if upgrading the amps as mentioned above will make the sound better? I have this card paired with AKG Q701 headphone. I am wanting a tighter bass. I did the mod on the headphones by removing the sticker inside the cans. Would I notice a difference by upgrading the op amps? Also if so how many do I need and I am assuming they are solder only or are they removable without solder?
  13. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Did you disable the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS, when you installed the Essence STX card?
    Have you tried the Unified Xonar Drivers?
    The STX comes with 3 dual channel op-amps in 3 slots.
    The stock op-amps are just pushed into the slots, no soldering needed
    Two JRC2114 op-amps in the I/V (DIP-8) slots, which are used for the headphones and line-outputs (RCA jacks)
    One LM4562 op-amp in the buffer (DIP-8) slot, which is used for line-output (RCA) only.
    So all three op-amps are used when the STX is set for line-output (speaker) and just the two I/V are used when the STX is set for headphone output.
    Replacing the two JRC2114 with two LME49720NA ($4 each?) is one of the cheaper way for trying to improve audio quality.
    Not sure what op-amps can be used to improve the bass
    Some op-amps are dual channel (DIP-8) and some are single channel (SOIC).
    The JCR2114, LM4652, LME4920NA are all dual channel op-amps
    So to use the SOIC op-amps, two SOIC op-amps need to be soldered to a Dual SOIC to DIP-8 adapter.
    Once the two single channel op-amps are soldered onto the adapter, the adapter can be just pushed into the slots on the STX.
    You might consider replacing the AKG Q701, with the (Massdrop) AKG K7XX headphones, for more (better?) bass.
  14. eXistencelies
    Are the K7XX just a Q701 with pads? Aren't they the same drivers? I also have my speakers hooked up to my mobo sound. They are the cheap logitech 5.1 speakers. Only have headphones and mic plugged into soundcard. I figured I would try out the new op amps to see if I notice any difference. It isn't expensive. 
  15. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Read here about the AKG K7XX
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