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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. Muad'dib
    Welcome to head-fi gfache. Actually I have the Asus Xonar ST so I dont have muse opamps in there, but thats an interesting idea to try if the opamps havent actually self destructed like the crackle pop sounds make it seem like,

    EDIT: Well I tried it with my previous opamp and it still popped and crackled, no noises to warn of that coming though this time.
    After I ran the test I realized I already had tested just the I/V by trying the builtin headphone amp but that also crackled and popped. Oh well something else to try at least.
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  2. Reyer
    I'm total newbie equipped in Xonar STX and Superlux HMC631 headphones. I know that the latter is not some high end quality product but still this headphones are considered as "above average" in their price range. If modifying my STX won't help I will probably buy something better to replace them in the near future.
    My only concern is that the most of the time when I listen to music it feels like everything is blurred a bit, like if I had some blanket or towel wrapped around my head. Scene feels a little unnaturally, like it's more "flat" than it should be and also is slightly "warped" on some invisible bubble about 1,5-2m behind that blanket. Just like if I was sitting in a middle of the ball with soft rubber walls.
    On the other side overall quality and sounds distinction is really good. Good enough to make me take off headphones from time to time just because I heard some realistic noise/sound/call on a track that felt like it was placed somewhere next to me, in reality.

    First - I want to fix that blurry sounding with opamps but I would like to know few things:
    1. Will placing for example 1x OPA1612 and 2x LME49990 sound dramatically different than 1x LME49990 and 2x OPA1612? What exactly changes in terms of quality that alone opamp.
    2. Is there any way to determine if I bought a fake opamp without having any experience on this topic (beside of having worse or better sounding audio system in comparison to what I had before)?
    3. Which set of opamps would be better to fix my problem and in which combination? I've researched a bit and heard good things on such opamps - OPA1612, LME49860 and LME49990.

    Second - I may try to modify the rest of the card later so I would like to know if there was some guide regarding changing capacitors, oscillator and such stuff that would guide future semi-newbie with a lesser chance of destroying something. I know that I ask for a lot but it's a bit hard to search through the 370 pages on one site, 390 on other and 270 somewhere else. If you, by a chance, have encountered some guide and luckily you've saved a link to it i would be very grateful. If not, tough luck, I'll just keep slowly digging through the internet, page by page.

    Thanks for help, no matter how big, I'll appreciate everything.
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  3. alphanumerix1
    Hey all,

    I still have the stock setup with my stx whats the best way to go upgrade wise before going to the Burson V5s?

    From the reading I've been doing the muses are quite an upgrade in SQ?
    Last edited: May 8, 2017
  4. Renfield1217
    Hi alphanumerix1,

    Personally I would think about the Burson V5i's. before going fully discrete, it would be a big step up from stock monolithic opamps, and give you a taste of the Burson sound to see if you like it.
    Muse make some great monolithic op amps, but if you are thinking of going Burson discrete, I would try the V5i's first will save you time and money.
  5. alphanumerix1
    Thanks for the reply i think i will go that route first. Appreciate it.
  6. Reyer
    For those with similar problem or experience - I've changed stock headphones opamps for OPA1612 and it helped a lot. Scene is much bigger with much better positioning and sound separation. Bass is now on point and it's not flooding and blurring whole scene anymore... but I feel that it lacks some power. I've ordered 4x LME49990 and I will see if they'll suit me better in that matter.
  7. Muad'dib
    Hey reyer just chiming in to ask how you're luck was with the lme49990, I have 4x those as well but I use an external amp so I have to decide what to use with them in the buffer so Im still using lme49860's in all spots though its pretty similar to stock. Unfortunately the v5i's didnt work out as they wouldn't even function in my system properly so I'm back to checking out other options.
  8. bcschmerker4
    Thanks for the heads up on a suspected incompatibility. Looks as though I may have to rule the Burson® V5i out of further consideration for the I-V on my XONARESSENCESTX/A; the Sparkos® SS3602 is the other hybrid-IC candidate. I've monolithic IC's shortlisted for a line-level buffer upgrade, as I'm saving up for a Heil Sound™ Pro Set™ (iC ideal, MediaPro acceptable) to run on the Hot Rod, after a cable upgrade to dual 6.3mm TRS, and check out for performance quirks - the tuned earcups, originally intended for maximum performance in a communications environment, may or may not hurt music playback.
  9. Muad'dib
    Well just to mention my soundcard is the xonar essence ST not STX, and I think some have chimed in here about it working on the ST but I can't personally vouch for any of that as in my system they would make a background noise that would oscillate and then after a bit they would just start cutting out entirely, much more so when used in the I/V than just the buffer, replacement had same issue in the buffer alone, never got a full replacement sent, burson was done at testing 1 new one in the buffer which showed the same issues, so I had to put in for refund at that point. Though another point is that the sparkos is much more of a discrete opamp, if you look at the pictures inside the shield of v5i its a single ic with a few caps and resistors.
  10. Muad'dib
    I was checking the feedback on the v5i's at burson and there is a new user who even had an STX2 that just posted this last week "Big difference in sound quality from the muses. Detail and clarity are pronounced. But I’m having popping and cracking sounds with 3 of them installed still investigating…." So it seems others are having this issue as well on more than just the ST, it would be a shame if this were just a recent QC problem out of hong kong and whatever factory they originate.
  11. glad
    You guys should try Tz amps.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
  12. Muad'dib
    Pretty sure we are, that post just recommends something like the lme47913 an old variant of the lme49860. I didnt know before but I think "tz amp" is just a circuit description, I think you might have confused it as a brand, might be as described here, enjoy! http://www.jensign.com/noisegain/index.html
  13. Vartan
    Hi guys
    I all ready have LME49990 on I/V part. Will it be right to put one more LME49990 on buffer part?
  14. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The buffer op-amp is for the line-output (RCA) port and does not effect the headphone output.
    But yes, you can install the LME49990 op-amp into the STX's buffer slot.
  15. Vartan
    I know that, I use line out with other amps
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