Xonar Essence STX as headphone amp

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by htsource, Jul 26, 2009.
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    Originally Posted by MrOutside /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Just no. This is an "industry standard" quote that means nothing. There are low ohm phones that are piss easy to drive (AD900) and those that are hard to drive (K701). There are high impedance phones that are easy to drive and those that are hard (DT880/600).
    Impedance != how hard something is to drive.
    OP if you are unsure what headphones would suit the STX try them out: dont listen to people here. Owners of the STX are misguided about how "powerful" the amp is.

    You seem to be making alot of assumptions and putting words into peoples mouths. Nobody here said the STX/ST would compete with a $500 or over headphone amplifier. Have you actually tested the STX with any headphones? The STX can amp chip has been tested with many headphones and it can hold it's own just fine for the price.
    Here is the spec sheet for anybody interested. To note, in the STX/ST design the amplifier swing +/- 12 volts. Link->TPA6120A2
  2. paulguru
    Essence STX or STX II is sufficient to drive fully the AKG Q7xx ???
    ZXR i know is not enought for exploit it at 100%, with the Essence is different ?
  3. Mich4lle
    I own the essence STX and it is a great card. As far as an all in one solution that you means you can plug your headphones into your PC without having to have an amp on your desk or the crappy sound of motherboard DACs, it is great.
    I just want to let you know before you pull the trigger on one, I have had some reliability issues with the card.
    Sometimes it take a bunch of reboots before the card starts up. I have even had to resettle the card in the PCI slot.
    It can become a really pain. What I am trying to say is that if you are a bit scared of playing around with the innards of your PC then it might not be the best option.
    Just something to keep in mind.
  4. AladdinSane
    Then there's the flip side. My STX running flawlessly for years. YMMV,
  5. Arnotts

    Had lots of issues of my Creative X-Fi Titanium HD not being recognised as being installed anymore. Requires constantly being re-installed (both physically and the drivers).
    Essence STX has been flawless for almost 4 years now.
  6. AladdinSane
    My stretch is similar, possibly even longer. I fully expected trouble since sound cards are just that kind of add-on that invite strange conflicts and driver issues but absolutely zero problems from Day 1 except vastly improved sound over my mobo. No complaints here. Just don't get me started on the ASUS TFT700 (tablet). Now that was a pig for a "premium" device. The only ASUS product I've considered throwing out the window.
  7. razvitm
    Just saw this thread on google while searching for details about the ST and STX headphone amplifier IC on the cards themselves.
    I downloaded the datasheet for the LM4562 which is the final opamp on the soundcard, and in the datasheet it is stated that maximum output current is 26mA but:
    I hooked up two 20 Ohm resistors to a stereo jack and plugged the jack to the headphone output of the STX and measured maximum voltage on the 20Ohm resistor using an oscilloscope and in real life i am draining over 320mA with the amp setting to +18dB from each channel.
    320mA.... where's that coming from? It sure as hell isn't coming from the LM4562, because it's maximum (short circuit) current is rated at 53mA.
    So there must be another IC on the card tasked with current buffer duty. Which one is it?
  8. Junglbob
    Hi guys, can you help me to choose please, I have now Asus Xonar Essence STX and Sennheiser HD650, I want to make a little upgrade, but don't know what is will better...
    1) I can buy Burson V6 Op Amp (x2) because I use only headphone out.
    2) I can buy Schiit Magni 3 for STX (and maybe in future buy Modi 2).
    I have not bad PSU in my PC > Thermaltake Toughpower 750W (W0117)

    In overall I like a sound STX, but need some improve bass, little bit more density, more clarity in sound, maybe wider scene.

    Waiting for your answer, Thanks!
  9. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Are you looking to improve audio quality in gaming or movies or music?
    Darkvoice 336SE OTL tube headphone amplifier, $214-$250.
    You would plug the 336SE into the STX's line-output (RCA) jacks, to feed the best signal to the external headphone amplifier.
    The STX can not send it's Dolby Headphone surround sound thru the line-output jacks, but surround sound feature is not need for music.
  10. Junglbob
    I playing games, and watching movies, but I do it every time in Hi-Fi mode (2.0), I hate all this extra features like virtual 5.1 sound. Yes I need improve sound quality for music, but I listen many electronic genres like a Trip-Hop, Instrumental Post-Punk, Chillstep, Breakbeat, Ambient, sometimes Indie Rock, Synthpop.
    I know about Darkvoice 336SE, but don't want to be tormented with lamps, and ~215$-250 is not ~150$, I live in Moldova and I make purchases from USA (1kg = 10$).

    Just want to know what is better for STX > good op amp < or > normal discrete amplifier <
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
  11. PurpleAngel Contributor
    I used a STX card (with AD797BR op-amps) for years, I replaced my STX with a $300 Audio-GD NFB-15.32 DAC/headphone amp, it really only offered minor improvement in audio quality.
    I doubt for $150 budget, your going to find a solid state headphone amplifier, that would make a noticeable improvement in audio quality, over the headphone amplifier built into the STX card.
    So I guess upgrading the op-amps on the STX card would be the better choice.
  12. neptunegarand
    I have a question, I'm considering selling my preamp/dac and using my xonar stx L/R outputs straight to my power amp. Thoughts?

    Also, it is an excellent headphone amp for the money! I began with it and a pair of hd 650s.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  13. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The STX can not send it's Dolby Headphone surround sound thru the line-output (RCA) jacks, otherwise using the STX as a DAC, with an external headphone amplifier (connected to the RCA jacks) is a great idea (at least to me).
  14. neptunegarand
  15. neptunegarand
    Brilliant, that's just what I need. I'd use the rca outputs for my power amp too.
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