Xonar Essence STX vs schiit magni vs anything else less than 200 USD
Sep 21, 2013 at 10:30 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

timbo1130

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So I have a pair of beyerdynamic dt 990 pro 250 ohm head phones or I will monday when UPS delivers them. I currently have onboard audio which will not do at all for these headphones at least I have been told this. I tend to get obsessed with quality and i am afraid I may end up upgrading to bigger stronger head phones in the future but for now I am worried about getting a decent dac and amp to pair with these phones. I use primarily on the computer so I was thinking the stx is a dac and amp in one Can i do better than the STX for $200 dac and amp? Is the fiio E17 in the same leauge as the stx or is its only advantage portability?
 
Sep 22, 2013 at 12:33 AM Post #2 of 9

PurpleAngel

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Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card, used $60
(Same CMI8788 audio processor as the Essence STX & ST)
 
Schiit Magni, $99, gives you a volume knob at your finger tips
Plus the Magni can be use with other audio equipment beside the computer.
 
Sep 22, 2013 at 3:30 PM Post #4 of 9

PurpleAngel

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  How much would I have to spend to get a better amp than the Magni? Is the Schiit product stack good all the way up?

I personally would not spend more then around $100 for a headphone amplifier for driving 250-Ohm DT990s.
A $240 Little DOT MKIII might offer some interesting "coloring" of the audio.
 
External USB DAC (Modi) may offer good audio quality, but you lose Headphone Surround Sound.
 
Sep 22, 2013 at 7:45 PM Post #5 of 9

tomb

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You know, I keep seeing "Asus Xonar" all over this forum.
 
Unfortunately, this is what I've noticed (among other things) from the foobar2000 official Foobar2000 FAQ:

I have an Asus Xonar card and I'm experiencing problems...

  Asus Xonar cards are infamous for their buggy drivers. We recommend getting a soundcard from another manufacturer instead.

 
Sep 22, 2013 at 9:13 PM Post #6 of 9

AladdinSane

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Running the Xonar STX/Foobar combination with no problems...ever. Most recent Foobar version is 1.2.9 or thereabouts. That snippet refers to versions prior to 1.1.10. It would be a shame to scare people away from exceptionally performing, cost-effective solutions with implications like that.
 
Sep 23, 2013 at 12:24 AM Post #7 of 9

FangJoker

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I have no problems with the xonar stx and my senn hd 650.  When I watch movies and play games I use it through the stx.  I do have schiit bifrost uber and valhalla for music.   It is better than the stx, but the stx isn't terrible.  It's the best sound card that I've used.  
 
Sep 23, 2013 at 12:35 AM Post #8 of 9

PurpleAngel

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  You know, I keep seeing "Asus Xonar" all over this forum.
 
Unfortunately, this is what I've noticed (among other things) from the foobar2000 official Foobar2000 FAQ:

"I have an Asus Xonar card and I'm experiencing problems...

  Asus Xonar cards are infamous for their buggy drivers. We recommend getting a sound card from another manufacturer instead."
 
I've used 3 Xonar cards, DS, DX, STX in my current computer (Win 7 & Win 8) and I will admit once or twice it to a little work for factory software/driver installing, but usually once installed I found the software very stable.
I usually update with "Unifed Xonar Drivers" and those seem to install and work fine.
 
Xonar's are not perfect, but personally I have had a lot less problems with my Xonar's, then what I use to have with my old Creative cards, but it was over 5 years ago when I last used Creative cards and have heard that when the Titanium HD came out, there where less software problems with Creative software, but some have claimed problems with the newer Z series, which may or may not be accurate.
 
So all sound card companies have had their own software problems, at one time or another.
 
If someone know a website where a lot of Xonar sound cards are getting a high number of negative reviews, please post a link, I would really like to investigate.
 
 
 
Sep 23, 2013 at 1:28 AM Post #9 of 9

AladdinSane

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You'd think something like that would have come out in the many Xonar threads on the site but I haven't seen a trend or mention of the product being problematic although I've seen many suggestions to use the universal drivers. I've had my STX for 3-4 years with no problems using the stock drivers so I'm not going to mess with the universal drivers unless there is some significant advantage.
 

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