Xonar Essense stx Random LOUD high pitched Ringing Noise?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by waverider69, May 29, 2010.
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  1. fufula
    So I was asleep, with my sleepy music streaming through the speakers, when all of a sudden... Yeah, after many years of trying to find a solution, that was the last straw for me.

    I couldn't stand the crappy onboard sound (the difference is clear as night and day), so I switched to the lesser known AIM SC808 and I couldn't be happier. I'd say that with the same OP AMPs I used with Essence ST, the sound quality is even better and there's no noise/hum on the headphone out. No problems and no screeching.

    Do your ears a favor and get yourself a new soundcard.
     
  2. bcschmerker4
    After reviewing the Web page for the SC808 from aim®, I found that it packs the C-Media® CMI-8888, which is PCI-Express native. ASUSTeK has already used the CMI-8888DHT in the ROG® XONAR® Phoebus™, so why not in a successor to the STX II? The CMI-8888 should run cleanly enough for the Summit-Fi types.
     
    ValentineMichaelSmith likes this.
  3. ValentineMichaelSmith
    I
    Decided to order an AIM SC808 card based on fufula's advice. VERY few US sellers at this point, ordered it from Japan on Ebay. Even the re-branded PowerColor Devil HDX 7.1 isn't that easy to find. One of the things I really like about this card is that the daughterboard/ card combo was to be had for $115 - way less than half of the cost of the STX ii combo price. I had intended to buy the Asus daughterboard separately, but good luck finding one.

    Will report back later when card has been received and tested.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018
  4. XonarSquealer
    Don't let that inner tension decrease too far... I've had it happen twice since disabling HPET in the Bios (Asrock mobo)
     
    evvil likes this.
  5. Manve
    Hi All, found this topic after years of searching. Thought I was the only one having this issue. I have read through all the pages, had the motivation since this is something that is bugging me for 6+ years so far. First of all, thanks to all who have posted and made this clearly an issue that is not rare and isolated just to few instances.

    To try to sum it up:
    everyone who posted here has this issue (high volume noise bursting from speakers/headphones at random moment and more or less you have to restart computer for it to stop). There was a number of suggestions how to overcome/reduce the occurrence including changing some settings in the Asus UI for the card, type of drivers, version of drivers, version of Windows, type of OS, change in the BIOS and so on. None of this really work with the exception of going Linux. All of this is true for both STX and STX 2. I can add that a friend of mine is still using Windows XP and never had this issue.

    Seems like the change of the sound card is the only way to go. Asus didn't make anything after STX 2 which also has the issue and Creative made Creative Sound Blaster ZXR which uses the same NJM2114D as the Asus Essence STX. Should this mean that ZXR has the same issue?

    Another option is going the external DAC way, but how to tell will it have the same issue (e.g. PRO-JECT pre box S2) ? I am still failing to understand how some DACs can have the issue and some dont if the supposed cause is something that is present in all Windows since Vista. Is it somehow connected to type od DAC chip used? Or? How to avoid trowing your money away just to buy another product with the same issue?

    p.s. I lived with those random 'explosions' from speakers from time to time while only adults were in the room. Now there is a baby in the room with the big speakers and I had to stop using the STX all together to avoid shocking my baby son.
     
  6. ValentineMichaelSmith
    Well, got my AIM SC808 card in a couple of weeks ago. While the hardware might be close to the equal of the STXii, I think the card is notably inferior in the area of the software interface. You just don't have the configuration options and overall control with the Cmedia Xear Audio Center that you do with Asus's Audio Center.

    For instance, there's no gain tuning for the headphone amp in the Xear app. The gain tuning is useful for low or high impedance headphones.

    Another odd thing is that I couldn't get the AIM card to recognize the headphones plugged into the front panel (yes, the FP header cable was attached to the card). Sometimes I have 2 sets of cans plugged in to my PC, and use them interchangeably. With the Asus app, you just choose "Headphone" or "FP Headphone" to switch; with the SC808m the front panel cans just wouldn't work in any setting I tried.

    To say something nice about the SC808, I did get it to sound excellent after some tweaking with the regular 6.35mm cable headphone setup; didn't test the 7.1 analog config.

    Also, it sounded pretty decent with Microsoft's audio driver. You can get a lot of the audio effects you might want through your player apps. I use both J River Media Center (mostly for music) and Media Player Classic 64 bit (videos), coupled with the K-Lite codec mega pack.

    In conclusion, I went back to the STXii. If CMedia improves their Audio Center app for the SC808, I'll give it another try.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
  7. beerfesten
    I have had the essence st for years.
    Used it without any problems on my windows 7 'ultimate' 64 bit for years on an asus p6t 'deluxe'
    My 9 year old asus p6t broke a year ago, so i decided to buy a ryzen & an asus mb with pci slots,
    for my essence st ( asus x-370 or so).
    I had to buy win 10, because microsoft decided not to support m2 ssd's in win 7.
    Until a few weeks ago i never had the ringing problem. Since then i have had it 3 times.
    Ear(& headphone?) destroying screaming, which continues until a reboot.
    If i remember correctly i was using youtube & maybe foobar..or vlc..not sure.
    I have these things on all the time
    It started just after the latest windows 10 update.
    I didnt have the problem before this update, & my computer/usage habits are the same.
    Pls microsoft/asus, help us out.
     
  8. Sanctuary
    It consistently happens with Youtube, or any embedded flash video really. I had it happen a few times while watching a lot of my Game of Thrones Blu-ray rips in order, if I allowed the player to just automatically start the next file after the previous was competed, but since having stopped doing that, it almost never happens for me outside of mostly Youtube. Once in a very random blue moon it will also happen on Netflix, but it only seems to ever happen if I'm quickly cycling through various shows and doing a lot of playing/pausing (which I rarely do).

    Last night I just had the worst bout of it ever too, from Youtube again. Not only did I get the high pitched screeching, it also blasted the regular audio on top of it at a high volume and super distorted.

    It's been going on since Windows 8 too for me. Never happened once under Windows 7. Microsoft isn't going to change anything for this if they haven't by now, especially when it's not a widespread issue.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  9. bcschmerker4
    @beerfesten @Sanctuary That's the symptom I had as well, and as far as I'm aware ASUSTeK was never able to consistently reproduce the problem. I swapped my STX for a Creative Laboratories® SB1550 Sound Blaster® Audigy® RX™ prior to the CM1630-06's Microsoft® Windows® dist-upgrade from 6.1.7601 to 10.0.10185.78 and the SB1550 hasn't run into the problem. ALSA is far hardware-friendlier than Windows, and the STX is happier than a hog in slop in ALSA 1.0.26 under LinUX Kernels 4.0.4 and later - I can use it as a rudimentary recording console now.
     
  10. Manve
    For how long? My STX would sometimes work fine for 3-4 months.
     
  11. bcschmerker4
    @Manve I last ran into the problem when the STX was still in the CM1630 under Win 6.1.7601, and I was running MaxedTech® UNi™ XONAR® Audio Software 1.64 at the time. Never figured out how what would trigger it consistently so I could hunt for a solution.
     
  12. wimderammelaere
    @Sanctuary For me, it does happen on Windows 7, but only when using firefox in combination with youtube. I did see some improvement with the newest firefox. When you now close firefox, it actually resets the sounds. It seems in the recent builds of firefox, this situation has improved. I do protect my firefox exe with emet, which might also mitigate these issues. In Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the EMET features are integrated.

    I am still convinced this happens because there are some bugs in some windows software. These cause buffer overruns and corrupt the memory of the sound card.
     
  13. Manve
    Decided to ditch the sound card completely and got a NAD C388. Will see how it works, picking it up today.
     
  14. Llewen
    The state of audio on PC's is abysmal. The industry standard, Realtek, is mediocre at best. The Asus Xonar Essence STX II is one of the few real audiophile cards that can still be purchased for a PC. But as everyone who has dealt with them knows, the drivers are suspect at best. They obviously haven't passed Microsoft quality assurance standards, or perhaps the manufacturer doesn't have the funds to pay Microsoft for that certifcation, but whatever the case may be, I have experienced this screeching issue. I have also dealt with crashes coming out of sleep, and may be dealing with them right now. But for what it's worth, I think I've got the screeching issue kicked to the curb, although, as others have noted, you can think you've got it solved and it will find it's way back and drive a spike through your eardrums when you least expect it.

    For the record, here is a summary of my hardware:
    Code:
    Mainboard : ASUS CROSSHAIR V FORMULA-Z
    Processor : AMD FX(tm)-8350 Eight-Core Processor
    Memory Module : 4x G.Skill F3-2400C10-8GTX 8GB DIMM DDR3 PC3-19200U DDR3-2400
    Video Adapter : 2x MSI VCX RX 580 8G GDDR5 256B PCIE
    Audio:  Asus Xonar Essence STX
    Network Adapter : Intel(R) 82583V Gigabit Network Connection (Ethernet, 1Gbps)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional
    I would recommend the *low dpc latency* UNI Xonar Drivers. I've had the best luck with UNi Xonar 1816/1823 v1.80a r3. Run the installer then choose the low dpc latency option.

    I'm an OCD fiddler/tweaker/overclocker, and I've spent a lot of hours over the years, more than I care to count, doing just that. This latest rig was my first attempt at a real gaming rig. I actually had some money to spend and, believe it or not, I've had some good luck gaming with AMD hardware so I went with AMD. This was almost three years ago now and I've spent most of those three years trying to get the best performance possible out of the hardware, trying to stabilize my over clocks and trying to find fixes for a number of really annoying problems, the Screech of Death from my beautiful audio card being one of them.

    Specifically for me the Screech of Death would occur while Windows was booting up and starting up applications. I don' think I've ever experienced it at other times.

    At one point some 3DMark benchmarks were crashing. Around the same time I had also discovered monitoring apps such as LatencyMon and DPC Latency Checker. What I discovered was that the DPC latencies on my hardware were extremely high. When I was looking up the 3DMark troubleshooting faq one of the entries dealt with behaviour that was very similar to what I was experiencing in the 3DMark benchmark that was refusing to run, and it was specific to AMD hardware. What the entry said was that certain tdr latencies were so high with my processor that Windows couldn't handle them and it was causing faults. Other research I did suggested that the Screech of Death issue with the Xonar Essence family of audio cards was caused by similar faults.

    The research into that issue lead to this Microsoft page, incidentally one of the few times I've actually found useful information on a Microsoft site, but that's a topic for another time. What I did was increase the values for some of the keys, I'll list which ones. This is the point at which I repeat the usual warnings, modifying Windows registry can be dangerous, and can result in damage to your Windows software, or even potentially your hardware. I accept no responsibility for any damage which may occur if you modify the settings as I suggest. You should at a minimum, record the default values for the settings I am suggesting you change. Backing up the entire key before you make any changes is also a good idea. You should, before you do this, have some basic understanding of how to edit your registry, backup keys, etc.

    The following is the code for a reg file containing the modifications I made. Your mileage may vary, and will likely depend on your hardware. Basically what I did was increase the values. I increased those values based on my experience and my understanding of my hardware, but they were guesses. Having said that, it appears to have worked for me. The benchmark now runs without issue and, knock on wood, I am no longer experiencing the Screech of Death issue, although it will probably be a year or two before I am certain it is gone forever.

    Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers]
    "TdrDelay"=dword:00000005
    "TdrDdiDelay"=dword:0000000a
    "TdrLimitTime"=dword:00000078
    "TdrLimitCount"=dword:00000016
    If you change the view in the regedit modify dialogue from Hexadecimal to Decimal, the changes are as follows:

    Code:
    TdrDelay changed from 2 to 10
    TdrDdiDelay changed from 5 to 20
    TdrLimitTime changed from 60 to 120
    TdrLimitCount changed from 5 to 32
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  15. ValentineMichaelSmith
    Very nice post, a lot of good stuff. As far as the Screech of Death, have to say that it's been at least 4 months since I've experienced it, and have been using Asus's current drivers, not UNI Xonar's (Uni was screeching too, so I went back to the stock driver). Will try your registry hacks if the screech reoccurs.

    Going to be upgrading to a Ryzen 2950X CPU rig in a couple of months, and transfer the Asus Xonar Essence STX II card to the new system. Will report if it's compatible with the Ryzen/Mobo.
     
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