ASUS Xonar essence ST + Logitech z5500

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by Marshall_969, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. Marshall_969

    Marshall_969 New Member

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    Okay guys im verrrrry new to this so i know im about to ask alot of dumb questions. I have always love my music and sound quality and thus recently began the search for a kickass soundcard for my PC.

    This will be the first soundcard i have bought and used other than onboard sound.

    Anyway i have got my heart set on the ASUS Xonar Essence ST PCI soundcard.

    I recently purchased some nice Sennheiser PC360 Headphones and have Logitech Z5500 5.1 Speakers.

    That brings me to my questions- After my initial reading i have learnt that when you get a soundcard you can choose to plug in your speakers analogue OR Digital.

    1.) Firstly- What gives you this choice? How do you choose? As far as i know you plug cables into holes and don't have a choice.

    2.)Next i Know the z5500s have their own DAC. I have read that i should preferably use analogue so that i am using my new soundcards DAC and not bypassing it. ( getting a soundcard for a reason not just so i can keep my speakers doing all the work).
    How do i do this?

    3.) I have also found out about the H6 extension card and would like to know exactly what it is this card does? What difference it makes. I read some people with a similar problem suggesting using 3x 3.5mm rca to 2x phono cables. So that you can separate the speakers.

    My question is what would the above setup allow? - And is it analogue or digital?

    Here is a link to the above :http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread...rd-logitech-z-5500-digital-5-1-speaker-system

    Thanks very much and hope nothing is toooo dumb a question!
     
  2. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    Analog would give you the best quailty for your Z-5500s, the H6 board is used to connect the rest of your speakers to the sound card for surround sound in analog. Digital would be using the Z-5500s DAC which is not as good as the sound card components.
     
  3. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    If you are going digital you only use one cable, either a wire cable (Coax) or a fibre optic cable (Toslink). However, with those speakers and that card analog is the best way to go. Plug all the cables in as you said, the green, black, orange...etc. This is for analog.
     
  4. Marshall_969

    Marshall_969 New Member

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    Okay cheers- Could i connect using the three cables in analogue? Or would i need to get the H6 board and connect each individually using the Y cables.

    If i can do it with just the three green orange and black- what would i achieve by using the H6 and plugging them in individually (would it be better)?

    And out of pure curiosity i figure im in the right place to ask- when is digital better in terms of sound?
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011

  5. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    You would need to get the H6 board.
     
  6. Marshall_969

    Marshall_969 New Member

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    can you explain why please?
     
  7. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    The H6 board has the Rear, Center side connections on them, the RCA on the ST would be used for the Front LR speakers.

    So you would plug your Fronts into the RCA with the included RCA to 3.5 adaptor, then use the same type of adapter for the Center/sub and then rear on the H6.
     
  8. machines

    machines New Member

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    I will start of by mentioning that I am complete noob when it comes to sounds cards / audio systems but I do enjoy quality sounds, kind of an audiophile so I invested a little bit of money into these 2 components : ASUS Xonar essence ST + Logitech z-5500.

    Unfortunately I cannot generate any sound on the speakers no matter what configuration I use.

    What I did so far:

    1. Installed the sound card into the PCI slot.
    2. Disabled onboard sound card from BIOS.
    3. Installed the Windows 7 driver for essence st.
    4. Plugged in the RCA cabled individually, one at a time, two at one time (green+yellow; yellow + black etc..) into the FL/FR slots on the sound card. All this combined with switching the mode on the Logitech z5500 controller from 6-Ch Direct , Stereo, Stereo x2 , Dolbi .. none of them produce any sound but an annoying distorsioned buzz.

    I would also like to know how I can get the most out of these 2 components :

    1. Logitech Z5500 + Essence ST Analog by purchasing the H6 extention.

    2. Logitech z5500 + Essence ST Digital by COAX/Optical Cable.

    I will be purchasing tomorrow a COAX or Optical cable tomorrow but hope any of you guys can help me a bit finding a solution for it until then. I'm starting to think the sound card is broken, even though it is brand new.

    I know many of you guys around here are experienced with technology in general so hope I can get a solution :)

    Thank you
     
  9. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    Plug the Front speakers into the RCA using that adaptor the RCA to 3.5 with the RCA end going into the sound card. then do the same for theo ther speakers on the H6 board.

    Now open up the asus Xonar Control panel, set the speakers to 5.1, but first make sure you have the ribbon cable plugged into the H6 from the Xonar ST. Then make sure you have the audio out on the same panel set to 5.1 as well.
     
  10. machines

    machines New Member

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    Thanks but I do not have the H6 yet this is what I was asking best solution to get optimum results from Essence ST in combi with z-5500.

    I bought a COAX cable and one optical one to get 5.1 to the z-5500 for now.

    BTW why do you have 2 video cards? Just curios :)
     

  11. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    The best results with the ST & H6 and the Z-5500 would be through analog.
    Digital connection from that card to those speakers would be of lower quality then with analog connections.

    As for your other graphics question, IIRC, he is using an SLI setup. Two or more graphics cards are used for higher graphics performance.
     
  12. rired48

    rired48 Member

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    I just installed the Xonar Essence ST. I have M-Audio AV-40 speakers (2.0) and a Sennheiser PC360 headset for gaming and TeamSpeak with my son.

    Before I had the Xonar ST, I was using a NuForce Icon Udac2 DAC. But with that I could not use the headset. I had the speakers connected to the DAC, and the headset connected to my old Creative X-Fi sound card.

    With the new setup I have everything connected to the new Essence ST card. I use the J River Media Player for music playing.
     
  13. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    ..to note if your headphones do not need an AMP, you can connect them up you just need an adapter or cable.
     
  14. Machv1

    Machv1 New Member

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    What was your result

    I am in the middle of a build and have the exact same config. I'm wondering how you made out.Were you able to use the H6 , analogue.
    I would like to use the ST's analogue if possible
     
  15. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    The H6 pins are on the sound card it self, The H6 should come with a cable which you plug into the pins on the H6 and then into the pins on the Xonar ST. The Xonar ST has the pins, Wheres the STX doesn't. So if you have a STX then the H6 wont be able to plug into it. As some times people get the ST and the STX confused with each other.
     

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