ASUS Xonar Essence STX soundcard Thread

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by ROBSCIX, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    There are quite a few opamps that users have been trying on this card.
    First need some detials if your going to mod the opamps.
    THere are three opamps on the card.

    Two JRC 2114D's (I/V converters) -these affect both line outs and headphone output
    One LM4562NA (single end Buffer) this affects the line outs only.

    So, if your going with headphones you can only modify the two JRC2114's
    if your going for line outs you can modify all the opamps or just the JRC 2114's or the LM4562.

    Here are a list of some units people have been testing on the card.

    I/V converters

    LM4562NA
    LME4972NA
    OPA 2134
    OPA2227
    OPA2107
    OPA6172
    AD8620

    Buffer
    LME 49720
    OPA 2107
    OPA 6172
    OPA627
    OPA637
    AD8620
    AD797

    This is a partial list as there is still many others that can be used. The best thing you can do is buy some and start doing some tests.
    Some units are only avialable in signle channel units and surface mount packages so you will need adapters to solder the chips to.
    Others just drop right in.

    Hope this Helps.
     
  2. Famous627

    Famous627 Master Guru

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    Thanks- This is what I was looking for. So just to clarify, any op-amp that is 2-channel 8-DIP will drop right in but anything else will need an adapter? As for retailers, are digi-key and brown dog a good place to start?
     
  3. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    The sockets on the card are DIP8 and the ciruit is expecting a dual channel opamp.

    Any electronics place will pretty much hasv similar prices on opamps. Do some research of good audio opamps and go to work. Everybody has different systems and ears so others can just give you a a idea of what to try, they may like a particular unit but you might find it not so good. Experiment and enjoy..
     
  4. Thoppa

    Thoppa New Member

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    I'd recommend AD8599 also. They are dip8 so they pop straight in and are almost as good as the AD8620BR for a more reasonable price.

     

  5. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    I also would suggest OPA2277's to the buffer section too since I am using 3x on my HDAV13's. Which works better for me then the Two OPA2277's I/V and OPA627AU buffer setup I had.
     
  6. Famous627

    Famous627 Master Guru

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    A lot of the ones I'm interested in are SOIC-8 only, at least at the place I'm looking. How difficult are they to solder onto a brown-dog adapter. Do the adapters come pre-soldered so you just heat the pins and push them in or do I have to have solder, flux, and a extremely steady hand?

    Since I'm going to be using headphones most of the time I'm trying to limit my self to 2-channel op-amps so I don't have to buy four at a time. I would like to get a little more use out of the old STR-DE715 but I'm afraid any quality added by the buffer op-amps would be lost on it.

    So far I'm looking at the LME 49720, OPA 2134, OPA2227, and LM4562NA
     
  7. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    the OPA2277's are 2 channel op-amp

    Then the OPA627AU's as well as OPA827s can be gotten for 50 dollars already solided to the adaptors at http://cimarrontechnology.com
     
  8. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    That is the trouble with many audio opamps as they are going to surface mount -SOIC chips. Soldering them ont he adapters isn't that hard but if you have never soldered anything before I would practice up or find a person to do it for you.

    @Thoppa, yes the AD8599 is another great one.
     
  9. Famous627

    Famous627 Master Guru

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    Its been a while since I soldered anything so I'm sure I could benefit from practice. The AD8599 is the surface mount op-amp that I'm interested in so I might just give it a shot. I need a new hobby anyway. I'm sure I'll be replacing caps in no time :eek:
     
  10. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    The capacitors on the STX are actully very high quality. I am sure there is better caps out there but these are not cheap generic caps by any means.
     

  11. Famous627

    Famous627 Master Guru

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    I kid! I kid! I don't have the stomach to mod a $200 piece of electronics outside of plugging and unplugging components anyway.
     
  12. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Many people mod cards to push them that extra little bit for sound quality.

    You can always modifiy older cards just to get a idea of how everything works and goes together. Soundcards are basically all designed the same. The difference would be the quality of the various components used.
     
  13. riiaku

    riiaku Active Member

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    Right on, thanks a lot. Analog always sounded better to me on my Barracuda AC-1 and x-plosion but. I just cant quite seem to get that sound i had with the audigy 2 zs, until finally after a few hours of tinkering with the equalizer i found the perfect balance for my music on dolby digital live. I will try analog once i get my monster 3.5mm to rca for the inputs on my preamp. Will the essence stx sound better than my xonar dx with my sound system or will it just be a non noticeable?

    Thanks again for your help. I'm still curious to try the X-fi Forte. Anywho, have a good one.
     
  14. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    The STX surpasses any other Xonar for stereo sound by quite a margin according to specifications, measurments and end user review.

    BTW, make sure your using analog output on the STX. The card has a high quality DAC and bypassing that by using Dolby Digital live would be a serious waste of analog muscle.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2009
  15. riiaku

    riiaku Active Member

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    yeah i but i want surround sound, not stereo. I cant do surround sound via analog, so im pretty much screwed on that front. Too bad they didnt come out with that.
     

  16. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Then perhaps the Essence ST will be the better match for you. As the ST has the ability to use the H6 board and will offer 7.1 surround sound.
     
  17. jazziam

    jazziam Maha Guru

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    Heyy guys, im look at the Esseence STX or the Xfi Forte.

    I currently have an Creative "Xfi" Xtreme Audio PCIe going to a Cambrdige Audio A1 MK3 SE amplifier then to a pair of monitor audio BR1's. I mostly am listening to music, more a music junky than anything else.

    Would I be better off with the STX Esseence or the Forte (money is no issue)
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  18. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Depends, The Forte is more for gaming and the STX is more for music.
     
  19. Famous627

    Famous627 Master Guru

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    I had to make the same choice and went with the STX and I'm glad I did. I primarily bought it for music but I do use it for gaming and it holds up well. I don't use EAX so I haven't run into any compatibility issues. I have it connected to an old sony receiver with a 2.1 Infinity speaker setup. Music and movies sound great but if you really want to get the most out of the card headphones are the way to go.
     
  20. NAJMI ADNAN

    NAJMI ADNAN Ancient Guru

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    I want to ask, is it worth to buy STX to use with speaker? I read the reviews on XBitlabs, they say the line out are not as good as the headphone out
     

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