Review: ASUS Essence STX II 7.1 Sound Card

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. moab600

    moab600 Ancient Guru

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    I seem well i bought them in Jan this year, they are really awesome. but yeah if and when i buy new setup i think about STX III OR IV by that time :D
     
  2. Ven0m

    Ven0m Ancient Guru

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    Well, I guess that the point was not that these speakers are somehow terrible, but rather that this card can drive a setup worth a few grand.
     
  3. moab600

    moab600 Ancient Guru

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    yep i realized that, well we see how it goes i do wonder the support of Asus with this card.
     
  4. TheDeeGee

    TheDeeGee Ancient Guru

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    No issues with my ZxR at all.
     

  5. bigcid1

    bigcid1 Master Guru

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  6. Mr_Alexander

    Mr_Alexander Ancient Guru

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  7. PanzerIV

    PanzerIV Active Member

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    I would also like to know from Rob, how does this STX II compares to the Soundblaster Zxr which I own. He's the guy who did me a 105$ opamp upgrade for the (Auzentech X-Meridian 2G) I previously had but now my new motherboard is PCI-E only which is why I took the Zxr. Couldn't say I noticed an improvement since my previous one was upgraded, but I had no choice.

    I wonder though if the STX II is worth the price or if it is only overpriced because it is "Asus" and because of course, of the Muse opamps and extra ones which I prolly never gonna use, that they give you. That card is still in almost March 2015, pretty much unavailable in the whole Canada and cost 350$ instead of the ZXR which can be found on sale for 230$ as it's what I've paid during Black Friday from 2013.
     
  8. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    Very OK review, it is hard to judge an audio product when difference is so small in given class. It is much easier to measure frequency response than clarity.
    I got ST because ST/STX were native PCI and STX needed PCI-2-PCIe bridge chip which led to changes on board. (sacrifice of 7.1 output, bit worse signal to noise measured in real situations)

    From PCB shots it looks to me that STX II is ST clone but now they use different PCI-2-PCIe bridge and managed to get all stuff on board to support 7.1.
    Cards use same audio processor, design of switches and amps is same (other are used).
    Only difference I really notice is design for Optical drive inputs. (do people still use those?)

    Other than that, they likely moved STX line to quality of ST. I am not sure if this price is acceptable.

    If I ever move to board without PCI slot, I'll have hard time looking for new sound card as I never liked PCI-2-PCIe/PCIe-2-AGP bridges. But STX II without 7.1 module will be in my list of contenders (if it is not evolved to native PCIe already).

    Now Hard Question:
    Where is native PCI version? If they made no PCI native version, then PCI-2-PCIe shows that ASUS engineers did not invest much effort here. Should have been native card then.
     
  9. ASLayerAODsk

    ASLayerAODsk Master Guru

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    with 7.1 cards, now I guess we have to wait for Atmos/Auro3D support :) I guess bitstream to the Atmos receiver would work too, from what i understand, it would be the receiver doing the work on that part.

    5.1.2 seems to be the favoured setup currently, although 5.1.4 would be more ideal. :)
     
  10. Shalmaneser

    Shalmaneser New Member

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    *bump*
    Am I missing something? There's talk of an opamp guide, but after a bit of looking around, not seeing it.
     

  11. KissSh0t

    KissSh0t Ancient Guru

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  12. bigcid1

    bigcid1 Master Guru

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