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  #61 (permalink)  
Old December 15, 2008, 09:19 PM
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The Xonar HDAV 1.3 or nothing for me, it's got has everything I have been looking for in a PC sound card. Currently I am using an emu-1212m analog out to a Highend Headphone amplifier. While it's wonderful for playing 2 channel Stereo, it's useless for games, since after it's a professional Audio recording card.

Glad to finally see RCA outputs in Enthusiast Sound cards, I refused all the others which were using 1/8 mini jacks for output.
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  #62 (permalink)  
Old December 16, 2008, 01:44 AM
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Agreed - 3.5mm makes for very poor interconnect quality - too much capaticance and stereo crosstalk due to the proximity of the conductors.

BTW, do you think ASUS would tell me the output impedance if I emailed them?
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old December 16, 2008, 03:18 AM
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date for shipping changed to 25dec.
Be nice to hear how the sound will be.
I am just a head phone nut.
;)
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old December 16, 2008, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Araris View Post
Also, this card can't do 5.1 analog out can it? I have a nice pair of headphones (which is why I'm getting the card) however I also have a set of Z5500s, so would I need to buy a different sound card for the 5.1 option? I have an Optical and Coaxial cable however I'm trying to achieve 5.1 in games with the Z5500s without losing audio quality and it seems that so far the Xonar D2X would be the best option for 5.1.
What do you use for games now? Just keep that and use it for games, and use the STX for your music listening.

You could also use the optical out to your Z5500's (I have same speaker) but you'd have to turn on Dolby Digital Live to encode the signal into a 5.1 otherwise you'd only get Stereo. or fake Stereox2. Either way, not true 5.1. I believe the STX supports DDL.

Alternatively though, just use your onboard sound for 5.1 (it doesn't have to sound THAT great, its games afterall) and then the STX for high quality stereo.
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  #65 (permalink)  
Old December 16, 2008, 02:22 PM
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I ordered a Xonar D2X and am going to order the Essence STX a bit later for my headphones.
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old December 17, 2008, 01:41 PM
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This kind of worries me on the ASUS website about the specs (ASUSTeK Computer Inc.)

THe output SnR is listed as only 110db for headphone out, and 124db is for Frontout?

This means that unless my headphone is recabled for an RCA connetion, I'm only getting a 110db SNR??
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old December 17, 2008, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bojamijams View Post
This kind of worries me on the ASUS website about the specs (ASUSTeK Computer Inc.)

THe output SnR is listed as only 110db for headphone out, and 124db is for Frontout?

This means that unless my headphone is recabled for an RCA connetion, I'm only getting a 110db SNR??

And stranger still:

Quote:
24-bit D-A Converter of Digital Sources:
Texas Instruments PCM1792A*1 for Front-Out (127dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24bit)
So what DAC are they using for headphone out? Since there's no mention of a second DAC, so I presume the DAC output must be split to feed both the front out and the headphone amplifier? If so something in the headphone amplifier circuit is degrading the signal. Some of the difference can be explained by the TI TPA6120A2 headphone amplifier chip (120dB SNR compared to 124dB of front out), and the different opamps may explain the rest: the LM4562 is a well regarded audiophile opamp, while as far as I can tell the JRC 2114 is cheaper and presumably lower quality unit. Judging by the SNR specs the front out gets the better opamp and headphone out the inferior one - but the Essence STX has swappable opamps so it'd be easy to switch them.

Robscix: if/when you review the STX it'd be interesting to see what effect swapping the opamps has on headphone and front output quality...

Also,
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old December 17, 2008, 08:53 PM
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Amplifiers generally have higher noise floors than DACs, nothing unusual about that.
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old December 17, 2008, 09:48 PM
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I hope provision will be made for people who might want to pair this audio card with a set of good headphones and digital speakers so that when you choose headphones as the analog output spdif is muted automatically.

Please if somebody knows update us on how current asus ausio cards integrate with a digital speakers + headphones setup.
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  #70 (permalink)  
Old December 18, 2008, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RagingDragon View Post
And stranger still:



So what DAC are they using for headphone out? Since there's no mention of a second DAC, so I presume the DAC output must be split to feed both the front out and the headphone amplifier? If so something in the headphone amplifier circuit is degrading the signal. Some of the difference can be explained by the TI TPA6120A2 headphone amplifier chip (120dB SNR compared to 124dB of front out), and the different opamps may explain the rest: the LM4562 is a well regarded audiophile opamp, while as far as I can tell the JRC 2114 is cheaper and presumably lower quality unit. Judging by the SNR specs the front out gets the better opamp and headphone out the inferior one - but the Essence STX has swappable opamps so it'd be easy to switch them.

Robscix: if/when you review the STX it'd be interesting to see what effect swapping the opamps has on headphone and front output quality...

Also,
There is nothing strange about this. The DAC is routed to the stereo outputs or routed into the Headphones amplifier based on the software.
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