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Old November 13, 2008, 06:02 AM
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Default Xonar Essence STX Comment thread

Hey guys, this thread is for all your comments and suggesitons about the Xonar STX. Our sneak peak was based on a current engineering sample. Tell us, what do you like about this card, what would you like to modify?
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Old November 13, 2008, 06:51 AM
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All I can say is I hope they support this better than they have supported the D2X. I think they made a mistake jumping into the gaming card market as it's a pretty high maintenance area when you're doing "fake" EAX.

While this isn't a gaming card, nor really a digital enthusiast card for that matter, it does sound like it's going to be a pretty worthy buy (if you don't already own one of their other cards). I can't see myself upgrading.
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Old November 13, 2008, 07:11 AM
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I think it looks promising too but as Naish said, in order for a sound card to be a good purchase, it needs good driver support from the manufacturer.
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Old November 13, 2008, 07:40 AM
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I have tested and reviewed many Xonars up until this point and I have always found their drivers to be easy to use and stable. In my opinion this card is aimed at audiophiles using stereo speakers or headphone nuts. Many people when switching to headphone will find their favorite cans usually "high end" cannot be powered by a sound card alone, they need a external amplifier. This card can power any current headphones using built in headphone amplifier with driver settable gain ranges. This card is very impressive based on what we have seen so far.

Last edited by Robscix; November 13, 2008 at 07:46 AM.
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Old November 13, 2008, 10:52 AM
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Cool preview, thanks! This card has interested me greatly since I first learned of it a few months ago. Leave it to ASUS to come up with an audio card specific to headphone users... it's great. I love their dedication so far to audio and I hope it keeps up... they really aren't half-assing things.

Are you able to tell us yet of any impressions on audio quality differences between this card and the D2X? Do you find the built-in headphone amplifier to actually be a useful feature and not just some addition tacked on there for looks? I don't own an amp, which is why I ask, so it intrigues me.

Also, you didn't mention the chipset used... is it still relying on the CMI8788? I'd love to know, since I use Linux and sometimes can get left out in the dark when it comes to brand-new audio cards. That also leads me to wonder if I could even take advantage of the amp control under Linux. I'm lead to believe no, but even with "stock" settings, I'd imagine this would be a real treat to use.

Thanks again for the cool writeup.
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Old November 13, 2008, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robscix View Post
In my opinion this card is aimed at audiophiles using stereo speakers or headphone nuts.
Which sound card would you recommend for me in that case? The HDAV or this one? I will be using an Onkyo 605 bi-amping a pair of Klipsch RB-61s. I really dont know what to go for :S

For headphones, I have the HD555, ATH AD700, and DT770. None of them would take any advantage from an amp (DT770 takes little advantage). However, I do intend on getting HD650s or K701s eventually.

I guess my question is, does the Essense STX sound better than the HDAV? Features of the HDAV are very convinient with HDMI inputs/outputs and support for HD codecs, but if the STX sounds better, I am willing to sacrifice features for sound quality.
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Last edited by Empty_Quarter; November 13, 2008 at 11:49 AM.
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Old November 13, 2008, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathspawner View Post
Cool preview, thanks! This card has interested me greatly since I first learned of it a few months ago. Leave it to ASUS to come up with an audio card specific to headphone users... it's great. I love their dedication so far to audio and I hope it keeps up... they really aren't half-assing things.
Are you able to tell us yet of any impressions on audio quality differences between this card and the D2X? Do you find the built-in headphone amplifier to actually be a useful feature and not just some addition tacked on there for looks? I don't own an amp, which is why I ask, so it intrigues me.
This card has aound quality beyond the D2X, The D2X/D2 would push around a 118 dB SNR whereas this card will produce about 124dB SNR. According to the specifications the Essence will be the new champion of the Xonar Line up for analog sound quality. The headphone amplifier is a high end model from TI and is definately added on the card to be used. I have a nice set of heapdhone to test with and hopefully will have another new set before the Preview is done to give a varied opinion using different audio gear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathspawner View Post
Also, you didn't mention the chipset used... is it still relying on the CMI8788? I'd love to know, since I use Linux and sometimes can get left out in the dark when it comes to brand-new audio cards. That also leads me to wonder if I could even take advantage of the amp control under Linux. I'm lead to believe no, but even with "stock" settings, I'd imagine this would be a real treat to use.
Thanks again for the cool writeup.
We aren't finished with our preview and there is more information, pictures and impressions to come. This card doesn't use the AV200 chipset, it uses the AV 100 chipset, more on that later.
Check back we will have much more information to come.

Last edited by Robscix; November 15, 2008 at 08:49 AM.
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Old November 13, 2008, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty_Quarter View Post
Which sound card would you recommend for me in that case? The HDAV or this one? I will be using an Onkyo 605 bi-amping a pair of Klipsch RB-61s. I really dont know what to go for :S

For headphones, I have the HD555, ATH AD700, and DT770. None of them would take any advantage from an amp (DT770 takes little advantage). However, I do intend on getting HD650s or K701s eventually.

I guess my question is, does the Essense STX sound better than the HDAV? Features of the HDAV are very convinient with HDMI inputs/outputs and support for HD codecs, but if the STX sounds better, I am willing to sacrifice features for sound quality.
Yes the Xonar Essence will surpass the HDAV 1.3 for straight sound quality however, the HDAV 1.3 is also a very nice sounding card and is the current champion of the Xonar lineup surpassing all Xonars that have came before it.
It will have to step down once the Xonar Essence arrives. Features as opposed to sound quality is a decisions I cannot help you with, however as we have stated the Essence may change and add more features prior to being released. It is really hard to tell at this point as the Essence is not currently in production.
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Old November 13, 2008, 03:54 PM
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Very interesting. No MSRP yet, I assume?
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Old November 13, 2008, 03:55 PM
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Hello guys,

It is awesome that at last someone has acquired a sample for review. I would like to know, when can we expect the review to come out.

Looking forward very much :)
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