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Xonar Essence STX - Will I notice a difference?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi, Just stumbled across this frankly brilliant forum and lost several hours reading away. Which was a mistake as there's now loads more stuff I want to upgrade!

Anyway, question about soundcards for you. I've currently got an X-Fi rigged up to a pair of Senny 595's (I only play my PC through headphones) and while the sound is good it's not great. If I plug my cans into my AV Amp downstairs (for some gaming on consoles) i'd definitely say the sound is clearer and more expansive.

So I've been wondering about upgrading to a Xonar Essence STX as it's got the built in headphone amp. Reviews are all excellent but I wonder if i'd really notice much difference.

If anyone has any experience of such an upgrade i'd love to know.

Thanks.

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post #2 of 11
Yes you will notice a difference, I did even through a set of tv speakers. The difference through my sig sound system is massive
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post #3 of 11
Im gonna say that if you are willing to spend $200, it would be a solid upgrade. The 595s are of a quality that will take advantage of amp and will sound stronger in most of the freq ranges including a nice bump to bass.

Plus, upgrading your source is NEVER a bad idea if you can afford it. The STX will power alot of the higher end headphones well enough to get you started and will give your a starting point if you end wanting a more power hungry pair of headphones and a better amp. In that case you would just use it for the dac and run some RCA cables out of your L/R line out on the STX to an amp and your good to go.
    
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post #4 of 11
Yes you will. The x-fi is good, but the Xonar Essence STX is Great.
post #5 of 11
Using a ST and 595s here - brilliant combination. Better than my XFi (before it died!). If you can afford it, I'm fairly certain you won't be disappointed, especially if you can hear the difference going between the two setups you mentioned in your post
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post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmp459 View Post
Im gonna say that if you are willing to spend $200, it would be a solid upgrade. The 595s are of a quality that will take advantage of amp and will sound stronger in most of the freq ranges including a nice bump to bass.

Plus, upgrading your source is NEVER a bad idea if you can afford it. The STX will power alot of the higher end headphones well enough to get you started and will give your a starting point if you end wanting a more power hungry pair of headphones and a better amp. In that case you would just use it for the dac and run some RCA cables out of your L/R line out on the STX to an amp and your good to go.
I ve done this and also used the digital into a DAC, both has been excellent. The low SNR is very noticeable. I ve spent about 5000 US on a sound system and has been one of my best bang for buck audio upgrades
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Wow, thats both an incredibly speedy and unanimous decision. Thanks everyone (like I said, best forum ever!) think that's swung it for me. I pretty much have exclusively got back into PC gaming again (indeed the Xbox i'm quite tempted to sell outright now as the quality of the ports to the pc just seems to be improving all the time) and the x-fi has been the one thing that's bothered me while i play.

Now just a new case to help airlfow to crank up my overclock a little higher (I can push it much higher than I currently have it and be stable but temps are far too high, so need some better airflow to actually stick up higher) and a nice shiny new graphics card to go... I fear it will be an expensive month!

PS - Lovely audio set up you have there Chasefrench!
Edited by Midwint3r - 6/6/11 at 7:35am
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post #8 of 11
If you are into gaming, you might prefer the X-Fi Titanium HD to the Asus Xonar Essence STX. It is similar with high end audio components and replaceable op-amps but does not have a built in headphone amp as the STX does, but does have a headphone out.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...0titanium%20hd

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...0essence%20stx

Read a few posts here and you'll see particularly in gaming X-Fi is more recommended.
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post #9 of 11
Shame.

For 595s you'd have been happy with a DX at a fraction of the cost. The amp on the STX will do nothing for you.

If you wanted an even better DAC you should have found a USB DAC instead.

If you wanted better gaming the Titanium HD would have been a nice and much cheaper choice as well..
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hmm interesting new opinions, haven't ordered anything yet so will do a bit of research into the Titanium. It's exclusively for gaming this - my music I run off my mac / sonos system. Thanks for these other thoughts.
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