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Upgrade from Xonar DG to Xonar Essence STX ?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
The DG is a great little bang for the buck sound card. Overall I've been happy with it, but I don't feel it pushes my HD 558's adequately. The main problem I have is that it sounds a bit tinny and simply won't go loud enough. I use headphones only and my gaming to movies/music ratio is 75% gaming(mostly fps) and 25% movies/music. I know the essence stx is great, I read nothing but positives about it. Is it worth the $130 price tag ? Will it rock my HD 558's ? I don't want to have to add any other equipment. Would I better served buying one of those fiio e11's and keeping my dg ? I know next to nothing about audio, I'm just wanting it to sound great and stop being the glaring hole in my sig rig. Please share your thoughts and advice.


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post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for warm, lifelike sound that goes as loud as I want with no distortion and some bass.


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Well it looks like the essence stx I was eyeing in the marketplace has sold. What sound card do you audio gurus recommend that has an onboard amp and will be a noticeable upgrade over my xonar dg ?


How does this amp look ? Please give me your thoughts.

http://www.amazon.com/Topping-TP21-Digital-Amplifier-Headphone/product-reviews/B005CRLZGE/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
Edited by King Who Dat - 10/17/12 at 7:55am
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by King Who Dat View Post

What sound card do you audio gurus recommend that has an onboard amp and will be a noticeable upgrade over my xonar dg ?

the Xonar Essence ST/STX and the Titanium HD are considered upgrades from the Xonar DG. whether there's an audible, perceived difference is dependent on the user (based on your hearing ability, the equipment you're using etc.). simply put some people will hear the difference and some won't. when i upgraded from the XtremeGamer to my current Titanium HD i did hear an audible difference, which sounded better to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by King Who Dat View Post

The main problem I have is that it sounds a bit tinny and simply won't go loud enough.
Quote:
Originally Posted by King Who Dat View Post

I'm looking for warm, lifelike sound that goes as loud as I want with no distortion and some bass.

just going by the FR curve for the 558's (i've never personally heard them), they don't look like they are a particularly 'warm' set of headphones. they look more neutral than warm. have you tried EQ'ing them a bit to get a warmer sound? a little EQ can go a long ways. the "won't go loud enough" statement leads me to the next part...
Quote:
Originally Posted by King Who Dat View Post

Would I better served buying one of those fiio e11's and keeping my dg ?

if the DG isn't driving your 558's to acceptable volume then a dedicated amp would indeed help. that's not to say you wouldn't still benefit from upgrading your sound card. the old mantra "crap in crap out" can ring true. in this case though the DG is hardly "crap in". the easy advice to give is to upgrade your soundcard and see if it sounds better to you. but if you want to experiment first with cheaper alternatives i'd:
1) adjust EQ first and see if it improves the 'tinny' sound. this will not help the low volume levels though.
2) pick up a cheapo headphone amp like the Fiio E5 or E6 to see if they solve the low volume issue. if they do, you can start looking for a higher quality amp if you like. *i've no idea the power output of the E5/E6 compared to your current DG. research before buying to make sure you're not getting equivalent/lower power output.
Edited by Porter_ - 10/17/12 at 8:04am
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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
I wish I could rep you twice. Arrogant Bastard is an excellent beer, btw.
post #5 of 9
ha yessir it is cheers.gif
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by King Who Dat View Post

The main problem I have is that it sounds a bit tinny and simply won't go loud enough.

Are you sure you're turning the built in headphone amp on, by clicking the hammer symbol next to the Analog Out drop down menu? I can get my HD 380 Pros far louder than I need.
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2012 Build
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3570K @ 4.7 GHz Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti SC 2 x 4 Gb Carsair Vengeance LP 1600 Mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Har... MSI DH-24AAS-17 R DVD/CD Writer Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Microsoft Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Dell S2330MX 60Hz 23.0" Monitor Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Wired Gaming Keyboard Corsair TX650M 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V... 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master CM 690 II (Black) ATX Mid Tower Razer - DeathAdder 3500 Rocketfish - Gaming Mouse Pad Asus Xonar DG / Sennheiser HD 380 Pro 
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 32oz View Post

Are you sure you're turning the built in headphone amp on, by clicking the hammer symbol next to the Analog Out drop down menu? I can get my HD 380 Pros far louder than I need.


Oh man !! That did it !! I am such a noob !!! Gosh man, thank you so much ! You just saved me a bunch of money ! This thing sounds amazing now !
post #8 of 9
ha nice. glad you got it resolved.
Peaty
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by King Who Dat View Post

Oh man !! That did it !! I am such a noob !!! Gosh man, thank you so much ! You just saved me a bunch of money ! This thing sounds amazing now !

lol, good deal, glad it worked out!
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Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Har... MSI DH-24AAS-17 R DVD/CD Writer Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler 
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Microsoft Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Dell S2330MX 60Hz 23.0" Monitor Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Wired Gaming Keyboard Corsair TX650M 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V... 
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Cooler Master CM 690 II (Black) ATX Mid Tower Razer - DeathAdder 3500 Rocketfish - Gaming Mouse Pad Asus Xonar DG / Sennheiser HD 380 Pro 
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2012 Build
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3570K @ 4.7 GHz Gigabyte GA-Z77-D3H EVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti SC 2 x 4 Gb Carsair Vengeance LP 1600 Mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Har... MSI DH-24AAS-17 R DVD/CD Writer Corsair H100 92.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Microsoft Windows 8 Pro 64-bit Dell S2330MX 60Hz 23.0" Monitor Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Wired Gaming Keyboard Corsair TX650M 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V... 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Cooler Master CM 690 II (Black) ATX Mid Tower Razer - DeathAdder 3500 Rocketfish - Gaming Mouse Pad Asus Xonar DG / Sennheiser HD 380 Pro 
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