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[RT] ASUS Introduces the Essence STX II and Essence STX II 7.1 Sound Cards - Page 15

post #141 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyside View Post

I was talking for stereo setup man thumb.gif
10-4 thumb.gif Most of the time, like 99% of the time, when I refer to HT - I'm talking about no less than 5.1. With the Asus I think the addition of the daughter board is the real story for the PCI-E based STX-II (we could always change out the opamps on the Asus STX and ST).
post #142 of 231
Ah yes, i understand.

If you want surround wich wont break the bank, and you still would get amazing setup JBL LSR 305 is my recommendation, if you want better A7x, nothing else in the middle worth imho, the difference is not big enough to justify 3/4x the price.
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post #143 of 231
I'm surprised Asus isn't king with audio software. They have the resources to dominate if they wanted to. Look at how good their motherboard bios is?
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post #144 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by prerich View Post

Never had that problem when I was using my ST/H6 combo. However, I always used the UniXonar drivers.

Reinstalled my card along with these drivers last night, seems pretty good! Thanks for the heads-up!
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post #145 of 231
Just some random thoughts from a old time HT guy...

I've been in the Home Theater hobby for 15+ years now. Starting when Laser Disc was king with it's 5.1 digital audio. I purchased a HK AVR80, a separate DD processor, Infinity Overture speaker setup, and delighted all my friends to high quality audio. My HT has seen 'high end' separates and 'high end' receivers. Although my speakers have remained the same, the rest of my setup has changed several times.

~ 6 years ago I decided to bridge two of my favorite hobbies; Computers and Home Theater. Using mostly leftover socket 775 parts from a old gaming rig, I built one. It was really basic; Integrated graphics, XBMC, and a core 2 duo. I was running HDMI out to a very nice Onkyo receiver, that powered a B&K amplifier. It sounded really good!

As must of us do, I decided to do something more ambitious. The goal: One box (HTPC) that could act as one source to all my multimedia; HD DVD's, DVDs, BluRay, Cable Box, Media Center, Gaming Machine, Home Theater Processor.

I wanted to get out of the whole 'upgrade the receiver every few years because of format changes' bs. So I waited and watched the market of dedicated sound cards develop.

For me, I see a receiver as (3) different devices; A processor/converter, preamp / input switcher, and amplifier. Even the most amazing receivers are very limited computers. Why couldn't a full blown audio card offer better resolution than the high end separates at a fraction of the cost?

There are a few dedicated HT audio cards that fit this bill exactly (Azuntech XMeridian / HT Claro / Asus Essence ST / Lynx) And use the very same D/A converters HT guys pay thousands for.

So I did it. I pulled the trigger to see how good a HTPC could sound. Picked up JRiver MC18, Xmeridian GII, sold my B&K amp, and picked up (3) high quality stereo amps on Craigslist. Spent a bunch of time getting all the bugs worked out.

And the result?

Simply superb. Sound quality (clarity, noise, dynamics) is a 10/10. I have yet to hear anything that comes close.

And that's the rub with these Asus audio cards. They are truly geared to HTPC geeks like myself. Not even the basic HTPC guys (who are happy running HDMI out to a receiver). You gotta be really into it to need analogue outputs on your PC. thumb.gif
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post #146 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigchrome View Post

Reinstalled my card along with these drivers last night, seems pretty good! Thanks for the heads-up!
Glad to be of service thumb.gif
post #147 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by norcaljason View Post

Just some random thoughts from a old time HT guy...

I've been in the Home Theater hobby for 15+ years now. Starting when Laser Disc was king with it's 5.1 digital audio. I purchased a HK AVR80, a separate DD processor, Infinity Overture speaker setup, and delighted all my friends to high quality audio. My HT has seen 'high end' separates and 'high end' receivers. Although my speakers have remained the same, the rest of my setup has changed several times.

~ 6 years ago I decided to bridge two of my favorite hobbies; Computers and Home Theater. Using mostly leftover socket 775 parts from a old gaming rig, I built one. It was really basic; Integrated graphics, XBMC, and a core 2 duo. I was running HDMI out to a very nice Onkyo receiver, that powered a B&K amplifier. It sounded really good!

As must of us do, I decided to do something more ambitious. The goal: One box (HTPC) that could act as one source to all my multimedia; HD DVD's, DVDs, BluRay, Cable Box, Media Center, Gaming Machine, Home Theater Processor.

I wanted to get out of the whole 'upgrade the receiver every few years because of format changes' bs. So I waited and watched the market of dedicated sound cards develop.

For me, I see a receiver as (3) different devices; A processor/converter, preamp / input switcher, and amplifier. Even the most amazing receivers are very limited computers. Why couldn't a full blown audio card offer better resolution than the high end separates at a fraction of the cost?

There are a few dedicated HT audio cards that fit this bill exactly (Azuntech XMeridian / HT Claro / Asus Essence ST / Lynx) And use the very same D/A converters HT guys pay thousands for.

So I did it. I pulled the trigger to see how good a HTPC could sound. Picked up JRiver MC18, Xmeridian GII, sold my B&K amp, and picked up (3) high quality stereo amps on Craigslist. Spent a bunch of time getting all the bugs worked out.

And the result?

Simply superb. Sound quality (clarity, noise, dynamics) is a 10/10. I have yet to hear anything that comes close.

And that's the rub with these Asus audio cards. They are truly geared to HTPC geeks like myself. Not even the basic HTPC guys (who are happy running HDMI out to a receiver). You gotta be really into it to need analogue outputs on your PC. thumb.gif
You my friend, get it!!!!!!! Excellent post indeed!
post #148 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo Zuko View Post

I'm surprised Asus isn't king with audio software. They have the resources to dominate if they wanted to. Look at how good their motherboard bios is?

Broken garbage is how good their BIOS is for many z87 users at the moment.

http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?36676-Frozen-Time-Clock-in-UEFI-The-Fix/page18&s=9c1da0580a8877e75f3d9ec3e11d3205

I kind of get what you're saying, but it never works like that. Look at Nvidia: they're not exactly short on resources, but their drivers are hopeless. They're constantly breaking things and then taking ages to fix them. It looks like hell will freeze over before they manage a driver in which 'flat panel scaling' works properly. Maybe if companies like Nvidia and Asus put half as much money into driver development as they put into marketing...

That said, I don't really know what you guys are complaining about with the Asus Xonar drivers, I've been using them for years, and not had any major issues since I left XP.
Edited by Oubadah - 4/2/14 at 2:55pm
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post #149 of 231
I'm really glad ASUS is refreshing the Essence lineup. I had been worried that by the time I built a secondary high-end rig, they might be discontinued, and there's nothing similar for mainstream sound cards that matches it in price. The original card's about 6 years old in terms of how long it's been on the market, so it's good to see a refresh. While I might pick up one of these if/when I build a second rig, and keep the current one where it is in the old box, I can't see myself replacing my current STX with a new one. I rent, and not for much either; so there's not much chance I'd get into a situation where I could stretch my legs out with a nice powerful 7.1 system, so the 7.1 card would basically be useless to me at this point. The one gripe I have about my card is that for me to get enough amplification on my DT990's, I have to plug them into the headphone port on the remote for my SP2500's, and use the amplifier on the speakers. Would this new card have amp power that would mean I don't have to do that with the DT990 anymore?
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post #150 of 231
I would not call Asus broken garbage and Nvidia hopeless. Seems like an exaggeration if I've ever read one. I used both brand's high end parts and have had none of these thoughts. And if I did have issues I think I trust those two companies to fix it for the most part. But that's Mobos and GPUs. This seemingly does not translate to the Asus sound card department.

Asus sound card drivers have (or had at one point) an issue where the settings between boots would not be retained on certain features. Then I read post after post of how bad they were. That's crazy not even trying. So I bought the Titanium HD at the time. Hopefully Asus stepped up a bit on the sound software this time as they seem to have the better hardware.
Edited by Neo Zuko - 4/2/14 at 7:11pm
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