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UPDATED 1/12/12: X-Fi Bites the Dust - Titanium HD vs. Essence STX Comparo - Page 17

post #161 of 173
~Rushes in obnoxiously~ You have some good points and I'ma let you finish, but the Essence One isn't that good and definitely not worth the price it's demanding. The amp section is extremely poor compared to others in it's price range. The only nice thing about it really is the amount of connections it allows. The build quality isn't that high and the DAC is simply "good". The DAC is probably the best part of the whole thing other than balanced inputs and whatnot.

The only NuForce product anyone should consider is the HDP and that's not even that good.

The DACMagic is a better DAC than the STX, but it's not worth the price it's charging. At 200 bones perhaps the DACMagic would be a more solid buy, but the STX isn't even worth the price it's charging. At 130, I would say that's a more reasonable better price. Even 140. Any more is silly imo.
Edited by Simca - 1/3/12 at 11:52am
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post #162 of 173
I haven't read anything negative about the Essence One yet, except for your post. Where did you read/hear that the amp section was weak? I've read that it's comparable to units that that cost considerably more. I haven't heard the Essence One for myself though.

And I definitely disagree with the STX being over priced. I've heard the DACMagic, I've heard the DAC1, you pay a LOT more money for very subtle improvements. In the case ofthe DACMagic, it wasn't much different at all compared to the STX.

What DAC's do you consider a good price?
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post #163 of 173
Thread Starter 
The Titanium HD has died. It is no longer recognized by the system and I have reseated the card several times and reinstalled the drivers. It is also about two weeks out of warranty so I'm pretty much out of luck. I've dispatched an email to Creative but I get the feeling they're going to tell me that I am no longer eligible for warranty service and thus will need to discard (haha, get it?). Sigh.
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post #164 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyMaster View Post

The Titanium HD has died. It is no longer recognized by the system and I have reseated the card several times and reinstalled the drivers. It is also about two weeks out of warranty so I'm pretty much out of luck. I've dispatched an email to Creative but I get the feeling they're going to tell me that I am no longer eligible for warranty service and thus will need to discard (haha, get it?). Sigh.

2 weeks out of warranty. Wow, it's like they design these cards to die right near warranty date, haha.

That truly sucks though. So now you're faced with a decision. Do you buy the new Creative "gamer" cards (recon or whatever) or do you decide to give up gaming cards and move onto an external DAC?

If you decide to buy the Recon or whatever's supposedly the successor of the TitanHD, let me know what you think.

As for the amp section on the Essence One, take a look at the amp used. I'm sorry, but for 550 dollars they could have done better. The STX isn't worth much more than 130 imo. The Titanium HD set the bar as being able to deliver a quality experience at a cheap price.

Downside is apparently they die after a year. I don't think RallyMaster's situation is the only one. I've heard of many others dying or not being recognized.
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post #165 of 173
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca View Post

2 weeks out of warranty. Wow, it's like they design these cards to die right near warranty date, haha.
That truly sucks though. So now you're faced with a decision. Do you buy the new Creative "gamer" cards (recon or whatever) or do you decide to give up gaming cards and move onto an external DAC?
If you decide to buy the Recon or whatever's supposedly the successor of the TitanHD, let me know what you think.
As for the amp section on the Essence One, take a look at the amp used. I'm sorry, but for 550 dollars they could have done better. The STX isn't worth much more than 130 imo. The Titanium HD set the bar as being able to deliver a quality experience at a cheap price.
Downside is apparently they die after a year. I don't think RallyMaster's situation is the only one. I've heard of many others dying or not being recognized.

At this point, Creative's not really a consideration. I know these cards die, and they die often. I don't feel like shelling out year after year for another dead Creative card. Also, I'm not gaming nearly as much as I used to so the whole gaming aspect of a sound device would account for maybe about 10% of the decision. The sad fact here is that there is a two or three month difference between the TiHD and the STX in terms of use. The STX was purchased refurbished from Geeks.com. The Titanium HD is the dead one.

I'm looking at a DAC around $200 or so with the ability to switch between speaker or headphone output. The STX I'm going to sell soon after unless somehow the DAC is completely horrible at gaming.

I'll still have my Little Dot MKII, which is probably the oldest piece of audio equipment I own now and yet, it's still kicking after almost three years. The Essence One...yeah, that was never under consideration.

Simca, think you got a suggestion for a DAC? I guess I could spend up to $300 if it's worth it. Thanks smile.gif
Edited by RallyMaster - 1/12/12 at 7:37pm
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post #166 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyMaster View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca View Post

2 weeks out of warranty. Wow, it's like they design these cards to die right near warranty date, haha.
That truly sucks though. So now you're faced with a decision. Do you buy the new Creative "gamer" cards (recon or whatever) or do you decide to give up gaming cards and move onto an external DAC?
If you decide to buy the Recon or whatever's supposedly the successor of the TitanHD, let me know what you think.
As for the amp section on the Essence One, take a look at the amp used. I'm sorry, but for 550 dollars they could have done better. The STX isn't worth much more than 130 imo. The Titanium HD set the bar as being able to deliver a quality experience at a cheap price.
Downside is apparently they die after a year. I don't think RallyMaster's situation is the only one. I've heard of many others dying or not being recognized.

At this point, Creative's not really a consideration. I know these cards die, and they die often. I don't feel like shelling out year after year for another dead Creative card. Also, I'm not gaming nearly as much as I used to so the whole gaming aspect of a sound device would account for maybe about 10% of the decision. The sad fact here is that there is a two or three month difference between the TiHD and the STX in terms of use. The STX was purchased refurbished from Geeks.com. The Titanium HD is the dead one.

I'm looking at a DAC around $200 or so with the ability to switch between speaker or headphone output. The STX I'm going to sell soon after unless somehow the DAC is completely horrible at gaming.

I'll still have my Little Dot MKII, which is probably the oldest piece of audio equipment I own now and yet, it's still kicking after almost three years. The Essence One...yeah, that was never under consideration.

Simca, think you got a suggestion for a DAC? I guess I could spend up to $300 if it's worth it. Thanks smile.gif

Hey, Rally. We're in the same boat, brother. smile.gif

I'm currently looking for "the best DAC" I can find under 200 dollars or so. The thing is, I don't want an external DAC with a built in amplifier. I'm ordering an Objective 2 amplifier and having my friend assemble it for me. (Sorry, I'm not much of a DIYer!)

That amplifier is really the best up to...several hundred dollars (easily over 600 dollars without thinking).

If you're looking for amplifiers. The O2 is a good one and there's also one superior to the O2 called "The Wire." The Wire uses more expensive parts like the PCB and it uses BUFFERS. But yeah, buying the O2 should run me 65 dollars. You believe that? Madness. The Wire would cost you more around 175-200 dollars.

That said, I'm not quite sure what the absolute best DAC I can afford is atm. Gonna' take a lot more research and digging. I'm not sure I'll even find a definitive answer.

I don't want to go with a stereo receiver, but I may go down that line. Who knows. All I know is I need to find something fast cuz I wanna listen to my new speakers sooooooooooo badly.
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post #167 of 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyMaster View Post

I know these cards die, and they die often.

Do you have any particular evidence to support that claim?

Do you think it possible that the GTX 470 might have cooked the Titanium? I often worry about mine sitting right next to my GTX 580. These Fermis are very hot...

I've had my Titanium HD for almost a year now, but I've not used it much. I guess that means it's even more likely to be out of warranty when it fails... I have the old Essence STX that's stood the test of time/heat in my old system (although that was next to a GTX 285, which has more respectable thermal characteristics) and I'm about to reformat - wondering if I should swap in the STX if the Titanium HD is really that prone to failure.
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post #168 of 173
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oubadah View Post

Do you have any particular evidence to support that claim?
Do you think it possible that the GTX 470 might have cooked the Titanium? I often worry about mine sitting right next to my GTX 580. These Fermis are very hot...
I've had my Titanium HD for almost a year now, but I've not used it much. I guess that means it's even more likely to be out of warranty when it fails... I have the old Essence STX that's stood the test of time/heat in my old system (although that was next to a GTX 285, which has more respectable thermal characteristics) and I'm about to reformat - wondering if I should swap in the STX if the Titanium HD is really that prone to failure.

The X-Fi DSP has been prone to dying since the first CA20K1 was released to the public in the original XtremeMusic, Platinum and Elite Pro. I've personally had to RMA two XtremeMusic cards. However, Creative supposedly fixed most of these issues when they moved over to PCIe and introduced the CA20K2 DSP, which is used in the Titanium, Titanium HD and much of the Fatality line. There's still a continuous trickle of people with CA20K2 cards that are dying every now and then which leads me to believe there's an inherent design flaw or poor environment tolerance with their DSP.

I have thought about the GTX470s cooking my cards. However, I'm sure the STX would like to have a word on that because it spent its first couple of months sandwiched between both my 470s.
Edited by RallyMaster - 1/30/12 at 3:50pm
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post #169 of 173
Mine still stops being recognized about once a week, but a driver reinstall always makes it work again. I've tried reseating it and putting it in different slots but the same thing still happens.
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post #170 of 173
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljason8eg View Post

Mine still stops being recognized about once a week, but a driver reinstall always makes it work again. I've tried reseating it and putting it in different slots but the same thing still happens.

Wow, that sucks. I would have tossed that thing out months ago if that happened to me.
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Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › UPDATED 1/12/12: X-Fi Bites the Dust - Titanium HD vs. Essence STX Comparo