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FOCAL ARIA FTW
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Discussion Starter #1
I have been lurking in this section for a while and read through the ample threads answered by audiophiles. In every thread I see Asus Xonar ST/X as the best recommendation for audio listening. Furthermore, Creative products are bashed down and sent to the back of the bus due to the so called low audio quality.

So, I pulled the trigger and got myself an Asus Xonar STX. After I had problems due to its length and was forced to re-arrange my whole computer inside, I managed to install it. I won't get into the the hoops I had with installing the ASUS driver because it is pointless. I thought Creative was crap but ASUS is not far.

I am running FOOBAR now via WASAPI and listening to HQ flacs, AC3s, DTS songs and ... what a sad audio card. Sound is flat with a lot of mids and while the distortion is close to non-existent, I cannot say I am satisfied. I spent 160 euros on a soundcard that is mediocre. Lack of treble and bass control is shocking! You can pump the EQ all the way up and play with the crossover frequency, the results are still not what they should be. The dynamic effect you get from a treble and bass knob and frequency separation is not there.

Many here on ocn and that headfi board need to have their ears checked because the recommendations they give are misleading. I've seen this 'you can train your ear attitude' which is totally false. You either have it or you don't and the majority does not.

In my family we are rather close to music and high quality (from opera singers, guitarists, to sound engineers). I grew up with them and with proper music and I inherited the capability of detecting good music from bad. Because I was out of the audiophile scene for a while, I opted to get advice from people who were up to date. How wrong I was.

The STX is awesome on paper and the frequency tests are close to perfect. It has its own opamp and this is its main selling point. My Creatve Platinum EX did not have all these fancy things and even my Auzentech and Titanium are of a lower quality if we look at spec wise.

Does the STX impressive spec sheet translate into real life? No it does not because the sound in my Klipsch and Senns is not as vibrant as in the Platinum EX, Auzentech or even the piece of poo Titanium.

A piece of advice, if you don't know what you are talking about, do not advise people. If you see a recommendation someplace from someone, do not act like you are an expert and recommend it too.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishmaker;14139174
Does the STX impressive spec sheet translate into real life? No it does not because the sound in my Klipsch and Senns is not as vibrant as in the Platinum EX, Auzentech or even the piece of poo Titanium.
Your sound is only as good as your playback device. There are plenty of DBTs where listeners couldn't tell the difference between a $200 Kenwood receiver and a $10,000 separates amp.

But they could easily tell the difference when speakers were swapped.

I don't know what models of Klipsch or Senns you have, but maybe your gear sucks? If you are running what I think you are (Klipsch Promedias?) then I don't know why you are running $110 speakers on $160 sound card. That's the equivalent of running a car from the 1920s you found discarded on the street on 109 octane fuel and then complaining the performance sucks.

I'm running a 10:1 ratio of speaker cost to electronics cost; and I still feel like I spent too much on my source. A ratio of of 0.7:1 is just going to guarantee disappointment.
 

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which Klipsch? It makes a huge difference.
 

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FOCAL ARIA FTW
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Discussion Starter #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wr3ckin_Cr3w;14139206
Move this to RANT.

Please tell me you looked at other reviews outside this forum for advice....and remember it's just advice on a forum....it's up to you if you want to take it or not.
I have made an informed opinion collating advice from OCN, Headfi, Guru3d, xbit, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman23;14139243
So you like a colored sound, boosted bass and boosted treble? Go buy a pair of Beats and live in audio bliss.
You misunderstand. I want the card to give me flexibility and control over what it can do. Apart from the equalizer, surround settings and headphone gain, I've no control over the sound. You need an equalizer when you listen to music because you do not have the identical gear that was used by the producer. Consequently, you need to correct for that. However, when you have an equalizer like on the XONAR that does not perform properly, you are wasting time. If I want to listen to flat music, I will got to Waterloo trainstation and listen to the woman on the PA.

By the way, the beats pro are shockingly bad and the reviews, like the ones for the XONAR, are painting a picture that is not there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Xeb;14139220
I second this OP
Seeing the general consensus, I am shocked to see this
thumb.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by astrallite;14139282
I don't know what models of Klipsch or Senns you have, but maybe your gear sucks? If you are running what I think you are (Klipsch Promedias?)
I am running Senns HD650s and, indeed, my backup headset is a Klipsch Promedia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youra6;14139315
Simply return it.
First thing on Monday. Will swap for an Auzentech Trutheater.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishmaker;14139324
I am running... Klipsch Promedia.
Then no offense, it's like making a upgrade to your receiver to an incrementally higher line and using the same speakers and expecting some kind of audio revelation...not going to happen.
 

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There's a Rants section for a reason.

Anyhoo, not everyone has the same tastes or perceptions in audio quality--and as such, you should understand that suggestions for something like audio cards and components will be subjective in nature. It's not everyone else's fault if you took their suggestions for something and then disagree with them later.

Besides, despite expecting something more, the card is only ~$40 more than your titanium. At best, I'd expect the cards to trade blows, not really blow the other one out of the water.

The problems you stated that you have with the card come down to your perception. That's your fault, not everyone else's. At the card's price point, it is superior to most of the other offerings in its class and below.

I find it's best to adequately research purchases rather than just by going what people in a forum say is best. A quick perusing of newegg reviews on that card state some of the similar issues you have, so it's not like people were mis-representing its abilities.
 

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FOCAL ARIA FTW
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Discussion Starter #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrallite;14139355
Then no offense, it's like making a upgrade to your receiver to an incrementally higher line and using the same speakers and expecting some kind of audio revelation...not going to happen.
Your quote is misleading. I am using Senns HD650s and the backup headset is a Klipsch. This makes all the difference in the world
thumb.gif
.
 

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People only read what they want to read it seems. He's using HD650 as mains and the promedia's as backup. Don't just erase a part of a sentence and create your own.
And if the Asus sound card plays worse than the creative ones in 2 different headphone's then I think its clear and only logical that the output device (soundcard) is the issue and not the headphones.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishmaker;14139422
Your quote is misleading. I am using Senns HD650s and the backup headset is a Klipsch. This makes all the difference in the world
thumb.gif
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So is your only real complaint about poor software with limited EQ?

Because upgrading electronics will get you lower noise floor, not some kind of "musical" ambiance to your sound.
 

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FOCAL ARIA FTW
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Discussion Starter #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyravr;14139477
People only read what they want to read it seems. He's using HD650 as mains and the promedia's as backup. Don't just erase a part of a sentence and create your own.
And if the Asus sound card plays worse than the creative ones in 2 different headphone's then I think its clear and only logical that the output device (soundcard) is the issue and not the headphones.
A huge pro for the XONAR is the low level of distortion. Compared to the other sound cards I have the XONAR tramples them BUT the XONAR is FLAT! My Senns sound FLAT now
sad-smiley-002.gif
:sad-smile
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrallite;14139509
So is your only real complaint about poor software with limited EQ?

Because upgrading electronics will get you lower noise floor, not some kind of "musical" ambiance to your sound.
My ONLY complaint is the FLAT SOUND! It is FLAT like a table!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wishmaker;14139546
A huge pro for the XONAR is the low level of distortion. Compared to the other sound cards I have the XONAR tramples them BUT the XONAR is FLAT! My Senns sound FLAT now
sad-smiley-002.gif
:sad-smile

My ONLY complaint is the FLAT SOUND! It is FLAT like a table!
Just asking, but have you tried a very high quality source? Remember when you're dealing with extremely accurate music reproduction....crap in, crap out. I'm just wondering if you're used to masking flat source material with an equalizer. Sometimes, that will actually improve the perceived sound. However, toss in a quality recording and you'll see why the good stuff costs big bucks
biggrin.gif
 

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Nothing
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I switched from the Asus STX to my Creative Titanium HD and I will never look back. It's so much better sounding.

Not sure why people say it has crap drivers. I have no problem with the drivers on my computer.
 

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Sorry to hear about your poor experience. I went from onboard (Realtek) to X-Fi XtremeGamer and then to Xonar STX. The STX blew me away the first time I listened to some FLAC files with my Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros.

How much have you messed with the settings? It took me a while, but I finally got the sound to where I'm really happy with it on my speakers and on my headphones.

Also, did you fully clean out all other audio drivers w/ Driver Sweeper or something similar? There may be some software problems going on?
 

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FOCAL ARIA FTW
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Discussion Starter #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by coelacanth;14139637
Sorry to hear about your poor experience. I went from onboard (Realtek) to X-Fi XtremeGamer and then to Xonar STX. The STX blew me away the first time I listened to some FLAC files with my Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros.

How much have you messed with the settings? It took me a while, but I finally got the sound to where I'm really happy with it on my speakers and on my headphones.

Also, did you fully clean out all other audio drivers w/ Driver Sweeper or something similar? There may be some software problems going on?
I followed the manual procedure. Disable on board hd, removed previous drivers with driver sweeper, boot in safemode and check for creative entries then reboot and install the card. Your x-fi extreme gamer did not have the sound quality my auzentech,titanium, and titanium HD have. It is normal for you to notice such a high difference. I can assure you that if you put those Beyerdynamic DT770 on a Titanium HD you will not go back to the xonar.
thumb.gif
 

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FOCAL ARIA FTW
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Discussion Starter #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyMaster;14140459
Wait, did you go from a Titanium HD to a Xonar STX?

The STX's amp doesn't really do much from my experience with the Sennheiser HD600.

The Klipsch ProMedia headsets are $40 in-ears, last I checked.
The Xonar does not do much with any headphone. And yet again, I have to emphasize that I have as my main headset the HD650 and as a backup the ProMedia. The conclusion was based on how bad my Senns sound compared to the Auzentech and Titanium HD. While on paper the STX is better in real life it is under the 3 year old Auzentech. Selective reading and bashing cheap components do not deter from the larger picture : on 40 dollar headphones and on 500 euro headphones the STX is flat. The same two headsets sound like from a different world on the HD. I won't even get into how much punchier the Creative and Auzentech are.

I think many people fail to realize that db is not the only thing when I comes to audio quality.
 

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Wait...you're running an HD650 straight from the sound card?
 

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FOCAL ARIA FTW
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Discussion Starter #19
Quote:


Originally Posted by The Mad Mule
View Post

Wait...you're running an HD650 straight from the sound card?


FLAT is FLAT ... and let us not get offtopic.
 
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