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Old 04-06-2009, 12:57 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default ASUS Xonar Essence STX

The majority of the high-end PC audio cards targeted at enthusiasts typically focus on multi-channel performance, with a variety of decoding modes, DSP enhancements, and other features tossed in. The Xonar Essence STX from ASUS has an entirely different focus - delivering audiophile-quality stereo output.

You can read Rory's exhaustive article here and discuss it here!
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:24 AM   #2
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wow... great review, enjoyed reading Rory's review as always.
but doesn't it deserve an award?

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Old 04-06-2009, 11:20 AM   #3
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Default Typos

There are some typos early in the review.

1. "The math here is simple - power is equal to voltage-squared over resistance. As resistance is increased, power decreases linearly, but as voltage is increased, power increases exponentially."

It should read "... but as voltage is increased, power increases polynomially (as a square)."

2. "Connecting high-end audiophile headphones (with their higher working resistance) to your PC's sound card means that you'll be driving less voltage into your headphones."

This should read "... you'll be driving less current (and, consequently, less power) into your headphones".

Vadim
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilohtpc View Post
wow... great review, enjoyed reading Rory's review as always.
but doesn't it deserve an award?

The lack of an award or even a pros and cons list was a total accident we didn't realize until after posting. It's all been fixed.
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vadim View Post
There are some typos early in the review.

1. "The math here is simple - power is equal to voltage-squared over resistance. As resistance is increased, power decreases linearly, but as voltage is increased, power increases exponentially."

It should read "... but as voltage is increased, power increases polynomially (as a square)."

2. "Connecting high-end audiophile headphones (with their higher working resistance) to your PC's sound card means that you'll be driving less voltage into your headphones."

This should read "... you'll be driving less current (and, consequently, less power) into your headphones".

Vadim
Actually, you'll be getting less amperage AND voltage. Wattage is volts times amps divided by resistance. Therefore as the load is increased in resistance the amperage and voltage will decrease. If you read the working voltage in parallel to the load it will appear to be the same (if not a wee bit higher) than with a lower ohms load BUT if you read the voltage in series with the load it will be lower. Less voltage is being returned from the rails.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:58 AM   #6
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As always, very solid review Rory.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:03 AM   #7
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Default Great Review

I'm on board with the others about your great reviews. I would like to see a review on the HT Omega Claro Plus+ or other HT Omega cards. Thanks....B.
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:28 PM   #8
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I agree... I loved this review. I'll let Rory speak for any follow-up content though, because his time is of the "essence" (see what I did there?) lately, so he might be unable to take a look at another card in the near-future.
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:53 PM   #9
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Great review, if I was not such a fan of surround sound, I might delve into a stero card
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:22 PM   #10
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"But as I pushed the headphones further and further on the Essence STX, there was no noticeable change in the character of the sound - it remained full and smooth to the very limits of the volume slider."

Question: how was the SQ at lower volumes? Do you know how volume attenuation is performed? Is it in the digital realm or in the analog circuit?
If it's digital that means the signal is degraded below a volume threshold (pretty close to the max) and that's where an external amp with decent analog volume control would still hold the advantage.

This is an excellent review BTW. Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2010, 01:43 AM   #11
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The amp does work through the Front panel jack..
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:52 PM   #12
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Default spdif output

It is stated in the article that the card is able to output multichannel info through the SPDIF.

The card has no DTS support. But in my limited understanding in that field, if I watch a DTS movie through the SPDIF and have a DTS decoder (a LOGITECH Z-5500 5.1 DIGITAL), DTS will be there right?

Is the info going unchanged through any SPDIF? or are there enhancements or any kind of sound treatment before it gets out of the card?

Thank you for the answer,
Martin
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