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Advice on buying asus xonar essence stx sound card

Last response: in Components
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April 18, 2012 5:54:25 AM

I bought a used ("like new") ASUS PCI-Express x1 Sound Card XONAR ESSENCE STX on Amazon for $121 and it's being shipped now. I have a pair of Sennheiser PC 360 phones and what I think is a pretty nice 2 speaker HiFi I paid about $500 for in 2004 (kenwood receiver, athena speakers). Anyone think I've bought the wrong card/didn't need a sound card/shouldn't have bought a used card?
April 18, 2012 7:28:35 AM

it looks very good on paper. should have great sound. it also has ASIO 2.0 support so it will be good for some sound editing/production if you're into that.

If your HiFi system supports Dolby Digital/DTS decoding through SPDIF or optical input, then the card's specs don't matter that much, since all decoding is offloaded to the HiFi (I do that with my on-board sound card). But the Xonar definately has way more potential than on-board models in sound processing.
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April 18, 2012 7:48:55 AM

Thanks for the reply. The setup already sounds great on phones and the HiFi using the on-board sound. I'm looking forward to not having to unplug anything when I want to switch between phones and speakers. Very interested to see how much difference I can detect in sound quality.

I don't do any sound editing or recording at the moment but I am a musician so that asio 2.0 could be useful.
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May 1, 2012 7:52:30 PM

rward71 said:
I bought a used ("like new") ASUS PCI-Express x1 Sound Card XONAR ESSENCE STX on Amazon for $121 and it's being shipped now. I have a pair of Sennheiser PC 360 phones and what I think is a pretty nice 2 speaker HiFi I paid about $500 for in 2004 (kenwood receiver, athena speakers). Anyone think I've bought the wrong card/didn't need a sound card/shouldn't have bought a used card?
.........With your new Asus Xonar sound card have you notice it dont support DTS my choice was that card also till i found out it only does DDL....Im big when it comes to listening to music & your card wont do true surround with music only action youll get is from the two front & the center speaker & the bass of course...So for this i picked the HT Omega Claro Plus+ which was mainly made to listen to music...It has a sweet feature it will take any 2 channel signal & turn it in to true 5 or 7.1 surround sound meaning i get complete surround sound action that will travel through all speakers its sweet...Mind you ur card Rocks for gaming & movies & is considered the best soundcard on the market but not for music...
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May 9, 2012 6:24:02 AM

I did not notice that and I must admit I don't know what DTS or DDL stand for. My current setup is only two speakers. When I'm seriously listening to music I use headphones, and this sound card is more than adequate for that.
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May 9, 2012 6:45:55 AM

Generally very happy with the sound card but I've run into a fairly major issue. When I turn the volume up too loud or when there is a big spike in the volume of whatever content I'm running through my Kenwood VR-606 receiver, the receiver shuts off. This is mainly a problem when watching video. I haven't measured the decibels but the level at which it will shut off because of an explosion in a movie is definitely way too low for my taste, and it's definitely much lower than the volume I used to get before I installed the sound card.

I've never had an issue with this before, whether I was using the integrated sound in my motherboard, using a dvd player, iPod etc. I'm using a Belkin PureAV AV20300-12 12-Foot RCA Audio Cable to connect the sound card to the receiver.

Ditching the sound card and going back to integrated audio is not really an option because I've noticed significant improvements thanks to the sound card, whether I'm watching video, listening to music or playing games. In particular, using integrated motherboard sound, voices were often too quiet relative to other sound in movies and games, and the sound card definitely corrected that problem.

I'm wondering if A) I need a new receiver, B) I need different cables, C) the sound card is defective, or D) my current system can be tweaked so it plays at higher volumes without shutting off or damaging any of the components.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
May 9, 2012 12:08:14 PM

^^ How are you hooked up to the receiver?
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May 9, 2012 7:17:57 PM

gamerk316 said:
^^ How are you hooked up to the receiver?

The sound card has red and white audio jacks on it. An rca cable runs directly from the sound card to the audio jacks on the receiver.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
May 9, 2012 8:14:33 PM

Odd...I suspect the problem is on the receiver end of the chain, as I wouldn't expect this over an RCA connection. I'd check to see if any volume leveling [Smart Volume and the like] is enabled; maybe thats causing the drop outs?
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