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Old 12-02-2017, 10:42 PM   #96
Sandog's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Alabama
Posts: 18,622
Re: * Xonar Essence STX...WOW *

Well friends I got that luv'in feeling today when my Xonar Essence STX arrived. Surprisingly it was in a factory sealed box. This card is no longer sold by ASUS. Got it for only $125 plus shipping. I am really happy I stumbled upon this card. Anyway, I like the looks of the old card and remember when I first go the STX II and said I don't like the looks lol. ASUS took the gold bracket and gold engraving off the card and made it silver for the STX II. That didn't bother me much but the top of the original card had ASUS in gold on it and the STX II had silver and you could not even make it out. Anyay, I have several pics I wish I could show you. But I cannot upload any pics.

The original STX has the warmest and best OPAMPs in it.

1x LM4562
2x JRC 2114D’s

The 2114D's are what gave the audio such a clean warm sound. It is one of the reasons the original card garnered so much fame in the Hi-Fi audio world. ASUS sold but did not change this card for 5yrs and when the STX II came out is was an exact copy but for Win10 support and some extras. Card looks the same, caps are all in the same places etc. and specs are pretty much the same but they did change out the OPAMP's to Muse OPSAMP's.

Again, the reason I went to the STX II was Win7 support. MS changed audio and it near killed off the way audio card were being driven or supported. I wanted driver support and to keep the STX card so I ordered the new one but, I found out recently that the same Win10 driver is available for the original card now so I am going back.

I know all you guys are going to external USB DAC's and that is smart but I love the sound of this audio card to the speakers and also it has the same great sounding headphone amp which I have connected to the front panel on the case. I have heard headphone audio through the Audioengine D1 DAC, through the Audioengine N22 amplifier, and through the ASUS RV10E SupremeFX Hi-Fi front panel USB DAC box and the STX sounds better than them all.

I have the new card installed and it is working fine. I installed the UniDrivers for Xonar with low-latency as well as the XonarSwitch which is a program that lets me load profiles KB hotkeys and I can switch between speakers or my headphones.
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