Finally, a discreet sound card.

The place to sound off on all things related to audio, from sound cards to speakers.

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Finally, a discreet sound card.

Postposted on Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:46 pm

The past 3 PCs I have owned all had onboard audio. It's all I have used pretty much. 4 PCs ago I had a Sound Blaster Audigy with the front drive-bay connections. It sounded amazing, and the three onboard solutions I have owned since then don't even compete with the Audigy. And finally, I've ditched the onboard audio on my pc with an Asus Xonar Essence ST. The only thing is, I don't want to ditch linux. I don't want to use windows to have to use this card. I'm afraid to put it in my PC until I'm sure it will work with linux, as I am worried it may damage something. I have read that the last 1 or 2 kernel updates and the latest alsa version support this card, but I'm not sure. Does anybody have any experience with the Asus line of sound cards in linux? Anything I need to know?
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Re: Finally, a discreet sound card.

Postposted on Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:56 pm

It is highly unlikely to damage anything. Worst case it just won't be recognized.

Plug it in, see if the system recognizes it, and if not start Googling.
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Re: Finally, a discreet sound card.

Postposted on Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:58 pm

that must be one very quite sound card then, since it is so discreet.

sorry, bad joke is bad.
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Re: Finally, a discreet sound card.

Postposted on Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:01 pm

lol moriz, bad jokes are sometimes the ones that make you think till your head explodes, like british humor. Anyway, I installed my sound card, booted up the system, and Ubuntu pretty much set it up automatically. I did install Gnome Alsa Mixer, which gives me quite a bit of control of the card. And as far as the sound quality, nothing I've heard comes close. I have Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers, as well as a Denon receiver with Bose 5.1 surround speakers to choose from. Bose sucks, and the klipsch speakers are too small for good frequency response, so I'll now need to invest in some high quality speakers for my receiver. Anyway, it sounds great as it is right now.
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Re: Finally, a discreet sound card.

Postposted on Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:45 pm

moriz wrote:that must be one very quite sound card then, since it is so discreet.

sorry, bad joke is bad.


That's exactly what I thought when I read the title!!
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Re: Finally, a discreet sound card.

Postposted on Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:35 pm

The thing about Linux is: if something official say it's supported, it's supported. The trick is finding a distro that will have the matching software versions available. And with ALSA, it isn't so much the distro as having the right Kernel. In this case 2.6.33 or later.
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Re: Finally, a discreet sound card.

Postposted on Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:53 pm

The cover story of the most recent issue of Stereophile is the ASUS Xonar Essence card. Other than a few unsupported sample rates (under Vista only - XP showed no problems), they found no faults with the operation and had glowing remarks about the sound and technical performance. Extremely low noise (usable 19 bit resolution), extremely low jitter, and nearly unmeasureable distortion out of the ADC. The headphone outputs were 10 Ohms, with 7 Volts available for high-impedance cans. They call the card "the least expensive means of extracting true high-end sound from a PC".

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Re: Finally, a discreet sound card.

Postposted on Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:00 pm

sluggo wrote:The cover story of the most recent issue of Stereophile is the ASUS Xonar Essence card. Other than a few unsupported sample rates (under Vista only - XP showed no problems), they found no faults with the operation and had glowing remarks about the sound and technical performance. Extremely low noise (usable 19 bit resolution), extremely low jitter, and nearly unmeasureable distortion out of the ADC. The headphone outputs were 10 Ohms, with 7 Volts available for high-impedance cans. They call the card "the least expensive means of extracting true high-end sound from a PC".

Santa, are you listening?

It made th cover of Stereophile??? Holy mazoli!

I love my D1, but I've pondered getting the ST just for the headphone output. I cannot imagine how nice my Senn HD600's would sound being fed directly from that card.

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Re: Finally, a discreet sound card.

Postposted on Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:48 pm

kvndoom wrote:I love my D1, but I've pondered getting the ST just for the headphone output. I cannot imagine how nice my Senn HD600's would sound being fed directly from that card.

The headphone output gets some special love from the ASUS designers. It has three user-adjustable gain settings, for low/mid/high impedance cans. This means you can take advantage of the full dynamic range of the headphone amp regardless of the type of headphone you use. Worst case, at +18dB into a 30 Ohm load (!), the distortion components were at .003%, with a noise floor way down there at -110 dB.

And proper 1/4" jacks! What are you waiting for?!?! :D
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