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ASUS Xonar Essence STX Sound Card - Technical Overview - Continued

James is back in business and this time he looks at a special Xonar offering from ASUS, essentially a headphone pre-amp for discerning audiophiles.

| Sound Cards in Audio, Sound & Speakers | Posted: Jan 13, 2009 5:00 am
TweakTown Rating: 96%Manufacturer: ASUS

Technical Overview - Continued

 

ASUS Xonar Essence STX Sound Card

 

Nichicon "Fine Gold" professional audio capacitors use the very latest in etching technology to bring forward the very finest bass and treble reproduction. The Essence also features some large purple capacitors known as Os-cons and are made by Sanyo. These can be used for many jobs in the audio world because they are considered high quality filters. These are used in three different places on the Essence PCB.

 

ASUS Xonar Essence STX Sound Card

 

To allow further tuning of the Essence, the user can swap and upgrade the boards' operational amplifiers (or op-amps) to units that are of a higher quality, or which possess certain tonal characteristics desired by that specific user.

 

ASUS Xonar Essence STX Sound Card

 

Now, with regards to the actual connections featured, I must say firstly that I am very happy not to see any stereo mini-jacks here. Instead, we get lovely full sized gold plated professional level jacks, just as you would imagine the best might have. First are left and right RCA outputs, then we have gorgeous gold plated tip and ring sleeve (TRS) jacks for headphone-out and line-in. Finally, we have a coax/optical S/PDIF output for multiplexed digital surround information from film etc.

 

ASUS Xonar Essence STX Sound Card

 

On the rear of the card is a power connector for the headphone amp and on the side of the PCB are internal provisions for aux input from a ROM drive and front panel connection for those with jacks on their cases.

 

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