ASUS Xonar Essence STX Sound Card (Page 4)

| Jan 12, 2009 at 11:00 pm CST
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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James has been interested in all types of audio for the last 6 years or so. He began as a moderator at the very well respected 3dsoundsurge forums. From there he was offered a spot testing Philips Acoustic Edge sound cards in beta form. He then began writing for Hardavenue, which lasted about three years before it was acquired by Tweak Town Pty Ltd. For the past nine months, James has attended the SAE (School of Audio Engineering) institute in South Melbourne, Australia. He handles all of our sound card and speaker product reviews with very knowledgeable and in-depth analysis.

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