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ASUS Xonar Essence One DAC & Headphone Amplifer

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Frederik S, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. Frederik S Staff

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2012
    Ra97oR, arterius2, majestic12 and 4 others say thanks.
  2. Ra97oR

    Ra97oR

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    I was wondering about the listening tests. I am more interest in the line-out quailty than the internal amp which is not likely to be used.

    Is the final score judged by only the headphone amp without the line-out to higher end headphone amps or speakers setup?
  3. ZoneDymo

    ZoneDymo

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    heh about time you tested this one :p
    My main disappointment with it is that lack of a microphone in port.
  4. Frederik S Staff

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    I tested the quality of the line-out to a RSA The Protector briefly to see how the performance for in-ears compares and it is a very transparent source. With the Protector and a balanced cable to the UE IERMs the sound was amazing. It is leaner sounding than the HM-801 but has a better sound stage rendering and a little more control in the lower regions.

    The final score is based upon the use as both a source and an integrated headphone amplifier.
  5. rpsgc

    rpsgc

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    It's a tiger ;)
  6. redeye

    redeye

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    the volume imbalanced due the volume control... is a deal breaker!. that is a serious issue!.

    500 dollars!... check out the USA made and manufactured headphone amps at www.headphone.com ( headroom the company) :toast:
    the site is great for it's selection of headphones (from super high-end to cheap_but_good), and more importantly they measure them and give a good idea of the sound of the headphones.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  7. Mescalamba

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    Hm, any way to mod/replace that volume controller? Should be possible to replace it with something custom, or am I wrong? Except this it sounds like nice piece of audio HW..
  8. AhokZYashA

    AhokZYashA

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    is it imbalanced throughout the volume range?
    or just at the lowest turn level of the pot?
  9. Ra97oR

    Ra97oR

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    Hmm, no proper desktop amps or other non portable setup?

    About the volume pot, even the not so expensive Alps RK27 pot is not that much of a problem. Not sure why they didn't use the Alps RK27, at the range, pair of the RK27 should be well within reach.
  10. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    your joking right lol
    theJesus says thanks.
  11. theJesus

    theJesus

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    If you're not going to use the amp on here, then you'd be better off just getting a standalone DAC and saving some money. I like my HRT MusicStreamer II+
  12. Ra97oR

    Ra97oR

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    If you haven't noticed, a DAC at the price hardly comes in Balanced. Hearing how nice the Essence ST did as source only with higher quailty opamp installed, I am just looking for another bargain. I mainly use my class A desktop amps but sometimes you just don't want the heat in summer, a lesser amp is useful too.
  13. majestic12

    majestic12

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    If only it looked as good as an Onkyo DAC-1000...
  14. theJesus

    theJesus

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    Sorry, I didn't realize you needed balanced output. Good point about the heat output too btw.
  15. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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  16. arterius2

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    this is my modded version of the essence one. all op-amps are replaced.

    [​IMG]
  17. Frederik S Staff

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    Very interesting which metal can op-amps did you choose?

    Cheers,
    Frederik
  18. Frederik S Staff

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    Will be doing an update once the new test amplifier is in place.
  19. arterius2

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    [​IMG]

    2x LME49710HA for the sockets that can fit a dual single-channel op-amp adapter
    1x LME49720HA for the sockets that can't (lack of space)

    also had to raise the sockets over the headphone op-amps since they interfere with the volume controller and the headphone connector
  20. Frederik S Staff

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    Looks lovely! The metal can versions of that LME op-amps are definitely on my "need to try"
    list for the Essence.
  21. arterius2

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    highly recommended :)

    one thing you'll notice is the airy highs, detailed mids, and increased low end bass.

    on a side note, this is also my essence stx modded the same way, but now it only serves as a digital pass-through to my essence one. which im running in coaxial mode atm.

    [​IMG]
  22. Ra97oR

    Ra97oR

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    Another fellow LME49720HA user! I am using 3 x LME49720HA on my Essence without using adapter so I can keep the EMI shield on. Replacing all the Opamp on the Essence One looks pretty expensive! I don't think you can get away just using samples on that.

    Glad to hear there is another add on to this, and yes the opamp really makes a massive difference.
  23. mab1376

    mab1376

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    Where did you get those TO-99 to DIP-8 adapters?
  24. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    probably eBay like everyone else.

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