HI quality music server using asus xonar stx sound card - diyAudio
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Old 28th September 2009, 11:50 AM   #1
seafire is offline seafire  Mauritius
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Smile HI quality music server using asus xonar stx sound card

Hi Guys
I have two medium range cd players Marantz cd7300 and rotel rcd 951.However the hassle of changing discs all the time is getting to me.I am looking at building a dedicated music server with fanless CPU and two power supplies to eliminate noise.I plan on using the Asus stx as soundcard and will use the analogue outs directly into my amp.I have previously used the digital coax out on a intel Bad Axe board using Asio4all into a Denon AVR 3508 using the Denon's onboard 24 bit dacs to good effect.This was then pre-amped out to various amps(depending on my mood) like a Sunfire 400x5 bi amped or one of my class A/B amps(Marantz pm 94 / Denon poa 600 etc.The sound quality using this process was better than both cd players direct with more dynamics and wider sound stage.I also have a Nakamichi PA7 preamp and both the Nak and Marantz pm 94 preamp still sound the best to me.
My questions are as follows:
How good will the onboard dac on the asus stx be for analogue out?.If it can equal or better my cd players analogue out I will be happy as I now have endless music!
I have been scoping an external dac by AUDIO GD (DAC 19 MK 3).Seeing that a pc will be the source , will this not be overkill as the coaxial out is still from a pc?.
Will the ultimate be the Asus xonar stx digital coaxial out into theAUDIO GD DAC 19 mk3?.How much better will the Asus coax out be than the Intel onboard coax which I found to be very good.
All music is recorded using EAC and a cd brake program to control spin speed whilst recording.Asio drivers will be used and the pc running a minimized windows xp(all extras disabled)
Feedback and opinions will be most welcome
Seafire

Last edited by seafire; 28th September 2009 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 28th September 2009, 01:49 PM   #2
sangram is offline sangram  India
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IIRC the Sigmatel chips on the better Intel boards have reasonably capable digital outputs. For a very good digital output (0 latency) look at the ESI Juli@. Very god card if you are looking at digital output. The STX will have better analog output than the Juli@, though, so depending on your needs you can choose between the two.

I have no Cd players. I have a music PC set up with a E-mu 1212m, the analog section is modded but mostly (not now) I use a Buffalo running off the digital output of the E-mu.
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Old 28th September 2009, 02:41 PM   #3
seafire is offline seafire  Mauritius
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Thanx Sangram.
To be more exact I need analogue out for my older amps coupled with large storage.So I am still wondering if I build the pc with good noise isolation ie. good double power supplies, fan less cpu etc, if the analogue out of the asus xonar stx would come close -equal or surpass my existing cd players?
Seafire
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Old 28th September 2009, 03:33 PM   #4
sangram is offline sangram  India
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I don't really know. The analogue output of the STX is supposed to be very good, but I don't trust any PCIe cards very much because they have no negative supply rail so the opamps operate either on a single +12V supply or use a doubler to generate the -12V.

The only way to answer your specific question is a direct A-B comparison. I guess it should beat out entry-level players, though I'm not familiar with the two models you own. I remember my Delta66 and 1212m both beat out my NAD C521 pretty handily, and that was before their analog section was modded. I suppose the STX should be able to compete but I dunno.
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Old 29th September 2009, 07:29 AM   #5
seafire is offline seafire  Mauritius
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Default Move to the correct thread.

Sorry guys I posted at the wrong thread.I have moved it to PC AUDIO.Can someone please remove this thread from here.
Seafire
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