Sunday, November 7, 2010

Asus Xonar Essence STX (Swap Op-amp)


Chime of Tiger

This is a plug and play testing. No compensation done to the op-amps.

Popular op-amps:

LME49720HA - clean and over widen sound stage(headache if listening song for too long like housefly flying around you) more to 2D sound. Hot operating temperature.

LME49720NA - almost same as LME49720HA but operates cooler in temperature, output sound not as clean and details as LME49720HA. Warm operating temperature.

LM4562 - powerful op-amp, wide sound stage, clear, crisp and a bit harsh.

OPA2107AP - narrow sound stage, clear, good in band and low bass, highly recommended for action movies.

OPA2111KP - wide soundstage, sounds natural and smooth bass. Sometimes feel the high a bit mixed up with mid. Would be very nice op-amp if it has the high of LM4562.

OPA2132PA - brings the vocal to the top(may be over coloured for certain people), over warmth sounding.

OPA2277 - wide and weirdest sound staging.

LT1358 - brings the vocal forward, sounds livelier. Warm operating temperature.

LT1364 - brings the vocal more forward, sounds more livelier. Very hot operating temperature.

(THE BEST among the op-amps I have tried)
LT1028 - Better L/R seperation due to dual mono? Clean sounding overall.

LT1057 - brings vocal higher, wide sound stage and not harsh. Quite easy listening.

JRC2114 - the best in I/V so far and little harsh sounding
almost no laidback nor weird sound stage to play ALL genres of songs
Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On).
This is why I don't like LME497xx family, you can hear for the difference by yourself. =]

Current configuration
Differential - LT1028ACN8
I/V - JRC2114
Texas Instruments recommend NE5534 in I/V and LT1028 in Differential for PCM1792.

Here is my dual mono to stereo DIP8 adapter.

Next try would be AD825 and AD797BRZ.
Looking for the replacement of NE5534.


  1. Hi. Good general comparisons.

    Any chance of comparing using these opamps?:



  2. Have you tried?
    How does it sound?


  3. Very good comparison!
    Some chance to compare LME49720HA and 2xLME49710HA on adapter?

  4. am running 2xAD797BR SOICs adaptor in each I/V and 2xLT1028CS8 SOICs in differential buffer, sounds gooda!

    must say both AD797 & LT1028 r 1 of the lowest noise OP-AMPs around.

    OP627AU sounds sweet & smooth tonal
    LT1028CS8 which has really wide soundstage n much analytical detailsss
    AD797BR forward, basshead & groove

    Try LM6171/2 LT1360/1 also
    LM6171BIM very similar yet abit more bass compared to OP627AU
    LT1360CS8 is airy, bright & 3D really nice for live concert!

    just my non-cents

  5. yup. LT1028 does sound analytical details. =]

    seems that all LT13xx series are airy, bright and lively. btw, is LT1360 operating hot?

  6. not too sure as didnt monitor operating temperature inside pc casing chasis

    heard from some cmoy users very good reviews on Muse02 op amp, but they aint cheap...

  7. I think id buy essence st, I will buy that NE5534(very cheap)in I/V and LT1028s, Right know Id got xtreme music with lm4562 and I can agree it sound clean,wide and crisp but quite harsh in top highs and maybe some unnatural response somewhere mid. Gonna passby the line out capacitors when it greaten x-fi soundwide (crosstalk) very noticible around -105db, essence got ~-85db orginal, dacmagic also around -105.

  8. both L/R line out capacitors very close to each other?

  9. Those two alone 1cm seperated right between the rca outs, have you tested more opamps lately? Where I live I cant buy single to dual adaptor for the I/V does that matter?

  10. Nope. Busy with my studies lately.
    Planning to get a better speaker rather than wasting more money on the opamps. =]

    If not forgotten, the NE5534 is an mono opamp?
    So you need two 'single to dual' adapters for total of four NE5534 to be placed at the I/V stage.

  11. Yeah. good choice..

    Id stick with one stock opamp instead.

  12. Pretty sure all those "warm" or "hot" running op-amps
    are oscillating.

  13. All those op-amps that are "warm" or "hot"
    are oscillating, and that is why they sound different (usuually bright).

  14. I just tried the LME49860 today and i have to say although many people online recommend it over the 49720NA i found it way too scooped around the mids and a little too harsh in character. I am back to the 49720's. Hopefully next week i get my jrc muses01's in the mail.