Asus Essence One Series User guide

Essence One Series
Hi-Fi USB DAC (Digital-to-Anolog Converter)
User Guide
E9117
First Edition
February 2014
Copyright © 2014 ASUSTeK Computer Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No part of this manual, including the products and software described in it, may be
reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any
language in any form or by any means, except documentation kept by the purchaser for
backup purposes, without the express written permission of ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC.
(“ASUS”).
Product warranty or service will not be extended if: (1) the product is repaired, modified
or altered, unless such repair, modification of alteration is authorized in writing by ASUS;
or (2) the serial number of the product is defaced or missing.
ASUS PROVIDES THIS MANUAL “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER
EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES
OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
IN NO EVENT SHALL ASUS, ITS DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES OR AGENTS BE
LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES
(INCLUDING DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF PROFITS, LOSS OF BUSINESS, LOSS OF USE OR
DATA, INTERRUPTION OF BUSINESS AND THE LIKE), EVEN IF ASUS HAS BEEN ADVISED
OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES ARISING FROM ANY DEFECT OR ERROR IN THIS
MANUAL OR PRODUCT.
SPECIFICATIONS AND INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MANUAL ARE FURNISHED
FOR INFORMATIONAL USE ONLY, AND ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT
NOTICE, AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS A COMMITMENT BY ASUS. ASUS
ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY OR LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS OR INACCURACIES THAT
MAY APPEAR IN THIS MANUAL, INCLUDING THE PRODUCTS AND SOFTWARE DESCRIBED
IN IT.
Products and corporate names appearing in this manual may or may not be registered
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identification or explanation and to the owners’ benefit, without intent to infringe.
Contents
Safety Information....................................................................... 4
Voltage Selection.......................................................................................4
Repairs .......................................................................................................4
Fuses ...........................................................................................................4
Other Safety Information..........................................................................5
Philosophy .................................................................................... 6
Design Story ................................................................................. 6
Feature Summary ........................................................................ 7
Product Line Up ........................................................................... 9
Design Highlights ........................................................................ 9
Package contents....................................................................... 11
Driver installation....................................................................... 12
Functionality............................................................................... 13
1. USB DAC ( Digital-to-Analog Convertor)........................................ 13
2. Stand alone DAC............................................................................... 14
3. Headphone amplifier....................................................................... 14
Front Panel.................................................................................. 15
Rear Panel................................................................................... 16
Connections................................................................................ 18
Input......................................................................................................... 18
1. NB/PC-USB connections.........................................................................18
2. Toslink and Coaxial S/PDIF audio input connections ..........................19
Output...................................................................................................... 20
1. With Amplifier and Passive Speaker System........................................20
2. With Active Speaker directly..................................................................21
3. With Headphone/Headset......................................................................21
Specifications.............................................................................. 22
Opamp Swap Guide.................................................................... 24
1.Disassembly...................................................................................... 25
2. Swap Guide....................................................................................... 25
Audio Precision Test Report....................................................... 28
Appendix: Glossary ................................................................... 32
Safety Information
For your own safety please read the following important safety instructions carefully
before attempting to connect this unit to the mains power supply. They will also enable
you to get the best performance from and prolong the life of the unit.
Voltage Selection
The rear panel includes a voltage selection switch with two settings: ‘115’ and ‘230’.
Check to see that it is properly configured for your location before connecting AC
power. Actually, the AC input has a very wide input voltage range and can operate
over a frequency range of 47.5 to 52.5 or 57 to 63 Hz. At 115, the Essence One Series
will operate normally over a range of 95 to 132 VAC. At 230, the Essence One Series will
operate normally over a range of 190 to 264 VAC.
CAUTION: Always insure that the voltage setting is correct for your locality.
Incorrect configuration may blow fuses or cause erratic operation.
115
230
VOLTAGE SELECTOR
VOLTAGE SELECTOR
230V
115V
Repairs
Do not service or repair this product unless properly qualified. Only a qualified
technician should perform repairs.
Fuses
The fuse holder is built into a drawer next to the IEC power connector.
CAUTION: For continued fire hazard protection always replace the fuses with
the correct size and type (1A 250V, 5 x 20 mm).
Use tools to replace the fuses.
4
ASUS Essence One Series
Other Safety Information
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Read and keep these instructions for future reference.
Follow all instructions and take note of all warnings.
Do not use this apparatus near water or expose the device to moisture.
Clean machine surface with a cloth. Avoid using detergent or cleaning fluid.
Do not block any ventilation openings. Install in accordance with the
manufacturer’s instructions.
Do not install near any heat sources such as radiators, heat registers, stoves, or other
apparatus (including amplifiers) that produce heat.
The polarized or grounding-type plug is for user safety. A polarized plug has two
blades with one wider than the other. A grounding type plug has two blades and
a third grounding prong. The wide blade or the third prong is provided for your
safety. If the provided plug does not fit into your outlet, consult an electrician for
replacement of the outlet.
Protect the power cord from being stepped on or compressed particularly at the
point where it exits from the apparatus.
Only use attachments/accessories approved by the manufacturer.
Use only with the cart, stand, tripod, bracket, or table specified by the manufacturer,
or sold with the apparatus. When using a cart, take care to avoid tipping over the
load when moving the device.
11. Unplug this apparatus during lightning storms or when not in use for a long period
of time.
12. Refer all repairs to qualified service personnel. Servicing is required when the
apparatus has been damaged in any way, such as when the power-supply cord or
plug is damaged, liquid has been spilled or objects have fallen into the apparatus,
the apparatus has been exposed to rain or moisture, does not operate normally, or
has been dropped.
ASUS Essence One Series
5
Philosophy
We at ASUS, recognizing that computers and digital devices are the major platforms
for audio entertainment, started out with consumer-sound cards in 2007 to build the
ASUS brand in the audio industry. This gives our ASUS brand a more stable foundation
through gradual growth, making it possible to move into the Hi-Fi/audiophile market.
In 2009, we launched Essence ST/STX, one of our mid-range products that covered a
wide variety of applications, from high-end music applications to games. Essence ST/STX
was very popular in forums and user communities, leading us to conclude that the time
was right for more upscale audiophile products.
We then started work on a prototype which eventually became the Essence One Series,
with its greater flexibility, more spacious PCB and higher power delivery – all attributed
to Essence One Series being an external device rather than an internal card.
ASUS now has a large team dedicated to designing and engineering audio products.
We have been able to expand our audio product range into more diverse categories in
recent years, and have met considerable success. In 2010 we partnered with Sennheiser
on a headset-soundcard set, which confirmed our level of expertise as partners of one of
the world’s leading audiophile brands.
Design Story
ASUS has an eclectic group of visionaries and acoustic engineers coming from the
art, user experience, and the entertainment industry with a shared passion for music.
Knowing that digital media constantly changes and evolves based on our personal
experience, the ASUS team constantly evaluates the design segments with different
outlook and perspective, striving to provide new and better experience for music lovers
and audiophiles.
Being Present
Instead of defining hard-stoned desired results, we believe that sound is about
appreciating the present. Top-grade component is just one tiny part of the puzzle
that we mold and build to bring you the “essence of sound”. Through our meticulous
testing and product performance checks, we examine our design rules and layout
with excruciating detail because any misstep could lead to a misrepresentation of the
originality of sound.
Made for You
Across all our products, you will find that the Essence of Sound is sublime rather than
overdominating, composed yet powerful. The Essence series follow the Confucius
thinking of “Respect” and “Harmony” – we respect that personal taste for music may
vary and hence we’ve included swappable op-amps for further customization. We
recognize that beautiful sound is about being in harmony with the surrounding and the
environment. Hence having an independent volume control for audiophiles’ smooth
volume switching experience becomes crucial.
6
ASUS Essence One Series
Aesthetically Pleasing
ASUS is well known for its quality control, but beyond the hard and cold facts of
humidity storage and drop test, there’s the soft appeal and the intrinsic properties
that we look into when it comes to material selection. Whether it is sweat-proof and
finger print free surface finish, an elegant color palette or smooth curvatures, it is our
commitment to bring a state-of art audio with innovative material application and
usage.
Feature Summary
• Native DSD Support via DOP
• World’s first 8X symmetrical upsampling technology restores lossless audio
• Built-in 600ohm headphone amplifier drives all headphones on the market
• Ultra-high 120dB SNR for the purest sound
• User customizable tone characters with 11 swappable OP-amps
• Dedicated internal linear power supply ensures the cleanest audio
Ultimate audio enjoyment with native Direct Stream Digital (DSD) support via DOP
Digital Stream Digital (DSD) is an encoding technology at 1 bit representation of the
audio waveform, allowing high reproduction of the original audio. With native DSD
support via DOP, the DSD container bypasses operating system through ASIO PCM,
hence allowing audiophiles to enjoy high-fidelity audio.
384kHz/24Bit 8X Symmetrical Upsampling Technology to restore lossless audio
The Essence One Series series can support up to 384kHz for multiples of 48kHz and
352.8kHz for multiples of 44.1kHz. This ensures that all sample rates are symmetrically
upsampled without any loss of resolution that provides pure representation of audio
content.
Built-in 600ohm headphone amplifier drives all headphones on the market
Supports up to 600ohms impedance, allowing headphone enthusiasts to enjoy the
best of their favorite headphones without any additional amplification needed. The
headphone amplifier powers up all Hi-Fi headphones with high performance and low
distortion.
Ultra-high 120dB SNR for the purest sound
The SNR of normal USB DAC is about 110dB. With the extremely high SNR (>120dB),
the Essence One Series provides audiophiles clearer sounds with every details with
significantly reduced noise level.
User customizable tone characters with 11 swappable OP-amps
Op-amp is the key part that amplifies the analog signal in your soundcard and affects
tone characters (darker, brighter, sound image etc..) We respect your personal taste and
preferences and on our model you will find 11 swappable op-amp sockets. The Essence
One Series allows easy customization to swap in your favorite op-amps for a fully
customized audio experience.
ASUS Essence One Series
7
Dedicated internal linear power supply ensures the cleanest audio
A clean power source is crucial for ensuring minimal supply contamination and
consistent power delivery. The toroidal comes with a specially designed silicon strip to
prevent hysteresis loss The internal power supply supports all international voltages and
has generous margins for over and under voltage conditions. It provides cleanest power
for cleanest sound with excellent immunity to noise on the AC line.
Minimal Clock Jitter with Asynchronous Data Transfer:
Most USB audio uses Synchronous Data Transfer mode to adjust internal clock to
compensate different data transfer rate between PC and USB Audio Device.
However, the jitter is worse if the transfer rate is a lot different between PC and Device.
For the Essence One Series, the USB DAC monitors the PC clock transfer speed and
adjusts the data transfer speed accordingly based on a buffer status to the system.
When the PC clock is firing too fast, this is regulated and the data transfer feed is
adjusted to slow down and vice versa. This greatly improves the precision of digital
audio and provides more detail with less listening fatigue.
Bit-perfect with ASIO 2.2 driver:
Bit-perfect mode allows user to use ASIO or similar function while doing audio playback,
avoiding any sample rate conversion being done by PC’s operating system. This feature
keeps audio contents of all resolutions being played as its original sample rate without
any potential quality loss during sample rate conversion.
The ASIO 2.2 driver simplifies the process of multiple audio streams, bypassing latency
issues in Windows, to deliver a low-latency, high fidelity sound file that is identical to the
original audio file.
Dedicated volume controls:
Most USB DACs on the market only comes with one or no volume control for both
headphone and speaker. This prevents user from keeping their favorite volume level and
has to keep adjusting volume when switching between devices. Not to mention that a
careless move can easily cause damage to your headphones.
The Essence One Series has an independent volume control for headphone and speaker
such that user can keep their favorite volume level without switching back and forth
when listening to different output devices.
Toslink and Coaxial S/PDIF inputs:
The Essence One Series is fitted with both Coaxial and Toslink inputs, enabling
connection of multiple sources. The digital inputs accept data formats at sample rates up
to 192 kHz.
Balanced XLR output:
Essence One Series also features balanced (XLR) outputs. This is a higher quality output
that is useful for eliminating unwanted noises and interference. Since a balanced line
contains two signal carrying conductors of equal magnitude but opposite polarity,
noises induced along the cable path cancel each other out when they reach the
destination load. This makes balanced lines the professional applications for long cable
connection which induced noises might be a problem. XLR connectors should be wired
as follows:
Pin 1- Ground; Pin 2- Hot (in-phase); Pin 3- Cold (phase-inverted).
8
ASUS Essence One Series
Product Line Up
Essence
Essence ONE
Essence ONE
ONE MUSES
PLUS EDITION
MKII
EDITION
Op-Amp
Entry-level
HI-FI
Entry-level
Key Audience
lovers and DIY
audiophiles
adventurers
audiophiles
adventurers
Desire to
Desire to enjoy
Desire to enjoy Desire to DIY experience
high fidelity
high fidelity
and customize high fidelity
music on both
music on both sound based music with
Key Focus
on personal
world known headphone
headphone
and speaker
and speaker
preferences
Muse01 OpAmp
Audio Clarity
120dB SNR Hi-Fi audio clarity
Audio Precision Ultra jitter-free fidelity with asynchronous USB audio interface
Unimaginably
Op-Amp
Customizable
Customizable
Tweaking Kit heart-touching
tone characters
tone characters
and
spacious
with additional
with 11
Op-Amp
with 11
sound
powered
TI-2132 (4 pcs)
swappable OpSelection & Tonal swappable Opand NS-4562 by MUSES 01
Amps, focusing
Amps, focusing
Customization
Op-Amp
(6
(2 pcs) and
on 6 key Opon 6 key Optweaking tool pcs)
Amps
Amps
set
Essence ONE
Powerful
Headphone
Amplifier
Clean Power
Additional
Features
Essence ONE
MKII MUSES
EDITION
HI-FI
adventurers
Desire to
experience
high fidelity
music with
world known
Muse01 OpAmp
Unimaginably
heart-touching
and spacious
sound powered
by MUSES 01
Op-Amp (6
pcs)
Headphone amplifier for up to 600ohm headphone impedance
Dedicated linear power supply
8X Upsampling to 384kHz
--
--
--
Native DSD
Support via
DOP
Native DSD
Support via
DOP
Design Highlights
Power Management
•
High-fidelity LDO Regulation
Using the highly regarded LDO regulators, the power source is regulated twice to
reduce heat energy and ensure stable power.
•
Robust Capacitor
WIMA FKP2 capacitor serves as a stable water reservoir for stabilizing power source,
hence reducing ripples.
•
Toroidal transformer
Specially designed toroidal transformer to reduce hysteresis loss and prevent easy
worn-out.
ASUS Essence One Series
9
Signal Management
•
4-Layer Hyper grounding with balanced design
4 layer PCB board for separating Digital and Analog signals on different grounds
and heat source. Not only are the analog and digital signals are on different layers,
it is sandwiched in between multiple ground layers to further prevent signal
interferences.
•
Asynchronous data transfer
PC uses a different clock system than E3 and hence a buffer will monitor the data
speed such that when the PC clock is firing too fast, this is regulated and the data
transfer feed is adjusted to slow down. This greatly improves the precision of digital
audio and provides more detail with less listening fatigue.
•
384kHz/ 24Bit 8X Upsampling Technology While common upsampling USB DACs just transfer whatever audio source to
192kHz indistinguishably, Essence One Series upsamples 44.1/88.2 /176.4kHz input
to 352.8kHz and 48/96/192kHz input to 384kHz in a symmetrical way, preserving
the originality of your music collection. It also upsamples bit-rate to 32bit
corresponding to the original contents. (Note: 44.1x8=352.8kHz; 48x8=384kHz)
NOTES:
• Sample rate is the number of samples of audio carried per second,
measured in Hz or kHz (one kHz being 1,000 Hz). The more samples per
second (the higher the "sample rate"), the better the quality.
• Bit rate measures how much data is transmitted in a given amount of
time. The higher the bit rate, the higher the quality of the audio playback
and the larger the file.
• Upsampling is the process of increasing the sampling rate of a signal.
For instance, upsampling raster images such as photographs means
increasing the resolution of the image.
• Therefore, upsampling both sample rate and bit rate will make your
audio source sound clearer.
•
Custom Resistor with high temperature and heat tolerance
0.1% tolerance and high tolerance for temperature changes with +/-0.5ppm/Celsius
with ultra-low noise and better stability.
•
DC Servo to reducing DC biasing: The DC servo design helps to reduce decoupling and this helps to extend bass
performance with richer and deeper sounds.
Ease of Use & Customization
•
10
DSD Support
DSD Support for USB 2.0
ASUS Essence One Series
•
Bit Perfect Mode
Bit-perfect mode allows user to use ASIO or similar function while doing audio
playback, avoiding any sample rate conversion being done by PC’s operating
system. This feature keeps audio contents of all resolutions being played as
its original sample rate without any potential quality loss during sample rate
conversion.
NOTE: When you run bit-perfect in Windows, the “BIT PERFECT” LED in the
front panel will light up.
Component Selection
• DAC: TI PCM1795: Excellent dynamic performance (123dB dynamic range) and
improved tolerance to clock jitter
• DSP: ADI ADSP-21261 High-performance audio processing capabilities and strong
reliability for handling upsampling and DSD support
• WIMA FKP2/FKS2: High temperature tolerance with robust performance
• Swappable Op-amps: NE5532
• Swappable Op-amps: LM4562 (for Speaker out)
• Swappable Op-amps: LME49720NA (for Headphone out)
• Headphone Amplifier: NS LME49600TS (for Headphone out)
Package contents
This package should contain the following:
• Essence One Series Hi-Fi USB DAC x 1
• USB cable (‘B-A’ type) x 1
• Power cord x 1 (Some versions may have 2 power cords for different countries)
• 6.3mm to 3.5mm adaptor x 1
• Quick start guide x 1
• User guide x 1
• Audio Precision (AP) test report x 1
• Installation driver CD x 1
NOTE: The package contents vary with models. Refer to the package
contents for each model on ASUS website at www.asus.com
ASUS Essence One Series
11
System requirements
To ensure a successful installation of the ASUS Essence One Series USB DAC, your
computer must meet the following requirements:
• IBM compatible PC with one USB2.0 (or higher) compatible port for the USB audio
device
• Microsoft® Windows® XP/7/8/8.1 (32/64 Bit) / MacOSX 10.6
• Intel® Pentium® 4 1.4GHz or AMD Athlon 1400 CPU or faster CPU
• 256 MB DRAM system memory
• 60 MB available HDD space for driver installation package
• CD-ROM drive (or DVD-ROM drive) for software installation
• High-quality headphones or powered analog speakers to enjoy the ultra-high
fidelity sound of the card
Driver installation
After connecting ASUS Essence One Series with your computer by the bundled USB
cable, you need to install the device driver that enables the Essence One Series to work
with Windows operating system.
NOTES:
• The driver is only needed when you connect ASUS Essence One Series
with PC/NB.
• The version and content of the support CD are subject to change without
notice.
To install the device driver:
1. Insert the ASUS Essence One Series support CD into your optical drive. If Autorun
is enabled, the ASUS Essence One Series driver screen appears automatically. Go to
step 4. If Autorun is not enabled in your computer, perform step 2.
2.Click My Computer on your desktop and double-click the optical drive icon.
3. Double-click the setup.exe icon located on the optical drive.
4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. Read the END USER
LICENSE AGREEMENT in the process and make sure that you understand and
accept it before continuing the installation.
5. When the installation finishes, you may be prompted to restart your computer. You
can choose to restart the computer later if desired.
12
ASUS Essence One Series
Functionality
1. USB DAC ( Digital-to-Analog Convertor)
Clear, detailed, life-like sound for your digital music collection in PC/NB, with all the
connection(XLR, RCA) you need for end devices.
Steps:
• Connect PC/NB with an USB cable
• Need to install driver in your PC/NB to work
• Select “USB” in front panel as the input source
or
PC
NB
USB
ASUS Essence One Series
13
2. Stand alone DAC
With S/PDIF in and input select, it also serves as an independent DAC which connects
with digital inputs such as CD audio source and then plays to the end devices.
Steps:
• Connect with other audio resource with S/PDIF input (by Coaxial/Optical cable)
• Select COA (coaxial input) or TOS (optical input) in the front panel as the input
source
CD/DVD player
S/PDIF
COAXIAL
L
230
R
UNBALANCED
OUTPUT
R
BALANCED OUTPUT
L
TOSLINK
USB
DIGITAL INPUT
VOLTAGE SELECTOR
AC IN
3. Headphone amplifier
Grants 100% performance of ALL hi-end headphones, even with impedance up to
600ohms, providing extra dynamics and sound details.
Steps:
• Connect with high-quality headphones/headsets
14
ASUS Essence One Series
Front Panel
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
BIT PERFECT
Xonar Essence One
192
176.4
COA
96
TOS
88.2
USB
POWER
UPSAMPLING
INPUT
MUTE
48
_
VOLUME
+
44.1
_
HEADPHONE
VOLUME
+
9
9
1. Power On/Off
Press to turn on and again to turn off.
2. Upsampling function on/off
(1)Press to turn on the upsampling function which increases sample rate to 352.8 or
384kHz symmetrically and bit rate to 32bit
(2)When the upsampling function is turn on, the LED light of Bit perfect / sample
rate indicator will light off.
NOTE: For models EONE MKII/ EONE Muses MKII , the upsampling LED
indicator turns red when the DSD function is on. Under the DSD mode, the
upsampling mode is disabled.
3. Input selection
Press to select among USB, Toslink or Coaxial Inputs. The corresponding LED will
light up to show which source has been selected.
4.Mute
Press to mute headphone and speaker output; again to unmute.
5. Speaker Volume control
The Volume Control controls the output level of the balanced XLR and unbalanced
RCA analog outputs.
6. Bit perfect / sample rate indicator
(1)The relevant LED will light up to indicate the sample rate of your audio source
(44.1kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176.4 kHz, and 192 kHz)
(2)Bit perfect: light on under ASIO model
7. Headphone Volume control
The Volume Control is used to control the output levels of the headphone jacks.
8. 1/4” Headphone output
Connect your high-quality headphones/headsets with 6.3mm connector (Please
use the attached 6.3mm to 3.5mm connector if your headphones/headsets are of
3.5 mm ports)
ASUS Essence One Series
15
9. Set screws
These 4 screws are used to hold the machine bed (including PCB board and power
module) and machine housing together. For repair’s sake, ASUS technicians may
need a small screwdriver to loosen the 4 screws to remove the front panel and then
draw the machine bed out for checking PCB board (or power module).
Rear Panel
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
COAXIAL
L
230
R
UNBALANCED
OUTPUT
R
BALANCED OUTPUT
L
TOSLINK
USB
DIGITAL INPUT
VOLTAGE SELECTOR
AC IN
1. Unbalanced RCA Output (line-out)
Conventional stereo outputs for connection to the line-level phono/RCA inputs of a
speaker
NOTES:
• Most audio equipment has unbalanced audio inputs and outputs. This
means that the audio output (left, right, or mono) appears on a single
wire, and is referenced to “0V” or “Ground”. Typical connectors used are
RCA “phono” connectors and 1/4” (6.3mm) or 1/8” (3.5mm) jack plugs/
sockets.
• Unbalanced audio works well for short cable runs in low noise
environments. For long distances connection or complex setups where
RF noise may be a problem, Balanced XLR Output is recommended to
eliminate unwanted noises.
2. Balanced XLR Output(line-out)
ASUS Essence One Series also features true balanced (XLR) outputs. Connect
Essence One Series with equipment such as speakers of Balanced XLR connections.
NOTES:
• A lot of professional equipment will have balanced audio inputs and
outputs, usually on 3-pin “XLR” connectors. The line is said to be balanced
since the two signal carrying conductors are of equal (though opposite)
potential.
• Balanced XLR Output is a higher quality output that can reject noise and
interference with equipment with balanced inputs, especially perfect for
long cable runs or anywhere that induced noises might be a problem
16
ASUS Essence One Series
3. Coaxial S/PDIF Input
Connect your digital source, such as CD/DVD players or computer with S/PDIF
output, to digital input. Use either S/PDIF coaxial or Toslink optical type, each being
of equal quality.
4. Toslink Optical Input
As mentioned in point 3, this port is for Toslink Optical Input.
NOTES:
• Both Coaxial and Toslink Inputs can be used to connect and run
equipment at the same time
• This unit only accepts two-channel LPCM digital audio (e.g. Dolby Digital
2.0). You cannot connect a Dolby Digital 5.1 or a DTS signal as they will
not be recognized. If you wish to connect a DVD or similar device, please
ensure that the sound output of your player is set to two-channel PCM.
5. USB port
Connect a PC via a Type B to Type A USB lead.
NOTES:
• The Essence One Series’s operation is independent of your PC soundcardit will operate whether your PC has a soundcard or not. Please select
Essence One Series as the default audio playback device in your system.
This can be confirmed in the Control Panel’s Sounds, Speech and Audio
Devices properties window under the Volume tab.
• You need to install the device driver that enables the Essence One Series
to work with Windows operating system.
6. Voltage selection (115/230V)
Always insure that the voltage setting is correct for your locality. See page 4
“Voltage Selection” for more information.
7. Power port (AC in)
Plug the supplied power adaptor into the Essence One Series once you have
completed all connections.
ASUS Essence One Series
17
Connections
Input
1. NB/PC-USB connections
NOTE: Do not turn on the machine until all connections have been made.
or
PC
NB
USB
(1) Connect a USB ‘B–A’ type lead (as illustrated at left) from the Essence One Series’s
USB input to one of the USB ports on the PC/NB.
(2) Turn on the Essence One Series using the front panel On/Off switch and make sure
that the USB input is selected (USB LED lit).
(3) Install the device driver that enables the Essence One Series to work with Windows
operating system.
18
ASUS Essence One Series
NOTES:
• The PC’s previous audio output device should now be temporarily
disabled and the Essence One Series becomes the default audio playback
device for the PC/NB. This can be confirmed in the Control Panel’s
Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices properties window under the Volume
tab.
• If you wish to disconnect your Essence One Series and return to using
your previous soundcard, etc., simply disconnect it or switch off the
power on the front panel. If the PC fails to disable the Essence One Series
and automatically re-enable your default soundcard, you can manually
disable the Essence One Series in the hardware device manager. To do
this, navigate to the Device Manager (click Start — Control Panel —
(Vista: Performance and Maintenance —) System — Hardware— Device
Manager in Windows XP). Scroll down the device manager window
and expand the heading Sound, Video and Game Controllers to display
a list of the connected devices. The Essence One Series will be listed
as “ASUS Essence One Series”. Click on this description to highlight in
blue and then click on the Disable icon at the top of the window. A
warning message will appear: “Disabling this device will cause it to stop
functioning. Do you really want to disable it?” Click Yes to disable the
Essence One Series. The previous audio playback device will now be reinstated by Windows.
2. Toslink and Coaxial S/PDIF audio input connections
CD/DVD player
S/PDIF
COAXIAL
L
230
R
UNBALANCED
OUTPUT
R
L
BALANCED OUTPUT
TOSLINK
USB
DIGITAL INPUT
VOLTAGE SELECTOR
AC IN
(1) Connect your digital source (ex. CD/DVD players or some PC/NB with SPDIF output)
to Digital Input. Either S/P DIF Coaxial or Toslink optical types can be used, each
being of equal quality.
NOTE: Both Coaxial and Toslink Inputs can be used to connect and run
equipment at the same time.
ASUS Essence One Series
19
Output
1. With Amplifier and Passive Speaker System
COAXIAL
L
230
R
UNBALANCED
OUTPUT
R
BALANCED OUTPUT
Option #1: RCA connection
L
TOSLINK
USB
DIGITAL INPUT
VOLTAGE SELECTOR
AC IN
Option #2: XLR connection
Unbalanced
Input
L
R
R
Balanced
Input
L
Amplifier
Passive Speaker System
(1) Use either the unbalanced (RCA/Phono) or balanced (XLR) outputs of the Essence
One Series to connect unbalanced or balanced inputs of an amplifier.
(2) Connect the amplifier with a Passive Speaker System.
NOTE: It is possible to use the RCA phono connections and the XLR balanced
connections at the same time, e.g. for connecting to different amplifiers or
multi-room operations. However, no same audio quality is guaranteed as
using RCA and XLR output non-simultaneously.
20
ASUS Essence One Series
2. With Active Speaker directly
COAXIAL
L
230
R
UNBALANCED
OUTPUT
R
BALANCED OUTPUT
L
TOSLINK
USB
DIGITAL INPUT
VOLTAGE SELECTOR
AC IN
Active speaker
(1) Connect Essence One Series with a set of active speakers directly.
3. With Headphone/Headset
(1) Connect Essence One Series with high-quality headphones/headsets directly.
ASUS Essence One Series
21
Specifications
Items
Description
Audio Performance
Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio
120dB
(A-Weighted):
Output Total Harmonic Distortion +
-110dB
Noise at 1kHz@-3dB (A-Weighted):
Balanced Output: 4Vrms
Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage
Unbalanced Output: 2Vrms
Headphone: 7Vrms
Frequency Response (-3dB,
<10Hz to 48kHz
24-bit/192kHz output ):
Bus Compatibility
USB
USB 2.0 High speed
S/PDIF
IEC 60958
Main Chipset
Audio Processor
C-Media CM6631/ CM6631A
S/PDFI Receiver
AKM 4113
DSP
ADI ADSP-21261
D-A Converter for Analog Inputs
TI PCM1795
OP Amp
I/V: NE5532
Headphone
LPF: NE5532
Current Buffer: LME49600
Balanced / Un-balanced I/V
NE5532
Balanced / Un-balanced LFP
NE5532
Clock
12MHz For USB
Crystal clock
24.576MHz For S/PDIF
45.1584MHz (for 44.1, 88.2, 176.4KHz sample rate)
Oscillator
49.152MHz (For 48, 96, 192KHz sample rate)
Sample Rate and Resolution
Analog Playback Sample Rate and
44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192KHz @ 16/24bit
Resolution
Up to 352.8kHz (44.1/88.2 /176.4kHz input) or 384kHz
Upsampling capability
(48/96/192kHz input), 32bit
I/O Ports
Balanced Output (XLR)
Unbalanced Output (Dual RCA)
Output Jack:
6.3mm Jack headphone output
Metal with plated gold, black housing
continued on the next page
22
ASUS Essence One Series
Specifications
Input Jack:
Power Input Jack:
Volume controller
Voltage Selector
Accessories
Accessories
USB jack
Coaxial / Toslink jack
Metal with plated gold, black housing
IEC AC Inlet
Balanced Output: Quad Units Taper B Potentiometer
Headphone Output: Quad Units Taper B Potentiometer
AC 115V/223V Slide Switch
USB cable (‘B-A’ type) x1
Power cord x1 (Some versions may have 2 power cords for
different countries)
6.3mm to 3.5mm adaptor x1
Quick Start Guide x1
User Guide x1
Installation driver CD x1
* Specifications are subject to change without notice.
ASUS Essence One Series
23
Essence One Series
Hi-Fi USB DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter)
Opamp Swap Guide
1.Disassembly
1. Loosen the four screws in the front panel and the two screws in the rear panel with
a screwdriver.
Front Panel
BIT PERFECT
Essence One
192
176.4
COA
96
TOS
88.2
USB
POWER
UPSAMPLING
INPUT
MUTE
48
_
+
VOLUME
44.1
_
HEADPHONE
VOLUME
+
Rear Panel
COAXIAL
L
230
R
UNBALANCED
OUTPUT
R
L
TOSLINK
BALANCED OUTPUT
USB
DIGITAL INPUT
VOLTAGE SELECTOR
AC IN
2. Push the power connector on the rear panel to remove the machine bed (including
the PCB board and power module) from the machine housing.
COAXIAL
L
230
R
UNBALANCED
OUTPUT
R
BALANCED OUTPUT
L
TOSLINK
USB
DIGITAL INPUT
VOLTAGE SELECTOR
AC IN
2. Swap Guide
Change all the OP-amps of the same types in the same slot. For example, if
you need to change DAC I/V (slot 1), you would need to change all the OPamps of the same types in all slot 1. If you need to change DAC buffer (slot 2),
you need to change the OP-amps of the same types in all slot 2.
ASUS Essence One Series
25
1
3A
2
4
1
3B
4
1
4
2
3B
1
1. Serves as I/V (current to voltage convertor) that turns current from DAC into
voltage for output purpose. Changing this will affect all outputs (including
Headphone output, RCA output and XLR output).
2. Serves as Low Pass Filter that filters background noises. Changing this will
affect all outputs (including Headphone output, RCA output and XLR output).
3A. Serves as buffer that enhances the output signal for the speaker. Changing this
will affect the RCA output.
3B. Serves as buffer that enhances the output signal for the speaker. Changing this
will affect the XLR output
4. Serves as buffer that enhances the output signal for the headphone. Changing
this will affect the headphone output.
Output
1
Opamp
2
All outputs (Headphone output,
RCA output, XLR output)
Headphone RCA
output
output
√
√
3A
√
3B
4
26
XLR
output
√
√
ASUS Essence One Series
Recommended OPamp List
Brand
Model name
NS
LME49860
NS
LME49720NA
NS
LM4562NA
TI
OPA2111
TI
OPA2132
TI
OPA2107
ADI
OP275
ADI
AD823
NJRC
MUSE01
NJRC
MUSE02
Sound Impression
The following table lists the sound impression brought by different combinations of
op-amp pairing.
DAC I/V Slot 1
DAC buffer Slot 2
Sound Impression
TI – OPA2107
TI – OPA2132
Brighter vocal, slightly less booming sound
TI – OPA2107
NS – LME49860
Even brighter than the above combination, and more
detailed with less but tighter booming sound
NS – LME49720
NS – LM4562NA
Less warm than stock OP-amps, more extensive detailed
and dampened mid-range, Essence ST/STX style
NS – LM4562NA
NS – LM4562NA
Wider sound stage but less detailed than the above
combination
NS – LM4562NA
NJRC – MUSE02
Powerful, punchy sound with good sound stage; less
detailed present.
NS – LME49720NA
NJRC – MUSE02
Brighter, thinner sound and more detailed than the above
combination
ASUS Essence One Series
27
Essence One Series
Audio Precision Test Report
Version 1.0
2011/07/01
• Disclaimer: The information and contents contained in this test report are for Essence
One Series user’s reference only and may not be altered in any manner. Test results
may vary with different testing environment and equipment.
Audio Precision Test Report
Test Signals: 96KHz, 24bit (192KHz, 24bit for frequency response test)
Noise Level
(SNR~120dB)
Audio Precision
A-A FFT SPECTRUM ANALYSIS
07/15/11 10:34:20
+0
-20
-40
d
B
r
A
-60
-80
-100
-120
-140
-160
2k
4k
6k
8k
10k
12k
14k
16k
18k
20k
22k
24k
Hz
Frequency Response
Audio Precision
07/15/11 11:11:49
+0
+0
-1
-1
d
B
r
-2
-2
d
B
r
A
-3
-3
B
-4
-4
-5
10
20
50
100
200
500
1k
2k
5k
10k
20k
50k
-5
Hz
ASUS Essence One Series
29
THD+N Full Band
(-114~-110dB for 20~20KHz)
Audio Precision
07/15/11 10:40:54
+0
-10
-20
-30
-40
d
B
r
-50
A
-70
-60
-80
-90
-100
-110
-120
20
50
100
200
500
1k
2k
5k
10k
20k
Hz
THD+N 1KHz
0.0003%
(-110dB) @997Hz
Audio Precision
A-A FFT SPECTRUM ANALYSIS
07/15/11 10:37:25
+0
-20
-40
d
B
r
A
-60
-80
-100
-120
-140
-160
2k
4k
6k
8k
10k
12k
14k
Hz
30
ASUS Essence One Series
16k
18k
20k
22k
24k
Dynamic Range
(~120dB)
Audio Precision
A-A FFT SPECTRUM ANALYSIS
07/15/11 10:35:38
+0
-20
-40
d
B
r
A
-60
-80
-100
-120
-140
-160
2k
4k
6k
8k
10k
12k
14k
16k
18k
20k
22k
24k
Hz
Crosstalk
-132dB @ 1KHz
-142~-115dB for 20~20KHz
Left
Audio Precision
07/15/11 10:46:20
+0
-20
-40
-60
d
B
-80
-100
-120
-140
-160
20
50
100
200
500
1k
2k
5k
10k
20k
Hz
ASUS Essence One Series
31
Right
Audio Precision
07/15/11 10:48:30
+0
-20
-40
-60
d
B
-80
-100
-120
-140
-160
-180
20
50
100
200
500
1k
2k
5k
10k
20k
Hz
Appendix: Glossary
• Noise Level
The level of any undesired system noise signals over the audio spectrum, including AC
mains hum, white noises, stray magnetic field, etc.
• SNR
Signal-to-Noise Ratio, the ratio of the maximum amplitude signal to the sum of the noise
energy. The higher, the better.
• THD+N
Total Harmonic Distortion plus Noise, measured by attenuating the fundamental signal
with a narrow band notch filter, then measuring the remaining signal which consists
of harmonics of various order. This implies the linearity of the audio converter and the
lower, the better.
• Frequency Response
A measure of a device’s ability to respond to a fixed input voltage, at different input
frequencies, and the difference in amplitude reproduced for each frequency. The flatter
curve at wider frequency range is better.
• Dynamic Range
The difference, usually expressed in dB, between the highest and lowest amplitude
portions of a signal which a device can linearly handle. Ideally it should be very close to
SNR value and the higher, the better.
• Crosstalk
Unwanted signal coupling from another channel of stereo or multi-channel
transmission. The lower value is better.
32
ASUS Essence One Series