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The hardware behind the Xonar Phoebus
Above is a general breakdown of the features on the Xonar Phoebus. The 12V power is sourced from PCI-Express as these connectors are generally only one or two connectors per cable and it provides cleaner power with less cross-talk than from the PCI-Express x1. It also provides more power, which is required for the TPA6120A2 headphone amplifier that drives up to 600 ohms of impedance. You did say you liked it loud, right?
The Burr-Brown PCM1796 DACs offer a dynamic range of 118dB, THD+N of 0.0004% and it has a 8x oversampling digital filter that supports great jitter tolerance, excellent signal quality and dynamic performance than competing DACs.
Meanwhile, the whole multi-channel and headphone amplification areas are separated by a fat metal bar, then the whole thing is topped off with the metal cover to provide complete local EMI insulation. This is only part of the effort dubbed ‘Hyper Grounding’ by the Xonar team though, as additionally the PCB layers are arranged to keep the analogue signal processing as far away from the electrical noise of graphics cards and CPUs as possible, and there are two grounding layers between them and the digital processing, as shown below:
Finally here are some close-ups of each of the areas. Below shows the gold plated connectors (except the Control Box signal connector that carries no audio) that are used on the rear I/O. The Xonar Phoebus supports full 7.1 surround sound as the bottom 3.5mm jack doubles up as S/PDIF out.
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