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  #31 (permalink)  
Old July 2, 2007, 12:38 AM
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July 2 and no Prelude??

I have been lurking around keeping an eye on all you crazy bastards.

Any of you fellas seen one of these sound cards yet? I keep looking at NCIX but nada nothing..

I own an X-Fi Fatality, damn thing every so often gets this crackling popping shit.. Very annoying.

I am waiting for the prelude card to be released so I can read some feedback of what eager buyers/users of it say about it.

I also want to know if it is going to have a "Platinum" version that will come with a I/O Drive, Looks like it has the pins a I/O drive. Who knows maybe my Fatality I/O drive will be compatible.
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EVGA 680i SLI 122-CK-NF68-A1,
Intel C2D E6850, EVGA 8800GTX,
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1 Primary Raptor X 150 gig + 2 150 gig Raptors in RAID 0,
Swiftech H20-220 Ultra with a Stealth GPU water block,
Dell Ultrasharp 2407WFP-HC 24" monitor,
Lian Li V2000 Plus Case slightly modded,
Steelseries Akari Laser Gaming Mouse, Razor Tarantula keyboard,
AuzenTech Prelude Sound Card,
Pioneer VSX-1016TXV receiver with Bose 301's,
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old July 2, 2007, 09:40 AM
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The info is posted at the bottom of this thread that says Auzen postponed the release date until the end of July to do further testing on the card.
The Pin header on the card looks very similar to the Creative Pin headers but that doesn't mean it will be compatible. There has been no information to say if it is or not.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old July 2, 2007, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robscix View Post
The info is posted at the bottom of this thread that says Auzen postponed the release date until the end of July to do further testing on the card.
The Pin header on the card looks very similar to the Creative Pin headers but that doesn't mean it will be compatible. There has been no information to say if it is or not.
Ah... Thanks man.
__________________
EVGA 680i SLI 122-CK-NF68-A1,
Intel C2D E6850, EVGA 8800GTX,
OCZ Reaper PC2 8500, Ultra X3 1000W fully modular PSU,
1 Primary Raptor X 150 gig + 2 150 gig Raptors in RAID 0,
Swiftech H20-220 Ultra with a Stealth GPU water block,
Dell Ultrasharp 2407WFP-HC 24" monitor,
Lian Li V2000 Plus Case slightly modded,
Steelseries Akari Laser Gaming Mouse, Razor Tarantula keyboard,
AuzenTech Prelude Sound Card,
Pioneer VSX-1016TXV receiver with Bose 301's,
AKG K240 Phones, Blue Snowflake USB Microphone.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old July 18, 2007, 01:18 PM
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FYI guys, there is some new pics up.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old July 19, 2007, 06:03 AM
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First, hello to everyone! Had to register on this board to share some info. I have been reading all possible forums (avs, this one, guru3d, hardforum etc.) and also been in contact with Auzentech regarding these soundcard. I have a habit of making thorough research before spending my money hoping to get "Best bang for the buck".

I am waiting for any reviews of the Prelude, as I need a really great quality analog output (5.1) from a soundcard to use as a PreProcessor for my studio grade active speakers, hoping to leave expensive Receivers out of the chain (Only problem being that I would love to have analogue volume adjustment instead of digital with it's own problems..)

I sent Auzen support a list of questions, got an answer to some of them but they really don't seem to be willing to answer the other questions or they just don't know how to. Support don't seem to have in-depth understanding on the products or english :(

Questions and answers:
Q:Why are only L/R changeable? To me it seems LM4562 are better than TI OPA2134 and it would be more important to be able to change the TI OPAMPs to match the L/R ones. Expecially in HomeTheater use it would be essentially important to have atleast all three front channels sounding exactly the same.

Answer: As for the X-Fi Prelude, the LM4562 is used for front channel only.
As you mentioned, it is better all OPAMPs can be replaced.
However, the circuit is already designed and concluded for marketing strategic purposes.

Q:What is the outpute voltage of the Prelude?

Answer: OUTPUT VOLTAGE : 5Vrms

Own note: I keep wondering why they use 5Vrms as standard is 2Vrms

Q: I am quite worried about the Prelude drivers, will they be the same crap as Creative has? All the different driver modes just make the user experience more complicated and it is sad that you have to switch between them and not have same quality of sound in every mode.

Answer: As for the X-Fi Prelude, they are written by Creative as we do not have access to Creative’s source code.
However, Creative is very supportive to our company as to request we have to them.

NOTE: On many forums people think Prelude will have different drivers from X-Fi series, this is not true. Drivers are made by Creative.

I asked about main diff. in Meridian and Prelude and one thing amongst others was that the ADC is different. Meridian has AK5385 and Prelude has AK5394 ADC. As you probably have read from Head-Fi and AVS, Meridian has some probs on recording. Maybe Prelude will have these problems solved. I also asked questions about volume adjustment and how the attenuation/resolution/bit-depth loss is handled, and they replied with some crap that volume adjustment in Windows has 0% impact on sound... Read AVS Windows Vista Audio thread and you will understand this is not true, especially on WinXP.

I am very interested about any info on these and ASUS Xonar D2, but I am having a hard time deciding what to get.

Prelude: I don't like the drivers and different modes, and the fact that OPAMP's are different on L/R and other channels. Otherwise it seems like a great card. Waiting for GOOD In-Depth reviews.

Meridian: Proven to be a good card. Discontinued product and not as good as Prelude in games (not that important to me). Also was not originally designed for LM4562 OPA's so I am not sure will these different amps be 100% compliant. I understood they draw more power and can increase distortion. Also the fact that many people say they must keep levels under 60%. Also recording/Mic seems to be of bad quality. (Auzen did not reply to any of my other questions on the Meridian..) Otherwise this a very highly praised card, at this moment this is nr.1 on my list.

Xonar: First card to have shielding, maybe it helps? Prob. same chip as the Meridian from C-Media (don't know how Asus have altered it or just branded on different name?). According to rumors has LM4562 on L/R but crappy OPA's on other channels, and no idea about other circuitry f.ex. DAC/ADC. This card is still a big question to me and Meridian seems like a better pick.

Other cards: All others I have searched don't seem to offer what I want. Any Ideas? Must have HTPC/Pre-functionality and ultimate analog quality. Pro cards don't seem to offer this, even though I like the fact that they have balanced outputs etc. But mostly meant for recording/2-channel use.


These are my thoughts, _please_ correct me If I have got anything wrong!


ps. Nice to see that that b1lk1 finally listened to Rob ;) I was already afraid that you would not understand that Digital audio signal HAS TO be converted to analog before you can hear it ;) And Z-680 are not honestly that "Hi-Fi"... DDL/DTS encoding actually makes the quality worse as the signal is packed in a lossy format.

pps. They promised that updated comparison charts will be on their webpages this week.

- Sorry for the long post -

Last edited by Petey; July 19, 2007 at 06:08 AM.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old July 19, 2007, 07:01 AM
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Nice post Petey, and welcome to the boards. :)

I'm looking for pretty much the same thing as you in a soundcard, and am currently still puttering around with an Audigy 2 ZS, because I haven't found anything that satisfies me to purchase.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old July 19, 2007, 07:22 AM
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You guys should also know that Hardwarecanucks will try to get a review of this card up on or very close to the official release date.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old July 19, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Petey, Welcome to the boards....

The LM4562's do not add more distortion that I can notice. They are very clean amps compared to alot of others I have tested. Auzen picked the stock opamps and fully expected them to be replaced, this is why the card if outfitted with sockets. Most people keep the volume of the XM at 60% because of the hot outputs. Most audio gear can handle it but some cannot. The OPA2134's are good amps also and have been used extensively by the DIY community and quite a few production models.
OPAMPS are extremely hard to tell apart with a quick listen. I was actually one of the first people to use the LM4562's in the XM's around the forums as they were very new at the time and a few of us started recommending them to others @AVS. Everybody loved them and now it is just commonplace that people use these amps on the XM and now people are modding X-fi's with them and they have been included in new cards.

The Xonar, uses LM4562's on the fronts only and uses generic amps on the other channels -4558's I think. Common amps used on quite a few cards. They are not considered high quality. This is according to the info I have gotten.

The entire shielding idea was discussed in depth by quite a few guys in various forums and some even tried it out. I was tempted but came to a startling conclusion. A EMI/RFI shield keeps negative interferences out of the card which we know a PC is full of BUT the shielding also bounces negative interference back into the card. Most people who tried shielding using ERS paper noted a decrease in clarity and a overall washed out sound compared to just a bare card.

The Prelude Drivers...
The drivers would be most likely be similar in base only. The card sports alot of different options the X-fi's do not have. They would need to be modified to some extent I would think. They would also need to be modified further for the inclusions of DD-Live and DTS-Connect. I don't think Auzen would release a card with any issues in the drivers or the hardware. When the XM was released it was solid and stable.

Last edited by Robscix; July 19, 2007 at 12:13 PM.
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old July 19, 2007, 01:14 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robscix View Post
Petey, Welcome to the boards....

The LM4562's do not add more distortion that I can notice. They are very clean amps compared to alot of others I have tested. Auzen picked the stock opamps and fully expected them to be replaced, this is why the card if outfitted with sockets.
I just wonder that they put average amps to a card called X-Meridian (Quote from Auzen webpage: "The name X-Meridian reflects our belief that this sound card marks the dividing line between all past and future soundcards".) OPAMP's are not that expensive. Anyway the possibility to swap is a great thing. Some people I know just think that because diff. amps have different characteristics/specifications, they are not such a perfect match to the design as the planned parts.

Quote:
Most people keep the volume of the XM at 60% because of the hot outputs. Most audio gear can handle it but some cannot. The OPA2134's are good amps also and have been used extensively by the DIY community and quite a few production models. OPAMPS are extremely hard to tell apart with a quick listen.
In MY opinion the hardware side should be as optimum as possible, exactly same tone/color of sound coming from all channels. Let the room/users/other equipment mess up the sound. Having different OPAMP's is just wrong in my opinion. And reading the forums (with a critical filter of course ;)) a lot of people think the OPAMP -change is not that extremely insignificant. I think it's a design flaw and saving in the wrong place when doing a high-end multichannel soundcard. I wonder why everyone else seems to think it's cool like it is on Prelude?

Quote:
I was actually one of the first people to use the LM4562's in the XM's around the forums as they were very new at the time and a few of us started recommending them to others @AVS. Everybody loved them and now it is just commonplace that people use these amps on the XM and now people are modding X-fi's with them and they have been included in new cards.
I know, have been following the discussions @AVS

Quote:
The Prelude Drivers...
The drivers would be most likely be similar in base only. The card sports alot of different options the X-fi's do not have. They would need to be modified to some extent I would think. They would also need to be modified further for the inclusions of DD-Live and DTS-Connect. I don't think Auzen would release a card with any issues in the drivers or the hardware. When the XM was released it was solid and stable.
Nonetheless it is a fact that Creative makes the drivers, they have different modes in the drivers (which i dislike) etc. The addition of DDL/DTS is probably not that big of a change, it's just a matter who wants to pay the licence costs and who does not. Currently there are a lot of assumptions and rumors about the upcoming cards, the truth remains to be seen... Nice to see people having a lot of faith in commercial companies, hope that Auzen fulfills the set expectations.

Maybe it's just me being too much of perfectionist, sorry for that :)
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old July 19, 2007, 04:46 PM
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They used those amps to save costs as they figured alot of customers would go for the digital aspects of the card and analog users could always change out the amps if they wanted. This XM still sounds very good with stock amps and can best alot of different cards. With new opamps there is no comparison. As for the best amp for the job, electronics is all about tolerances and the best fit for the job. You can't just slap whatever opamp you want in there as there is danger of oscillation and other concerns. I have five different sets of audio opamps for my card, I wanted to try out various ones to see which I liked and I finally decided on the LM4562's but there are a couple others that are very nice sounding. I think the OPA2134's and LM4562's will be a good match for tone and color atleast Auzen used good quality Audio opamps all the way around the card. I would prefer the ability to decide which amps I want to use. That being said I think they used great amps. They are not as different as some people think.

There is a mod changer app for the X-Fi's that allows you to relate modes to applications so the card switches automatically to the desired mode. I will be using that if/when I get a Prelude.
I don't think it is so much faith in Auzen, people have seen examples of their work and know they make quality products. I understand what you mean though.

Again welcome to the forums.....

Last edited by Robscix; July 19, 2007 at 04:59 PM.
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