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Auzentech Prelude 7.1 (Source: Hardware Canucks)
EAX 5.0 and Dolby Digital Live on a single PCI sound card

Auzentech is set to release the first third-party Creative Labs X-Fi based sound card – the Prelude 7.1. The Prelude 7.1, announced last month, allows users to enjoy multi-channel EAX 5.0 positional audio without connecting four sets of audio cables. Auzentech licenses Dolby Digital Live multi-channel audio encoding technology to provide users single-cable convenience over S/PDIF.

The new Prelude 7.1 mates features previously found on the Auzentech X-Meridian with the Creative Labs X-Fi sound processor. Auzentech equips the Prelude 7.1 with a removable OPAmp on the front channels output of the sound card, unlike the X-Meridian’s four removable OPAmps. A LM4562NA is the default installed OPAmp on the Prelude 7.1.  

Auzentech pairs the Creative Labs X-Fi sound processor with two memory chips for 64MB of memory. AKM digital-to-analog convertors are installed on all eight audio channels, a step up from the Cirrus Logic DACs employed by Creative Labs. Other notable features of the Prelude 7.1 include audio headers, although it is unknown if they meet Creative Labs’ specifications.

Expect the Auzentech Prelude 7.1 to trickle into retail channels in the coming weeks.

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By Etsp on 5/30/2007 4:41:40 PM , Rating: 5
I wonder how decent the drivers will be compared to Creative drivers, and also, I wonder how well the drivers will support vista... I haven't done too much looking, but it seems that every sound card brand I look at, someone has complaints about their drivers. If this card has good drivers, it could mean many great things for audiophiles and gamers.

RE: Drivers
By Haltech on 5/30/2007 4:55:00 PM , Rating: 1
I've heard that Bluegears probably the best as far as drivers go for Vista. But yes Creatve is definetly on the low end for drivers and seeing this,a product bassed on Creative it wont do so well.

RE: Drivers
By Slaimus on 5/30/2007 5:27:01 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of the complaints about pops was due to defective components in the XtremeMusic and Platinum models. Looks like this card swaps out all of the cheap capacitors and op-amps for better ones, so I think this will be good.

As for stability, it will probably be the same as the X-Fi.

RE: Drivers
By Lakku on 5/30/2007 10:34:44 PM , Rating: 2
Auzentech doesn't have any better driver support than Creative. The advantage? Their drivers aren't bloated with apps and background applications. As for stability and how often they update, they are just as 'bad'. They have gotten better since launch (before the recent ones, some games would blue screen), but some games, like Splinter Cell, have sound problems with the current Auzentech boards. This could be game design though.

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