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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 Assimilator87 on 5/30/2007 11:26:31 PM , Rating: 2
This is the first time I've ever seen another company use a Creative chip. Why don't more companies do that? If a company that has decent driver support were able to make a good card using Creative's chip, they could seriously conquer the market.

By bunnyfubbles on 5/31/2007 4:43:26 AM , Rating: 2
I think MSI has put Audigy chips directly into some of their motherboards, but I guess that's not exactly the same thing.

Perhaps Creative is easing into the idea of strictly producing chips to be supplied to 3rd parties who actually use it to make a sound card.

Maybe they're going to quit or at least cut back the number and/or variety of high-end products they're going to push. The Auzentech Prelude is certainly going to be a high end sound card, and there seems to be a pretty decent influx of high end cards from various companies (not only Auzentech, but Razer as well - their card focused on gaming even without an X-Fi chip interestingly enough...). Perhaps Creative will do that and just push the cheap budget crap that they have usually end up replacing the original version that was actually pretty decent - not that there's anything wrong with that, they're cheaper products in quality but more importantly price. There are plenty of gamers out there who don't have speakers or headphones that would justify anything more.

By sheh on 6/1/2007 1:52:44 AM , Rating: 2
Creative started just now to offer their chips to 3rd parties. This might be the first one out, and others may follow.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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