Wednesday, April 16th 2014

Aim Launches SC808 7.1-channel PCIe Sound Card

Taiwanese PC audio hardware manufacturer Aim launched its flagship consumer sound card, the SC808. This full-height dual-slot (with daughterboard) sound card features PCI-Express x1 bus interface, and offers 7.1-channel analog and digital outputs. At its heart is C-Media's CMI8888, which is a native PCIe HDA controller, giving external DACs the task of handling analog outputs. The primary 2-channel headphones output is driven by a Wolfson WM8741 DAC, which offers a stellar SNR of 128 dBA. Other analog channels (center/sub, rear, sides), are handled by a C-Media CMI9882A CODEC, which offers a reasonable 100 dBA.

At the downstream of the WM8741 is the card's headphones amp circuit, featuring socketed Texas Instruments LM4562 OPAMP chips, metalized polypropylene capacitors, and a swappable pre-amp stage. The main PCB of the card holds a 6.3 mm stereo headphones jack, left and right RCA line-outs, 7.1-channel coaxial, and optical/TOSLINK SPDIF outputs. The other multi-channel analog outs are wired out by a header and ribbon cable to the daughterboard, which holds color-coded 3.5 mm jacks to all the channels. All audio portions of the card feature electrolytic capacitors (except the OPAMP stages, which feature MP caps), only the electrical/VRM portion of the card features conductive polymer (solid-state) capacitors. The card draws power from a 4-pin Molex power connector. On the software side of things, the driver provider is C-Media, with its reference Xear3D control panel. The card supports Windows 8. Slated for an April 24th launch in Japan, it's expected to be priced at 12,000¥ (US $112). Given its hardware, that's a reasonable price.


Source: Hermitage Akihabara
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9 Comments on Aim Launches SC808 7.1-channel PCIe Sound Card

#1
bogami
128 db, WOW . I hope that the preamplifier sufficiently strong and good ohmic ratio which drove the largest headphones and amplifiers. A majority subwoffer amplifiers does not meet the specs so nice. Everything else will depend on the depth of our pockets ! Crap I forgot that they lie very IHF standards and are of the E versus the standard. 20 db is in fact a difference in these numbers versus DIN. not too much to look forward to. it will be necessary to listen on the a good system.
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#2
WaroDaBeast
It's really nice to see a PCI-e, C-media based soundcard that doesn't need a molex connector — if I remember correctly, all PCI-e Xonar soundcards need external power.

The spec sheet states that the headphone amp has 75 mW output power. I have no idea how much is needed for those high-end heaphones, but I'm hoping that is enough for those of us who enjoy quality headphones.

I'm wondering if the drivers allow bass redirection and cutoff. It would be a shame if it didn't. About them drivers... The soundcard drivers page lists the latest drivers release in 2012. Now, I don't wanna sound pessimistic, but this smells like yet another case of "good hardware with slow software support." I'm aware that, if the drivers are good, it doesn't really matter if they're old, but, having been burnt by Asus myself, it's hard for me to shake off the thought...
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#3
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
the daughterboard looks like a Xonar STX.

Im curious how the card performs but I had issues with games not liking the STX even when i had hardware acceleration turned of due poor implementation of Xear3D - ARMA II would just sound real loud and distort even if i turned the ingame audio down. guildwars and any EAX related game titles would just eventually CTD with EAX related driver issues and id suffer from sound anomalies like being able to hear footsteps or gunshots from enemy spawn in counter strike.

^ all this was happening even with 3rd party drivers, They did fix a lot of compatibility with games though.


Im more then happy with my SB-Z
Posted on Reply
#4
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
I'm more than happy with my Realtek ALC898 too, but I also probably don't know what I'm missing. :p
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#5
Svarog
by: WaroDaBeast
It's really nice to see a PCI-e, C-media based soundcard that doesn't need a molex connector — if I remember correctly, all PCI-e Xonar soundcards need external power.

The spec sheet states that the headphone amp has 75 mW output power. I have no idea how much is needed for those high-end heaphones, but I'm hoping that is enough for those of us who enjoy quality headphones.

I'm wondering if the drivers allow bass redirection and cutoff. It would be a shame if it didn't. About them drivers... The soundcard drivers page lists the latest drivers release in 2012. Now, I don't wanna sound pessimistic, but this smells like yet another case of "good hardware with slow software support." I'm aware that, if the drivers are good, it doesn't really matter if they're old, but, having been burnt by Asus myself, it's hard for me to shake off the thought...
The Creative SoundBlaster ZxR doesn't need extra power either. It even powers the Daughter Board thru the Main PCI-E Board.
Posted on Reply
#6
WaroDaBeast
by: Svarog
The Creative SoundBlaster ZxR doesn't need extra power either. It even powers the Daughter Board thru the Main PCI-E Board.
I know that. Re-read my previous post and you'll see I was talking about soundcards that sport a C-media chip. ;)
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#7
Hilux SSRG
Would a sound card like this help my pc speaker system? I own a Logitech Z-680 and am happy with it but feel it might be getting long in the tooth.
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#8
Sp33d Junki3
by: Hilux SSRG
Would a sound card like this help my pc speaker system? I own a Logitech Z-680 and am happy with it but feel it might be getting long in the tooth.
If you are using optical it dont matter on the soundcard you use, as it mostly bypass DAC.
It is when you use headphones and analog connection that would see an improvement.
I'm happy with my Audiotrak Prodigy Cube.
Posted on Reply
#9
Hilux SSRG
by: Sp33d Junki3
If you are using optical it dont matter on the soundcard you use, as it mostly bypass DAC.
It is when you use headphones and analog connection that would see an improvement.
I'm happy with my Audiotrak Prodigy Cube.
Indeed I am using optical. I connect my headphones into the module and get good sound. Thanks for clearing it up.
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