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Auzentech X-Meridian Back With a Bang in New Second Generation Model

btarunr

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#1
Widely regarded in the audiophile community as one of the best sound cards ever made, Auzentech's X-Meridian 7.1 is being revived in a new second-generation (2G) model. Following engagement with Creative for supply of its X-Fi chipsets, Auzentech had stopped production of the original X-Meridian 7.1 sound card citing shortages of the C-Media CMI8788 Oxygen HD chipset, which it now seems to have come over. The new X-Meridian 2G 7.1 from Auzentech sports the same CMI8788 Oxygen HD chip, backed by a squad of channel-independent enthusiast-grade AKM AK4396 DACs, user-replaceable OPAMP chips, high-end electrolytic capacitors to maintain natural-sounding output in the analogue portion of the card, and high-end solid-state capacitors for the power-distribution and digital output. To ensure the lowest latencies, the card uses the PCI interface, because CMI8788 is a PCI chip, and adding a PCI-E bridge chip would step up latencies. More technical details can be found in the exclusive preview by Guru3D.

Show full news post
 
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#2
Hmm. It looks really nice but it really would have been nice if it were PCI-e. I know PCI and PCI-e won't matter on a sound card, but most modern computers when you pop in a dual or triple SLI or Crossfire setup, the PCI slots are covered and there is a lonely PCI-e 1x slot at the top. This card is going to make my PCI-e 1x slot cry.
 

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#3
no optical SPDIF?

This should have optical SPDIF as coaxial SPDIF can fall victim to electrical noise. Other than that looks like great card, especially for the mild audiophile who wishes to use analog outs on their sound card. The DAC (digital analog converter) is always overlooked despite it being one of the most important components in maintaining sound quality. Its good to see Auzentech taking note and using better DACS.
 

btarunr

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#4
This should have optical SPDIF as coaxial SPDIF can fall victim to electrical noise. Other than that looks like great card, especially for the mild audiophile who wishes to use analog outs on their sound card. The DAC (digital analog converter) is always overlooked despite it being one of the most important components in maintaining sound quality. Its good to see Auzentech taking note and using better DACS.
There is optical SPFIF. Those RCA plugs double up as optical with attachment.

Auzen will bundle one of this:



The optical connection is TOSLINK type, on one end goes into that gray RCA-like connector.
 

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#7
Optical connection makes the whole point of high end components kinda useless since you don't utilize those high end DAC's anymore...
 

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#8
Optical connection makes the whole point of high end components kinda useless since you don't utilize those high end DAC's anymore...
It doesn't make it useless when the DAC inside your HT receiver (which receives digital audio from the sound card and converts to analogue for the speakers) is of lower quality than the DACs on this card.

People buy such sound cards more for its analogue output, so they could connect the analogue directly to an amplifier.
 

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#9
Hmm. It looks really nice but it really would have been nice if it were PCI-e. I know PCI and PCI-e won't matter on a sound card, but most modern computers when you pop in a dual or triple SLI or Crossfire setup, the PCI slots are covered and there is a lonely PCI-e 1x slot at the top. This card is going to make my PCI-e 1x slot cry.
Yea i with it was PCI-e too, all though my mobo has a PCI and PCI-e connection above the 1st PCI-e x16 slot but upgrading could course issue's later.

O well maybe they will get ti right next time.
 

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#10
so they are going away from the X-fi chips? I wish they could marry the CMedia HD Oxygen and the X-fi together.
 
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#11
Yeah, I'm still rocking SPDIF on my Audigy 2 ZS and have no intention of upgrading. The only reason I don't use onboard (since the DACs are bypassed) is that through Daniel_K's drivers, I get hardware DTS:Connect encoding (with Windows, at least). I used to have a GA-MA790FX-DS5 motherboard that had an ALC889a chipset that also supported DTS:Connect, but that setting used about 8% CPU usage continuously on my (at the time) Athlon X2 @ 3Ghz.
 

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#12
Optical connection makes the whole point of high end components kinda useless since you don't utilize those high end DAC's anymore...
Not always, I utilize both optical and analog connection on my auzen. I use the optical connect for my Hifi separates system, SPDIF-->Maverick Tubemagic D1 DAC/PRE-->Akai Integrated Amp-->speakers. I have the analog outs connected directly to my Fisher amp with a different set of speakers. I output both PCM over SPDIF and analog at the same time which allows me to use the separates system for music listening/Gaming and the sound card's analog out for youtube/low res video/ect.

I'm just paranoid about losing more lovely speakers to youtube videos... but in my rare case its very nice to have :)
Some people may want to decode the surround stream on their AV receiver and use the analog outs for their 2ch music..

Edit:eek:ops looks like bta already said this...
 
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#13
pure fucking sex! I love these cards and could never find one, huh maybe I'll actually pick one up now. I'd rather have an all around chip that does everything great and excels in music and video sound reproduction than a card that sounds ok except in games.
 
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#14
This should have optical SPDIF as coaxial SPDIF can fall victim to electrical noise. Other than that looks like great card, especially for the mild audiophile who wishes to use analog outs on their sound card. The DAC (digital analog converter) is always overlooked despite it being one of the most important components in maintaining sound quality. Its good to see Auzentech taking note and using better DACS.
If your coax SPDIF signal has any interferance from electrical noise, then you have more serious problems than bad sound. Generally speaking, and I mean generally for almost any setup anyone here on TPU would possibly have, you will not hear any difference between optical and coax SPDIF. Sure with analog you need to worry about interference, also with very long digital coax runs you might find one or two scenarios where you'll have interference, but far as arguments go regarding digital outputs complaining about one being more susceptible to noise is weak at best. Now if you were complaining that your receiver had only a free optical connection and no free digital coax connection and you'd like to see both on the card then sure that's valid. Turns out they thought of that anyway with the included cable.

Edit: In fact I prefer coax digital runs since the cable is more robust against cable damage. Running over an optical cable with your computer chair or whatever will be more likely to trash your cable than running over a coax one (for digital that is).
 

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#15
If your coax SPDIF signal has any interferance from electrical noise, then you have more serious problems than bad sound. Generally speaking, and I mean generally for almost any setup anyone here on TPU would possibly have, you will not hear any difference between optical and coax SPDIF. Sure with analog you need to worry about interference, also with very long digital coax runs you might find one or two scenarios where you'll have interference, but far as arguments go regarding digital outputs complaining about one being more susceptible to noise is weak at best. Now if you were complaining that your receiver had only a free optical connection and no free digital coax connection and you'd like to see both on the card then sure that's valid. Turns out they thought of that anyway with the included cable.
After lots of reading I still find many that believe, especially in my current setup, that electrically isolating the PC from the DAC/Preamp is important and will offer a cleaner signal in the end. If your audio gear is good enough to make that difference audible is arguable, but I have spent enough time building this system up that going optical is the choice for me even if it's just peace of mind.
 

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#16
Sigh, I wish Auzentech would get their UK distribution sorted out. I really wouldnt mind one of their cards
 

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#17
*Waiting on a PCI E C Media variant DSP*
 
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#18
The PCIe bridge reason is kinda lame. It's not like it induces a few second delay. Had Xonar Essence STX which was a OxygenHD chip with PCIe bridge chip and i couldn't notice any delay. Besides, PCI is dead now, i don' get it why are they even pushing into that direction...
 
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#19
I, for one, am glad this card is not PCIe!
 
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#20
It's like insisting on AGP in these days...
 

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#21
Because this card barely needs PCI bandwidth, and a majority of the motherboard have PCI slots.
 
T

Taskforce

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#22
Decisions, decisions, you have Auzentech X-Meridian, X-fi Titanium HD and Asus Xense on the horizon for this year, we had a whole slue of good cards last year too, good to see PC audio being taken seriously.
 

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#23
no kidding, onboard doesnt cut it for me
 
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#24
The only thing left needed to jump-start an APU war is a standalone SoundStorm card. I'm still perplexed why they haven't pursued this road yet, they could sell millions just by offering the chip and leave the design/development to 3rd parties (like they do with most GPU's).
 

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#25
It doesn't make it useless when the DAC inside your HT receiver (which receives digital audio from the sound card and converts to analogue for the speakers) is of lower quality than the DACs on this card.

People buy such sound cards more for its analogue output, so they could connect the analogue directly to an amplifier.
Which is most receivers under $700 these days.

Lets see, spend $1000 on a receiver to get killer DACs and analog and use the digital inputs

OR

$700 on a receiver with the same analog section as the $1000 unit minus the good DACs + this card and then use the receiver's analog inputs.

I'll go for the cheaper receiver and better card, tyvm.
 
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