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Chaintech AV-710, Best bang for your buck
benjamind
post Jul 27 2004, 08:52
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I just saw a live system using a Chaintech AV-710 card, with the SPDIF optical out, and boy was the sound quality awesome. My friend had purchased it a month or so ago. He uses Cubase SL with the Steinberg Guitar and Hypersonic VST plugins, whatever it was it was good! Too good, in fact.

My mate has the good M-Audio PCI card (he paid $350 for it by memory), a Chaintech AV-710 card (he paid $75 for it) and two Audigy cards - the Audigy DE and the Audigy 2 Platinum. The M-Audio and the Chaintech are the best of the lot. The Audigy 2 Platinum follows close behind and is a pretty rock solid card but is a bit too expensive for my tastes, the DE isn't as good but if you like the EAX and the SoundFont features then it's still good and it's a great budget card for gaming.

We tested all four of these cards, one by one, took us a whole day, but we tested everything. He is what I would call a PC hardware freak.

I took a couple of CDs with custom tracks that I made up from a mix of other CDs, namely the Mantovani Orchestra, Blink 182, APS Storm strike, APS War warriors, Seinfeld, and a few industrial, dance and techno tracks.

The PC was hooked up to an AL500 (100w long-throw sub + 5 x 100w wide-range sats) speaker system (in Australia if you know where to look you can get these for around the $600 mark + shipping, this deal seems almost too good to be true but it isn't) and a Sony 595 digital receiver.

We tested the Chaintech first, then the Audigy 2 Platinum, then the M-Audio and then the Audigy DE and then finally the Chaintech once again.

The subwoofer output was beyond belief, the deep screaming of the soldiers and gunshots made the hair stand up on my neck and the crack and bang of thunder sent shockwaves through me. The rain was crystal clear, you could almost feel each drop splash when the rain was starting to come down.

The treble was absolutely beautiful, with the Mantovani orchestra you could almost feel where the instruments were playing, the violins were rich and warm and vibrant, and the flutes were lovely and hollow with a rich bright tone that I've never heard before from ANY sound system, even my uncle's $2500 theatre surround sound system.

All up, I had a field day.

And, whoever you are, please don't bash that Chaintech AV-710 soundcard, it's probably just as good as an M-Audio card. Sure, it doesn't have MIDI inputs (I don't think it does) and doesn't include some of the extended features that the M-Audio cards have but for the money it does a damn fine playback job and with Cubase SL is plays like a charm, and I can tell you it's a damn sight better than any of the Audigy series as far as crisp 44.1KHz playback goes, all of which I've checked out and heard thoroughly over and over again.

As for MIDI devices, I have a USB 49-note MIDI keystation which uses the USB interface for it's MIDI throughput, so no MIDI soundcard required and I use softsynth so I don't even need MIDI hardware! I plan to install the Chaintech card and use a dedicated driver so it and runs beneath my Audigy DE and goes right to the hardware without any problem.

This is one fine card a budget freak would never want to pass up. Who knows, they might one day stop production of these ridiculously cheap high quality cards, so let's hope they never run out! They are easily worth 4 times the price!
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dreamliner77
post Jul 27 2004, 09:25
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Yup, it is known that this card is bargain. Hell, sometimes you can find them for ~$10-20 usd. Using the digital out is the way to go.

This post has been edited by dreamliner77: Jul 27 2004, 09:26


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john33
post Jul 27 2004, 10:05
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It's just a tragedy that they're not sold in Europe!! crying.gif


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Strat
post Jul 27 2004, 10:57
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If you only use 2 channel sound and you setup using the following guide

http://www4.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=75655

The 710 has excellent sound quality. Better than the Audigy 2 zs.

Considering how cheap it is you really can't go wrong if you want a 2 channel Analog card with good quality sound.

That said don't buy it if you want to use ASIO for professional sound software like Sonar or Guitar Rig. More trouble than it's worth.

john33 try computer geeks. They are in the US but they should ship to Europe. I am in Australia and got 2 shipped here. It took 1 week and they only cost me $52 Australian dollars each. That is about $35 US dollars.
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john33
post Jul 27 2004, 12:56
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QUOTE (Strat @ Jul 27 2004, 09:57 AM)
john33 try computer geeks. They are in the US but they should ship to Europe. I am in Australia and got 2 shipped here. It took 1 week and they only cost me $52 Australian dollars each. That is about $35 US dollars.
*

Thanks a lot, I'll give that a try. wink.gif


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breez
post Jul 27 2004, 13:23
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QUOTE (john33 @ Jul 27 2004, 02:56 PM)
QUOTE (Strat @ Jul 27 2004, 09:57 AM)
john33 try computer geeks. They are in the US but they should ship to Europe. I am in Australia and got 2 shipped here. It took 1 week and they only cost me $52 Australian dollars each. That is about $35 US dollars.
*

Thanks a lot, I'll give that a try. wink.gif
*



I can also recommend computer geeks for ordering the card outside US! wink.gif
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benjamind
post Jul 27 2004, 13:48
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Hey Strat, I plan on using FL Studio, which to me is a great sequencer program for $150 for the full version but you get a few goodies thrown in. ASIO works well with Chaintech, my friend was running one on his FL Studio rig without any difficulties. But yeah Sonar and Guitar Rig is pretty tough on this card.

Basically I want a card without any serious latency issues. From what I understand Chaintech AV710 does not have any serious latency issues unless you use really high bit sampling like 96khz. If you use 44 or 48 then you shouldn't have any trouble.
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m99
post Jul 27 2004, 15:45
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I also ordered mine from Computer Geeks. Recommended.
http://www.compgeeks.com/details.asp?invtid=SC-710&cat=SND
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mj-barton
post Jul 28 2004, 22:20
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I was reading a review on Newegg.com about this card, and I saw this.

QUOTE
For those that do not know, the chaintech can be flashed to get the expensive prodigy drivers to acheive bit perfect and kernel streaming playback(bypasses windows resampling to 44.1hz) and outputs it using the SPDIF cable.


Can anyone explain how you can "flash" a soundcard? This sounds like and excellent buy.
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indybrett
post Jul 28 2004, 22:27
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You can probably flash anything that has it's firmware stored in an EEPROM. I would like to flash my Prodigy card so I could use any drivers OTHER than the Prodigy drivers.

Probably wouldn't help though. That's why the Prodigy in the closet and the M-Audio is in my PC.


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cabbagerat
post Jul 29 2004, 08:35
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QUOTE
Can anyone explain how you can "flash" a soundcard? This sounds like and excellent buy.


There were a couple of threads on HeadFi and HTPC about doing this. I would recommend you search those sites. The threads contained instructions and reports from many people who have flashed their cards (with good or bad results).


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m99
post Jul 29 2004, 13:52
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I'm lazy ;-)
Can someone post it here?
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indybrett
post Jul 29 2004, 14:58
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We should just point the KB link to Google laugh.gif

http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/archive/ind...hp/t-75844.html


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cabbagerat
post Jul 30 2004, 08:59
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QUOTE (m99 @ Jul 29 2004, 04:52 AM)
I'm lazy ;-)
Can someone post it here?
*

And here's the stuff from AVS Forum:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread....highlight=AV710
Well worth the read if you are consider doing this to your card.


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m99
post Jul 30 2004, 14:22
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Thx
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mig2
post Aug 10 2004, 16:36
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anyone know where i can get this card in the UK?

ive searched all over the place for it and cant find it anywhere. or if theres a shop in the US that will ship to the UK i would like to know about it

or similarly for the turtle beach santa cruz card, i really want one of the 2
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nyarlathotep
post Aug 10 2004, 17:21
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QUOTE (mig2 @ Aug 10 2004, 05:36 PM)
anyone know where i can get this card in the UK?

ive searched all over the place for it and cant find it anywhere. or if theres a shop in the US that will ship to the UK i would like to know about it

or similarly for the turtle beach santa cruz card, i really want one of the 2
*

No offence meant but answers are in the previous posts.
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markanini
post Aug 11 2004, 01:56
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QUOTE (indybrett @ Jul 28 2004, 01:27 PM)
You can probably flash anything that has it's firmware stored in an EEPROM. I would like to flash my Prodigy card so I could use any drivers OTHER than the Prodigy drivers.

Probably wouldn't help though. That's why the Prodigy in the closet and the M-Audio is in my PC.
*

What's wrong with the Audiotrak Prodigy?

This post has been edited by markanini: Aug 11 2004, 02:08
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bubka
post Aug 11 2004, 02:35
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hmmm, to flash or not to flash... i will be back


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Chaintech AV-710
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indybrett
post Aug 11 2004, 02:39
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QUOTE (markanini @ Aug 10 2004, 07:56 PM)
QUOTE (indybrett @ Jul 28 2004, 01:27 PM)
You can probably flash anything that has it's firmware stored in an EEPROM. I would like to flash my Prodigy card so I could use any drivers OTHER than the Prodigy drivers.

Probably wouldn't help though. That's why the Prodigy in the closet and the M-Audio is in my PC.
*

What's wrong with the Audiotrak Prodigy?
*



I had massive driver issues. Crackling, latency, horrible distortion. Always triggered by cpu/drive load. No such problems with my current card. And no, it's not a VIA chipset.

If you're looking to buy one, I'm more than willing to sell it.

Edit: I suppose it is possible that I just had a defective card.

This post has been edited by indybrett: Aug 11 2004, 02:41


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markanini
post Aug 11 2004, 13:03
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I was going to recommend it to a friend. From reading the review on Digit-life it seemed like a nice sound card.
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indybrett
post Aug 11 2004, 14:06
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Could have just been mine. Might want to get a second opinion. I wonder if they ever test those cards under any kind of load other than games.


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markanini
post Aug 11 2004, 15:25
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Digit-Life makes somewhat serious reviews.
Is your card a Prodigy 7.1 or Prodigt 192?
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indybrett
post Aug 11 2004, 15:34
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QUOTE (markanini @ Aug 11 2004, 09:25 AM)
Digit-Life makes somewhat serious reviews.
Is your card a Prodigy 7.1 or Prodigt 192?
*

7.1


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markanini
post Aug 11 2004, 15:40
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Why didnt you just return the card?
Did you see this review:
http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/audiot...gy71/index.html
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