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New Never heard of Hoontech...
...but that never stopped me from using Google.

[link|http://www.3dsoundsurge.com/reviews/Digital-XG/DigitalXG-p7.html|http://www.3dsounds...alXG-p7.html]

It appears to be based on Yamaha's YMF744 chip, but according to the review, Yamaha is exiting the PC sound card market, so this may not be supported for much longer.

Here's another:

[link|http://firingsquad.gamers.com/hardware/soundtrackdigital/|http://firingsquad....rackdigital/]

Here's some sound info from a forum here at Microsoft.

Creative not only works... it's the ONLY one I can find that works.

I bought all the current state-of-the-art multichannel cards and returned them all one by one, they all had weird-ass problems of one kind or another, or failed to do what they said on the box they could do.

Let me see if I can recall which cards I tried:

- Turtle Beach Santa Cruz (probably the best of the alternatives but still some flaky behavior; no working driver removal; no DD decoding; no external SPDIF input; no simultaneous 4.1/5.1 analog, and digital stereo, output)
- Hercules Game Theater XP (very unreliable, flaky driver install; no working driver removal; no internal CD audio SPDIF input; no dual CD audio, TAD or internal AUX capability)
- Philips Acoustic Edge (very incorrect echo processing in games like Counterstrike making footsteps in open areas sound like footsteps in sewers; enabling some features causes crashes in WDM drivers)
- Guillemot Multi Sound Fortissimo (4 channel only, no sub. Digital output randomly disables itself; simultaneous digital & analog output enabled produces scratching sounds)

All of the above: EAX support basically non-functional; not all advertised features available in WDM drivers, only in VxD drivers; subwoofer output not reproduced as advertised in 4.1 mode.

I think there's something missing from that list, but I can't remember which it is.

Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, Creative is the only choice, unless all you care about is stereo, then almost any name brand card should work (although not most motherboard solutions; most of those may have OK chips and drivers but suffer from cheap-o implementation problems like audible popping when cycling from active to inactive modes).

This was targeted at gaming, so it may not be relevant to you.
New Perhaps not relevant, but useful, nonetheless.
The PC it is destined for is also my Games PC, but being until recently my most powerful PC, it is also used for sound processing. It has been acquiring more and more tasks, though, as I re-arrange my other PCs. About the only thing I will not put on it if Office.

At the moment, that PC has an Ensoniq PCI sound card. Fairly basic, but works. All I want is the same but with S/PDIF in and out. That's all. The expensive Creative cards that do S/PDIF in and out also happen to provide extra frills like 3D Audio (nice, but I've been doing it without it for years), DD in hardware (don't watch DVDs on my PC), 5.1 analog out, etc etc etc. And digital in/out is added as a creme-de-la-creme on an over-specced sound card. [frustrated grunt].

The Hoontech card I can at least get in Australia. The other one I was looking at a few weeks ago was the [link|http://www.chaintech-excel.com/Level%203/L%203%20Product%20Specs/Audio/MD%20Mate.htm|ChainTech MD Mate], but I have no idea how to get one in Australia (yet - there are some possibilities). Both companies have been around a while - Hoontech happen to specialize in professional sound cards, so there's an advantage right there, but Chaintech have also been around awhile and make this type of thing in several fields. At least the Hoontech card gets some good reviews. That's promising.

Wade.

"All around me are nothing but fakes
Come with me on the biggest fake of all!"

     Anyone played with this sound card? - (static) - (2)
         Never heard of Hoontech... - (inthane-chan) - (1)
             Perhaps not relevant, but useful, nonetheless. - (static)

Only technical details are missing.
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