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Thread: Club3d Theatron Soundcards

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    Club3d Theatron Soundcards

    DDL / DTS Connect soundcards scheduled to add legacy DirectSound3D support in Vista soon

    I came across these cards today while looking for a replacement for my dying Audigy 2 (poor old thing recently developed the infamous Creative Squeal of Death). It looks like they're going to get an AlChemy equivalent feature for legacy Direct3D support in Vista. The current cards are scheduled for a driver update in Q1 2008 that will include the feature. In fact, the now discontinued Theatron DTS has it already. Aside from that it looks rosy on the driver side - x86 and x64 Vista drivers are already available in a non-beta format.

    I know some of you have posted about the Theatron DTS before. Anyone tried the other cards in the range? They seem like ideal cards for HTPCs.

    Essentially the update will give them a feature set only matched by the Asus Xonar and the Auzentech Prelude, but both current Club3D cards are less than half the price (about £30 for the Theatron DD and £50 for the Theatron Agrippa).

    I've fancied the Prelude for a while but it's a lot to spend on a soundcard just now. I've put in an order for the Theatron DD to tide me over while I save up or wait for the price to come down. It will be installed in in my XP (soon to be dual boot with Vista x64) rig. I'll let you all know how it performs when it arrives (will be used with Creative Inspire Digital 5700 speakers and Speedlink Medusa headphones) .

    There's a review of the Theatron Agrippa here: Club 3D Theatron Agrippa » Reviews - XSReviews.co.uk - Trusted Hardware Reviews

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    Max Tractor (03-01-2008)

  3. #2
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    Re: Club3d Theatron Soundcards

    I would have the Theatron Agrippa if I could find one in stock, also the resellers on club3d site look as if the all use the same template for their sites, that is apart from tekheads, who don't have it. Where did you pick your card up?

    cheers

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    Re: Club3d Theatron Soundcards

    I ordered the DD from Tekheads. The only place I've seen the Agrippa in stock recently was here: PC-Comps - Club 3D Theatron Agrippa DTS 7.1 Soundcard

    Only two left at the time of writing. I don't know anything about the retailer though.

    Edit: The price there doesn't include VAT by the way.

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    Re: Club3d Theatron Soundcards

    I presume these cards dont support the latest EAX HD functions and like the Asus Xonar only supports the first few versions? Getting my Prelude delivered soon and it was the main reason I got it as Im mainly a gamer so hard to see past the X-Fi range...

    Just had a look at that review and like the Xonar it only supports EAX 2 - guess its perfect for non-gamers at that price...

    ps3ud0

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    Re: Club3d Theatron Soundcards

    If there was a lower priced X-Fi with DTS Connect or DD Live I'd snap it up. Hopefully one will appear at some point. Most of the Prelude's price is down to the high quality components on the board. As I'll be using the digital out there's no reason to have the high quality DACs etc but the fact remains that the Prelude is currently the best solution for Gamers with a digital-only connection to their speakers.

    Money wise for me, it was a straight choice between a DD Live Card and an X-Fi Extreme Music /Gamer. My speakers only support 5.1 over a digital connection and I'd take 5.1 with EAX2 over upmixed 4.0 (which is the best I can get over analogue) with EAX5 any day.

    The annoying thing is there's really no technical reason why Creative can't implement DD Live on X-Fi anyway. It could be done with a driver update! Someone's already put together a homebrew hack to give both the Audigy and X-Fi series (or indeed any card that can do SPDIF passthrough) 5.1 over digital but I understand there's a sound latency issue. The encoding's done on the CPU so I suppose you might get away with it with a fast multicore processor : redocneXk released - Realtime 5.1 ac3 Encoder - DriverHeaven.net

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    Re: Club3d Theatron Soundcards

    Meh - that was mildly annoying. Just found out that my Creative 5700s no longer seem to detect a dolby digital (or DTS) signal. Being able to use those speakers was my main reason for wanting a DDL card anyway.

    I've tested the card with an old Yamaha DDP-2 processor and my medusa 5.1 headphones and it works fine. Dolby digital live works as it should.

    Wasn't very impressed with the manual. It mad no mention of the direct Optical drive to soundcard SPDIF cable (and the two pin header on the card isn't labled). I tried it without an it makes a huge difference to the signal. With the signal passed via IDE/Motherboard/PCI-E slot, DVDs sounded rather 'tinny' and artificial. With SPDIF connected directly they sound as they should.

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    Re: Club3d Theatron Soundcards

    Found I was missing EAX in a few games so I picked up an X-Fi XtremeMusic on ebay. As my creative receiver wasn't working it's back to analogue for speaker connections. The Theatron DD isn't a bad card. I was actually quite impressed and will keep it for an HTPC build that I've been saving a few old parts for.

    Was fairly scared that the X-Fi would suffer from the same 'squeal of death' issue that rendered my Audigy 2 unusable for some games (Oblivion in particular). Tested it yesterday and it was fine. I should note that I've replaced the PSU since then so there's still a chance that it was a power issue rather than a borked card.

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