Cheap sound card with optical out on back - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-06-2003, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Are there any inexpensive sound cards with optical outputs on the back? I want to demo a HTPC to see if I like it but I'm not ready to commit to the project yet. I bought a cheap 16x Sony DVD drive but I don't think my SB Live card can be hooked up to my Yamaha receiver without an optical connection. My SB has outputs for front and rear spearkers but nothing for sub and center (unless that's what the digital out is for). Also, I think my receiver is only able to accept either a single optical or dual rca input. I assume that if I run a mini to rca plug from the front SB connection to my DVD rca input connections on my receiver that I won't get 5.1 so I'm looking at the new sound card.

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post #2 of 18 Old 05-06-2003, 06:36 AM
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AOpen AW850D or Chaintech AV515M, both can be found for under $25.
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-06-2003, 06:37 AM
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Get the Hercules cards. You can find an OEM box for about $40 and they actually put out some really good sound.
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-06-2003, 09:59 AM
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Has anyone used a Maya..........I saw them at CompUSA this past weekend. I have a Sound Blaster Live Value with the daughter card for a digital optical connection and have bad luck getting any sound to my Denon 3802.

Dave

Revised:

I uninstalled all the programs with the sound card and just installed the drivers and had 100% perfect luck with all MP3's, DVD's, DD and DTS output to my receiver.
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post #5 of 18 Old 05-06-2003, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by KWhite
AOpen AW850D or Chaintech AV515M, both can be found for under $25.
I hadn't heard of these before. They certainly meet the criteria. I used to be scared of no name audio cards from the Win 95 and Win 98 days but I suppose drivers and IRQ handling is much better now so it's not so dangerous.

I will have to consider the Hercules cards too. I had no idea you could get them so cheap for so many features.

Just out of curiousity, if you pipe the sound from your pc to your receiver does it really matter how good the sound card is? Doesn't your receiver take over the processing? I should probably make this another post.

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post #6 of 18 Old 05-06-2003, 10:44 AM
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Check out the Nightingale Pro 6. You can get it for less than $40. I've been using one for over a year and a half and love it. It's got SPDIF-In and Out as well as Digital Coax out.

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post #7 of 18 Old 05-06-2003, 12:05 PM
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Does the sound on the SPID get decoded into Dolby Digital DTS?

I have a SPID on the back of my card, and I'm not seeing the lovely blue light come on my Sony receiver indicating digital optical 5.1. :(

(I have a now defunct company Fortissimo with a SPID on the back).

Bill
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post #8 of 18 Old 05-06-2003, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by irwincur
Get the Hercules cards. You can find an OEM box for about $40 and they actually put out some really good sound.
Do the newer Hercules cards still have the limitation where you have to reboot to switch between Windows sound and DVD sound (ie. through PowerDVD)? This is a major issue for me with my Fortissimo II.
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post #9 of 18 Old 05-06-2003, 04:46 PM
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Ahem, you said cheap. $14 for a Nightengale clone (AVM515) at Directron. Its the same hardware.
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post #10 of 18 Old 05-06-2003, 06:19 PM
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Wow, I just read a few reviews of the Nightengale - sounds like a great card for this purpose.

And yes, you do still need to reboot with the Hercules. Now that I think of it, that is complete BS.
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post #11 of 18 Old 05-06-2003, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by irwincur
Wow, I just read a few reviews of the Nightengale - sounds like a great card for this purpose.
I am going to have a look at that card as well.

Quote:
And yes, you do still need to reboot with the Hercules. Now that I think of it, that is complete BS.
Their technical support promised the problem would be fixed almost 2 years ago. So much for Hercules... another sound card manufacturer to join Creative Labs on my most hated list.
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post #12 of 18 Old 05-07-2003, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by IUnknown
Ahem, you said cheap. $14 for a Nightengale clone (AVM515) at Directron. Its the same hardware.
Someone must have thought it was a great deal - I see this as being sold out at Directron.

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post #13 of 18 Old 05-07-2003, 05:39 AM
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Too bad it is sold out. A quick sear for 'audio excel" cards did not bring up any other places that have it. I did find one on eBay but the seller does not have any of the details listed. Not even the model number.
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post #14 of 18 Old 05-07-2003, 06:30 AM
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I am also looking for a sound card and here is what i found:

1) directron is out of stock, but the price for the av515m is $15 + 6s/h = $21

2) Newegg has the chaintech av515m for $19+4s/h=$23

3) Newegg has the Aopen aw850D for $23 +0s/h+ $23

go for Newegg's aopen aw850D since it has optical in/out also and also very reputable dealer w/ fast delivery and great service. good luck
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post #15 of 18 Old 05-07-2003, 06:48 AM
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I just found the Chaintech av515m (same as the Nightengale and the avm515) on www.googlegear.com. It was $23 with free shipping - not bad for a good looking card. However, everywhere I see this card the optical out part is listed as the OP101 and none of the vendors say whether or not it really comes in the box.

Just wondering if the OP stands for optical or optional - you just never know.
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post #16 of 18 Old 05-20-2003, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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I bought the AOpen AW850D from NewEgg and installed it last night. The optical connection setup was really a royal pain but I finally figured it out after viewing the online forum for Aopen. Initial results are really good. I need to test it more but I can't believe how good it sounds for so cheap a card. DVD movies came thru the receiver with no problems.

My next task it to try and figure out how to get the ATI TV tuner to work with the receiver while keeping the DVD stuff working. It's probably a connection that I've screwed up.

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post #17 of 18 Old 05-20-2003, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by irwincur
I just found the Chaintech av515m (same as the Nightengale and the avm515) on www.googlegear.com. It was $23 with free shipping - not bad for a good looking card. However, everywhere I see this card the optical out part is listed as the OP101 and none of the vendors say whether or not it really comes in the box.

Just wondering if the OP stands for optical or optional - you just never know.
Looking at the pictures on newegg.com, it appears as if the daughterboard is included. Perhaps an email to newegg to ask them is in order?
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post #18 of 18 Old 05-20-2003, 12:27 PM
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does anyone have a link to buy the Nightingale Pro 6 in the states. I can't find any place that has them in stock or even sells them. I'd perfer a store as opposed to e-bay. thanks.
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