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Old 03-26-05, 09:37 AM   #1
BrianG
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Default HDA Mystique US Rep Q&A

I was able to make out a trail of marketing to the company that will be distributing the Dolby Digital Live capable HDA Mystique 7.1 Sound Card and asked them the following questions...

Are you currently working on a US release?

HDA's US distribution is handled by BlueGears, Inc. (www.bluegears.com). BlueGears, Inc. is a newly registered company, but that with extensive experience in marketing & sales, distribution in the US.

How long until we see the Mystique in US retail outlet (online or brick and mortar)?

We are now preparing the launch of this product thru online retail channels. This should be ready by mid April. We will than contact offline retail stores, but we don't have the schedule yet on this.

How is the CMedia CMI8768 different in the Mystque to allow Dolby Digital Live capability?

In CMedia, they have two kind of chips: CMI8768 and CMI8768+ chipset. The CMI8768 does not support DDL, and we are the only one using this CMI8768+ chipset.

What is the projected retail price of the Mystique in the US?

MSRP $99.95


I would like to thank Steven with BlueGears for taking the time to answer the interview question. Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions, I will try to get them answered.
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Old 03-26-05, 09:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: HDA Mystique US Rep Q&A

Nice.

How about Europe? Will it hit the market at the same time as in US??
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Old 03-26-05, 09:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: HDA Mystique US Rep Q&A

Are they planning on doing a slimmed down "value" version that maybe doesn't have all the fancy features for people who have standard speakers and onboard audio but don't want to buy a Creative-labeld product?
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Old 03-26-05, 10:23 AM   #4
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Default Re: HDA Mystique US Rep Q&A

Overclockers UK have a pre-order for it.

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/HiTeC.html
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Old 03-26-05, 11:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: HDA Mystique US Rep Q&A

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnotaku
Are they planning on doing a slimmed down "value" version that maybe doesn't have all the fancy features for people who have standard speakers and onboard audio but don't want to buy a Creative-labeld product?

i was wondering the same thing... because i am certainly one of those people
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Old 03-26-05, 04:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: HDA Mystique US Rep Q&A

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnotaku
Are they planning on doing a slimmed down "value" version that maybe doesn't have all the fancy features for people who have standard speakers and onboard audio but don't want to buy a Creative-labeld product?
why would you want this sollution if you are using standard speakers?
the only cool or really interesting thing about it is dolby digital live, a feature which you will only benefit from if you hook up your soundcard via spdif to a surroundsound reciever

actually I tend to belive that this card will be made with the DDL aspect put first and foremost (ie crappy DACs)
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Old 03-26-05, 05:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: HDA Mystique US Rep Q&A

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnteP
why would you want this sollution if you are using standard speakers?
the only cool or really interesting thing about it is dolby digital live, a feature which you will only benefit from if you hook up your soundcard via spdif to a surroundsound reciever

actually I tend to belive that this card will be made with the DDL aspect put first and foremost (ie crappy DACs)
Most of the owner reviews I have read place its sound reproduction on par with Soundblaster products.

And yes, DDL is a huge deal to those of us that got used to it with the Soundstorm but have since upgraded. Doom3 through Soundstorm was very impressive on my Midiland 5.1 set up, which unfortunately does not have discrete six channel inputs.
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Old 03-26-05, 05:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: HDA Mystique US Rep Q&A

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianG
Most of the owner reviews I have read place its sound reproduction on par with Soundblaster products.

And yes, DDL is a huge deal to those of us that got used to it with the Soundstorm but have since upgraded. Doom3 through Soundstorm was very impressive on my Midiland 5.1 set up, which unfortunately does not have discrete six channel inputs.
I somehow doubt that this soundcard has DACs on par with a modern Audigy board. (People tend to underestimate Creative to say the least.)

As for being a huge deal for some people I don't doubt it (personally I don't really agree with compressing all audio to DD5.1 but that's another story) but saturnotaku clearly stated that he meant to use it with "normal speakers" which I assume is standard stereo desktop speakers.
From that (the stereo desktop speakers) point of view there's absolutely nothing saying that this soundcard should be better than any other.
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Old 03-26-05, 06:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: HDA Mystique US Rep Q&A

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnteP
I somehow doubt that this soundcard has DACs on par with a modern Audigy board. (People tend to underestimate Creative to say the least.)

As for being a huge deal for some people I don't doubt it (personally I don't really agree with compressing all audio to DD5.1 but that's another story) but saturnotaku clearly stated that he meant to use it with "normal speakers" which I assume is standard stereo desktop speakers.
From that (the stereo desktop speakers) point of view there's absolutely nothing saying that this soundcard should be better than any other.
All I can say is that the others using the card already say it is on par with Soundblaster Audigy 2 cards. While it is true that certainly isn't a good for comparison's sake, we can at least estimate that you will not "miss' the Soundblaster.

As I understand it, even with the compression of DDL, a pure stereo signal is not really compressed. From what I understand about DDL, the compression only really limits audio quality when all channels are being utilized. Now, there are certainly times when gaming that that is the case, but those times are also not known for subtle signal levels, ie fragfest and yuou are the meat. Movies are still a pass-through situation.

Soundblaster has the market by the nards right now. Any competition is good and this is a big step forward. If HDA can force Creative's hand and make them come out with a DDL capable part, I am fully in support of HDA's efforts. The question will be if Creative can noticably discern themselves from the C-Media parts.

I will not argue that discrete signal input would be better than DDL, but will the difference be measurable when gaming? Many more would-be HTPC builders would rather use DDL as most home theater in a box systems do not have real estate for discrete inputs. FYI, my tuner is capable and when the time comes to build I will have to decide what is best. However, my PC is hooked up to a system with out the discrete inputs, so if I want five channels, I need DDL.
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Old 03-27-05, 05:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: HDA Mystique US Rep Q&A

3DSoundsurge will be reviewing the HDA Mystique card, there's a thread on their forums about it.

http://www.3dss-forums.com/cgi-bin/w...&o=0&fpart=all

The DAC is inside the Cmedia 8768+ chip that is the heart of the card. It won't sound as good as cards with the best DACs like EMU0404(AKM AK4395) or EMU1212M(Cirrus Logic CS4398).

The DDL feature is software driven, it's not hardware accelerated like the MCP-T does on the NForce2 mobos.

Drivers are very raw atm according to Chastity (3DSS reviewer and forum mod).

If you use the DDL feature, you bypass the DAC on CMedia 8768+ chip and use the DAC inside your receiver, thats the beauty of DDL. The Soundstorm mobos had crappy Realtek AC97 codecs providing the DAC, and by using the DDL feature, they get a big upgrade in sound quality when paired with a receiver with a good DAC.
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Old 03-27-05, 07:54 AM   #11
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Default Re: HDA Mystique US Rep Q&A

I have this sound card. I got it from ebay. All I can say is that it sounds very very good. MP3 seem to come alive. Am using Logitech 5500 speakers. Games sound as good as the soundblaster card I had. This card is for real. I like it.
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Old 03-28-05, 09:06 AM   #12
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Default Re: HDA Mystique US Rep Q&A

This screenshot might help you reconsider that this card works great.

1%-2% CPU utilization with 64channels, 44khz, 3D hardware enabled etc in Darwinia demo.

My other computer(FileServer) at home in the basement has an Audigy 2 ZS (not my Game SLI system) and that was getting b/w 4-5% with this same demo at the same settings.

So it looks like this card is doing DDL in hardware it has to be. If it wasn't it would be around 15-16%.
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