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Hardware Review: Auzentech X-fi Prelude

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  • Hardware Review: Auzentech X-fi Prelude

    3 Words to begin: SAVE YOUR MONEY!

    So i've been running a xmeridian direct to a alpine 701, then to 3 lrx amps and DLS audio. Then i decide to upgrade to the brand spanking new prelude.

    First off: The bads.
    1) Price
    2) Its SOFT!!! real soft. I doubt the 5v rms is really there.. probably more like a 3- the Meridian is at least 2x as loud.
    3) Asio is still jittery... you have to use the audio creation mode to enable full asio, which there is a volume control specifically for asio, once you bump that up, everything distorts....
    4) Drivers:- Hell big / affected startup times by around 10-12 seconds.

    Note i tried on both RCA's and optical, and i had a hissing noise from all speakers due to the fact i had to drive the overal system volume (701 and amp gains) up just to hear the damn thing.

    The good.

    Better soundstage- probably 20% better on the high mids up, but remember the amps and everything after need WAAAAy more power.

    The x meridian is back in the car, and my vista has a new soundcard, where it seems good for gaming.


    too bad the x meridian is discontinued. i did a SPL test with the x meridian and the above setup with 189db..... the prelude only managed 132db on the same settings.


  • #2
    Do you have a build thread on your carPC mate? Sounds like what i want to do...

    Im running the X-Meridian too. Swapped in some new OPAmps. But my carpc is yet to make it too my car. So running direct into your amps (im assuming anaolg) how was the sound?



    • #3
      no, but my specs are listed in profile.

      The sound was good, imaging was good, but soft, getting it to decent levels w/o a line driver enduced some clipping.

      As for the xm, it's a gem, not the best, but decent for a car pc.

      BTW what opamps are you running?


      • #4
        sorry, misread your question

        My xm is not direct to amps, it's via an alpine h701


        • #5
          sword, you have a very similar system to my own. I am wondering, since you said you ran the optical setup in audio creation mode for asio, I am assuming the card is capable of bit-matched playback...If so, using the H701 optical input there should be a very healthy output to your amps, depending on where you have the attenuation on your crossovers in the 701, and how your gains are set up...this should be more a matter of matching gains between the 701 and your amps than it is a question of the worthiness of the card when it's in this mode. I really don't understand how there could be a volume difference on the Toslink output unless and until you use the volume controls in software...My suggestion would be to use Toslink in bit-matched mode, leave the volume controls in software alone at 100%, then use the 701's volume control to adjust as necessary. If you have your 701 and your amps set up for the analog output of another card, then there will almost certainly have to be some adjustment to your amp's gains necessary, but I've never had a problem getting clean output of the 701 to a level that I can't match with the gain setting on my amps (JL slash series).

          Also, given that the 701 is in the signal chain, I don't see the point in fretting about analog out from the pc, unless you're planning on circumventing the have a bit-matched digital out available from the PC, and and sound quality of DACs and such would ultimately depend on the processing capabilities of the 701.

          In any case, perhaps I'm missing 3V really too little for you to find a gain setting that will push your amps, when most amp gains run, what, .2 volts on up? Regardless of the advertising, there are only a few head units out there that really do much better than that...and it's not just about voltage out, it's about how clean you can make that voltage. There are a number of Pioneer head units, for example, that run "low" voltage pre-outs, but offer a clean sound that's easy to match with a little gain adjustment at the amps. It's all about control of noise in the signal chain, and max voltage out is just one measurement among many that should be considered.

          189? Is that a typo? I've seen people on 5k watts not hit that.

          I have too much time and too little aggravation in my life, so I built a carPC. ;)


          • #6
            the volts are there.. just needs better power/filter caps

            what i call Z-cap 2x 1500uf black gate NX + 470uf black gate N + OPA637

            way way louder than stock xmeridian


            • #7
              sorry, didn't check this for awhile, but 189 is not a typo... i had it measured at the shop.

              The reason for the volume controls is because my setup is on a e46, and i LOVE my steering controls... can't live without them.

              And yes, i find the xp softer than the xm, i have the xfip on my vista setup right now, it's no where near as loud.

              I know the potential is there for the xfip, but im not botered to retune my whole audio setup, (3way active) just to test it


              • #8
                mmmm i wanted to buy this card because of its 5v output...but now im really not sure...

                Ok there is my question:

                if my car pc is in the trunk and i have very little rca cables 3 to 5 feet!
                can i deal with a 2 volt soundcard?

                edit: And wich sound card do you sugges me for the best SQ results

                i need a 7.1
                Carputer to sell :