EVGA Showcase High-end AMP & DAC @ CES 2016

CES 2016: EVGA are taking a dive into the world of high-end desktop audio this year, as they demonstrated the prototype of their next-gen audio card! As you can see, we’ve go ta range of high-end gold caps on there, for squeeky clean power delivery, as well as an on-board AMP and DAC. It also looks like the DAC chips are interchangeable, although I’m not sure if that is going to be a remaining feature on the retail product, it would be nice for the enthusiast user to have that option.

The demo units and I can’t stress that enough, those red boxes are just that, demo units for the cards external USB version. They sounded absolutely fantastic, and the clarity and power delivery is up there with the best and you can bet we’ll be pushing this card to the limit as soon as retail samples are available. With a signal to noise ratio of 130Db, Japanese Rubycon caps, Italian made resistors and a little help from Audio Note on the design front, it’s no wonder they’re sounding great.

Are you a fan of high-end audio equipment, or are you happy with the on-board audio from your desktop? Let us know in the comments section below.

Record Crowdsourced Cash Raised For $100 3D Printer

A Saskatchewan man has attracted a staggering $700,000 in funding from a crowdsourced campaign to further develop his home made 3D printer, which he believes will be creatable for just $100 each. This is clearly a lot cheaper than most commercial 3D printers, many of which can cost in excess of $1000, more than twice that for anything half decent.

28 year old inventor Rylan Grayston of Yorkton says it was simple curiosity that pushed him to create a 3D copier that could be not only made, but sold at a low cost.

“I didn’t have enough money for a 3D printer that I wanted, so I just started thinking about how can I do this myself?” Grayston told CBC News. “All I want to do is invent” he added.

His ideals are that he wants lots of money for his efforts, seeing a lot of potential in a commercial project such as 3D printing that would then allow him the finances he requires to pursue his other creations and further his research as opposed to buying a yacht or fancy cars with the money.

His budget 3D printer doesn’t sound a simple as its price tag would suggest either, but there is an element of creative thinking behind its build process. It uses software that converts an object into data using a sound card on his laptop, this audio file is then sent to electromagnetic mirrors and laser beats that vibrate and move in accord with the data, this builds 3D objects from a specialized acrylic resin. Personally I only understand half of that, but it certainly sounds cool.

“It blows my mind,” said David Gerhard, a computer science professor at the University of Regina in a recent interview with CBC News. “The way that they’re doing things is so sort of different from the way normal 3D printers work, that it’s quite amazing to see the shift in thinking.”

Proof that he doesn’t want to steal mega riches from his ideas, Grayston will be posting his ideas online, the plans for the device and he won’t even be applying for patent protection. He has however raised over $700,000 from Kickstarter.

Simply put, you’ll be able to build this thing yourself if you wanted to for parts that cost no more than $100.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/80HsW4HmUes[/youtube]

Thank you CBC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of CBC.

Roccat Introduce Kave XTD Digital 5.1 Gaming Headset

Roccat have just unveiled their latest gaming headset – the Kave XTD 5.1 Digital. The product has been unveiled at the Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany so if you were there you probably would have had a chance to already see and try this new headset. The Kave XTD 5.1 Digital replaces the Original Kave 5.1 and is redesigned based on customer and community feedback.

The Kave XTD 5.1 uses a desktop remote with a built in 5.1 sound card. The remote also features a rather unique piece of technology called Roccat Smart Link. This allows users to pair their smartphone up with the remote using Bluetooth and then can then make or receive calls through the headset while gaming as long as the phone is connected and in range. 

The uniqueness of the remote doesn’t end there as it features connectors for 5.1 surround sound meaning users can easily switch between their headset and speaker output, this is in addition to comprehensive headset and audio controls. The Kave XTD 5.1 has true 5.1 surround sound and three driver units per ear cup at a 12 degree angle. The Kave XTD 5.1 has a reworked headband design and the overall product is 25% lighter than its predecessor.

At Gamescom the headset has already snatched a nomination for the Best Hardware award. The headset will be available from November 2013 for €169.99. More details can be found at the product page.

Images courtesy of Roccat

Gigabyte Reveal Improved Sound On Upcoming Z87 G1 Killer Series Motherboards

Gigabyte have been showing off their latest high end Z87 motherboards at a press event at their Taipei headquarters this week. Gigabyte demonstrated two motherboards both from the G1 Killer series with one in Micro-ATX and the other in full sized ATX. These are the G1.Sniper 5 and G1.Sniper 5M respectively.

The main focus of the event was the new sound implementation that Gigabyte have opted for. This includes a built in Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi (20k2) sound chip, Sound Core 3D and upgradeable Op-Amp (optional amplifier) sockets. In addition to that the audio will also be supplemented with high end Nichicon capacitors, gold plated connections for input/output sockets and a built in gaming headset amplifier.

The upgradeable OP-AMPs are an interesting addition because it means users can change out the operational amplifiers for something that is more suited to their preferences.

Gigabyte will include a replacement alternative OP-AMP and a removal tool for users with the G1 Sniper 5 and 5M motherboards.

Even though Gigabyte have previewed this new audio feature with the G1 Sniper 5 and M5 motherboards only, it is expected there will be more models to come later on this year but on launch the Sniper 5 and M5 will be the only models.

Source: TweakTown, HardwareHeaven

ASUS Reveal ROG Xonar Phoebus Solo “Gaming” Sound Card

ASUS have just announce the latest and greatest addition to their Xonar series of sound cards. The Xonar Phoebus Solo is a specifically gamer orientated sound card, shown by the fact it uses the ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) branding.

The Xonar Phoebus Solo uses a PCI Express interface for maximum bandwidth allowing for the transfer of high quality audio through the 8 channels it supports. 8 channels of course means 7.1 audio is supported so this sound card is aimed specifically at gamers with 7.1 audio speaker systems or 7.1 audio headsets.

In terms of some of the hardware specifics that audiophiles will want to know about, the ASUS Xonar Phoebus Solo has the following:

  • 118dB signal to noise ratio
  • 600 ohm headphone amplifier
  • PCM1796 digital-to-analog converter
  • EMI Shield
  • ASUS Hyper Grounding technology (reduces impacts of electromagnetic interference [EMI] inside PCs)

In addition to the hardware ASUS have also bundled with it some software enhancements such as Dolby Home Theater V4 Audio and DTS UltraPC II surround sound. These packagaes allow the gamer to choose between genre-optimised audio profiles from four different presets. FPS, RTS, RPG and Racing presets are available. Existing ROG Xonar Phoebus users can also get these gaming audio presets (at no extra cost) via the Phoebus driver updates.

The ASUS ROG Xonar Phoebus Solo is available from early May across Europe. Pricing is unknown as of yet but the existing ROG Xonar Phoebus costs £149.99 so expect this to be slightly more, £179.99 seems likely, since it is an improved version.

What are your thoughts on this new sound card from ASUS ROG?

Source: Press Release