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Like the SoundBlasterLive, this card has its fans and its critics.
Categorizing this under "waste of your time" is a bit harsh. This is a fine card as long as you do not need bit-perfect 44khz iec958 output. For those looking for output to minidisc it's a great deal.
Thanks to volumes of generous assistance from Trident, this is also one of the best supported cards under ALSA.
Soundblaster AWE-64 Gold has iec958 flaws too, and other more serious problems, and it's filed under GoodConsumerCards...
-Dan (goemon at anime dot net)
Hoontech 4Dwave, a.k.a. Trident 4DWave requires not one but THREE expansion brackets to get digital I/O. There is an ALSA driver.
Bryan Levin warns: "in fact, its really just a soundblaster with a trident chip and their spdif out is NO BETTER than the sblive value2. ie, it resamples and is NOT a literal unmodified wave ;-( I bought one assuming it was a cheap spdif card, yet when I feed 44.1 into it, I get 48k out; even on the spdif port ;-("
As for those expansion brackets: Anonymous Tim forwarded me these messages from good old Jaroslav Kysela on the ALSA mailing list:
> The 4dwave card requires an additional bracket, the > NX DB I. However, this bracket only allows for digital output (not > input). To get digital input with the ST Digital NX you need to spend > approximately $125 (US) (http://www.audiencedp.com) for the NX DB I, > NX DB II and NX DB III brackets.
Yes, it's true.
See also http://www.hoontech.com/product/soundcard/STdigitalNX.htm
...This combination seems to disable digital input and output to the AC'97 codec and routes these signals to ST-DB III through NX-DB II.
I can only confirm that conversion algorithm is lossless or nearly to lossless (I can't hear any distortion when I connect through optical cable my external CD deck and through coaxial cable my digital receiver).
Note: If you want also use analog inputs or outputs, you must buy second soundcard. With above components, the soundcard uses only digital I/O paths.
Hoontech (Trident) 4Dwave NX now has ALSA support for multi-channel output, according to Andy Lo A Foe. Also, I found this note from Paul Barton-Davis on the Csound mailing list:
"...They cost $39+shipping from Korea for a card with 4 channel output (though there are some oddities about using the rear 2 channels ()) plus S/PDIF digital I/O (Note from editor: See the above section on digital cards! You need expansion brackets to do this with the 4Dwave, and it disables the analog audio path too!) ... There is a little bit of spectral peaking and dipping here and there, but its a very nice card... () the specs for the trident chip indicate that the rear channel output gets routed through a reverb unit. they don't indicate how to bypass the reverb unit. however, i imagine that under windows, this is probably solved already. we're still trying to figure it out over on the alsa-devel mailing list... ps. trident wrote and donated a driver for their chipset to ALSA. if you use Linux, show trident that you appreciate this kind of thing."
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