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UNi Xonar 1788 with original C-Media Audio Center b1 & b2 (experimental) – [closed]

This is a experimental build that uses original C-Media Audio Center instead of Asus Audio Center. I began testing it from the DPC latency perspective, and thanks to Neker’s  feedback, it might be more to it than this. Besides having more settings it might also improve audio quality.  So anyone with free time and eager to contribute in making UNi Xonar drivers better, should check this out and report back your feedback even if its subjective.  Also someone that has RightMark Audio Analyzer  should give it try and compare these drivers output with UNi Xonar 1.0(1).

Some quick notes (updated 29.08.2010):

– DPC latency is low even with Control Center running in tray.

– DPC latency is lower even compared to UNi Xonar 1788 1.0 Low DPC latency . E.g. by enabling Dolby Headphones latency was ~410μs instead of ~500μs

– Download  Sample rate switcher for XP here. You will need to restart or Disable and Enable the Asus Xonar Card from the Device Manager. A quick way to see if its working is to see if DPC latency is higher.

If it doesn’t change look at this guide 5. Finding setting path in the registry & modify .bat switchers to your system. Please report if you had to change the registry path.

– This build still comes with ASIO 2.0, so you’ll have to install ASIO 1.0 Patch A if you used it previously .

Make sure you uninstall the previous drives, UNi Xonar 1.0 drivers may appear in Add or Remove Programs as UNi Xonar Audio

 

How to turn on GX mode (updated 29.08.2010):

1) Download and run one of these files (Right-click and Save (link) as).  XP or  Windows7

2) Download and run the corresponding  hsstart ***.bat file and add  it to Start->Programs->Startup for automatic startup. (thanks sl55)

If this doesn’t work. You may need to manually edit both .bat files. Guide is at 5. Finding setting path in the registry & modify .bat switchers to your system. Please report if you had to change the registry path.

Just as a reference, here is what Neker wrote ( “2 Win7” =  “Uni Xonar 1788 C-Media Center b1 Win7”) :

Hi there carvedinside!

I did a fresh windows install to confirm the results of my previous tests.

I have ran the enhance.bat program. Apparently sound quality is the same, I mean, it does not seem to improve sound quality neither to have any effect. However I have not measured any potential increase in sound quality with any kind of software of other devices (im not really a sound techie but I trust to what I hear :p ).

Concerning your question: “Did you noticed a difference in sound quality without any audio functions enabled as well ?”
The answer is yes.

a) Sound quality is richer when i used the test build “2 Win 7” with the “Oxigen HD configuration menu”. Sharp sounds in other builds are almost lost. And the quality of “bass” sounds is also better with the the test build “2 Win 7”. The true boost in sound quality comes by selecting 2 channels (audio input) and Dolby Prologic.

b) In your final builds, when I select “Dolby” through the “Asus configuration menu”, I do not have sound at all neither in the rear speakers nor in the front speaker (front right and left channels work… dont remember if the subwoofer works or not). In these builds, this is partially fixed by clicking in the “effects” window and adding a sound effect (for example the “Generic” effect). Another fix is to click “7.1 virtual speakers” in the main menu and have the sound of the loudspeakers circling around me, but it is crazy!
In summary, neither the rear speakers nor the front speaker work with other builds. They work using effects in the driver which somehow replicate the sound of the front right and left channels.

My conclusions:
The problem is that the Dolby option using the Asus configuration menu is not really creating 6 different sound channels, but only 2 channels: front left and front right (maybe subwoofer channel too, cant remember). Effects in the driver create the feeling that sound is generated for all speakers, but it is not. It is just replicating the sound of the front right and left channels and sending it through other speakers. Using the test build “2 Win 7” (with the “Oxigen HD configuration menu”) the soundcard is creating 6 true sound channels. And this is really a big difference in sound quality. I get these results by using “Dolby” which is a technology designed to create different sound channels (so apparently Dolby is working perfectly in the test build “2 Win 7”).

Further thoughts:
– In addition, the “Oxigen HD configuration menu” is richer than the ASUS configuration menu. It has more possible options and enhancements. For example, there is a blank square named “Panoramic” you can check under the “Dolby Prologic” settings (in the tab named PLIIx) which enhances sound quality. This is just to mention one feature which is lost in the Asus configuration menu.

– This information also could be helpful since the results of my tests could be affected by my specific hardware. My speakers are Logitech Z-5500 (http://www.logitech.com/en-us/speakers-audio/home-pc-speakers/devices/224). They come with a device to select the input channels, so I can select if input is “Direct” (this one using jack connectors) and “Optical”, “Coax” (these two with S/PDIF). I achieve the best sound quality using the following:

In the loudspeaker I select:
* Direct input (through jack connectors), 6 channels.

In the the “Oxigen HD configuration menu” i select:
* Audio input: 2 Channels
* Dolby Pro Logic (“Panoramic” enabled)
* 6 Speakers
* Audio output PCM

If the only difference between test build “2 Win 7” and your final builds in the ftp is the configuration menu (Oxygen HD and ASUS), then, according to my experience the Asus configuration menu is crap, as you pointed out.

Hope the content of this email to be helpful. Also note that the results of my tests have been confirmed by reinstalling windows. However, different loudspeakers may not report the same results. I think my Logitech speakers have a Dolby decoder built in (not sure if this is relevant, but its good to let you know about it).

Download 1788 b1: here or 1790 b2: here


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103 Comments

  1. yorick    21 Aug 2010 @ 05:38   

    I cannot comment on the audio quality. The control panel does not work for me, because I need to switch between FP headphone and rear-panel speaker output, and this control panel lacks FP headphone as an output option.

    Thanks for all your hard work. Going to try your drivers with the Asus panel now.

    • CarvedInside    21 Aug 2010 @ 10:59   

      If you didn’t changed back the drivers already, to change the between FP headphone output an rear you have switch Output Device in the upper left corner from “Oxygen HD Rear” to “Oxygen HD Front Panel” .

  2. Will Chantland    21 Aug 2010 @ 05:45   

    The Official and previous Uni drivers allowed me to enable "Generic Hardware Sound" in some games when selecting GX mode (Dungeons and Dragons Online specificly) With GX mode off, only software sound is available, and loses all positional effects. With this C-Media Contol Panel, even with Xear3D selected (which is all GX mode really is) only software sound is available. Also, while I can turn on the 7.1 Virtual Surround Shifter in this new control panel, the screen that allows you to adjust the virtual speaker positions doesn't show up. The speaker test screen changed to the speaker position settings screen in the Asus control panel. Subjective… Bass seems enhanced, perhaps richer, or at least playing a wider range, than it was with the Asus Panel. The individual volue controls in the C-Media panel are a big help for setting up speakers.

  3. Taliseian    21 Aug 2010 @ 05:53   

    Greetings,

    I downloaded the drivers, removed my Asus ones via the Device Manager and uninstalled the Asus Control Center.

    The drivers installed correctly and I get sound, but I do not have access to the UNi Control Center. When I click on the icon in my Control Panel nothing happens.

    Can you help?

    T

    • CarvedInside    21 Aug 2010 @ 11:04   

      The asus default icon in tray is no more, look for another icon with Green&Blue and has Xear 3D text typed. If it doesn't show, try reinstalling. What OS you have so I can very this.

      • Taliseian    21 Aug 2010 @ 18:45   

        Windows 7 – 64bit

        I did reinstall the drivers and I still don't have the control center available.

        T

        • CarvedInside    22 Aug 2010 @ 01:10   

          Other guys reported that it worked fine with win7 and they had the Control Center. Most likely something is broken on your side.
          With the normal drivers, Asus Control Center takes over the default C-media Control Center, and even if you find the C-Media Control Center file and launch it , it will run the ASUS one. So maybe that setting remain there and because this build doesn't have Asus CC, it doesn't show anything. Please try this: uninstall, restart, registry clean (with ccleaner),restart and install again. Also don't remove the card from device manager, just uninstall the drivers.

  4. Sarlathan    21 Aug 2010 @ 16:13   

    Hi,

    I really appreciate your hard work and it is really nice to see someone else who is also kind of addicted to this sound card. I use my D2X since it was released and I am in love with it. The driver never was my favorite but the sound quality somewhat made me forget about it. Prefer the original C-media interface. In my opinion a sound card control interface should just work doesn't need to look neat, you usually set it up once. Sadly I don't have a good jack-jack cable to do Rightmark tests to help you but I can write my listening experience.
    The first huge difference between C-media and ASUS driver version the amount of sound volume. The sound volume almost half of the ASUS version. To reach the same loudness in the new driver I set the volume to 15 and with the ASUS driver I got the same with 5. Well it's more than 60% then. =)
    It doesn't really bother me actually because if I watch movies I can use 100% sound volume in the settings and with ReClock it is just perfect since volume affects if the sound is bit perfect or not. (Forever argumenet like which Linux distro is better, never mind 🙂 )
    I always use foobar2000 (latest beta 3 now) with Wasapi or ASIO output. I have music files from 16 bit / 44.1 KHz to 24 bit / 192 KHz and I usually listen .flac only so encoding doesn't really affect the sound quality.
    What I noticed with new drivers, that Wasapi mode sounds now like if I would use the older ASIO driver and output. Warm, soft but still dynamic why I am in love with this sound card. ASUS driver with Wasapi doesn't sound good.
    Well I am not sound card engineer so I cannot tell which way it should be but with hew ASIO driver there is no volume control at all, only in foobar2000 which is not enough for a headphone I almost got deaf, gladly my AKG still works.
    I find also weird that 32 bit mode appeared since the Xonar DAC supports 24 bit / 192KHz max. The sound also different I can tell which ASIO version is which, the difference is clearly audible for me. Previously Flexbass had effect on ASIO output now not but even without that the new ASIO sounds good I wouldn't say it is worse it is a little bit different but I still like it. Cannot really compare since the volume differs a lot. About GX 2.5 I cannot tell much it always crashes my games and it is hard on CPU even I have an unlocked Phenom II 720 BE with 4 cores, sometimes it makes L4D 2 unplayable and Oblivion always crashes from GX 2.5 so I try to avoid it.
    DPC latency also became lower around 300 us when I listen music, previous driver had it's peak around 700-800 us for me with normal usage, WLAN enabled.
    I wish I could somewhat help with my experience.

    • CarvedInside    21 Aug 2010 @ 17:43   

      The driver I modded was based on Xense 1788 driver, so probably thats why it appeared 32 bit mode in ASIO.
      I figured you didn't installed the ASIO Patch. Please check the ASIO 1.0 Patch from here. Release notes are here at the bottom of the page.

      LE: See how music sounds with ASIO 1.0 Patch, if it sounds like the old asio you where mentioning.

      • Sarlathan    21 Aug 2010 @ 22:13   

        I didn't change back ASIO, because I was hoping the original from C-media will work fine, haha I was naive.
        Now managed to run the ASIO patch well, previously it didn't want to work I don't know why, but now yes, it sounds like with the original .1777 ASUS driver but the volume is the half with exactly the same settings. Flexbass now has it's effect and Xear3D spectrum meter works now.

  5. Sarlathan    21 Aug 2010 @ 17:05   

    Hi again,

    I did some additional tests with HQ music and I found the following, using latest foobar2000 of course:

    True stereo 24 bit / 96KHz flac files (Juno Reactor – Inca Steppa)

    With ASIO -> All of the 6 speakers have sound I have good bass (Xear 3D has no effect on anything)

    With Wasapi -> No matter if I use 6 ch input or not I have no bass, Flexbass doesn't work.

    With DirectSound -> if I use 2 ch input Flexbass doesn't work, but if I change to 6 ch input then it starts to work. Really weird in 2 ch to 6 ch it should upmix the music.

    In windows sound control and Xear3D panel I chose 24 bit / 96KHz settings. Well this kind of quality is always hard on the sound card and it never worked as I think it should have so I cannot really tell what is good or not in case of HQ music.
    6 Channel DTS CD works well if it comes to bass and channel output arrangement.
    I can make some test with 24 bit / 192KHz sample also if it helps something.

    • CarvedInside    21 Aug 2010 @ 17:38   

      <del datetime="2010-08-21T14:43:36+00:00">Did you used ASIO 1.0 patch A? </del>

      "Really weird in 2 ch to 6 ch it should upmix the music." The stereo upmix is disabled compared to Asus original drivers.

      Can you give me more details of your setup like what speakers do you have, what OS. With directsound 2ch Flexbass worked on previous drivers, also on UNi Xonar 1.0(1) driver?

      Thank you for you're extensive feedback.

      • Sarlathan    21 Aug 2010 @ 22:22   

        Ahh then that’s why I couldn’t hear the stereo movie in all my speakers.

        My OS is Windows 7 Professional 64 bit and I use and oldie Fujitsu Siemens 5.1 channel active speaker set. It looks small but if the sound card fine tuned well it “blows my head off”. Currently cannot afford a better one. For stereo and more serious listening I use my AKG K412P. People can laugh but it has 10 times better sound than a Sennheiser PC 350 or similar Sennheiser ones. Semi open headphones are not that popular at Sennheiser.
        I cannot recall clearly if it did work well with UNi Xonar I installed and uninstalled these 3 drivers countless times now, hehe.

  6. rankena    21 Aug 2010 @ 19:54   

    I dont hear difference listening music in pure stereo 2.0,44.1,HF mode without any ENABLED distortion and perversion like “dolby”-”dickolby”.

  7. Anonymus    21 Aug 2010 @ 22:20   

    Instead of doing a mix of ASUS drivers and C-Media drivers would not be better to modify the original C-Media 8788 drivers without having to use ASUS control panel?
    For the 8738/8768 are already done http://code.google.com/p/cmediadrivers/

    • CarvedInside    22 Aug 2010 @ 00:47   

      For example the original 1788 driver is nowhere to be found. The latest original drivers that you can download for CMI8788 are 1773 for XP and 1777 for Win7.

  8. Taliseian    22 Aug 2010 @ 07:06   

    Just an FYI, I just did a clean install of W7/64 and the Control Center is now working.

    Thanks for your help. I'll let you know how the performance is once I've played a few games and whatnot.

    T

  9. Taliseian    22 Aug 2010 @ 08:20   

    Another piece of info…

    I play EQ2 which does recognize EAX extensions. Using this driver package the game doesn't give me the option for EAX.

    Do I need to put the ALchemy files in the directory or something like that?

    T

  10. Will Chantland    22 Aug 2010 @ 09:45   

    I also found the new control panel didn't launch in the taskbar. I had to go into control panel and find it, launced it from there and set the Show Icon option, and it worked from then on. WIndows 7 x64 with a Xonar DX

  11. John K. Morris    22 Aug 2010 @ 14:11   

    In Xear 3D Control Panel there is the HP Advance Settings like in the ASUS Xonar Control Panel where can i change headphone gain settings?

  12. Anonymous    22 Aug 2010 @ 13:29   

    There's a way to change headphone gain in the new Xear 3D Control Panel?

    • CarvedInside    22 Aug 2010 @ 13:32   

      to change the between FP headphone output an rear you have switch Output Device in the upper left corner from “Oxygen HD Rear” to “Oxygen HD Front Panel”.

  13. Anonymous    22 Aug 2010 @ 15:12   

    <blockquote cite="#commentbody-170">
    CarvedInside :
    to change the between FP headphone output an rear you have switch Output Device in the upper left corner from “Oxygen HD Rear” to “Oxygen HD Front Panel”.

    I mean HEADPHONE GAIN, in the ASUS Xonar Control Panel i can set it to match Headphone Impendance.
    In XEAR 3D Control Panel i can't find it and the volume is too low for good listening.

    Here is a screen og what i mean: http://www.iouppo.com/lite/pic/a339cb75392bb4ccce

  14. sl55    22 Aug 2010 @ 18:07   

    Hi,

    my card is a Xonar DS but ex xear 3d has no funktion? When i put it on nothing will be change.

    • CarvedInside    22 Aug 2010 @ 19:46   

      Xear 3d is something like GX function. I have updated this page with a guide on how to enable GX .

      • sl55    23 Aug 2010 @ 16:00   

        For a better understanding how it works, with the origin Asus drivers the HsMgr.exe and HsMgr64.exe will be startet as own tasks. I made the steps from the guide and then rebbot my pc but the 2 exe wont be displayed in taskmanager. Is this right? I use win 7 64 bit.
        Sorry for my bad english.

        • CarvedInside    23 Aug 2010 @ 17:04   

          Yes with the original (normal) drivers HsMgr.exe & HsMgr64 will start with Windows. With this driver and Uni Xonar 1.01 Low DPC latency, HsMgr doesnt autostart anymore.
          With this guide they don’t autostart, they only start when you type in run those commands. I made this guide only to see if it still works.
          I will later add a guide or patch with HsMgr autostarup.

      • sl55    23 Aug 2010 @ 18:26   

        Ok, thank your for this information.

  15. Will Chantland    23 Aug 2010 @ 00:15   

    The GX mode add on is working. Hardware Sound is available in all the same games it was with the Asus Control Panel, and Rightmard 3d Sound reports Hardware support and all 5 versions of EAX supported again. I’ll continue testing and see if there’s any difference in performance, sound quality, effects, or stability (Asus GX mode was very unstable at times)

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