Mad Dog Entertainer 7.1 Sound Card

Soundcards and Speakers 106 Page 4 of 9 Published by


Software and Installation

Drivers & Installation 

The Entertainer is not freakishly easy to install, but pretty close. Mad Dog includes a 4 page Quick Setup Guide replete with pictures for hardware installation and the software wizard steps. Not bad. The 'uninstall' service will indeed uninstall *all* Envy24HT drivers. This included the AudioTrak Prodigy 7.1 drivers that were already installed for listening tests. They share the same Envy24 chip.


The software is VIA's standard Envy24 WDM driver, the Audio Deck. It's not very pretty. But we'll get to that later.  There isn't much frill here, in terms of a software bundle. In fact, there's no other software,(besides the Flash 5.0 Player) no stuffware and not a single game in the bundle. This is one lean Mad Dog. Another point of humor was that the manual .pdf was actually smaller than the Quick Setup Guide .pdf.




Here's a shot of the systray icon. Ugly, like the rest of the driver, it says, "Envy."


There are seven tabs for getting a leash around the Entertainers' settings.


Not so pretty, but functional.


The first tab has the volume sliders for the 8 channels. The second tab has sliders for record volume, source select, a microphone gain, and an ominous 'Remove Recording Noise' check box.


It does have a lot of inputs, however.


The Digital Out tab below, sets the output format, be it AC3 or uncompressed PCM. 


Digital Output.


Below that is the 'Enable High-Sample Rate' check box. This is where you can route 24 bit/96kHz 2-channel audio through the Wolfson DAC. It will warn you that it's switching to 2 channel mode. You will need to change your speakers to the 'Alt-center' output for listening. Switching to other speaker modes will automatically disable the 24 bit/96kHz mode.


Immerzio 3D, Sensaura3D; Creative by any other name.


Enabling the Immerzio3D will not disable the Wolfson DAC, but it will lock the sample rate at 48kHz. This is common for Sensaura3D.


Let the soundcard do the work.


While there isn't any clock setting for the S/PDIF input, the digital optical input had no trouble locking onto our CD player. It says it will disable output, but with the loopback setting, it will output to either the Wolfson DAC or the VT1616. It's confusing, but works fine.


No naked dude, like Audigy.


The Speaker Config tab helps with making sure all the speakers are properly connected.


Not too advanced.


The Advanced Control Items tab has the Immerzio 3D switch. This will require a restart. The AudioTrak Prodigy 7.1 has the best implementation for this Sensaura3D mode: it's just another audio device.




The Info tab is what it says.


Overall, the drivers were pretty stable and well behaved. No need to take them to obedience school or rub its nose in it. They are not very colorful or flashy, and lack a little personality. Most dogs I know have quite a bit of personality.

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