Raising PC Audio Standards To Hi-Fi Levels: Audiotrak Maya 7.1 Gold and CARDamp

Specifications (taken From The Audiotrak Website)

Maya 7.1 Gold

  • 2 analog in, 8 analog out
  • micro in
  • internal aux and CD input
  • G9 connector (6 channel analog out)
  • TOSLINK digital optical output
  • Sample rates between 8 and 48 KHz
  • 5.1 channel surround support
  • 7.1 channel surround ready
  • Enhanced Windows Driver Model based
  • 18 Bit AD converter and 20 Bit DA converter
  • 90 dB(A) dynamic range


  • 2x 20 Watts output
  • THD: Less than 0.05%
  • Frequency response: 15 Hz to 50 KHz
  • Efficiency: 85%
  • Cinch input to connect to sound card
  • 1/4" phone jack outputs for connecting speakers
  • 300 W computer power supply recommended


At a price of $129 for the Maya 7.1 Gold and $99 for the CARDamp, these two components are not very expensive. Though Maya does not come with lots of fancy features, it offers many ressources including line inputs and outputs as well as support for Surround Sound.

Some people may ask "Why didn't they implement a Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder?" The Maya 7.1 Gold is ready for native multi-channel surround sound (as supported by Power DVD 3 which is included), but does not support Dolby Digital directly. Instead, Audiotrak favors the approach of looping the AC3 or DTS signal through the digital output (optical or coax) directly to a Dolby Digital decoder or receiver. That's usually the best way.

At a dynamic range of 90 db(A), Maya provides some of the clearest signal quality of all sound cards available. On-board AC97 solutions usually provide between 75 and 85 dB(A), which is simply not enough for everybody who wants crystal clear recording or playback at almost all volume levels.

The CARDamp, on the other hand, is an add-on that does not have anything to do with the sound card. You could basically use it to attach even a Discman or any other device that can be attached via cinch cable. The normal use is, of course, looping the line-out signal of your sound card into the CARDamp in order to make use of monitor speakers rather than using any sophisticated PC speaker system or expensive stereos. 2x 20 Watts should be enough for home use, and the sound quality is pretty good as long as you do not exceed approximately 3/4 of the possible amplification power.

More information can be found on the Audiotrak website.