sound cards these days?

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sound cards these days?

Postby Suburban Jerk » Thu Nov 21, 2013 4:47 pm

This is all I want to do:

Run a low noise signal from my new PC to powered speakers, for instance KRK or JBL. It's for music playback purposes, that's it.

This is the dilemma... PCI cards seem to be going away as the, what I would call the reliable-rugged-low noise standard. Maybe that's already happened. I've been using a M-Audio Delta 1010 with reliable results since 2002 on my DAW/media/music-production machine. Great value as far as I'm concerned. I'd go with an M-Audio Audiophile 192. However, it appears it's not being manufactured anymore. That means support might be an issue soon. Yes, I've seen them on eBay. That's a bad sign, it means they are becoming scarcer.

A few questions...

I suppose USB 2 and 3 are the new consumer standard for low noise digital/analog conversion?

For research purposes, what are manufacturers calling their devices these days... sound cards? Digital/analog converters?

M-Audio used to dominate this market because their drivers were reliable and their boxes were rugged. Who is the standard bearer these days?

Thanks in advance
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Re: sound cards these days?

Postby commodorejohn » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:30 pm

I'd just get the card you want off eBay. As long as you can get it and it works, why's it need to be new?
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Re: sound cards these days?

Postby Suburban Jerk » Thu Nov 21, 2013 5:37 pm

commodorejohn wrote:As long as you can get it and it works, why's it need to be new?


Driver support post Windows 7.

It may work now... What about 2 years from now?
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Re: sound cards these days?

Postby cornutt » Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:36 pm

Yeah, for 4 channels or less, the market is moving very strongly towards USB. There are still PCI cards available, but all the ones I see on Sweetwater are 24 or more channels, which sounds like way overkill for your appplication.

Sweetwater categorizes them all as "Computer Audio > Audio Interface".
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Re: sound cards these days?

Postby synthroom » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:08 pm

Have you tried the sound chip on the computer motherboard yet?
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Re: sound cards these days?

Postby Suburban Jerk » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:01 pm

A few thoughts since my OP...

I think the vocabulary these days for what I'm looking for is "DAC". The Delta 1010 is a DAC. However, for those of us who produce as well as consume music we would also probably call it a multiple channel AD/DA converter because we have analog synths we need to feed into a DAW. Also, we can use it to simply playback music from Foobar if we wanted to. Though all those extra input features would be overkill if all we wanted to do was playback music.

I hope that made sense. My OP wasn't so much about problem solving, it was about vocabulary and trends in order to do research on a DAC. Stuff has changed in the past 10 years. In my opinion DAC is mature tech. Therefore its price should be lower.

I'm still skeptical about the M-Audio Audiophile 192 because of its tech. This thing could easily become unsupported in 2 years. Who knows? All I know is trends suggest that.

I found this (funny company name alert):

http://schiit.com/products/modi

That thing is driverless. That's a nice feature.
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Re: sound cards these days?

Postby Suburban Jerk » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:03 pm

synthroom wrote:Have you tried the sound chip on the computer motherboard yet?


To the best of my knowledge, it's known that direction is noisy.
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