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Old 25th May 2007, 11:17 AM   #1
matt09 is offline matt09  United Kingdom
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Default Medium Priced Audiophile Soundcards


I am looking to purchase a high quality soundcard for listening to audio as well as recording. I have read another thread on such a topic, however it was entitled 'no budget' meaning all the cards suggested were well into the 100's or 1000's.

So far the M-Audio 192 looks for a ok, however I was hoping for something a little more high end such as the Hammerfall DSP 9632, with such a highly priced card I was considering the possibility of buying second hand if it meant a significant improvement in quality.

There's also the argument of external vs internal, however these begin around the 100 mark before increasing steeply.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Old 25th May 2007, 11:46 AM   #2
Dag is offline Dag  Sweden
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E-MU 0202 USB
E-MU 0404 USB
E-MU 0404 (PCI)

are cheap and good but NOT high-end. I have the E-MU 0202 USB and it is very good for the price and has very good specs for both A/D and D/A. Remember to use ASIO when you play audio with a USB DAC.
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Old 25th May 2007, 12:38 PM   #3
impsick is offline impsick  United States
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if you want high end i'd say RME. who i think make the hammerfall right? but yeah RME blows m-audio away. IMO. Apogee probably has something as good as rme.
I'd go second hand RME, Apogee before a new m-audio
"Nothing happens for a reason. There are just reasons why things happen." Quote me on that.
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Old 25th May 2007, 12:44 PM   #4
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High end and cheap are a contradiction in terms, but I have the Emu 0202 and think it's remarkable good for the money. Though some on-board and in-PC sound is very good these days, IMO nothing beats the s/n ratio of an external board. The only weird thing about the 0202 is that the inputs can be confusing. It can take two 1/4" phone jacks for the line/hiZ inputs, but the connectors are not the same style- one combo, one 1/4" only. It has a single mic preamp, not two. The inputs can be single or differential. It does not have phantom power, but with a simple external circuit, a couple resistors and caps, and some 9V batteries, you can make your own. Results with a large diaphram condenser mic have been very good.
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Old 25th May 2007, 05:10 PM   #5
matt09 is offline matt09  United Kingdom
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Thanks for the replys, I saw an RME Hammerfall 9632 card go for only 70 recently!! So I think I'm settled on that, does anyone know the sort of difference between an Audiophile 192 and a Hammerfall 9632?

I will only be sticking to analog for now as I don't have the money, plus I have a decent stereo 8 track mixer so I will be running the card through it via the tape in, tape out.
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Old 26th May 2007, 12:10 PM   #6
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Default Some other M-audio cards ...

As it happens, I just bought an M-audio Delta 410 on ebay very cheap - I was looking for this or the Delta 66, which replaced it.

Unlike the other Delta-series cards, they have board-mounted SPDIF RCA sockets (rather than D-connector break-outs), which I prefer.

You might keep an eye on ebay for one of these - they generally seem to sell for 50-60 (75-90 Euro/US dollars), plus whatever shiping is incurred.

The Delta 66 is available new for about 120 + shipping (online).

Consensus is they're best sounding cards at their price, but as ever there are some gripes about M-audio's drivers.
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Old 27th May 2007, 02:48 AM   #7
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Default The Emu to get is...

.. the 0404.

It sounds much better than the 0202.
The sonic difference exceeds the price difference.

Major contributing factor is that the 0404 uses the highly regarded AKM4396 D/A chip while the 0202 has a CS4392.

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