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Old 1st September 2007, 01:13 PM   #1
Jonasa is offline Jonasa  Belgium
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Default USB soundcard for laptop 24bit with resampling

Can someone give me some advice what usb soundcard to buy.
I'm looking for a high quality soundcard for my laptop.
Specifications: 24 bit resolutions, resampling and 96 KHz or higher. The number of channels is not important for me.
I just want audiophile music quality out of my laptop.

(Is an external power supply better, because you haven't spikes comming out from the power supply of the laptop)

All input is welcome
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Old 1st September 2007, 01:39 PM   #2
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Hi,
have a look at the thread on DiyHiFi.org
They have not reached agreement and probably never will.
But, reading through it seems to indicate that PCs can never achieve good audio if microsoft are involved in the audio software routing. That is if I have understood the various (very different) stands the contributors have taken.
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Old 1st September 2007, 02:06 PM   #3
Dag is offline Dag  Sweden
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Hello!

I'm using Winamp (with ASIO output plugin) on a laptop with the E-MU 0202 USB soundcard. With ASIO you will bypass all the microsoft sh*t and the dac will receive bit perfect data.
The card also supports "all" datarates without resampling because it uses two clocks!
Not high-end but the sound is good for the price.



(The E-MU 0404 USB is even better and you can use an external power supply.)
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Old 1st September 2007, 02:51 PM   #4
bulgin is offline bulgin  South Africa
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Default USB soundcard...

Hi Jonasa

Also perhaps have a look at Edirol (Roland) USB Audio Interface UA-1EX. I like it a lot after trying many others.

bulgin
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Old 1st September 2007, 04:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: USB soundcard...

Quote:
Originally posted by bulgin
Hi Jonasa

Also perhaps have a look at Edirol (Roland) USB Audio Interface UA-1EX. I like it a lot after trying many others.

bulgin

After talking with Dan Lavry, the UA-1EX is his favorite USB and the one he recommends to his customers. The price is reasonable at just under $80usd.

-David
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Old 2nd September 2007, 08:33 AM   #6
ttan98 is offline ttan98  Australia
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Default Re: USB soundcard...

Quote:
Originally posted by bulgin
Hi Jonasa

Also perhaps have a look at Edirol (Roland) USB Audio Interface UA-1EX. I like it a lot after trying many others.

bulgin

the UA-1EX, comes with ASIo built in or setup via s/w for Win or MAC OS?

thanks
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Old 3rd September 2007, 12:25 AM   #7
Maniac is offline Maniac  Taiwan
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Default Re: USB soundcard for laptop 24bit with resampling

Quote:
Originally posted by Jonasa
Can someone give me some advice what usb soundcard to buy.
I'm looking for a high quality soundcard for my laptop.
Specifications: 24 bit resolutions, resampling and 96 KHz or higher. The number of channels is not important for me.
I just want audiophile music quality out of my laptop.

(Is an external power supply better, because you haven't spikes comming out from the power supply of the laptop)

All input is welcome

Well, hopefully this is not against forum rules, but you might want to take a look at the ebay link in my sig.

I personally consider BurrBrown's PCM 2702 to be one of the best sounding USB interfaced DAC around. However, it only does 16bits and up to 48KHz (44.1 and 32KHz too)

However, the quality of sound is not completely controlled by how many bits and KHz that the DAC can handle. A lot of it has to do with how good the quality of the power supply (Any sound card drawing power from PC will have a hard time cleaning it up to the point of sounding good), and the one shown there is completely powered via its own power supply that source its power from your AC mains. As well as the actual design had been tweaked and tuned quite a bit over the evolution of this unit.


Anyways, if this device tickles your fancy, I should be able to tell you more of whatever you want to know about it (I've been playing with this since V1.0, and now I believe it's been through like 5~6 update and maybe one redesigns over the span of about 4 years).

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Old 3rd September 2007, 08:32 PM   #8
Jonasa is offline Jonasa  Belgium
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Default Good usb card

Thanks to all for the answers.

The UA-1EX looks very interesting to me. But I have a few questions:
Does it also use a second clock?
It uses power directly from USB, is this not a disadvantage?
Did anybody compares the UA-1EX with an other USB soundcard powered directly from the mains?

For the price and compactness it seems the UA-1EX is a topper?
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Old 4th September 2007, 12:40 AM   #9
Maniac is offline Maniac  Taiwan
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Default Re: Good usb card

Quote:
Originally posted by Jonasa
Thanks to all for the answers.

The UA-1EX looks very interesting to me. But I have a few questions:
Does it also use a second clock?
It uses power directly from USB, is this not a disadvantage?
Did anybody compares the UA-1EX with an other USB soundcard powered directly from the mains?

For the price and compactness it seems the UA-1EX is a topper?

I personally consider a independent power supply an advantage, as during one of the several experiment me and my friends hand done with USB sound devices, USB power is one of the thing that takes away the "Magic" of what makes it sound good to us.

If you can find one that can either be powered from your computer or a separate power supply, it will usually sound better with the separate power supply (if the separate power supply isn't already worse than the power from your computer, that is.)
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Old 4th September 2007, 08:15 PM   #10
Jonasa is offline Jonasa  Belgium
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Default UA-1EX

So, a small nice project would be to use the UA-1EX powered by a small battery.

Then you don't have the spikes and noise from the powersupply from the laptop.

Recept for a nearly perfect USB DAC for laptop:

1. Buy a UA-1EX
2. Disconnect the 2 powerlines inside the USB cable. (you can use a small extention cable for USB to do this)
3. Don't use the two power USB wires from the laptop (isolate them)
4. Extend the two power wires from the soundcard and connect a battery between them.
5. Now you can test: with extention cable and battery, and without extention cable and PC power.

What do you think about this setup? Would it make sense?
Will it improve soundquality?

All suggestions are welcome.
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