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-   -   Which soundcard with balanced outs has the best SQ and is less than $250? (http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-source/110683-soundcard-balanced-outs-has-best-sq-less-than-250-a.html)

MikeHunt79 24th October 2007 11:14 PM

Which soundcard with balanced outs has the best SQ and is less than $250?
 
So far I've narrowed it down to the E-mu 1212m, the E-mu 0404 USB, and the M-audio delta audiophile 192...

All of these have balanced outs and seemingly good DAC's, and cost around the same amount. Does anyone know which would give the best sound quality, or are they pretty closely matched...

FWIW, my system isn't mega-high end:

Soundcard > balanced headphone amp > Re-terminated HD-600's

but I'm looking for an improvement over my current (aging) M-audio delta 44. :)

ak_47_boy 24th October 2007 11:57 PM

I think you might be better off with a digital coaxial audio output to a DAC.

MikeHunt79 25th October 2007 01:11 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by ak_47_boy
I think you might be better off with a digital coaxial audio output to a DAC.
I've had a look, but I cannot find any DAC's which are under $250 and have a balanced output? Unless there is a DIY route I'm not aware of?

jcx 25th October 2007 02:18 AM

esi juli@ is very competitive at ~US$130

protos 26th October 2007 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by MikeHunt79

I've had a look, but I cannot find any DAC's which are under $250 and have a balanced output? Unless there is a DIY route I'm not aware of?


I think twisted pear have what you want --balanced diy dac .A bit on the expensive side but interesting.

protos 26th October 2007 01:39 PM

There you go.Actually not so expensive if you factor in all the modules.You just need a case.
The best bang for the buck USB-DAC-Headamp-headphones.
http://www.twistedpearaudio.com/opus/opus.aspx

ssmith 28th October 2007 08:26 AM

I'd go for the 0404USB -- lots of modding potential too.

The Twisted Pear Opus looks like an excellent choice, though all the modules+transformer+case+connectors would probably push it over budget.

MikeHunt79 28th October 2007 05:19 PM

Wow, the Twisted Pair kit looks very good... I've bookmarked their site. :)

I managed to pick up a 2nd hand 1212m in the end, as I managed to get one at a good price (73). :)


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