Is a *CHEAP* AES/EBU sound card going to be adequate? - diyAudio
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Old 17th May 2003, 03:24 AM   #1
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Default Is a *CHEAP* AES/EBU sound card going to be adequate?

If my goal is simply to dump the digital audio signal from my computer's CD drive into a Behringer Ultra-Drive Pro DCX-2496, is there any real justification for spending big money on a high-end sound card? For example, the inexpensive Hoontech Soundtrack SB DB III gives the Creative Soundblaster series AES/EBU I/O capability. Or I could just as easily spend 10 times the price of a Hoontech/Creative combo for a high end sound card. However, the high end sound cards are expensive in part because of their nice DAC circuits; if I'm dumping a digital signal via AES/EBU into the Behringer crossover, then all that is superfluous, right? I'd greatly appreciate some informed opinions on this subject. THANKS!
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Old 17th May 2003, 05:04 AM   #2
fedde is offline fedde  Netherlands
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Well, I own an older SB-live and basically it more or less sucks for HQ audio. I listen to it, but the difference with my modded Philips CD-960 is *quite* large.

Problems ? Yep:

1 - JITTER
2 - My SB Live only works in 48 kHz. Yag! So everything is resampled
3 - Even the tone controls can not be turned off (bass/treble control in volume settings).

But I think there must be some cheap cards that are more acceptable! (I can't help you with that, maybe our friend Google can?)

Fedde
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Old 17th May 2003, 05:43 AM   #3
usekgb is offline usekgb  United States
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The biggest advantage to getting a nicer sound card for digital I/O is the clocking. The Creative stuff is great for gaming and system sounds, but the internal clock is nothing to write home about. You may want to check out the Aardvark Direct Pro LX6. Aardvark is well known for making excellent digital clocks, and their Direct Pro line sounds really good. This card only has SPDIF digital I/O, but they also sell an adapter that converts SPDIF to AES/EBU.

Cheers,
Zach
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Old 17th May 2003, 08:09 AM   #4
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http://www.m-audio.com/products/m-audio/dio2496.php
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Old 17th May 2003, 08:38 AM   #5
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Default Choices, choices . . .

Thanks, all who have replied so far. I guess with the M-Audio Dio 2496 I would need to get a converter for AES/EBU -- such as perhaps the M-Audio CO3?

The Lynx One also has nice-looking specs, and direct support for AES/EBU.

I wonder if there is a clear hands-down winner in the range of cards with street prices under $400?
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Old 17th May 2003, 09:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Choices, choices . . .

Hi,

Yes the M-Audio needs a S/PDIF <--> AES/EBU level converter. But any low-cost card with S/PDIF in/out does need that. It can handle the AES/EBU digital format. Street price around $200

I myself own an M-Audio Audiophile2496. Clock stability and jitter is pretty good. What I like also about M-Audio are the pretty good supplied drivers.

Lynx is also very good but expensive.


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Old 17th May 2003, 12:56 PM   #7
weissi is offline weissi  Europe
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cards with the dirty cheap CMI8738 are sayed to be very good for S/PDIF usage, but you have to build a AES/EBU converter.... but therefore the card would cost only ~10€......

I´m very happy with my Envy24ht card from terratec..... something similar is the M-audio revolution 7.1....
the major difference between Envy24 and Envy24HT is that the HT has no hardware mixer..... but you had to pay to much for that imho.... I think you can get such a card for ~80€
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Old 21st May 2003, 10:41 AM   #8
Josep is offline Josep  Europe
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Default AES/EBU and SPDIF

The Behringer DCX2496 accepts AES/EBU OR SPDIF digital input.

Best Regards
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Old 21st May 2003, 10:53 AM   #9
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You could also surf to Rightmark.org and ask there.

http://forum.rightmark.org/cgi-bin/Ultimate.cgi

Rightmark has loads of test resutls of sound cards, tested with their free(!) excellent software.... but beware: they are russians!

Test results
http://audio.rightmark.org/results.html
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Old 24th June 2003, 06:45 AM   #10
amo is offline amo  United States
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You should be able to get a Lynx One for right around $400, if not less, since the MSRP is $500, and most people are going with the 2 or L22... It is a perfect device for the application you need. It supports the format you need via ballanced interconnects. More importantly, it has a top notch clock, and you will not have to worry about jitter at all! If you even feel like using the onboard DAC, you are not compromizing one bit!!! (no pun intended) You get awsome flexibility, and build quality. With a PC, you already have to worry about so much interference, so why have a headache with the interface? Lynx all the way man.
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