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Old 25th June 2010, 06:26 PM   #1
rongon is offline rongon  United States
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Default inexpensive analog to digital converter (ADC)?

Usually it's the DAC that gets all the attention, but I have a friend who is looking for something cheap 'n easy (but decent) for recording from 78s to a PC in uncompressed .WAV. Doesn't have to be anything higher-res than 16-bit/44.1kHz in the end. 24/96 would be great, but not absolutely necessary.

There is a little thing from Behringer called the UA-202 for less than $30. It has RCA phono inputs, headphone out, optical S/PDIF Out, USB. I've never seen one, never used it, can't find out much about it (other than from DJs and some musicians seem to like it for use with a laptop in a home studio kind of situation).

I searched here, but wasn't able to found much on DIY A-to-D projects. Maybe I'm not very good at the search facility.

Does anybody know of anything useful? Thanks.
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Old 25th June 2010, 06:41 PM   #2
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Some soundcards are pretty good at the ADC.
Starting with Creative X-Fi Elite
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Old 25th June 2010, 06:51 PM   #3
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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you really won't win with DIY on cost or perfromance at the lower end against anything with a mass market

PC motherboard sound chipsets sometimes are poor - but may be good enough for your application - you can check out loop-back performance with free RMAA and a Y-splitter or male-to-male cable

at line level (after your own phono pre-amp) you can leap to very good "prosumer" level pci soundcard with esi Juli@ for ~$120
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Old 25th June 2010, 08:30 PM   #4
rongon is offline rongon  United States
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Thanks for the replies.

OK, if I'm gonna be cheap, then something cheap will do. Maybe the Behringer UA-202 will be OK. Can't beat the price at under $30 USD.

About the X-fi Elite... I see that it has 24-bit/192kHz converters. I guess those are easy to implement in sound cards these days. I've never been a big fan of Sound Blaster stuff, but if it's good, then hey it's good. How do you think that would compare to an M-Audio Audiophile 24/96?

Asus makes a beefy looking sound card too, w/ C-Media CMI-8788 chipset and Crystal DACs. Can't remember what it's called at the moment...
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Old 25th June 2010, 08:57 PM   #5
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Many cards have good DAC's, but not so many have good ADC's.
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Old 25th June 2010, 11:14 PM   #6
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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just put RMAA and nearly any sound card name in a search engine and you will get links to loopback test plots

RightMark Audio Analyzer test: uca202 line-line

download the free version Download. Audio Rightmark and test your computer, it may be better than the $30 box
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Old 26th June 2010, 02:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rongon View Post

Asus makes a beefy looking sound card too, w/ C-Media CMI-8788 chipset and Crystal DACs. Can't remember what it's called at the moment...
Asus Essence ST range probably. Has some of the best specs for A/D in a mainstream consumer level card certainly. But for recording 78s, the specs on most soundcards A/Ds will be overkill I'd imagine. Maintaining enough dynamic range to capture clicks without clipping though might be an issue.
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Old 26th June 2010, 05:44 AM   #8
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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If you have a sound card with S/PDIF input, that allows using an outboard ADC. One of the cheaper options has been the Behringer SRC-2496. 16 to 24 bits, 32k to 96k samples/sec, DAC & ADC, optical and coax, S/PDIF & AES/EBU. And perhaps the most useful features for recording... input gain knob and LED level display.
A possible cheaper alternative: an obsoleteish digital recorder like a Minidisc, DCC, DAT, or CD recorder. A video DVD-recorder may work too, although it's less likely to have features like an audio level display and gain control.

Behringer has a USB sound dohickey that includes an RIAA preamp; that should be even better than the UCA202. I don't know if it has a gain control, though.

Here's a page with a lot of different LP to computer options.
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