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Old 10th August 2007, 10:51 PM   #1
preiter is offline preiter  United States
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Default Sound card for loudspeaker measurement

I'm looking to set up a cheap setup for characterizing speakers using my computer.

The Behringer ECM8000 mic with the Behringer 802 mixer as a pre-amp/phantom power supply seems to be a popular combo.

My question concerns the sound card in my PC. Currently, I am using an integrated chip (RealTek ALC850). I am guessing that this is not ideal.

Anyone have any suggestion for a sound card (< $100 preferably) with high quality analog output and input?
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Old 11th August 2007, 02:02 AM   #2
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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even though onboard cards can suck big time they are likely adequate for loudspeaker testing as long as you have appropriate gain for the mic

the highest price performance in soundcards is likely the ESI Juli@ which I bought for ~ US$130

have you checked your internal soundcard with (free) RMAA in loopback mode?
http://audio.rightmark.org/index_new.shtml
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Old 11th August 2007, 05:25 AM   #3
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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Just about any sound card will be good enough for speaker testing, providing it is good at full-duplex (playing and recording simultaneously). The SB/Ensoniq AudioPCI was supposed to be pretty good for a budget card.

An SB Audigy 2 should cost well under $100, and if the Rightmark results can be believed it's capable of very good performance.
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Old 11th August 2007, 09:18 AM   #4
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The old Soundblaster Live is still around for under $20,- and will do this job pretty good provided you stick to 48 kHz sample rate only. You need a good mic amp anyway.

For a high quality card you can also look at the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 and the Audiophile 192.

Cheers
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Old 12th August 2007, 09:23 AM   #5
AndrewT is offline AndrewT  Scotland
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Quote:
Originally posted by jcx
even though onboard cards can suck big time they are likely adequate for loudspeaker testing as long as you have appropriate gain for the mic

the highest price performance in soundcards is likely the ESI Juli@ which I bought for ~ US$130

have you checked your internal soundcard with (free) RMAA in loopback mode?
http://audio.rightmark.org/index_new.shtml

well, I went to Rightmark and read about pro.
What is that telling me?
Is it good for me/my computer?
Quote:
have you checked your internal soundcard with (free) RMAA in loopback mode?
why does one need to do that?
How does one do that?
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regards Andrew T.
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Old 12th August 2007, 01:16 PM   #6
Ron E is offline Ron E  United States
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If your computer is newer than 5 or 6 years, the on board chip is probably good enough. Really old AC97 chips work fine.

Creative makes junk. Pursue alternatives. I bought a Chaintec AV710 and it works quite well for SW. Blows the old SBLive away for half the money.
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Old 13th August 2007, 12:00 AM   #7
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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you can down load a free version of RMAA from the Rightmark site

loopback testing simply require wiring soundcard out to in and running the RMAA test, many soundcards have been tested this way - its practically the standard

http://www.pcavtech.com/soundcards/compare/index.htm
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Old 13th August 2007, 12:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by jcx
you can down load a free version of RMAA from the Rightmark site

loopback testing simply require wiring soundcard out to in and running the RMAA test, many soundcards have been tested this way - its practically the standard

http://www.pcavtech.com/soundcards/compare/index.htm
That page is over 3 years old.

Try an M Audio 24/96 or 24/192 (which is what I use).
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Old 13th August 2007, 12:32 AM   #9
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Sometimes you can find the odd older Yamaha DS-XG cards that slipped into the "junk bin" at computer shops by error (they still command $$$, but look like an ordinary 16-bit C-Media card if you don't look closely). 48KHz sample rate default (duplex, 96KHz simplex) and -110 to -120dB noisefloor.
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