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Old 19th December 2009, 05:17 PM   #1
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Default USB Sound Card for Measurement

I am looking for a USB sound card for sensitive power amplifier measurements like spectrum analysis with a variety of free and licensed software (examples: Virtins, Audio Tester, Visual analyzer, etc.)

I currently use a Juli@ PCI sound card and it is very good. I'm looking for a USB one now. It needs to do at least 24/192 kHz.

What is the best USB sound card out there for this application and for under $200? Is it as good as a Juli@?

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 19th December 2009, 05:46 PM   #2
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Hi Bob

I was talking with a personal recording studio and they do not like USB sound card, because it not has good latency, they prefer cards with communication Firewire, but for distorting measures not know if the latency have problems, I think so...

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I am looking for a USB sound card for sensitive power amplifier measurements like spectrum analysis with a variety of free and licensed software (examples: Virtins, Audio Tester, Visual analyzer, etc.)
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This seems to be very reliable in site you can find tests
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Old 19th December 2009, 05:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Cordell View Post
I am looking for a USB sound card for sensitive power amplifier measurements like spectrum analysis with a variety of free and licensed software (examples: Virtins, Audio Tester, Visual analyzer, etc.)

I currently use a Juli@ PCI sound card and it is very good. I'm looking for a USB one now. It needs to do at least 24/192 kHz.

What is the best USB sound card out there for this application and for under $200? Is it as good as a Juli@?

Thanks,
Bob
Bob, I've used an EMU04/04 , 24/192, $149. Not sure if it is as good as the Juli@.

Bill Waslo has a test on his website for the EMU02/02, might be worthwhile to take a peek there:
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Old 19th December 2009, 05:56 PM   #4
iko is offline iko  Canada
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Bob, there's a thread that you might find some good info in:

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/solid...asurments.html

One of the members, fotios, seems to have done a lot of leg work. Had I known about his experience, I probably would have gotten the virtins device instead of the 0404 I got now.

I'm so itchy to design an interface based on a very high frequency/sample rate chip... but no time
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Old 20th December 2009, 12:36 AM   #5
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I'm also currently using an EMU 0404, supposed to be one of the best low cost USB audio interface that actually can do 24/192....

I'm not that impressed, they do 24/192 fine and are pretty good at 1Khz, but THD increases higher up, typical when using the usual "audio grade" JRC opamps. And sometimes there is a spurious 30 Khz tone.... The 0404 do have the balanced i/o and the built quality seems fine.

But I haven't been able to find any better low cost USB interface.

Unfortunately there also don't exist any off-the-shelf 24/192 USB interface chips so it not that simple to just built a better one....

Søren
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Old 20th December 2009, 12:49 AM   #6
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Unfortunately there also don't exist any off-the-shelf 24/192 USB interface chips so it not that simple to just built a better one....
Søren
I might be naive about this one, but the usb interface can be handled with a microcontroller, plenty cheap ones around. A really good a/d converter, probably also driven by the microcontroller. The software I'd just write myself. The part that's least familiar to me is the supporting circuit to get the data out of the adc. But if other people have done it, there's a way.
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Old 20th December 2009, 01:04 AM   #7
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I might be naive about this one, but the usb interface can be handled with a microcontroller, plenty cheap ones around. A really good a/d converter, probably also driven by the microcontroller.
Yes, t.ex. the new Atmel SAM3U series is perfect for that, USB high speed and even I2S for directly interface to state of the art ADC and DAC.... The hardware part is easy.

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The software I'd just write myself. The part that's least familiar to me is the supporting circuit to get the data out of the adc. But if other people have done it, there's a way.
BUT, here's the real work:

1) USB audio stack for the uC, which isn't really that bad...
2) Windows drivers, as 24/192 drivers are NOT part of the OS as the old USB specs simple wasn't defined for 24/192 and is a huge undertaking, although something seems to be coming there from Microsoft at some point, the newest USB spec do have 24/192 support.... Of course you could also run something like Linux....

Søren
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Old 20th December 2009, 01:24 AM   #8
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Yes, lots of work, and time, which is in such short supply now. But I'd definitely do it in linux; easy to throw together an interface, and many libraries to dig for fft and other goodies. Wouldn't mind helping in a community effort of sorts. Somethings like an open source high performance measurement device.
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Old 20th December 2009, 11:01 AM   #9
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Yes, lots of work, and time, which is in such short supply now. But I'd definitely do it in linux; easy to throw together an interface, and many libraries to dig for fft and other goodies. Wouldn't mind helping in a community effort of sorts. Somethings like an open source high performance measurement device.
I have a project scope USB (software and hardware), software programmed in python, ie, is multi-platform (Linux, Windons and Mac OS X) the bandwidth is 8 MHz and has algorithm FFT incorporated, but only the spectro without numeric indicator (THD).
The problem is know the distortion of PIC, do not know!
Is difficult to get the same features of a program based on sound cards
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Old 6th September 2010, 08:49 PM   #10
blmn is offline blmn  Brazil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Cordell View Post
I am looking for a USB sound card for sensitive power amplifier measurements like spectrum analysis with a variety of free and licensed software (examples: Virtins, Audio Tester, Visual analyzer, etc.)

I currently use a Juli@ PCI sound card and it is very good. I'm looking for a USB one now. It needs to do at least 24/192 kHz.

What is the best USB sound card out there for this application and for under $200? Is it as good as a Juli@?

Thanks,
Bob
Hi Bob,

I´m using Juli@ sound card and I have to say it is very good on price/ performance.

I´m considering to buy the Virtins software to use with the card.

Are you using this software? Is it a god match for the Juli@ card?

regards,
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