Current-production AES/SPDIF I/O soundcard recommendation

autopoiesis

Member
2007-03-28 9:30 pm
Using ARTA for measurements, Win7 x64, but I'm having trouble with SPDIF inputs on my venerable M-Audio Delta 66 cards.

Looks like buggy driver - L/R channels are wildly different, and much odd distortion, completely dissimilar results when using WDM vs ASIO drivers, also sample-rate dependent...

Kaiser7_WDM_Float-96_Left-vs-Right.png

I have a bunch of graphs like those (and worse), and that's with cable looped back. But it's ancient hardware and there'll be no new/fixed x64 driver. In short, time for a new soundcard/interface.

PCI, and PCI Express available, and preferred over USB; I only need the SPDIF I/O (coax or balanced, not Toslink), as I have a decent external ADC/DAC (Sonifex) and keep conversion outside the PC (often only ADC, as some DUTs have digital ins/analogue outs).

Many soundcard suggestions around, but most (M-Audio 192, [email protected] XTe, etc) seem discontinued.

What has solid drivers, and is current?
 
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Sangram

Moderator
Paid Member
2002-09-25 11:01 am
India
Lynx/RME/MOTU/Focusrite/Antelope Audio/Presonus

May have missed a few.

I took this on a Delta 66 a few days ago for an amplifier project, but it was analog not digital, which probably means your card is headed south.
 

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Sangram

Moderator
Paid Member
2002-09-25 11:01 am
India
If all you want is AES in/out, you could do much worse than MOTU 4Pre.

If internal cards work for you, the Lynk AES16 (I think they updated to the 16e now) is a good bet.

Among the current crop simple drop-in replacements for the 66 will be tough to locate. PCI is no longer supported by most motherboards and those that do use a bridge chip that dramatically increase latency. This is not much of a problem for this kind of work, though.

However we can still buy some older cards here, the [email protected] and 1010LT are stioll quite easily available if one looks - but no one really does. eBay is a good place to find used cards, though not sure about condition.

Focusrite and Presonus make some entry level USB boxes that do have SPDIF connectors, but I'm not sure sure how flexible they are and of what quality. I also think the better boxes in that lot are Firewire only, which has its own compatibility with Windows-based motherboards because of limited support.
 
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Frex

Member
2009-11-22 7:39 pm
Hello autopoiesis,

For info, i use from many years the ESI [email protected] that is one of few sound-card supporting 24/192 from external S/PDIF sources. (IN and OUT).
I use it mainly with my own home made external ADC in 192k mode.
For an unknown reason, my card was dead some weeks ago and doesn’t work anymore.
So i had needed to find another sound card.

I first have bought a used M-Audio Audiophile 192 can support 192k SPDIF I/O all their manual.
Unfortunately, and after many tests, the latest driver (only win 7 support) will not recognize the 192k sampling rate stream. All others are ok.
If i use it with Win XP OS, then the sound-card recognize normally the 192kHz stream....
So, this card is now useless for me...

Finally, i received today another used ESI [email protected] bought for 40€.
And now, all works fine !

The ESI [email protected] is from far the cheapest solution for high performance SPDIF I/O, and it is not obsolete, you can buy this card as new in PCI or PCI-E at Thomann.
Note that even if this card has been designed from many years ESI publish ASIO drivers from XP to WIn 10...

Of course RME 9632 seem to be also a very good board, but really not in same price segment.
Regards.

Frex