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Thread: soundcards?

  1. #1
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    soundcards?

    hey guys, here's my second topic. i'm considering upgrading my laptops sound card. my initial reason was to have superior sound quality when doing guitar recordings. now that i'm on this site i've heard a few things about a sound card putting out superior output sound as well. seems quite obvious actually. anyway, what are my possibilities? keep in mind i'm still under a budget. i don't have a specific budget as of now, but think in terms of college student. if it makes a difference, i'll be hooking up the sound card to a receiver (not sure specific model yet) to amplify the speakers.

    i know this is all broad, i'm just looking for ideas.

    thanks.

  2. #2
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgibsong002
    hey guys, here's my second topic. i'm considering upgrading my laptops sound card. my initial reason was to have superior sound quality when doing guitar recordings. now that i'm on this site i've heard a few things about a sound card putting out superior output sound as well. seems quite obvious actually. anyway, what are my possibilities? keep in mind i'm still under a budget. i don't have a specific budget as of now, but think in terms of college student. if it makes a difference, i'll be hooking up the sound card to a receiver (not sure specific model yet) to amplify the speakers.

    i know this is all broad, i'm just looking for ideas.

    thanks.
    I don't have the requirement for recording, so I'm going by what I've been told rather than what I've heard or used. However the E-MU 0404 USB external sound card has an advanced USB interface and an excellent reputation for sound quality at an very reasonable price. Check it out HERE.

  3. #3
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    ok, well this looks like a pretty versatile machine. but, why do i need it? this has a built in DAC, correct? how exactly does that help to give me better sound?

  4. #4
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cgibsong002
    ok, well this looks like a pretty versatile machine. but, why do i need it? this has a built in DAC, correct? how exactly does that help to give me better sound?
    CG, yes, it has a built in DAC. But let's clear a few things up. You said you want a sound card to drive you receiver. In recommending that E-MU 0404 model I assumed that you wanted your sound card have recording feature. I also assumed you wanted it to feed your receiver's analog inputs, however I might have made a wrong assumption.

    If your receiver have a digital input, (either coaxial or optical/Toslink input), then your receiver has a built-in DAC and your sound card doesn't have to have one, (although most do). In that case your sound card will need to have a digital output, (many typical internal sound cards do not).

    Maybe you could make your requirement a bit clearer.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Here's an inexpensive one from creative labs that may fit your budget.
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...6&Sku=C44-3382
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    Here's an inexpensive one from creative labs that may fit your budget.
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...6&Sku=C44-3382
    ok, that looks good too for a fraction of the price. now, i'm mainly looking for sound quality here. does the EMU give much greater sound quality compared to this creative labs soundcard, or is the EMU simply more advanced and has more options?

  7. #7
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Based on price alone, you would think the EMU would sound better, but you never know. Creative makes some nice sound cards.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  8. #8
    Vinyl Fundamentalist Forums Moderator poppachubby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    Based on price alone, you would think the EMU would sound better, but you never know. Creative makes some nice sound cards.
    Looking closely at the EMU specs, you'll notice an asterick. For a Mac, the dac will output 96k for analog but only 48k for digital. Looks to me like the Creative will ouput in full 96k. I would say if you have a reciver capable of a digital input, the Creative is by far the way to go unless you require the hardware features of the EMU.

    Just be aware if you're using the CD digital input of a receiver, you will be limited to 16b/48khz. This is still an amazing rate and your audio will sound brilliant!

  9. #9
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Here's another to consider

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829156008

    If your on a tight budget, get the Creative labs and make sure there is a 30day return policy for it. If you don't like it, send it back.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  10. #10
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    If you have an optical or digital out from your laptop then these would give you the best sound- The first one has a usb interface!


    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....o-Emerald-Demo

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....arch-DIP-48/96

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....dio-dacmagic-2


    Take a look at some of these, especially the Sumiko Pro-Ject which is usb for about $150

    http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&key...l_6y30xl0q7b_b

    http://sumikoaudio.net/project/produ...sign_boxes.htm
    Last edited by blackraven; 11-15-2009 at 04:46 PM.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  11. #11
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    I've read some pretty awful reviews of the Creative soundblaster 5.1 on amazon

  12. #12
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    If you have an optical or digital out from your laptop then these would give you the best sound- The first one has a usb interface!


    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....o-Emerald-Demo

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....arch-DIP-48/96

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....dio-dacmagic-2
    The second you mention, BR, the Monarchy, is not a DAC it is only an upsampler.

    Our poster mentioned recording as a possible application; neither of the other two support recording; they are playback DACs only.

  13. #13
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppachubby
    Looking closely at the EMU specs, you'll notice an asterick. For a Mac, the dac will output 96k for analog but only 48k for digital. Looks to me like the Creative will ouput in full 96k. I would say if you have a reciver capable of a digital input, the Creative is by far the way to go unless you require the hardware features of the EMU.

    Just be aware if you're using the CD digital input of a receiver, you will be limited to 16b/48khz. This is still an amazing rate and your audio will sound brilliant!
    It's a pity that cgibsong002 hasn't given us more information about his computer, the receiver he's gettng, and exactly how he expects to use a sound card. We could be more helpful if we know these things.

  14. #14
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    yeah my laptop doesn't have any digital or optical outputs. it also sounds like i should look into what possible connections my receiver will have?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    It's a pity that cgibsong002 hasn't given us more information about his computer, the receiver he's gettng, and exactly how he expects to use a sound card. We could be more helpful if we know these things.
    sorry... i gave as much info as i know, aside from laptop specs, which i just gave. its a gateway w6501, no special connections on it, just USB. i also mentioned how i was planning on using the soundcard. i'd like to use it to connect my laptop to my receiver for music playing, as well as using it as in input to record.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  17. #17
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    anyone have any info on a M Audio Audiophile 192? i've actually got a chance at having one for quite the deal. no software included, but i've had one offered to me for basically $50.

  18. #18
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    It looks like a desk top computer sound card. It's not for a notebook or for external use. It looks like a nice card but you cant use it in your laptop. It hooks into a pci slot.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven
    It looks like a desk top computer sound card. It's not for a notebook or for external use. It looks like a nice card but you cant use it in your laptop. It hooks into a pci slot.
    ooh, ouch. thanks for pointing that out. not sure how i missed that. it appears you're right. thanks.

  20. #20
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I would buy this card, the price is great and the reviews look good.

    http://www.google.com/products/catal...wAw#ps-sellers
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  21. #21
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    I second that. Identical in concept to the E-MU 0404 I suggested, very similar in capability, and half the cost.

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