"Best sounding" PCI cards?

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by dehughes, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. dehughes

    dehughes Member

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    I've read and read and read and read....and I've come across many recommendations for good PCI cards, but my question is more to which of the many out there SOUND really, really good? That is, great converters, etc. etc...

    I've heard that Lynx is about at the top of the list, and RME is also up there, but what about the many semi-pro cards out there like the Audiophile stuff vs. EMU, etc? I believe there is an audible difference between the sound cards, and would like to grab a good sounding one so as to have a nice sonic base to build my setup upon. Lynx and RME seem the easy choices, but I'm looking in the $200ish range at the moment (I'll upgrade the card later when I upgrade the pres, mics, moniotrs, etc... ).

    Thanks,


    david
     
  2. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    The soundcard revolution is due mainly to AKM converters. The vast majority of soundcards use them, and those cards in the same price range probably utilize similar, if not identical converters. The entry-level semi-pro card is the M-audio Audiophile which can be purchased for less than $200, and sometimes as low as $100.

    The EMU pro-sumer products are only about a year old, and there appear to be software and driver issues. There have been a few threads on the Sonar forum about the issues. EMU is owned by Creative Labs, who have managed to get a very bad reputation among pro audio enthusiasts. EMU has promised to meet the professional demands by issuing new drivers and software.

    Other manufacturers of pro soundcards are Echo, MOTU (Mark of the Unicorn), and Creamware.
     
  3. dehughes

    dehughes Member

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    Hey Tim. Thanks so much. I've heard that many of the same level cards have similar, if not identical converters, but that there are a few that stand out amongst the rest. I've heard fantastic things about the E-MU 1212M, 1820M, and the ESI Juli@. Any words of wisdom about those? I'm aware of driver issues with the E-MU stuff, but am just looking into the ESI cards (heard good things about those...).

    Thanks,


    david
     
  4. tedm

    tedm Gold Supporting Member

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    But definitely make sure it's fully compatible with the software apps you're using or going to use.

    Works perfect with wavelab and cubase. Not sure if they ever fixed the problem it was having with drivers and Sony acid pro 4.



     
  5. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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    I recently purchased an EMU 0404, their entry-level model. No driver issues here using WinXP SP2 and n-Track 24-bit version. It sounds incredible, especially for $89 I paid :dude
     
  6. dehughes

    dehughes Member

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    Thanks all... I grabbed a 1212M and am going to install it momentarily. (fingers crossed) :)


    david
     
  7. dehughes

    dehughes Member

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    Well, so far, so VERY good. Great sounding. Definitely different than my Delta 66. An audible difference for certain...


    david
     

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