Old 01-12-2013, 10:41 AM   #1
Colin
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Default A/D Converters and quality

I use an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 PCI converter card that may not work on my new PC. So I am wondering if there is a quality difference in converters if they each can operate 24 96?

Do they all use the same chip? Does one brand of 24 96 converter sound different or better than another?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:40 PM   #2
Nip
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There are differences in quality for sure.

How much it matters is due to previous experience, both recording and listening to music, I guess, and what your ambitions are.

One guy did an interesting blind test on KVR forum on 4 or 5 converters he had. At the end we all that rated what we liked the best he posted what it was.

If it was 12-18 month or so ago.

http://www.kvraudio.com/forum

I think you can search on 'A/D' or something like that - and see if you find differences significant or not.

EDIT: found topic
http://www.kvraudio.com/forum/viewto...test+converter


I like the internal card with ADAT/SPDIF solutions best. I tested firewire 2 years ago when I got my present daw - and it was just trouble and silly cpu usage for just keeping audio up. I wanted my daw to have all available cpu for running daw and plugins - not waste on keeping audio card up and running.

I went RME, which I had on XP before as well. No problems whatsoever. And all cpu available for Reaper and plugins.

But I think you are pretty safe with all the main brands.
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Last edited by Nip; 01-12-2013 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 01-12-2013, 05:10 PM   #3
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Thanks for that. I like the internal M-Audio card I have but would upgrade if there was a reason. I could not tell any difference in the samples. I think the card I have will work in the new computer. Will find out later this week.

Thanks!
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:49 PM   #4
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If you're not sure it will make a difference..its not time to upgrade.

Save your money.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin View Post
I use an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 PCI converter card that may not work on my new PC. So I am wondering if there is a quality difference in converters if they each can operate 24 96?

Do they all use the same chip? Does one brand of 24 96 converter sound different or better than another?

Thanks for your help.
It's one of the most important parts of your system. The analog components in the circuits are responsible for much of the quality differences. Remember, this is the circuit that converts the delicate and complex audio signal into samples of ones and zeros and vice verse. The more dialed in and responsive the design (especially the parts that handle the analog signal), the more precision and detail in preserving the signal.

I will say that some newer more budget prosumer equipment sounds a lot better than it used to. You still get what you pay for here though.

If you were to get an Apogee unit, you would be floored by how much better it sounded next to the M-box. MOTU will beat that thing too. Might not be 'floored' but still pleased. RME is back into the higher end again but I always thought Apogee was more bang for the buck.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by serr View Post
It's one of the most important parts of your system. The analog components in the circuits are responsible for much of the quality differences. Remember, this is the circuit that converts the delicate and complex audio signal into samples of ones and zeros and vice verse. The more dialed in and responsive the design (especially the parts that handle the analog signal), the more precision and detail in preserving the signal.

I will say that some newer more budget prosumer equipment sounds a lot better than it used to. You still get what you pay for here though.

If you were to get an Apogee unit, you would be floored by how much better it sounded next to the M-box. MOTU will beat that thing too. Might not be 'floored' but still pleased. RME is back into the higher end again but I always thought Apogee was more bang for the buck.
What I like about the basic cards that support ADAT/SPDIF is that you can use external A/D-converters of any brand, really.

If you find Focusrite Octa-Pre really good preamps as well as A/D-converters - you add that needing more inputs.

Or you can run any brand with ADAT out - it's an open solution.

About Mbox - in the a/b test I mentioned - I thought it was the dullest of these 4. No life - just dull.
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Old 01-13-2013, 02:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
Thanks for that. I like the internal M-Audio card I have but would upgrade if there was a reason. I could not tell any difference in the samples. I think the card I have will work in the new computer. Will find out later this week.

Thanks!
Your welcome.

Take an hour or so, and listen to the same spot(20s or so) switching - over and over. Then you start to hear differences.

You cannot listen through the full track and then switch. It's so different material.

Leave the idea of 96k until you can hear the differences - it's smaller compared to 48k.

You might need better monitors/headphones first. Don't forget about the DAC on soundcards are equally important to actually hear it all. Better souncard means both ends A/D and D/A are better.

96k is really a hog on your computer and take awful lot of disk space as well. And it's all for nothing unless all equipment match up.

I'm not sure if M-Audio made x64 drivers for the 2496 card - check that out. If getting new PC you would probably want to go x64 all the way as well. At least prepare for that - I'm glad I did.
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