Originally Posted by Ethan Winer
I said that a 192 KHz sample rate is silly, but I didn't say the sound card was not good. There's a big difference!
For PCI sound cards I'm a fan of the M-Audio line. I have a Delta 66, which has four ins and outs plus SPDIF. For stereo their Audiophile 2496 is an excellent value costing about half as much as the card you mentioned.
If you're recording music, 192k is
silly. I rather like my results that come from 24-44 recordings. But if the application is to use the interface as a poor man's data acquisitions card for a computer-based spectrum analyzerwhich is what (I think) is wanted herethen the 192 k sample rate can sometimes come in handy. Didn't we want to measure the ultrasonic content of an SACD? These new cheapo cards can turn your computer into a reasonably accurate and precise test instrument.
BTW, I also have the Audiophile 2496, which I bought about six years ago. It's a good card and it still sounds cleaner than some of their newer stuff like the FastTrack Pro USB. But the new cards like the better E-mus and their own 24-192 have noticeably better performance. For example, the noise floor is a good 15-20 dB lower on the 1212m. You can really hear the difference when you crank up the gain on quiet recordings. Not bad for $100 shipped. I still like my old AP2496, but I really have to be careful with the levels (which I do anyway regardless of the card).