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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm starting to digitize my vinyl albums. I want a good audiophile grade sound card in my HTPC so I can capture my vinyl collection. I don't want to go with a USB type pre-amp solution, I want to directly hook-up my Pro-Ject turntable to the inputs of the sound card through my Pro-ject phono pre-amp.


Also, since this is my HTPC, I would like a digital output (either SPDIF or optical) to hook up to my surround processor. I don't need the sound card to do any sound processing, such as Dolby Digital or DTS as my surround processor can take care of that. I think all I need is a PCM output on the sound card?


There are so many sound cards out there that I'm confused. I want the best analog audio input. I have seen an M-Audio Audiphile 2496 which appears to do what I want, but I don't know of it's quality or if there's anything better.


Any help is appreciated.
 

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Roland/Cakewalk UA-1G (I own), Roland/Cakewalk EDIROL UA-4FX, Creative E-MU 0404 PCI, ONKYO SE-U33GX/SE-U33GXV, Roland/Cakewalk EDIROL UA-25/UA-25EX. The last one is said to be the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Renethx. Most of your suggestions are external USB capture cards. I guess that's probably the best way to go to preserve quality. I was hoping for an internal PCI card, like the E-MU that you suggested.


Currently, my Pro-Ject phono pre-amp has a USB output as well as phono outputs. I have tried the USB output and although it did it's job, the resulting sound (in .FLAC) was harsh in the highs. I was attributing this harshness to possibly the Pro-Ject USB pre-amp not being quality. Not sure, but thought I'd try out a better sound card.


The M-Audio 2496 seems very simple, but it's been out for quite a while (maybe near a decade). For $100, it's very reasonably priced. Was wondering if anyone had any experience with it here and feedback.


I'm gonna do more research on the Roland, Creative, and Onkyo units you suggested. Thanks for those suggestions!
 

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I used the ASUS Xonar HDAV 1.3 to digitize my albums - mainly since I had it already for bitstreaming.


24-bit A-D Converter for Analog Inputs:

Cirrus-Logic CS5381* 1 (120dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24bit)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks DavinLeeds, that looks like a monster! Not sure if it would fit in my small HTPC box. Gonna do some research on it.
 

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Xonar Slim is pci (have that too
)

has spdif input

I/O Ports Other line-level analog input (for CD-IN/TV Tuner):

CD-In, Aux-In (4-pin header on the card)

Digital S/PDIF Output:

Coaxial and High-bandwidth Optical Combo Connector

Supports 192KHz/24bit

Digital S/PDIF Input:

Coaxial and High-bandwidth Optical Combo Connector

Supports 192KHz/24bit

HDMI Input/Outut:

HDMI1.3 - In/Out Type A *1

Front-Panel Header:

Supports analog audio playback / recording up to 109dB SNR
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Davin, that's a nice card, but way overkill in the output stage for what I need. I'd rather spend the money on something that has audiophile quality inputs (Analog to Digital processor). That card appears to be more geared for sound output. I don't need any HDMI, just an optical or coaxial out and great quality inputs.
 

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I think the Essense would be my choice, especially for headphones. But people keep knocking on the door and I can't hear them :O.


Robscix @ http://forums.guru3d.com/forumdisplay.php?f=23 is the man for sound. Dig around there. Good luck
 
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