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Re: [ARSCLIST] Outboard ADC recommendations

I recently installed the Creative Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro PCI sound card with its accompanying "breakout box"  or "I/O Hub" as they call it with a wireless remote (more for gamers).  These are quotes from a web site as to specs:

Sound Blaster® Audigy® 2 ZS delivers 24-bit ADVANCED HD™ audio quality playback with incredible 108dB SNR. It delivers the highest resolution audio playback with support for DVD-Audio at 24-bit/192kHz in stereo or 24-bit/96kHz in 5.1 surround in addition to industry leading standards, like THX®-certification and Windows Media 9: 24-bit multi-channel audio format.
SPECIFICATIONS Audio Performance
Signal-to-Noise Ratio with AES17 filter (A-Weighted)
Stereo Output 
2V Rated Output  108dB  -   1V Rated Output  102dB
Front and Rear Channels - Center, Subwoofer and Rear Center all have the same specs.
Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise at 1kHz (AES17) = 0.004% (1V, 2V Rated Output)
Frequency Response (+/-3dB, 24-bit/96kHz input ) = <10Hz to 46kHz (1V, 2V Rated Output)

High Definition Audio Quality for Playback and Recording
24-bit Digital-to-Analog conversion during playback with sampling rates of 8, 11.025, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 and 96kHz in 7.1 mode and up to 192kHz in stereo mode
24-bit Analog to Digital conversion during recording in 8, 16 or 24-bit at sampling rates of 8, 11.025, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 and 96kHz
SPDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) input at up to 24-bit/ 96kHz quality
SPDIF output up to 24-bit at 48 or 96kHz
ASIO 2.0 drivers for low latency (as low as 2ms) multi-track playback and recording at 16-bit/48kHz or 24-bit/96kHz

Wave-Table Synthesis and Midi Features

Creative Hardware synthesizer (2x16 Channels) with 64-voice polyphony featuring E-MU®'s patented 8-point interpolation technology for accurate sample reproduction
Creative Software synthesizer - multi timbral wave-table (16 Channels)
2 MIDI I/O ports (2x16 channels) (gameport adapter required for MIDI I/O 2)

FireWire® (IEEE®1394) Connectivity
FireWire® (IEEE®1394) / i-Link® compatible interface with up to 400Mbps transfer rate Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro On-Board Connectors
Line level out (Front / Side / Rear / Center / Subwoofer)
Digital CD Audio in
Aux Audio in
AD_LINK 1 and AD_LINK 2 Connectors
Power Connector
15-pin MIDI/ Joystick port extension header

Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro External I/O Hub Front/Rear Panel Connectors
Headphone Out (1/4" Stereo Jack)
Line In 1 (1/4" Stereo Jack , shared with Microphone In with Gain Control
Line In 2 (1/4" Stereo Jack)
Line In 3 (2x RCA Jack)
Optical SPDIF In/Out
Coaxial SPDIF In/Out
Digital Out for 5.1 support (6-channel SPDIF Output to Creative digital speakers)
2x FireWire® (IEEE®1394) ports
MIDI In / Out
Infra-red Receiver
AD_LINK 1 and AD_LINK 2 connectors

As you can see, it has a large assortment of  IN's and OUT's, so it seems to fit quite a few bills as to its use.  I find it is very quiet with its 108db signal to noise ratio, and it has a very crisp sound quality.  I've used it to digitize a couple of LP's as well as some reel to reel tapes with excellent results.  Of course, this is a very subjective critique on my part, but since I've been working successfully with audio restoration for quite a number of years, I feel I can appreciate this unit as an improvement in computerized digital sound.

I was able to purchase it on the Web for $204.11 plus shipping.  My only caveat was that on my first installation, I would periodically have some hiss in the system on booting, but by rebooting, it would disappear.  I remedied this problem by downloading new drivers from the Creative support web site.  It has worked quietly since.

I hope this is of help.

Rod Stephens
Family Theater Productions

Vernon Miller wrote:
I know this has probably been covered in countless other topics but I can't
seem to get to the archive database to search it, so apologies in advance.

I want to buy an outboard ADC for digitizing some of my vinyl.  In the past
I've used my old faithful Turtle Beach Monterey PCI card, but given its age
and my current computer config that's no longer an option.

I'd like an external solution that's either USB 2.0 or Firewire (with a
slight preference for USB).  I want to balance price with quality of analog
inputs and ADC.  I don't need a full-blown "USB sound card solution" but
would certainly consider consumer units such as the Creative Audigy 2 NX if
they have a decent analog section.

This is not super-deluxe archival, it's just for devoted hobby use, but I
want to get the best value for my money.

Thanks in advance!

Vernon Miller
Concord, NH


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