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Looking for a PC Sound Card Rec

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Hello everyone, I just joined today looking for help on this topic.


I have a PC with a SoundBlaster X-Fi soundcard. Although it's been a real workhorse and great for surfing and gaming, it has come to my attention that it may not be so good for higher-end audio. In fact, because of locked sampling rates, it adds a layer of processing for everything going into the PC and coming out of the PC. I want to avoid that problem.


I plan to get a pair of Magnepan MMG speakers powered with a pair of Outlaw 2200 monoblocks. I want to hook them up to my PC for audio editing and listening to CDs. I know the speakers and amps are high quality, now it seems that the soundcard will be the weak link in the chain.


So I'm looking for an audiophile-level PC sound card. It can be external firewire, or PCI interface with a break-out box where most of the electronics will be outside of the PC. I'm trying to avoid jitter and the other compromises that come with cramming all this tech onto an internal card. Since it will be used to control the 2200s I would like a volume control on it. I'm on a budget, $500 or so is about my range.


I have been considering the Emu 1616m, bit am open to other opinions.


thanks all





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... A little less overkill would be something like the EMU 0404, which several folks here seem to like quite well. Here's a look at it: http://www.emu.com/products/product.asp?product=15185. They have one over at Sweetwater right now ( a demo unit ) for $185. I am not in any way connected with Sweetwater by the way - have dealt with them and recommend them though! Here: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/0404USBd/


You ought to peruse the online musician supply places like Sweetwater sound, or Musician's friend to get some more ideas veech!


- markr


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