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USB sound card recommendation


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Hi everyone, Great forum you have here.

 

I don't use a desktop for some time due to space limitations and I don't like the internal sound of the laptop.

Please recommend me an external sound card which do not resample the material (I use flac and mp3) and is "bit-prerfect" for 44.1khz 16 bit. Usualy this kind of sound cards use 2 separate crystals on the board to natively playback both cd (44.1khz) and movies (48 or 96 khz).

I don't need surround, only stereo, the laptop in question it is used only for music playback.

 

Budget is an issue, I need something simple that does the job. The sound quality of a M-Audio 5.1 PCI card is enough for me. Notice the 2 crystals in the picture:

 

http://www.ixbt.com/multimedia/m-audio-revolution51/r5.1chipsb.jpg

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YES that is what I need, see the 2 crystals in the pictures. Thank you.

 

Any cheaper alternatives?

 

You can get the 1.0 version for $100 from AudioAdvisor still (which I thought was a good deal during Thanksgiving and bought it :( .. it is still good sound wise but did not like the sly marketing )

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You can get the 1.0 version for $100 from AudioAdvisor ...

+1

The v1 model is still a decent proposition, reliable, good sound, obviously ultra portable, and will handle up to 24/96 if you choose to go in that direction. Also supports integer streams created by some music players.

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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Lol ... They even admit they ripped off Meridian!

 

Sorry that doesn't mean it's no good or anything... Just laughing at the Chinese companies!

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Lol ... They even admit they ripped off Meridian!

Sorry that doesn't mean it's no good or anything... Just laughing at the Chinese companies!

I noticed the same thing, and regardless of whether it is common practice, it doesn't give me the impression that they are honest. So I'm inclined to think the product is a bit of risk. Just my point of view; I don't have any experience with this company.

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

After all I got it and I am happy with it. Sound is much better than onboard. I have tested it with Windows 7 and Redhat 6.5.

 

Regarding playback of normal 44.1khz music: Do you think it is best to leave the DAC at 44.1 or set it at 88.2khz (2x) or 176.4khz (4x)? I have made tests but to my not_so_trained_ears it sounds almost the same. Another experiment: foobar resample at 88.2khz and DAC at 176.4khz - same (good) result.

 

Also if anybody knows how to set the sampling frequency in Linux please let me know (I am stuck with redhat at office). It reports all the SRs as supported but I don't know how to force them in use.

 

[[email protected] cristian]# cat /proc/asound/card1/stream0

XMOS XMOS USB Audio 2.0 at usb-0000:00:14.0-2, high speed : USB Audio

 

Playback:

Status: Running

Interface = 1

Altset = 1

Packet Size = 1024

Momentary freq = 44100 Hz (0x5.8333)

Packet Size = 0

Momentary freq = 0 Hz (0x0.0000)

Feedback Format = 16.16

Interface 1

Altset 1

Format: S32_LE

Channels: 2

Endpoint: 1 OUT (ASYNC)

Rates: 44100, 48000, 88200, 96000, 176400, 192000, 352800, 384000

Data packet interval: 125 us

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cristimm, you might want to start a new thread on this question -- to capture the attention of the linux crowd.

2013 MacBook Pro Retina -> {Pure Music | Audirvana} -> {Dragonfly Red v.1} -> AKG K-702 or Sennheiser HD650 headphones.

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Also if anybody knows how to set the sampling frequency in Linux please let me know (I am stuck with redhat at office). It reports all the SRs as supported but I don't know how to force them in use.

 

Do you want to force playback at a certain rate? Edit or create .asoundrc in your home directory and put these lines into it:

 

#
#  set samplerate conversion algorithm
#
defaults.pcm.!rate_converter "samplerate_best"

#
#  modify PCM interface defaults
#
defaults.pcm.dmix.!format "unchanged"
defaults.pcm.dmix.!rate "88200" # or whatever

My last system did not like it when I used .asoundrc. If there is no sound anymore, just delete the file. In that case you would have to edit /usr/share/alsa/alsa.conf. Don't know if your su lets you.

 

To be able to use this, configure a dmix based device in your player.

Primary ::= Nabla music server | Mutec MC-3+USB w/ Temex LPFRS-01 RB clock | WLM Gamma Reference DAC; Secondary ::= Nabla music server | WaveIO | PrismSound Lyra

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