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Need advice on buying RME Digi 96/8 PAD PCI

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I want to ask you for advice: I wonder about buying a "second-hand" PCI soundcard, the old RME Digi 96/8 PAD PCI for about 280$. I have neither experience nor deep knowledge about PC sound cards, so I'm unsure if this price is reasonable. Overall, this piece of hardware is fairly old, at least 7 years I think. Although driver support is OK, it has drivers for Win7.

Current owner has replaced almost all manufacturer's capacitors with Black Gate's — as far as I understand that is a good improvement for a high-end sound card.


All I want is just a really high quality analog stereo signal — for my audiophilic needs :-) I have Sennheiser HD-600, some high quality records (FLAC and WAV ranging from ~500kbps/24bit/44.1kHz to ~3000kbps/24bit/192kHz) and want to have the best possible listening experience that these headphones has to offer :-) No need for audio recording, production etc. I would really appreciate if you estimate a realistic price for this second-hand PCI sound card. Or maybe you can offer some alternatives under that price range (

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The price is too high, the regular S/H price of this card are 120$.


No drivers for Win7, XP is the lastest driver.


The analog output isn't good




Mac Mini >Amarra Mini>Apogee MiniDAC>Ars Sonum Filarmonia SXE>Quad ESL 2805[br]www.susoramallo.com[br]

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Thank you for advice. I guess I'll go with something like ASUS Xonar ST/STX, or similar. What are your opinions about ASUS Xonar series?


By the way, the owner said he managed to successfuly install this card under Vista, not sure if he used WinXP drivers or some workaround, but in most cases Win Vista drivers are OK for Win7, too.


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I was curious about the ASUS card, but it has a few limitations- the most serious being that it doesn't support 88.2 kHz or 176.4 kHz, only multiples of 48 kHz for hi rez. This eliminates it for consideration from me- the fact that it doesn't have Mac OSX drivers is another blocking point, but not for Windows users. The former limitation has ruled it out for several friends on Windows.


For the reasons of isolation, many are only seeking to run a clean digital signal out of their PC card . Connecting the PC directly to your HiFi system can lead to more problems with ground behavior and ground loops. SPDIF outputs are pulse transformer isolated on a good card, so galvanic isolation exists.


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The AES/EBU outs are transformer balanced and isolated as well. If your DAC can, try with AES/EBU.


My advice is you must try to get a more modern RME card, if you'll seen in pro audio pages, you'll can find a lot of RME's S/H cards. Other option are a Lynx card.







P.S. I have a RME Digi96/8 PST





Mac Mini >Amarra Mini>Apogee MiniDAC>Ars Sonum Filarmonia SXE>Quad ESL 2805[br]www.susoramallo.com[br]

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  • 5 months later...

96/8 PAD is good. XP drivers should work for vista/7 as well. If the item is Black Gate'd of course it would be more expensive than stock and is worth it. I've 96/8 PAD with BG and still can't find a better one for spdif out (even more expensive Lynx or TC, although they were unmodded). Analogue out is usable for headphones! For $200 it'd be a very good deal, even for $280 what could beat it?


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