I'll add one more thing to this discussion. At least one of the many flash recorders out there, the
Zoom H2, can also act as a USB audio interface. So you could have both a portable recorder (in the
Zoom's case, a portable recorder capable of 4-channel surround recording) and a somewhat quick and
dirty USB interface all in one device. I just recently used the Zoom to make a bunch of cassette
transfers, some music and some spoken word, all of decent to very good (as good as cassette is
capable) audio quality. I transferred at 44.1kHz/24-bit and was very happy with the results.
What I'd like to know from the original poster, Bill Fliss -- what are your intended uses and what
is your budget? If you are doing high-quality professional transfers, you'll want something much
different (and, alas, more expensive), than if you are "putting my LPs into my iPod" or transferring
a stack of worn 78's for personal use. Also, if your input devices are balanced or unbalanced
output, consumer or professional operating levels, is important to know. That said, one thing to add
to my recommendation of the CardDeluxe is that you can jumper-set its operating level and its input
and output circuits are comfortable receiving and feeding unbalanced lines. So to interface with
consumer electronics, all you need is to set the jumpers at -10 nominal level and buy four 1/4-inch
to RCA adapters.
I use a M-Audio 2496 exactly the same why John does -- as a listening/preview workstation card. It
does the job fine. One problem I had using it for a transfer interface was that the computer's
lousy grounding structure created hum when connected to a properly-grounded tape output from a
well-made Japanese receiver (set up to tape FM broadcasts). That problem was solved with Radio
Shack's in-line audio transfermer cable.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Bondurant" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 9:52 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Sound card recommendation
> Here are my thoughts and recommendation having used the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 and Lynx Studio
> LynxONE PCI cards.
> Audiophile 2496
> We use the 2496 in our access/auditioning workstations.
> Pros: Better than most computer motherboard audio, adequate for access or auditioning use.
> Cons: Analog I/O is unbalanced RCA only, Digital I/O is S/PDIF only.
> Recommendation: If cost is really a factor, step up to the M-Audio Audiophile 192.
> We use the LynxONE with AES/EBU and Mytek converters in our preservation studio.
> Pros: Exceptional quality PCI Card, Balanced XLR analog I/O support +4/-10 levels, AES/EBU and
> S/PDIF digital I/O,
> Word clock I/O for synchronizing, all breakout cables included.
> Cons: Expensive, discontinued in 7/2008.
> Recommendations: Lynx L22 is their current two channel audio PCI card.
> While I have never used the DAL CDX-01, I hear enough good things about them from folks that I
> trust at ARSC. They have balanced analog I/O and can be upgraded from S/PDIF to AES/EBU digital
> I/O if you want to go that way in the future. I'd place them somewhere below the Lynx Studio
> products, but not very far.
> FWIW...I've also used an Edirol UA-1EX USB interface for some "quick and dirty" transfers (not for
> preservation) and have been pretty impressed with its quality. It can do 96/24, but not in full
> duplex mode. And since these transfers are usually for CDs, 44.1/16 transfers just make more
> sense. It also has optical S/PDIF input and I'd say it is definitely better than the built in
> audio on my laptop.
> Hope this helps,
> John H. Bondurant
> Sound Preservation Archivist
> Berea College
> Hutchins Library
> Special Collections & Archives
> CPO LIB
> Berea, KY 40404
> (859) 985-3389 - voice
> (859) 985-3912 - fax
> mailto:[log in to unmask]
> Please consider whether it is necessary to print this email.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bill Fliss [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Monday, December 14, 2009 3:17 PM
> Subject: Sound card recommendation
> Good afternoon,
> I know that conventional wisdom prefers a stand-alone A/D converter instead
> of using your computer's sound card to convert an analog signal to digital,
> but can anybody recommend a sound card to me that can handle a capture at
> 24-bit/96kHz? This would be for a PC.
> Bill Fliss