Richard and Others,

Thanks for the feedback--

Just so you all know, we have been using the DAL CardDeluxe with the
AES/EBU adaptor
for around two or so years now, and have been really happy with it.  My
only concern is more one of lagging doubts and peer pressure.  Whenever I
mention to people what I'm using for A/D transfer I usually get the, "oh,
really...hmmm...that's nice" response.  The criticism that follows ranges
from blanket concern about using an internal card to do the A/D conversion
to (on one occasion) issues with the DAL CD itself.  The DAL people insist
that their card isn't hampered by the same "noise" problems other cards
face when doing A/D conversion in the guts of the machine.  As far as my
ear goes--all seems aok. I do, however, have a pretty bad ear, probably in
part the result of a youth spent coming to terms with lots of loud punk
rock.  I am also simply and archivist and a folklorist who knows a little
bit about audio, not a trained audio engineer.  With this in mind, I tend
to listen to trained audio engineers when I need advice.  The DAL CD was
recommended to me by an engineer we've worked with when doing radio stuff.
Although I trust his judgment, I do catch some heat for using the card (or
perhaps more correctly "a card") as my A/D converter.

Since I have a captive audience of experts here, and since I don't recall a
specific discussion on the matter in the last two years, (and also since I
think the utility of such a discussion would go beyond just me) would folks
feel like picking up this issue for a list discussion?

1) Is it always (or even) an issue to do A/D conversion with internal
cards?  Many people treat this as gospel.  Are there exceptions to this?
My needs range from 24/96 conversion of C-60 and C-90 cassettes to 16/44.1
transfers of analog audio excerpts.  Is internal conversion more
problematic for longer runs?

2) From another angle, what are the merits and drawbacks to USB and
FireWire audio input, especially when compared to putting a digital signal
through an internal card?  (Aside: I have an admittedly low-end M-Audio
USB-Audio/Mic pre-amp, the USBPre. I bought it as a cheap way to record
interviews for my dissertation.  Frankly, the thing blows.  The noise it
generates just being plugged in (no mic attached) is higher than a lot of
cassette tape hiss I've heard.  I think I was getting a steady noise signal
in the -50db range.  I actually called M-Audio and hung on the phone with
them for about 45 minutes to figure out what the deal was.  The unit they
had there produced a noise signal in the -40db range! Their only response
was to the effect that I was doing better than they were.)  In my small
experience, USB audio tends to be pretty darn noisy.

I posted my initial query in an effort to stay on top of what is out there
and to see what to look for if money turned up in the near future. My real
issue may have more to do with landing better analog play-back gear, so
perhaps trying to goad the powers that be into springing for a Nakamichi
Dragon or a TASCAM 122MKIII might be what I should be doing rather than
lusting after new digital toys.

Thanks in advance,


At 09:19 AM 01/21/2004 -0800, Richard L. Hess wrote:
>Hi, Andy,
>I think there is a missing piece here:
>Why are you bypassing the converters in the DAL CardDeluxe? They are rather
>competent as I understand it (it was on my short list--I ended up with an
>Multiface). Even Bruel and Kjaer have used it in the acoustics PC-based
>instrumentation, as I understand it. Http:// who actually
>cards in depth gives it an excellent rating.
>While you're asking for AES/EBU output and the DAL CardDeluxe is SPDIF in
>natively, DAL sells an AES/EBU and TOSLINK input adapter for $92.
>I'd be curious if the other responders to this feel that the CardDeluxe
>converters are inferior, and in what way.
>I can see applications where you'd rather route/run AES/EBU data than analog
>audio, but I'd like to understand the application. Many transfer suites are
>compact enough that the runs aren't long.
>Richard L. Hess
>Quoting andy kolovos <[log in to unmask]>:
>> Folks,
>> Since we're on a product-suggestion line right now, I'm looking for
>> recommendations for an external 24/96 A/D converter with AES/EBU output.
>> Not interested in USB.
>> Price range is $200-$2,000 or so, but leaning toward the middle of that
>> range.  Would be going into a PC via a DAL CardDeluxe.
>> Any thoughts?
>> Thanks,
>> andy
>> *********************************
>> Andy Kolovos
>> Archivist/Folklorist
>> Vermont Folklife Center
>> P.O. Box 442
>> Middlebury, VT 05753
>> (802) 388-4964
>> [log in to unmask]
Andy Kolovos
Vermont Folklife Center
P.O. Box 442
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 388-4964
[log in to unmask]