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I think David brings up a VERY good point. An in-computer sound card's noise
performance is very implementation-dependent. I agree getting the converters
out is a good idea.

There is risk to buying the in-machine cards. There is little risk with an
outboard converter and a digital-only card in the machine.

I'll bet some implementations of the CardDeluxe don't suffer from what David
experienced. I certainly can see how this could happen.

So let me revise my recommendation as I was on the fence.

Get outboard converters and a digital sound card--or a two-piece unit like the
RME Multiface or Digiface.

I have not had any problems in this regard and both workstations I've bought
over the years ended up that way.

I still wish to focus on the point that there is more variability in playback
than one would imagine.

Also, even if you have an unbalanced source, a balanced input can help reject
noise.

The proper way to connect the wiring is

    Bal +    ---------------------    Unbalanced hot
    Bal -    -------wire----------    Unbalanced ground
    Ground   -------shield--------    Unbalanced ground

You can break the shield at one end or the other if there is a noise problem
with the setup. Use twisted-pair shielded cable for the connection.

Cheers,

Richard

--

Richard L. Hess
http://www.richardhess.com/


Quoting David Seubert <[log in to unmask]>:

> Richard, Andy and the list,
>
> We use the CardDelux in both of our DAWs and we are very pleased with them.
> As I indicated in my last post, I think the DAL converters sound fine. In
> addition to high-quality converters, they have balanced I/O as well as
> digital I/O. This is something that is hard to find in a simple,
> inexpensive two channel card with high-quality converters. I would never
> use a card with unbalanced analog I/O. However, DAL is wrong if they say
> their cards are not affected by machine noise. Our machines run on balanced
> AC power from an isolation transformer, so our power is very clean, but we
> still got noise induced into the signal from the computer's power supply,
> fans or something. I don't know where the noise came from, but it was
> there, so we switched to external converters. I don't think there is an
> inherent problem with using an internal card for some types of work, as
> long as you are aware that there could be noise from the computer. If I had
> spent $6K on Prism converters, I'd probably poo-poo anybody that used a
> $500 sound card, but that is not as much an issue or sound quality, but of
> attitude.
>
> David Seubert
> UCSB
>
> At 10:07 AM 1/21/2004 -0800, you 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
> RME
> >Multiface). Even Bruel and Kjaer have used it in the acoustics PC-based
> >instrumentation, as I understand it. Http://www.pcavtech.com who actually
> >tests
> >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.
> >http://www.digitalaudio.com/DIGITALAUDIO/myarticles.asp?
P=5216&S=75&PubID=4401
> >
> >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.
> >
> >Cheers,
> >
> >Richard
> >
> >--
> >
> >Richard L. Hess
> >http://www.richardhess.com/tape/
> >
> >
> >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]
> > > http://www.vermontfolklifecenter.org
> > >
>