I recently installed the Creative Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro PCI sound
card with its accompanying "breakout box"  or "I/O Hub" as they call it
with a wireless remote (more for gamers).  These are quotes from a web
site as to specs:

> Sound Blaster® Audigy® 2 ZS delivers 24-bit ADVANCED HD^(TM) audio
> quality playback with incredible 108dB SNR. It delivers the highest
> resolution audio playback with support for DVD-Audio at 24-bit/192kHz
> in stereo or 24-bit/96kHz in 5.1 surround in addition to industry
> leading standards, like THX®-certification and Windows Media 9: 24-bit
> multi-channel audio format.

> SPECIFICATIONS Audio Performance

> Signal-to-Noise Ratio with AES17 filter (A-Weighted)
> Stereo Output

> 2V Rated Output  108dB  -   1V Rated Output  102dB

> Front and Rear Channels - Center, Subwoofer and Rear Center all have
> the same specs.

> Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise at 1kHz (AES17) = 0.004% (1V, 2V
> Rated Output)

> Frequency Response (+/-3dB, 24-bit/96kHz input ) = <10Hz to 46kHz (1V,
> 2V Rated Output)

> High Definition Audio Quality for Playback and Recording

> 24-bit Digital-to-Analog conversion during playback with sampling
> rates of 8, 11.025, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 and 96kHz in 7.1 mode
> and up to 192kHz in stereo mode

> 24-bit Analog to Digital conversion during recording in 8, 16 or
> 24-bit at sampling rates of 8, 11.025, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 and
> 96kHz
> SPDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) input at up to 24-bit/ 96kHz
> quality
> SPDIF output up to 24-bit at 48 or 96kHz
> ASIO 2.0 drivers for low latency (as low as 2ms) multi-track playback
> and recording at 16-bit/48kHz or 24-bit/96kHz

> Wave-Table Synthesis and Midi Features

> Creative Hardware synthesizer (2x16 Channels) with 64-voice polyphony
> featuring E-MU®'s patented 8-point interpolation technology for
> accurate sample reproduction

> Creative Software synthesizer - multi timbral wave-table (16 Channels)

> 2 MIDI I/O ports (2x16 channels) (gameport adapter required for MIDI
> I/O 2)

> FireWire® (IEEE®1394) Connectivity

> FireWire® (IEEE®1394) / i-Link® compatible interface with up to
> 400Mbps transfer rate Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro On-Board
> Connectors

> Line level out (Front / Side / Rear / Center / Subwoofer)
> Digital CD Audio in
> Aux Audio in
> AD_LINK 1 and AD_LINK 2 Connectors
> Power Connector
> 15-pin MIDI/ Joystick port extension header

> Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro External I/O Hub Front/Rear
> Panel Connectors

> Headphone Out (1/4" Stereo Jack)

> Line In 1 (1/4" Stereo Jack , shared with Microphone In with Gain Control

> Line In 2 (1/4" Stereo Jack)

> Line In 3 (2x RCA Jack)

> Optical SPDIF In/Out

> Coaxial SPDIF In/Out

> Digital Out for 5.1 support (6-channel SPDIF Output to Creative
> digital speakers)

> 2x FireWire® (IEEE®1394) ports

> MIDI In / Out

> Infra-red Receiver

> AD_LINK 1 and AD_LINK 2 connectors

As you can see, it has a large assortment of  IN's and OUT's, so it
seems to fit quite a few bills as to its use.  I find it is very quiet
with its 108db signal to noise ratio, and it has a very crisp sound
quality.  I've used it to digitize a couple of LP's as well as some reel
to reel tapes with excellent results.  Of course, this is a very
subjective critique on my part, but since I've been working successfully
with audio restoration for quite a number of years, I feel I can
appreciate this unit as an improvement in computerized digital sound.

I was able to purchase it on the Web for $204.11 plus shipping.  My only
caveat was that on my first installation, I would periodically have some
hiss in the system on booting, but by rebooting, it would disappear.  I
remedied this problem by downloading new drivers from the Creative
support web site.  It has worked quietly since.

I hope this is of help.

Rod Stephens
Family Theater Productions

Vernon Miller wrote:

>I know this has probably been covered in countless other topics but I can't
>seem to get to the archive database to search it, so apologies in advance.
>I want to buy an outboard ADC for digitizing some of my vinyl.  In the past
>I've used my old faithful Turtle Beach Monterey PCI card, but given its age
>and my current computer config that's no longer an option.
>I'd like an external solution that's either USB 2.0 or Firewire (with a
>slight preference for USB).  I want to balance price with quality of analog
>inputs and ADC.  I don't need a full-blown "USB sound card solution" but
>would certainly consider consumer units such as the Creative Audigy 2 NX if
>they have a decent analog section.
>This is not super-deluxe archival, it's just for devoted hobby use, but I
>want to get the best value for my money.
>Thanks in advance!
>Vernon Miller
>Concord, NH