I retired my 2496 when the input failed....
However the replacement for my 2496 (an e-Mu 1616m) made me go Ahaha
The 2496 is just not quite transparent - if I recorded a good analogue source (Vinyl), and played it back, it did not sound quite the same - difference was subtle - but clearly audible.
With the 1616m I found / find it very difficult to differentiate between the original and the digitised copy - to the point where in a blind test I doubt I could differentiate between them.
I have since taken it further by purchasing the Mytek Stereo96 DAC & ADC pair - true transparency guaranteed.
The 2496 simply is not in the same league.... nor is it in the same price league!
The 1616m (and its baby brother 1212m) are very good and huge value for money - in my opinion better value for money than the 2496 - the improved sound quality is definitely worth it.
The next step up to the Mytek's was about 3 times the price of the 1616m - (and more than 4x the price of the 1212m) - I have to say that in value for money terms the Mytek kit is not a patch on the e-mu.... on the other hand it is state of the art level resolution so I cannot complain.
If the input on the 2496 had not failed I would not have bitten the bullet and upgraded - but would have assumed that the transparency issue I was experiencing was common to all digital / digitised recordings, the upgrade demonstrated to me that there IS digital gear capable of full transparency (perfect sound forever?!).
The 2496 is long in the tooth now... consider an upgrade!
bye for now