Good sound card (coax) as transport for Gamma2
Mar 24, 2010 at 1:22 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

slowpogo

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Posts
755
Likes
10
I just built a Gamma2. I was using my Emu 1212m as the transport (coax out) and it sounded noticeably better than using my on-board sound's SPDIF output.

However, I just upgraded my motherboard, and now I can't get the 1212m to work. I'm not sure I'll be able to, and it's several years old now so I'm thinking about getting a new card.

I'm looking for something that is reasonably priced (hopefully not more than $100, if less then great) but will offer solid SPDIF coax output for the Gamma2 DAC. I don't use ebay, also, so nothing used. I prefer coax simply because I already have a nice coax cable.
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 1:29 AM Post #2 of 16

ROBSCIX

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Posts
6,173
Likes
42
Do you need or want any features on the card that will translate to the DAC when used such as headphone virtualization or gaming routines etc.or do you want a simple clean precise S/pdif?
What about other devices, have you looked at the Hiface? It is USB to Coax or BNC but people around here are giving it great marks.
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 1:36 AM Post #3 of 16

slowpogo

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Posts
755
Likes
10
I don't need anything more than what something like the Hiface offers - or a sound card, as you say, with precise clean SPDIF output. For games or other stuff, I can always use my on-board sound (which is pretty good actually).

The only problem is, where do you buy this Hiface? I see lots of reviews when I google but no retailers.
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 2:18 AM Post #4 of 16

jenneth

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 15, 2001
Posts
509
Likes
17
Quote:

Originally Posted by slowpogo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I don't need anything but what something like the Hiface offers. For games or other stuff, I can always use my on-board sound (which is pretty good actually).

The only problem is, where do you buy this Hiface? I see lots of reviews when I google but no retailers.



M2Tech HiFace USB to SPDIF or BNC Interface
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 5:53 PM Post #6 of 16

PScal

New Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 24, 2007
Posts
48
Likes
10
Have you tried the on board coax out of your new motherboard? Perhaps it, or the USB option of the gamma 2, will provide a temporary solution until you can save the extra money?

Maybe keep trying to get your 1212m to work with the new mobo?
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 6:38 PM Post #8 of 16

slowpogo

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Posts
755
Likes
10
I stated in the first post that the 1212m sounded better than my on-board SPDIF - so yeah, obviously I can use the on-board in the meantime. But I'm looking for lower-jitter options...

'just use whatever card you can find that has S/pdif output'

Really? My point is, I think some cards are better than others, so I don't want to 'just use whatever.' Are there any cards people would recommend in the ~$100 or below range that would stand out as having lower jitter?
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 6:49 PM Post #9 of 16

ROBSCIX

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Posts
6,173
Likes
42
I said use whatever card you can find because basically I would doubt you're going to notice any difference at that price point...they will all be just cheap generic S/pdif outputs.
Some suggest using cards like the old A-710 or other older cards that can be found for cheap but don't expect miracles, they are cheap for a reason.
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 9:39 PM Post #10 of 16

jenneth

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 15, 2001
Posts
509
Likes
17
You could consider the ESI Juli@ (which is what I have actually). They're usually around $85 ~ $90 here in the FS forum.
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 9:51 PM Post #11 of 16

PScal

New Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 24, 2007
Posts
48
Likes
10
My bad on the coax. I thought you were referring to the old mobo's coax in comparison to the 1212m, not the new one.

Do you care about 24 bit?

Quote:

Originally Posted by slowpogo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I stated in the first post that the 1212m sounded better than my on-board SPDIF - so yeah, obviously I can use the on-board in the meantime. But I'm looking for lower-jitter options...

'just use whatever card you can find that has S/pdif output'

Really? My point is, I think some cards are better than others, so I don't want to 'just use whatever.' Are there any cards people would recommend in the ~$100 or below range that would stand out as having lower jitter?



 
Mar 24, 2010 at 10:41 PM Post #12 of 16

slowpogo

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Posts
755
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by PScal /img/forum/go_quote.gif
My bad on the coax. I thought you were referring to the old mobo's coax in comparison to the 1212m, not the new one.

Do you care about 24 bit?



Almost anything I might possibly listen to will be lossless CD rips - but I do some occasional home recording, so the 24-bit could be useful (even just as a secondary playback reference), but it is not crucial.

But as far as I'm aware, pretty much all relatively recent sound cards (even cheap ones and most on-board sound) have 24-bit capability, so I'm confused why you would ask.
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 10:51 PM Post #13 of 16

ROBSCIX

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Posts
6,173
Likes
42
Quote:

Originally Posted by jenneth /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You could consider the ESI Juli@ (which is what I have actually). They're usually around $85 ~ $90 here in the FS forum.


Never thought of that one. Good call.
 
Mar 24, 2010 at 11:16 PM Post #14 of 16

PScal

New Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 24, 2007
Posts
48
Likes
10
I asked because I think the gamma 2 usb input is limited to 16 bit.

Did you build the entire gamma 2 including the USB board, or did you only build part of it? I think the gamma 2's usb is an option that should be considered, since you (may) already have it.

beerchug.gif


Quote:

Originally Posted by slowpogo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Almost anything I might possibly listen to will be lossless CD rips - but I do some occasional home recording, so the 24-bit could be useful (even just as a secondary playback reference), but it is not crucial.

But as far as I'm aware, pretty much all relatively recent sound cards (even cheap ones and most on-board sound) have 24-bit capability, so I'm confused why you would ask.



 
Mar 25, 2010 at 7:59 AM Post #15 of 16

slowpogo

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 7, 2007
Posts
755
Likes
10
Actually, I believe the gamma2 is 24/192 capable. It upsamples everything to 24/192 before analog conversion - but I think it also can accept any signal up to that resolution (amb's site is not responding right now, or else I'd check). In any case, if I set my mobo SPDIF output to 24/192, the gamma2 still takes it fine.

Yeah, I built the full configuration of gamma1 + gamma2. I can use the USB input. That still sounds pretty good, but the coax from 1212m was definitely better. It may seem that I'm splitting hairs but I've learned that I have pretty sensitive ears...for example I'm one of (seemingly) very few people who can easily hear differences between the gamma2's three "digital filters."

I have read more about the Hiface, and that sounds perfect for my needs...I'll see what I can do to save/scrounge up a few more bucks.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top