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PCI-E professional sound cards with breakout boxes

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Railgun

Member
Joined
May 7, 2011
(Semi)Pro audio folks, I'm curious to know what you're all using for a sound solution. I've not bothered with any pro sound forums so here I am.

I'm currently running a E-MU 1616m under Win8.1. It's served me well, but...whether it's an OS issue or a HW issue, it's starting to show some symptoms of failing. Not loading on startup mainly. In addition to horrible driver support, Win10 really liking it, in particular on a fresh install.

So, I'm looking for a more up to date solution. I'd prefer to stay with a PCI-E setup as I've never been a fan of the latency of USB. I'm also aware that the E-MU has a pretty great DAC so if I can not downgrade in that respect, all the better.

I'd prefer a desktop breakout box with midi I/O, XLR I/O (for speakers, XLR and 1/4" TRS is preferred), and either 1/8" or 1/4" additional I/O. I'm using M-Audio BX8 D2 speakers and the SBX10 sub. I don't need a ton of I/Os.

There seems to be several options, but most seem to be several hinder dollars/pounds more than what the E-MU was. I've not done a ton of research on the current crop of cards, but PCI-E seems to be going the way of the dodo. I don't need 5.1, and I don't need any special audio processing in the context of games and the like. Should I ever care, I'll just revert to my mobo solution.

So...who's running what?
 
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peanutbudder

Member
Joined
May 30, 2012
Location
California
I don't use a pic-e sound card because of interference from everything inside the pc itself. I know newer cards use shielding to try and protect against the interference but it does not compare to an external device. I am currently using the Audioengine D1 with optical cable for my data and usb for power source. My mind is blown away by the sound quality compared to older sound cards and the power output is amazing for driving my sennhieser HD600's. I have just started getting into the audio game because up until a year ago sound quality wasn't a big deal.

I don't have all the answers but I sure people here will guide you in the right direction. I would highly recommend the D1 and you might want to check out some reviews on it.
 
OP
Railgun

Railgun

Member
Joined
May 7, 2011
Separate DAC but unfortunately doesn't do anything I need it to do as described above.
 

sobe

Unscathed Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2005
Internal solution for myself currently is a Creative ZxR paired with Beyer DT990 600ohm, external solution being WooAudio WA7 for Mrspeakers Alpha Dogs and a pair of incoming Fostex X-00.