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Which of the higher-end sound cards have optical in?

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Anonymous
December 13, 2004 7:43:52 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Hi:

I've been cruising Google, and there has been quite a bit of talk about
the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 as well as a multitude of others. Even
though the M-Audio seems more popular, the specs I've read seem to
indicate it doesn't have optical inputs. My Sony TA-E9000ES only has
digital optical out, so that's somewhat of a constraint. Or is there
another way? I haven't heard of any converters between S-PDIF and optical.

I am not attempting to achieve the end-all be-all of fidelity here. I
just want a high quality card that's at least capable of 24/96 recording
and can do a good job potentially ripping analog sources.

Thanks,

-Clint
Anonymous
December 15, 2004 3:50:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Clint Olsen wrote:
> Hi:
>
> I've been cruising Google, and there has been quite a bit of talk about
> the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 as well as a multitude of others. Even
> though the M-Audio seems more popular, the specs I've read seem to
> indicate it doesn't have optical inputs. My Sony TA-E9000ES only has
> digital optical out, so that's somewhat of a constraint. Or is there
> another way? I haven't heard of any converters between S-PDIF and optical.
>
> I am not attempting to achieve the end-all be-all of fidelity here. I
> just want a high quality card that's at least capable of 24/96 recording
> and can do a good job potentially ripping analog sources.
>
> Thanks,
>
> -Clint

As its digital, pretty much any cheap card that does 24/96 with optical
in will do it. Should be less than $50. Also, there are many
digital-optical converters, check Ebay and other places.

Mike
Anonymous
December 15, 2004 4:36:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Clint Olsen wrote:
> Hi:
>
> I've been cruising Google, and there has been quite a bit of talk about
> the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 as well as a multitude of others. Even
> though the M-Audio seems more popular, the specs I've read seem to
> indicate it doesn't have optical inputs. My Sony TA-E9000ES only has
> digital optical out, so that's somewhat of a constraint. Or is there
> another way? I haven't heard of any converters between S-PDIF and optical.
>
> I am not attempting to achieve the end-all be-all of fidelity here. I
> just want a high quality card that's at least capable of 24/96 recording
> and can do a good job potentially ripping analog sources.
>
> Thanks,
>
> -Clint
Just use the analog outputs of the receiver to connect to the soundcard.
Connect the soundcard to the receiver just as if you are connecting a
tape deck using the RCA jacks. Chances are that the optical output would
not be compatible,assuming that you want 2 channel stereo which it
sounds like what you want because you mentioned analog sources. The
optical output from the receiver is usually surround outputs of all 5.1
or 6.1 channels. You needn't worry too much about D/A quality because
you're looking at good quality soundcards.

CD
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Anonymous
December 16, 2004 5:44:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Codifus wrote:
> The optical output from the receiver is usually surround outputs of all 5.1
> or 6.1 channels. You needn't worry too much about D/A quality because
> you're looking at good quality soundcards.

The digital output on my surround preamp can output 5.1 DD/DTS *or*
2-channel PCM (say from a compact disc). Paying an A/D->D/A conversion
seems like a bad idea. I have a digital output stream. Why perform an
unecessary conversion? I think the other poster's idea of finding a
Toslink->S/PDIF is a more sound (pun intended).

Some sound cards actually offer a companion card which breaks out
optical for you, but I haven't seen that on any of the M-Audio cards.

-Clint
Anonymous
December 17, 2004 7:50:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Clint Olsen wrote:
> Codifus wrote:
>
>> The optical output from the receiver is usually surround outputs of
>> all 5.1 or 6.1 channels. You needn't worry too much about D/A quality
>> because you're looking at good quality soundcards.
>
>
> The digital output on my surround preamp can output 5.1 DD/DTS *or*
> 2-channel PCM (say from a compact disc). Paying an A/D->D/A conversion
> seems like a bad idea. I have a digital output stream. Why perform an
> unecessary conversion? I think the other poster's idea of finding a
> Toslink->S/PDIF is a more sound (pun intended).
>
> Some sound cards actually offer a companion card which breaks out
> optical for you, but I haven't seen that on any of the M-Audio cards.
>
> -Clint
Fair enough. I didn't realize that the digital output also sent 2
channel audio data as well. But you mentioned ripping analog sources,
which a CD player is not. An analog source attached to your receiver
would be the turntable, tape deck, HIFI VCR etc. Their musical data
would be running through the receiver in analog form. So when you record
from one of them to the computer, only one A->D conversion would occur.

This is of course assuming that you have a standard type receiver. I've
heard of some new age receivers which convert all sources to digital
within the receiver. Those type are the exception.

CD
Anonymous
December 18, 2004 12:31:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Codifus wrote:
> Fair enough. I didn't realize that the digital output also sent 2
> channel audio data as well. But you mentioned ripping analog sources,
> which a CD player is not. An analog source attached to your receiver
> would be the turntable, tape deck, HIFI VCR etc. Their musical data
> would be running through the receiver in analog form. So when you record
> from one of them to the computer, only one A->D conversion would occur.

Indeed, you are correct. The Sony preamp I have has a case of
'digititus' (no analog passthrough), so on analog sources, I was
planning on connecting directly to the card. Which means I'm gonna need
a phono preamp to convert to line-level should I get serious about doing
such a thing.

Thanks,

-Clint
Anonymous
December 18, 2004 6:03:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Clint Olsen wrote:
> Codifus wrote:
>
>> Fair enough. I didn't realize that the digital output also sent 2
>> channel audio data as well. But you mentioned ripping analog sources,
>> which a CD player is not. An analog source attached to your receiver
>> would be the turntable, tape deck, HIFI VCR etc. Their musical data
>> would be running through the receiver in analog form. So when you
>> record from one of them to the computer, only one A->D conversion
>> would occur.
>
>
> Indeed, you are correct. The Sony preamp I have has a case of
> 'digititus' (no analog passthrough), so on analog sources, I was
> planning on connecting directly to the card. Which means I'm gonna need
> a phono preamp to convert to line-level should I get serious about doing
> such a thing.
>
> Thanks,
>
> -Clint
I was looking at the Sony TA-9000ES here;
http://home.online.no/~espen-b/ta-e9000es/

I'm curious, how do you know that the analog isn't pass through? With a
receive as feature packed as this, I would assume you'd have options on
how to handle analog data.

CD
Anonymous
December 19, 2004 7:00:39 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Codifus wrote:
> I'm curious, how do you know that the analog isn't pass through? With a
> receive as feature packed as this, I would assume you'd have options on
> how to handle analog data.

It was pretty common back in the early days of digital surround preamps
that everything was performed in the digital domain. Sony even came out
with a companion unit called the P9000ES to handle exactly the analog
features missing the surround preamp.

Since then analog pass-through has become more common. I believe all
the newer Denon and Sony receivers support this.

-Clint
Anonymous
December 21, 2004 3:48:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Clint Olsen <clint@0lsen.net> wrote:

>I've been cruising Google, and there has been quite a bit of talk about
>the M-Audio Audiophile 2496 as well as a multitude of others. Even
>though the M-Audio seems more popular, the specs I've read seem to
>indicate it doesn't have optical inputs. My Sony TA-E9000ES only has
>digital optical out, so that's somewhat of a constraint. Or is there
>another way? I haven't heard of any converters between S-PDIF and optical.

Add a CO2 to the Audiophile 2496 and you've got your optical inputs.

--
Len Moskowitz PDAudio, Binaural Mics, Cables, DPA, M-Audio
Core Sound http://www.stealthmicrophones.com
Teaneck, New Jersey USA http://www.core-sound.com
moskowit@core-sound.com Tel: 201-801-0812, FAX: 201-801-0912
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