View Full Version : Which external sound card to get?

2005-02-07, 09:36 PM
I am looking to buy an external sound card with digital in and out, etc.
What would be recommended here? I can probably spend around $150 and would apreciate any input anyone has.


2005-02-07, 10:51 PM
please don't take this question the wrong way, but may i ask why you're looking to get an external soundcard?

the reason i ask is this: the specs you're looking for (digital in/out) + your quoted budget (around $150) might make it tough to find a decent external soundcard. sure, there are cheaper external soundcards out there (e.g. Edirol UA-1D) that have digi-ins/outs, but the cheaper ones are not bit accurate... which means the incoming audio stream is resampled. (a big NO-NO.)

i've read that some pricier external soundcards are bit-accurate, but they are way out of the price range you're looking at, e.g. $300+.

are you wanting a soundcard to transfer DAT>digital cable>hard drive? or something else? if this is the case, you could probably get away with buying a used Nomad Jukebox 3 off ebay within your budget, and it has the connectors you would need (optical input, and USB/Firewire output to a computer). although, i'm not certain if it performs bit-accurate transfers...

on the other hand, you can get a nice *internal* soundcard with analog and digital-ins/outs that is bit-accurate for much, much less... well below $100 (brand new). and on this side of the spectrum, please stay away from Creative Labs SoundBlaster soundcards, as most of them resample digital signals.

2005-02-07, 11:08 PM
please stay away from Creative Labs SoundBlaster soundcards, as most of them resample digital signals.

haha, i have already decided to stay away, but i would like to be able to connect laptop and desktop to the soundcard. And yes i would like as well to go from DAT to HD. Three hundred is a bit above my means right now but could swing 200. any ideas?


2005-02-07, 11:52 PM
all right, i just did a quick search, and with the right firmware revision (which you can install yourself), the Nomad Jukebox 3 is bit-accuate. as i said, it has a Firewire port and a USB port (although the USB port is v1.1, which is the older/slower USB version, but that is sufficient for 16-bit/48kHz DAT transfers), and it has the optical input. so basically, your setup could easily be as follows:

DAT deck (home) > optical cable > jukebox 3 > firewire/usb > hard drive


DAT deck (portable) > 7pin-to-optical > jukebox 3 > firewire/usb > hard drive

really, for the price, i'd just go with that setup... it will serve your purpose (external soundcard), is bit-accurate, and is well within your price range (you can easily grab it for less than $200 off ebay, or check out the Yard Sale board at taperssection.com).

and you can use it to tape shows as well, if you're so inclined to make that transition. plus, you've then got a 20-40GB portable hard drive... i'm not 100% positive on this, but you might actually be able to go DAT > optical > jukebox 3 (and just record it onto the jukebox 3's own hard drive)... then quickly send it to either/both of your computers via Firewire.

2005-02-08, 03:44 PM
Thanks for the idea, i will look into it. Hadn't really tough of going about it in that way.


2013-03-08, 02:37 AM
I am really grateful to receive information from experienced people and i hope that this post will help others as well !

2013-03-08, 05:18 AM
I use a SoundBlaster...was about $80....easy to use....