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ancient history: M-Audio Audiophile 2496 and Delta 410 cards from close to 25yrs ago

audio_tony

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That’s what they get as well, but once you switch to multiples of 44.1 kHz, performance is degraded. Retest at 44.1 kHz, and you’ll see the same.
EDIT: I just realised messed up here - the input should be at 44.1k not the oscillator. DOH! Will correct tomorrow.

Yes I know this is why I always test at 96kHz. FWIW I just tried 44.1 and THD hovers around 0.006 to 0.01%

My test setup is less than optimised, as I moved house recently and not yet got my bench fully operational - I just connected everything temporarily this morning.

Also - the DX card is in a different PC with different O/S (now Win 10) - interestingly, if I set the generator source to 88.2k / 24 bit the THD drops to 0.00058% - I had expected it to be worse than that, given that 88.2k is a multiple of 44.1k



1695635527393.png


1695635790010.png
 
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audio_tony

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voodooless

Revisiting this.... (correcting the above post).

Input parameters: 44.1kHz / 24 bit. - Generator: 24/96 @1kHz - THD 0.00039%

EDITED to add: This is an Asus Xonar DX PCIx card. and DAC used as a signal source is a modified 'LJM' CS4398 DAC from Ebay.

1695717068019.png


Input parameters: 44.1kHz / 24 bit. - Generator: 24/16 @1kHz - THD 0.00039%

1695717592151.png
 
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audio_tony

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That old wave spectra program looks retro cool.
It's one of the best tools for quick and easy measurements IMHO. It has an accompanying signal generator program too. You can save overlays, record to WAV and all manner of other little hidden gems.
Sadly, I believe the developer has passed away, so there won't be any further development, however the software is 100% stable and runs on XP through Windows 10 (and I'm sure it'll run on Windows 11 too). I also run it under Wine on Linux. What's not to like!?

I also use Virtins MI, AudioTester and REW (each has it's specific merits).
 

restorer-john

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It's one of the best tools for quick and easy measurements IMHO. It has an accompanying signal generator program too. You can save overlays, record to WAV and all manner of other little hidden gems.
Sadly, I believe the developer has passed away, so there won't be any further development, however the software is 100% stable and runs on XP through Windows 10 (and I'm sure it'll run on Windows 11 too). I also run it under Wine on Linux. What's not to like!?

I also use Virtins MI, AudioTester and REW (each has it's specific merits).

I just downloaded it and played with it before posting. I love old software, especially stuff that just. works.

I reckon it would run on a potato computer too. :)

The old ST SpectraLab and SpectraRTA were my first serious PC-soundcard software back in the 90s.
 

MRC01

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voodooless

Revisiting this.... (correcting the above post).

Input parameters: 44.1kHz / 24 bit. - Generator: 24/96 @1kHz - THD 0.00039%

[ nice clean looking graphs ]
...
So the story about the Xonar DX having worse performance at 44.1k is not true? If not true, then having the oscillator an integer multiple of the sampling frequency doesn't seem that important...
 

AnalogSteph

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So the story about the Xonar DX having worse performance at 44.1k is not true?
Dynamic range should be dropping to about 108 dB if memory serves... don't remember whether that was one way or loopback. It's like that on all the CMI878x based models. The increased noise floor is even audible with IEMs on the ST(X).
 

audio_tony

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Dynamic range should be dropping to about 108 dB if memory serves... don't remember whether that was one way or loopback. It's like that on all the CMI878x based models. The increased noise floor is even audible with IEMs on the ST(X).
Strangely, this doesn't seem to be the case here. As my current test setup is very experimental there could be errors in my test methods and I'm looking into it at the moment to verify my results.
As you rightly say, the dynamic range should be dropping. I'm wondering if Windows 10 isn't messing with the sample rate or bit settings, so I'm going to test again under Linux.
 

sonci99

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I have spent hours and hours modding these cards. It all started with Creative xFi platinum and in that card replacing the stereo opamps with some modern LME4520 really made a huge difference.
Then I got the beautiful EMU 1212M, 2 pci cards, the digital and the analog. Sound quality was very good, but still my cd players were better so I tried to mod the Emu. People on the web were replacing opamps, crystals and capacitors, but whatever I did, I couldn't make it sound any better.
Then I got the Emu 1820M. I used it mostly for multichannel asio playback, as it was connected to the analog in of my receiver. I replaced the opamp on one of the channels and compared the sound to the default channels. To my surprise I noticed that the modded channel sounded worse.
That was like a big shock, and from that day no more modding for me.
Lately I got the sexy ESI@juli, just because it's a beautiful card. Unfortunately it's sound quality is no match for modern dacs or cd players.

card-trs.jpg
 

Ifrit

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My introduction to M-Audio was with FW 410 and 1814. Probably some of the worst experiences with the interfaces I've used. Sooner to break was only TC Electronic Konnekt 8. E-MU 1212M was ok, not a big fan of the output, internal RME always was used with outboard DACs, not a single question, just like the external ones with the exception of FF400, where I thought preamps are noisy. But I still use UFX along with other systems.
But I still have and use MicroTrack II recorder! Over SPDIF, mostly.
 

AnalogSteph

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Strangely, this doesn't seem to be the case here.
Well, your noise floor seems much higher in general when compared to post #37, easily 10 dB or so. That may be obscuring the effect. It doesn't look like a ground loop, so I guess whatever you did to mod the DAC may not have addressed its limited dynamic range problem (these eBay DACs were quite notorious for only managing a bit over 100 dB, I think a noisy regulator for Vref is the problem).
 

Thomas_A

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BluesDaddy

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i had both these cards... there were something like $150 to $250 usd back then

this was when Soundblasters were all there was (and maybe Gravis Ultrasound is your were a bit arch)

back then these cards were 98 or XP and they worked fine... even in games... they lasted a long time... I seem to recall I was still using these cards when Win7 came out in 2009

the drivers just worked HOWEVER they did not last long in Win7 due to the fact that you cannot expect a company to keep releasing drivers close to a decade after the fact

now this was a funny time in that digital out on PCs werent that common and so I was a bit reluctant to spend hundreds on cards that STILL had the dacs inside but truth be told they got them to work

they both provided audiophile quality in a PC and I just kept transplanting them from PC to PC

i ended up retiring them when digital out cards became real cheap like $20 cheap and you could just pass it out to a DAC

true to form i think both used... AKM

theyre still in the garage at my dads place
I still have an Audiophile 2496 in my Win7 PC that I use to record LPs to digital. Still works quite well.
 

Sangram

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I'm still using a Delta 66 and e-Mu 1212m coupled to a Benchmark DAC2 for studio duty. The motherboard is dying though, so not sure how long it will last.
 

BluesDaddy

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As noted above, I still am using an Audiophile 2496 to record LPs using its analog inputs from my phono preamps outputs. It's a Win10 PC not a Win7 as I stated above (originally it was Win 7). I've had no issues using the card, but the PC is 12 years old (maybe older) and I'm thinking about building a new Win 11 PC after Christmas and would like to keep using it. Does anyone have one of these working in a Win 11 PC?
 

MRC01

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... Lately I got the sexy ESI@juli, just because it's a beautiful card. Unfortunately it's sound quality is no match for modern dacs or cd players.
I got one of those over 10 years ago and still use it. It has nice features: balanced and unbalanced analog outputs, also SPDIF output both optical and coax. Seamless plug and play operation in Linux. It performs and measures well across the board, though not SOTA. Unexpectedly, the balanced outputs measure slightly worse than unbalanced in terms of noise & distortion. It's a vintage classic and still among the best PC sound cards.
 

Jim T

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i had both these cards... there were something like $150 to $250 usd back then

this was when Soundblasters were all there was (and maybe Gravis Ultrasound is your were a bit arch)

back then these cards were 98 or XP and they worked fine... even in games... they lasted a long time... I seem to recall I was still using these cards when Win7 came out in 2009

the drivers just worked HOWEVER they did not last long in Win7 due to the fact that you cannot expect a company to keep releasing drivers close to a decade after the fact

now this was a funny time in that digital out on PCs werent that common and so I was a bit reluctant to spend hundreds on cards that STILL had the dacs inside but truth be told they got them to work

they both provided audiophile quality in a PC and I just kept transplanting them from PC to PC

i ended up retiring them when digital out cards became real cheap like $20 cheap and you could just pass it out to a DAC

true to form i think both used... AKM

theyre still in the garage at my dads place
I still have my flying Calf Input card and DAC. In their day they were the bomb and sounded great...to me anyway. I sold my flying Cow outboard 2496 DAC I should have kept. Now the new DACs from Schiit audio fit that bill. I love their gear.
 
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