Author Topic: Recommend a simple quality usb stero soundcard?  (Read 1012 times)

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Offline thepicnicband

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Recommend a simple quality usb stero soundcard?
« on: July 04, 2011, 09:31:19 pm »
I've an ageing MP3 player PC which has a good few fans in it and makes quite a bit of noise. I'd like to upgrade to something smaller to use as a dedicated desktop MP3 Player; still a PC going to my KVM switch so I can fire up an OS and see what I'm doing on a proper monitor. I'm not looking for a stand-alone MP3 player with a small LCD display.

I have a spare Intel Mini iTX board and figure I'll get a case and a 2TB drive for it and make an MP3 player from that running Windows 7.

My problem... although the MOBO does have room for one card if I were to put a simple stereo soundcard into it I'd need a large case and I only have room for a low profile one so out goes any kind of PCIx card.

Can anyone recommend a good quality external stereo USB card? I don't want any recording features on it and I'm certainly not looking for 4.1, 5.1 etc., surround or anything like that. Just stereo but the best possible quality so that flak files will sound good through it. Essentially just a small box that connects to the PC with USB and has a stereo output via a jack plug or (preferably) phono (RCA) plugs.

(I'll be running it through a fairly traditional "separates" system consiting of a Sony TA-FE570 Stereo Amp (see http://img716.imageshack.us/img716/6647/60146847.jpg and http://img600.imageshack.us/img600/3227/78557073.jpg) and then into a couple of cabs each with a Celestion Greenback and two horn tweeters.

[Off Topic: Incidentally the amp is one of the last of the greats IMHO. It has 3 regular inputs, 1 phono and 2 tape with record crossover. It even has a servo motor in the volume knob so that when the volume is tuned up via the remote, the knob turns! You can pick it up for a song on eBay now. I've got a spare for when it breaks but this one's been going strong for almost 10 yrs. It's a gem to get hold of while it's still there and while it's cheap. They just don't make this sort of stuff any more at reasonable prices!]

Back to the soundcard... I've been looking for one but find myself going round and round in circles. The results I'm getting seem to indicate that current mode of thought is that it's smart to have surround output and I know that although this might be OK for gaming it ain't what's best for quality stereo music.
Any suggestions would be welcome. Preferred is 24bit 192Khz. Thanks.
Ben
Epiphone AJ500RE, Takamine EG523SC, Vintage VE2000GG-12, Tanglewood MR750F, Vintage V100WR, Epiphone Sheraton II, Marshall AS100D Acoustic Amp, Marshall Lead 12 Mini-Stack

Offline Ragz

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Re: Recommend a simple quality usb stero soundcard?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2011, 07:22:32 pm »
This might be something you're after
http://www.nuforce.com/hp/products/iconudac2/

Basically it sounds like you just need a simple USB DAC box, which is what the above is.
so rather than search for soundcard. Google USB DAC. You might come up with something you like better.


Offline thepicnicband

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Re: Recommend a simple quality usb stero soundcard?
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2011, 08:38:14 pm »
Ragz - URaStar!
This looks like just the thing I was looking for. I'm very excited now. Thanks so much.  :)
Ben
Epiphone AJ500RE, Takamine EG523SC, Vintage VE2000GG-12, Tanglewood MR750F, Vintage V100WR, Epiphone Sheraton II, Marshall AS100D Acoustic Amp, Marshall Lead 12 Mini-Stack

Offline Ragz

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Re: Recommend a simple quality usb stero soundcard?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2011, 11:03:08 pm »
Ragz - URaStar!
This looks like just the thing I was looking for. I'm very excited now. Thanks so much.  :)

glad i could help.


 

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