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USB Sound cards - Good bad or Ugly
post Jul 22 2002, 12:13
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I am looking for feedback on USB sound cards for someone who is ONLY interested in music playback and wants to hook up to a 2 channel analogue amplifier that is 40-50' away.

I am particularly interested in the Extigy (122) and the Abit UA10 (44) see here . I am aware of the Stereo-Link but here in the UK it gets expensive when you have to import it and getting it repaired or replaced might have it's problems.

I have read good and bad things about the Creative Extigy, but I think there are 3 things about this device that lead to confusion.
1. Creative market this device to laptop owners and people who don't want to open their PC up. There is an expectation that you just plug it in and use it and this leads to people having problems.
2. The device is now a bit more mature and there should be better driver support. I certainly have read that the new drivers have helped people.
3. Too many people appear to consider the Extigy an evil Audigy in a box. There are a lot of common features and components, however when you look at the cost vs features it scores well.

So my questions relate to someone using the latest drivers, running XP, with very low utilization of the total USB bandwidth, +1GHz PC, lots of Ram and again to stress, just wants to play music. I.e. recording, Midi and Games are not or any interest.

I have also read about the upsampling issues with Creative cards. However, is this going to provide any sound degradation that can be "heard"? Or is this an issue that has no noticable effect for music playback (only)?
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