sound cards

I have a new (3-19-08) Dell Inspiron 530s computer, pentium Dual Core processor E2180 (2.00 GHz, 800FSB), 2GB DDR2 SDRAM at 665MHz. The computing part I like. However, the sound part, called "Integrated " (a “Realtek” product) is, for my needs, the worst ever.

I need a suggestion for a sound card that will give me good sound and ability to control my work with no interference from unwanted, built in, programs. I use Audacity (thank you for making it available) to process over 700 vinyls, tapes, and CD’s. I do NO gaming, DVD’s, TV or other “stuff”. Just music. from what I have seen in the promotional material of the available sound cards on the domestic market I have not yet found a card that I think will do what I want a card to do. It should give basic imput so that I can do my my work without interference from other people’s ideas of a “good” sound card. I asked Creative Labs for a suggestion and got an answer suggesting a card that promised to “enhance” the sound and make it “sound better”. I ask you; who wants to make Bunny Berigan sound better than his original recordings? I store all my work in WAV files. If I use MS Media player for playback, that is in WAV file form. The only time that changes is when I make a CD and I have no control over compression or other “digital” requirements.

I hope you can understand from this how much I need HELP. Thanks for anything anyone can do fo me.

R. Ryan

I use the Edirol UA-1EX USB soundcard for my vinyl/tape/MD conversions and to record off-air from FM radio - it gives very good results.

An alternative that gets mentioned favourably on these forums is the Behringer UCA202.

The Behringer is cheaper - the Edirol has more functionality/features - you can look at the full spec of both on t’interweb.


Thanks. I’ll try to look them up. Creative still seems to not understand what I want.

If you want to use a sound-card (such as SBLive) without the “enhanced” features, do NOT install directly from the installation disk. Instead you should fit the sound-card and install ONLY the soundcard drivers. If the CD “auto-runs”, close/exit the installation program. When Windows prompts you to install a driver for the new device, search for the driver on the installation CD (often it is sufficient just to tell Windows to install the driver from the CD, but sometimes you need to look for a “drivers” folder on the CD).
Once the soundcard driver is installed, you may need to check that any “advanced” features (such as EAX, EQ, surround sound, etc.) are disabled.


If you want something fancy, I have an M-Audio Audiophile 192 card that I have no use for anymore. It’s got stereo in, stereo out (all balanced 1/4" ports), digital i/o, and MIDI. No other bells or whistles, just very clean audio. From your description, this seems to be exactly what you’re looking for.

I can’t use it anymore because it doesn’t work under Linux, but it works perfectly under Windows and Mac OS’s. I don’t know what other equipment you have, but this card probably won’t be the bottleneck in your signal chain.

The drivers and the manual are all available online, but I no longer have the box. I can sell you the card and the interface cable for $50, no charge for shipping (as long as you’re in the lower 48 states). PM me if you’re interested.

If you don’t want my card, it’s also available on eBay for about the same price.

The same offer goes for anyone else. This card has just been sitting in a box behind my desk for 9 months, it’s time to give it a new home.