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  1. #1
    Senior Member TheLastMan's Avatar
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    M-audio Audiophile 2496 sound card problem

    Probably not quite the right forum, but would be interested if anyone could shed any light on this.

    I have just bought an M-audio Audiophile 2496 sound card to record LP -> Wave files -> FLAC to be played through a SB Duet setup.

    Unfortunately the 2496 locks the computer up (frozen screen & cursor needing hard reset) after about 10-20 seconds of recording - reliably, without fail.

    I have tried all sorts of solutions but have now all but given up on it and am preparing to RMA it, unless M-audio tech support come up with any miracle cure.

    What I would be interested to know from you lot is how much difference would I notice between a recording done through the 2496 and one done through my motherboard's on-board sound chip?

    I have always found the mantra "rubbish in, rubbish out" and "source first" to be generally true. So bearing in mind the source is top-notch (Linn LP12, Lingo, Ecos, ATOC9, Naim 72/Hi-cap) would I really notice any difference? If so how would it manifest itself?

    Thanks for your views!
    Matt
    http://www.last.fm/user/MJL-UK
    SqueezeBoxes: Two SB Duets (Living room and kitchen)
    Server: Synology DS111 (2TB) NAS running LMS 7.7.2
    Network: Netgear DG834GT ADSL modem/router, Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH access point
    Livingroom: Receiver, Naim 42/110 amp, B&W CM2 speakers
    Kitchen: Receiver, Topping TP20 Mk2 Class T amp, B&W 686 speakers
    Study: Linn LP12, Naim 72/Hi-cap/Headline.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Pale Blue Ego's Avatar
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    The on-board sound chip is probably going to be excessively noisy.

    ....just an idea about troubleshooting your problem....do you have the on-board sound disabled in your system BIOS? If it is not disabled, it may be interfering with the M-Audio soundcard.

  3. #3
    Senior Member TheLastMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pale Blue Ego View Post
    The on-board sound chip is probably going to be excessively noisy.

    ....just an idea about troubleshooting your problem....do you have the on-board sound disabled in your system BIOS? If it is not disabled, it may be interfering with the M-Audio soundcard.
    Thanks for the thought, but don't waste time trying to solve the hardware problem - I have tried almost everything!

    At one point I had disabled all the on-board devices not essential to the operation of the computer (including the sound chip), removed every PCI add in card except the 2496 and unplugged all USB devices. No joy, the symptoms were just the same. I strongly suspect the card is faulty.

    About the only thing I have not done is reinstall the HAL, which is a nightmare only just short of reinstalling windows in terms of time taken to get back to a fully functioning PC.
    Matt
    http://www.last.fm/user/MJL-UK
    SqueezeBoxes: Two SB Duets (Living room and kitchen)
    Server: Synology DS111 (2TB) NAS running LMS 7.7.2
    Network: Netgear DG834GT ADSL modem/router, Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH access point
    Livingroom: Receiver, Naim 42/110 amp, B&W CM2 speakers
    Kitchen: Receiver, Topping TP20 Mk2 Class T amp, B&W 686 speakers
    Study: Linn LP12, Naim 72/Hi-cap/Headline.

  4. #4
    Senior Member pfarrell's Avatar
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    M-audio Audiophile 2496 sound cardproblem

    TheLastMan wrote:
    > I have always found the mantra "rubbish in, rubbish out" and "source
    > first" to be generally true. So bearing in mind the source is
    > top-notch (Linn LP12, Lingo, Ecos, ATOC9, Naim 72/Hi-cap) would I
    > really notice any difference? If so how would it manifest itself?


    Motherboard chips are cheap and designed to play games. Many of them
    record only at 48KB, not 44.1

    A computer is a terrible place to have quality audio. Much too much noise.

    I'd check the pro-audio forums, someone there will have specifics to help


    --
    Pat Farrell
    http://www.pfarrell.com/


  5. #5
    Senior Member TheLastMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfarrell View Post
    TheLastMan wrote:[color=blue]
    I'd check the pro-audio forums, someone there will have specifics to help
    Can you point to a good forum Pat?

    Are you saying I should use some kind of external ADC? If so, any suggestions?

    It would have to be cheap. My budget has changed somewhat since I bought the Linn and Naim!
    (wife, kids, mortgage etc)

    It would probably have to be bought with the proceeds of the RMA of the 2496 card at around ú50 ($100).
    Matt
    http://www.last.fm/user/MJL-UK
    SqueezeBoxes: Two SB Duets (Living room and kitchen)
    Server: Synology DS111 (2TB) NAS running LMS 7.7.2
    Network: Netgear DG834GT ADSL modem/router, Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH access point
    Livingroom: Receiver, Naim 42/110 amp, B&W CM2 speakers
    Kitchen: Receiver, Topping TP20 Mk2 Class T amp, B&W 686 speakers
    Study: Linn LP12, Naim 72/Hi-cap/Headline.

  6. #6
    Senior Member pfarrell's Avatar
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    M-audio Audiophile 2496 sound cardproblem

    As others have said, start out making sure you have the 'best' drivers.
    For my Delta 1010s, there was about a year when the latest were not the
    best.

    TheLastMan wrote:
    > Can you point to a good forum Pat?


    http://www.prosoundweb.com/index.php/home/forum_jump/

    http://www.gearslutz.com/board/

    http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/pro/bbs.html

    http://www.soundonsound.com/forum

    > Are you saying I should use some kind of external ADC? If so, any
    > suggestions?


    Well, I do, I have a couple of M-Audio Delta 1010, they put all the
    sensitive audio out in outboard racks, so only digital stuff is in the
    computer.

    But for converting LPs, one has to think of the budget


    --
    Pat Farrell
    http://www.pfarrell.com/


  7. #7
    Senior Member TheLastMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfarrell View Post

    Well, I do, I have a couple of M-Audio Delta 1010, they put all the
    sensitive audio out in outboard racks, so only digital stuff is in the
    computer.

    But for converting LPs, one has to think of the budget
    At ú350 - ú400 in the UK, the 1010 does not look outrageously expensive given the amount of cash some people will part with for some nice cables or a MC cartridge. They look very "pro" too!

    Shame I only have ú50 then ;-)

    I think there is a market for an "audiophile" ADC/DAC in a break out box like the 1010 but with RCA phono jacks for connection to normal amps / receivers and probably only two stereo pairs in each direction.

    Looking at some recent reviews it seems that the problems with RFI on sound cards has been adressed pretty well and it is less of a problem than it used to be. Most of the external devices in my budget are USB and tend to have poor reviews relative to the PCI internal cards.

    An M-audio tech support guy has just given me one more thing to try before I send back the 2496. He said 99% of these problems with the 2496 are IRQ related and if you can sort out the card with an IRQ of its own below 15 then it usually does the job. The trouble is that there is no way to directly control the IRQ of devices in Windows XP so it is all trial and error. I have been shuffling PCI cards about but with no change in the IRQ numbers allocated to each device, which was very frustrating.

    Apparently I should have been rebooting the PC twice each time I moved a card, once with the card removed and then once again once it was plugged back in.

    If that doesn't work he says I should send it back.

    Wish me luck!
    Matt
    http://www.last.fm/user/MJL-UK
    SqueezeBoxes: Two SB Duets (Living room and kitchen)
    Server: Synology DS111 (2TB) NAS running LMS 7.7.2
    Network: Netgear DG834GT ADSL modem/router, Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH access point
    Livingroom: Receiver, Naim 42/110 amp, B&W CM2 speakers
    Kitchen: Receiver, Topping TP20 Mk2 Class T amp, B&W 686 speakers
    Study: Linn LP12, Naim 72/Hi-cap/Headline.

  8. #8
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    There is a cheap vinyl ripper - can't remember its name (I could look it up if you wish) - it's about $70. For the effort involved, I reckon it's worth spending more on a quality piece of equipment. Try "The Ripper" instead: http://www.hagtech.com/ripper.html. The kit version won't cost much more than your budget and will be top quality.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastMan View Post
    Unfortunately the 2496 locks the computer up (frozen screen & cursor needing hard reset) after about 10-20 seconds of recording - reliably, without fail.
    Assuming that you've done all the usual stuff like making sure you have the latest soundcard and motherboard drivers, it could simply be that there's some sort of incompatibility between the AP2496 and your motherboard. In that case, rather than beating your head against a brick wall, perhaps it would be easier to return the AP2496 and try an alternative, such as Echo Mia, EMU 0404, or similar. All of these "semi-pro" cards are very good and will give similar results. If money is no object you could go overboard for something like a DAL Card Deluxe or Lynx Two.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastMan View Post
    What I would be interested to know from you lot is how much difference would I notice between a recording done through the 2496 and one done through my motherboard's on-board sound chip?
    It depends on the onboard sound. Most is pretty ropey, but some motherboards have surprisingly good onboard sound. However, I doubt you'll ever get one that sounds as good as the 2496.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastMan View Post
    So bearing in mind the source is top-notch (Linn LP12, Lingo, Ecos, ATOC9, Naim 72/Hi-cap) would I really notice any difference? If so how would it manifest itself?
    I'd say that with a front end of that quality, you owe it to yourself to get a decent soundcard.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastMan View Post
    Are you saying I should use some kind of external ADC?
    It certainly used to be the case that you should keep analogue circuitry outside the PC case, but many modern soundcards are amazingly resilient against the RFI. Don't let the fact that a card is internal put you off.
    Transporter -> ATC SCM100A

  10. #10
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    Try to only install drivers from M-Audio website, not all the contents on the cd. Only the drivers from the website.See if the computer will run then.

    Many years ago.
    I think i remember that there was something, a program or drivers from one of the cd`s that shoulod not be installed. It whould not work.

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