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Wich PCI audio card for Mytek Stereo96 DAC ?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by trana, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. trana

    trana Active Member

    I have purchased Mytek Stereo96 DAC , and connected it to my Motu UltraLite mk3 Hybrid .
    I was totally blown away by the improvement this little Mytek DAC gave in sound quality .
    But the dealer says that ít´s much better to combine Mytek with a PCI audio card . He recommended RME HDSP 9632 .
    Is that a good choice ?
    Does it exist any better alernative ?
    I want a PCI audio card with the same quality as Mytek .
    (Later on I will buy Mytek Stereo96 ADC and a good mic. so I can begin recording in my little home studio )
    I know that it is best to compare 2 units in my home studio , but that seems to be difficult so I would be very glad for some advce .
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Hmmm.. I'm not so sure about that. The first thing you would lose on a PCI card is the pre amp gain stage, and lack of control for it.

    I haven't used a dedicated PCI audio I/O card for years, there may be some good ones, but...

    I'd wait for a few more opinions on that before you go spending money.


    It does appear as though the sound card has a variety of inputs including Adat and SPDIF that, if your current preamp supports that I/O, you could front load the audio PCI card with your current pre.

    As far as making things sound better? I wouldn't know. It may be a case of redundancy, or, it could indeed improve your sound with a better clock and converters.. but you'll still be at the mercy of the converters in your current pre amp if you decide to front load with that pre.

  3. trana

    trana Active Member

    What do you recommend instead of a PCI audio card ?
    Is my Motu good enough maybe ?
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Honestly, I have no idea because I've no experience with the audio PCI card you are referring to.

    Remember that the better your mic pre is, the better sound you will obtain in the end.

    Cheap audio USB I/O's and pre amps are all about the same caliber. You're not going to hear a major difference - if any difference at all - between all the models in the same basic price range.

    Which is where you get into the higher dollar Pre amp I/O's by companies like Focusrite, Presonus (they have low end and higher end gear), etc. and this is where you'll start to hear a sonic difference.
    When you get into those higher dollar pres, you're getting things like Class A amps, better quality A-D converters, a more robust signal, more gain, more headroom, nicer sonics all the way around....

    Perhaps you need to be more specific in what it is you do and what you want to accomplish and what you have to spend?

    It would help us to help you further.

  5. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    I think the OP is talking about the monitoring side of things, being that the gear in question is a DAC.
  6. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Unless the MOTU is somehow altering or degrading the digital signal (SPDIF or AES3) it will have no affect on the sound quality whatsoever. I think the dealer's advice is profit driven.
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i thought the whole idea of using a dedicated clock was to improve the sound of all the devices in the chain? supposedly the big difference between high end AD / DA is clocking. this should be remedied by the addition of the MYTEK shouldn't it? is seems to me you would be losing features by switching to a PCI card. while the MOTU doesn't have the best pres, they really are useable. with a PCI card you would have to buy dedicated pres unless you utilized the adat outs from your MOTU so whats the point?

    everything is leaning to usb and thunderbolt and to a lesser point firewire ... i sort of thought pci cards were old hat. am i wrong?

    are there features that are only impimented on the MYTEK when it is used in conjunction with the dedicated PCI card?
  8. trana

    trana Active Member

    This is confusing for me (as a newbie) . I´m going after what I hear and the sound quality was sooo much better when I connected Mytek DAC to Motu so I didn´t believed my ears first .
    But I have very good ears so I hear directly when it is highend . So after this experience I desided to upgrade all part in the audio chain to highend .
    According to the dealer it was more a practical question : I save space in my little room if I have a PCI card . He also said that I don´t have any need for the Motu when I later will buy Mytek stereo96 ADC . Is pres the same as preamp ? and what function does that unit have ? It seems to me that I have to learn some basics about studio .
  9. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Yes, "pres" are mic preamplifiers.

    The Mytek is a nice ADC but that's all it is. You will need microphone preamplifiers and some sort of mixing arrangement plus the digital I/O PCI card. And then it's only two channels. It's primarily designed for mastering applications, for converting an analog recording to digital, not so much for the tracking stage.

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