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Re: USB Audio

I have experience with the Edirol UA-1X, now discontinued, and a little
experience with its replacement product, the UA-1EX.  I found a few
problems with the UA-1X.  Most notable was that when simultaneously
playing and recording, the playback signal strongly leaks into the
recording path.  Other problems include a moderate amount of left/right
channel crosstalk and a higher noise floor than I would like during
playback.  Also, the line output has limited power and is only capable
of driving high-impedance loads.  Despite these problems, the UA-1X was
acceptable for my application, but it might not be for yours.  Note that
I didn't test the UA-1EX as extensively, so it might perform better.

I also tested the "USB SoundBlaster Live! 24-bit External".  I measured
a high noise floor, significantly non-flat response, and bad distortion
at high frequencies on the line output.  I quickly abandoned it.

Dan Freed
Senior Engineer, Hearing Aid Research Lab
House Ear Institute
2100 W. Third St.
Los Angeles, CA  90057  USA
Phone: +1-213-353-7084
Fax: +1-213-413-0950
Email: dfreed@xxxxxxx

-----Original Message-----
From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception
[mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Pawel Kusmierek
Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2007 7:41 AM
To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: USB Audio

Dear Ward,

M-Audio and Edirol make some USB audio interfaces, some starting at $70.
am not sure about RCA connectors, but if other connectors are used, it's
only a matter of an adapter.
I also have had no direct experience with these USB cards, but both
companies are pretty respectable. I am using M-Audio's PCI cards and I
very happy with them, except the dB ccale in their mixer application is
wrong (they used 10 instead of 20 in the dB formula, or something like

If the reason why you want USB is that you're going to use a laptop, a
PCMCIA card may be a solution. Of these, Echo Indigo IO has a very good

Good luck


Ward R. Drennan wrote:
> Dear List,
> I'm looking for an Audio USB device with 1/4" headphone jack and
> RCA connections to produce high fidelity sound from a PC, and for less
> than $200. My office-mate (Dasika) found one with really high quality
> sound; the noise floor was actually lower than TDT. It's the TASCAM
> US-122. However, many owners of this device have reported it
> with flaky software and a suspect power supply.
> Does anyone have a suggestion for a USB audio device that is a little
> reliable? Cause we can't have equipment that doesn't work when we need
> Ward R. Drennan, Ph. D.
> VM Bloedel Hearing Research Center
> Department of Otolaryngology
> University of Washington Box 357923
> Seattle, WA 98195
> Office: (206) 897-1848
> Fax: (206) 616-1828

Pawel Kusmierek PhD
Department of Physiology and Biophysics
Georgetown University Medical Center
The Research Building WP23
3970 Reservoir Road NW
Washington, DC 20007
phone: +1 202 687-8851