audio card for mac pro?

foxxlet

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 30, 2006
29
0
London, UK
Hi, I've ordered a mac pro as an upgrade to a PC and I suddenly realised my current PC has a nice 24 bit sound card so the mac will probably sound a bit iffy by comparison. I use a plug in for my music player (winamp) which interpolates the sound in the 24 bit space - mp3s sound so much better this way.

(for anyone interested - http://www.mars.org/home/rob/proj/mpeg/mad-plugin/ )

So all I want for the mac pro is a sound card (PCIe?) or (if I have to) an external box that will give me high quality reliable 24 bit output and will preferably also work under windows xp in bootcamp. I don't need microphone inputs, mixers, midi, etc, so the cheapest one that will give me 24 bit sound output will do.

Wow now that I type it out it seems like a hugely tall order.

Any one have any recommendations? Thanks in advance :D
 

baxterbrittle

macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2005
236
1
foxxlet said:
Hi, I've ordered a mac pro as an upgrade to a PC and I suddenly realised my current PC has a nice 24 bit sound card so the mac will probably sound a bit iffy by comparison. I use a plug in for my music player (winamp) which interpolates the sound in the 24 bit space - mp3s sound so much better this way.

(for anyone interested - http://www.mars.org/home/rob/proj/mpeg/mad-plugin/ )

So all I want for the mac pro is a sound card (PCIe?) or (if I have to) an external box that will give me high quality reliable 24 bit output and will preferably also work under windows xp in bootcamp. I don't need microphone inputs, mixers, midi, etc, so the cheapest one that will give me 24 bit sound output will do.

Wow now that I type it out it seems like a hugely tall order.

Any one have any recommendations? Thanks in advance :D

What sound card did you have in your PC? Believe it or not the Mac Pro should have a pretty nice sound card. My Quad had 24bit 96KHz Burrbrown converters which are pretty well respected. Try it out then if you think you need something better there are plenty of break out boxes that provide very nice sound or get a stand alone DA converter for use off the Optical out.
 

foxxlet

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 30, 2006
29
0
London, UK
its an m-audio audiophile 2496. It just sounds good!

Thanks for your message, I'll look into those once I've heard what the mac sounds like as default. :)
 

baxterbrittle

macrumors regular
Nov 8, 2005
236
1
foxxlet said:
its an m-audio audiophile 2496. It just sounds good!

Thanks for your message, I'll look into those once I've heard what the mac sounds like as default. :)
You can get an Audiophile USB. There are heaps of M-Audio products that work quite nicley on a mac and they are owned by Avid now so expect more to come. Just thinking about it but I think they use an Intel derived sound system now so may not be as good as the one on the G5, but may be nearly as good. Try it first then check out m-audio
 

Anonymous Freak

macrumors 603
Dec 12, 2002
5,163
489
Cascadia
Try an Xserve instead.

I know you already ordered a Mac Pro... But if you REALLY want an Intel Mac and a high-end internal sound card, you might want to consider using an Xserve as a workstation. You can configure it with one PCI Express slot and one PCI-X slot. PCI-X slots are backward-compatible with 'regular' PCI cards, so you could put any Macintosh-compatible sound card in.

Another option (on any Mac,) is to use a FireWire audio interface. They can be spendy, but they are 'pro' quality. (Sorry, it's late, and I can't think of any by name off the top of my head.)
 

orangezorki

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2006
618
17
foxxlet said:
its an m-audio audiophile 2496. It just sounds good!

Strangely enough, I'm in London, and I'm in exactly the same position. I'm thinking of a Mac Pro, and I've asked and can't find any PCI-e sound cards. It does sound hopeful that the standard audio might not be that bad, but one idea is - do you have a stereo/amplifier that has an optical input, because if you do, just use that.

David
 

foxxlet

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 30, 2006
29
0
London, UK
thanks for the ideas baxter. Wish they'd put a pci slot in the pro!

David - yeah its a problem. The first time I heard music coming out my pc at 24bit/96Khz that had been mixed with that MAD plugin it was like someone had taken the wool out my ears for the first time.

So an external box or a new amp with optical in (eek more money) are the options. I _may_ have to wait a month or 10 before I can afford it now :)

I can let you know if the internal audio is any good when my mac eventually arrives if you like.
 

Dreadnought

macrumors 68020
Jul 22, 2002
2,055
14
Almere, The Netherlands

shoe11

macrumors member
Mar 3, 2005
64
0
Virginia
Good timing on your thread foxxlet. I had the same question that you had once my Mac Pro arrived. Shame that my Audiophile can't be used. Think I'll probably acquire a nice Firewire device shortly.

~shoe