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Best sound card or audio interface for Mackie MR5's

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I currently own a pair of the older Mackie MR5's and they are currently plugged into my MBox 2 via Windows 7 using 1/4" but the drivers are way too buggy and my sound cuts out randomly every few hours and in order to fix it I have to unplug my mbox 2. That being said i'm looking for an alternative for my speakers and I'm not sure what I should be looking for, any recommendations? I don't really want to go above $150.
post #2 of 15
I would recommend the ASUS card or a NuForce uDac The uDac is going to be the better sounding of the 2 but is more of a music oriented device. If you are going to playing mostly video games I would probably recommend the ASUS sound card. The S/N ratio on the ASUS is amazing. So is the uDac-2. I have a uDac and I also have a Asus ROG motherboard and the uDac is noticeably better. I am using a pair of Vienna Acoustics Haydn Grand and a 2 custom bridged T-Amps. Plugged into the uDac and it sounds amazing.
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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
http://www.musiciansbuy.com/mmMBCOM/images/mackie/mackie_mr5_Back_Panel.jpg I'm not sure if I can plug my speakers into the udac, what is the asus one you are talking about?
post #4 of 15
You can use the unbalanced RCA to plug into the uDac. It has analog out on the back. I know exactly what monitors those are. The ASUS cards are as follows

External with balanced XLR: 120dB SNR
Xonar Essence One
Xonar Essence One Plus Edition

Internal w/ RCA Unbalanced 124dB SNR
Xonar Essence ST
Xonar Essence STX

124dB SNR is just crazy even 120dB is amazing but 124dB SNR is unbelievable.

The external cards have balanced XLR. Both cards have tunable OP Amps the One Plus Edition comes with a bunch of amp chips. You can really customize the sound to your liking that way.

EDIT

Just FYI the externals are extremely expensive and you really do not need balanced XLR unless you are running extremely long cables. From my understanding balanced sends the signal down the cable 2x one of which are opposite polarity. Then any noise that is picked up in the cable is cancelled out at the end. Great for 50ft mic cables no big deal for 6ft interconnects.

here's a good deal on one
Edited by givmedew - 11/8/12 at 1:41pm
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post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
I will definitely look into the Asus Xonar but how would you compare that to something like a Scarlett 2i2? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/822508-REG/Focusrite_SCARLETT_2I2_USB_Scarlett_2i2_Portable.html
post #6 of 15
I'm personally running my pair MR5MK2s off of my Essence One and they sound absolutely amazing. My roommate is also running his pair of MR5MK2s off of his STX, it also sounds fantastic, just not quite as fantastic as mine wink.gif
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post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
How do you control your volume levels on the STX? Do you have some sort of external nob?
post #8 of 15
Yes those two big knobs on the front control the volume level. Left one for speaker outputs and right one for the headphone amp.
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post #9 of 15
I'm not sure if you're into making music, but they have these sound cards with TRS in/outs, midi in/outs, RCA and bunch of other stuff. As far as the Mbox 2 goes, I'm not sure how you're using it, I usually associate this piece with music recorders and whatnot.

If you ARE a musician, check this out.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Delta1010LT/
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post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
How about on the sound card that doesn't have the interface? How do you control the volume then?
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