M Audio Audiophile 192, bang or bust?

I'm wondering here if the M Audio Audiophile 192 PC sound card is worth the $180.00 being asked for it at Sam Ash Music, and elsewhere?

Or should I just stick with USB out of the PC to the DAC I use BC D3 which supports only 16/44.1K.

I am thinking I could try going straight from the sound card into my preamp, or config it to 24/96 out and send taht via coaxil to the DAC... thereby improving on the limitations of the BC D3's USB interface.

Thoughts here will be most helpful. Especially those from M Audio 192 card owners.

BTW... I'm not dissatisfied with the present setup, just curious if I can improve upon it.

Thanks very much.
It's better than a Soundblaster. It's not going to be up there with, you know, a regular dac or good CD player.
Personally, I'm 100% thru with any Creative Labs products which pertain to PCs. Four times I've bought their products only to have them fail or die shortly after the expiration of the warranty, or have them be labled expired due to passing their serviceable life.. (4) years.. the latter never mattered as all died long before that... but in searching for a driver at the CL website, I noticed it.

so.... CL IMO has expired due to their products having surpassed their serviceable life expectancy. In my mind they are no longer an option. Period.

You have one of these Audiophile 192 cards, then?

Will IT hook up DIRECTLY to analog (RCA) connections?
I found a better pic of the break out cabling supplied with the card... and yes it will. it appears it also has XLR as well as RCA analog in/outs. One pair each.

The owners manual is a mite sketchy on some of the aspects of the cards facets but I think I can figure it all out well enough.

Either way I'm getting the notion that at the very least, I'll have well improved upon my current PC sound, and have set the table for the addition of some better PC/powered speakers down the road, if nothing else winds up being improved upon.

Following up…

Well, I got the M Audio Audiophile 192 card over the weekend. Got it installed and had some issues I couldn’t figure out readily via the user guides.

I was only getting sound out via the Monitor Outs… no Line Out audio.

I got tired of Googling about this issue and waited to call M Audio today. After about an hour wait on the phone, I got a support tech. Very friendly, paitient and informative.

The problems I was having were due in large part if not entirely, from the driver version of the card, and my OS. I use Windows XP Pro & XP home… both are Service pack 3.

That was the deal… by running the newest version for Service pack 3 ( for a 32 bit install…. There is another for 64 bit platforms too, as of this writing,)… and others may yet come along…. My issues were all fixed!

Some minor other steps like selecting which card in windows audio control panel may be necessary if you have more than one audio output device installed… and I do. it works seamlessly once these steps are taken.

Done deal. All good.

The audio quality output of the card is truly worth investigating, and superior to any Creative Labs card I’ve seen in the past.

Use of the latest driver also provides for more GUI flexibility, control and added benefits such as driver update checking, registration, etc.

It’s a simple pass through device. It’s internal clock is an automatic affair. Locking onto whatever the incoming data rates are. It can also be locked onto an external clock, like from some other digital component… CDP, DAC, ADC etc., via some clicking about in the M Audio control panel.

Another annoyance became eliminated too…. The dropouts that occur when using iTunes, while running other apps, or some quick mousing about...

Using solely the 16/44.1K info derived from itunes files, there is noteably more depth to the sound stage, and greater resolution. Albeit, this note is by no means a thorough test, and I’ve only connected the main outputs of the AP 192’s breakout cable to one of my HT receivers, I must say I’m pleased with the outcome at this point.

Like as not, those more pricey cards from RME, Echo, and others will surpass the M Audio Delta AP 192 unit. But for the asking price ($139 - $170), it is a fine value, and a quite large step up from the also ran entries which abound online.

I’ll jot down some other comparisons soon and post them later on.