Sound Cards / Audio Interfaces / DACs
to use with Pure Music / Pure Vinyl

Pure Music / Pure Vinyl are designed to support all Apple Core Audio compatible audio hardware. Listed below are audio interfaces that have been specifically validated. This is not an exhaustive or complete list. Just because a device does not appear below doesn't necessarily mean it's incompatible; it probably hasn't been tested or reported by a user.

Audio interfaces or analog to digital converters (ADCs) with more than 2 analog input channels are suitable for use with Pure Vinyl's Virtual Line Level Preamplifier / Multiple Source Selector feature.

Audio interfaces or digital to analog converters (DACs) with more than 2 output channels are suitable for use with Pure Music / Pure Vinyl's 64-bit, two / three / four-way digital crossover, or directly driven distributed audio systems (with optional time alignment).

All listed interfaces use a Firewire connection unless otherwise indicated (USB, PCI), and have stereo (2 channel) outputs, unless the number of (analog) input or output channels is given. See bottom of page for description of other notes (192, L, H, V). Specifications, compatibility and availability are correct to the best of our knowledge.

Tested by Channel D:

Apple all built-in analog or digital audio inputs and outputs
Apogee Duet 2 (io, L, H, 192, USB)
Atlona AT-HD577 HDMI Audio De-Embedder (HDMI input, 192, digital output)
Audio Research DAC8 (192, USB)
AudioQuest DragonFly (USB)
Burmester 100 Phono Preamp (ADC input limited to 48 kHz 16 bit via USB; higher via digital output. NOTE: ADC follows RIAA correction)
Beresford TC-7520 (44.1 or 48 kHz 16 bit via USB, higher via digital input)
Digidesign Mbox* (io, L, USB)
dCS Debussy (192 plus DSD 2.8 MHz USB)
Focusrite Saffire* (io, L, 192; 8o)
Saffire Pro 24*** (io, L, H; 4i; 6o)
HRT Music Streamer II (USB) (see important note below about operation at 88.2 kHz)
Lindemann USB-DAC 24/192 (192, USB)
Logitech S-150* (USB)
Lynx Aurora 8 with LT-FW (io, 192 with firmware version 15; 8i; 8o)
Hilo (io, 192, USB; 2i 6o plus multichannel digital i/o)
AES16e (io, 192, PCI; 16) (digital i/o)
LynxTWO (io, 192, PCI; 2i/6o 4i/4o 6i/2o depending on model)
M2Tech HiFace (192, USB) (digital output)
EVO (192, USB) (digital output)
Young DAC (384, USB)
M-Audio FireWire 410* (io, 192, L; 8o)
Metric Halo ULN-2 (io, L; 2i; 2o)
Mytek Digital 8X192 AD/DA (io, 192, 8i; 8o)
Stereo 192 (192 plus DSD 2.8 MHz USB and Firewire)
Prism Sound Orpheus (io, L, H, 192; 8i; 8o)
Playback Designs MPD-3 / MPS-3 (384 plus DSD 2.8/5.6 MHz USB)
RME Digiface (PCI, 8) (digital output)
Babyface (io, L, H, 192, USB)
Fireface 400 (io, L, H, 192; 8i; 8o)
Fireface 800 (io, L, 192; 10i; 8o)
HDSP 9632 (io, 192, PCI; 4 with expansion board)
Rosewill Mobile 2.1 Speaker System (USB) (44.1 or 48 kHz) (See Note below)
TASCAM US-144 (io, L, USB; 4o counting S/PDIF Output)
TC Electronic Konnekt 24D* (io, L, 192; 4i; 4o)
Studio Konnekt 48 (io, L, H, 192; 12i; 12o)
Impact Twin (io, L, H, 192; 4i; 4o)
Desktop Konnekt 6 (2i, 192)
Wavelength Proton (V, USB)
Wavelink (192, USB) (digital output)
Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2 (192, USB)
Yamaha GO46* (io, L, 192; 4o)

Reported tested by Pure Music or Pure Vinyl Users:

Antelope Audio Zodiac Gold (384, USB)
Apogee Duet* (io, L)
Rosetta (io, 192; 8i; 8o)
Ensemble (io, L, 192; 8i; 8o)
Audiophilleo Audiophilleo (USB, digital output, 192)
Ayre QB-9 (USB, 192)
Benchmark DAC-1 (USB) (Note: resamples all audio to 110 kHz)
Berkeley Audio Design Alpha USB (192, USB) (digital output)
Bryston BDA-1 (44.1 or 48 kHz 16 bit via USB, higher via digital input)
Cambridge Audio DAC Magic (44.1 kHz or 48 kHz 16 bit via USB, higher via digital input)
Cary Audio XCiter (44.1 or 48 kHz 16 bit via USB, or 192 kHz (only) via digital input)
Classe CP-800 (USB)
Digidesign Mbox2 (io, L, USB)
Eastern Electric MiniMax DAC (44.1 or 48 kHz 16 bit via USB, or 192 kHz (only) via digital input)
Echo Audio AudioFire (io, L)
EMM Labs DAC2X (192 plus DSD 2.8 MHz USB)
Focusrite Saffire LE* (io, L; 8o)
Fostex HP-A3 (96 kHz only via USB, other sample rates via digital input)
Lindemann USB-DDC 24/192 (192, USB)
Lynx L22 (io, 192, PCI)
AES16 (io, 192, PCI; 16) (digital i/o)
M-Audio FireWire Solo
ProFire 610 (io, L, H, 192; 4i; 8o)
Meitner MA-1 (192 plus DSD 2.8 MHz USB)
Metric Halo ULN-8 (io, L, 192; 8i; 8o)
LIO-8 (io, 192; 8i; 8o)
Mhdt Lab Havana (44.1 or 48 kHz 16 bit via USB, higher via digital input)
Musical Fidelity M1DAC (44.1 or 48 kHz 16 bit via USB, higher via digital input)
V-DAC (1st version) (44.1 or 48 kHz 16 bit via USB, higher via digital input)
V-DAC II (96 via USB, higher via digital input)
V-LINK192 (192, USB) (digital output)
MOTU Traveller (io, L, 192; 8i; 8o)**
PCI-424 (8)**
896 (io, L, 192; 8i; 8o)
Peachtree Audio Nova (USB)
Playback Designs MPD-5 / MPS-5 (384 plus DSD 2.8/5.6 MHz USB) (with USB-X)
Pro-Ject Phono Box II USB (ADC input limited to 44.1 or 48 kHz 16 bit)
Rega DAC (44.1 or 48 kHz 16 bit via USB, higher via digital input)
Resolution Audio Cantata Music Center (USB)
Cantata Pont Neuf (USB)
Sound Devices USBPre 2 (USB, io, L, 192)
TC Electronic Konnekt 8* (io, L, 192; 4i; 4o)
Wavelength Crimson (USB)

DACs that only have digital input signal connections (S/PDIF, toslink / optical, AES/EBU) aren't included here, because the computer only interacts with the digital output device used to drive such DACs, and not the DAC itself.

192: Supports up to 192 kHz directly via computer bus (USB, Firewire, or PCI)

384: Supports up to 384 kHz directly via computer bus (USB)

DSD: Supports 1-bit DSD directly via computer bus (USB)

L: Includes suitable flat gain preamplifier for use with Pure Vinyl RIAA Correction and LOW OUTPUT (0.8 mV or less) cartridges (most moving coil)

H: Includes suitable high impedance flat gain preamplifier for use with Pure Vinyl RIAA Correction and HIGH OUTPUT (typically 5 mV) cartridges (moving magnet and some moving coil)

V: Hardware analog volume control, supported by Pure Music / Pure Vinyl

io: Includes analog inputs and outputs

* Discontinued by Manufacturer; May be Available Through Dealers or Used

** Channel mapping of these MOTU interfaces currently omits channels higher than the first 6. On the Traveller, an option in Pure Music 1.41 and later permits accessing the digital and headphone output channels 10 through 15.

*** The Saffire MixControl application must be changed to a DAW configuration. Contact Channel D Support for assistance.

- Rosewill USB Speaker System: not high fidelity, but represents an inexpensive (less than $30) auxiliary output option for the computer's audio "alert" sounds (beeps), instead of directing them to your high-fidelity audio output, or the computer bulit-in audio, and is powered automatically over the USB connection. Use Advanced Audio Setup... in Pure Music / Pure Vinyl to select your high-fidelity output audio interface / DAC for music, and Apple's Audio MIDI Setup application to select a USB Speaker (such as the Rosewill or other USB speaker) for computer system sounds or other audio from the computer. Especially useful in conjunction with HOG mode (instead of using a "phantom" audio driver like Soundflower).

- HRT Music Streamer II: we have received (as of November 8, 2010) a few reports of distortion issues when using that product at an 88.2 kHz sample rate (whether native sample rate playback or using upsampling from CD). All other sample rates are fine (including upsampling to 96 kHz). We are obtaining a sample of the Music Streamer II and should have more information by November 10. -- UPDATE, November 9: we have confirmed this issue, and it isn't confined to only Pure Music. This also occurs playing audio tracks with iTunes alone, Audio MIDI Setup set to 88.2 kHz before launching iTunes. Every few minutes the audio mutes or breaks up, and eventually the audio goes silent. Changing the sample rate clears the issue. -- UPDATE, November 15: we have tested a revised flash chip supplied by HRT that corrects the problem, which appears to be dependent on the Mac model. Please contact HRT for more information on this update.

Note: some audio interfaces listed supply an "RIAA Filter" DSP plug in or option setting. The RIAA filter in Pure Vinyl is preferred, as it is modelled with identical amplitude and phase response to its analog counterpart (IIR type). Also, Pure Vinyl's filter is implemented (as is the optional crossover) using high precision, 64 bit floating point math. In contrast, the maximum precision available for complex filtering operations in commercially available DSP chips is only 40 bit floating point. High precision in digital filtering is extremely important for avoiding signal distortions caused by mathematical rounding and accumulation errors (think of capacitor dissipation / dielectric absorption as the analog counterpart).

Other advantages of Pure Vinyl's RIAA filter over using hardware DSP RIAA:

1. Pure Vinyl has an adjustable (frequency and slope) rumble filter, invaluable for vinyl playback, to remove low frequency information which reduces the headroom in recordings and in the power amplifier.

2. If archiving / transferring to digital, you aren't locked into having a pre-corrected recording. The curve can be applied any time later. You also can produce copies using Pure Vinyl with the RIAA curve applied, in a choice of formats (including with sample rate conversion) so need not rely on Pure Vinyl for playback. Also, see the note below about normalization.

3. More choices are open, such as using different rumble filter settings.

4. Setting the recording levels isn't nearly as critical: The RIAA filter increases the effective resolution / word length (see downloadable paper), and this can be used to advantage (because it can be integrated with the filter) if any normalization gain is needed. On the other hand, if recording directly to 24 bit with the RIAA curve already applied, normalization will only increase the distortion in the recording.

5. Future enhancements coming to Pure Vinyl that take advantage of having a flat transfer.