I know SandBlasters have been the laughing-stock of the music industry for the last 15-20 years - but, all the same, I have noticed the latest incarnation of the Audigy2 (NX? ZX?) seems to be geared towards the entry-level musician, including proper ASIO2 driver support.
Is this the case? Does the new one actually not suck?
My reasoning: the Audigy2-whatever has almost-zero CPU usage. That's a good thing. The built-in synthesizer is actually usable, and given a good soundfont like the SynergiGS, sounds every bit as good as a Roland Sound Canvas variant for General MIDI work. It's got joystick MIDI, but that's livable - better than no MIDI port at all.
But do the ASIO2 drivers actually work the way they're supposed to in music apps, or do they fail like all "ASIO" drivers have in the past. (Previous Live/Audigy cards have been nothing but trouble for most people.)
I know I lose the "free" General MIDI synth, but I've also been considering the cheap M-Audio Audiophile solutions - the 2496 has really come down since the new 192-bit version has come out.
Your opinions are welcome!