I got the same advice about the sound card as you from Christos. Even though it was way above my ham radio budget I followed it and bought a FA-66. I have not regretted this move and as well as the improved performance I was confident when playing around that sound card matters were not my problem. Having said that, setting up a firewire card under Linux sure exercised my grey matter.
73 Graeme ZL2APV
> What I propose to anyone that wants to have a proper SDR operation is to acquire either the FA-66 or the D-44 audio cards, both are more than enough for softrocks and homebrew kits and also give almost all PowerSDR available functions even on a softrock. Mic, Speaker, Tune, VOX, tests etc are working ok with these cards.
> With these cards you do not need VAC to be engaged for your normal operations and mic/speaker work properly.
> I hope these help.
> Christos SV1EIA