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It is not normal. I have used several sound cards and they are normally above 40dB, sometimes over 50dB. This is my Sound Blaster Play !3.
- Can you make sure that you have chosen the correct sound card in software? It is in Setting - Audio.
- Can you double check if you have installed the parts properly? If yes, try to bypass the crystal in the front end by a 103 or 104 cap to see if the audio increases.
- Also, if you can decode something, you don’t have to worry too much.
I have used 3 different cards from a StarTech to a SoundBlaster SBX and a cheap no name usb. All at 100% mic level its hard to get 30-40db.