Does anyone out there have experience using a digital multitrack as the D/A convertor for Giga monitoring?

I\'m sending Giga sounds from a Terratec EWS-88D soundcard to a Fostex VF-16 multitrack, with headphones plugged into the VF-16. (The Terratec EWS-88D doesn\'t let you monitor Giga sounds directly from one of its ports. You have to lightpipe the signal to something else that does the D/A conversion.)

The volume is not good. I have to turn up the amplitude in Giga almost to the top and raise both the Master slider and the Channel slider on the multitrack to get a decent sound, and it\'s still not loud enough. If I raise everything as high as I really want to get a full sound, I get clipping and distortion. I know the samples in Giga instruments tend to be quiet, so they can better fit in a mix, but I don\'t think they should be this quiet.

I\'ve noticed the problem, in part, because of working also with VSampler, which can play sounds directly through headphones attached to the soundcard. The signal for the same samples\\soundfonts seems much hotter, the sounds much fuller. Since the multitrack is the only difference in the signal chain, I\'m suspecting it. On the other hand, I don\'t want to run out and buy a $250-$500 D/A converter and then find that it doesn\'t make any difference. (I don\'t really want to buy a standalone D/A converter at all.) Maybe I should just get another sound card that lets me monitor directly?