Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › $4000.00 + 2months on Headfi all boiled down to $184.95.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

$4000.00 + 2months on Headfi all boiled down to $184.95.

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Well my quest is finally over. I will start with a list of all of the equipment and software I have purchased and tried over the past 2 months in the order that I, in my simple and humble opinion feel they should be placed (from #1 my personal best to #9 "what didn't work for me". I am posting here because in my opinion the key to this system is the amp/dac combo:

1. E-MU 0404 usb ($184.95 on Amazon)
2. Senn HD 650
3. Senn HD 600
4. Foobar2000 (best eq, I have found)
5. errrrrhhhhhh can--t sa---yy i--tt...BOSE COMPANION 5 System. uhhhhhh that was tough! I know I will lose many of you right there, but don't bash it unless you are willing to hook it up to your computer and plug your cans into the nifty little control pod. I will speak more on this below to try to relieve some of the shock caused by this statement.
6. $2000.00 dac/amp combo that gets much respect here on the forums (I will explain below why I have chosen not to give the name.
7. $1,000.00 dac/amp combo that is a 4 letter word and starts with a "D"(again I will explain below).
8. E-Mu 1212m
9. Creative X-fi Platinum

I relocated to a new state in November and decided to take half of november and all of December off to spend time with my wife and baby and get adjusted to our new home state. I was not returning to work with my company until 1/1/07 so during this time I took up the "hobby" of trying to re-create my main listening system in a way that won't disturb my wife and sleeping baby. Enter Headfi.
For hours on end, I would browse the various forums here trying to decide between all of the cans/amps/dacs/transports/cables/soundcards/software. Finally I began buying the items listed above. Consequently the last item I purchased turned out to be the best for me, the E-MU 0404 usb. I have decided not to give the names of the two most expensive combo's I tried because I would not want to discourage anyone from purchasing these as I do feel they are both great systems, they just didn't do it for me. I also appreciate both of the companies in the pleasant dealings I have had with them up to this point (still waiting for my money back to my credit card). I have also learned that it is probably unlikely that I will be able to exactly replicate the sound of Rotel/Denon/Some Large Tower Speakers and a Velodyne HGS 12iix. But I have come VERY close to the pleasure I experience from this setup.

Well enough already, I have decided to keep the E-mu 0404 usb, and both pair of Senn's and SEND EVERYTING ELSE BACK I will say though, that for someone on a "budget" all one needs is the 0404 usb and a pair of 650's I am keeping the hd600's for a little change from time to time. I was surprised to come to this at the very end because I had a good mind to send the 650's back before I paired them with the 0404usb. As many have said, there was a veil, they were way too warm, and most times muddy/sloppy in the bass. Now with the 0404 they sound buttery, and the kind of butter when you put it in the microwave for exactly 9 seconds, right before it melts, not too soft and not too hard-----oh, sorry I digress

Now getting back to the bose companion 5. This is really a cool little system, you plug the usb into your computer and place the control pod on your desk and hook up your cans to the control pod. As you already know, the sound from the speakers/acustamas bass brick thingy still sounds like bose, way too much work being done by the bass module and harsh highs but still pretty good for a computer speaker system. The beauty lies in the control pod, headphone jack. It really sounds good! The problem I had with it is there is definitely some sound processing being done by the bose sound card therefore I just know I am missing detail and it is a little too warm, that being said, if I hadn't found the 0404usb, I would have kept the bose as I didnt have to eq foobar at all, good synergy coming from that little jack, deep but not muddy bass, perfectly balanced (left to right, I think there is built in crossfade). It just sounds good. Like I said, don't start flaming unless you try it.

I decided against the $2000.00 combo and the $1000.00 unit because they were just not that fun to listen to for long periods of time, I spent too much time picking out the various instruments and too little time just enjoying the music. It just wasn't alive if you know what I mean.

I did not like the 1212m because it was WAY too analytical for me. I tried and tried to monkey with patchmix with inserts and eq's and although the mids and upper section sounded TERRIFIC, it was like it sucked the deep stuff out and wouldn't give it back no matter what I did.

The x-fi was ok, but it had too much processing going on, and I tried it with no eax, asio, no crystalizer, locking 44.1 and using an external dac and could not get it to stop processing the sound coming out. I don't mind my music being processed, I just dont want to be able to hear it.

I wrote this long post for the guy like me, who just wants to listen to and enjoy (not analyze) some good music and doesn't want to spend months on the merry-go-round that is headfi. And yes I am 1/2 bass head and proud of it. I am done with my quest for now (until I decide between UE-5c's and UE-10 pros for my ipod Reference Music: Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mack, Steely Dan, Sade, Luther Vandross, Earth Wind and Fire (spirit album), Chris Botti.
post #2 of 53
I'm surprised that you've gone that far to find that your holy grail is the E-MU 0404 usb.

Enjoy it.
post #3 of 53
Thank you very much for this post. It is quite informative. A couple questions.

Did you consider the 0202?
If so why did you pick the 0404 over it? It just seems that if what a person is after is just a DAC and some amperage (do these have amps?) that the extra stuff on the 0404 is overkill.

I assume the 0404 comes with some kind of software?

Could you send a link BTW? I can't find it for that price.
post #4 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwormie View Post
Luther Vandross
I adore Marcus Miller's jazz bass work with Luther Vandross. I'm gonna go cue up "Never Too Much"!
post #5 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fr. John View Post
Could you send a link BTW? I can't find it for that price.
$182.99 from Beach Audio
post #6 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3x331m View Post
I'm surprised that you've gone that far to find that your holy grail is the E-MU 0404 usb.

Enjoy it.
Not quite holy grail but honestly the best I have found in my quest and now I can sit back and enjoy the music

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fr. John View Post
Thank you very much for this post. It is quite informative. A couple questions.

Did you consider the 0202?
If so why did you pick the 0404 over it? It just seems that if what a person is after is just a DAC and some amperage (do these have amps?) that the extra stuff on the 0404 is overkill.

I assume the 0404 comes with some kind of software?

Could you send a link BTW? I can't find it for that price.
I chose the 0404 usb because of the spdif connections/ seperate power supply rather than the bus power of the 0202 and from my understanding has a little better dac chip. And yes. I am using the 0404 as my amp and it sounds LOVELY!

Software= yes sir, simple little interface on your computer, no pain in the butt patchmix.

Amazon link http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Labs-...&s=electronics
post #7 of 53
ain't no shame in the EMU 0404 game! I have the soundcard version, would be interesting to hear the USB version, but I jumped over that to use a wireless music bridge for the comp (in the future actually, comp is not up to snuff for it yet). I think Senns and 0404 would make for a nice combo, since the 0404 (mine at least) has a harder agressive edge that toughens up the soft underbelly of sleepy Senns.
post #8 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by feckn_eejit View Post
I adore Marcus Miller's jazz bass work with Luther Vandross. I'm gonna go cue up "Never Too Much"!
mmmmmhhhh jazz bass...

I just put it on again and I love it
post #9 of 53
INDEED!

I'll have to give you a new Head-fi welcome:

Welcome to Head-fi -- and HAPPY about your wallet!

Congrats on the happy/musical solution.
post #10 of 53
wow. we need more posts like this! personal opinions that have backup to their words! and congrats on your findings!
post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwormie View Post
I did not like the 1212m because it was WAY too analytical for me. I tried and tried to monkey with patchmix with inserts and eq's and although the mids and upper section sounded TERRIFIC, it was like it sucked the deep stuff out and wouldn't give it back no matter what I did.
That seems like a common observation about the CS4398 DAC. I've noticed a similar highlighting of the upper-mids on up on my 1212M, which makes it sound less neutral to me than the Burr-Browns in my home system. However, since I'm using it as a studio / recording card, the revealing nature of the DAC is helpful to me.

BTW, you never said why you didn't mention the names of the expensive gear.
post #12 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romanee View Post
INDEED!

I'll have to give you a new Head-fi welcome:

Welcome to Head-fi -- and HAPPY about your wallet!

Congrats on the happy/musical solution.
Thanks for the warm welcome! I must say that out of the three or so forums I frequent, this is the most pleasurable of them all! My wife and wallet thank you too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by uraflit View Post
wow. we need more posts like this! personal opinions that have backup to their words! and congrats on your findings!
Thanks, I think I noticed you are looking to get some akg k81dj's. I have a pair of these for airplane travel and they are great straight out of my ipod jack. A little heavy on the bass but very fun to listen to. No fatigue. My wallet was happy with them too.


BTW, you never said why you didn't mention the names of the expensive gear. [/QUOTE]

it was hidden and maybe not very clear in all of the other mumbo jumbo I wrote but it said..."I have decided not to give the names of the two most expensive combo's I tried because I would not want to discourage anyone from purchasing these as I do feel they are both great systems, they just didn't do it for me. I also appreciate both of the companies in the pleasant dealings I have had with them up to this point (still waiting for my money back to my credit card)."
post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post
About $165 at Magnum PC, found via Froogle

Delivered in about 4 working days via UPS Ground.

The 0404 USB is the biggest audio bargain, bar none, I have experienced in 32 years in the audiophile hobby--even with drivers still a bit funky (which I presume can and will be fixed) it is just an unbelievable piece for the money.

I can hardly believe that I don't want to listen to my Musical Fidelity CD player/preamp any more............
post #14 of 53
I think I speak for just about everyone when I say:

"You'll be back!"
...Looking for that next upgrade.

Still, it's nice that you've found a setup that you're content with for the moment.
post #15 of 53
So the E-MU 0404 usb is not just a dac it also has a amp?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › $4000.00 + 2months on Headfi all boiled down to $184.95.