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

post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by hilikus View Post
So the E-MU 0404 usb is not just a dac it also has a amp?
Specs:
http://www.emu.com/products/product....Specifications

I'll probably buy one since I want a great usb soundcard for recording, for playback, and for portable use (if it is possible to create a battery pack)!!!! K-I-L-L-E-R dac/amp
post #17 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Towert7 View Post
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.
I dont know my friend, I am truly content with the 0404 and the hd650's. I have learned thru my main listening system and friends that have gone from Nakamichi (the older stuff) to Mcintosh to Meridian that this is a very tough place to get to in audio land. Pairing equipment can be just as important as the equipment itself and the 0404 and hd650's pair magnificently I am listening to them right now as I type and if a top shelf $2,000.00 system that gets MUCH respect here on the forums gave me LESS pleasure, I cant see any reason to upgrade my can setup. I couldnt imagine any more detailed bass, or highs, or mids, or seperation, or synergy, or soundstage and even if it were available, "ignorance is bliss". It sounds great at low and high volumes. Now that being said I might just build myself a little book shelf system running from the 1/4 outputs on the back of the 0404. Who knows I might copy you on the b&w's

Quote:
Originally Posted by hilikus View Post
So the E-MU 0404 usb is not just a dac it also has a amp?
Amp as well. Why they dont market the amp section better is WAAAYYY beyond me. They could sell this piece just based on the great sound it produces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aryolkary View Post
Specs:
http://www.emu.com/products/product....Specifications

I'll probably buy one since I want a great usb soundcard for recording, for playback, and for portable use (if it is possible to create a battery pack)!!!! K-I-L-L-E-R dac/amp
Just be careful if you want to use the digital connections on it. because it is a new product, E-mu has not perfected the drivers yet. Unless you use asio or kernel, you will have trouble with the spdif connections on the 0404usb. All of the analog connections work perfectly.
post #18 of 53
wow. this DOES sound really good. this thing doesnt nearly get as much hype as the total bithead or the like.
post #19 of 53
Would it be possible to output the 0404's exceptional sound to a tube amp and listen with the HD650s connected to the tube amp?
post #20 of 53
Bigwormie,

Thanks a lot! Your post made me go and order one of these! Can't wait really, my onboard sound is killing me.
post #21 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post
Would it be possible to output the 0404's exceptional sound to a tube amp and listen with the HD650s connected to the tube amp?
Sure, if you are using rca input on your tube, you will need some 1/4 converters from rat shack. Compare that and the output directly from the 0404 and report back which is better, I would be interested to know what you think, not that I want to upgrade but if it is just my ears that love this setup so much.
post #22 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fr. John View Post
Bigwormie,

Thanks a lot! Your post made me go and order one of these! Can't wait really, my onboard sound is killing me.
no prob. do come back and tell us what you think.
post #23 of 53
Glad you found a soudn you're happy with Would be interesting to hear what you think after living with that combo for a while and hearing other gear that is supposed to be good.

BTW, I don't think there is ANY harm in mentioning the brands and models of the products you weren't happy with, there are tons of people dissing every imaginable can/amp/dac out there, why should you be any different? Seeing as you've backed up the rest of you're opinions so well, I think your claims would have considerable weight compared to some who just flame away and can't give solid reasons!
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwormie View Post
Sure, if you are using rca input on your tube, you will need some 1/4 converters from rat shack. Compare that and the output directly from the 0404 and report back which is better, I would be interested to know what you think, not that I want to upgrade but if it is just my ears that love this setup so much.
I'm not sure what a 1/4" converter is or what I would do with it. Is this to connect from the 1/4" HP out of the 0404 to the RCA inputs of the tube amp? Thanks
post #25 of 53
bigwormie,

If your system is the best that you have heard, and you are happy with it, my pet theory is that you can stay there and be happy, at least for a good long while. And I believe it is possible to stay happy in such as situation as long as your curiosity, or gear lust, or chasing after audio perfection doesn't get hold of you. And as long as you don't get used (rather than hear a time or two) to a better sounding system you'll always have the best sounding system. It seems to me that some here are very interested in tweaking and experimenting with their system (and aquiring gear) which is fine as this is a hobby. And some, it sounds like you are one, just want to enjoy listening to music without too much system "overhead."

More power and enjoyment to you--just don't spend a lot of time in high end stores.
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigwormie View Post
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.
on the es-1 i was picking out the instruments + enjoying the music but I still would love to pick the instruments abit more. =( wonder if a kgss will solve the problem
post #27 of 53

0404 usb

I'm happy for you :-)

I'm also thinking about buying a 0404 usb. Only reason I haven't done so yet is the lack of linux drivers :-(

Anyway, I now have a working theory... I think that the 0404 usb can work totally standalone. No USB cable -> no drivers needed.

So.... I could connect my current sound card (24bit/96khz) via SPDIF to the 0404 usb and still use the (possibly better) DAC and head amp of the 0404 usb. The path is totally digital, so I think it's the same as the USB connection. The only drawback is the lack of software control over the 0404 usb, but I won't miss it because this setup is just for my desktop PC and I think I'll like the "knobs" :-)

If you have the time and it's not asking much, can you confirm the 0404 usb can work standalone in such a setup? :-)

Thanks in advance,
Nuno

P.S. I'm also a bass head :-) So hopefully I'll be connecting my DT770/80 to that.
post #28 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post
I'm not sure what a 1/4" converter is or what I would do with it. Is this to connect from the 1/4" HP out of the 0404 to the RCA inputs of the tube amp? Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by NunoSilva View Post
I'm happy for you :-)

The rear of the e-mu like most e-mu products have left and right balanced outputs terminated in 1/4, therefore you would need to get two mono 1/4 converters from radio shizzle that will plug into your rca's.

I'm also thinking about buying a 0404 usb. Only reason I haven't done so yet is the lack of linux drivers :-(

Anyway, I now have a working theory... I think that the 0404 usb can work totally standalone. No USB cable -> no drivers needed.

So.... I could connect my current sound card (24bit/96khz) via SPDIF to the 0404 usb and still use the (possibly better) DAC and head amp of the 0404 usb. The path is totally digital, so I think it's the same as the USB connection. The only drawback is the lack of software control over the 0404 usb, but I won't miss it because this setup is just for my desktop PC and I think I'll like the "knobs" :-)

If you have the time and it's not asking much, can you confirm the 0404 usb can work standalone in such a setup? :-)

Thanks in advance,
Nuno

P.S. I'm also a bass head :-) So hopefully I'll be connecting my DT770/80 to that.

Here ya go, these cats seem to be using the digital inputs from their cd players so dont see why you couldnt do it from your sound card although as I found with the x-fi card, even the digital connection in some cards and drivers color the sound some.
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=216091
post #29 of 53
Man, this thing looks like a huuuuge bargain, not to mention it also looks nice. I didn't even know it even came out!

I'm putting this on top of my 'to get' list
post #30 of 53
Question for bigwormie, or anyone who has this, are the installation instructions in the manual to be trusted? The addition of a stapled pamphlet in the package makes me apprehensive.

One more big question: Is the Direct Monitor Level knob infinite (i.e. digital not analog)? Mine was initially very stiff but loosened considerably after fiddling with it. Just want to make sure it's not been damaged in transit before I go to the trouble of installing. All the other level knobs seem to be analog and have a stop.
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