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E-MU 0404 USB vs. Audiotrak Prodigy HD2

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm pleased to find such an active forum of headphone enthusiasts. I thought I was a headphone geek until I discovered DIY folks building extravagant headphone amps and soldering Opams into the X-Fi!

In high school 9 years prior I had to save my lunch money for several months to swing the $150 price tag of the HD590s. They were great headphones, in-fact they will continue to be great at work in my office.

I've been eyeing the HD600s for several years and I'm proud to report last month I finally pulled the trigger on the HD650s. However they’re begging for better electrics upfront.

I've cycled through the backorder que twice now for the Audiotrak Prodigy HD2 during the past 2 months thanks to a billing snafu. The vendor keeps telling me any day but my patience is drawing to a close.

I like the HD2 for the AK4396 DAC and Opamp in socket for easy replacement (pending pin-out correlation). My plan was to install an Opamp that jives with my HD650s and live happily ever after. Perhaps you headphone ampaholics can tell me if that scenario will enable my HD650s to reach their potential?

Plan B is looking to be the E-MU 04040 USB. I find the external USB design appealing. Getting the analog stages out of the computer chassis can not be a bad thing. It also has the same high-end AKM DAC as the Prodigy HD2, good. It’s quite a bit more expensive, but after spending nearly half a kilobuck on the HD650s, what’s another ~$200?

My main question is if I do go the 0404 route, will I/should I acquire a dedicated headphone amp. What headphone amp is recommended for HD650s?

Thanks for the guidance here.
post #2 of 6
here's a benchmark comparing the 2 cards :
DOS/V POWER REPORT | Impress Japan

the HD2 has JRC4580 soldered on the card for the headphones output, you can only change the line out amps....where the 0404 has some flavor of 5532.

I've personally bought a Audiophile USB(JRC5532 as well), because I heard the EMU drivers suck.

if you wanna play 16/44 or 24/96, you have to select a different patch in the drivers ?!

the Audiophile USB sounds fantastic on my CD3000
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
here's a benchmark comparing the 2 cards :
DOS/V POWER REPORT | Impress Japan

the HD2 has JRC4580 soldered on the card for the headphones output, you can only change the line out amps....where the 0404 has some flavor of 5532.

I've personally bought a Audiophile USB(JRC5532 as well), because I heard the EMU drivers suck.

if you wanna play 16/44 or 24/96, you have to select a different patch in the drivers ?!


the Audiophile USB sounds fantastic on my CD3000
I think you refer to 0404 PCI since 0404 USB does not have this type issues.

Another "wrong" fact there in your post is information on that op-amp for headphone output ... least my 0404 USB uses JRC2114 instead of 5532 (though 2114 is a replacement for 5532). http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f46/lo...04-usb-233820/


I also wonder which X-Fi model they've measured there behind the link you gave.

jiitee
post #4 of 6
For the Prodigy HD2 use 2x OPA2604 + AD8022 as op amp replacement. This is the best - I know it from another forum. Anything else falls short, plus the AD8022 has higher than a plain dual op amp drive capabilities.
post #5 of 6
@jiitee:

1) oh yeah ? so the 0404 USB can play any stream without fiddling with the drivers ?

anyhow I got the Audiophile USB for $80 used, can't beat that

2) yup, 2114 is a replacement for 5532, and both sound way better than 4580

3) this is the xtreme music.
they've done more tests here :
DOS/V POWER REPORT | Impress Japan

@majkel :

I thought LM4562NA was the weapon of choice ?

before I found that jap review, I was about to get myself a Prodigy HD2 and put 3x LM4562NA on top of it

AFAIK you can only change the opamps for the line out on the HD2, not for the headphones output.

look at this photo, and see the 4580 chips soldered close to the headphones jack :
http://www.audiotrak.net/images/prod...sub1_large.jpg
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
.......oh yeah ? so the 0404 USB can play any stream without fiddling with the drivers ?
Correct. If I'm playing a 44.1k cut in Foobar then click on a 24/96 cut for the next selection, the hi-rez plays back correctly as soon as the 44.1k cut ends--it's a completely transparent switchover.
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