I've had an EMU 0404 since 2005 or so. There are two PCB models for this card, 8850, and 8852. I have 8852. This card also used two different yet similar DACs, the AKM4395, and AKM4396. Mine has the AKM4395.
I currently have the 0404 installed in my file server. I use an X-Fi Titanium (Not the HD version) in my main computer. I feed the optical digital output from the X-Fi into the 0404 that is in my server. In this way, I am able to take advantage of the hardware acceleration, etc on the X-Fi while also using the superior DACs in the 0404.
Over the years I've searched for something that should represent an upgrade over the 0404, but have mostly come up empty.
The X-Fi titanium HD has amazing specs on paper, and from what I can tell the PCM1794 *should* be superior to the AKM4395. I also like the idea of swappable opamps, and that it already uses opamps similar to the LM4562 stock. When I was switching OpAmps in my Little-Dot I+, I easily liked that OpAmp more than the others, so I'm curious if it would have the same effect on a soundcard. Stock OpAmps on the 0404 are two JRC NJM2068 chips.
Has anyone ever compared these two cards? Or, has anyone ever compared the BB/Ti PCM1794 with the AKM4395?
I spend enough time listening to music to justify the upgrade, but I'd still be a bit bummed if I didn't end up noticing any sort of improvement.
My Stereo system is all vintage gear. My soundcard feeds into my Yamaha C-80 Preamp (1984) which powers three separate Yamaha amps. I have two Yamaha P2201 stereo amps (1976) each running in mono for about 700wpc via the use of Inverted pre-outs on the C-80. Those power my JBL L150 speakers (1979). I also have a Yamaha M-2 stereo amp (1979) that powers a set of JBL L100T speakers (1985). I also listen using my headphones a lot, usually my DT990/Pro-250ohm headphones, through the C-80.
Edited by GotNoRice - 8/21/12 at 9:42am