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Looking for a USB ASIO audio interface with a decent mic pre-amp as well as a decent headphone out?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm basically downsizing and consolidating my entire rig. I want an audio interface which has recording features (inputs, mic pre-amp) as well as decent DAC and headphone amp capable of powering (probably) the MrSpeakers Mad Dog. 

 

I was looking at the 0404 USB but it's kinda difficult to find now that it's discontinued. My budget would be around $200. Does such a thing exist?

post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 

My only options from what I've seen are the Focusrite 2i2 or the Tascam US-122MKII. Is the quality of the DAC and amp inside these comparable to the E-MU 0404USB?

post #3 of 16

Checkout the Focusrite Saffire 6 and Presonus Audiobox

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

I had considered the Saffire 6 but apparently there is an issue with USB 1.1 devices and recent versions of Windows. Also it being USB 1.1. I assume the 2i2 has similar headphone out circuitry anyway? The 2i2 is also cheaper and I don't really need two inputs. The Audiobox looks pretty good. Annoying to have the headphone out on the back though... Has anyone heard these?

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

So audio interfaces don't seem to be very popular as DAC's/Amps. Guess I'll just have to wing it and buy one to review.

post #6 of 16

I have a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 interface that operates on Firewire. Works well and has a good headphone output.

post #7 of 16

The new Steinberg UR 22 perhaps? Going for $150 (US).

 

http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/audio_interfaces/ur_series/ur22.html?gclid=CL64-qqTirUCFSmCQgodizsAEg

 

It's brand new. I haven't tried it but it looks like it may be along the lines of what you want...

post #8 of 16

I looked at one in Guitar Center yesterday...unfortunately I couldn't listen to it, LOL!

 

What I can say is that the build quality is outstanding, far exceeding the 0404 USB which I've been using for 6 years now. The UR22 has some heft to it, and while the pot knobs are small, the overall feel is top notch, just like high end studio gear. No one would use the phrase "like high end studio gear" when describing the 0404 USB.

 

One of the reasons I liked the 0404 USB at the time was that the proprietary drivers seemed to perform much better than standard USB Audio on XP, but I suppose that's no longer a big issue. I was about ready to buy one just to listen but have better things to spend hobby money on right now.


Edited by sejarzo - 1/31/13 at 1:36pm
post #9 of 16

Guitar Center has a 12% off coupon good in store or online foranything $149 and up...and they sell the UR22 for $149.99...making the selling price $131.99.

 

Has anybody determined what D/A chip Steinberg uses in this? Is it a discrete DAC chip or do they make use of an all-in-one DSP?

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sejarzo View Post

Guitar Center has a 12% off coupon good in store or online foranything $149 and up...and they sell the UR22 for $149.99...making the selling price $131.99.

 

Has anybody determined what D/A chip Steinberg uses in this? Is it a discrete DAC chip or do they make use of an all-in-one DSP?

 

I looked around and I wasn't able to find an answer to your question. Since the product is so new, I just couldn't find the answer. I have a feeling it may be some kind of Yamaha DSP, but I'm not sure. Anyway, that UR22 looks like a really cool product. I hope someone here gets a chance to try it and give their impressions!

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

I found a crazy cheap Yamaha Audiogram3 so I purchased it. It probably doesn't have an incredibly good DAC in it but we'll see. 

 

That Steinberg unit does look nice... It's annoying how the big audio companies don't seem to reveal any details as to what is inside their hardware.

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sejarzo View Post

Guitar Center has a 12% off coupon good in store or online for any single item $149 and up...and they sell the UR22 for $149.99...making the selling price $131.99.

 

 

I made a slight error in my original post, and the above is what the main page of their web site says about the coupon...but when you get it coupon via email, the fine print in light gray indicates "Some manufacturers have chosen not to participate in this promotion; they may be found at http://www.guitarcenter.com/couponexclusions."

 

If you click that link, you will find that Steinberg is not participating...just like about every maker of anything an audiophile might have interest in at Guitar Center, unfortunately!

post #13 of 16
Try ordering from Musician's Friend instead. 10% discount, but it will take an order for the UR22; no tax either.
post #14 of 16

Audio Interfaces are popular but more so in the music production community. DACs/Amps are usually the norm for audiphiles looking for the best listening experience :)

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoomBap View Post

Audio Interfaces are popular but more so in the music production community. DACs/Amps are usually the norm for audiphiles looking for the best listening experience :)

 

That's an interesting comment...

 

When the 0404 USB came out and I was involved in discussions about it on other audiophile forums, two independent designers of high-end USB DAC's commented to me via PM's that they couldn't believe how good it sounded...and how they'd never be able to offer that sort of quality at that price point.

 

Food for thought?

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