1212M or outboard?
Mar 6, 2006 at 7:15 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 26

JiggaD369

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Putting together the first "true" hifi system. It will be something like this....

Computer >> __________ >> M3 >> K701

Now my question is...should i go for the 1212M (which I've read has a pretty darn good sound) or an outboard DAC?. My budget is $200.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 9:20 PM Post #2 of 26

JJ15k

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I have the EMu and I find it pretty good although this does not mean much since I haven t experienced other High end DACs, but it s less than 200$, could be used as a transport later if you upgrade, and does a lot of things.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 10:09 PM Post #3 of 26

chesebert

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JJ15k
I have the EMu and I find it pretty good although this does not mean much since I haven t experienced other High end DACs, but it s less than 200$, could be used as a transport later if you upgrade, and does a lot of things.


my emu0404 is getting to 85% of the Eastsound DAC which some headfi has compared with DAC1 and favors Eastsound internal DAC. if emu121 is a smoother version of emu0404..then there is a difference between that and a really good DAC..but then you are spending 5x+more money for the last 15%

now the Eastsound DAC has great soundstage, much more in depth and width, more percise imaging, better focus, more inner detail and better attack and tresients. overall a very noticable upgrade from the emu offerings.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 10:25 PM Post #4 of 26

Bones13

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If you are spending 200 bucks, I would start with the 1212m for sure. To get a better DAC externally will be a lot more expensive. Even the Micro DAC from Headroom will cost $ 299, and the Spitfire (which I use and is only marginally better than the 1212m) is $325 with the powersupply.

For your budget, if you really don't want to get a sound card, either the FUBAR from Firestone Audio, or that Silverstone unit being talked about here on the board are around $200. Both of these plug right into the USB port of your computer. Getting bit perfect from this setup will require ASIO4all, and a little experimentation. Pretty good reviews from folks here. I have not heard either one though.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 11:52 PM Post #5 of 26

InSides

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I would also chime in in favor of the 1212m. At this point, using FLAC/KS and the 1212m's analog outs to my preamp, I am very, very pleased.

Although I haven't heard the Silverstone EB-01 [~$95] nor the FUBAR [~$120], while deciding on the best option, I had it compared it to these items [note my options locally are quite limited] - internal PCI cards [Audigy 2 ZS Platinum, Terratec Phase 22] and external USB/FW devices [Terratec Aureon 5.1 USB MKIII, Terratec Aureon 7.1 FireWire].

I vastly preffered the EMU 1212m over each one of these, so I went with it. Up to this point, I haven't experienced any RFI/EMI issues that apparently are inherent to internal soundcards [as some users have reported], and later on, you still have the oportunity to either have it modded, or add an external DAC should you find the analog outpus insufficient.

PatchMix does pose a bit of a steep learning curve, but it does present a very handy tool for further enhancements.
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 3:52 AM Post #6 of 26

Bones13

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Patchmix is a pain, especially when starting the computer, and it glitches sometimes when turning off.

Question - if you are not sending a stream via SPDIF to an external DAC, is there any real use of KS? I can understand using the Emu ASIO driver somewhat, but if you are not sending the digital data out to an external DAC, what purpose do either of these 2 schemes play?
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 4:11 AM Post #7 of 26

chesebert

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bones13
Patchmix is a pain, especially when starting the computer, and it glitches sometimes when turning off.

Question - if you are not sending a stream via SPDIF to an external DAC, is there any real use of KS? I can understand using the Emu ASIO driver somewhat, but if you are not sending the digital data out to an external DAC, what purpose do either of these 2 schemes play?



never had any problem with patchmix..and I have 2 soundcards in my system.

user error?
eggosmile.gif
 
Mar 7, 2006 at 11:10 AM Post #9 of 26

InSides

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JiggaD369
So 0404 is not far behind the 1212?


I only had the chance for a brief listening session with a stock 0404, and again prefered the 1212m. If you are into specifications, the 1212m does have a superior DAC. In addition to this, the added benefit of having a separate analog card with no electrical connection to the motherboard is definitely a bonus [helps avoid motherboard induced EMI/RFI].

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bones13
Patchmix is a pain, especially when starting the computer, and it glitches sometimes when turning off.

Question - if you are not sending a stream via SPDIF to an external DAC, is there any real use of KS? I can understand using the Emu ASIO driver somewhat, but if you are not sending the digital data out to an external DAC, what purpose do either of these 2 schemes play?



I have never had any issues with PatchMix - using the 1.81 with 1.82 drivers.

Regarding the usage of KS/ASIO along with the analog outputs, to me it never was an exact science. I want to be sure I am bypassing KMixer [a.k.a. KMangler
mad.gif
], as to I am outputting a 44.1KHz stream to my speakers and headphones. I have setup several sessions with PatchMix [44.1KHz, 88.2KHz, 176.4KHz using either WaveOut, ASIO or KS], and to my ears, KS sound best.
 
Mar 8, 2006 at 12:26 PM Post #11 of 26

InSides

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JiggaD369
So I would have to spend >$300 to look for better sounding DAC than 1212m?


I have to admit I haven't really auditioned a lot of stand-alone DAC's, so I wouldn't be confident into backing up that claim.

One point towards the 1212m for me were the availability concerns. It sounded best to me out of all the equipment readily available to me [within a particular budget].

Again, I am using the analog outputs - to me they sound crisp, clean and complete. Very, very enjoyable. Note that by a lot of users, the sound of the 1212m [as well as my Rotel RCD-02] have been found "analytical".

Not to me. Seems I simply enjoy this "analytical" sound.
eggosmile.gif


Point being, the E-MU 1212m offers a lot of bang for the buck [you can get it for ~$165 if you shop around], can be modded for additional improvements, and presents a very solid base for a later upgrade in the form of an outboard DAC.
 
Mar 8, 2006 at 5:37 PM Post #13 of 26

InSides

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Try a local Guitar Center. When I was last in the US a couple of months ago, I had a friend take me to a Guitar Center wanting to check out some Telecasters.

I wasn't really set on getting it then, and I missed out on it. I naturally regretted that, and payed $250 for it here locally.
mad.gif


BTW, www.dell.com has it for $179.99 with free ground shipping.
 

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