| Originally Posted by faugusta |
I'm a bit confused by your post. If I understanding you correctly, in your comparison you seemed to prefer the sound of the 0404 to the 1212 when listening to In Utero. Did you feel the 0404 sounds more like live music while the 1212 seems cleaner and more precise than the real thing?
That's precisely what I meant. The E-MU 1212m has a Crystal DAC right? So does Game Theater XP, both push the guitar way forward. It could simply be the house sound for that particular company. I think the 1212m is definately more "edgey", some would call it refined, but I would call it digitally grating. Recording on the 1212m seems pretty close to my LynxTwo though. (From my LynxTwo out, to my E-MU 1212m, I get the same RMAA measurements) I didn't test the 0404 for recording performance -- of the two sound cards, I am keeping the 1212m and the 0404 is going back simply because I already have a DAL CardDeluxe that has similar signature to the 0404, but the CardDeluxe is more detailed, and seperates instruments better. One thing I did note with both cards, is the DirectSound driver is leaps and bounds ahead of LynxTwo and CardDeluxe -- while playing Need for Speed Underground 2, I noticed that there was thunder before it started raining... Neither CardDeluxe nor LynxTwo directsound implementations play that thunder with their latest drivers installed as of this day.
The other thing that bothers me a little is E-MU actually has an artifically wide sound stage, compared to the other sound cards and converters I have listened to. I kept having to check Patchmix to make sure no DSP was enabled. Soundstaging was one of the reasons I didn't like the Benchmark DAC1 compared to the LavryBlue, Apogee Rosetta, and MSB Link III - I still need to hear the Mytek, but from what I read on other forums Mytek's strength is in A/D, and not D/A. Anyway; LynxTwo, CardDeluxe and M-Audio cards don't really expand the stereo image this far. It could just be personal listening tastes, but I believe that altering the stereo imaging from source lowers sound quality of the playback. ....or perhaps, the other cards/DAC I have heard are simply compressed - who knows, my ears could just be playing tricks on me. I've never trusted them fully, suggestion is a powerful thing.
Ran into my first "problem" with the Patchmix DSP software already too. DirectSound functionality failed to work, but ASIO playback still functioned. All I did was use the start menu/programs option to reset it to default configuration and it rectified itself after a reboot. I tried to mess with Patchmix and set up another session prior to doing this reset to defaults proceedure, and couldn't quite get systems sound/directsound to work.
[size=xx-small]flame suit on
A few members of this board have told me to wait a few days (and some said a few weeks
) for burn in on these sound cards before laying down judgement, I respect their views -- but I also believe these cards to be marketed at pro level. If the audio footprint of the product changes over time that could be a major issue for critical audio work! I believe in burn-in only in a limited fashion, half of it to be psychological/psychoaccoustics and the other half is simple wear. In vintage gear I'd believe the sound changes over time because of quality of old capacitors and all that jazz, but newer electronics shouldn't really change much characteristicly over a period of time. I was a salesman at Magnolia Hi-Fi (Stupid Best Buy high-end store) for a while between "real jobs" -- I sold quite a bit of voodoo magic to unknowledgable customers, and fought off returns with the excuse "it will sound better once it burns in", so I could keep said commision. TV, LCD, plasma, they burn-in... errr, wear out. So does audio gear, but by the time it starts to wear out, you should be replacing the components! I also believe in speaker burn-in, that's a moving diaphragm. Electronics also need to get to operating temperature before performing at their proposed specifications, but this effect is not "burn-in" - that's another topic all together. Capacitors only take seconds to charge, the rest of the components on the PCB should follow suit (including solder joints) as far as power up time frame in a room temperature environment. Poor Einstein, but to each his own.
[size=xx-small]changing back into hazmat suit
Oh, and I also tried playback through other speakers this morning:
Swan m200 - very good match for the 1212m at 12 o' clock treble/bass settings.
Mackie HR824 - Sibilant, but isn't this speaker already?
These speakers would probably sound great with the 0404, but I am too lazy to power down my audio workstation and swap cards again at this juncture.
FPS 200A - Definately brings out the worst quality in these speakers, the sound is flat, maybe a little emphasis on highs and boring in general, probably how it should be for pro/mixing purposes; but I don't like these speakers to begin with.
This card also seems to be a fairly good match to Sennheiser HD650 headphones and SuperDual. I didn't like the Sennheiser HD280 Pro as much with this combination. I also prefered Etymotic ER-4P unamped directly into the sound card versus Etymotic ER-4P with S adapter into the SuperDual. I really need a better headphone amp.... Sorry for the lengthy post, hopefully this helped you - I know it helped me. I didn't have to go out to lunch with a colleague I dislike because of it