E-MU 0404 USB OR Zero DAC
Nov 24, 2008 at 1:11 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

robert_feldt

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What would give me best SQ unamped, the E-MU 0404 USB or the Zero DAC? They seem to be roughly the same price. Lots of more niceties on the E-MU that I might use in the future but I would not like to get a lower SQ for them...

I listen to Jazz, Classical and some Pop/Rock, with Sennheiser HD595 on my MacBook Pro. The music is mostly EAC-ripped and compressed with lame --alt-preset extreme or with FLAC.

HD595 seem to be easy to drive so would I really need a dedicated amp for it? Other threads seem to indicate so but I don't understand why.
 
Nov 24, 2008 at 3:22 PM Post #4 of 20

cristox

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Does the zero has an usb input?
i dont think so.
 
Nov 24, 2008 at 3:59 PM Post #5 of 20

Nikita

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Get the E-MU.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Dec 1, 2008 at 12:25 PM Post #10 of 20

oneway23

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The Zero has a headphone amp...I've heard a great many posters extol the virtues of either the E-MU 0404 or the zero, yet I've never seen a direct comparison of their head amp capabilities.
 
Dec 1, 2008 at 12:56 PM Post #11 of 20
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At least one of the sellers of the Zero on eBay includes a USB adaptor for the Zero. It'd be interesting to compare the two. At the moment, I'm thinking of experimenting with the effect of not using optical, which for me would require a USB audio adaptor, maybe either the EMU0404 or the Trends adaptor. If I get the EMU, I'll compare it with the Zero.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 1:11 PM Post #12 of 20

KevM2

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My E-MU 0404 just arrived yesterday. It was TOUGH setting this up with vista 64, but the main problem was finding the right 'installer' on the Creative website. They really need to get more organized over there.

What I must say that the sound is amazing if you like your sound crystal clear. I'm pairing this with the HD600 and currently have them plugged directly into the headphone out. I'll try it with my amp, but I have to go buy new cables, because these don't have RCA output.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 4:02 PM Post #13 of 20

progo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by KevM2 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
My E-MU 0404 just arrived yesterday. It was TOUGH setting this up with vista 64, but the main problem was finding the right 'installer' on the Creative website. They really need to get more organized over there.

What I must say that the sound is amazing if you like your sound crystal clear. I'm pairing this with the HD600 and currently have them plugged directly into the headphone out. I'll try it with my amp, but I have to go buy new cables, because these don't have RCA output.



FYI you don't need new cables but simple mono TRS(mal) -> RCA(fem) adapters and tadah you have RCA outputs.
 
Dec 2, 2008 at 5:20 PM Post #14 of 20

oneway23

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Quote:

Originally Posted by KevM2 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
My E-MU 0404 just arrived yesterday. It was TOUGH setting this up with vista 64, but the main problem was finding the right 'installer' on the Creative website. They really need to get more organized over there.

What I must say that the sound is amazing if you like your sound crystal clear. I'm pairing this with the HD600 and currently have them plugged directly into the headphone out. I'll try it with my amp, but I have to go buy new cables, because these don't have RCA output.



Do you have the ability to test the pass-through capabilities of the optical out port? I've heard some conflicting things regarding pass-through of Dolby and DTS to home theater receivers, particularly in Win XP. I see you're using Vista, but any info you could provide would be of great help.
 
Dec 5, 2008 at 10:44 AM Post #15 of 20

KevM2

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I personally have to look deeper into the 0404. It's my first DAC, and I'm just getting into all of this audio business, so it'll take me a little while to really grasp all the terminology and technology. So please forgive my ignorance on the subject. All I've done so far was hook the PC into it and the PS3 into it via optical. I tried running Dolby and DTS through the PS3, but it put out some strange shrieking sound, so I stopped it quickly because I didn't want to damage any of my headphone. I'll look around and do some more research.

However, I did do a search and came up with this:
'The main two balanced/unbalanced analogue outputs are duplicated on a stereo 3.5mm output and have a dedicated analogue rotary level control on the front panel. There's also a separate headphone amp with its own independent level control. Digital I/O is usefully provided in both TOSlink optical and coaxial formats, switched from a front-panel button, while both digital outputs can also pass Dolby AC3-encoded 5.1 surround sound audio, for listening to DVD soundtracks on an external AC3 decoder."
 

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