Emu 0404 USB - internal or external sync?
Mar 9, 2008 at 6:32 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6


New Head-Fier
Mar 9, 2007
I have my dedicated music server PC running into the Emu with USB and from the Emu to my DAC through SPDIF. In the Emu control panel there is an option for internal or external sync. From listening I can say that external sync seems to sound better when it comes to soundstage depth. What is the option of external and internal sync actually doing with regards with the signal chain? Although I can choose internal or external in the on screen interface, the Emu still has the internal light illuminated on the actual unit. Is there a way to change that for testing?
Mar 9, 2008 at 11:13 PM Post #3 of 6
As typical, [size=medium]reading the manual [/size]is suggested for new users........

Page 20 in the manual (the pdf version, dated 10/25/2007) shows the proper way to set up an external device via S/PDIF.

Please note that for the external DAC to supply the clock, you need to have two cables connected......when you only have one between the 0404 USB and the DAC, it cannot sync to the DAC clock, the DAC clock must sync to the 0404 USB.

That's why the light on the unit never changes to external......because you haven't been listening with external sync!

The light on the unit is correct, given the explanation in the manual for the two cable requirement. "Seems" to me that your comment that "external sync seems to sound better" is appropriate, eh?????

And geardoc, you are correct, if you are using it as a DAC via S/PDIF input rather than a USB-to-S/PDIF transport as is Miab, when you disconnect the coax/optical cable, the unit should revert to internal sync. There isn't any signal coming in to which it can sync, so it goes back to the default state.
Mar 10, 2008 at 5:53 AM Post #4 of 6
Your quite right about reading the manual, as I did. Although the hard copy manual has none of your above references. Looking for a PDF one after you so kindly referred me to it did indeed come up in the installation folder. Thanks. Although you have not given any explanation to why IT DOES sound different/better with the option for external sync in the software interface. It is subtle but is there. Confirmed by a guest listener.
Mar 10, 2008 at 1:28 PM Post #5 of 6
I would suggest emailing E-MU tech support with your question, because there is nothing in the info they provide to indicate that the device can sync to an external source in your situation (single cable attached to external DAC.) Maybe they have an explanation, but here is another question.....if you set the sync source to external in the software control panel, does the lock indicator to the right of the sync source drop down box "light up" to show that it is locked on an external source?

I'd bet that it doesn't show a lock, because there is no external input signal to which it can lock. Pages 19 and 20 of the pdf manual are quite explicit about that.

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