Terratec EWX 24/96 -> EMU 1212M - Worth upgrading?
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pbirkett

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OK, this question is open to anyone who has experience with this card, or of a card with alledged "similar" performance, like the modded RME PAD. Be honest now
Is this likely to be a worthwhile upgrade for me? What exactly does it do better (assuming my card sounds similar to the M-Audiophile 24/96).

I am seriously thinking about this considering that I could probably sell my EWX for a reasonable price and have a fairly cheap upgrade, but I will only do it if it will offer a good improvement over what I have now.

But I'd like HONEST, not exagerrated answers, if possible
 
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lan

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I have/had in my possession:

Hercules Fortissimo III, Sonica, Revo 7.1, Audiophile 24/96, Audiophile USB (got rid of this one), RME Digi96/8 PST, ART DI/O modded to MENSA by Boldercables, and emu 1820m.

To me the emu 1820m is farther from RME PST than RME PST is to AP 24/96. The cheaper cards with cheaper clocks sound muffled to me in comparision. The RME with a better clock is cleaner sounding but is a bit harsh. Supposedly the mods fix that but since I use mine for digital output only, I never bothered to mod mine. The emu has a better clock and/or a better implementation of something because you can tell by it's cleaness even in digital output. This translates to more detail. Externally clocking the soundcards that could be yeilded some improvement where as the emu actually got worst. There's no harshness in it at all. I'd characterize it as neutral.

The emu cards have DSP effects in which 3 are for equalization. They sound pretty good if you so choose to use them. They don't use any CPU power. DSP effects only work up to 48khz sound. I don't feel a need to upsample to 96 or 192khz with this card. Although if you do, it's a different sound signature. So there's flexibility to tweak the sound.

I can't say how the 1212m sounds as I think my 1820m has the advantage of being outside the computer and is modded to be externally powered and is power conditioned. Even if it's a little bit less clear than my 1820m, I would imagine it's still far clearer than the other cards.
 
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pbirkett

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Hey thanks for that Ian, that was helpful, and I can gather from your post expect a difference in clarity and detail (which I feel isnt too bad at present to be fair).

Any more opinions....

Can I expect greater bass and dynamics, or is that something which my current card should already have covered?
 
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Edwood

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Hey, Lan.

So the 1820M is an external soundcard? I remember you saying that you had to mod it for use with an external power supply? So the internal PCI card part is not the actual soundcard? I'm confused.

Does it cause windows to crash or other problems if you accidentally power off the external box? I'm concerned with this, because I would want to have the external box powered by my P300, rather than a UPS.

-Ed
 
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Glassman

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digital board is always the same along the whole E-MU range and it's always PCI card, however converters could be either on another board inside PC chassis in case of 1212M or in external chassis powered from the digital card's connector in case of 1820M.. what LAN (
) did is that he spliced the power line from computer somehow and connected some external linear regulated PSU..

pbirkett, definitely go for it.. I'm sure you can make this card a HUGE advertising as you did for your old Terratec
E-MU marketing staff will kiss your foots and many starting head-fiers too
 
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lan

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Well performance is relative. You maybe satisfied with what you have now but then there's more.


There's more than detail though so I can see your concern over bass and dynamics. On 1820m there is a headphone jack and using my V6 on there, the bass is deep, well controlled, and layered. I can only speculate it's fine because I never heard it sound as good till now. Usually the V6s are way too mushy/muddy in the bass for me and if the DAC conversion was lacking, it would show further up the chain. I'd need to use another pair of headphones to really judge the output from this headphone jack. I would imagine that using a better headphone amp will give even better sound.
 
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pbirkett

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I am very tempted I must admit, and certainly, I would like to do a comparison in my own mind, because as you all know, I definitely have never found the EWX lacking, a head to head would certainly be interesting.
 
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Edwood

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How do the Coby's sound with the 1820M's headphone jack? She bangs?


What power supply are you using with the 1820M's external box, Lan?
Do you have pics of your mod? I saw your E-mu pr0n pics, but didn't see the power supply.

-Ed
 
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lan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Edwood
So the 1820M is an external soundcard? I remember you saying that you had to mod it for use with an external power supply? So the internal PCI card part is not the actual soundcard? I'm confused.

Does it cause windows to crash or other problems if you accidentally power off the external box? I'm concerned with this, because I would want to have the external box powered by my P300, rather than a UPS.



1820m has the DAC and ADC in an external box. The PCI card communicates with the box so they work together. The power to the box comes from a 4pin floppy molex on the PCI card. You usually take that from the computer power supply but I used an external supply which I added a molex to the end. It gets filtered and converted by a transformer (I think) and goes out RJ45 along with the data.

I have plugged and unplugged this RJ45 cable just like a network cable and no crashing. In the control panel there's indicators that show if the audiodock(box), sync card, and analog i/o card are installed. they go off/on when I un/plug this cable.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glassman
what LAN (
) did is that he spliced the power line from computer somehow and connected some external linear regulated PSU..



No splicing needed. Just need proper termination.
I knew this even before I bought it. I knew it would be a winner.
 
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Edwood

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lan
I have plugged and unplugged this RJ45 cable just like a network cable and no crashing. In the control panel there's indicators that show if the audiodock(box), sync card, and analog i/o card are installed. they go off/on when I un/plug this cable.


Is it a standard RJ45 cable? or is it proprietary? Is the cable completely detacheable from both the box and the card?

Quote:

No splicing needed. Just need proper termination.
I knew this even before I bought it. I knew it would be a winner.


Pics please. What power supply did you use?

-Ed
 
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lan

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I'm not sure if it is a standard RJ45. I think it very well maybe but I'm not going to plug in one and try without asking them if it is one. It does have 2 big ferrite things at both ends/

I have various power supplies around. I'm using some wallwart right now.

pics later.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by lan
I'm not sure if it is a standard RJ45. I think it very well maybe but I'm not going to plug in one and try without asking them if it is one. It does have 2 big ferrite things at both ends/

I have various power supplies around. I'm using some wallwart right now.

pics later.



What voltages does the Emu box need? 12V, 5V, or both?

Would the Emu benefit from a nice linear regulated PSU?

-Ed
 
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lan

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I'm only using 12V on the Molex but I don't know if the transformer is converting it to something else to go through cable and then once in the box back to something.

Good power supply is always nice but I'm modding my card before worrying about that further.
 
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