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Author Topic: My E-MU 0404 USB died. Now what?  (Read 5096 times)

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Offline rjp

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My E-MU 0404 USB died. Now what?
« on: October 11, 2013, 12:13:52 AM »
A few days ago, I came home to discover my system complaining that it didn't recognize a plugged-in USB device. At first, I thought it was a game controller acting up, but no, it was my old faithful sound box. Only the power light came on, and none of the controls responded.

I have a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, but it doesn't really have enough juice for my 80 ohm Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro cans. It drives my Grados quite well, but anything can drive Grados well.

I'm looking for something that a) sounds good,  b) works off a USB interface, c) preferably is NOT bus-powered (corollary: has plenty of power), and d) doesn't break the bank.

It doesn't necessarily have to be a recording interface, but it wouldn't hurt if it was. Windows 7 drivers are a must, and support in Linux would also be good.

Creative products are out of the question.
Mics: AKG Perception 170, Naiant X-X, Sound Professionals SP-TFB-2
Preamps: Naiant Littlebox
Recorders: Olympus LS-10
Interfaces: Focusrite Saffire Pro 14, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Offline H₂O

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Re: My E-MU 0404 USB died. Now what?
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2013, 11:30:26 PM »
Creative products are out of the question.

The E-MU 0404 is a Creative product - Are you saying they are out of the question because yours failed?  Just curious.
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Offline rjp

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Re: My E-MU 0404 USB died. Now what?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2013, 09:44:19 PM »
The E-MU 0404 is a Creative product - Are you saying they are out of the question because yours failed?  Just curious.

That's half of it. The other half is that they never bothered to release anything other than beta drivers for Windows 7.

One other option I have would be to find a headphone amp to plug into my Focusrite. It has a couple of TRS/TS outputs.
Mics: AKG Perception 170, Naiant X-X, Sound Professionals SP-TFB-2
Preamps: Naiant Littlebox
Recorders: Olympus LS-10
Interfaces: Focusrite Saffire Pro 14, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Offline voltronic

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Re: My E-MU 0404 USB died. Now what?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 08:37:41 PM »
If you're not concerned with a recording interface, both of these get outstanding reviews driving a variety of headphones:

AudioQuest Dragonfly:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/617241/audioquest-dragonfly-review-affordable-outstanding-tiny-dac-amp
http://www.stereophile.com/content/audioquest-dragonfly-usb-da-converter

Meridian Explorer:
http://www.head-fi.org/products/meridian-explorer
http://www.stereophile.com/content/meridian-explorer-usb-da-processorheadphone-amplifier

And even though it's not USB, I absolutely LOVE my Focusrite Saffire Pro 14.  It's FireWire, which is much higher voltage (around 25 volts I think) which may give it a better shot at driving your Beyers.  Then again, Grados are the hardest-to-drive phones that I have, and Focusrite doesn't list specs for the headphone out.

Another option would be to sell / trade your 770s for the 250 ohm version (or something else easier to drive).
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Offline Church-Audio

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Re: My E-MU 0404 USB died. Now what?
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 09:27:36 PM »
I have a 1616m and if it died I would find another one. I do like the M-AUDIO 192K audiophile soundcard. But no headphone outs. And very little in the way of inputs and outputs. Emu made a great sound card. The only other thing I found that was close was http://www.lynxstudio.com/ but you better have deep pockets.
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Offline rjp

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Re: My E-MU 0404 USB died. Now what?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2013, 10:49:56 PM »
I've been thinking about one of the Saffire boxes (FireWire is 12V, actually). I certainly like the sound of the Scarlett 2i2, it just needs more oomph.

I'll have to see if I can dredge up a 1394 card for my playback system.
Mics: AKG Perception 170, Naiant X-X, Sound Professionals SP-TFB-2
Preamps: Naiant Littlebox
Recorders: Olympus LS-10
Interfaces: Focusrite Saffire Pro 14, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Offline SBW

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Re: My E-MU 0404 USB died. Now what?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2013, 05:34:06 PM »
You might as well buy another EMU 0404 on ebay.  They go for about $150-$200.  I have just confirmed today that they finally patched the drivers for the EMU 0404 in the 3.11 kernel.  i.e. The latest version of Ubuntu (13.10) can *record* and playback up to 24/192 straight out of the box.

Offline rjp

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Re: My E-MU 0404 USB died. Now what?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2013, 08:59:48 PM »
And even though it's not USB, I absolutely LOVE my Focusrite Saffire Pro 14.  It's FireWire, which is much higher voltage (around 25 volts I think) which may give it a better shot at driving your Beyers.  Then again, Grados are the hardest-to-drive phones that I have, and Focusrite doesn't list specs for the headphone out.

As a followup, I just picked up a Saffire Pro 14. I had a 15% off coupon to take some of the sting out of plopping down the cash. After a VERY rocky start, I have it up and running on my desktop now, and it's definitely an improvement in the power department compared to the Scarlett 2i2. The sound is wonderful, and it has extra inputs (handy for my multi-computer setup with a KVM switch).

That being said, the Saffire is incredibly picky about 1394 interfaces, in spite of "standards." I had an old D-Link 3-port card that didn't make the cut (it had a TI chipset, but not one of the ones they list in their support docs). Windows wouldn't even detect the Saffire with that card. I tried forcing the driver installation, but no dice.

I then tried it with my laptop, which has a 4-pin 1394 port (necessitating the use of the supplied wall wart). That worked quite nicely, even though its 1394 chipset was a Ricoh, not listed in the document. Go figure.

But I didn't buy it for laptop use, so it was off to Micro Center, where they had a Vantec card with a VIA VT6306 chipset. Nothing like having to deal with Black Friday crowds for a single $11 item! ::) I plugged it in, and Windows decided there was no mouse present after it popped up the "Found new hardware" dialog.  >:( I shut it down, disconnected everything, uninstalled the drivers, and reinstalled them, and now it works. Woooooooooooohooooooooooooooo!
:realhappy:

I'm loving the sound, and it has plenty of juice for the Beyer cans. Hopefully, Focusrite will stand by their product down the road, unlike what Creative did with the 0404 USB. Windows 7/8 support is there, at least!

TL;DR: Great sound, but look out for FireWire compatibility problems.
Mics: AKG Perception 170, Naiant X-X, Sound Professionals SP-TFB-2
Preamps: Naiant Littlebox
Recorders: Olympus LS-10
Interfaces: Focusrite Saffire Pro 14, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Offline voltronic

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Re: My E-MU 0404 USB died. Now what?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2013, 10:25:19 PM »
Besides getting a Firewire adapter card with one of the approved TI chips, I found this to be very useful getting my Saffire Pro 14 to run correctly:

http://global.focusrite.com/answerbase/are-focusrites-firewire-products-compatible-with-windows-7?id=1030#LegacyDriver

I also have found that Saffire Mix Control ver. 2.4 has been the most stable driver, even with a few newer updates.  YMMV, but that's the way it's been for me.  Glad you're enjoying your interface!
DPA 4061 | Line Audio CM3 | Naiant X-Q | AT 853
Naiant PFAs | Shure FP24
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Quote
I am hitting my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.    ///    If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music.
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