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E-MU 1010/1212


faberryman
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Can someone clarify this for me. Does the E-MU card automatically switch sample rates? In other words, if I set it to 88.2, will it automatically play 44.1 and 88.2 files. If not, is the Lynx card the only one that will, or are there other PCI/PCIe alternatives?

 

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Dear Frank:

 

Kindly elaborate what you wish to accomplish. For example, are you trying to auto sample rate switch within the Mac environment? Using OSx, neither a Lynx card nor iTunes will not automatically change audio midi at this time. Within the Windows enviroment, there are software I/Os that will accomplish what I think you are trying to do, depending on the DAC - hardware I/O setup.

 

Regards,

 

Tim Marutani

Emeryville, CA

 

 

 

 

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Tim,

 

I have a dedicated Windows XP server running iTunes. My motherboard has a S/PDIF coaxial digital output which I connect to my Meridian G68. The problem that I have is that the motherboard soundcard will only output 44.1, 48 and 96 - no 88.2 or 176.4. So I am going to need a soundcard that will output 88.2 and 176.4 if I am to play most high resolution files. Since when I download high resolution files I will have 44.1, 88.2 and 176.4 files on my server, all of which I understand iTunes will play back, I don't want to have to change output sample rates on the soundcard every time I want to play different resolution files. I was hoping the E-MU 1010/1212, which is considerably less expensive than the Lynx AES16/AES16e, would automatically detect and switch sample rates. The other problem with the Lynx card is that it only has a 110 ohm AES/EBU digital output, and I only have 75 ohm S/PDIF and Toslink digital inputs on my Meridian G68.

 

By the way, although you may not remember, I enjoyed speaking with you at the Computer Audiophile Symposium in June. Thanks in advance for you expert advice.

 

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Good afternoon Frank -

 

I was a sleep deprived zombie during the symposiun, btw. This being said, there are some options:

 

Canare, http://www.canare.com/ProductItemDisplay.aspx?productItemID=15, sells 110 ohm to 75 ohm transformers.

 

Have you been able to verify the sample rates the Meridian G68 accepts? I may be mistaken but if my memory is correct, it may be capped at 24/96k. One should also verify if the input will accept 24/88.2k as well.

 

I wish to point out that 90% of the battle is to depart from the 16/44.1k to 88.2k and above. I haven't had very much running time using iTunes in Windows environments in conjunction with hi-end audio playback but I'm certain there are individuals all around that can share valid information in this area. I use different software I/Os, (players), in the Windows environment. Many of these players were not made for general consumer playback.

 

If you are not planning to use the computer as a computer, turning off several terminal services in XP will tame down the sound of the computer, less bright and edgy sounding.

 

What part of the country are you located? I have 4 computers with Lynx PCI cards and can easily loan you one as long as I'm not burried with testing configutations.

 

At any rate, let's verify what sample rates the Meridian G68 will support via the S/PDIF input.

 

Regards,

 

Tim

 

 

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The Meridian accepts up to 96/24 so for the time being that is what I am limited to. I am in Nashville. I understand you are on the West Coast. I appreciate the offer for the loaner, but it's probably a bit impractical. I was hoping to find a less expensive alternative to the Lynx card. Even though my Meridian only accepts up to 96/24, I was looking for a card that went up to 176.4/24 so I would have the sampling rate available if I changed systems down the road. The Canare adapter is perfect if I go the Lynx route. Thanks.

 

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My understanding is that with the EMu 1010 / 1212 and 1616 systems, you have to manually load a PatchMix profile configured to output the correct bit depth / rate (i.e. one for 16/44.1, another for 16/48, a third for 24/88.2, etc). However I've also seen it written that this is only for INPUT settings and that (using ASIO) output follows the bit rate of the file being played.

 

That I know of, there are two alternatives at the lower end for outputting 24/192 via PCI. The first is the ESI [email protected] card and the second the M-Audio Audiophile 192 card. Both, like the Lynx, require custom breakout cables to use their SPDIF Coax connectors, they are aso both PCI cards and not available as PCIe, so are only compatible with PCs and G5 PowerMacs (not current Intel PowerMacs). At a higher end, RME make a card competing with the Lynx, though there is no reason to choose this over the Lynx. Other options would be external USB or FireWire interfaces.

 

I'm not sure if you are running Windows or what music-library / playback software, but be warned that iTunes (under Windows), while bit perfect for CD quality files, has an issue with high res files and will not play high resolution files without causing distortion.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Audio_Elf,

 

Thanks for the clarifications.

 

"However I've also seen it written that this is only for INPUT settings and that (using ASIO) output follows the bit rate of the file being played."

 

Perhaps I'll have to be the guinea pig for this sound card!

 

"but be warned that iTunes (under Windows), while bit perfect for CD quality files, has an issue with high res files and will not play high resolution files without causing distortion."

 

Just great. :(

 

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Generally the recommendation for software on Windows is Media Monkey, with some people preferring FooBar 2k or J.River. I don't think it's significant distortion, but according to Kent Poon's tests it's there.

 

By the way - you say you are using a G68 processor ... have you ever compared it with any DACs and how does it compare?

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I have owned Meridian digital components for 10+ years. Never done any comparisons with other DACs, since I have Meridian DSP5500 digital speakers as well.

 

Given the cost of the Lynx card and the problem with iTunes for Windows, a better route seems to be to go with an entry level MacBook and a NAS. That also opens up Amarra as possible upgrade. I know I would be limiting my self to 96/24, but it is not a big issue given the limitations of my processor and the dearth of 176.4/24 audio files. It even means I would only "need" Amarra Lite.

 

I want to stick with iTunes. I have several Airport Expresses for piping music to different rooms in the house.

 

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Everyone always says "get a Lynx card" but in a domestic environment, has anyone ever compared the Lynx to the lower end (priced) alternatives such as the ESI and EMU, etc? Or is it just a reflex reaction? My "heading" might be a little misleading as I've no doubt about the quality of the Lynx card, but do most people really need it ... would the £500 difference between a EMu or ESI be better spent on a better DAC perhaps?

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Hi Eloise - That's a very valid question. Right now I am researching two cards from ASUS that are substantially less money. Personally I really like the Lynx cards and think the performance is very good. In my opinion Lynx cards are worth every penny.

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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After the recording, the digital front end will dictate the direction of the audio quality. I have used the RME and alternatively mention audio cards yet still prefer the AES16 PCI card. I have not used the cards from ASUS but to date, I cannot remember anyone visiting my facility and complaining about my digital playback unless we begin to reference them to my 1/2 track tape machines.

 

Does anyone need them, perhaps that's up to each individual but for my work, I can definitely answer yes.

 

Regards,

 

Tim Marutani

Emeryville, CA

 

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Tim ... you say "Does anyone need [Lynx card over others], perhaps that's up to each individual but for my work, I can definitely answer yes."

 

In "your work" are you referring to professional mastering work, or creating playback systems? Have you ever (in a domestic style playback system) directly compared the Lynx to other playback cards? When looking at a $5,000 Berkeley DAC then the $700 isn't a lot for the Lynx card, but would you get similar improvement using a £100 EMu card rather than the Lynx card (£600 in UK) if using a Cyrus X-DAC (for example) - sorry for mixed currencies there ... I really do mean $ when I said $ and £ when I typed £.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Hi Frank - Currently the ASUS cards don't support 88.2 or 176.4. So, yes you are correct and now that you mention this I remember discussing it a little while ago :~)

 

I am trying to get 88.2 and 176.4 support in addition to some other improvements through ASUS right now. They've been very receptive. ASUS even sent three people to the CA Symposium. From talking to them I am pretty sure ASUS is making a substantial effort to make great audio cards.

 

 

 

 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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Smiles

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Two other PCI cards have popped up - the M-Audio 96/24 and the M-Audio 192 Audiophile. Does anyone have any first hand experience with these. Same question as with the E-MU cards. Do I have to manually change playback sample rate when changing from 44.1 to 88.2 files or do they automatically detect and output the proper sample rate?

 

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I have an E-MU 0404 USB, and this device requires the ASIO driver for automatic sample-rate switching. I believe the behavior of the E-MU PCI cards would be the same. The 0404 USB also has a S/PDIF output that you could use for sample rates up to 96 kHz (including 88.2 kHz) as well as a great DAC that will handle up to 192 kHz over USB (including 176.4).

 

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Charly ... I'm pretty sure the EMu PCI drivers are different from the 0404 USB drivers - does the 0404 use PatchMix for example?

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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My 0404 PCI does.

 

And personally ... patchmix deserves the highest prize for the most awkward driver or "settings program" for that matter.

 

I guess it's still a Sound Blaster.

 

I like the card for its withgoing Protheus (synthesizer) software though.

Peter

 

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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Not being quite sure what my previous post was about (ah, that's what you were thinking), maybe this does help a bit :

 

I myself never understood what it actually takes to auto switch sample rates, or better : what it takes to *not* do that (or not incur for it);

 

A while back I started spitting out that a [email protected] is OK, and someone (maybe it was audiozorro ?) tried it but found that it did not auto-switch sample rates on each and every player, except for XXHighEnd. Why ? I don't know. But, careful, because this was (is) Vista, and there other factors play a role (like with this test the OS may have dictated the sample rate and it seems the card doesn't switch, while playing at normal audible sound (and not Donal Duck and such).

All IOW, it can well be that any soundcard lets itself control on this, as long as the software gives the right commands ... somehow.

 

I can add to it that -again strangely enough- in my setup of the [email protected] I *can not* shut off "Auto" hence setting it hard to a specific rate. This will probably be the same matter and the software (mine only ??) keeps on overruling it.

 

For Frank : It may look that I suggest to try XX, but you really shouldn't (not on XP). So, apart from that you might pick up something from the above, I can guarantee that the [email protected] at least can do everything which is needed, including 24/192 passthrough.

 

Peter

 

 

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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Peter,

 

Thanks for directing me to the [email protected] I have an odd question. I have a "low-profile" PC case which means I would need a right-angle riser card to use a full height PCI card. Since I will not be using the DAC portion of the [email protected] card, just the lower part with the optical output and brakeout cable connector, will the [email protected] card work with the top part disengaged entirely?

 

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