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started on January 26 st ,2011
I consider as the best method to play Hi-resolution audio tracks a PC
connected to an USB Sound Card.
After many time lost to search a good USB to I2S module I became convinced that the EMU 0404 USB modified is a valid solution and it is totally needless create another project.
The EMU 0404 USB delivers an unparalleled level of audio performance to your Mac or PC with premium 24-bit/192kHz A/D and D/A converters.
It use the AKM DAC AK4396 considered one of the best DAC in the world like the CS4387, CS4398, AD1955, AD1853, PCM1794, PCM1794.
The sound quality of the EMU 0404 USB is compromised by two elements: the external switching power supply and the op-amp analog output stage powered by a negative switching power supply.
If we change the external power supply with a linear type using a LT1086 regulator and we get the output directly from the DAC chip both the negative elements has been eliminated.
The low latency USB 2.0 drivers offer accurate playback and the ultra-low jitter clock subsystem: < 500ps RMS in PLL mode.
Another benefit to use the EMU 0404 USB towards to any other sound cards is the possibility to have a good ADC with 2 levels input to rip vinyl using an external phono preamplifier or to connected a microphone for measurements.
The Phantom power of microphone inputs can be used with measurement microphone like the Behringer ECM8000.
The cost of EMU 0404 USB and Behringer ECM8000 is very low if compared to professional audio measurement system like the Clio system but the result is very good for DIY (see some info about this on diyaudio forum).
The ARTA software is the best free collection of programs for audio measurements and analysis in acoustical and communication systems.
In this article I will show another use of the EMU 0404 USB: the Digital Room Correction.
For Windows users download these software:
Extract with 7-ZIP program all the .zip, .gz and .tar
Open Windows command line with this method
Set the volume of your amplifier at 1/4 and the input level on EMU 0404 to 55dB to see the first green led of input vu-meter.
The first time is necessary copy all the configuration files in the current directory
Start the elaboration for each channel
Join the files of the two channels
Add the convolver module to Foobar2000 player
thank you to the guide published on Italian forum.