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E-MU 0204 USB 2.0
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Average Customer Review:
( 28 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 found the following review helpful:
Amateur radio SDR inputJan 04, 2012
By Amazon Customer
I recently purchased this item as part of a SDR (software defined radio) installation in my ham shack. I have just started completing the installation of this and two other components. The only thing I have noticed so far is when the pc is restarted the Emu-0204 creates a huge buzz in my speaker system which I have to unplug the USB cable from the Emu-0204 and re-seat to stop. I have been listening to some music through the system and am very impressed with the sound quality vs on-board sound card.
The product, from my point of view, is as advertised and I would recommend this anyone else needing the high quality and sampling rate (192khz).
James Douglass ACØE
Garden City, Kansas
17 of 21 found the following review helpful:
Not the bargain it looks to be, unless you think BSOD is funSep 15, 2011
No digital ins/outs.
Outputs are unbalanced TS jacks, even though internally there is the circuitry for balanced outs. WTF?
The inputs are not a matched pair and produce slightly out-of-sync, out-of-phase low-end compared to prior Emu interfaces.
Headphone jack may be Class A circuitry, but is somewhat limited voltage (i.e. volume, common with Class A) and is inherently loaded to 22 ohms, which means your headphones need to be over 176 ohms to be driven well (22 ohms X 8 for proper electrical-mechanical damping). I'm still finding it sufficiently low to drive the 100 ohm ER4S pretty well. The 22 ohms is probably a necessity for the circuit design so that the headphone jack can perform as a line out nearly as well as the rear outs do. But this means it's really not suitable for headphones under 100 ohms, as they will come off sounding thinner, edgier, and not particularly dynamic as they should. The Fiio E7 does a much better job with those types of headphones. To be fair to Emu/Creative, the Fiio E7's headphone amp doesn't sound nearly as open or tuneful as the 0204's jack with the ER4S. Oddly, though I can't explain why, the Fiio's line-in actually sounds better to me run from the Emu headphone jack.
The big hang-up here is the ASIO playback in 24-bit has drop-outs, tics, and glitches in the included Mixcraft 4 LE and Winamp with the ASIO plug-in. What exactly is the point of ASIO if you must put the latency at max, and even then there are occasional problems? Bit-perfect is great, but a digital audio signal is not actually bit-perfect if there are split-second drop-outs... by definition.
How many people would buy this expecting ASIO perfection? And inferior recording performance over older models? And no digital or MIDI ins & outs?
Yes, the DAC does sound very nice on it, but it's based on prior Emu designs that did not have these problems. It just doesn't make sense to me.
By the way, I'm using Windows 7 64bit, not this Mac Lion OS people are complaining about. You have my condolences on your purchase. Emu's assimilation into Creative is complete, I guess. Based on my experience with the 1212m, I was very hopeful. The 0204 works "well enough" in non-ASIO modes, the DAC is excellent, the headphone jack does sound good with the right headphones, but it's otherwise a very sad state for the Emu line.
Perhaps if you have a very fast computer or one with no other processes running in the background you won't have problems? I guess that's not me, but my computer specifications are much higher than the minimum hardware on the box. Recommended only for hifi use with reservations, but for pro and live use the 0204 is not up to snuff with these drivers.
Edit: Creative did help me improve the 0204's ASIO performance slightly by suggesting I put it on a USB port that does not share IRQs with anything else and to also turn off all legacy USB 1 slots in Device Manager. I have one port on my laptop on the left side that allows that. The port on the right shares the DVD and the hard drives with it, so that's out of the question. I also increased RAM to 4GB and swapped my Celeron 900 CPU for a Core2Duo. The biggest improvement I got, though, was a random discovery of having the battery disconnected. Yes, you have to be AC-powered (obviously) to do this, but it drastically improved DPC latency. Still, you can't do ANYTHING else if you want it to be glitch free. You might even want to turn off your WIFI reception (that little key on my keyboard) to improve it even more. No internet. No outside applications. So it's still not quite ready for live use, but it's getting a little better at least for 20ms latency settings. I have no problems with 4 other interfaces, though, at 5-10ms latency. So it's clearly a driver issue.
And I misspoke previously, Kernel and WASAPI theoretically provide identical performance in both bit-perfect-ness, latency, and asynchronous anti-jitter characteristics compared to ASIO. It's just that ASIO has the widest support with pro apps and is usually the most stable. I don't see a whole lot of stability difference between the three on applications that support them.
Edit again: Turn off all visual themes, desktop composition, and app 2D resizing for whatever program you're using with ASIO in Windows 7. You may want to create a new Windows user profile from scratch and set the entire OS for performance. These have been the biggest stability improvements yet. I still am stuck using a rather laggy 30ms latency and making sure everything I'm using is streaming from the internal hybrid hard drive (rather than an external USB one), but it's becoming useable within limitations. Apparently the newer Emu drivers (unlike the old 1212m ones) are a sort of "wrapper", not a true ASIO driver. That might explain some of these issues that I didn't have with other ASIO on the same laptop... and the reason the 0204 often doesn't seem to be using exclusive mode. Also, don't expect it to play well with other sound cards.
4 of 4 found the following review helpful:
WorksApr 09, 2013
I am using this for ameature radio SDR with KX3. it seems to work fine and has a low noise floor.
3 of 3 found the following review helpful:
Mac OSX Lion is finally supported!!Aug 12, 2011
I have to change my review of this product, I was criticising it for having no OSX Lion driver but now one has finally become available, albeit after 3 months of waiting.
The unit is actually very good, lightweight, portable and great sound quality if hooked up to a decent pair of monitors. You can use it for live sets, music production or DJ'ing on your PC or laptop. So far apart from the driver issue I am very happy with it.
On the negative the E-MU / Creative Pro customer support is really terrible. Its probably not directly their fault but they gave no information regarding a new OSX driver when asked, no date and no indication one was even being developed - just an extremely generic unhelpful answer that didn't really say anything. I nearly replaced mine from another brand (though only a few months old) so I am glad I waited. I suggest they work on their PR a bit and reassure their customers next time a new driver is at least in the pipeline.
3 of 3 found the following review helpful:
Great for SDR useMay 27, 2013
By Robert Begg
Chose this product due to the sampling rate of 192khz for SDR use. It works very well for this use.
Also wanted an external sound card so fits this as well.
See all 28 customer reviews on Amazon.com