Creative's E-MU 1820 Goes Home Studio Pro


The PCI card contains the DSP E-MU E-DESP, which is one of the bases of the system. The core of this circuit is the result of collaboration between E-MU and Creative. The card has been dubbed the EMU10K2 and is already well-known for having been included in Creative Audigy cards. The version used by the E-MU cards is new, and runs in combination with a specific FGPA. The system operates on 24 bits with an internal 32 bit calculation using a 67 bit accumulator. E-MU also claims to use a clock system that is particularly effective. It consists of two quartz oscillators and ensures consistent and accurate functioning of the circuitry - the inputs and outputs as well as the DSP - at all clock frequencies (44/48/96/192 kHz).

As for the hardware, note that the PCI card contains numerous extension connectors, including those designed for connecting to other E-MU PCI cards. In order to operate, it needs to be powered from a ribbon cable (supplied) attached to an output on your PC.

The AudioDock naturally contains all the analog circuits and converters. Two main printed circuits share the functions, and an auxiliary circuit is used for some of the controls and indicators. The top rear printed circuit contains all the input circuits including the three analog/digital converters and the phono preamp. It also contains the output 3.5 mm jack connectors and is linked to the main circuit by connectors. The converters are the popular TI Bur-Brown PCM1804. The 24 bits Delta-Sigma operate up to 192 kHz and work in PCM and DSD.

On the main printed circuit, the back section is mainly occupied by outputs with four stereo digital/analog converters, which in this case is the Delta-Sigma Cirrus Logic CS4392, claimed to have a dynamic of 114 dB, with distortion at -100 dB. They accept both PCM and DSD. On the front left of the circuit, there are two TF Pro preamps followed by a PCM1804 converter. This means they are positioned very close to the source of the signal, as they should. All of this creates a really good impression.

Creative E-MU 1820
Interface PCI
Chipset E-MU DSP
Sample rate (max) 192 kHz
Bit Depth 24 bits
ASIO 24 bits / 192 kHz
MIDI / Game ports no
Rack 2x mic/line, 6 symmetrical lines, phono, MIDI
Card 1x ADAT/S/PDIF, 1x S/PDIF coaxial, 1x FireWire
Rack 8x mic/line, 8x asymmetrical lines, optical S/PDIF, MIDI
Card 1 ADAT/S/PDIF, 1 S/PDIF coaxial
Two interfaces, DIN standard sockets, IN and OUT
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