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Cakewalk UA-25EX Reviews
I\'m very pleased with my purchase of the Roland Cakewalk UA-25 EX USB audio interface. After researching which audio interface would work properly on my windows 7 64bit OS, I settled on the UA-25 EX. I\'ve had no problems setting it up, recording and playing back audio from various music programmes.
The build quality of the unit itself is very solid, all components, inputs/outputs, and knobs are of great quality too. For the price on Dolphins\' website you really can\'t go wrong if your looking for a basic audio interface with a good sample/bit rate.
The service I received from Dolphin music was also great, I highly recommend them to anyone looking to buy any audio equipment.
Thanks guys! :)
I originally purchased an Emu 0404 USB, but Dolphin Music called me and offered me the UA-25EX instead, because of stock issues. Since this essentially matches the 0404 in both price and features, I accepted, and have been using it a while now.
Apart from price and overall features, it\'s an extremely handy interface that does the job well and the audio quality is excellent for the price. Something like this is almost worth the money simply as a high quality sound card for laptops - my laptop\'s built in audio is, compared to this, appalling to the point of unlistenable, for a sound engineer.
The areas the UA-25EX differs from the 0404 are:
Power - the UA-25EX seems to get along OK with just USB power, even with two phantom powered microphones connected. The 0404 takes an external power supply. I don\'t know much about power - perhaps it\'s more reliable to use an external power connector - but I prefer the UA-25EX here, since it\'s just one less cable.
Interface - the Emu interfaces are very clear and simple to use, and I especially like the buttons and LEDs on top of the 0404. Everything on the UA-25EX is fitted in to the front and back panels only, and has a big technical diagram on top for some reason (how hard is it to work out where your audio goes in a USB interface? :P). It has no LEDs for phantom power or input level, just \'On\', direct monitor, and a built-in compressor. That\'s not much of a problem, but the phantom power one gets me. Phantom power is a tiny switch at the back which I always forget about. I\'ve left it on a few times after using mics, and been surprised by crackling noises when trying to plug in adapters to record a synthesiser. I\'m not a big fan of putting 48v round my synthesiser\'s output, so I really miss an LED for that. Emu definitely win here.
The UA-25EX also has a built in analogue comp/limit. This might be useful to you, but personally I just set my levels right and do that stuff later.
Software & drivers - I\'ve used both the Emu 0202 and UA-25EX on Windows 7 64-bit, and both have drivers available for that. The 0202 was particularly crap at dealing with my laptop waking up from sleep - I always had to fiddle around with unconnecting the USB and closing the Emu control panel to persuade it to start playing audio again. No issues with the UA-25EX there, but it does make a nasty pop when waking or starting up, and I wish it wouldn\'t do that. Why can\'t these guys get this stuff right? Anyways, UA-25EX wins here.
Build quality - the Emu always felt a little fragile. I actually broke an input on the 0202 when I dropped it from maybe two feet. I haven\'t done that with the UA-25EX, but in a very un-scientific way, it feels more solid and robust.
Connectors - Emu win for me for having a stereo mini jack output, which I find very handy in home use situations. But the UA-25EX has dual RCA (ie hifi connector). Take your pick, just remember to get adapters if you need them.
All in all I find it hard to declare an overall winner. Take your pick from the pros and cons. These things are perfect for laptops and making portable stereo recordings, but they all have little quirks, so the perfect audio interface remains to be invented!
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