New interfaces - what should I get?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Sesshi, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #1
    I've been using the Fireface 800 for pretty much every PC / Mac I've been using for entertainment (in the case of my gaming machines, in conjunction with a gaming soundcard), with a few exceptions. But the Fireface product is a good few years old now and I was wondering if there was an interface that raised the game.

    I've bought two Pros which will replace an MBP and an iMac, and the idea is that the Pros will take a more permanent place in my workroom - which means they will have soundcards attached. I thought the new machines was a good excuse to try out a new one than just go and buy another two Firefaces.

    New card specs I'd want are:
    - Cross-platform, Vista 32/64-bit compatible, Tiger/Leopard compatible.
    - USB or Firewire (400 or 800, not bus powered) interface.
    - I'd like it to be a lot smaller if possible, if possible no bigger than the Fireface 400. It doesn't have to be 1U height though... 2U (or a non-rackmount size altogether as long as it's not more than the equivalent of 2U) is OK.
    - I need it to have at least two pairs of un/balanced outputs. At least one pair of un/balanced line+mic inputs with phantom power.
    - SPDIF in/out both optical and RCA, word clock in and out.
    - Should be able to output at least 4 channels of 32/192 audio simultaneously to balanced outputs.
    - The audio core performance should exceed the Fireface.

    Any recommendations?
     
  2. gvdv macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    #2
    Totally out of my league.

    I had been considering the Fireface 400, then the 800 as my ideal. Anything else would have me scratching my head. Then, due to financial deprivation, I went with a Firestudio.

    Please post what you eventually choose, though.

    Thanks,
     
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
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    Location:
    toronto
    #3
    for the next tier would include companies like apogee, metric halo, RME, lynx and benchmark. i'm sure i'm forgetting some, but see if any of those companies have something to fit your bill.
     
  4. mediaguru macrumors regular

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    The middle of BentFork, TN
    #4
    I've read some about MOTU's new 828mk3. It's less expensive than the RME, but has some attractive specs.
     
  5. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #5
    It also has a very attractive mixer...

    ... damn, my superficial Apple side is showing again :p

    It doesn't seem any worse on paper. Apparently the converters are the same as RME's, but of course there's no knowing what the rest of the electronics around the audio core are like.

    Although a change for the sake of it provided I'm not giving anything up would be good I guess, I'm looking for something generally acknowledged to be better - the Firefaces are working well, and the only real reason to switch would be for superior A/D into the computer + D/A out of it.

    I have looked at the usual suspects but I'm not seeing anything compelling. Hopefully someone has the insight to offer recommendations.
     
  6. fernmeister macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2007
    #6
    If you want better A/D D/A conversion then check out the Apogee Ensemble.
     
  7. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #7
    Apart from the fact that it seems to be Mac only, it doesn't looks as though it gives 32-bit/192K?
     
  8. fernmeister macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    #8
    OK, so the Apogee Ensemble is Mac-only.

    However, it gives you 24bit/192. The RME Fireface gives you 24bit/192.

    Another option if you want a high end interface that *will* do cross platform is the PrismSound Orpheus. That said, it also gives you 24bit/192.
     
  9. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #9
    Thanks. That looks like a possible candidate.
     
  10. Sesshi thread starter macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #10
    Right - one Orpheus on back order, holding off on the other one until I've had a chance to compare. Thanks for the suggestions.
     

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