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Anyone compare the Lynx Aroura 16 to Echo AudioFire 12?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by glitchless, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. glitchless

    glitchless Active Member

    The prices are spectacularly different, but what about the quality. I'm sure the Lynx is great, but I've only heard one comment about the Echo which was very complimentary.
    Anyone out who has used both?
  2. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hi Paul -

    I'm not sure how much I can help here since I don't have exact experiences - but here's my experience and what I know:

    I owned an Aurora 8 for a long time and loved it. I only got rid of it for an RME Fireface as an effort to keep my rig even smaller than it was and because the mixer on the Fireface smokes the Lynx. However, the sound of the Lynx, IMO, was beyond reproach.

    I also owned a Mackie 800R which uses the same AKM chip and a similar path (since Mackie and Echo have collaborated on some of these projects). The Mackie conversion sounded phenomenal especially given its price point. Did it get to the level of the Lynx? Not quite. However, it was almost there. I never hesitated to use the two units side by side.

    I can also tell you that I've dealt with Echo for a while for other products of theirs and always been pleased with their service and support.

    As for Lynx's service and support - they might be some of the best in the biz. Last year at this time, I put in the LT-ADAT card and went to use the device for the first time while in the field. Well, I didn't configure it correctly and I had 30 minutes to get it straightened out.

    The only internet connection I had was on my phone (Palm 700W). I called Lynx - they sent the necessary files to my phone and then called me back when I could take the memory stick out of my phone, load it into my Audio PC (on location) and walked me through the update and configuration.

    It took 29:30 so I had 30 seconds to spare.

    I don't know of too many other companies that would go through this much trouble for a single user that owns only a single product.

  3. glitchless

    glitchless Active Member

    Thanks Jeremy,
    This is very helpful How would you describe what if anything is missing from the Echo sound?
  4. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    It wasn't quite as open as the Lynx. It was a minute difference and maybe totally related to the Mackie device versus the Echo.

    I can tell you, I used (and still do) an Echo Mia for a VERY long time and the sound that this little inexpensive card gets is beyond anything that it should.

    I wish they would start making a standalone unit or something that would convert Analog to lightpipe. I'd buy 2.
  5. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    thats like asking to compare a lincoln to a ford focus

  6. glitchless

    glitchless Active Member

    As I hate all ford products and always have it is a bad comparison, but I get your point.
    As It turns out I was leaning toward the Audiofire and finally after years of looking made some sense of the RME fireface 800 and realized it was closer in quality to the lynx could record 10 distinct analog channels at once and offered 4 extra pres plus other digital i/o options. At less than half the price of the Lynx and as 10 channels is about the max I do at once this is the right product.
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Well, if it was up to the RME versus the others....

    I own a Fireface800 and friggin love it.

    Bear in mind, you don't get 4 preamps plus the other 8 inputs or 10 inputs...
    You get 2 preamps and 8 lines or 4 preamps and 6 lines or 2 preamps, 6 discrete lines and 2 channels where both the line input and the preamp are recorded to the same channel.

    BTW - it sounds friggin fantastic.
  8. glitchless

    glitchless Active Member

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, I did figure out the pre setup and as I have 12 boutique pres I may never use them unless they have a particularly interesting or useful sound.
    They could be hand for a mobile recording.
    How do the pres sound ?
  9. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    another vote for RME. perfect in the middle (toward higer end) answer.

    however the lynx is still a better AD/DA

  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member


    I take a little issue with the rather unqualified answers.

    To simply dismiss the Echo for example...on what grounds. Have you owned, used or experimented with it?

    Your comment regarding the Lynx versus the RME is about as useless as any I've ever seen.

    What makes a converter a "better" AD/DA?

    I've owned and used extensively both the RME and the Lynx side by side (along with the Mackie 800R - which uses similar analog components and the same AKM chip as the Echo) and none of them were dramatically different from one to another. In fact, I'm finding that the RME, if anything, has the edge over all of them, but only by a little. The Lynx has a very extended top end but is a tad lean on the bottom. The RME has none of the leanness but also doesn't extend quite as much as the Lynx. However, the Lynx showed the potential of brightness due to these characteristics where the RME does not.
  11. glitchless

    glitchless Active Member

    The discussion will undoubtedly continue which is fine, but I did make a choice and ordered the RME as well as my new computer setup so for me it's all moot unless I need to add more converters which is unlikely.
    Thank you all for contributing, I also read extensively on other sites for reviews etc...
    Since I won't ever hear them in the same room recording the same material I had to go with a combination of head, gut, and bank account.
  12. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Besides the ears and a wife, those are always good places to come up with such major decisions.
  13. glitchless

    glitchless Active Member

    The wife is funding this and trusts me to research it well.
    Lucky Me!!!!
  14. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    1) i am talking about the Aurora AD/DA with the Lynx AES card (or RME AES) the AES does not do AD/DA
    vs the RME FF 800

    if you think the FF 800 compares to the Aurora well that tells me alot about your ears.

    and i have near every audio interface (at least that counts) here in the store to compare side by side.

    now if you are talking about the Lynx 2 vs RME ff thats another story.

  15. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    That makes perfect sense - I'm used to people who have no f*cking clue resorting to insults and biased negativity without supporting facts or evidence. Thanks for not disappointing.
  16. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    No, I know exactly what you're talking about. I owned the Lynx Aurora 8 and AES 16 card for years. (One of the first adopters of their Aurora 8 - AES 16 owner since shortly after they introduced as well).

    Their sound was great. Their interface (digital mixing) was clunky at best.

    I find it interesting that you are comfortable putting up some of your products (whom I assume you are a licensed dealer) on a pedastal while others, you seem to berate. How do they feel about this coming from one of their dealers?
  17. anonymous

    anonymous Guests


    i have always highly recommended RME and Lynx.
    and Motu now as well.

    and yes the lynx mixer sucks compared to total mix or cue mix.
    never mind adding 2 or more LYnx cards in the same box not it gets really odd.

    as far as "berating"

    i have always spoke my mind and what i feel to be the truth
    just because i sell Echo (notice i dont have alot of their newer FW items up on my site)
    does not mean i like them. (they are there mostly for people who use a software called SFX)

    ther are other i sell that sound decent but are not low latency.

    then thier are others i have removed like Emu and Edirol as i just plain wont sell them anymore.

    in other words i dont play the politics game at all.
    i shoot straight.

    FYI i am the 3rd largest RME dealer in the US.
    that does not stop me from saying the AD/DA on the Aurora is better than the FF 800.

    given the choice considering price, routing, total mix total i/o and portablity and expandability the FF 800 is untouchable.

    i sell alot more RME than i do Lynx
    and in fact i prefer the RME AES with the LYnx Aurora when there is mulitple AES units due to the whole total mix thing.

    at least you know i am not about sles pitch bullcrap!
  18. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    But that won't stop me from calling BS.

    What makes one converter "better" than another?
    What basis are you using for making this statement?

    This isn't the first time you've been called on the line on this and other forums (Gearslutz for one) for making baseless statements like this.

    If you could show me anything to back this statement up, I'll shut up.

    Is the RME different than the Lynx and vice versa? Yes.

    Is one inherently better? That's a Subjective statement and has no basis in truth.

    FWIW -
    I did a null test on signals recorded by both the Lynx and the RME. I used the same 2-channel analog signal (in this case, a reference CD - "The Film Music of Jerry Goldsmith" by Telarc and the CPO) through a Neutrik patchbay with the signal split - 2 channels going to analog 1 and 2 of the Lynx and 2 channels going to analog 1 and 2 of the RME. The Lynx unit fed its signal through the LT-ADAT port into the ADAT input of the RME (which does not affect the incoming ADAT signal). Synchro-lock was disabled on the Lynx.

    The two signals were virtually identical and nulled nearly completely leaving barely any audible trace whatsoever. Most was extremely High Frequency on only picked up on meters, not audibly and a tiny little bit of LF difference (so little, also only picked up by meters.)

    I hardly think this makes such a noticable difference as to be able to declare one the reigning champ.

    My whole point is -
    subjective statements like this are useless and do not help anyone. It's the equivalent of stating that one mic pre is inherently better than another.
  19. dterry

    dterry Active Member

    Well, you guys might want to quantify what you mean by "difference". For some 5% implies everything, and for others, it's still just 5%. lol

    I had the opportunity to hear the best of the best ADDAs side by side in a controlled shootout with some high end engineers a few years ago (hence no Fireface, or Aurora there) and the difference between RME's ADI series and Mytek, Cranesong, DCS, Apogee's high end at the time, etc was noticeable, but not as much as Scott seems to be implying, unless he doesn't think much of Lincolns (Lincoln as a high end car reference - really? lol Guess I'm not a Lincoln fan by any stretch....).

    I haven't heard the Aurora yet, so I can't quantify this, but to imply the difference between the Fireface and Aurora is huge would be misleading unless the Aurora somehow sounds 10x better than a DCS or Cranesong (my favorite at the shootout - not as clinical as the Mytek, but also so very slightly behind the DCS and Prism for image and top end). The difference between good interfaces (Fireface, ADI, etc) and the $2-$3k high end (Apogee, Mytek, probably Aurora as well) is slight - about 3-5% imo - mostly top end clarity and smooth response right up to the edge of the frequency response - subjective very slight clarity in mids and bass, and imaging. The difference from RME to $10k converters is more, but still not more than 10%, depending on how you quantify "clarity" and smoothness of frequency response, and given that the last 10% can be quite a lot in engineering accuracy terms.

    I would probably side with Jeremy's assessment more than yours Scott (no offense) since comments like "not quite as open" are closer to what I heard personally, and a roomful of high end engineers were saying as well (yes, it was nice to know I was hearing at that level - I wouldn't have assumed so otherwise).

    No, the Fireface isn't going to sound like it cost $3k, and it doesn't, but it's a very good interface/converter.
  20. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    well now we are getting somewhere.

    subjective is the keyword.

    some poeple think the M-Audio BX5's sound good

    i will be the first to say my ears suck (way too many concerts and loud rock and roll as a kid)

    and again i never said the RME unit sucked i sell a boatload of them and recommend them over anything else EXCEPT the Aurora.

    i was however negative about the Echo so lets get that part straight.

    the OPs question was Echo or Aurora.
    i stand behind my original statement
    Caddy vs pinto or what ever i said.

    i did not say this about RME vs Aurora.

    and i dont give a rat's butt where or by who i get called on.

    i have my opinions and you have yours. as you said subjective.

    i made a statement answering the OPs question
    then followed it by saying another vote for RME.
    particularly in the "affordable" range
    so back the hell off.

    i have however yet to see someone claim the RME was as good as the aurora. well until now that is.


    yes i agree 100% with high end gear you pay 100% more for 5% improvement.
    for most people its not worth it (unless a Pro)
    and even alot of those guys have only 8-16 "quality" i/o

    my comments can be made due to the fact i have all these interfaces here, have played with and listened to all of them.
    thru numerous studio monitors and various types of music.

    (i do not have anything high end past Aurora or Apogee here)
    and have only heard a few of the higher end (mytec)


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