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Audio Interface comparison MR816CSX vs. Fireface 800 vs. Sapphire Pro 40

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by schellmann, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. schellmann

    schellmann Active Member

    Hi all
    I about to replace my old Delta 66 with a more decent and professional device. As mentioned in the thread Steinberg MR816CSX, RME Fireface 800 and Focusrite Sapphire Pro 40 are on my list but I am having a hard time to decide which one would suit me better. Besides sound of course, integration into Cubase 6 is something to consider as well as latency. I alomost made a fundamental decision to go for firewire devices, as my PCIe slots are either used (UAD) or unavailable (hidden by a larger graphics card).
    How would you guys decide, what questions would like to be answered for yourself before you make your descision, which card would you recommend?

    Any help is highly appreciated

    Thanks and greetings from a new member

  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Welcome Dirk!

    No experience with the Sapphire but RME and the FF800 go a long ways around here. I had two of them, loved them both and highly recommend them for your application. They are extremely stable and sound great. The UFX might be another option but for sure the FF800 get my vote.
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    How many tracks do you need at once?
  4. schellmann

    schellmann Active Member

    Since this is a project studio environment in an appartment building, I won't record live bands or such, so not more than 2 channels at a time. The projects themselves can go up to 32 channels.
    Currently I am only using software based mixers (Cubase). But I like some "headroom" for potential future expansion, that's why I favour 19" rack devices.
  5. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Of the three I would go for the RME as well. FF800 has the advantage to chain up to three together via firewire 800. The UFX cannot be daisy chained but expansion via ADAT is still sufficient for most smaller project or mobile studios and has some other advantages like direct to USB recording.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I have the Lavry AD10 and will be upgrading to their new AD11. Its USB and has two killer preamps and AD converters. They are pricey, less than a FF800 but sound quite a bit better. FF800 preamps are not very good. It may be an option for you.

    If you don't need more than 2 tracks at a time, and don't need to DA back, I'd look into those.
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    LOL. The FF800 preamps are usable until you know what the top end sound like! However, he would need a DA converter otherwise he wouldn't be able to mix. Gotta have the monitors going or even for headphones.
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    shoot, never thought about that. Yikes, glad I have the DA11's now! It has the headphone out . When I sold my last FF800 last week it never crossed my mind. Well, skip that being less in money Dirk! but you could get the DA11 and then you are rocking. But more $.
  9. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Very true. I use the Preamps in the FF800 as my channels 9 and 10 when I run more than 8 tracks. I typically only use them on spot mics - stuff that isn't critically important. They're very good and respectable pres, but they don't hold up to higher end pres.

    As to the OP, I'd strongly recommend the RME, even the FF400. It's a great sounding unit, stable as hell and works with any DAW. I commonly record with VERY low latency for overdubs and similar with no issues. If you're mixing 20+ tracks, of course, bump the latency up.

  10. delta6six

    delta6six Active Member

    Go for Mr816csx----super-!
  11. Montesa Audio

    Montesa Audio Active Member

    I use a couple of the Steinberg units (MR816CSX) in my studio. I have had these as the main recording system for a couple of years now. I love them. The pre-amps sound great and working with Cubase I can work so fast. I will post you a link to my studio web-site all the band examples on the music page have been recorded with these units and with no other pre-amps used.
    Intro - Montesa Recording studio

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