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Best option for usb interface up to $250?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by EddieP, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. EddieP

    EddieP Guest

    Hi there!
    I`m changing my home studio gear right now and im looking for the best option for a usb interface up to $250. I`m planning on getting a PreSonus Tubepre Single-Channel Vacuum Tube Mic Pre and i was told the Apogee one is good option running on a Mac book pro.
    What would you guys suggest? Should i go for the Apogee one or is there a better option considering im also getting a preamp and the built in microphone in one wont be used?
    Thanks.
     
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    All you really need is line level inputs but unless you go to the high end gear you aren't going to find one that doesn't have mic preamps also. Additionally very few of those are USB. Go with the Apogee. I don't know much that I would even consider as decent below $250. Remy like the M-Audio Transit but I don't think it's available any more-perhaps it's getting a facelift and 64 bit drivers.
     
  3. EddieP

    EddieP Guest

    I heard apogee is really good on the digital convertion. What about the preamp and microphone? Right now i got a SM57, which i intend to keep, and a behringer B2, which i wanna swap for something else. Any sugestions?
     
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The Apogee preamp is going to be just fine for you. I would really learn mic positioning and gain staging with the SM57 and the B2 you already have. The Shure SM57 is one of the best microphones on the market. Not in it's price class, but most useful period. The B2 is not that bad for a chinese condenser if you have one that works.

    When I first got in to sound I had Neumann's, AKG's, and some other high end mic's at my studio but in my personal collection there were sM57/58's, and a bunch of MXL stuff. It's what I could afford. I gained more and quickly from wrenching the best sound I could get from the MXL stuff than if I had chased gear. Now I purchase much higher end microphones but I only do it one pair at a time and I use the snot out of them until I really learn them beyond any shadow of a doubt. Changes in sound quality based solely upon the position and height of the mic to the source are just mind boggling.
     
  5. EddieP

    EddieP Guest

    Right... The apogee im talking about is a interface. The Apogee One. Id be getting a tube preamp too...
     
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The Apogee One is a microphone preamp/interface combo. It also is not designed for line level output of an external preamp. Can you use it with an external pre? Yes, but you will likely need a Whirlwind IMP 20dB pad to go between your external pre and the Apogee One.
     
  7. jmm22

    jmm22 Guest

    I just bought a Saffire USB 6 ($240 CDN) and really like it. The only minor complaint is the unbalanced output levels could be hotter. Otherwise, it is dead quiet, very simple to use, and ultra reliable. It replaced a disastrous Presonus Firebox. The Firebox was my first interface, and so I had no idea what constituted a good or even adequate interface, but had I known how bad the Firebox was, I would not have accepted it for even a day. It is also worth mentioning that Focusrite has very good customer support. I reached a live human being there on the first attempt on at least three occasions now, which is way beyond mere chance. From my experience, I dare say Presonus customer support is much like their Firebox.
     
  8. EddieP

    EddieP Guest

    Right. I`m a bit confused now. Since i do want to get a preamp, the apogee one will probably not be the best option hun?! Its preamp is not tubed and i doubt its gonna sound better the a tubed one. What do you reckon?
     
  9. EddieP

    EddieP Guest

    I just had a look on ebay and the Whirlwind IMP 20dB is quite cheap.
     
  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I reckon you're obsessed with the word "tube". Using a tube mic will have more effect than having a tube in your preamp. However, there is nothing wrong with the Apogee. Get the $20 Imp and get to recording. If you stick with it you'll get better preamps and mics and interface anyway.
     
  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    As a follow up, why do you think a tube preamp is better? It doesn't pan out in reality. There are good preamps and bad preamps and mediocre preamps. Each category has examples of all types of designs-tube, class A, opto, etc. When it comes to tube gear, until you are ready to spend major cash you are stuck in the bottom end or the mediocre. There is a reason DW Fearn, Summit, Drawmer et alia charge what they do and only a little part of it is elitism. I would say the preamp on the Apogee will kick the but of the particular Presonus unit you quoted as wanting to buy. Every day of the week.
     
  12. EddieP

    EddieP Guest

    You`re right on that one. As an electric guitar player I am obsessed with tubes. Thanks for the help Jack!
     

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