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Old RME fireface 800 used, is it worth it ?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by pcrecord, May 19, 2015.

  1. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Hi guys !

    Like some already know I have some troubles with my interface and I'm checking to change it
    I was to wait for the new presonus studio 192 but I just saw an add for a FF800 at 1k, seems to be clean.

    IS the 800 worth it even after all those years or should I go for the presonus.. ?
  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    OR wait a few years for a antelope zen studio I crave for ;)
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    If you are talking USD, 1000 is quite a lot for a well-used FF800. That's not to say you should turn away before you consider it, though. What specs do you need? The older FF800s have only 4 mic pre-amps, plus 8 line inputs avoiding the pre-amps, two of which share the same Firewire channel as the pre-amps (so 10 individual inputs in total). There are 8 analog outputs plus a stereo headphone out. The conversion quality both in and out is amongst the best in its price range.

    However, the FF800's real glory comes in its internal software patch panel, where you can route and mix any combination of inputs (either external or from the Firewire).
  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    The ff800s have been in that price range forever! I think buying into something that age at this point doesn't make a lot of sense as an investment.

    You could always get some more isas with the conversion card. Are you looking to make an upgrade, or just replace what's acting up?
  5. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I actually have the UA 4-710 that has 8 channel ADAT on which I send 4 ISA preamps I have and I drive it at 96khz, so I need 2 adat input for this.
    With this I use spdif rca for my AD96 on which I send my 2 LA610. At this point everything is included with the fireface 800
    Of course I'd like to have more preamps included than the 8 of the 4 included in the FF800 but with the line input, I could add more boutique preamps later on.. For now it gives me 10 high end preamps and the 8 of the interface I have.

    I really don't know if the Presonus 192 (that is not out yet) will permit a line in to converter without passing through the preamps.. But I doubt it, since they are all mic/line inputs...

    In a sens I think I can live with the setback of having minous 4 preamps that I have now, knowing that I can buy more/better later.

    The thing is I don't have 3k to spend and I doubt I'm gonna have it for a while and my actual interface (focusrite saffire 56) is deffective (4 preamps come and go.... So I'd like to change it soon.

    Now if anyone is to say that the preamps or converters of the 800 are bad and I should chose a younger unit.. It would help my decision.
    Also, I love Rme Totalmix.. who is to say that I would not buy a 802 in a few years to coupled with the 800 ;)
    Patrick Higgs likes this.
  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Looks like apogee ensembles can be had pretty cheap $600. Probably the closest to the ff in quality. Likely a step up from the Saffire, or the presonus. The onboard pres worked very well on an 80s style electric guitar. I was like 'whoa nice guitar sound' and the boss said 'yeah that's the ensemble pres, I needed an extra, and it sounds better than any of the others we tried, so we kept it'

    I don't have a ton of experience with the pres, so I can't speak on versatility, but I think that distorted electric guitars are a good test in general anyway. They are complex harmonically, and on lesser units, get nasal and scratchy, especially in those notorious upper mids. The the pre/conversion is smooth them, it's a good sign IMHO.
  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Aren't the apogee ensembles mac only ? I use a pc :unsure:

    BTW, 1k is in CAD, this is equivalent of 820USD
  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Seems to me that the FF800 would fit into your system pretty well, Marco. As you say, you would not be stuck with the pre-amps, as you have many others with ADAT, S/PDIF and line-level outputs and the FF800 is almost the ideal way of getting them into the computer. Added to which, if the currency is CAD and not USD, it's looking increasingly like a bargain.
    pcrecord likes this.
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    True. I forget these kind of technicalities still exist. Don't think your gonna do much better than the ff in your case.
    pcrecord likes this.
  10. thatjeffguy

    thatjeffguy Active Member

    PC ... I have a FF800 that I'm needing to sell for much less than $1k. PM me for info.
    audiokid and kmetal like this.
  11. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Hey guys, I just saw a brand new Fireface UFX for 1210$CAD + taxes canadian so 1130$USD.
    How better is it.. I'm about to go for the 800 of Jeff and I don't want to be missing out on better converters/preamps..

    Tx again Guys !
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    $820 for a used 800 is not out of line. RME box's hold their value for a long time.

    the UFX is a cool box. it does AES/EBU, Firewire, USB, spdif and ADAT. USB can be stored via a thumb drive port on the front panel making the UFX a stand alone recorder. RME has a cool remote for the UFX that functions as a controller and monitor station.

    i've been researching converters for the same reason and imo the RME line offers the best quality/affordability of any products on the market ... great conversion, quality pre amps and unsurpassed connect-ability. a dream system for me at this point would be a UFX 800 for multi track capture and and a UCX for 2 track mix capture.
  13. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yep, if you can stretch to a UFX, it's worth it for the extra functionality. The 8 line inputs are fully separate from the 4 XLR inputs, and you get the USB master slot on the front panel that Kurt mentioned for local attached storage.

    The UFX pre-amps are meant to be even better than those in the FF400/800 models, but I didn't hear any certain difference on a quick listen.
  14. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I did my order for the UFX, it's kind of too good to be true.. It was clearly a mistake on the price. the lowest I found was sweetwater at 2299USD
    I might end up calling back jeff if they cancel my order.. but I hope they will respect it ! :)
  15. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Oh and they didn't charge me all the Quebec taxes.. lol !!!
  16. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Some news !
    I received an email from the seller, he claims he's out of stock and don't have an ETA and proposed that I cancel my order
    I'm pretty sure he realised the price mistake and try to avoid loosing money

    Do any one of you ever dealed with a problem like that through Amazon ?
    I replied that I suspected the price mistake was the reason for not shipping, but should I write to amazon directly about it ?

    BTW it was showing in stock when I bought it..
  17. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    i would wait it out for a bit.
    pcrecord likes this.
  18. Patrick Higgs

    Patrick Higgs Active Member

    The Persons 192 has two ADAT inputs that you could run your UA 4-710 (ISAs) into. There are 6 line inputs on the rear of the unit too, which don't go through the mic pre's. From my previous experience with Persons interfaces, they aren't great in terms of AD/DA conversion quality. I have found that the RME fierce 800 has a more full sound to it. But then again I am comparing the £400 Persons Audiobox interface that I had to an RME FF800 which cost over £1000 at its time of release. Maybe not a fair comparison.
  19. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    If I get screwed with my RME UFX order and Jeff has already sold his FF800, I'll have to re-evaluate every options, including the presonus. I heard great recording done with a presonus from Donny. I'm not affraid of trying their products.
    But when spending around 1k or more, I'll take time to make a good choice that I won't regret. My interface (Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56) isn't a bad interface, I just got a bad unit that was in demo for too much time in the store. If I knew I would have let go of the 100$ saving and get a brand new.

    In a sens, since I'm changing, I'll try to get something even better than the saffire 56.. (I'm still praying for they to ship me one)
    Once I have a replacement, I might send it to focusrite so the can evaluate a rebuilt and resell it.. don't know yet ;)
  20. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    so the PreSonus has worse conversion than RME and those abysmal pre amps? what's to like?
    FleaBlay has 800's for about $750 and up .... and the 800 has ADAT inz an'outz too. i would hold out for an RME. otherwise you will just be looking to upgrade later.
    kmetal and pcrecord like this.

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