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RME FF800 and A&H ZED16R

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by djmukilteo, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Hey there:
    Just looking to discuss some opinions with RO members who have used either or both the RME FF800 and it's preamps and/or the A&H ZED16R preamps.

    Do you have a preference of one over the other?

    I'm also looking for experience/opinions from anyone who uses either of these units with other equipment (converters, preamps, tape, DI's etc.) and would like to know what sort of setup you have and your opinion on how it works for you...
  2. boxcar

    boxcar Active Member

    i can't comment on FF800 but i do have an onyx 1200F as well as the R16.
    the 1200/400F has been compared to the FF800/400, yamaha/steinburg series, and the likes on different forums(all these units are in the same price range)
    and i can say that the 1200F pre's are quite good, that's why im keeping it, but they seem thin to me compared to the R16 and the conversion on the 1200F is quite bright (some people prefer that).
    the R16 just keeps impressing me more the more i use it. the pre's/conversion/routing/e.q's and just the overall sound and how the tracks stack up.
    im usually pretty good at finding fault with every interface i ever had, there's usually at least one thing that i wish was different but with the R16, im at a loss.
    i have a radial JDI comming and can't wait to try that with the A/H pre's for bass but even my cheap rapco db 100 sound pretty good with the R16.
    the analog summing is what does it for me. i mix OTB with hardly any plugs(just outboard insert gear) and run my 2 track mix analog out to a tascam CDRW2000. no more digital audio mixdowns.
    Mike from A/H said to someone on GS "try the R16 pre's before you go spending a lot of money on boutique pre's".
    for me, i don't think i need better pre's anymore, i think i need to improve my playing and mixing/engeneering skills now.
    the only thing i might change is,i might buy the R24 in august and that will be the end of it..
  3. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Thanks boxcar....I have very similar feelings about my FF800 and the ZED and the preamps.
    I've heard the Mackie pres and they are quite good....like you said they can be bright but I think that's because they are so clean and transparent.
    The FF800 are not as bright as the Mackie and yet I think they also sound amazing and quite good. The FF800 to me seems to have a bit "smoother" sound and that's why I'm keeping it too! LOL
    The ZEDR16...well again just like you I love the sound I get when mixing and the "fat" sound it seems to give me. It is such a flexible mixer and interface!
    So....have you ever taken the 1200F outputs into the ZED or vice versa? Do you use both and have both units connected? If so how do you have them setup and what type of DAW do you use for recording?
  4. rick-slo

    rick-slo Active Member

    I have a Fireface 800 but have always used an external preamp (either Great River or NPNG). I also use an external AD converter (Mytek). So the way I use it the Fireface is essentially just a pass though channel router.
    Nevertheless the Digicheck audio analyzer you can use with RME products is a terrific thing to have available.
  5. boxcar

    boxcar Active Member

    i haven't conected the 1200 yet as i have all my equipment plugged into the R16 and still have two pre's left but i should try it soon just to see. they both have firewire and 16 ch. of adat so there's probably a few conection possibilities.i would need the 1200 for midi if i ever record midi insts. again. it has 2 midi in/out. and it also has s/pdif and aes/ebu wich the zed doesn't have.
    i'll have to check that out tomorrow,that would give me every option in the book.
  6. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Something I haven't tried with my setup is running any external preamps. I've only used the FF or ZED preamps.
    I have the ZED ADAT into the FF 16 channels and the FF autosync feature locks the two together nicely.
    I had thought about getting something like a UA Solo610, but not sure if that would give me any better sound than the FF or ZED. I've read good reviews about the GR stuff..
    So you're running the GR or NPNG into the Mytek and then digital into the FF or are you running analog using one of the mic pres (7/8/9/10) on the FF? Does that double convert your signal?

    I have my keyboard MIDI thru the FF as well. Running the ZED ADAT into your 1200F is definitely a possibility. I haven't been able to get the MIDI control features to work on the ZED that way though, so you might lose that functionality.
    One thing I'm also thinking about it using a second computer and then linking them together.
    I use Cubase 4.5.2 with my setup now, so that would give me an excuse to try that copy of SonarLE that came with the ZED.

    Thanks to both of you for different examples. This was the reason for the thread.
    Find other options for the two pieces of gear....and I think I should add the 1200F too!
  7. rick-slo

    rick-slo Active Member

    "So you're running the GR or NPNG into the Mytek and then digital into the FF?"

    Yes, this is what I am doing.

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