Here's my situation: I'm currently using an Aardvark (RIP) Q10 and Nuendo 2 and would like to upgrade to something with far better converters. In short, the Q10 converters are cloudy, indistinct, foggy, mush in the low end, uh...unclear..I can't think of anymore descriptors. It's frustrating. The Q10 has treated me well for almost two years now and the I/O is great, but the converters are clearly not very good. That's problem with most all-in-one interfaces - it's going to sacrifice something to meet a certain pricepoint. I have good mics, a decent room, a great computer, good monitors, a few years of experience, and soon to be great preamps. My needs: I need 16 inputs and probably only a pair of stereo outs. I'm not sure what advantage more outputs would give me because I can split the stereo out to my Presonus headphone amp and my monitor selector switch (flips between NS-10s and Mackie HR824s.) Most of our recording is done at 24/48, but I'd strongly prefer a max of 96k for "mastering" situations. Budget should stay under $1500. What I've been thinking about: Two LynxTWO C cards. I know that's only 12 analog inputs, but damn...that's still a lot of money for 12 ins. I could afford these if I whore myself out to 2000 fat chicks for a dollar a piece...or two -really- fat chicks for $1000 a piece. RME - Probably the way I'll end up going for high quality converters, but I'm VERY confused about how to set up an RME system. Any suggestions? It sounded like I'd need one HDSP 9652 card and two of the AEB8i expansion cards. That's 16 inputs and very good converters (i think,) but the AEB cards max at 48kHz and I have no idea what to do about outputs for monitoring. I've read over their products many times and still don't quite understand it. The Fireface 800 sounds cool (really wish this was available when I got the Q10,) but since it's an all-in-one I'm not sure what they skimped on and how expandable the unit is. Ayudame, por favor. Any other options I'm overlooking? Questions: With a LynxTWO system, can the XLR outputs of my mic preamps be plugged directly into the XLR inputs of the Lynx breakout cable? Is that the A/D? This is kind of a non-issure since there doesn't seem to be any way for me to afford enough of the Lynx cards. Still curious. Can I use the HDSP 9852 card at the same time as the Q10? This actually would be the best way to go at this point, if it's even possible. Nuendo 2 seems like it could handle it, but I don't know what hardware conflictions would arise.