Greetings all. I'm new here. I was on this board quite a while back and took a hiatus for a long time, but I've gotten into recording again. Anyway, so I was looking to upgrade my small home studio to 24 I/O's, so I can make a go at running a small profesional recording facility because I really need the spare money. I looked at all the high priced options... and thats totally out of my budget. No Lavry's, Prisms, Myteks, Genec, or even Apogees for me. So I'm kind of looking more towards the midrange. Looking for equipment that I can run a semi professional studio with, that wont basically cause a potential client to laugh his ass of when he sees the equipment. Kind like saying, yeah come down to my studio, I have an awesome Behringer mixing console. I'm an electrical engineer, so I know how to read specs quite well... but it seems that a lot of time, peoples opinions on A/D/A's don't correlate at all with the specs. Some of the best supposed ADAs have pretty average specs... and some of the midrange ADA's have great specs. This kind of confuses me a tad. As an electrical engineer, I understand that specs do not necessarily correlate with human hearing perception... still its confusing to an extent. Its kind of like comparing the HD24XR versus the Radar Nyquist. They both have almost identical specifications (I think they might even use the same ADA, not sure)... and even though people seem to give the HD24XR the due credit that it deserves for the price... despite the nearly equal specs, the Radar is considered so much better. Why don't the specs make for a good evaluation of a units potential sound quality? Anyway, so I was looking at MUTU HD192 and the MOTU 24I/O... leaning towards the HD192 as I was thinking its 192 sampling rate would be better for a mid range studio. The specs on the HD192 seemed to be virtually equal to that of the Apogee Rosetta AD/16-X and DA/16X... as it has 120dB of Dynamic range, and an excellent distortion figure rivaling that of the Apogee...... So... I do a bit more research.... and I find that hating, or at least mildly disdaining MOTU is a sport among gear enthusiasts.. I kind of new this for many years.... but before I went and plopped down money on this piece of gear, I wanted to check all the usual forums for opinions... and sure enough.... disliking Motu seems to be only slightly less of a sport than picking on Behringer. My question. Why? Why can MOTU's specs be so good, rivaling that of some of the better units, but yet be considered such a medicore sounding piece of equipment? I am aware that MOTU has always had driver issues for many people... but thats not the subject of my question... and its a problem unique to all units... thats just the nature of computer based recording. I'm more interested why people find the sound so mediocre. I trust peoples judgement, but sometimes I think that theres a whole lot of unfounded gear snobbery going on... that people just dismiss midrange units without really giving it a fair shake. Anyway.... Now that MOTU seems to be such a laughing stock among so many people, I kind of decided its a bad business decision to put that in my studio... which is a shame... because it seemed like a good unit... and I'm going to have to go with something else. Over at Gearslutz, a lot of people have been touting the AudioFire 12 by a company called Echo, as the cats meow. Not a well known or distributed brand.... but a lot of people over there seem to think its the best mid ranged converter on the market (price per channel), and consider it a definate step above MOTU. It looks like a nice unit, and in facts its cheap as hell (half the price of MOTU)... some people at Gearslutz swear its the "best kept secret" in the A/D/A midrange market..... but after looking at the units specs... I am once again confused at why specs don't correlate to sound. The distortion on the unit is a bit higher than the MOTU (though still good), and the Dynamic Range is only 113/114dB (A-weighted) versus 120dB (A-weighted) for the MOTU HD192.... so I'm confused.