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EMU 1616 or 1616M?

Hi all!

I'm in the process of upgrading my home studio and I've decided (more or less) to go with EMU's new 1616 PCI card. Now, I'm basically considering if I should go for the plain 1616 or if it's worth putting in the extra cash for the M version. I know, the pres are supposed to be quite a lot better on the M version, but I'm not sure if it will make such a big difference to me. I haven't got a proper studio or anything, just recording out of my home office, so would the mastering grade pres actually make such a big difference in my particular context? Is it worth the money for what's basically a hobby studio?

Your opinions, ladies and gents?



Pro Audio Guest Sun, 08/13/2006 - 00:41
Isn't the 1616 the Cardbus with breakout box deal? Kind of a 1802 modified for laptop use? Are you thinking of the 0404, 1212, or 1802 for PCI?

My initial advice is to stay away from E-Mu's gear. This advice is solely based on my experience with their stuff. Probably the ugliest and most poorly designed mixer GUI known in the computer audio world. It is confusing plus lots of bugs in their wares and their customer support is nil.

I highly recommend and endorse RME's audio interfaces. Better sound, better design, WAY better customer support and more options to choose from.

Lynx, Frontier Design, and Digigram also make very nice interfaces for PCI and Cardbus.

Spending money on better room acoustics will probably gain you more noticeable results in sound quality, than spending extra money on "Mastering Grade" converters.

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 08/13/2006 - 03:38
The 1616 was initially only cardbus, but now they've released a PCI breakout version. The sweet thing is that you can still buy the cardbus card separately later on if you want to use it in a laptop (which is probably my long term plans).

Yeah, I figured I would be better off skipping the M version. It's not terribly much more expensive, but a penny saved...

Anyway, thanks for the advice. I will look at RME's stuff, but I've heard quite good things about the 1616, from friends mainly, but SOS also gave it a good review.


AudioGaff Mon, 08/14/2006 - 10:08
I own the 1616M and find it to be a great product and a fantastic value. I currently own the RME Digiface and have used many other RME audio products in the last few years and the E-MU 1616M is as good in sound or even better than anything RME makes. I have the cardbus now and plan to get the E-MU 1616M PCI card for use with my dekstop.

While I have not needed to use E-MU support, I have read and heard first hand from many users how good and helpful they are.

While the GUI of the PatchMix application is not as nice looking or fancy as those in most DAW software, it does the job and wasn't hard for me to grasp. Once it is setup for a project or task your doing, you don't need to mess with it anymore. It has extreme flexability in it's routing capability and the effects while nothing to get excited about for most, are very usefull for monitoring or headphone cues.

I heard enough difference to warrant the small extra cost of getting the M version. IMO, just the quality of sound and converters alone justify the price as a plain I/O device even if you never ever use any of the other features.