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Konnekt 24D or Onyx 400F?

As several of you know, I'm in the market for a new firewire recording interface.

Two Options I'm Considering:

On this board and others, members whose inputs I value continue to recommend the [=""]TC Electronic Konnekt 24D[/]=""]TC Electronic Konnekt 24D[/]. I'd like to hear anecdotal opinions of this unit: the sound of the hardware, latency/reliability, usefulness of the built-in effects, etc.

I'm also impressed with the sound of the Mackie Onyx preamps, and I'm therefore looking at the [[url=http://=""]Mackie Onyx 400F[/]=""]Mackie Onyx 400F[/]. Four (arguably) useable preamps make a strong selling point. If you've used one of these, please don't withhold.

A Potential Problem:

The majority of my work is with rock/pop/metal/indie bands, and I almost always track instruments individually. But this still leaves the need for (again, arguably) a number of inputs for drums; comfortably, I'd like to have 7 channels at my disposal if the situation so demands. I have two channels of decent outboard preamplification, so I'd need 5 more to a mic a complete kit.

While the Konnekt24D lacks the hardware for this, it DOES allow for ADAT Ins, so I could incorporate the pres on a friend's [[url=http://[/URL]=""]FireStudio 2626[/]=""]FireStudio 2626[/], though perhaps at the sake of quality. The Onyx 400f, on the other hand, does have enough preamps that I could perhaps get by, but it looks like the unit has no way to add preamps if I'd ever need it (other than via the Line Ins, which wouldn't be exceptionally useful in conjunction with the FireStudio).

If I'm overlooking something, please let me know. I just need help. I'm so close to having a setup I'm confident in. Particularly useful would be direct comparisons between these two units. Some people have talked about the AKM converters in the Onyx as being comparable (or is it identical?) to those in RME's products, but as someone who lacks experience, this is all jargon to me.


patrick_like_static Sat, 05/10/2008 - 18:23


it looks as though I can use the Firestudio 2626 as a standalone unit (i.e. without a computer) to route its preamps to its respective analog outs, and then run these into the Onyx 400F via the Inserts or Line Ins. If any of you can confirm that is actually will work (you never know with Presonus...), I'll be grateful.

I read extensive reviews of both units last night, so if the above is true, I suppose it's a matter of each unit's sound and reliability. Any input is still quite welcomed.

IIRs Sun, 05/11/2008 - 02:24

The Onyx preamps are good.

I can't compare with the Konnekt24D, but I've been using an Onyx Satellite with my laptop and I'm very happy with it. I'm probably going to add the firewire card to my Onyx mixer so I can multi-track on location more easily..

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Cucco Sun, 05/11/2008 - 06:26

The Onyx Pres are good - there's no doubt about that.

The TC pres are quite nice also. Both would be on the neutral side of things. I'd give the cleanliness and wide-open, noiseless gain points to the TC. I'd give the "character" points to the Onyx.

The conversion in both boxes is good as well.

I will say that I've owned the following:
Onyx 800R
Onyx Satellite (got a broken one out of the box so I didn't get to use it much - but I did get to use it.)
TC Konnekt 24D

Out of the above, the 24D is the most flexible. (Obviously the 800R is not an interface...) The built-in plugs (mainly the reverb) are beyond reproach and at least as good as some of the very expensive outboard units I've used.

The latency is acceptable (better than PreSonus/MOTU, not as good as my RME Fireface).

Here's my setup - just to give you an idea. This is only for my in-studio work - my on-location work is all done through the Fireface.

TC Konnekt 24 handling mic pres 1/2, Aphex 107 (modified) handling mic channels 3/4, Focusrite ISA428 with ADAT option handling channels 5-8 and any other pre - Grace/Millennia,etc... handling channels 9-12. This is a very versatile setup and will record just about anything I want.

For the money - $2500 - I couldn't imagine a better setup than the Konnekt 24D and the ISA 428 with the ADAT option - it leaves you with so many choices.

In the mean time, use the 2626 and when you can, later, upgrade a bit...


patrick_like_static Sun, 05/11/2008 - 15:43

Have you heard both boxes, Ben/t? Are you saying you prefer the sound of the TC and its whole signal chain (dacs, pres, and guts) to the Onyx units?

Kev Sun, 05/11/2008 - 16:18

Cucco wrote: For the money - $2500 - I couldn't imagine a better setup than the Konnekt 24D and the ISA 428 with the ADAT option - it leaves you with so many choices.

double check the ADAT compatability on the SMUX/SMUX2 stuff
also double check the BNC wordclock compatability with the ADAT

I'm not up to date with SMUX/SMUX2 stuff
I have Slow Net and can't quickly look the details up right now
(I am on the TC and FF sites now)
can't see the BNC on the Konnekt
(SMUX/SMUX2) would keep you at 96k ... yes / no ?

both units have good options
you can stack the Konnekts to a larger system
" A to D Delay 0.68 ms / 0.63 ms @ 44.1 kHz / 48 kHz "
I usually think in sample but I think this is OK

the ISA has
( ... 25-pin D-Type connector, integrates seamlessly with ProTools HD as well as other popular hard disk recorders and mixing desks.

Digital formats include an eight-channel single/dual wire AES/EBU and S/PDIF output, as well as an eight-channel ADAT lightpipe (SMUX/SMUX2) output. Word clock i/o is provided via dedicated BNC connectors )

on paper that all looks good
actually , for a mobile system it could almost get my away from Alsihad
stackable and expandable and has genuine options
that's pretty cool

then do as Cucco suggests " Grace/Millennia,etc "
that could get very snobby
the smug smile could follow

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bent Sun, 05/11/2008 - 20:48

Have you heard both boxes, Ben/t?

No, not both boxes. But I have heard products from both manufacturer's (and have used both for far too many years), and on that basis I'm giving you my opinion...

TC's better than Mackie.

I opine...

patrick_like_static Sun, 05/11/2008 - 23:15

bent wrote: I'm giving you my opinion...TC's better than Mackie.

I appreciate this: a man so firm in his opinions that he's willing to put his reputation and finances on the line regarding liability over my purchase.

...right? Ben/t?

patrick_like_static Wed, 05/14/2008 - 22:31

At this point I'm almost sure I'll go with the Onyx 400f. I'm just waiting until I find a used one that's affordable.

patrick_like_static Thu, 05/15/2008 - 01:53

bent wrote: ---another one of my opinions...

I hold your opinions in high regard. Sincerely.

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BobRogers Thu, 05/15/2008 - 02:30

bent wrote: ....sound like a cardboard box...
Some Mackies do...
---another one of my opinions...

How about the one in your Avatar? (And sorry for editing you to sound like Yoda.)

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JoeH Thu, 05/15/2008 - 05:46

TC Gear doesn't sound like a cardboard box...

Some Mackies do...

---another one of my opinions...

BULLSHIRT, sir, and I challenge you to come up with solid proof of such contentions, if you're speaking about anything out on the market past the ONYX series. :twisted: Where is your proof for such claims?

Seriously, I wouldn't put the TC preamps in any higher category than the ONYX, having heard and worked with both extensively. IMHO, they are both quite good, and in the same category: The last stop in quality and sonic character before spending the BIG bucks on Grace, Millennia, etc. Further IMHO, the only real differences are the features of the boxes themselves, the deployment, the ins, outs, software supplied, functionality, etc.

I firmly maintain - as I have done many times before - the biggest differences one THINKS they're hearing with these boxes (at this price range) is largely LEVEL change (NOT necessarily quality changes) and it's 99% subjective anyway. You have a good gig with one, so you love it. You like the colors, or the knobs, on the front panel. You like the way it looks in your rack, on your desktop, etc. etc. The driver for another crashes and tanks a session, so you hate it. Doesn't mean the hardware is good OR bad, just how you percieve it.

Perhaps the biggest complaint I can muster with the Mackie ONYX's (like most of their stuff as well) is the slightly unpredictable range in the last 1/4 turn of the input trims. They're usually tough to set (and reset) exactly the same way twice. (I don't know if the 400 or 800F has the same issues.) Beyond that, there's little to condemn on them, unless you just hate the idea of usuing a highly successful brand that is now manufactured overseas instead of at home in the states. (just like everyone else now, too...)

Go do a double-blind test and prove me wrong. Get me that "Cardboard sound" you're talking about and post it somewhere for all of us to hear. I dare you. :twisted:

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bent Thu, 05/15/2008 - 06:58

...You can hear that cardboard sound on some of the posts I've made, TGGP's "Devilskin Suitcase" would sound a hell of a lot better if it weren't recorded through a Mackie. There's very little dimension, little if any depth - I blame the board, and that board would be my old Mackie.

Which, along with many other songs I've recorded or mixed live on their boards, is enough reason for me to look elsewhere if I were to go shopping for another mixer or pre.

Kev Thu, 05/15/2008 - 14:25

BobRogers wrote: ... And sorry for editing you to sound like Yoda ...

apologise - do not
good - this is

unlearn what you have learned

do or do not
there is no try


patrick_like_static Thu, 05/15/2008 - 14:42

"Do or do not" hijack my thread, yo!

Banned. The whole lot of you. Under pain of

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JoeH Thu, 05/15/2008 - 14:46

See, this is what bugs me about Mackie bashing.... as usual, it's apples and oranges, never anyting tangible or provable. I thought we were talking about the 400F vs. the TC. A completely different class of product than the old original Mackie line.

The SR24 is (was) for Sound Reinforcement, it's not a recording front end per se; it's a live board, albiet with some pretty good features for the buck. Depending on the model, it might have been one of the older ones (pre "VLZ-PRO" preamps), or it might be one of the later generations. For the money, features & sound coming out of it, it (and the SR32) smoked anything else in its price class at the time of its release on the market. (20 preamps & four line ins of that calibre for under $1500?!?! C'mon...)

I've always said: If you can't make a good recording or live sound mix with a basic Mackie mixer, get out of the biz. There could be other things going wrong. IMHO, a "boxy" sound maybe has a lot more to do with the talent, mic choices and placement, or just a bad sounding room to begin with.

My old Mackies were wonderful products at the time, and I've made some great recordings with them before I moved on to the Onyx line. But hey, whatever floats your boat. ;-)