Which Audio/Midi interface is better?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by BLo0oD, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. BLo0oD

    BLo0oD Guest


    I'm about to purchase equipment for my home studio, and right now I'm trying to decide which audio/midi interface will be the best. Some possibilities I'm considering:

    M-Audio Firewire 410 or 1810
    Presonus Firebox
    E-MU 1616m
    Edirol FA-101

    Most importantly, I need to know which one of these, or maybe any other device in this price range, has the highest quality preamps. So far, I've been leaning towards the E-MU, however a worker at SamAsh told me that their preamps are crappy, they add unnecessary coloration to the sound. He recommended the Presonus and M-Audio preamps instead...

    Please post any opinions about the devices above, and/or suggest something else.

    Thank you.
  2. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    I've been a very satisfied owner and user of the E-MU 1820M, and just recently got the E-MU 1616M for my laptop and have been very satisfied. I'll now likley sell the 1820M, and just use the 1616M. While not exactly low budget, it is of outstanding sound quality and really excellent value. One of the best bang for your buck packages that money can buy at this time. I certainly would not waste my time and money on any of the other products you mentioned no matter how cheap they may be in comparision.

    Beware! If the guy at Sam Ash is anything like the schmuks that claim to be pro audio salesman that I have encountered at any Sam Ash or Guitar Center, they would not ever know a good preamp from a poor one even if there life depended on it. All they know is the few key features of what product is being pitched this month from management, and which ones make them more money over another.
  3. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Also beware: audio interfaces and high-quality preamps are two different things. I understand not everyone can afford nice outboard preamps or a mixer right off the bat, but I wouldn't get something where you are stuck with built-in preamps that will just get in your way later on. I would worry more about getting an interface that has good AD/DA and an adequate # of channels so it will last you a while even after your tastes for preamps change.
  4. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Silicon Valley
    Good point Reggie. The converters used in the 1616M are as good as it gets for a mass produced product. The mic preamps in the 1616M are not world class, but are way better than average and as good or even better IMO than anything else in the same class. Of course I would almost always much prefer to use one of my high end expensive mic preamps, but I would not hesitiate to use them on anything, and I'm known around these parts as being a pretty picky audio snob when it comes to audio gear.
  5. BLo0oD

    BLo0oD Guest

    Guys, thanks so much for replying!

    Does anyone actually have experience comparing any of the above? It would be nice to hear some people's opinions.

    Thanks. :)
  6. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    don't know about the ones you posted but the motu 828 mkii has worked great for me- 2 pres, 8 more analog inputs, 2 via spdif plus 8 more inputs via adat for 20 inputs- more than enough to record a band- of course you will have to spring for some pres as you only get 2... :D
  7. axel

    axel Guest

    i second Motu for the money very smart stuff and if you can dig a little deeper into your pocket, then RME.

    and defenitely don't go for the M-Audio 410, i have heard incredible amounts of problems with the 410 drivers...

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