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used Ultralite or new Audiofire8?
Old 22nd January 2009
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🎧 10 years
used Ultralite or new Audiofire8?

I'm buying a new firewire audio interface. Budget = $300 - $350. I believe I've narrowed it down to either a used MOTU Ultralite (first generation, not mk3 as I don't need the fx/eq) or a new Echo Audiofire8. Stability is extremely important, so I'm not even considering Presonus, M-audio, or TC. I'm on a macbook running OS X Leopard and Digital Performer 6. Monitoring on headphones and a ****ty home stereo.

As far as functionality and versatility, the Ultralite has the obvious edge. It supposedly has better integration with Digital Performer and is more portable (bus-powered and smaller). The AF8 is a slightly newer unit and everyone keeps going on and on about how great the converters are. I currently have no mixer or stand-alone preamp, so the interface's preamps are especially important. My question to anyone who has made recordings with both: Does the Audiofire really sound that much better? I really like the MOTU’s portability, but could sacrifice that for the sound. I've read so much about both of these units individually, but they are rarely compared directly. I’ve seen criticisms of the “MOTU sound,” but it seems like MOTU users are generally harder to please than the Echo crowd. Really, either one will probably work for me. Reading too many reviews and forum-postings has made me a bit obsessive.

I know. I should test them myself. Unfortunately, I've been unable to find either of these locally. I promise, this is the last time I'll ask.
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