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Need emergency interface
Old 25th November 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Need emergency interface

So, my 3-year old RME Fireface 800 decided to die on me today and I am in the middle of a project - I need to pick up a cheap substitute while I send it off to be serviced. Problem is, I have very little money - could maybe swing $500-600.

All that I need is a single 1/4" balanced input for my preamp and 2 1/4" balanced outputs for my monitors. I don't have any PCIe slots free in my PC, but do have several PCI and, of course, plenty of Firewire and USB inputs.

It's been several years since I have done any research on interfaces...what should I get? Do any of the sub-$600 interfaces today have converters at the same quality level (or higher) than the FF800?

I am thinking something like the E-mu 1212M PCI - but want to make sure the converters are solid.
Old 25th November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
ohmicide's Avatar
an echo audiofire should get you by

im thinking about getting one to use with my apogee duet

apparently there's not a huge difference in converter quality
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe ➑️
an echo audiofire should get you by

im thinking about getting one to use with my apogee duet

apparently there's not a huge difference in converter quality

Thanks - I'll look into that one as well.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Hi there,

I the ADC is a main issue I sufffest looking at

Emu 0404 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI Interface

This one has a very good coverters and impressive s/n ratio

Cheerz!!!
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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XHipHop's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i second the echo audiofire. sounds/works great.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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MrCrowbar's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Echo Audiofire 2. It has the inputs your require and really high end converters. Drivers are solid too.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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doncaparker's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The E-Mu 1212m you are looking at is fine. I use one.

Two cautions:

The mixing software is a bit daunting. It works great, but it is hard to understand it at the beginning, because it gives you lots of options.

Also, don't try using it with a Vista machine. XP only. They will tell you it works with Vista, but in my experience, it's buggy.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by doncaparker ➑️
The E-Mu 1212m you are looking at is fine. I use one.

Two cautions:

The mixing software is a bit daunting. It works great, but it is hard to understand it at the beginning, because it gives you lots of options.

Also, don't try using it with a Vista machine. XP only. They will tell you it works with Vista, but in my experience, it's buggy.
I'm on a Vista 64 machine, so I guess I should steer clear of the 1212.

What about an RME Hammerfall HDSP 9632? A little out of my range, but I might be able to get a deal on it on Black Friday.

Thanks for all of the suggestions, guys!
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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FeatheredSerpent's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
You should be able to pick up a 9632 or even a 9652 for </~ $150 used.

That would be a very stable, low latency card. If you get a 9652, you would need to add a front end as there are no analogue connections, but whatever you get you could keep as extra in/out for your fireface.

Plus, you get to keep working with the same software interfacing for the rme cards which would save a lot of headaches.

It would even be worth getting a new 9652 or RayDat and selling your fireface, as then you could expand with a better selection of converters than the fireface can offer.
(You would need pci-e for the RayDat though).
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FeatheredSerpent ➑️
You should be able to pick up a 9632 or even a 9652 for </~ $150 used.

That would be a very stable, low latency card. If you get a 9652, you would need to add a front end as there are no analogue connections, but whatever you get you could keep as extra in/out for your fireface.

Plus, you get to keep working with the same software interfacing for the rme cards which would save a lot of headaches.

It would even be worth getting a new 9652 or RayDat and selling your fireface, as then you could expand with a better selection of converters than the fireface can offer.
(You would need pci-e for the RayDat though).

Yeah, all of that sounds pretty enticing!
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
FeatheredSerpent's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well I'm biased, I'm a 9652 user, but the cards are just great. Reliable, great drivers (usually a weak point for some manus which is a bit nafff seeing as it's so damn important!), very low latecny, amazing bundled routing/metering software, hang anything you want off them. No brainer.

Only down side of course is that with the 9632 or 52 you are committing to pci, but I think that's safe for quite a few years to come, on pc at least.

But if it bothers you, go RayDat. You get an extra adat port (4 in total) over the 9652, plus AES/EBUr. If you do go the internal card route, at the very least try and get the 9652 so you have a nice channel count.

Edit: my price guess was a bit off, was thinking in pounds sterling, I got my 9652 for Β£120 used, that's bang on $200.
Old 30th November 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
So, I ended up going with the HDSPe AIO PCIe card - got a new one on Ebay for $600, which seems like a good price (picked up a balanced breakout cable for it, too - unfortunately, $79 was the cheapest that I could find it).

Now, I just need to save up for a UA 2192!! There's a used on Ebay right now for $2075 - really wish I had the cash for it!
Old 30th November 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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FeatheredSerpent's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'd love to say 'well done', and it's a good card, but for what you just paid, you could have got a brand new 9652 including breakout.!

And that's without doing any shopping around or deal hunting.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want you to feel bad about your purchase, but with three adat ports instead of one, wordclock in/out instead of none, and two midi ports instead of one, for the same price, I would have gone for the 9652 over the AIO.

The AIO is supposed to ship with the breakout cable too, which means I would definitely have wanted to go with a trusted supplier over an ebay one as well, and got the full-on real deal, with no quibble returns policy etc.
Old 30th November 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah, but I decided that the AIO was more flexible than the 9652 (it has analog and AES ports, which the 9652 lacks - plus it can handle 192kHz sampling rates). The AIO is supposed to have lower latency, as well.

Anyway, I couldn't find any retailers selling a new 9652 for less than $699 - and that price doesn't include the analog expansion board that I need (which costs over $225 at most stores that I could find). There were a couple cheaper used 9652's on Ebay, but I wanted to go with a new card. The seller that I chose in an official RME dealer and has a 7 day return policy and the unit is covered with a 2-year warranty.

The AIO comes with an unbalanced breakout cable, but I need balanced for my setup, thus I had to buy one separately. I can get the word clock expander later for less than $175.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FeatheredSerpent ➑️
I'd love to say 'well done', and it's a good card, but for what you just paid, you could have got a brand new 9652 including breakout.!

And that's without doing any shopping around or deal hunting.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want you to feel bad about your purchase, but with three adat ports instead of one, wordclock in/out instead of none, and two midi ports instead of one, for the same price, I would have gone for the 9652 over the AIO.

The AIO is supposed to ship with the breakout cable too, which means I would definitely have wanted to go with a trusted supplier over an ebay one as well, and got the full-on real deal, with no quibble returns policy etc.
Old 30th November 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by indravayu ➑️
So, I ended up going with the HDSPe AIO PCIe card - got a new one on Ebay for $600, which seems like a good price (picked up a balanced breakout cable for it, too - unfortunately, $79 was the cheapest that I could find it).

Now, I just need to save up for a UA 2192!! There's a used on Ebay right now for $2075 - really wish I had the cash for it!

Steinberg has the rebate on the 816 which would get you down to $699, its supposed to be nice.
Old 1st December 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
FeatheredSerpent's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by indravayu ➑️

Anyway, I couldn't find any retailers selling a new 9652 for less than $699 - and that price doesn't include the analog expansion board that I need (which costs over $225 at most stores that I could find). There were a couple cheaper used 9652's on Ebay, but I wanted to go with a new card.
Fair enough, but buying used is where you get your money to work for you, so to speak. As I said, I picked up my 9652 for $200, and saw a second 9652 going for Β£90 (<$150) but I let it go. Stupid, but there you go.

People in general look after gear they paid some cash for, you've got to be really unlucky to pick up a dud, and ebay will protect you (crappy policy if you're selling though!).

This is all after the fact anyway, you got a good card so you're sorted
Old 2nd December 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by FeatheredSerpent ➑️
This is all after the fact anyway, you got a good card so you're sorted
We shall see - still have to wait a week for it to arrive - I hope the converters sound as good (if not better) than my defunct FF800.

Now I am drooling over ADC/DAC converters like the Mytek or UA 2192 - gotta figure out how to afford another big purchase (might have to sell off some guitars).
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