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USB/FW interfaces: does $ really affect the AD/DA sound?
Old 24th January 2013
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
USB/FW interfaces: does $ really affect the AD/DA sound?

So I have a Tascam US-100 USB2 audio interface, which ran me about $50, and seems to do everything I need, feature-wise. I'm just wondering -- am I missing out on better sound by not shelling out for a $250+ inferface?

I only need to record a single track at once, so a single stereo input is fine for me. I have preamps on my Mackie mixer, so I'm assuming I don't need any special preamps.

So really, it all comes down to DA/AD converter, right?

I'm recording analog synths and drum machines, so "warmth" is important to me, I just haven't heard a coercive argument that paying more money for an interface will make things sound better.

I'm considering a Focusrite Saffire, or Roland Quadcapture. Would I experience a "night and day" difference if I got one of these?
Old 24th January 2013
  #2
Here for the gear
 
thenley89's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I don't think that you will be getting a "night and day" difference at that price range. If you are satisfied with the results you are getting for now I would either save my money or see if you can get something else that would help you out. That is only my opinion though.
Old 24th January 2013
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
So what is it about the sound on a more expensive interface that people are paying for?

Would it sit better in a mix? Is it just some psycho-acoustic "it sounds better?" that nobody can really explain, but that makes them enjoy the music they make more? On reviews I really can't tell what it is -- people just talk about noise floor or preamps, neither of which I have issues with. (On the other hand, I do feel like the sounds I'm getting into my DAW are really flat and tinny sounding, but maybe I'm just still terrible at mixing)...
Old 24th January 2013
  #4
Lives for gear
 
TurboJets's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
You won't hear a big difference in that price range.

When you move to something like Sound Devices USBPre2 at $650 (USB, I know) you'll hear a difference.

When you move to RME at around $800 you hear a pretty impressive difference.
Old 24th January 2013
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
dergit's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I went from M-Audio (FW1814) to Metric Halo (2882) and there IS a notable difference. But there are other areas where you get more difference for your money (mics, monitoring, preamps, treatment... possibly even cables if you used really crap ones right now).
Old 24th January 2013
  #6
Lives for gear
 
BradLyons's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
When you hear about the "CONVERTER" technically that is a chip inside. Several years ago a manufacturer made an add about an interface they sold for $300 that "HAD THE EXACT SAME CONVERTER" as another product that was $4,000. While they were technically correct, it had the same converter....CHIP. But what is different is the ANALOG SECTION, the POWER SUPPLIES, and other misc parts. To steal a phrase used from Apogee many years ago "IN ORDER TO HAVE GREAT DIGITAL YOU MUST FIRST HAVE GREAT ANALOG". It's allllll in the analog filtering.
Old 25th January 2013 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
TurboJets's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradLyons ➑️
When you hear about the "CONVERTER" technically that is a chip inside. Several years ago a manufacturer made an add about an interface they sold for $300 that "HAD THE EXACT SAME CONVERTER" as another product that was $4,000. While they were technically correct, it had the same converter....CHIP. But what is different is the ANALOG SECTION, the POWER SUPPLIES, and other misc parts. To steal a phrase used from Apogee many years ago "IN ORDER TO HAVE GREAT DIGITAL YOU MUST FIRST HAVE GREAT ANALOG". It's allllll in the analog filtering.
^^^^^
I would hope no one would argue against this.
Old 27th January 2013
  #8
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Absolutely. I have used cheap junk for a while and then I bought a focusrite pro40 and plugged in my headphones... Whoa, it was a new experience, it sounded as good as playing a professionally recorded song on my headphone DAC/amp. Same old Mics, new sound.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
cowboycoalminer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BradLyons ➑️
When you hear about the "CONVERTER" technically that is a chip inside. Several years ago a manufacturer made an add about an interface they sold for $300 that "HAD THE EXACT SAME CONVERTER" as another product that was $4,000. While they were technically correct, it had the same converter....CHIP. But what is different is the ANALOG SECTION, the POWER SUPPLIES, and other misc parts. To steal a phrase used from Apogee many years ago "IN ORDER TO HAVE GREAT DIGITAL YOU MUST FIRST HAVE GREAT ANALOG". It's allllll in the analog filtering.
You should go on a crusade to teach this to everyone who comes to GS.
Old 27th January 2013
  #10
Gear Head
 
Eric East's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I agree I moved from a 003 to a rme babyface and heard a huge difference. Worth the loss of io and $

Sent from my SGH-T769
Old 28th January 2013 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
BradLyons's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboycoalminer ➑️
You should go on a crusade to teach this to everyone who comes to GS.
I shall climb the mountains with my bare feet, swim across the oceans to far away lands, I shall OH BREAKFAST IS READY.... lol
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