MOTU releases UltraLite-mk5 USB Audio Interface - Page 6 - Gearspace.com
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MOTU releases UltraLite-mk5 USB Audio Interface
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #151
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kasami08 ➡️
Nah you have to really try out the new stuff. I taken my stuff apart and the electronics aren't the same as the old stuff. Plus they are using a different manufacturer which ironically was bought out by Virtex. Drivers are nothing like from the past. I have the M2 which is my favorite interface on Windows. The Ultralite MK5, AVB and M series are built from the ground up that shares nothing in common with the older generation legacy products with entirely different designs. Don't judge a book by its cover until you have tried it. Your observation from an early 2000s product doesn't apply to the modern products.
2015 is not the early 2000's.
And I didn't judge a (Micro)book by it's cover. I bought it and found out the quality was off.
That's judging a (micro)book by it's contents.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #152
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calaverasgrande ➡️
2015 is not the early 2000's.
And I didn't judge a (Micro)book by it's cover. I bought it and found out the quality was off.
That's judging a (micro)book by it's contents.
That's not really all that new as the first one has been around since 2010.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #153
Lives for gear
 
15 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Temps ➡️
does it come with a manual? last step in my shopping process is to read the user manual cover to cover, but MOTU still doesn't have it on their site
Did you see the manual has been posted?
https://cdn-data.motu.com/manuals/us...User_Guide.pdf

Two minor annoyances: the promo photos show "peak holding" on meters but the meters don't actually do that. They also show the db numbers on the meter big and bright on the side amost like they are part of the display but they are printed on the case and very hard to see. I wish there were at least divisions drawn on the screen. You can pin the input channels and they mark -12db which is somewhat useful.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #154
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiral ➡️
Did you see the manual has been posted?
https://cdn-data.motu.com/manuals/us...User_Guide.pdf

Two minor annoyances: the promo photos show "peak holding" on meters but the meters don't actually do that. They also show the db numbers on the meter big and bright on the side amost like they are part of the display but they are printed on the case and very hard to see. I wish there were at least divisions drawn on the screen. You can pin the input channels and they mark -12db which is somewhat useful.
ooh nice, thanks

I've decided against being an early adopter on this one. My local store I would have had to special order the interface and wouldn't be able to return it if I was having driver issues, etc. so I'm gonna hang tough until it comes into normal stock in a month or two. Hopefully they'll be some feedback out on the drivers by then too
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #155
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Temps ➡️
ooh nice, thanks

I've decided against being an early adopter on this one. My local store I would have had to special order the interface and wouldn't be able to return it if I was having driver issues, etc. so I'm gonna hang tough until it comes into normal stock in a month or two. Hopefully they'll be some feedback out on the drivers by then too
Why not just order it from Sweetwater? That's where I buy everything from?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #156
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imaginaryday's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kasami08 ➡️
Why not just order it from Sweetwater? That's where I buy everything from?
I think he lives in Canada.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #157
Lives for gear
 
15 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiral ➡️
Two minor annoyances: the promo photos show "peak holding" on meters but the meters don't actually do that.
Update: talked to tech support and meter hold is going to be added in an forthcoming update.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Temps ➡️
return it if I was having driver issues, etc.
Are you on Windows? On Mac it's been solid including the M1 and Big Sur.
Old 6 days ago
  #158
Here for the gear
 
Is this interface supposed to be an upgrade specs/component wise over the 624? Or complimentary with just different I/O inputs/outputs?
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #159
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by richard_smoker ➡️
Is this interface supposed to be an upgrade specs/component wise over the 624? Or complimentary with just different I/O inputs/outputs?
Scroll down to "Analog I/O Specifications" on both pages, and compare:

https://motu.com/products/avb/624/specs.html

https://motu.com/en-us/products/gen5...ite-mk5/specs/

Indeed, at least on paper, the Ultralite MK 5 has better performance in most areas.
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #160
Tui
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Tui's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginaryday ➡️
I think he lives in Canada.
Sweetwater delivered to me within 3 days when I was living in New Zealand...
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #161
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Temps ➡️
I don't think you've been keeping up on the DAC market much. Even low end devices are properly implemented... state of the art performance can be had for ~$50 a channel these days, in a tiny dongle that attaches to your phone's USB port.
I own Lavry converters and monitor off one, fed by my MOTU's optical output.

Nope.

(I am very interested in whether this converter's ADCs sound better than my 16A's converters, as I'm already running the 16A off a dongle/converter. This works but I'd like to sell off the previous system as a unit that runs Thunderbolt natively: I'm interested in whether I can get an upgrade in conversion at the same time that I get a USB3-native converter)
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #162
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imaginaryday's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui ➡️
Sweetwater delivered to me within 3 days when I was living in New Zealand...
Impressive!
Old 4 days ago
  #163
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj ➡️

(I am very interested in whether this converter's ADCs sound better than my 16A's converters, as I'm already running the 16A off a dongle/converter. This works but I'd like to sell off the previous system as a unit that runs Thunderbolt natively: I'm interested in whether I can get an upgrade in conversion at the same time that I get a USB3-native converter)
Yeah I'm very interested to know about the AD side and what chip they used in this one.
Old 4 days ago
  #164
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Initial report. Build quality is good, it survived a smashed up shipping box, and whatever caused that. It's reinforced, the chassis, and feels overall higher quality than the M4, not surprising given the cost. Locking XLR on the front are a nice touch. Single color, large OLED display is bad-ass, very pixelated and bright.

DAC quality is impressive, it has a little more character than the M4, more weight in the lows and mids. Very open and detailed also. There is a slightly "dry" quality to the sound, which I find appealing. Highs don't shimmer, they have some neutral texture. Sound stage is uh, 3D, you can easily place things in terms of depth and on some imaginary sound stage. Bass will slam out of this thing, in speakers or headphones, never heard my Focal do this before. Heaphone amp has no problem with HD650. I was getting lost in the music, which is a good sign. Pulled me out of a funk, in fact. This DAC seems perfect for critical listening, but I'll have to do some work on it of course.

Haven't recorded or tested latency yet, that will happen later. Yes, I'm sure there's some novelty bias, but this sounds great. Doesn't take long to hear that.
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #165
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by 360studios15 ➡️
I expect it to be some improvement in the analog design with that new chip. The M series isn't in the same league as the higher end Pro Audio MOTU stuff. My 828ES has more clarity and more punch than my M4. The power supply design, clocking and analog circuitry input and output stage can make a massive difference in sound quality. The AVB stuff just has a better analog design path around the chip that easily hang with Apogees products. I had the Quartet out side by side and the 828ES seemed be sonically closer to the Apogee Quartet than the M4. Many people has compared the 16A against the first gen Symphony that's comparable.
When you say the 828es has more clarity and punch than m4 are you talking about input or the output to monitors/headphones?
Old 4 days ago
  #166
km5
Here for the gear
 
Can you duplicate outputs on this? For example having outputs 5-6 & 7-8 be the same as the main volume-controlled-output - Like if you have an external headphone amp that you want to be the same as your 1-2 monitor output but without the volume control.

The M4 doesn't allow you to do that unfortunately. The 828ES Matrix mixer allows you to.


Otherwise can anyone Upload RMAA .sav file of loopback to sort of compare to other interfaces? Not the best but nice to sort of compare to Exosound/IXBT rmaa reviews of interfaces.

If someone is REALLY AWESOME: they could ship theirs to Audio Science Review and have it tested! The 624/M2/M4 are already tested - but the M2 has worse AD input than M4 which wouldn't have been known without such testing: so having 3rd party AP Analyzer test would be great for everyone here interested in how the AD & DA performs.

Otherwise 828ES/M2/M4 on windows have been awesome driver-wise for me btw.

---------------------------------------------
Update as I don't want to take the thread off-topic with a new post:
I mentioned RMAA & ASR measurements as they directly relate to MOTU Ultralight MK5. More info overall is better! For example: I don't personally think the Diffmaker results mean much on here - but some may: so if someone wants to upload the results there: cool! More info! - but going off topic about why measurements may or may not matter seems best in another thread. Hopefully people can be happy about new gear and keep the conversation upbeat in the future!
Old 4 days ago
  #167
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Yes there is a "main volume group" in the new totalmix software with the Ultralite MK 5.

I'd love to see how epic this is from science review guy too, but this one's not going anywhere.

Trebles are a bit bright on these, but it's not a bad treble, just one that you can easily hear. Maybe that's just me coming from the rather dark Topping DX7s with those burr brown op amps.
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #168
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx ➡️
Initial report. Build quality is good, it survived a smashed up shipping box, and whatever caused that. It's reinforced, the chassis, and feels overall higher quality than the M4, not surprising given the cost. Locking XLR on the front are a nice touch. Single color, large OLED display is bad-ass, very pixelated and bright.

DAC quality is impressive, it has a little more character than the M4, more weight in the lows and mids. Very open and detailed also. There is a slightly "dry" quality to the sound, which I find appealing. Highs don't shimmer, they have some neutral texture. Sound stage is uh, 3D, you can easily place things in terms of depth and on some imaginary sound stage. Bass will slam out of this thing, in speakers or headphones, never heard my Focal do this before. Heaphone amp has no problem with HD650. I was getting lost in the music, which is a good sign. Pulled me out of a funk, in fact. This DAC seems perfect for critical listening, but I'll have to do some work on it of course.

Haven't recorded or tested latency yet, that will happen later. Yes, I'm sure there's some novelty bias, but this sounds great. Doesn't take long to hear that.
Good to know that they upgraded the metal chassis. I had some older motu interfaces like the 24 i / o back in the day. They have been using that same ole military chassis design for nearly 20 years unchanged that's starting to look a little dated. Since this unit is manufactured in China, they are using different materials from Virtex.
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #169
Lives for gear
 
Calagan's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx ➡️
Initial report. Build quality is good, it survived a smashed up shipping box, and whatever caused that. It's reinforced, the chassis, and feels overall higher quality than the M4, not surprising given the cost. Locking XLR on the front are a nice touch. Single color, large OLED display is bad-ass, very pixelated and bright.

DAC quality is impressive, it has a little more character than the M4, more weight in the lows and mids. Very open and detailed also. There is a slightly "dry" quality to the sound, which I find appealing. Highs don't shimmer, they have some neutral texture. Sound stage is uh, 3D, you can easily place things in terms of depth and on some imaginary sound stage. Bass will slam out of this thing, in speakers or headphones, never heard my Focal do this before. Heaphone amp has no problem with HD650. I was getting lost in the music, which is a good sign. Pulled me out of a funk, in fact. This DAC seems perfect for critical listening, but I'll have to do some work on it of course.

Haven't recorded or tested latency yet, that will happen later. Yes, I'm sure there's some novelty bias, but this sounds great. Doesn't take long to hear that.
Cool review.
So, in few words, you think it's a noticeable upgrade from the M4 (at least regarding the DAC) ?
If yes, I just need to sell my Saffire (I hope I will find someone interested) and eat some noddles for the rest of the month...
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #170
Gear Nut
 
UncleCharlie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by km5 ➡️
If someone is REALLY AWESOME: they could ship theirs to Audio Science Review and have it tested!
Measurements don't mean ish when it comes to real world usage. I've been following these forums long enough to know if monkeyxx recommends it, it's solid.
Old 4 days ago | Show parent
  #171
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Calagan's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleCharlie ➡️
Man F audio science review, measurements don't mean ish when it comes to real world usage. I've been following these forums long enough to know if monkeyxx recommends it, it's solid.
I think numbers are one thing (that you need to consider) and experience is another. This said, I give more credit to the advice of an experienced sound guy than to pure numbers.

I trust the Monkeyxx judgement, because few time we found to agree on the sonic quality of such or such gear. And he seems to buy almost half of what is released, so he's got much more experience than me...

Anyway, the mk5 is growing on me... I need to prepare myself for a special spring regime (noddles, not much butter, but sonic heaven).
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #172
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calagan ➡️
Cool review.
So, in few words, you think it's a noticeable upgrade from the M4 (at least regarding the DAC) ?
If yes, I just need to sell my Saffire (I hope I will find someone interested) and eat some noddles for the rest of the month...
Haha, yes I buy a ton of interfaces! I thought I was done but you know how that goes. The M4 is superb but I wanted more I/O.

I would say, regarding my limited testing so far of the DAC only, and headphone amp, that it is indeed a "noticeable upgrade" from the M4. It just sounds a bit more powerful if that makes any sense, lots of dynamics and detail. Indeed it can be punchy sounding. Not that the M4 is bad either, that's the best DAC I've heard in that price range, for what I like to hear.

This is a great result and very soon I'll start recording and see about RTL vs the M4.

I'm just as interested in specs as everyone else, right now all that's out there are the official MOTU numbers. I most likely ended up on the ESS train due to Audio Science Review and a few key Gearslutz (old name) posts as well, with my Topping DX7s purchase, so I do find some value in pure academic performance, even though you still have to like the sound, which can't be measured.

The Topping is a little more laid back than this one, but this one brings the punch and detail, a lot more cymbal information, for example. Both have that signature "dark" sound for lack of a good word, even though that's not totally accurate given the usual meaning. Something about where the midrange sits, the lack of hype.

As a former Saffire owner, I think you would be in for a pleasant surprise making a quantum leap to something as modern as this one. That's like a 17 year progression in conversion, you're in for an experience, if this is the one you're after. You might use the word "blanket" or something, it's possible.

For me, this Ultralite MK 5 is contending as a "replacement" for the Clarett 4Pre, in my setup. Small enough not to require a rack, but large enough for drum tracking. The idea is a compact rig that can record a whole band without taking up an entire truck bed. I think the real test will be the software / DAW performance.
Old 3 days ago
  #173
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Found one quirk with the MK 5 so far. It doesn't like my Super Speed USB-C 3.1 port. The M4 is totally fine here, but the Ultralite MK 5 clicks and pops when music is playing in foobar2000.

The simple solution was to use the C to A cable, so I'm in the USB-A port now and it's been totally stable for the past hour or so.

Still haven't recorded anything, but glad I found that bug. Could just be this computer, no idea.
Old 3 days ago | Show parent
  #174
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj ➡️
I own Lavry converters and monitor off one, fed by my MOTU's optical output.

Nope.
Yup. Like it or not, DACs are really easy to measure. There is no "sound" involved. You feed a signal in; you measure what comes out. You knew exactly what went in so it's a very rudimentary exercise to compare the two. There is nowhere for "sound" to hide in these measurements, as long as you know how to read them... and they aren't that hard to read.

It's very curious, why is it always the guys who own wildly overpriced gear trying to deny the science the hardest?
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #175
Airwindows
 
chrisj's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Temps ➡️
Yup. Like it or not, DACs are really easy to measure. There is no "sound" involved. You feed a signal in; you measure what comes out. You knew exactly what went in so it's a very rudimentary exercise to compare the two. There is nowhere for "sound" to hide in these measurements, as long as you know how to read them... and they aren't that hard to read.

It's very curious, why is it always the guys who own wildly overpriced gear trying to deny the science the hardest?
Nope. Power supply and the analog circuit design matter.

Talk like 'there is nowhere for sound to hide in these measurements' leads to microminiaturized analog stages with surface-mount electrolytics like you get inside cellphones, presumably backed up by the notion of 'we ran frequency response measurements through this and it delivers test tones at 20 Hz to 20kHz and that's all there is'. To do this is to completely misunderstand the role of delivering power to the analog outputs: you're not even looking at intermodulation distortion, or varying load on the power supply rails, or really anything beyond whatever window you've defined. It's not enough. Not remotely enough.

Still interested in how any new multichannel MOTU ADC/DAC compares sonically to my 16A. Which is nice, but not on the same level of either of my Lavrys, which is understandable as the supporting circuit design in the Lavrys costs many times as much per channel.

They're not going to be Burls, but the new MOTUs might very possibly be getting better, and it's that which interests me.
Old 2 days ago
  #176
Gear Nut
 
The subjective reviews on the sound are pretty adorable. Sighted tests I'm sure. Must be another one of those "Night and Day" interfaces lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj ➡️
you're not even looking at intermodulation distortion, or varying load on the power supply rails, or really anything beyond whatever window you've defined. It's not enough. Not remotely enough.

That stuff is actually covered in the ASR stuff that you guys are probably referring to.

Idk why I commented these threads are always trainwrecks after the first few pages. Filled with junk after that really.
Old 2 days ago
  #177
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Some people say you can't hear things, I usually say you can hear things. And then some people haven't heard certain things yet, so they don't have that experience. You can't give someone an experience they don't have. There was a really good post about this by Enlightened Hand in the expensive D/A thread. Basically most people on earth have never sat in front of a real high quality speaker system, even though many think they have. It's sort of a rare privilege if you want to look at it that way. That and knowing what to listen for after years of critical listening.

Back to the MOTU, it's clicking a little bit on my USB-A port now too. I'm thinking maybe it just doesn't like the Wi-Fi being turned on, and all those background programs that use the network. I'll post some round trip latency numbers in a bit, for something useful that's not subjective.
Old 2 days ago
  #178
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
 
18 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Here are the RTL Utility results for the Ultralite MK 5, and the M4 for comparison. Note that RTL utility doesn't allow some of the possible buffer sizes to be measured, so some are missing in the 96K and 192K measurements. These were measured on the same computer.

The real test will be audio stability at low buffers with the DAW, but here are the raw numbers.

MOTU releases UltraLite-mk5 USB Audio Interface-ultralite-mk5-rtl-44.1-48-rates.bmp

MOTU releases UltraLite-mk5 USB Audio Interface-ultralite-mk5-96-192-khz-rates.bmp

MOTU releases UltraLite-mk5 USB Audio Interface-motu-m4-rtl-results-windows-10.bmp
Attached Images
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #179
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx ➡️
Here are the RTL Utility results for the Ultralite MK 5, and the M4 for comparison. Note that RTL utility doesn't allow some of the possible buffer sizes to be measured, so some are missing in the 96K and 192K measurements. These were measured on the same computer.

The real test will be audio stability at low buffers with the DAW, but here are the raw numbers.
for comparison's sake my Fireface UC at 48khz:

64 samples - 4.938 ms
128 samples - 7.604 ms
256 samples - 12.938 ms
512 samples - 23.604 ms

So Motu is like sitting about 3 feet further away from your monitors, on average... not a big difference! Great result.

Last edited by Temps; 2 days ago at 11:09 PM..
Old 2 days ago | Show parent
  #180
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisj ➡️
Nope. Power supply and the analog circuit design matter.

Talk like 'there is nowhere for sound to hide in these measurements' leads to microminiaturized analog stages with surface-mount electrolytics like you get inside cellphones, presumably backed up by the notion of 'we ran frequency response measurements through this and it delivers test tones at 20 Hz to 20kHz and that's all there is'. To do this is to completely misunderstand the role of delivering power to the analog outputs: you're not even looking at intermodulation distortion, or varying load on the power supply rails, or really anything beyond whatever window you've defined. It's not enough. Not remotely enough.

Still interested in how any new multichannel MOTU ADC/DAC compares sonically to my 16A. Which is nice, but not on the same level of either of my Lavrys, which is understandable as the supporting circuit design in the Lavrys costs many times as much per channel.

They're not going to be Burls, but the new MOTUs might very possibly be getting better, and it's that which interests me.
By no means am I saying those things don't matter. They're extremely important, and absolutely a big factor in the cost of a quality converter. But all that good circuit design, big, clean, stable power supply, etc. - all of that is going be reflected in a thorough measurement of the circuit. There is nowhere for flaws to hide from an analyzer. ASR usually does an IMD test and frequency & level dependent tests to show which ranges are distorting more, all the way up into the ultrasonics, so all of this stuff will be shown in those tests.

For what it's worth the ESS Sabre32 is very good and MOTU appears to implement very well across their range. The M2/M4/624 even though they are much different in pricing perform roughly the same. I expect all the differences will be on the AD side, headphone amps, case construction, etc.

I'm also not saying convertors can't have a sound. They totally did, but I think that's falling by the wayside pretty quickly. Good DACs are basically commoditized now. I think in a proper blind test using a range of 2021 model convertors, nobody is going to be able to pick up differences anymore. Lavry obviously is a bit different because of their soft clipper but that aside, the DAC market has gotten to be very boring.
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