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I just got the Ultralite and am absolutely loving the MOTU but was saddened to see that they no longer do the upgrade on the Ultralite. Do you have any idea why they stopped doing it and if they will still do it upon request?
I love the sound of the MOTU right out of the box and can't imagine it getting much better (though I am sure it does) but would like to know what a difference the mod makes. I don't need all the ins on the bigger MOTU stuff which is why I went with the Ultralite.
I've had the opportunity to audition mixes on both the systems you mention - MOTU 828 II and the RME Fireface 800. The difference is simple, clear and audible - aspects of the music are simply inaudible on the MOTU and obvious on the RME. I don't normally expect to hear that much difference between DA's. For that reason alone I'd say go with the RME.
However the superb clock implementation, the no-hassle click-free switching between clock fc's, the matrix mixer (0-latency monitoring means musicians play better...) and many many other details should also be taken into account. The preamps receive mixed reviews but to my ears they're very clean and uncolored, exactly what I need.
I bought one the same day I heard it, and a Presonus Digimax FS for an extra 8 mic preamps and AD @ 96kHz. That's 20 inputs and 18 outputs for $2k...makes you think.
Yup, works perfectly with Logic 7.2.x
Macbook Core Duo Mac OS X (10.4.9)
I just got the Ultralite and am absolutely loving the
MOTU but was saddened to see that they no longer do
the upgrade on the Ultralite. Do you have any idea
why they stopped doing it and if they will still do
it upon request?
I had a look inside my UL.
They don't use the op amps that were listed on the blacklion page.
These are the ones they use now:
Maybe they are too expensive to exchange or they are state of the art.
Do you really want to use the pres on either of these interfaces? I mean it's like a C+ vs. a B- for the Motu vs. the RME pres. By the cheaper of the two and just use it for it's firewire connectivity. Save some more money and buy a really nice pre. Even something like the Presonus Eureka sounds better and is more flexible than your pres on the RME. And to boot, that Eureka can be fitted with an excellent A/D converter of it's own (the AD 192) which can be clocked to the Motu or RME. Then you aren't even going through A/D converters on the Motu or RME. Of course there are way better pres you could buy too.
I had a 896 and now have the FF800.
Hands down, no doubt about it, the RME offers greater clarity and depth. The motu i had sounded cheaper to my ears.
Latency on the RME is minimal, especially when using the Total mix software for monitoring(not software monitoring); it becomes negligible. As for buffer settings etc, they are on par with any other interface out there. It really depends on your computer, not the interface.
I used to be a happy motu user, i have to admit they make great quality hardware, with mostly falwless drivers, but i'm now an even happier RME user. Better build quality, better sounding converters, better drivers, and very cool Total Mix software.
I admit to having a biased opinion, my ears won't let me decide otherwise
RME use the same ADK A/D converters as the MOTU. The
MOTU stuff uses ADK for the A/D as well as the D/A
and the MOTU always spec better than the RME stuff.
As you can see, there is an irrational anti-MOTU bias
on the net.
Use your ears.
No they may have the same converter chips but there is a lot more to a converter's design than just the chips.
The Fireface sounds much better than the Motu as does the Echo Audiofires IMHO btw.
But I certainly agree with "use your ears."
You might also consider the FireFace 400.
according to their tech support:
The FF 400 uses a combined ADDA chip (AK 4620), while the FF800 has separate chips (5385/4395).
S/N and THD for AD are almost identical, DA specs are marginally better on the FF800.
The preamps, however, have been slightly improved on FF400.
No one is talking about the MOTU HD 192. From what folks say, that model has in it the chips used in the PT HD stuff. I don't know if those chips are ADK's or some other brand on that model. Of course there are many more factors that go into a good converter, but that's a good place to start. I have the MOTU HD 192 and its' sounds great to me.
However it's all XLR connectors and uses a PCI slot but that can be a good thing sonically and stability wise. It's has zero latency when monitoring through the CUE MIX CONSOLE offered. Really easy to use. AES/EBU more detailed metering for each of the 12 channels too.
No preamps, but few AD/DA converters have good enough ones anyway.
The converter chips only affect a small part of the sound and mainly determine the uppermost sampling rate.
You could put the same converter chip in a Prizm or Apogee converter and a Behringer, and which one do you think would sound better?
There's a fair amount of design that goes into the "analog" side of the "analog-to-digital" converter, including the quality of that very steep Nyquist filter (which is an analog filter).
..not to mention the quality of the clock and any anti-jitter or jitter suppression circuitry.
Dual 2.5Ghz 2004; 2.5GB RAM Mac OS X (10.4.8)
Okay, as I thought there are many RME lovers out there : )
Some of you mentioned better AD / DA converters, while others get more specific about them. It's more then just the converters (see e.g. iwilliam).
A friend also told me, the main reason while he loves the FF800 is because of the Steady Clock. I'm not much into converter technology, so I didn't really get what RME is telling about it on their homepage. My friend told me, if you sync any converter with the Steady Clock you get a better AD conversion then normally with the converter. Is it this simple and true?
I know that the Mic pres aren't the first choice for recording. Okay they aren't bad, but not my first choice. My first choice would be my channel strip. So for me it's just an expansion for recording.
I think the low latency of the Total Mix isn't a good argument. You have the same with the Motu (cuemix).
But all of you, thank you very much for your opinions... or are there any more?
G5 Dual 1,8 Mac OS X (10.4.8) 2 GB RAM ; Logic Pro 7.1.1 ; 2x UAD-1
A friend also told me, the main reason while he loves
the FF800 is because of the Steady Clock. I'm not
much into converter technology, so I didn't really
get what RME is telling about it on their homepage.
My friend told me, if you sync any converter with the
Steady Clock you get a better AD conversion then
normally with the converter. Is it this simple and
Having a quality clock reduces jitter, which helps with imaging and depth in a mix - especially when combining many channels. Jitter is recorded, so once the jitter is there, using a good clock on the output won't improve the sound as much. You want low jitter on the way in.
I did read a review about testing the "jitter suppression" in the RME where they clocked a cheap CD player from it and it improved the sound of the cheap converters in the CD player immensely.
Dual 2.5Ghz 2004; 2.5GB RAM Mac OS X (10.4.8)