8 Channel Firewire Preamp with Analog Limiters Under $1000 ?
Hello everyone. Love the forum, though I rarely post.
I'm hoping to get some advice/experiences on a preamp/firewire interface.
I want an 8+ channel Firewire Interface / Preamp with built-in limiters that is under $1000.
The only one that I have found at all is the Presonus Firestudio Tube, which has 8 XMAX preamps and two "Superchannel" tube preamps with built-in analag limiters. This seems great except that the Firestudio Tube has no digital I/O!! No ADAT, No SPDIF, etc. Only analog I/O and a MIDI-in. I have some (non-essential) digital I/O needs so this is not ideal.
Also, I don't know:
- If the Firestudio Tube has a "real" tube preamp or a "semi-tube" preamp, and what the quality of this preamp is.
- If the analog limiter is any good and if it is situated in the signal chain properly (before the A/D conversion, etc.)
My other option was buying a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 or Presonus Firestudio and then buying some (under $250) external limiters to feed into them. They would have to be kind of small though, not a full rack size. I need a pretty portable rig. I really only need 1 or 2 channels of limiter. I am kind of attracted to the "tube" offering of the Firestudio tube though, and I don't know (and would love to know) if you will lose some quality by running an external compressor/limiter preamp into a 1/4" input on the back of a Focusrite as opposed to the built-in limiter/preamp in the Firestudio Tube.
So if you know of any other 8 channel Preamps with 1 or 2 limiters built in to them under $1000 or if you can recommend which option is better (Firestudio tube or Saffire Pro 40 with external limiters) I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks for your help!
BTW The Focusrite Pro 40 has realized a new firmware which allows the unit to operate in stand-alone mode, in case anybody wants to know.