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E-MU 1616M PCI v.s. Focusrite Saffire Audio Interfaces
Old 28th August 2007
Lives for gear
ONDRAY's Avatar
E-MU 1616M PCI v.s. Focusrite Saffire

gear sluting it out with a buddy (as usual) and this topic came up.. your thoughts.
Old 28th August 2007
Gear Maniac
ForgottenG's Avatar

The only thing I can comment on is the card and converters. I have the same card the 1212M and I have been very impressed with it. I use it with the ADA8000 preamp. It is very clean. I have not used either of those pres that you are looking at. I should add that I "downgraded," from a DIGI002R to this current rig running reaper. I have not missed my protools rig. That's my 2 cents.
Old 29th August 2007
Lives for gear
ONDRAY's Avatar
hmm, okay so we have +1 for the emu.

Well, I have a saffire so +1 for it.

Any others.

Basically my buddy is looking into buying an interface with in those price ranges. He doesn't really care if it's portable or not. So any suggestions.
Old 29th August 2007
Gear Maniac

Yeah -0 help me out here people. Focusrite, or E-Mu?

(or if you feel there's better quality to be had sub-$500, feel free to recommend alternatives).
Old 30th August 2007
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AudioGaff's Avatar
+1 for the E-MU 1616M. I am just floored at the quality, portability, flexability and the creative signal routing capabilites. The software bundle is both generous and useful. New Vista drivers and an updated DSP virtual mixer with additional DSP effects are due to be released very soon. Beta versions now available. Truely a rare outstanding value.
Old 30th August 2007
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PettyCash's Avatar

I was faced with a decision like that back when I was putting together my first studio setup. It was between the 1820M, and the Saffire Pro.

I went 1820M, for the better on board converters, and the PatchMix DSP virtual mixer (which ended up being a godsend). The TFPro preamps on the 1820M are also pretty good for stock, not sure how the 1616M preamps compare though.

The preamp on the Saffire Pro might be better since its Focusrite, but that wasnt enough to make my decision lean more towards it.
Old 30th August 2007
Here for the gear

Hi everyone, my first post here

You may have already read these two reviews from Sond on Sound, may help:

Emu 1616M

Focusrite Saffire

I’ve owned an 1820m for few years now. My comments:

The breakout box has got a long cable to the PC
The sound
The flexibility of the mixer
A lot of fun to plug in a keyboard / guitar and play in real-time with the effect chains. I found it sometimes very inspiring.
I like a lot the software sampler Emulator X which only works with Emu hardware.

The effects are OK only. Others may disagree.
The mixing interface feels dated and unprofessional despite the very good hardware.

The cons are details for me, I didn't buy the card for the DSP, it's a (fun) bonus. I don’t know if the Saffire offers this option, but on the 1820m you can you use a pair of outputs as a send and another as return which can be very handy if you have outboard processors. It appears an normal FX.

Hope that helped (a bit).
Old 30th August 2007
Lives for gear
t.dizzle's Avatar

I own the 1212m cards and a Saffire Pro 26 I/O. Even though the Saffire Pro 26 is a quality unit and offers a lot of "bang for the buck", the 1212m has two HUGE advantages over the SFP26. First, as many of y'all already know, the Emu has the same conversion chips as a Digi 192, and sounds incredible - especially when sync'd to a w/c (you need the optional clock card). It really does sound fantastic. The other HUGE advantage has to do with latency... Since the SFP26 is a firewire I/O, there is an obvious (and unacceptable to me) latency even when set to 4ms. I simply cannot track vocals this way. Of course, the SFP26 offers a direct monitor mixer, but I track vox with compression, eq and fx to coax a better performance from the artist - which is not possible with the SFP26 using direct monitoring. This is where the Emu stuff totally destroys the competition... The mixer/monitor interface of the 1212m provides insert points for every channel, including the master L/R. That means that I can have perceived zero latency monitoring for the artist while using the dynamics and fx on the return monitor channel which feeds the cans. I don't know of any other mixer interface that has insert points like that. Even without that feature, the 1212m offers a pretty latency free experience since it's PCI based and not on firewire.

The SFP26 I/O is a good piece of gear, and if you're not spoiled from using a TDM/HD system for years like me you'll find many uses for it. The pres are very good (better than Saffire and Saffire Pro) and you get 8 of them for starters.
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