RME is not out of your budget if you know what to buy. I suggest a used multiface with PCI or Laptop Card. The go all day on ebay for $400-500. It is also expandable as well since it has an ADAT in and Out. It is also better and lower latency than firewire!!!
Our studio had a fireface but we were able to get the latency lower with a multiface because it is not Firewire. Firewire is good depending on what you are doing but for performance, nothing beats PCI, or Laptop card. What type of computer are you using?
Get the multiface 1 and save some cabbage. It is very similar and about half the price!!
To be fair, most people go there to complain and there are many quietly satisfied users out there (like I used to be). But the local dealer here in NZ has had a 15% return rate on firepods/fp10s, nearly all of the them needing new chips.
If you want one, you'd better hurry as MF are discontinuing them, so their days are numbered
I have and use a Firepod everyday for the last 2-3 years to record drums. I use all 8 pres and I haven't had a single problem with it. This is the first I've heard of issues with the Firepod. Obviously, I've heard opinions on the quality of the pres, etc... But everyone knows what they're getting when they buy 8 mic pres for $499.00. They do the job, and are fairly transparent.
Can I ask why you passed on the Echo equipment ?
The TRS connector thing is vague , if you want a couple of pre amps then the audiofire 8 has two xlr combo sockets as well as 6 more TRS .
As for the manufacture , Echo seem to have a good reputation and are recommended on here by quite a few .
I have one (audiofire 8) not had it that long , but it sounds good and has worked flawlessly .
Man i dont know. More i think of getting audiofire 12, the more i prefer motu. Actually that was the orginal plan. Just purchase the motu and everything would be fine. But then i lost track of my thoughts and started wondering around the internet..And now im totally lost..
I dont want to buy some M-Audio shit anymore. And its about time that my super-low-end studio gets rid of the "super"..
But for your question. Its really hard to get in finland..I went to the local music shop at the other day (The are normally well informed about manufactors) and they was like "WTF are you talking about?!?"
Then they start talking about RME FF800...
Of course i could buy it from the internet, like any other gear that i own...Its just too odd to me...or something..
I think I understand what you are saying ....
You are unsure about the company (echo) as they are unheard of in Finland ??
Echo are an American company , who (to (mis?)quote WarHead) excel at making quality eququipment , but suck at marketing !
I have already contributed what I know of the Echo stuff , and I am not going to push any product further (I don't know enough !) .
My advice would be to take your time , read threads (there is one current about interface quality/reliability)
Finally , I suppose the only safe bet in your position is to save the extra money and go for an RME fireface400 , anything else (without trying the equipment) would be taking a gamble (from your perspective) .
I probably wouldn't go RME. Not that they're bad, just that their linux support is poor. Sure they at one time cooperated in getting linux drivers for a couple of their devices. But as of late they seem to have no interest in linux. And only about two of their twelve or more devices currently produced have linux drivers. Again, not that they're bad devices with bad drivers, just that if you want to use them in linux, you better be a gambler.
Most of my current devices are M-Audio. Decent for the money and linux support seems to be there. As I'm looking at getting more OS / PC independant devices like the Fostex FR2LE. YMMV.
I have owned and used extensively a Firepod, a Fireface 800 and an Audiofire 12/mackie 800r. I still have the AF12.
The preamps in the fireface sucked for me and I couldn't justify having the unit with 4 preamps that I hated. I absolutely love the Audiofire. As someone said before, there was a blind converter shootout that was very well done and most everyone picked the AF 12 over the apogee ad16x/da16x. It was actually quite funny. Then, of course, once the tests were revealed, everyone backtracked and gave bullshit reasons for their choices. The results were there. I have a buddy with apogees and brought my AF over and he said they compared very closely after he listened to them. FWIW.
The bottom line is that you should buy what you're comfortable with. But to cross the Echo off the list because it only has TRS connectors doesn't make any sense.
Well...if you don't want trs inputs only, how about Echo Audiofire 8? I have an audiofire 4 and an RME fireface400 and I much prefer the sound of audiofire over the fireface (I strongly agree with redddog--I think the preamps in the fireface suck big time.)
Fireface has much better latency than Echo stuff if you are into software synths, but other than that, Echo stuff rocks.
I also own a presonus firestudio project, and I've had good luck with it, but the Echo SOUNDS the best of all...
Definitely buy from someplace with a liberal return policy...
yes you have to wait 1-2 months I guess. I have a 1814 right now working very stable never any audio or digital problems with it and I think I will go for the 2616 as a soon as I know it works well too.
I agree with Roc if you only need 2 track apogee duet is a good options but still doesn't work with ptools.