The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
MR816X Vs. Blackbird Audio Interfaces
Old 11th September 2011
  #1
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
MR816X Vs. Blackbird

Similar price, one's newer who's the king?
Old 11th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 

$100 rebate from Mackie on Blackbird through September 15. Guitar Center often has $100 off $499 or more. In other words, Blackbird can be had around $300. So the winner on price is actually Blackbird by a landslide.
Old 11th September 2011
  #3
Gear Nut
 
Zencatt's Avatar
 

Be careful, Mackie will sometimes support their hardware for only a limited amount of time; I've read about hardware for previous lines (Onyx mixers) being unavailable not long after they were discontinued. That's put me off Mackie quite a bit...
Old 11th September 2011
  #4
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
I'm a bit offended that the rebate is only for the US.
Old 11th September 2011
  #5
Lives for gear
 
dxavier's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dannyvect View Post
Similar price, one's newer who's the king?
Although I do not like often to state that one product is better than another, I do not believe that this is a fair comparison. The pre amps and especially the conversion on the MR816 are comparable with several high end interfaces, whereas I do not think the blackbird has that level of quality. It's a good interface for sure, but the MR816 is something else. The MR816 sounds better to me than the RME FF800 and would give several of the Metric Halo interfaces a very good battle, whereas I would equate the qualities of the blackbird along side the Focusrite Saffire/Scarlett interfaces.
Old 11th September 2011
  #6
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by dxavier View Post
Although I do not like often to state that one product is better than another, I do not believe that this is a fair comparison. The pre amps and especially the conversion on the MR816 are comparable with several high end interfaces, whereas I do not think the blackbird has that level of quality. It's a good interface for sure, but the MR816 is something else. The MR816 sounds better to me than the RME FF800 and would give several of the Metric Halo interfaces a very good battle, whereas I would equate the qualities of the blackbird along side the Focusrite Saffire/Scarlett interfaces.
I agree with you, but it's a price war and they have slammed it into direct competition with the Steinberg, they are only undercutting it by £75.00 - £100.00... I don't believe for the price difference you would skimp on the quality and go for the underdog... Unless your crazy.

So if somebody has something up there sleeve about the mackie, it seems that the blackbird is going to be beaten hands down by the only slightly more expensive MR816.
Old 11th September 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Remeniz's Avatar
 

I'd say the MR816x is way under-priced anyways so compared to the Mackie unit, its still well worth the money. The cheaper Blackbird is realistically priced.

I upgraded to the MR816 some months back and it sounded like a £1000 upgrade with in my set up.
Old 11th September 2011
  #8
If the Blackbird sounds like the Blackjack at all then it's better than the Focusrite stuff. Probably quite close to the MR816X actually (although I would still give the edge to the Steiny based on my direct experience - I say this as an owner of both the MR816X and a Blackjack.)
Old 11th September 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 
euphoria89's Avatar
 

Very happy with preamps and converter quality of my MR816x. Top quality and should cost a lot more.
Old 11th September 2011
  #10
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by whitecat View Post
If the Blackbird sounds like the Blackjack at all then it's better than the Focusrite stuff. Probably quite close to the MR816X actually (although I would still give the edge to the Steiny based on my direct experience - I say this as an owner of both the MR816X and a Blackjack.)
Hi Whitecat, as far as I know they are using the same chips and pre's but the blackbird has more ins and outs..
Old 28th June 2012
  #11
I had a blackbird and it sounded very good imo,but i had latency issues using vst instruments,so i got rid of it in a trade.Great preamps and conversion though, if they got their driver problem under control i would get another one in a heartbeat.
Old 28th June 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dxavier View Post
Although I do not like often to state that one product is better than another, I do not believe that this is a fair comparison. The pre amps and especially the conversion on the MR816 are comparable with several high end interfaces, whereas I do not think the blackbird has that level of quality. It's a good interface for sure, but the MR816 is something else. The MR816 sounds better to me than the RME FF800 and would give several of the Metric Halo interfaces a very good battle, whereas I would equate the qualities of the blackbird along side the Focusrite Saffire/Scarlett interfaces.
I'm not sure I'd agree with that. I run a Yamaha n12 alongside a Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56. The n12 is, basically, the unit that was stripped down and cannibalised to make the MR series. Both units are nice enough and perfectly usable, but neither are what I would think of as high-end (by any stretch) and, if I had to give the advantage to one or the other, I'd say it lay with the Focusrite, not the Yamaha/Steinberg. I've found the Focusrite's driver performance to be marginally better too.

As for the Mackie, I haven't heard the Blackjack et al, but I've heard some of the Onyx mixers and they do seem pretty nice. At least as good as the n12 or the LS56, maybe even a touch better. That's the mixers though - I don't know how much of that pedigree has passed on into the rackmounted/desktop interfaces and I don't know what they're like for their drivers.
Old 1st July 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Each to his own and this is so subjective but I have the MR816 and the Focusrite saffire pro 24 and believe me there is no comparison in the quality of recording I can get, the MR816 wins hands down. Now whether that's converter quality or preamp quality I don't know and quite honestly I don't care. It's a wonderful unit. I also have Lavry converters here, which are fantastic but I only have 2 channels of A/D. I've no problem using the MR816 when I have to record any more channels.

Steve
Old 2nd July 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaffa View Post
Each to his own and this is so subjective but I have the MR816 and the Focusrite saffire pro 24 and believe me there is no comparison in the quality of recording I can get, the MR816 wins hands down. Now whether that's converter quality or preamp quality I don't know and quite honestly I don't care. It's a wonderful unit. I also have Lavry converters here, which are fantastic but I only have 2 channels of A/D. I've no problem using the MR816 when I have to record any more channels.

Steve
Well, assuming that the MR manages to hit the same level as the n12 (or close to it - which it certainly should, given that it has the same pres, uses the same AD and has only really had its DA specs cut down slightly) then I'm not surprised you get good recordings out of it. As I said, I find both the n12 and the LS56 to be totally usable. The difference between the two is very slight indeed. I only said that if I absolutely had to give the advantage to one side or the other, it would lie with the LS56 in my case. In fact, when I got the LS, I originally intended to sell the n12 off, but I ended up keeping it because I still like it so much - both for its sound and for the pleasure of working with a proper desk layout rather than a bunch of rackmounted knobs.

As for the Saffire 24, maybe it just doesn't stand up quite as well as its big brother. I figured all the Saffire line should be pretty much identical but for channel counts and such, but maybe there are some other differences. Who knows - as you said, this stuff is pretty subjective and we're talking about units that all play in the same ballpark price/performance wise (even if the Saffire 24 may well be the weak, runty kid on the block in this case).
Old 2nd July 2012
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaffa View Post
Each to his own and this is so subjective but I have the MR816 and the Focusrite saffire pro 24 and believe me there is no comparison in the quality of recording I can get, the MR816 wins hands down. Now whether that's converter quality or preamp quality I don't know and quite honestly I don't care. It's a wonderful unit. I also have Lavry converters here, which are fantastic but I only have 2 channels of A/D. I've no problem using the MR816 when I have to record any more channels.

Steve
Don't own the Saffire, but I do own the Lavry AD11 and the MR816X. I posted a scientific comparison of the two and around 30 people could not tell the difference in the A/D, including me. So yes, it does compete very well with high end gear.

The preamps are quite good up to around 80% of their range, but are unusable with low output ribbons, IMO. When running other preamps into the MR816's preamp inputs with the pad engaged and the level set to minimum, the MR816's preamps do not impart any sonic fingerprint on the sound, so you can safely use high end preamps with the MR816 and get the full benefit.

There have been issues with some firewire cards with this unit. I ended up having to use the Windows 7 firewire driver for my card, and it works fine.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump