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Why is Presonus Hardware so poor?
Old 23rd November 2011
  #1
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Why is Presonus Hardware so poor?

Are their products known to be up their with an apogee? I'm not too familiar with apogee, but have heard great things about them. After weeks of research and seeing the studio live consoler I was sold on Presonus products. I recently bought a presonus 1818 vsl interface, and the sound of it is very flat in my opinion. There is no imaging to the sound. Its sounds to me dull and lifeless. Plus I did had trouble with the latency and had to reinstall the drivers. This was on an win 7, i7 with 12 gb of ram.

I guess their's a reason why guitar center, and other online stores are selling a bunch of these vsl usb interfaces refurbished already. So are presonus interfaces mainly for entry level muscians? It would be nice if they could get their interfaces up to par, on the same level as Presonus Studio One. Why don't they collaborate with the studio one developers or something. German engineers create excellent hardware products (NI). At this point I'm a little disappointed with my purchase, and will sell it probably. I will probably buy a Native Instruments interface due to my great experiences with their maschine, traktor s4, and traktor interfaces. Thanks for reading....
Old 23rd November 2011
  #2
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gumby1220's Avatar
with usb interfaces you'll always have latency no matter what brand. this is even so with firewire interfaces just much less latency.
Old 23rd November 2011
  #3
Deleted User
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Well, I'll say one thing here, Presonus products in my opinion hit a summit...They worked really hard to create high quality products ADL 600, they expanded with the Firestudio, they were very ahead of their time with converter quality and value....That was 2006...Today tons of other companies have taken a hold of where Presonus was as a leader in sub $1000 audio interfaces.

These new VSL interfaces well, they do fall flat...I mean, sure they've gotta make sure they're under the $500 price point. But you can do BETTER in 2011.

This is coming from a owner of 3 Presonus products. I love them, but I know the new stuff isn't innovative or as good sounding as it could be...a little disappointed :-/
Old 23rd November 2011
  #4
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Actually, a lot disappointed.
Old 23rd November 2011
  #5
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Yeah I feel like they're just putting out anything sub par. I'm going to sell mine actually.
Old 23rd November 2011
  #6
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DR Music's Avatar
Love my Eureka with the burrBrown mod...!!!
Old 23rd November 2011
  #7
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I'd like to know how the imaging could be altered adversely by the 1818. ((edit: I should acknowledge that imaging can be adversely affected by phase distortion over a spread of frequencies - as created by speaker crossovers combined with the physically different locations of two drivers (tweeter and woofer, for example) that output the same frequency at the same time. That isn't an artifact that can be created by any sanely created audio interface... if I don't say this than someone will rebut me, and I don't feel like being rebutted right now LoL.))

imaging is a stereo effect that honestly can only be degraded by the speakers themselves, not by any audio interface. if the imaging is poor then you have other issues and I'd fully expect you to have the same flat sounding imaging with another audio interface.

the frequency balance however may not be to your liking. Possibly you prefer a brighter sounding interface, or a warmer sounding interface.

Most presonus products (other than the adl but including the fireface etc) are intentionally very neutral in their tone - which really IS the ideal for most people in a recording situation.

However there certainly are audio interfaces that have a unique tonal balance to them which you might prefer. Many of them cost a hell of a lot more money though since creating a non-neutral tonal balance that is pleasing to the ear yet won't interfere with your mixing and doesn't degrade the performance in any other ways.... well that's challenging to do, so you're paying for some major R&D in those types of interfaces.

the presonus stuff though will have just as good imaging as any other brand.

people claim that high frequency detail is compromised in cheap converters.... this can be true. but if people realized just how cheap and poor the converters must be to start affecting the sound in ways that are audible to humans, let alone measurable, I think these discussions would become more accurate.

So imho, what you're probably finding that you dislike about your 1818 is that it doesn't add anything special to the sound compared to what you used before, and possibly you preferred the sound of your previous interface.

This is quite possible of course - and I do believe you that you aren't impressed with the device's sound - but it's all down to the frequency balance of the different interfaces and so on. Imaging (which means the ability to clearly hear the placement of instruments in the stereo image when the objects were recorded in true stereo rather than simply panned part way to the side) really shouldn't be altered by any audio interface.

But don't blame presonus for deteriorating - they have their famous high end device and they have less expensive, similar, yet not as impressive devices that more people can actually afford to buy. you get what you pay for, more or less. obviously they can't put those same transformers from the adl into their cheaper gear - and that is a LOT of what you are hearing the ADL that makes it superior imho.

as always, just my humble opinion.
Old 23rd November 2011
  #8
I've used two Presonus Firepods in my setup for a good 7 years. Great value and they really helped me when I was getting started, but I've lost 2 channels and the power switch failed on both. Some day I will get rid of them (I can't afford 16 channels of sexy preamps), but they have served me well.
Old 23rd November 2011
  #9
113568
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what do people think of the studiolive desks? are they better built than these other things?
Old 24th November 2011
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelley View Post
I'd like to know how the imaging could be altered adversely by the 1818. <snip> imaging is a stereo effect that honestly can only be degraded by the speakers themselves, not by any audio interface.
Jitter could do it - no experience with the 1818 so I'm out.
Old 24th November 2011
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sopre View Post
Are their products known to be up their with an apogee? I'm not too familiar with apogee, but have heard great things about them. After weeks of research and seeing the studio live consoler I was sold on Presonus products. I recently bought a presonus 1818 vsl interface, and the sound of it is very flat in my opinion. There is no imaging to the sound. Its sounds to me dull and lifeless. Plus I did had trouble with the latency and had to reinstall the drivers. This was on an win 7, i7 with 12 gb of ram.

I guess their's a reason why guitar center, and other online stores are selling a bunch of these vsl usb interfaces refurbished already. So are presonus interfaces mainly for entry level muscians? It would be nice if they could get their interfaces up to par, on the same level as Presonus Studio One. Why don't they collaborate with the studio one developers or something. German engineers create excellent hardware products (NI). At this point I'm a little disappointed with my purchase, and will sell it probably. I will probably buy a Native Instruments interface due to my great experiences with their maschine, traktor s4, and traktor interfaces. Thanks for reading....

er............
um.................
flat is good
you want unflat then eq it

latency is a factoid
some devices bypass teh computer to avoid it
but you hear what went in not how it got processed later

drivers?
ROTFLMFAOPIMP !!!!!!!!!
drivers are a fact of life
you will re do them many times for many devices many times

you get what you buy

that is why there are so many products out there
nobody likes all of them exactly the same
so you pick the one that suits you
and not everybody wants to pay what the high end costs
Old 24th November 2011
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveE View Post
I've used two Presonus Firepods in my setup for a good 7 years. Great value and they really helped me when I was getting started, but I've lost 2 channels and the power switch failed on both. Some day I will get rid of them (I can't afford 16 channels of sexy preamps), but they have served me well.

Yeah man, I agree. People knock their stuff, but I got some damn nice drum sounds with the OG digimax box. In a room full of Sonex at that.

Got a Sytek later, was what we could afford at the time. Thing is, from the Soundcraft's pres we went to the Presonus. Huge difference. From the digimax pres to the sytek?
Not nearly so big of a difference at all.

I don't know about much of their other gear, the mp20 and m80 are cool.

I have not used their newer interface deals.
From what I have heard though, they sound ok to me.

As far as the imaging thing dkelley, I don't know.
I have a board, a Soundworkshop, that is supposed to have the exact same pan law as my DDA console. This was tested and verified BTW, when the board was recapped and modded.

The SW sounds less wide, and heavier in the middle, the DDA sounds really wide, almost to the point of wrapping around behind you when panned out full, but it's center is not as solid and punchy...not as tangible and in your face.

What has this got to do with Presonus interfaces? Nothing, just saying the whole imaging thing can be pretty bizarre, and subjective. It would seem circuit design can and does affect imaging, and the presonus boxes have circuits of course heh

john

Last edited by NEWTON IN ORBIT; 24th November 2011 at 02:57 AM.. Reason: typo city....
Old 24th November 2011
  #13
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinvanda View Post
what do people think of the studiolive desks? are they better built than these other things?
I actually won a 16.0.2 in a drawing and I love the thing. I use it for a live PA and the pres are extremely transparent. Add that to all the internal digital processing and the ability to recall everything. Killer!
Old 24th November 2011
  #14
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DR Music's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmymio View Post
I actually won a 16.0.2 in a drawing and I love the thing. I use it for a live PA and the pres are extremely transparent. Add that to all the internal digital processing and the ability to recall everything. Killer!
I would love my behringer mixer if I won one too!!!
lol!
The studiolive and the eureka are winners!
Old 24th November 2011
  #15
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTON IN ORBIT View Post
Yeah man, I agree. People knock their stuff, but I got some damn nice drum sounds with the OG digimax box. In a room full of Sonex at that.

Got a Sytek later, was what we could afford at the time. Thing is, from the Soundcraft's pres we went to the Presonus. Huge difference. From the digimax pres to the sytek?
Not nearly so big of a difference at all.

I don't know about much of their other gear, the mp20 and m80 are cool.

I have not used their newer interface deals.
From what I have heard though, they sound ok to me.

As far as the imaging thing dkelley, I don't know.
I have a board, a Soundworkshop, that is supposed to have the exact same pan law as my DDA console. This was tested and verified BTW, when the board was recapped and modded.

The SW sounds less wide, and heavier in the middle, the DDA sounds really wide, almost to the point of wrapping around behind you when panned out full, but it's center is not as solid and punchy...not as tangible and in your face.

What has this got to do with Presonus interfaces? Nothing, just saying the whole imaging thing can be pretty bizarre, and subjective. It would seem circuit design can and does affect imaging, and the presonus boxes have circuits of course heh

john
Fair enough... Just because I don't understand how it can be possible doesn't make it magically not possible lol. Cheers
Old 24th November 2011
  #16
Gear Head
 
CynicEidolon's Avatar
 

I've used Presonus interfaces (Firestudio, Digimax, and StudioLive) for about 5 years now. They are okay at best. As far as the sound goes. They are muddy, lifeless, unexciting, etc... They don't get good low depth and they SUCK at openness of high information. But, my whole interface "rig" cost be about $1000 with 16 pre's and converters AND a way into my PC. So, do I hate my Presonus? No way! It's the best thing that has ever happened to me. Do I wish I had something else... The grass is always greener...

You get what you pay for and from what I've heard in the newer stuff from them, you get less than that, even.
Old 24th November 2011
  #17
Gear Addict
 

The central station seems to be popular. my experience with presonus gear is the digimax I think. The Adat 8 channel converter. In one studio I engineer at I prefer the a/d on it over the digi 002

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Old 24th November 2011
  #18
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omtayslick's Avatar
 

Buy what makes you happy. German gear is certainly good. That said, I use a Digimax FS into a Layla 2496. It works great, and sounds good on drums in particular. I like the flat sound, and can put my own humps in it later in the process if I choose to. Its converters sound a little clearer than the much older Layla, so I use the Digimax's converters for my other pres as well. The Presonus syncs effortlessly to the Layla, and plays very nicely with all my other gear.
Old 24th November 2011
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

I'm no pro engineer or anything, but what I have been able to put out with my Firestudio would lead me to believe you have other issues if you can't get it to sound good.
Old 24th November 2011
  #20
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DR Music's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raincrow View Post
I'm no pro engineer or anything, but what I have been able to put out with my Firestudio would lead me to believe you have other issues if you can't get it to sound good.
Understandable, now that you get a great sound upgrade to a RME UFX, Profire 2626, Safirre 56, Stienberg MR and see what we mean!
Old 24th November 2011
  #21
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raincrow View Post
I'm no pro engineer or anything, but what I have been able to put out with my Firestudio would lead me to believe you have other issues if you can't get it to sound good.
this I completely agree with.

in fact the firestudio was quite well regarded within it's price range when it came out.

but then the same can be said of the original mbox or any recording system honestly. the audio interfaces we use are easily the least important piece of the puzzle to getting great audio recorded. Considering some of the great audio recorded on cassette by good engineers, none of us has any excuse for making bad audio when we use any digital audio interface made within the past 15 years.

keep it in perspective guys. presonus is just fine. their hardware isn't poor at all. it's good within it's price point and quite competitive.

I used a firepod when it came out and was very very happy with it. it sounded virtually the same as my m-audio delta 1010 and as the digi system we used at the studio I worked at for many years. They all sounded virtually the same compared to some of the other recording technology around at the time.

and for "jitter" to create imaging issues that are audible the clock jitter would have to be enormous.

The clock in these presonus products is the same clock used in almost all audio interfaces. jitter hasn't been an issues for a long long time guys.

yes, some very high end products may have less jitter - I don't know the facts for sure there any more (I did once but forgot as it hasn't been important enough).

But imaging problems can only be caused by frequency-based phase distortion (or whatever you want to call it). Jitter would have to be enormous to cause that problem.

The only way to actually test imaging is with a true stereo recorded source. like a symphony orchestra recorded with a simple 2 mic xy stereo setup (which is done in some recordings only, not all).

On my monitors I can easily pinpoint the different parts of the orchestra with my eyes closed. with my near fields I can actually hear things further out than the speakers are (because of the typical near field effect of pointing directly at your ears, simulating headphones a little bit, and therefore exaggerating the stereo image).

This is with a delta 1010. I've heard this phenomenon with the same speakers when the source was just a consumer cd player, my android phone playing flac through the headphone output driving my board, and from cassette tape, etc.

These are all converters and hardware of wildly varying quality. they're all completely capable of delivering an amazing sound with great imaging.

Just saying.... it doesn't take great gear to get great imaging, aside from your speakers, their setup, and your room of course.
Old 25th November 2011
  #22
Presonus makes some fine stuff. Interface pres aren't exciting, but I wouldn't expect that from any interface pres. My Digimax FS is quite capable of recording a good track. I like the Saffire pres subtly more, but external pres are far better than both most of the time.

But If you believe going from a Presonus to any other comparably priced interface will vastly improve your sound, I would say you are mistaken. You'd get much more benefit from building one or two solid external chains to add on,

Oh, and I love my Monitor Station, an excellent Presonus product.
Old 25th November 2011
  #23
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Not bashing presonus here. I used ye olde Firepod for 7 years. I figured, I has everything I need.

On a whim, I sold it and bought a profire 2626. Things have definitely opened up a lot, as far as conversion goes...
Old 25th November 2011
  #24
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DR Music's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattjew24 View Post
Not bashing presonus here. I used ye olde Firepod for 7 years. I figured, I has everything I need.

On a whim, I sold it and bought a profire 2626. Things have definitely opened up a lot, as far as conversion goes...
Amen!!! I agree 1000%
The Central Station/ Monitor Station/ Eureka's I'll always keep.. Great Value! Ofcourse the ADL but it's an ADL!!!
And the Studio 16/24.4.2 are great LIVE Solutions!
Old 25th November 2011
  #25
"Why is Presonus Hardware so poor?"

very big and IMHO unfounded exaggeration. I would not want to get rid of my ADL600, the Central Station is excellent at it's price & feature set, and lots of people are happy with their Studio Live mixers. I'm sure there is more at the mid/low end of the spectrum.

in addition, if your main complaint with the interface is that it has no character, use some other mics or mic-pres. RE the driver issue, get over it. it is the name of the game...especially on a PC.
Old 25th November 2011
  #26
I used a Presonus Firebox for years...like a German tank...it sucks but it was great
Old 29th November 2011
  #27
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PreSonus's Avatar
 

Hey folks, my name's Ryan, I'm the Social Media Manager for PreSonus.

Sopre, if you are experiencing unreasonable latency and "lifeless" sound while using your 1818VSL, it's possible that you need to adjust something in the signal chain. Common culprits often include your cables, connections, microphones, or computer configuration. As with any product, it’s also possible that you got a problematic unit. I encourage you to contact our tech-support staff via the medium of your choice; We are here to help!

Knowledgebase: PreSonus Audio Electronics : Knowledge Base
E-mail: PreSonus
Phone: +1-225-216-7887 (9am - 5pm, Monday-Friday, Central Standard Time (CST)

Please also be aware that the AudioBox 1818VSL is designed to be essentially sonically transparent; it is not designed to noticeably color your sound. We hope you stick with PreSonus as you continue making music!
Old 30th November 2011
  #28
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DR Music's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PreSonus View Post
Hey folks, my name's Ryan, I'm the Social Media Manager for PreSonus.

Sopre, if you are experiencing unreasonable latency and "lifeless" sound while using your 1818VSL, it's possible that you need to adjust something in the signal chain. Common culprits often include your cables, connections, microphones, or computer configuration. As with any product, it’s also possible that you got a problematic unit. I encourage you to contact our tech-support staff via the medium of your choice; We are here to help!

Knowledgebase: PreSonus Audio Electronics : Knowledge Base
E-mail: PreSonus
Phone: +1-225-216-7887 (9am - 5pm, Monday-Friday, Central Standard Time (CST)

Please also be aware that the AudioBox 1818VSL is designed to be essentially sonically transparent; it not designed to noticeably color your sound. We hope you stick with PreSonus as you continue making music!
The Eureka rocks, the ADL, Monitors Station, Central Station, Faderport are GREAT!!!
Everything else is..... Ummm ... Ok....The Safire 40, Profire 2626 are similar money with a noticeable sound difference!
Same in the smaller boxes.
We need a Control Surface with motorized faders!!
2/4ch Eureka!!
Old 30th November 2011
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR Music View Post
We need a Control Surface with motorized faders!!
2/4ch Eureka!!
and with recording control buttons that are soft and silent like those in my old roland vs-880. now THOSE are nice buttons.

none of this clicky buttons stuff in a product that is typically going to be used in the same room used for tracking.... I'm continually editing out the ends of all mic'd parts due to that presonus faderport click. it's no better than a mouse click.

but the faderport itself is cool. wish it had a display like the alphatrack, but otherwise I would never trade my faderport away. far better than the berry 8 channel motorized controller I used in years past.
Old 30th November 2011
  #30
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shatz's Avatar
Never used their interfaces so can't comment on that. Had a faderport that died in a couple months use. Don't mind because I honestly didn't use it enough to like it. I will never sell my ADL 600. I love it and only had one problem with a trim knob that presonus sent to me free after being out of warranty for nearly 5 or 6 years. I also have a Eureka that I changed the op-amps out with some LTs. It has a place in the studio as well. I respect presonus as a company and would like to see them release more higher end products.
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