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Celebrity Deathmatch: Audiofire 12 vs. Fireface800?
Old 22nd August 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Celebrity Deathmatch: Audiofire 12 vs. Fireface800?

Ok. Here's the thing....

I have the Fireface 800 and as much as I've tried, I can't get by th pres. They're ok. But the fact that they're there, staring me in the face and I don't want to use them kinda pisses me off. So, while I like the sound of the thing, there's a lot to it that I don't need. Given the fact that I've been forced to be as frugal as humanly possible, running the leanest operation in existance, I'm thinking about selling it and getting something else. Now the caveat. I don't want to give a single micrometer in the conversion quality. And furthermore, I don't want any driver funny business either.

So here's my idea:

get the Audiofire 12 and a Presonus Central Station. I already have a 800r and use the pres on that for everything. The FF800 pres NEVER get used. My plan is, waaaayyyy down the road, to get a rack of 7th circle stuff(in keeping with the frugal, lean operation thing). At that point, I can then just grab another Audiofile 12. If and when I eventually move into a higher level conversion (Lynx, Apogee et al) I can just replace the Audiofire 12s with the stand-alone converters and it would be seemless.

My question are:

1. Am I giving up conversion quality?

2. Will latency performance suffer?

3. Am I openning the door to driver problems?

Thanks everyone for your thoughts.
Old 22nd August 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
John The Cut's Avatar
 

Budget doesnt seem to be an issue right now.. so I would say make the move up now. You may as well.

Ditch the RME, get an AudioFire8 and an Apogee Rosetta800. Sorted for life.
Old 22nd August 2006
  #3
16942
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by redddog View Post
Ok. Here's the thing....

I have the Fireface 800 and as much as I've tried, I can't get by th pres. They're ok. But the fact that they're there, staring me in the face and I don't want to use them kinda pisses me off. So, while I like the sound of the thing, there's a lot to it that I don't need. Given the fact that I've been forced to be as frugal as humanly possible, running the leanest operation in existance, I'm thinking about selling it and getting something else. Now the caveat. I don't want to give a single micrometer in the conversion quality. And furthermore, I don't want any driver funny business either.

So here's my idea:

get the Audiofire 12 and a Presonus Central Station. I already have a 800r and use the pres on that for everything. The FF800 pres NEVER get used. My plan is, waaaayyyy down the road, to get a rack of 7th circle stuff(in keeping with the frugal, lean operation thing). At that point, I can then just grab another Audiofile 12. If and when I eventually move into a higher level conversion (Lynx, Apogee et al) I can just replace the Audiofire 12s with the stand-alone converters and it would be seemless.

My question are:

1. Am I giving up conversion quality?

2. Will latency performance suffer?

3. Am I openning the door to driver problems?

Thanks everyone for your thoughts.
1. Maybe a little.
2. No
3. No

Hiowever, (and I am an Echo user and endorser) you will have to sell the Fireface as used and buy the Audiofire as new probably so in the frugality department I don't know that this gains you anything.
Old 22nd August 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 

The Fireface is pristine. Only used a few hours. I mostly had my experiences with one in another studio. I never even got to rack the unit. They're going for $1200-1300 on ebay. The Audiofire 12 can be had for $540. Central station - $500. So I'd be pocketing $200-250. Does that make sense or am I missing something?
Old 22nd August 2006
  #5
16942
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by redddog View Post
The Fireface is pristine. Only used a few hours. I mostly had my experiences with one in another studio. I never even got to rack the unit. They're going for $1200-1300 on ebay. The Audiofire 12 can be had for $540. Central station - $500. So I'd be pocketing $200-250. Does that make sense or am I missing something?
Well, first of all I am not wild about the Central Station. Although it is good sounding the build quality is flimsy and there are too many knobs jammed into to little space IMHO. Consider the Furman SRM80a -much less money, fewer bells and whistles but better build quality.

I can buy a Fireface new in LA for $1400 so if it were me I would never buy a used one unless it was $1000 or less but people buy stuff on Ebay at all price points so yes you would save some money, although that sounds more like a price for the Audiofire 8 than 12.

The converters in the Audiofire line are the same as in my Layla 3G, quite respectable but the A/D may be just a little less than the Fireface. Not a big difference but some.
Old 22nd August 2006
  #6
adi
Gear Head
 

Where is the AudioFire 12 being sold for $540? Everywhere I've seen puts it in the $700 range.
Old 22nd August 2006
  #7
maybe we need to hook up for some gearswap
I'll take the fireface (yuch) and you get a fantastic dbx 266xl (mint)







deal?

Last edited by Reptil; 22nd August 2006 at 11:51 PM.. Reason: better now ;-))
Old 23rd August 2006
  #8
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MadGuitrst's Avatar
I'm thinking of the RMEs (FF 800 or 400) vs one of the Audiofires (8 vs 12).

Acoustic Cloud has the Audiofire 12 and doesn't like the fact that there is no way via software to control both the monitor and headphone volume. So we were talking about different options, the Central Station being one of them.

But if you have to pay for the AF12 and the CS to have the same functionality as the FF800, why in the world would you not just pick the FF800?

Considering you already have the FF800 redddog, I'd say it seems to me you are in the midst of a buyers remorse crises. It is a lot of $$$, no doubt......but it is also a great unit with a tremendous feature set. The thing is, do you need it all? Not to mention, why have such mediocre at best preamps on what is otherwise a high end unit? Just leave them out and cut the cost a few bucks (how about a unit with a lunch box that comes with one great preamp....or even empty and we can fill it up?!?!?!?! )

Now, if you could use only the AF12 in place of the FF800, then maybe, sure.....there's a small savings and I'd venture to say the sound quality is going to be really, really close.

But remember, whatever the replacement costs, it cost the extra whatever you lose on the FF800. Think about it, if the FF800 cost you $1,450 and you net $1,150 on it, you lost $300. If you pay $550 for an AF12, factor in another $300 lost on the FF800, then your actual cost to own the AF12 is $850. In essence, the FF800 will have only cost $300 more to own. If you throw a Central Station in for another $500, then the cost for you right now to own the AF12 and CS will be $200 MORE than the FF800. So, according to what you're considering, you'll have paid more money to downgrade.

Unless you really need the money and can do with only the AF12, keep your FF800. It's the only logical thing to do.
Old 23rd August 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Wow. Great post.
.....think, man ...think.
Old 23rd August 2006
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadGuitrst View Post
I'm thinking of the RMEs (FF 800 or 400) vs one of the Audiofires (8 vs 12).

Acoustic Cloud has the Audiofire 12 and doesn't like the fact that there is no way via software to control both the monitor and headphone volume. So we were talking about different options, the Central Station being one of them.

But if you have to pay for the AF12 and the CS to have the same functionality as the FF800, why in the world would you not just pick the FF800?

Considering you already have the FF800 redddog, I'd say it seems to me you are in the midst of a buyers remorse crises. It is a lot of $$$, no doubt......but it is also a great unit with a tremendous feature set. The thing is, do you need it all? Not to mention, why have such mediocre at best preamps on what is otherwise a high end unit? Just leave them out and cut the cost a few bucks (how about a unit with a lunch box that comes with one great preamp....or even empty and we can fill it up?!?!?!?! )

Now, if you could use only the AF12 in place of the FF800, then maybe, sure.....there's a small savings and I'd venture to say the sound quality is going to be really, really close.

But remember, whatever the replacement costs, it cost the extra whatever you lose on the FF800. Think about it, if the FF800 cost you $1,450 and you net $1,150 on it, you lost $300. If you pay $550 for an AF12, factor in another $300 lost on the FF800, then your actual cost to own the AF12 is $850. In essence, the FF800 will have only cost $300 more to own. If you throw a Central Station in for another $500, then the cost for you right now to own the AF12 and CS will be $200 MORE than the FF800. So, according to what you're considering, you'll have paid more money to downgrade.

Unless you really need the money and can do with only the AF12, keep your FF800. It's the only logical thing to do.
yeah, what he said.
Old 23rd August 2006
  #11
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cramseur's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadGuitrst View Post
I'm thinking of the RMEs (FF 800 or 400) vs one of the Audiofires (8 vs 12).

Acoustic Cloud has the Audiofire 12 and doesn't like the fact that there is no way via software to control both the monitor and headphone volume. So we were talking about different options, the Central Station being one of them.

But if you have to pay for the AF12 and the CS to have the same functionality as the FF800, why in the world would you not just pick the FF800?

Considering you already have the FF800 redddog, I'd say it seems to me you are in the midst of a buyers remorse crises. It is a lot of $$$, no doubt......but it is also a great unit with a tremendous feature set. The thing is, do you need it all? Not to mention, why have such mediocre at best preamps on what is otherwise a high end unit? Just leave them out and cut the cost a few bucks (how about a unit with a lunch box that comes with one great preamp....or even empty and we can fill it up?!?!?!?! )

Now, if you could use only the AF12 in place of the FF800, then maybe, sure.....there's a small savings and I'd venture to say the sound quality is going to be really, really close.

But remember, whatever the replacement costs, it cost the extra whatever you lose on the FF800. Think about it, if the FF800 cost you $1,450 and you net $1,150 on it, you lost $300. If you pay $550 for an AF12, factor in another $300 lost on the FF800, then your actual cost to own the AF12 is $850. In essence, the FF800 will have only cost $300 more to own. If you throw a Central Station in for another $500, then the cost for you right now to own the AF12 and CS will be $200 MORE than the FF800. So, according to what you're considering, you'll have paid more money to downgrade.

Unless you really need the money and can do with only the AF12, keep your FF800. It's the only logical thing to do.

And save up for a smoking set of preamps. This way you are stepping UP in capabilities, not down.

The pres on the FF800 are just ok (although I liked them better than the Brick), but even the DAV BG-1 is a major upgrade , and only $700 bucks.

You'd then have 2 really really good pres, a set of 4 ok pres, and good Firewire conversion. Not a bad set of tools.
Old 23rd August 2006
  #12
that was exactly my "to go" set for recording some time ago. now it has grown.
Old 24th August 2006
  #13
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ersheff's Avatar
 

Question-
How bad are the Fireface pres really? I've never used one, but I hear people bad mouth the pres all the time. Are they 002 bad (or worse or better)? It sounds to me like they're totally usable and that most people are just upset that the stellar conversion didn't come with stellar pres.
Old 17th September 2006
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

I have been reading this thread over and over, trying to figure out which of these two interfaces would be right for me. I do alot of recording for friends, and also some professional work where i track on location. Sooner or later im going to want to do this professionally, combined with me doing Live sound also.

The thing is, that i dont need any preamps at all. I only use highend pres that i build myself.

But im worried that the AF12 might have worse ad/da conversion than the fireface...Is there anyone that has compared the two that has any further comments except the ones already stated? Are they comparable, or is the fireface worth the extra $ conversionwise, or are you only paying for the extra features?

Also, the Af12 isnt exactly expansionable/futureproof as it hasnt got any digital IO at all. That worries me as i cant get a better DA in the future so that i can really hear what im recording. So How is the DA on the AF12?

However, the AF12 is alot cheaper....For the money i save i could get something cool, like 4 ch of new DIY preamps. I have these cool beyer trannies lying on my bench, just waiting for a new home! heh

Please help me make a good decision!

/Jonas
Old 17th September 2006
  #15
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From what I understand the difference in conversion between the two is negligiable. The thing that makes the FF800 so good is all the I/O but for me (and you, it sounds like) I don't need all the I/O and the pres would go totally unused. Knowing in the future that I was going to upgrade to a Lynx, Apogee, or Mytek range converter, I sold my FF800 and got the Audiofire 12. I think it sounds absolutely great and that there isn't a difference in the level of conversion at all.

Plus, used in conjunction with the Central station, I picked up the one thing that drove me nuts about the FF800 - a monitor master volume knob. The Fireface didn't have one.

I know that people here advised me against doing this and keeping the FF800, but for me, the audiofire conversion is very good and just fit my situation better. It doesn't have the rep that the FF800 has but I believe that to be the product of poor marketing on Echo's part more than the level of quality.

In short, I would totally recommend the AF12.

Give War a call at Front End Audio. He has the best prices around and he knows these units well.
Old 17th September 2006
  #16
16942
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by redddog View Post
From what I understand the difference in conversion between the two is negligiable. The thing that makes the FF800 so good is all the I/O but for me (and you, it sounds like) I don't need all the I/O and the pres would go totally unused. Knowing in the future that I was gount to upgrade to a Lynx, Apogee, or Mytek range converter, I sold my FF800 and got the Audiofire 12. I think it sounds absolutely great and that there isn't a difference in the level of conversion at all.

Plus used in conjunction with the Central station, I picked up the one thing that drove me nuts about the FF800 - a monitor master volume knob.

I know that people here advised me against doing this and keeping the FF800, but for me, the audiofire is smokin' and just fit my situation better. It doesn't have the rep that the FF800 has but I believe that to be the product of poor marketing on Echo's part more than the level of quality.

In short, I would totally recommend the AF12.

Give War a call at Front End Audio. He has the best prices around and he knows these units well.
As an Echo endorser I am glad to hear this. They make fine products with reliable drivers at a reduced price.

No knock intended on RME which also makes fine but more expensive products.
Old 18th September 2006
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Interesting, but still...

The ff800 costs about the double amount of $ than the af12 does. Are you 100% shure that the converters actually are up in the same league qualitywise, and that you are mostly paying for other features, and not better soundquality? Seems strange to me, but i wouldnt complain if it was true.


/Jonas
Old 18th September 2006
  #18
16942
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonkan View Post
Interesting, but still...

The ff800 costs about the double amount of $ than the af12 does. Are you 100% shure that the converters actually are up in the same league qualitywise, and that you are mostly paying for other features, and not better soundquality? Seems strange to me, but i wouldnt complain if it was true.


/Jonas

I a-b'd the Echo Layla 3G, which has the same converters as the Audiofire 12, against the FF800 and I could not hear a diescernable difference in quality. Whch is why i did not buy the FF800.

Now when I hooked up the LavryBlack DA10 to the Layla that was another story. That I bought.
Old 18th September 2006
  #19
Lives for gear
 

Jonas,

Listen to them. Try them out and see for yourself. My experience is that there is no difference in the quality of the conversion. I won't say 100% that you won't hear a difference, but I didn't. The only one that should take that responsibility is you. Give it a try. If it sucks or is not up to your standards, sell it. Or if you're unsure and you're afraid of making a mistake, buy the FF800. I'll tell you though, Echo loses a lot of sales because they don't put themselves out there more and people think they're taking a chance by not getting a FF800.

I've owned and recorded with them both and I currently own a AF12. I don't regret it. Now if I had the chance to go Apogee, Lavry, Mytek, Aurora, I would not own the AF12. People put too much time into this, I think.
Old 18th September 2006
  #20
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by redddog View Post
I'll tell you though, Echo loses a lot of sales because they don't put themselves out there more...
They suck at MARKETING but excel at making good products.

I'll take the latter any day of the week.

That being said the FF800 and the Audiofire12 are two different products with different feature sets. On the conversion side of things there is NO REASON why anyone with skill can't make a record with the Echo Audiofire converters, period. There's something else wrong if you can't get an excellent sound with them.

Hell the metering is even useful.

War
Old 18th September 2006
  #21
Gear Addict
 
intolerance's Avatar
 

FF800

I had a FF800, recorded with it a-plenty. IMHO, the pre-amps sound like complete ass, I was truly disappointed. Just my thoughts.
Old 19th September 2006
  #22
Lives for gear
 

To me, I think you pay the extra money for a ton of different I/O - some you may or may not use - and those pres that "sound like ass." The conversion is the same level.

I have used both and I am impressed by both unit's quality of conversion. If you were to get the AF12, a central station and 4 channels of great DIY pres, you'd be way ahead of the FF800. I've owned and recorded both and that's my opinion.
Old 19th September 2006
  #23
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

I still love my af8. No driver stability problems, nuttin.The only thing that (still) burns me is the lack of cans separation levels.

Anyway, if youre not miking any stuff, you wouldnt have to worry about it.

If you are, then a passive controller inline is unavoidable.
Old 20th September 2006
  #24
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dickiefunk's Avatar
I'm also looking to buy one of the ECHO interfaces. Virtually everyone I've spoken to has said that the RME FF800 is in a different league (but these are mainly shops!!). After doing loads of investigating I'm currently deciding between the ECHO Layla 3G and the brand new Focusrite Saffire Pro. Check out the Focusrite and see what you think!!
Old 20th September 2006
  #25
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dickiefunk View Post
I'm also looking to buy one of the ECHO interfaces. Virtually everyone I've spoken to has said that the RME FF800 is in a different league (but these are mainly shops!!). After doing loads of investigating I'm currently deciding between the ECHO Layla 3G and the brand new Focusrite Saffire Pro. Check out the Focusrite and see what you think!!

The main thing with the Saffire, is the combined adda chip. I assume you couldnt use outboard ad only? They would have to replace both the adda, therfore you would have to get an adda convertor..... is that right?
Old 20th September 2006
  #26
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dickiefunk's Avatar
I'm sorry. I'm not sure about that.
Old 20th September 2006
  #27
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Acoustic Cloud's Avatar
 

Plus the units 1/4 balunbal ins are all in the front... this may or not be a problem for some, depending on placement of outboard stuffs..
Old 24th September 2006
  #29
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That's awesome.
Old 27th September 2006
  #30
Gear Nut
 

i just finished an album with the AF12, and I have absolutely no complaints. the drivers are rock-solid, and the sound quality is good in my book. I might add as well that headphone monitoring was done via my analog mixer, so I was able to completely separate main mix from headphones.

I did a lot of research into what convertors to buy on a budget, looking at the MOTU 828/896, Echo Audiofires, Presonus Firepod and some Edirol stuff, and the Echo beat them all down. But like was mentioned before, I wasn't looking for preamps or anything like that -- I only wanted convertors.

I bought the Audiofire 12 NIB off some guy's eBay store for $500, and haven't had a single problem. Once I sell some of these CDs, I'm planning on picking up another one for 24 channels of good conversion, which will last until I seriously upgrade (about the time my winning number comes up on the lotto...)

Just wanted to throw another positive review in for the AF12. If anyone is interested in the recordings, check out myspace.com/mandirae. All four songs were recorded on the AF12.
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