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Worth buying a 2nd hand RME HDSPe AIO Audio Interfaces
Old 12th September 2016
  #1
Worth buying a 2nd hand RME HDSPe AIO

I just saw a used RME AIO in my local store for 280 euros. I currently use Duet 2, GAP Pre 73 II with my Mac Pro 5.1 12-core and Logic X in my homestudio. No need for mobile setup and I only need 1-2 in / 2 out. I had Babyface original but I sold it as I liked the sound of Duet's pre / AD / DA more, althought the difference was quite small. But I really liked the Totalmix.

Does AIO have the same / better / worse AD / DA converters than Babyface orig(or Duet 2)? When using AIO / Totalmix, are all the same features in use than with Babyface ie. reverb, delay, eq but not compressor? Is a monitor controller "a must"? I do have SM Pro Patch 2 but it's not that good?...Should I buy something like TC BMC-2 controller / DAC if I can find one? Does BMC-2's DA sound better than AIO, Babyface, Duet2....

Anything else to consider?

Thank you for your help.
Old 13th September 2016
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iMacCartney View Post
...
Does AIO have the same / better / worse AD / DA converters than Babyface orig(or Duet 2)? When using AIO / Totalmix, are all the same features in use than with Babyface ie. reverb, delay, eq but not compressor? Is a monitor controller "a must"? I do have SM Pro Patch 2 but it's not that good?...Should I buy something like TC BMC-2 controller / DAC if I can find one? Does BMC-2's DA sound better than AIO, Babyface, Duet2....

Anything else to consider?
Price is good, no doubt about that..

Lot of very subjective questions, which you can't really find answers over internet. You've also mentioned that difference between Duet II and Babyface seemed to be small to you.
It's similar with most of comparisons there, something can be very small to you, one can feel as very important to justify some additional expense.
I don't want to escape your questions, but there's no clear answers, because it depends on the context.

You can definitely use HDSPe AIO with SM Pro volume controller, if you set monitor sensitivity, so that operating range will be around 12 o'clock, it won't have significant tracking issues. With regards to necessity of upgrade to different DAC purchase, again it depends.. you can definitely work with that it's not a must.
External stereo DAC with volume controller and headphone is in most cases great thing, but you'll pay much more (eg. >1000USD for some Mytek) to have some reasonable step-up (IMO) from your Duet.

But.. your Duet II (not first FW one) has very good ESS converters and pretty great analog output stage to me. It's one of best interfaces at its class and I liked its sound more that RME Fireface 400 or EMU 0404 USB, which are both very capable interfaces, when I directly compared to it years ago.
I don't really expect AIO analog out will be better than that, likely the opposite.
Also AIO is from older HDSPe range, which doesn't have enough FPGA horsepower to run EQs, Dyn, Reverb, Delay etc. So besides level and routing it's TotalMix is has just polarity flip.
Third thing is, you're using Mac and this is PCIe card, eg. not good investment for the future. All older MacPros being really obsolete now (although owners really try hard to keep their setups alive).
So I think, unless you have some latency problems with your Duet or planning to upgrade setup with ADAT or AES converter in close future (for both it would make some sense), so there's no rush with that and I'd probably stay with your Duet II and get some Thunderbolt interface with your next computer.

Michal
Old 13th September 2016
  #3
Thank you michal for your helpful and detailed answer. The reasons why I was interested in AIO were
-probably lower RTL
-ability to use reverb and other fx when recording
-equal or better conversion
-ability to use external DAC if needed

In Logic X the RTL is something like 5,6 ms 64 samples / 44.1. So I guess it's not much better with AIO, Babyface orig was a bit worse, 6,2 ms if I remember it correctly. You already answered to the 2nd and third and ext DAC is not so important...so thanks again, will stay on Duet II and try to make some music.

Last edited by iMacCartney; 13th September 2016 at 12:58 PM..
Old 13th September 2016
  #4
Original Babyface is NOT manufactured anymore-sorry if this is hi jack trolling whatever[I Am actually sorry if so] but the Australian used price must come down!
Old 13th September 2016
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rksguit View Post
Original Babyface is NOT manufactured anymore-sorry if this is hi jack trolling whatever[I Am actually sorry if so] but the Australian used price must come down!
Or go up since they are now ONLY available used and owners like me really like them

FWIW I have the Babyface for laptop use travelling and an HDSP 9652 at home in the studio box. Love them both
Old 14th September 2016
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivansc View Post
Or go up since they are now ONLY available used and owners like me really like them

FWIW I have the Babyface for laptop use travelling and an HDSP 9652 at home in the studio box. Love them both
You could be[most depressingly]correct

Since 2011 I've spent more on average latency crap,that turns out to be more than what they cost here back then $799 AU.

I got a ok to crap latency V-Studio 100 for $125 AU,and LOVED it,the pres A/D D/A same as the VS-700,but the girl forgot,and didn't know it NEEDED a power supply-it was her ex boyfriends

All it required was a 9v stomp box adaptor,and that would have been a breeze,but I bought this awful locally made $79 7 pedal BRICK for powering pedal boards,and the *ucker FRIED itself[without blowing the weeny rated fuse]and of course obviously toasted the VS-100
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