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What is going on with RME's new build and branding? Audio Interfaces
Old 21st April 2017
Gear Head

What is going on with RME's new build and branding?

So I've been shopping for a new audio interface. My first choice and the brand I've always been most enthusiastic about is RME. Why? German made, I've drooled over them since the days of Hammerfall, and the fact that they still have drivers for products they made 10 years ago. All this being said I couldn't help but notice that RME seems to be cutting A LOT of corners these days cheapening up their build quality/manufacturing on their latest lineup of interfaces. What do I mean by this?

Look at their classic products, some still sold today like RME Micstasy, Fireface UFX, ADI-8 QS, Octamic II, etc. They are all have this BEAUTIFUL faceplate with these awesome machined rack pulls on each side, stunning blue and silver etc.

Now look at RME's most recent 2017 offerings, the UFX+, the Fireface 802 and the UFX II.

RME- what is going on? Why did you abandon your beautiful build quality? Your most recent offerings look just like a Presonus or Zoom unit. I have to wonder. What in the world was RME smoking when it decided to needlessly change their build and look versus the products they've made the last ten plus years? The faceplate isn't even one solid piece as the old units are. They have rack ears that aren't part of the faceplate and even the rack ears don't have round holes they have square holes.

Bad move guys. The $50 per unit you just saved in manufacturing costs doing it cheap and crappy with your manufacturing just made me hesitate to spend $2,799.00 on your flagship interface. *clap* *clap* *clap* As a consumer, it also made me feel like something I could count on is now gone and gives me pause about what's coming next. Imagine if API gear just started making all their gear look like Presonus gear? People would lose their minds. It would cause an uproar even if the product functionally was the same or better. Notice how API gear has looked the same with the same color scheme for like 30+ years? Yeah well by making your latest products look like a Zoom or Presonus, you just abandoned that whole concept and now you have to start all over.

If I owned an audio company, like Neve or API, or Oberheim or whoever, I would keep my brands identity intact and doing it the same way over 30+ years is how you create brand identity in people's minds. Like Focusrite's or Clavias products are always red. I know it's a little thing but that's called brand identity and you guys just screwed it up royally with your latest offerings however much greater and newfangled they are than the last products you made.

A brand's identity is everything. The only way you could have screwed up more is to change your RME logo. Thank god you didn't do that.

Whoever made the decision over there at RME to abandon a 10+ year "look" to their products which is a part of your branding and legacy, I would fire that guy.

There's an old saying and it especially applies to branding. If it ain't broken, don't fix it. You spend 10+ years giving all your products a certain look, now you're going to abandon that by what saving a few bucks?

I have a passion for branding and this was a huge no no. These types of decisions drive me crazy. People want a brand that is familiar looking, feeling and performing.

Anyone else thought this about RME's latest offerings? Go look at a Micstasy and now look at a UFX+ or UFXII and compare. I'm not talking about the insides, I'm talking about the outsides. Anyone else feel this way?

C'mon RME
Old 21st April 2017
Deleted 46dc28f
FWIW, the "machined rack pulls", not found on the newer RME interfaces, are actually molded from plastic and painted silver.

Their new products with powder coated steel faceplates look top quality to me. They have a more durable, industrial look, IMHO.
Old 21st April 2017
Lives for gear
zvukofor's Avatar
I think their new devices looks better, yet "old style" was nice too. I'd prefer white backplate over blue, with black lettering, but still, they're good looking, i do not think they "feel cheaper" too.
Old 21st April 2017
Lives for gear
They look fine to me in photo's, but I'll reserve judgement until I see the new units in the flesh. Regardless, RME will always be my first consideration when upgrading because Drivers/Stability/Latency are first on my list of priorities followed by Function and Converter quality and i/o. Then it's Build Quality and last on the list is Looks. So far the new units meet my needs except possibly the build quality which I'll judge in person. There's a 99% chance my next upgrade will be RME.
Old 21st April 2017
Lives for gear
I prefer the older look too. But as long as the inside and the driver quality remain top notch, I'll be happy.
Old 22nd April 2017
Gear Addict

I actually preferred the old look of my Fireface 800 over my new Fireface 802, but the sound quality of the 802 is better than the 800, so I don't complain.
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