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Repair or replace my RME MF II? Audio Interfaces
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Thread Starter
Repair or replace my RME MF II?

Looking for some initial feedback and opinions on a decision to repair or replace my RME Multiface II/PCIe card. In the past four months or so my MF II has been giving me fits. In a nutshell, sporadic issues with random loss of sound at 44.1, loss of sonics such that the lows disappear and mics sound thin, harsh, and with a widened field...almost like a hyper phase inversion. Have done my due diligence with RME support...latest drivers, move card to different slots, clean the card connections, reboot, restart, power off, change Firewire cable. Sometimes it works, most times it doesn't. And when it works it may do so for a few days or only a few hours, but ultimately the sound degrades. Bottom line, recording has ground to a halt.

I only record my own vocals. Been researching new mic options for a considerable time and about to the pull the trigger on some higher cost mics when this came along. So now it's a decision of priorities. $35 bench fee for RME tech to evaluate the unit. No clue if they can fix, or what the cost will be. Love the ins/outs of the MF 2. I have 500 series pres/comps that I like TotalMix routing for, like to plug an outboard verb unit in (send/return) for tracking, and have two sets of monitors. But I'm not recording multiple sources at a time, and I'd like to stick with my outboard pres, so really won't leverage multiple onboard preamps like most units have now.

Have been researching the Babyface Pro. If I understand correctly, with that unit (and most new units) I could leverage built-in effects/verb during tracking so that would eliminate the outboard unit. But I don't see how I'd get the multiple monitors hooked up, and I'd be more limited on ins for multiple 500 series units (or another out for routing back to my 2A style comp). Looking at the Audient units as well, but I'm Windows 7 and I'm seeing some scary driver issues. I do like the function/latency of the PCIe card. USB scares me a bit.

All that to say that I'm trying to determine if the converters in the MF II are worthy of unit repair due to its age, or if current technology means I should just bite the bullet and get something new and better. The RME 802 can be had right now for $1,699, but wow...that will make a severe dent in my mic budget. If the 802 is going to greatly improve the sound of my current mics, that may be a justifiable first step. If getting the MF II repaired (provided it's not an unreasonable amount) means better mics won't sound as good as they could/should, that's not good. I know. Weakest link.

I've got the return authorization from RME. They are speculating it's the breakout box rather than the card. (Could also buy a used MF II box, but no guarantees there.) I know this post may be premature since I don't yet have any repair analysis, but if the gains of getting a new unit far outweigh the sonics and limitations of an older unit, I may just need to delay the mic changes and upgrade my conversion. If I could reasonably do that for under $1K, I could still pursue at least one better mic right now.

Sorry for diatribe here. Open to suggestions, and thanks in advance for any feedback.

TJ

Last edited by packermans4; 1 week ago at 04:14 AM.. Reason: Update
Old 1 week ago
  #2
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Seccione's Avatar
 

I would let the RME tech to check it. Could be easy and cheap fix.

If not, $35 is not end of the world.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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login's Avatar
Definitely send it to repair, if it is ok you could add preamps/converters of another brand trough the ADAT inputs of the MF.

Audience has preamps with ADAT for example, this way you will keep RME drivers and performance.

In that way you could also check the Digiface.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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ChrisLudwig's Avatar
 

Hi ,
I would get it repaired unless it is something major. Synthax RME support/repair people will let you know if it is worth doing or not.
You can pick up a used MF2 fairly cheap. Other than RME is not really a better replacement IMHO. How well their USB 2 or 3 products will work on your system is more up to the USB chipsets used on your system. Some 3rd party USB 3.0 chipsets have a lot of compatibility issues. Much like firewire.
If thre are no compatibility issues then the RME USb 2.0 interfaces will work as well as RME's PCI/PCI-e devices. Slightly higher latencies but still better than most any other manufacturers USB 2, USB 3, PCI-e or Thunderbolt interfaces.
So if you had to replace it there are a lot of great options from RME.

Chris
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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Thread Starter
Great advice and much appreciated. I'll send it in and keep my fingers crossed!
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