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Steinberg UR28 Audio Interfaces
Old 6th October 2011
  #121
Gear Maniac
its weird that in the lower setting it clips....
Did you see if there is a bad setting or gain in the DSP console ?
Old 6th October 2011
  #122
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMNproyect View Post
its weird that in the lower setting it clips....
Did you see if there is a bad setting or gain in the DSP console ?
No, I think simply pickups too hot. On the Duet, I also used to set the DI on the LOWEST gain setting, already if I dialed in 5dB of gain over the minimum I would also clip the converters there. Actually, i am quite happy to have the pad on the UR28M.

I just played around with it some more. After not having heard the Duet for two days or three, and getting more used to the UR28M, I don't notice the DA difference anymore, it is simply not relevant for me.
The headphones outs can also actually produce enough volume, I just imported a Breaking Benjamin track from Dear Agony into Cubase, it is mastered very loud, and if I just let it run with all faders on 0dB, it is very loud through the headphones. Like, REALLY loud. Of course, I don't run anything in Cubase that hot, but the volume at which the track played back was also deafening, and I would never work like that for even 2 minutes. So all in all, if I don't make a standard of what I would deem as LOUD, and stick to realistic working volumes, the headphones outputs are loud enough for me.
So, the DI... yes, it sounds way different from the Duet's. Much more mid-heavy. Is it a high frequency roll-off or just a different sound? Honestly, I can't tell, but that's because I am not the master of the golden ears... but what I can say, is: you get beautiful, mid-rich, singing lead guitar sounds with loads of sustain. At least compared to the Duet - probably not compared to a nice Engl or Boogie stack...
Old 7th October 2011
  #123
Gear Head
 
johnnywellas's Avatar
 

Can anyone comment on lowest latency/buffer figures (@96khz) and driver stability vs say RME babyface? Thanks.
Old 7th October 2011
  #124
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnywellas View Post
Can anyone comment on lowest latency/buffer figures (@96khz) and driver stability vs say RME babyface? Thanks.
Latency: I'll check next time I work with it.
Stability: On a fresh install of Lion with Cubase 6 and lots of plugins (Komplete 7, Softube MAR, URS CSP, lots of freeware): Not the slightest hint of glitch or hiccup :-))) Rock solid here.
Old 7th October 2011
  #125
Gear Maniac
Did you try your guitar in the 3 or 4 direct line input to see if the sound changes ? maybe turning down the input volume in the channel 3 or 4 in the Dsp mixer , could sound more clear with more high end.

About latency , do you hear latency when playing keyboards via VST in 256 buffer or more ?
Seems like Ur28m is getting more interesting
Old 7th October 2011
  #126
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMNproyect View Post
Did you try your guitar in the 3 or 4 direct line input to see if the sound changes ? maybe turning down the input volume in the channel 3 or 4 in the Dsp mixer , could sound more clear with more high end.

About latency , do you hear latency when playing keyboards via VST in 256 buffer or more ?
Seems like Ur28m is getting more interesting
I haven't tried keyboard yet, sorry. But I play guitar into amp sims, of course without "Direct Monitoring" on, at buffer size 256. I don't feel any latency that would disturb me, if my memory serves me right, then it says in the Device Setup window in Cubase that input latency is 5.xxx ms and output latency 6.xxx. But I might be mistaken, have to check again.

Anyway, I can say that until now latency has been no issue at all.

I have also not yet tried the guitar on the line ins, sorry. Will try to remember next time.

"Next time" will take a few days, I have to record some scratch tracks and do the MIDI arrangement for a song for an upcoming EP, after that is done I can take one day to try out everything and set up everything.

Until I have done that and spent a whole day on it, I will restrain myself from further comments here, and once it's done, I will give a full updated review. If you want me to check anything for you, please post a question here in this thread.

Until now, things I will check on the slutzes's demand are:
latency with keyboards
latency with guitar amp sims
buffer sizes and performances
connecting guitar through input 3 or 4

Please keep 'em coming.
Old 11th October 2011
  #127
Hi everybody,
so, back after another weekend, and with a bit of time to work with the UR28M...
First of all, I did not test everything that was asked here. I tried the guitar through the inputs 3 and 4, and the result was as expected - not useable, it's a line in anyway!
After trying this and trying that to get to know the unit, I wanted to find out how it is to work with it in an actual demo production. So I started to redo a song that I ever made before with the Duet from scratch with the UR (except for the MIDI tracks).

I ended up returning the UR28M to the dealer.
Coming from the Duet, I simply missed the better DI and the louder headphones out so much that it was not really fun to work with it. I also found that even if the converters are fine and absolutely workable, especially with me not doing serious mixing, I still missed the detail you get from the Duet. It was simply a downgrade from what I was used to.
I still stick to the statement that the pres are absolutely great and the DSP FX also.

Comparing the tech specs of the UR28M with the MR816 and the UR824, it is plainly obvious that the converters are not the same, and by far not the quality of the other two units (e.g. dynamic range in the DA was something like 12 or 16dB under the UR824). I ended up pre-ordering the UR824, the dealer said when it's in I can try it out, if it does not meet my expectations I can bring it back and he will order the MR816CSX for me. I have read so many comparisons of the MR816CSX with the Duet and about 95% of the time the MR816 was regarded as better in AD and DA, and I know already I like the pres more and I also dig the integration and the DSP FX, so I am sure I will not go wrong with it. If the UR824 is the same audio quality as the MR816, I will like it even more, since I don't need the quick connect button, and you get native versions of the plugins additionally.

So, is the UR28M bad? ABSOLUTELY NOT. If I had not been spoiled by the Duet which is an awesome unit for the price and which also puts the WHOLE WEIGHT on pure audio quality at a VERY LIMITED feature set, I would have loved probably everything about the UR28M.
If you ONLY need stereo i/o, and maybe even have a good external pre already, the Duet is the better choice for the money (Duet 1 cost pretty much the same as the UR28M).
BUT the UR28M packs a lot more features, like two headphones outs with different signal sources, more i/o generally, DSP FX for zero latency monitoring, GREAT PREAMPS - don't forget THAT - it would be impossible anyway to offer such a package of features at the same price as the Duet with the same audio quality.

So, it all depends on what you want or need. Since I have the money in my pocket, I will have the features AND the audio quality. It costs 400 Euro more, but I am happy to spend them to have both. If you want a comparable feature set in Apogee Land, you will have to go Ensemble, which costs DOUBLE the amount of the UR824, and I DOUBT VERY HIGHLY that the Ensemble is any better than the UR824.

I will get back to you with my review of the UR824 in about 5 weeks or so...
Old 11th October 2011
  #128
It would still be very very nice if Steinberg would release an official statement about the converters in the UR824 and the MR816CSX, though...
Old 11th October 2011
  #129
Here for the gear
 

Thanks very much for taking the time to share your experiences with us, Parlo; you've provided much food for thought. I have to say that I'm disappointed that the information promised by the Steinberg rep hasn't materialized. I was looking forward to auditioning the Yamaha/Steinberg unit as I'm very pleased with my new HS80Ms, but I tend to gravitate toward companies that hire people who demonstrate an ethos of doing what they say.
Old 11th October 2011
  #130
Gear Head
 

i have to say pretty much the same thing... thanks parlopower for your very helpful review! I am also disappointed from steinberg's silence.
Old 11th October 2011
  #131
Quote:
Originally Posted by marsnal View Post
Thanks very much for taking the time to share your experiences with us, Parlo; you've provided much food for thought. I have to say that I'm disappointed that the information promised by the Steinberg rep hasn't materialized. I was looking forward to auditioning the Yamaha/Steinberg unit as I'm very pleased with my new HS80Ms, but I tend to gravitate toward companies that hire people who demonstrate an ethos of doing what they say.
I also have the Yamaha HS80M's and love 'em; like wise I am totally in love with Cubase 6 (well, actually already since VST5), I just find it so logical in its design and workflow. The integration of the UR28M was also a great feature that I don't want to do without anymore, and the with the D-Pres Steinberg has another total winner. I am really really looking forward to testing the UR824, the tech specs should imply the converters are in the same league as the MR816CSX, which i have never tried, but its audio quality has an exceptional reputation all over the internet.
Since I do love the products so much, I would also appreciate a bit more transparency and presence from the company itself, but bigger companies tend to be quite untouchable. As far as I know, big names like Avid, NI, or Apple never ever have one single rep posting here. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how reps from Steinberg / Yamaha answered questions about the n8 / n12 in the respective thread. Would be really really nice if one would do the same on this new release!
Old 11th October 2011
  #132
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by parlopower View Post
As far as I know, big names like Avid, NI, or Apple never ever have one single rep posting here. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how reps from Steinberg / Yamaha answered questions about the n8 / n12 in the respective thread. Would be really really nice if one would do the same on this new release!
Better to not say anything than to not do as you say. But yeah, the support in that n12 thread was fantastic--really inspired confidence in the company. Now this one, on the other hand...
Old 12th October 2011
  #133
WAC
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Anyone know if the driver issues for mr816csx are all cleared up? Say on snow leopard?
Old 12th October 2011
  #134
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WAC View Post
Anyone know if the driver issues for mr816csx are all cleared up? Say on snow leopard?
well I don't know about you, but I used my 816x with snow leopard fine before I upgraded to lion. Steinberg released an update for lion so all is working well on my end so far. Have you gotten the latest drivers from steinbergs website?
Old 12th October 2011
  #135
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by WAC View Post
Anyone know if the driver issues for mr816csx are all cleared up? Say on snow leopard?
I've had the MR for a little over a year and the drivers have been fine the whole time on Snow Leopard and Windows 7.

Any more user reviews? I had the original Duet, like v1.00, when it was first released and I thought the sound was terrible on it compared to my old echo AF8. The MR was far superior to the AF8 so I'm a little confused.
Old 13th October 2011
  #136
Gear Maniac
thanks Parlo for all your reviews , you made users here to save time and money with all your great reviews.

Be carefull with MR816x cause is firewire and have alot of compatibilities issues , for example most of the times it will only run with a SIIG firewire pci card (with texas Instruments chipset) , almost all onboards firewires will have drops , clicks etc , and firewire 400 will disapear sooner than USB 2.0. thats why i sold it. If you want something portable for example, Apogee Duet 2 is the best for the price
Old 13th October 2011
  #137
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMNproyect View Post
thanks Parlo for all your reviews , you made users here to save time and money with all your great reviews.
Well, I really don't want anybody to get my review wrong and discount the UR28M as an option. It is a good interface, no doubt. Again:
You get 2 excellent preamps
You get excellent integration into Cubase
You get 2 excellent plugins
You get excellent latency free monitoring with excellent FX
You get a very handy form factor with nice physical controls of the most important features, including a Mono, Dim and Mute button
You get enough i/o connectivity for most of what a home recordist needs
You get a USB device, making it compatible with more devices (you can use the UR28M with a Macbook or a Macbook Air, but not the Duet...!)

The Apogee Duet (no. 1, I never used the Duet 2) wins on the converter front, the DI and on the headphones volume, but IT LOSES ON EVERY OTHER ASPECT. That is because at the same price, it offers stereo i/o AND NOTHING ELSE. Of course a device where the whole cost is put exclusively on the sound of one stereo i/o will win on this aspect over a device that distributes the same cost over a much larger feature set (and the Duet even loses on the two preamps both devices have).
And about the points where the UR28M loses, you should understand and consider that:
The converters on the UR28M are not bad, those on the Duet are just a bit better
The headphones volume on the UR28M will be enough for about 95% of all users
The DI is also quite low impedance and therefore bad on many other interfaces in the "peer group", e.g. the RME Babyface has an input impedance even under 500kOhm on the Hi-Z, you will certainly get a bad sound from that one, too; the Duet's Hi-Z is exceptionally good for an audio interface

So, if you are looking for an audio interface that has more than just stereo i/o, and 400 Euros is the price limit, BY ALL MEANS GET THE UR28M, especially if you are a Cubase user, because of all the great features of it I mentioned above.
OF COURSE it can not compete with interfaces like MR816CSX, Ensemble or ULN-2. They cost double to four times as much! I bought it because I need the additional features and the Duet will not do it much longer for me, and then i returned it because 400 Euro is not my limit and I can afford the additional cost to get not only the features, but also the sound of the "big guys".

Again: Budget under 500 Euros and more than stereo i/o needed, get the UR28M. Great device. From anything under 500€ (except for the Duet), it is probably an UPGRADE and certainly not a downgrade!
Old 13th October 2011
  #138
Here for the gear
 

Hardware

Quote:
Originally Posted by gurnisht View Post
Again, you ignore any question about ad/da converters, compared to the mr816, and the two UR devices compared to each other. I wonder why could that be.
Hello gurnisht,

Thank you and everyone here for your interest in our new UR interfaces. Regarding the converter quality allow me to jump in here. Due to ongoing developments within the three years since the MR interfaces were first released, the converters of the UR and MR interfaces cannot be identical. Nevertheless the components for both MR and UR were chosen to observe the same criteria to provide the optimum sound quality. Not only is this the case for the converters but is reflected in selecting all components and designing the entire circuit, such as power unit design, capacitors, op-amp selection, and circuit hard wiring. Fact is, laboratory tests have proven that the sound quality of the UR units is as good as the MRs‘.
If necessary I will try to add to this thread in the future.

Many thanks,
_____________
Stefan Schreiber
Steinberg Media Technologies
Old 13th October 2011
  #139
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanSchreiber View Post
Hello gurnisht,

Thank you and everyone here for your interest in our new UR interfaces. Regarding the converter quality allow me to jump in here. Due to ongoing developments within the three years since the MR interfaces were first released, the converters of the UR and MR interfaces cannot be identical. Nevertheless the components for both MR and UR were chosen to observe the same criteria to provide the optimum sound quality. Not only is this the case for the converters but is reflected in selecting all components and designing the entire circuit, such as power unit design, capacitors, op-amp selection, and circuit hard wiring. Fact is, laboratory tests have proven that the sound quality of the UR units is as good as the MRs‘.
If necessary I will try to add to this thread in the future.

Many thanks,
_____________
Stefan Schreiber
Steinberg Media Technologies
Dear Stefan,

thanks for showing up!
I believe your above statement easily when it comes to the UR824. The tech specs are very close to the MR816 and often even a bit better (dynamic range on the DA etc.).
However, I have difficulties believing it also applies to the UR28M. The tech specs are very different from the UR824 - e.g. 12dB less dynamic range on the line outs, THD, lower impedance on the hi-z, less power on headphones outs... the units can not be identical in their circuitry. I would also be really confused because I read everywhere in reviews that the MR816 is superior to the Duet in clarity and detail, and I can testify that the UR28M is not.
So, that looks to me like the UR824 is a next generation on MR quality level, and both of them are one level above the circuit design of the UR28M.
Can you clarify a bit further please / confirm if what I assume is correct?
Old 13th October 2011
  #140
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanSchreiber View Post
Fact is, laboratory tests have proven that the sound quality of the UR units is as good as the MRs‘
Good to know, Stefan, and thanks for commenting. So, to make this statement, the ad/da dynamic ranges of the UR824 must have been tested. What were they?

I was told by Steinberg support that the 105/117db input and output figures in the UR824 tech specs sheet are for analog danamic range; I'm interested in the digital conversion figures as well.
Old 14th October 2011
  #141
Gear Maniac
Parlo, how does Cubase 6 runs in Mac ox x with the UR28m ( latency and performance in low buffer sizes )
Old 14th October 2011
  #142
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
No channel 1 and 2 inserts on the UR824
This is what I most would miss on UR824
Old 14th October 2011
  #143
Quote:
Originally Posted by LMNproyect View Post
Parlo, how does Cubase 6 runs in Mac ox x with the UR28m ( latency and performance in low buffer sizes )
I think it was on 256 samples buffer, that I had 7 ms input and 9 ms output latency or so. Don't remember exactly. Anyway, to my personal perception, latency and performance were in practice no difference to the Duet. Both work very well - the performance at 256 samples was fine, no problems with several instances of Metal Amp Room, Two Notes Torpedo PI-Free, IK Amplitube 3, Guitar Rig 4, URS CSP, Rev-X, Sweet Spot Channel, and a couple of Kontakt 4 with Steven Slate drums and NI Pre Bass. No pops or clicks, and no latency that would have disturbed me while tracking guitars. And latency is only a question anyway if you use amp sims - if you record an amp, or vocals or whatever, you want to use the direct monitoring anyway, which has zero latency including the Rev-X and the Sweet Spot Morphing Channel.

If anybody is really interested in my honest personal opinion on the unit as a whole, read post #137 of this thread, that is my "final verdict".
Old 24th October 2011
  #144
Nrt
Lives for gear
 

RightMark Audio Analyzer Test result

UR28M has better spec. I know someone will say "it doesn't mean UR28M sounds better". LOL.

UR28M
RightMark Audio Analyzer test UR28M[

MR816
RightMark Audio Analyzer test MR816
Old 25th October 2011
  #145
Quote:
Originally Posted by parlopower View Post
If you ONLY need stereo i/o, and maybe even have a good external pre already, the Duet is the better choice for the money (Duet 1 cost pretty much the same as the UR28M).

One thing that really counts for many people is the MAC/Windows support on the Steinberg. The Duet is a big "no" for me since its MAC-only.
Old 25th October 2011
  #146
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nrt View Post
RightMark Audio Analyzer Test result

UR28M has better spec. I know someone will say "it doesn't mean UR28M sounds better". LOL.

UR28M
RightMark Audio Analyzer test UR28M[

MR816
RightMark Audio Analyzer test MR816
strange for mr816, soundonsound review measured the dynamic range at 106 dBA
Old 26th October 2011
  #147
Lives for gear
 
Beyersound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nrt View Post
RightMark Audio Analyzer Test result

UR28M has better spec. I know someone will say "it doesn't mean UR28M sounds better". LOL.

UR28M
RightMark Audio Analyzer test UR28M[

MR816
RightMark Audio Analyzer test MR816
That test on the 816 is seriously flawed. I advise trying it again!
Old 26th October 2011
  #148
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nrt View Post
RightMark Audio Analyzer Test result

UR28M has better spec. I know someone will say "it doesn't mean UR28M sounds better". LOL.

UR28M
RightMark Audio Analyzer test UR28M[

MR816
RightMark Audio Analyzer test MR816
I've noticed that you need to get the levels as close to 0db as possible (without clipping) to get the best results w/the Rightmark.
Old 1st November 2011
  #149
Nrt
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marsnal View Post
I've noticed that you need to get the levels as close to 0db as possible (without clipping) to get the best results w/the Rightmark.
It's not me who performed these tests.
Old 1st November 2011
  #150
Gear Maniac
 
Lab of Sound's Avatar
 

Praise for the UR28M

Just wanted to chime in and give some praise for the UR28M. I am using it for about a week now and I think the quality of the converters is excellent. When I say excellent, I am comparing against a Prism Orpheus interface. Of course, it is just my opinion and my ears and they may not be as golden as those of others, but I did not experience what is often described as a veil being lifted when switching from the lower to the higher end interface. When I purchased the Orpheus it was to replace an Apogee Ensemble, and here the difference was striking in favor of the Orpheus, but not so with the UR28M. What's more, the integration of the UR28M with Cubase is a real bonus and the monitoring options, being able to switch between 3 monitor pairs and 3 mixes, gives ample of possibilities for a home studio. I can now hook up a CD player and have a reference CD play for instance over mix 2 and my own mix over mix 1, match their gains, and have instant switching back and forth. I thought this kind of functionality could only be had with a Cranesong Avocet. Anyway, to make a long story short, I warmly recommend the UR28M to anyone who is looking for an excellent converter and monitor controller. I just sold my Orpheus.
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