Metric Halo ULN-8 by JonesH
The Metric Halo ULN-8 is the long-awaited follow-up to the NY-based company's 2882 interface. It features eight very natural mic preamps, an equal number of AD and DA converters respectively, four AES/EBU in- and outputs plus the competent +DSP platform for dedicated in-box processing power. List price at 5,995$, it caters to the highest end of FireWire-based customers.
I shouldn't say that it was an easy decision when I bought my first ULN-8. Despite having had it several months for review and being thoroughly enjoying the experience, it seemed like an awful amount of money for one rack unit of space. But what qualities they've managed to pack into that one rack unit! The mic preamps go toe-to-toe with the heavy hitters, and the conversion is second to none. The mixer system and D-Sub connectors might put some bumps in your road at first, but the flexibility they award is well worth the hassle.
This is a true professionals tool, capable of handling almost anything (barring inter-box routing options for those with several of these bad boy). In my case, I ended up getting three of them for mobile recording and centerpiece in the studio.
Initially, the price seemed daunting. But I figured, this unit can easily replace several others; mic preamps, converters, signal processing, DI-boxes, monitor controller, headphone amps, digital interface, SMPTE/MIDI interface. When you think of it, it's really quite cheap for all that. And this black, well engineered unit is just that: all that.