I have now owned my Fireface UFX since about 3 days after they were officially released. I Drove from Hollywood(CA) to Irvine to get a unit. Almost 4 hours round trip! I think it is a very good product!
First I have previously owned RME products and not kept them! These include Fireface 800/400 and an ADI-2. I can honestly say the only way I would move from this unit is if a stable next class level device became available for the same price as a UFX. Other than that me and this box are gonna make record!
The mic pres are more than usable, they are in fact good enough to cut lead vocals fro a record! Plug in a excellent mike and don't be afraid of the Digital EQ and Compression it is actually quite good. You'll enjoy re-callable vocal or instrument setups as the individual channel can be loaded up like a channel strip in the DAW Logic. I have an Album I did where every song has a setup saved with full notes on Mike placement and mike used along with all Mic-pre and if used dynamics and E.Q. saved For the UFX. We tool a picture of where the mic was in the room and were able to get a exact punch in on mix day about 5 weeks later! Having real Pres onbaord is a real plus. I do use a Shure inline pad to give the input some breathing room.
AD/DA conversion is on Par with Apogee Ensemble/Duet, though a different sound. The A/D is going to give very good reproduction of what you put into it! Headphone Amps are loud and very deep and clear and have EQ and Dynamics as well. Between that feature and the on board EFX, you can easily give fully mocked up headphone mixes without recording a wet signal. Another plus of the unit. I also store headphone mix settings for Artist, helping me to give them a repeat experience of performing in my room.
The Drivers and USB connection(what I use) are very solid. On occasion(3 days a year) I have had some dropouts at low latencies settings. The included metering software is amazing allowing to track down noise in the -120DB range. I have found bad cables on these meters that my 40 year old ears coudn't hear in the room at -100 db. It was right there on the meters and one cable swap later it was gone - along with some high frequency ringing that was coming from the cable! Cleaned up the upper mids the slightest of a touch on that mix! I'll take it!
Conclusion: An extremly solid no competition device! Why? The level of quality and feature set just doesn't exist in something else at this price. There is two solid levels higher of conversion in the world! This is not as good as Apogee 16X series or Burls. It is as good/better than any mid- level box out there now that does all in one! If you have 2 grand to spend and no good pres. Need to record live location. Need total recall of everything. Need very good A/D converters. Need bullet proof drivers and Midi. This does all that and very well!