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Alva Nanoface

Alva Nanoface

3.4 3.4 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews


2nd June 2012

Alva Nanoface by roughgear

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 2 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.25
Alva Nanoface

I got the brand new ALVA Nanoface for a quick test and here is what I found.
It's all made of plastic and very light so it feels a bit cheap in my hands. The break out cable with all its connections is heavier than the device itself and even tough it seems to be good quality, I would not expect it to work forever. To me, the whole breakout cable concept is a bit weird, as it looks bad on the desktop, it's not very ergonomic and it's supposed to break one day. At least it keeps the interface small and portable. It comes with a USB 2 cable and a printed manual. The Nanoface itself has only one big rotary controller that can also be used as a push button. Software installation was easy, but I was surprised it only comes with drivers. No routing software - you have to do everything in your DAW. You can only access the functions of the Nanoface by rotating and pressing the big controller which is irritating to me as I personally like to have a software that controls the device and shows me what's happening on the screen. Latency was not as good as with the Microbook that I tested last week but still ok - 11,8 ms on 128 samples in Logic 9 running on a Macbook 2,4 GHZ. My built-in audio has 9 ms at 128 samples. I did some test recordings with the Nanoface and compared it to a MOTU Traveler:

Nanoface audio samples (.zip /3.5MB)

The sound is a little bit "notchy" in the mids to my ears, it misses out some low bass frequencies and it tends to be pretty brilliant in the higher frequencies. Some might call it crystal clear... I could work with it tough - nothing really shocking but nothing really amazing either. The noise floor is a little higher than on the MOTU but still good and the preamps offer a little less gain. For people who like the form factor, who need the ins and outs (3xMidi, 2x48V XLR, optical in/out...) this device can be a very cool thing regarding its low price. I'm sure you can do some nice recordings with it. Alva is a new player in the market of audio interfaces and this is a promising beginning. I know many of you would like to know the difference in sound quality as compared to the RME Babyface but I have never had any yet.

  • 1
16th May 2014

Alva Nanoface by fuzulu

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.5
Alva Nanoface

Ive been using the nano face for a bit since my sound card was giving me some problems. I borrowed this from a friend. First of all its great to have a USB interface for a change as opposed to firewire, it's so easy to hook up and it just works. The price seems very nice indeed for the quality of the sound. I gave it a 4 for sound just on the assumption that there are costlier stuff out there which sound better but to my ears this sounds as good as any other good interface I have used, in fact I am using this currently as a substitute for my RME FireFace 400 and as far as the sound quality goes I didn't notice anything less. Dynamic range is good and sounds def better than many budget sound cards out there, namely m-audio and the likes. The interface is simple and its actually a perfect monitor level controller with the big knob which moves in 3 steps per led light which is displayed very cleverly. The software for it is also pretty good and strait forward and lets u do any additional settings you would like to do. It also works perfectly with both my mac and pc machines very well and no problems in either, its exactly the same.

My only criticism is towards the design, Being such a small thing its obviously meant for traveling and stuff, They should have allowed u to have your main outs direct from the unit so you don't have to carry the breakout cables all the time given that u are not using it for any inputs or midi 90% of the time, in my case I have never used it for anything else besides just to control my monitors and listen to the sound so would have been perfect that way.

Overall very good quality for this price, I'm not a big critic and don't use low budget sound cards much so I dunno about other good options but I like a product that just works and sounds good and gets the job done. Especially at this price, its good to find quality, in audio cheaper stuff generally suck!

4 weeks ago

Alva Nanoface by fuzulu

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.5
Alva Nanoface

Review Update: Reduced it by 4 scores.

The earlier review was written based on using it with a single windows machine, and I assumed it would work well with other machines too... but when I tried to use it with another machine (an iMac) it gave me all sort of issues and never worked properly at all, with the lights on the device totally glitching out and going haywire.

 
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