Echo Digital Audio AudioFire 12 by hibbmatt
The Echo Audiofire 12 is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get 12 i/o digital converter. After spending countless hours listening to my friend's Apogee Apollo (and consequently loving how warm the converters sound) it is difficult for me to distinguish between the Apollo and the Audiofire 12, (it sounds that good) though I have yet to A/B them.
When the Audiofre 12 arrived, I was pleasantly surprised with how it was packed and protected in the box. Firing it up, it sounded great. Then came the clicks/pops.
Now I know what you're thinking. Why are you raving about these converters if it came with clicks and pops? After a quick message to Echo Audio support, a fellow by the name of Marcel quickly and professionally guided me in solving these problems which entailed correctly utilizing my system to the Audiofire 12 (Mac OSx 10.7.5, Ableton Live 8.2.3). Installing the correct version of the Echo Console to my system fixed all of these issues. I have nothing but good things to say about the folks at Echo Audio. Fast response, friendly and knowledgable staff.
The converters themselves sound very warm and rich with great clocking. The front panel LEDS make it easy to see when you have a healthy signal, or when it's too hot. The 12 TRS inputs and 12 TRS outputs (unbalanced TS cables are welcome too!) are great. You even have the ability to link 2 Audiofire 12s together for a combination of 24 i/o with the word clock connections. The reason why I gave the features 4 stars due to the fact that the Audiofire 12 lacks a S/PDIF connection. Don't fret though, as this should not deter you from purchasing one. Finally, the Echo software console is my favorite software fold-back console I have ever used! A simple and intuitive design, it is a breeze to dial in your own headphone mix, as well as customize the mix for all outputs.
All in all, I think it's safe to say that I will be purchasing another Echo Audiofire 12 in the near future.