TASCAM UH-7000 by sm5
This is an updated review:
After owning it for a while my original enthusiastic review needs to be revised:
After selling my old Lynx Hilo for this thinking it sounded pretty close I started noticing my ears started hurting and getting fatigued very easily which never happened before (some other cheaper interfaces it happened to me like a focusrite pro 24)… I switched nothing but the interface … The headphones and monitors I have are the same. Another problem is that I had many more driver problems than I used to have … so I figured I’d go back to the Hilo … and after switching back for the last half year I have to say it was the best switch back I’ve made. My ears don’t fatigue anymore and I rarely if ever have driver problems.
Another HUGE problem I didn’t test out enough originally was using the preamps standalone via AES … They never seemed to work into my Hilo! Even if I used a AES XLR to SPDIF RCA adaptors they never worked and to change the setting I needed to have it connected to the computer … which messes things up having two interfaces plugged in via usb. So don’t buy it if you are planning on using this to use it as a simple Preamp/digital converter to add on two extra preamps. It’s like maybe you can find a way for it to work or the software has or will be changed but I wouldn’t count on it.
From when I bought it … and selling it: It lost half its value which is also not great (as comparison the 2nd Hilo I bought was about the same price as the one I sold.
Overall just the functional design of this prevents it from being a standalone preamp as it’s stuck with the AD converter connected. It also prevents it from being a standalone Converter as the preamp is always connected! The driver problems and the difficulty of getting the AES out to work properly means that it doesn’t even work as an add-on preamp/AD converter for another interface so it pretty much means unless you’re planning to use it alone – as a all-in-one system – then it’s probably a bad purchase. If you're looking at simple 2in 2 out interface and don’t have preamps already and can get it used for a reasonable price (so you don’t lose lots of value buying it new) It’s a pretty good sounding interface. I still think it’s one of the best sounding preamps and converters I’ve had out of the many I have had. The preamps ARE very clean: similar to a Grace M101/etc. The AD converter is pretty decent too. I did like the DA a lot initially so I honestly can’t say it’s terrible … but the fact my ears fatigued much easier is a big negative personally. (I’m listening on HD800’s/q701’s/K271’s/Equator Q10’s.)
So for a low-medium budget interface – If it fits your needs: I’d say it’s a good purchase at used prices. This probably sounds better than higher priced 8in/8out interfaces quality-wise and has probably the same reliability of drivers of other low-cost interfaces … but for me: I’m willing to pay more for much more stability and options and #1 not having ear fatigue.