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Old 28th January 2017
I find it's most helpful to think in terms of the entire input chain when you're going for the best recordings that you can get. So for me the questions start with:

What room?
What instruments?
What instrument configurations? (depending on the instruments, eq, etc)
How are the instruments being performed? (does it serve the sonic goals)
What mics?
What pickup patterns on the mics?
What placement of the mics?

After I'm clear on that stuff I think about the preamps and interface stuff. Many people make the choice of not fully understanding the list above and then they reach for another tool to get them out of the wilderness. That strategy leads to long lasting disappointment.

There are several audio interfaces today that sound just fine and I agree that the Apollo is a good choice. But there should be no reason, aside from your unit being broken, that you can't get a great sounding recording out of a Firestudio.