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Which interface: Ultralite, Konnect, FW410, Firebox, Saffire Audio Interfaces
Old 26th August 2007
Gear Nut

Which interface: Ultralite, Konnect, FW410, Firebox, Saffire

Hello everyone, first post here. Been reading awhile. Have seen many threads like this, but none with exactly these choices head-to-head (plus I have a couple other questions).

I am deciding on an interface to use with my Mac Pro (and occassionally to take out and record with my powerbook G4).

What I'm wondering most about is the sound of the mic preamps. At this point I'll just be recording myself at home (vocals and mic'd guitar cab, one at a time). It's just a bedroom, not treated. I'll probably get a studio projects C1 mic. The computer is in the same room, so there'll be some ambient noise. Point is, under these conditions I do not think a standalone mic pre is warranted. Therefore, I will actually be using (heavily) the mic pre on whatever interface I get, so I'd like it to sound as good as possible, recognizing that the mic pre in a $500 audio interface is not going to be world class.

Here's my second issue... Like most everyone, I will connect a set of powered monitors (deciding between blue sky pro desk and adam a7) to the interface. But I also have a set of NS10s that I want to connect just through a stereo receiver. So I'd like a second pair of outs to go from the interface to the stereo receiver so that I can A/B my mixes through the NS10s. Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but can I connect a pair of 1/4" outs from an interface to a pair of RCA ins on a receiver (obviously using a cable with the right connectors). For example, the Ultralite has +4/-10 bal/unbal TRS output jacks. Will those work to send to a stereo receiver?

These are the interfaces I'm deciding among. Any thoughts about these, or other recommendations, would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

MOTU UltraLite $550
TC Konnect8 $300
M-audio FW-410 $300
PreSonus Firebox $300
Focusrite Saffire $395

P.S. Would the mic pres in the RME Fireface justify the jump to $1000?

Old 26th August 2007
Gear Nut
jje's Avatar

I can only respond with regard to the Saffire because I have one. I use it with a PC and aside from a firmware upgrade problem I had last week it's been smooth sailing. The mic pres are what they are and won't impress anyone's golden ears.

While I don't have knowledge of the others you mentioned, I've heard it said by more than a few people that mic pres at this price point sound mostly identical so there's no point in choosing an interface based upon the sound of the pres.

To answer your other question, yes you can connect the outs to an in using RCA connectors...I do it with my Focusrite and also use another pair of outs for other monitors. If you wanted, you could do a surround config (the outs on the Saffire are labeled for center, front, rear, and sub to make it easier to configure).

I'm happy with it and if I had to do the purchase over again I'd probably get either an MBox as I'd rather be using Pro Tools (personal thing) or a Saffire pro 10 i/o as I'd really like to record the drums in my attic but don't have the cashola to buy a new interface PLUS the mics. Something to think about for future use even though you only need a couple of ins now.
Old 27th August 2007
Gear Maniac
Spec's Avatar
anything but the 410

have had the 410 for too long now. i do not use the pres for recording a mic so cannot comment. however my major issues after using it for over a year now are

(i) the drivers. Flakey: they must drop out at least once a week. yes i have the latest drivers.
(ii) almost no internal routing within the card.
(iii) no balanced line out to my monitors.
(iv) the DAC sound harsh and brittle

right now i am saving for the RME 400.

my advice is save a little more money and get something you will not regret. IMHO thats not the 410.

cannot speak about the other cards accept to say a friend has had the presonus firebox for over a year and i have spent a bit of time with it. i think a much better sounding through the monitors and he has never had driver issues. it is also a v. solid built card that can take a knock.

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