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Audio interface


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MBPro - 2014 - 13" Retina, OS 10.12.4, 8Go RAM, 500Go SSID

Mainstage V3.0.3

I have been using Presonus Audio sound cards for some years with this set-up.

The 1st model - FireBox - had one stint in the repair shop, then the second time, i was told "invest $50 more and upgrade, the repair will work out about the same price".

So, up to a FireStudio - mobile. This has been 99% reliable.

This babe has now decided not to provide anymore signal at the headphone output, which I use on small gigs for personal monitoring instead of humping amps and speakers around.

The retailer offers the same advice - up to a new model. All other repair outlets concur - "It'll probably need a complete motherboard replacement, so the price of parts & labour won't be far off a new box", BUT,

having looked at various retailers, there doesn't seem to be anymore Firewire connectivity available - ALL USB 2

Has anyone used USB2 connection to an external sound card with good results?

And if anyone can recommend another make in a similar price range that uses FW instead of USB?


OK thanks for all your feedback.






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Ozfrog, have you checked out the Resident Audio T4? It's a Thunderbolt interface and would be far quicker than USB....plus its pretty cheap at around the US$250 mark. Or there's the Focusrite Clarett 2Pre 10x4 for US$500.


When I need to get a new interface, I'm going to go Thunderbolt.

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IMO — Firewire is too old and I would not invest in it. USB2 has continued to receive support by Apple and for class-compliant audio interfaces, works really well, even today. The performance of USB 2 and Firewire should be similar, with USB2 having an edge on low-latency. I try and avoid FW if I can. USB 3 and Thunderbolt 1,2 and 3 are fare more future proof but less audio interfaces support these newer standards.
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Also, I think at the moment Presonus is just a notch above M-Audio in terms of price performance. I would rather recommend Focusrite for inexpensive i/O and for excellent audio quality, Apogee. You can get an Apogee One for a fair price if you do not need lots of inputs and it has a surprisingly good mic built in as well.
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I still use a Focusrite Saffire (Firewire) and it's been bulletproof, fantastic!


Each OS revision i expect to lose support/for it not to work - but it just keeps going, usually sails through where many usb devices need driver updates too (You don't need drivers for firewire devices, but it is reliant on control software from focusrite to function sadly) - So, i would highly recommend picking one up second hand to get best value for money, prefer the pre-amps vs presonus too.


I still prefer firewire over USB, but then i'm using the USB bus for external drives and external gear, and thus firewire  has always seen me good, and see no reason to change unless forced.


However, i do like that Presonus tend to put more inputs on their interface for the money, Focusrite generally seem more biased to outputs, so you have to go higher in the range to get a decent amount of inputs.

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