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Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

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Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby gary shaw12 » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:48 pm

Hi ya, i've got a question people, my friend wants to know how much better the sound quality of the Focusrite Saffire 6 USB would be as aposed to the built in soundcard bolted onto the motherboard of the average up to dat computer. He asked me and I told him it would be better but wasn't sure how much better, what do you people think? He's wanting to know about music playback sound quality more than anything.
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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby Jabba1 » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:57 pm

gary shaw12 wrote:Hi ya, i've got a question people, my friend wants to know how much better the sound quality of the Focusrite Saffire 6 USB would be as aposed to the built in soundcard bolted onto the motherboard of the average up to dat computer. He asked me and I told him it would be better but wasn't sure how much better, what do you people think? He's wanting to know about music playback sound quality more than anything.

I've got one. Suffice it to say, significantly better, much more flexible and money very well spent.
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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby gary shaw12 » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:41 pm

What would you say has the best sound quality between the EMU 0404 USB, the Saffire 6 USB and the Lexicon Alpha Studio?
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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby ef37a » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:11 pm

From all I have gathered reading SoS reviews I would bet...IF you could make a side by side judgement, that they might come out in the order you put them with the 0404 and the Saffire being VERY hard to tell apart.....BUT!

Unless you have access to very high grade monitors in a good room and some scrupulous sound sources it would be almost impossible to tell and in isolation they all good and other factors would be more important such as software bundle, bus powered or not (don't think the Emu is?)etc.
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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby matt keen » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:10 pm

ef37a wrote:From all I have gathered reading SoS reviews I would bet...IF you could make a side by side judgement, that they might come out in the order you put them with the 0404 and the Saffire being VERY hard to tell apart.....BUT!

Unless you have access to very high grade monitors in a good room and some scrupulous sound sources it would be almost impossible to tell and in isolation they all good and other factors would be more important such as software bundle, bus powered or not (don't think the Emu is?)etc.
Dave.


Yes but the Saffire pres are are noticeably better
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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby gary shaw12 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:11 pm

I had to go with a Roland UA25EX because the Saffire was out of stock and the EMU doesn't suppoert windos 7 at all, and the drivers for it havent been updated since 2008 2 years ago. What do you guys think to the Roland UA25EX? Next year i'm gonna get myself a Steinberg CS816X I think, or maybe a second hand Apogee Rosetta 200 and then buy the firewire card for it.
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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby Jared007 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:44 pm

Hi,

Just to weigh in on this, I have the EMU 0404 USB and running it on windows 7 64 bit with no problems at all. The latest drivers on the website seem to still do the job.

And I would prefer a desktop audio interface over a card any day so I can twiddle knobs easily and comfortably and plug in without crawling around to get to the back of the computer.

Cheers, Jared.
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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby gary shaw12 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:09 pm

I had an EMU 0404 pci soundcard in january and had nothing but problems with it and after emailing EMU they said its maybe because they dont make drivers to support windows 7. I'll see how this Roland UA35EX goes, see the sound quality of the thing, but hopefully it'll be better sound quality than the standard Realtek built in motherboard soundcard.
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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby ef37a » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:28 pm

Gary,
I have just looked at the Emu site and yes, they only do a Vista 32 and 64 bit driver for the 0404. Since the 0404 has been very well recieved almost everywhere one would think that they must have a very good reason for not having a specific W7 driver yet (other than "inertia"!). Quite often Vista drivers work fine for W7 it seems but I have found W7 to be most tolerant of almost everthing I throw at it! Emu (who are Creative let us not forget!) might of course have a new product waiting in the wings and do not want the 0404 "hanging about" possibly queering its pitch.........Nah! They wouldn't think we are THAT stupid...surely?

Jared. Did anyone mention a PCI soundcard? Even if they did the grovelling round the back with the spiders is easilly fixed with a few jacks, DINs and screened wires...breakout box!

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby Jared007 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:10 pm

ef37a wrote:
Jared. Did anyone mention a PCI soundcard?

I thought it was mentioned first up in this thread:

"as aposed to the built in soundcard bolted onto the motherboard"

I guess I interpreted that differently.
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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby gary shaw12 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:33 pm

ef37a, I had loads of problems with my EMU 0404 pci soundcard so whether other people are finding them fine on windows 7 didnt really make me anymore confident that tyhe 2nd time around i'd have better luck, especially when once you buy a product, if its not faulty you cant return it, and obviously if it didnt work on my pc but works on most others, it wouldn't be faulty, meaning it would of been a total waste of money for me.

Jared, the bolted on soundcard is attached to the motherboard, its not a pci one.
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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby ef37a » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:01 pm

Garry,
You got in first about the MOBO sound.

Re returning a card (or anything mail order).We have the "distance trading regulations" These mean that you can return any product (think there are exceptions for hygene reasons!) for ANY REASON or NONE within a period, one week I believe. For sure you have to get your finger out and get a product tested but can be done!

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby Jabba1 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:45 am

gary shaw12 wrote:What would you say has the best sound quality between the EMU 0404 USB, the Saffire 6 USB and the Lexicon Alpha Studio?

Oh, thats a tricky one. As others have ventured, I dont think theres much in it and it will depend on your monitor set up as well.

Havent used the Lexicon, but was tempted by that and the Omega, but initial reviews about the software were not particularly kind, although everyone loved the bundled reverb that came with it.

For what its worth, I had an EMU1212 card set up, thought it was going to be the bees knees, based on recommendations like Martin's but found that I just could not get to grips with EMU's mixing and routing software, no matter how much I tried. I needed something dead simple where you just plug it in and it goes, no fannying around with a sub-programme before you even get to your DAW.

So, the 1212 cards are sitting in their anti-static bags in the garage, idle having never been used in anger.

The Saffire6 fitted the bill perfectly, the sound quality (to my ears) is perfectly acceptable and it worked virtually straight out of the box, bar downloading the latest drivers. Its never dropped out, gone wrong, or caused me any kind of grief at all.

If I had one tiny complaint, its that the headphone output isnt as loud as the Mackie XDR2 Spike it ultimately replaced.

But in the grand scheme of things, pound for pound, the Saff6 has been one of my better buys. No regrets at all and I wouldnt be without it now.
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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby gary shaw12 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:22 am

Wo, i've just seen a bargain, Steinberg MR816X (non dsp version) audio interface selling for £489. What do you guys think to the audio quality of the MR816X? Would you aggree that its the best sound quality audio interface available for upto £500? How does it compare against the RME Fireface 800? I know thats a bit more money. Instead of getting an Apogee next year I might get a Steinberg MR816X in a few months time if they're good.
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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby ef37a » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:27 am

Slightly OT,
Thomans are still selling the ESI ESP 1010E PCI-e system at~£130.

I have no complaints with the unit I have and it works fine with Win 7/64 bits.

The mic input arrangements are rather strange and mean you have to use 4 inputs to get two discrete mic tracks. I get over this by ignoring the mic ins as mic ins(!) and use them as discrete line inputs fed from the inserts on my Fast track pro. Project for the winter; two channel mic pre amp!

Dave.
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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby gary shaw12 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:13 am

I've read quite a few bad things about Thomann so it wouldn't make me comfortable ordering anything from them. I've got the Roland UA25EX coming today so i'll use that until I maybe get a Steinberg MR816X in a few months time, I keep reading good reviews of the MR816X all over the net from customers, and read the MR816CSX on this site so I think that could be a winner, well either the MR816X or the RME Fireface 800, not sure i'm gonna be able to get a demo of either or find out which one has the best sound quality.
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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby ef37a » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:34 am

"I've read quite a few bad things about Thomann"
Such as?
In fact my AI came without the vital umbilical lead and no Cubase LE4 or setup cd! Thus this was a test of the companies' metal in that I recieved lead and LE4 within a week from them. The setup cd's seem to have evaporated! Still, all is downloadable and all was cooking nicely once I had the lead.

I was not suggetsing the EPS as an alternative to the other AI's just a pointer to other impecunious recordists wanting M'track...C'est moir!

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Re: Focusrite Saffire 6 USB sound quality vs inbuilt pc soundcard sound quality

Postby gary shaw12 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:50 am

Various things like apalling customer service, items not being in stock when it says they are, delivery taking weeks, various things really. Have a look :

http://www.ciao.co.uk/Thomann_de__Review_5716764
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