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Motu 8pre-es vs Clarett 8pre X

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Motu 8pre-es vs Clarett 8pre X

Postby jodaki » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:06 pm

Hi,
I want a new interface and I thought Id decided on the focurite 8pre X. But then I saw the new Motu 8pre-ES which looks like a very similar sort of unit but which has, on paper, better specs in some departments than the 8preX.

They claim for instance that they have 'tested' the dynamic range of the DAC at 123db! which is 10db more than the focusrite - and incidentally 10db more than the Dangerous 2 (both at 113db). The MOTU also has an ethernet port for adding more IO at a later date if necessary whereas the claret doesnt really expand (other than using its adat ports).
I have quite a bit of focusrite gear and love it generally but have zilch experience with Motu.
Anyone know how the mic pres compare? ANy other thoughts on the Motu, especially compared to the claret?

Motu8 pre-es: https://motu.com/products/proaudio/8pre-es
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Re: Motu 8pre-es vs Clarett 8pre X

Postby James Perrett » Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:37 pm

I'm not sure where you are getting the Focusrite specs from, but I see only a 4dB difference in the dynamic range for the line outputs and a 2dB difference on the line inputs. Specs aren't everything so I would also be looking at stability and reliability as well as driver support.
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Re: Motu 8pre-es vs Clarett 8pre X

Postby Wonks » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:00 am

James Perrett wrote: Specs aren't everything so I would also be looking at stability and reliability as well as driver support.

For which I'd go MOTU over Focusrite.
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Re: Motu 8pre-es vs Clarett 8pre X

Postby Wonks » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:06 am

The MOTU uses the ESS Sabre32 32-bit DAC. So its capabilities are greater than the preamp circuitry itself, but overall are still more than you'll practically need.
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Re: Motu 8pre-es vs Clarett 8pre X

Postby jodaki » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:38 am

I'm not sure where you are getting the Focusrite specs from

Yes sorry James, the dynamic range of the Clarret DAC is 119DB (focusrite say it is the figure given for monitor performance)

Specs aren't everything

I know this must be the case because there are highly respected dedicated dacs out there (from lavry, crane song and dangerous for example) which have lower dynamic ranges than the UAD, focusrite and motu interfaces that cost a hell of a lot less.

For which I'd go MOTU over Focusrite.

Thats very interesting, thanks. Is there an issue with focusrite reliability? Or is it just that motu are known for stability?

Any thoughts about the MOTU mic pres? I mainly use external mic pres but will need to use the analogue ins occasionally on whichever interface I get. thanks guys.
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Re: Motu 8pre-es vs Clarett 8pre X

Postby Wonks » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:48 am

If you compare the units MOTU still support, they go back a lot further than Focusrite. So they are like RME in that respect.

No idea what the preamp quality is like, but I can't believe that it would be anything but very good. Flat, with no noticeable colouration. It's very hard to get bad preamps these days, even on budget kit. And MOTU certainly isn't budget kit.
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Re: Motu 8pre-es vs Clarett 8pre X

Postby CS70 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:58 am

jodaki wrote:
I know this must be the case because there are highly respected dedicated dacs out there (from lavry, crane song and dangerous for example) which have lower dynamic ranges than the UAD, focusrite and motu interfaces that cost a hell of a lot less.

The sonic results depend on the overall surrounding circuit and design - dynamic range beyond a certain threshold is not that relevant in itself, since any "regular" musical material will not exceed it anyways.

Keep in mind there's more than DR to a converter: there's different methods and physical techs to sample, with different jitter, clock precisions, actual output word length, analog front end circuitry etc. They all drive costs differently and the real world behavior can be slightly different even if in theory the all do the identical job.

Thats very interesting, thanks. Is there an issue with focusrite reliability? Or is it just that motu are known for stability?

The latter. I have no personal experience of MOTU, but someone here in the forum some months ago claimed they have support for their interfaces similar to RME - of which I do have personal experience, and which still supports actively equipment made 20 years ago..

Focusrite makes excellent products and had fantastic day to day support, but afaik they don't design their own chips, so they are dependent on third parties to keep supporting them, and sometimes that has caused interfaces to become obsolete.

Haven't tried MOTU's pres so can't say, but I'd expect them to be quite transparent when used with any sensible gain structure.
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