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Steinberg UR-242 vs UR-RT2

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Steinberg UR-242 vs UR-RT2

Postby Wossname » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:59 am

Are the Rupert Neve transformers worth the extra cost?

I’ll mainly be recording keyboards, but from time to time will record acoustic guitar, vocals, saxophone.
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Re: Steinberg UR-242 vs UR-RT2

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:58 am

What's the rest of your set up like? Have you got a properly treated room to record in? Have you got decent mics to plug into it? Have you got your mic positions nailed to get the most out of your instruments?
I've not used them but i suggest that all the above will make much more difference than a change of interface. :)
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Re: Steinberg UR-242 vs UR-RT2

Postby thomflash » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:29 pm

And what is the deal with these Neve transformers? An interface with 4 preamps, having Nevequality at less than half the price of the cheapest Portico... Anybody got a chance to compare?

I have a UAD Apollorack but it feels a bit like overkill for my needs and I am thinking about scaling down to a 'smaller' interface and that way creating some extra cash to buy other gear. Good idea?

Thanks for any thoughts
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Re: Steinberg UR-242 vs UR-RT2

Postby ciungalunga » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:30 pm

in Romania at the time of this writing, UR-242 costs 165euro while the UR-RT2 is 299euro

They are basically THE SAME except for the rupert neve transformers that apparently ad 134euro to the unit.

I don't know if it's worth it, i was really looking for buying the UR-242, can anybody confirm that those transformers make a difference ? should I pay 134Euro more?
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Re: Steinberg UR-242 vs UR-RT2

Postby CS70 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:11 pm

ciungalunga wrote:in Romania at the time of this writing, UR-242 costs 165euro while the UR-RT2 is 299euro

They are basically THE SAME except for the rupert neve transformers that apparently ad 134euro to the unit.

I don't know if it's worth it, i was really looking for buying the UR-242, can anybody confirm that those transformers make a difference ? should I pay 134Euro more?

Since you're asking, no.

(see drew's reply)
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Re: Steinberg UR-242 vs UR-RT2

Postby Wonks » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:28 am

Some thoughts, but please understand that I've never heard either of the two interfaces

A Rupert Neve transformer is just that, a transformer. It's a good quality transformer but it alone doesn't make the interface a Rupert Neve designed interface or make it sound any way like a RN designed product. Good input transformers should be transparent as possible, so unless they start to become saturated, they should really be almost invisible.

They are only fitted on the combi mic/line inputs, so not on the two rear line inputs. Looking at the block diagram in the user manual, the transformers are between the mic-pre gain stage and the A/D converter. So I can't see any way of really driving the transformers hard for some distortion/extra harmonics without overloading the A/D converter. If there was a corresponding adjustable gain reduction stage after the transformer then you could do it, but there doesn't appear to be one. However, Yamaha/Steinberg may have specified the transformers to be 'undersized' so that a decent signal level does start to saturate them, which is why they have them switchable in/out of the signal chain.

So at best any effect is either a) going to be very subtle, and probably nothing you couldn't add with the plug-ins that came with your DAW, or else b) pretty obvious and only useable as a special effect and so rarely used.

But I've seen a few YouTube tests of them and I couldn't notice any difference in the sound with the transformers in.
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Re: Steinberg UR-242 vs UR-RT2

Postby ef37a » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:26 am

I am obliged Wonks for the info about the block diagram, it causes me to revise my opinion of the interface.

There are two main benefits to transformers to my mind. If used at the very input of a microphone amplifier they can give "free" noiseless gain. The optimum seems to be around 12dB but that is well worth having and simplifies the rest of the pre amp considerably.

The other benefit is a very high RFI rejection capability (if of course they use an interwinding screen) . There is also the promise of glavanic isolation but the need for phantom power buggers that.

Putting the transformers post pre amps seems little more than a marketing exercise to me but I shall reserve judgement until Hugh or some other expert has pronounced.

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Re: Steinberg UR-242 vs UR-RT2

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:54 pm

ef37a wrote:There are two main benefits to transformers to my mind. If used at the very input of a microphone amplifier they can give "free" noiseless gain. The optimum seems to be around 12dB but that is well worth having and simplifies the rest of the pre amp considerably.

Which is exactly what Neve used to do on at least some of their desks.
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