New interface or preamp

Discussion in 'Soundgear' started by Arabian_jesus, Feb 29, 2020.

  1. Arabian_jesus

    Arabian_jesus Ultrasonic

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    I own an original RME Babyface that is starting to get a bit old and the preamp on one of the inputs seem to have stopped working. The input works fine if I connect a preamp before it, but not by itself. I am now considering buying a new interface with 8 inputs or buy a preamp with 8 inputs. I have been looking at either a Focusrite 18i20 gen2 or a Focusrite octopre. My question is if it is really necessary with a completely new interface or if the octopre would be equally as good? I do like the portability of the Babyface which i wouldn’t have if i bought a 18i20 and sell the Babyface. I am on a very tight budget as I am a student so what would you recommend?

    Edit: I should add that if I am going to buy a preamp it has to be a Adat compatible because of the Babyface and I need atleast 8 channels because I will be recording drums!
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
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  3. Olymoon

    Olymoon MODERATOR Staff Member

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    Depending of the headphones you use and the levels you use to work at, Focusrite may be a problem as their headphone preamp is very weak.
    Example: it's not possible to work at - 13 or -15 db if you use a Beyer Dynamic DT880 pro as this headphone have a high impedance.
     
  4. Paul Pi

    Paul Pi Platinum Record

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    A few years back, my RME fireface 800 occasionally would start to lose sync. I called the uk distributor for RME (synthax uk), told them the problem and sent the fireface to them to repair. I had to pay for the repair 'cos it was out of its' warranty. However, my fireface is still working perfectly and it saved my much more money than paying for a different audio interface of comparable quality.

    Basically, what i'm saying is that the cheapest option would be to get your babyface repaired by the RME distributor in your region... :wink:
     
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  5. Arabian_jesus

    Arabian_jesus Ultrasonic

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    I mostly work on monitors (Adam a7x) but I also have a pair of beyerdynamic dt250/80 and a pair of IEMs. They all work fine with my Babyface!
     
  6. Arabian_jesus

    Arabian_jesus Ultrasonic

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    I do need the extra inputs though in the future to record drums! Thanks for the info though :)
     
  7. Arabian_jesus

    Arabian_jesus Ultrasonic

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    I have the chance to buy a scarlett octopre for €250 or a 18i20 gen2 for €280! Though I would probably ask for the 18i20 for €250 also ;)
     
  8. bluerover

    bluerover Audiosexual

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    Can't you just get the 18i20 and use it in stand alone mode as a front end into your Babyface's ADAT OPTICAL inputs?
     
  9. Arabian_jesus

    Arabian_jesus Ultrasonic

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    It could be an option! Is there any difference in the a/d and pres from the 18i20 compared to the scarlett octopre? If not, that would maybe be the best option if I can get it for about the same price as an octopre?
     
  10. dbmuzik

    dbmuzik Platinum Record

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    I wouldn't jump from your RME to Focusrite just for more I/O. It's likely you'll appreciate the conversion and one working pre on your RME even more. It would become clear why the Focusrite models you're looking at are cheaper than the Babyface is to this day.

    If you are thunderbolt ready, I'd recommend shopping in that category and finding something faster with a broader dynamic range than your RME.. in addition to just more pres on the interface. That would warrant spending your money on a true upgrade. Or, if you can upgrade to one of the RME rack interfaces. Even if you have to save money and wait a little longer it'll be worth it at the end of the day.
     
  11. Olymoon

    Olymoon MODERATOR Staff Member

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    I don't know the impedance of these headphones, but you can be sure that your babyface have a better headphone amp than the one in the focusrite interfaces. Professional headphones have high impedance to guarantee even sound, my DT 880 is 600 ohm.
     
  12. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Err, '/80' means 80 ohm. :winker:
     
  13. No Avenger

    No Avenger Audiosexual

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    Although there're some minor technical differences, it seems they're using at least the same preamps. At least I couldn't find a different statement. Additionally Focusrite promotes the OctoPre as an extension to the 18i20 and they're used this way. Wouldn't make sense if there were a big difference, would it?
    To be on the safe side maybe contact Focusrite?
     
  14. Lois Lane

    Lois Lane Audiosexual

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  15. Arabian_jesus

    Arabian_jesus Ultrasonic

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    No, I would like to be able to use TB but it would be to expensive to buy a new pc with TB right now. I will probably be upgrading to a TB setup in the future though!

    They sound okey, but I am a little bit skeptical to if the converters are any good. I guess that it's not possible to bypass them and use the Babyfaces?
     
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