Sunday, June 14, 2009

Least Reliable Firewire Brands + Bad Drivers - What Interface To Buy?

 Images Firewire

Ever needed to know which hardware interfaces are actually reliable and work well? Here is reliability/ customer satisfaction data for those searching for the best firewire audio interface.

Fire Wire Interface RANKING according to Gearslutz Forum

Ranking position calculated on number of satisfied customers (score of 1) minus number of dissatisfied customers (score of 2 or 3)
From best to worst:

  1. RME(18-0) = 18
  2. Echo(19,1) = 18
  3. Motu(20,5) = 15
  4. Mackie(11,2) = 9
  5. Tascam(7,0) = 7
  6. Alesis(3,2) = 1
  7. Presonus(10,11) = -1
  8. Focusrite(4,9) = -5
  9. M-Audio(8,26) = -18
Alternative ranking position calculated on number of satisfied customers divided by total number of customers

RME 100%
Tascam 100%
Echo 95%
Mackie 85%
Motu 80%
Alesis 60%
Presonus 48%
Focusrite 31%
M-Audio 24%

The worst: M-Audio. Looks like your better staying away from M-Audio's firewire offerings.
The Best: RME with a 100% score.

One interface I'd like to know more about is the Tapco Firewire.Link, which now looks abandoned, which is on clearance in many places. I emailed tapco, to see if its features actually work on the mac (since they posted no drivers), and will hear back.
Another point to make, after research and user stories, is that firewire interfaces with the DICE II chip are notoriously unreliable. Beware of those!

Keep in mind this is just a small data sample, but it looks indicative of the reality of firewire interfaces. I hope this data helps regardless!

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