Blah, my MOTU died.
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Thread: Blah, my MOTU died.

  1. #1


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: Suhr Modern
    Rig: Axe-Fx II / 5150

    iTrader: 34 (100%)

    Blah, my MOTU died.

    After probably close to 15 years, my trusty MOTU 828 finally stopped working.

    What should I replace it with? I don't need a ton of I/O, all I use these days is my Axe-Fx and the occasional DI box when I want to reamp shit. My only requirement is that it's Thunderbolt.

    Right now I'm between the UA Apollo Twin ($799):

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...e-with-uad-dsp

    And the MOTU 828es ($995):

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...udio-interface

    I like the cheaper price on the Apollo, but the bulk of its features (built in DSP and shit like that) I will never use. The 828 is a bit more money but I'm again paying for shit I won't use (all that extra I/O).

    I don't like Presonus stuff at all, and while I'd love an Apogee Ensemble, I'd rather waste that money on bike shit.

    What else should I be considering? Really this thing just needs to drive my monitors and occasionally my DI chain.

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  3. #2


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Lake District, UK
    ME: Blackmachine
    Rig: Helix/Matrix/Zilla

    iTrader: 11 (100%)

    How expensive is the Focusrite Clarett stuff over there? They do an 8Pre with Thunderbolt on. Also worth noting that Thunderbolt 3 is cross-compatible with USB as well.

  4. #3


    Join Date: Feb 2010
    Location: Laramie, Wyoming
    ME: Jackson AT Pro
    Rig: Rivera K Tre

    iTrader: 15 (100%)

    UAD, although I wouldn't worry too much about it, no one really goes for the glorious sound of a specific interface or its luxurious built in pres, it either works or it doesn't. At least that's what I am looking at buying as soon as I decide I need a new interface. The vast majority of them come with DSP and plugins and bundled DAWs and shit you aren't going to use, at least from what I've seen.

    The offerings at that prosumer $600-$1k price point are pretty boring and homogeneous. The closer you get to $1k, the more of the, "well, you're clearly not absolutely needing a budget interface, just spend this much more and get a much more serious one" thing starts to happen. $600-$1k is an unglamorous price point for those. The higher you get in price, the less the quality of the onboard preamps and shit like that matters, because at that price point most people will be using their own preamps.

    I've been looking at the same shit. The problem with that tier is that it's still prosumer enough that the criteria many of the people in the market judge possible purchases on is what's bundled with it. Pretty much anything you look at is going to be like "well that $300 of bundled software is great, but since I don't need it, I'd rather not pay for it".

    It's such an unexciting price tier for interfaces I just think of it as, "use compressed air and percussive maintenance and checking internal PCB connections on your old dead shit until it works again" price point.

    "Number of inputs" is a valid criteria for some customers I guess, but for anyone not doing drums it's like, "Anything greater than one is fine" type thing.

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  6. #4


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Woodbridge, VA
    ME: CS USA Soloist 7
    MA: Ovation Elite Standard
    Rig: Mesa Triple Rec

    iTrader: 10 (100%)

    Apogee Element is also in that price range, and I generally have liked their stuff in the past.

  7. #5


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: Suhr Modern
    Rig: Axe-Fx II / 5150

    iTrader: 34 (100%)

    Yeah, you're completely spot on. I could honestly get by with an Apogee one if not for the weird form factor and the fact that I don't want cables hanging all over my desk.

    Whatever I buy is realistically going to be part of my regular guitar "rig" for 99% of the time too. I have a 5150, and a power amp/cab setup for my Fractal but almost all of my playing these days is through studio monitors. It would be great if Apogee made a mid tier version of the Ensemble. I had an Apogee One in my DI chain back in the day when I recorded more, and the quality of the DIs that it produced compared to my MOTU (and even the USB input on the Fractal) was significant.

  8. #6


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: Suhr Modern
    Rig: Axe-Fx II / 5150

    iTrader: 34 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Apogee Element is also in that price range, and I generally have liked their stuff in the past.
    My issue w/those is that there's no hardware volume control on it, and that weird 1U-but-half-width form factor that everyone does these days. There's a remote version of it, but it's another $200 and more shit on my desk that I don't need.

    Though if I go with the desktop version, I guess I'm doomed to have shit on my desk anyway.

  9. #7


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: Suhr Modern
    Rig: Axe-Fx II / 5150

    iTrader: 34 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Blankplank View Post
    How expensive is the Focusrite Clarett stuff over there? They do an 8Pre with Thunderbolt on. Also worth noting that Thunderbolt 3 is cross-compatible with USB as well.
    I don't like their red color scheme. This is my office, my desk has 4U of rack space in it. I'll be staring at whatever I buy all the time.

    Edit: I will agree that this is a silly reason, but it is a reason all the same.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Blah, my MOTU died.-desk-jpg  

  10. #8


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Virginia Beach, USA
    ME: ESP Baby Metal
    MB: ESP Horizon 5
    Rig: KR7, 5153, MKIV, UL

    iTrader: 5 (100%)

    I mean if you had a MOTU before and it worked fine then you could just stay with that since it'd basically sound the same theoretically.

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