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Rating and Reviews: RME Fireface 800

The RME Fireface 800 takes FireWire technology and combines it with the extreme audiophile technologies of previous RME products.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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The Wow Factor
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"Because I slip back and forth in A/D for mixing and mastering I want to make sure the convertors are the best. RME has the best" submitted February 8, 2006

By a customer from sympatico.ca
Overall
Sound
Features
Quality
Value
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Active musician and recording producer.
Music Style: contemporary rock, folk, country, choirs, steel drum band, pipe bands,
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: Sound is pristine, clear and real. Feature: It has more features than I presently use, but they're there if I need them. Quality: very sturdy, well built. Value: With all the features included on this unit I would expect to pay more. Manufacturer Support: I have needed some advice on a couple occasions and George responded quickly with clear explanations. The Wow Factor: Great visual appeal, user friendly, most of the connections I use are in the back and out of the way. Overall: I don't expect to be replacing this unit in the foreseeable future.
22 of 23 people (95.65%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"At last and interface i can roll with, and afford at the same time!" submitted May 26, 2005

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Manufacturer Support
Musical Background: "Active Musician", "Recording Engineer"
Music Style: Hip-Hop a experimental
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Sound: The sound is crips clean and transpearent. fantastic connectivity, and ease of use. This product files where similar products don't on both my mobile and stationary DAWs. I tried a dozen interfaces (firewire), and the RME Fireface 800 represents the best marriage between sound fidelity and driver functionality. I love, love, love it! Feature: great mic pres and software. good build. great sound. would be a 10/10 if there was better metering and a dedicated Vol Pot attached to main outs (this is available only through the software). Quality: Teh build on my unit is fantastic. I have 3 friends with them and everyone is completely pleased. Value: I would and probably will buy another. Manufacturer Support: 10 - I think... I haven't had to deal with them, due to the build quality. Overall: I tried a dozen interfaces (firewire), and the RME Fireface 800 represents the best marriage between sound fidelity and driver functionality. I love, love, love it!
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"Get the best from the best RME" submitted August 4, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: my number two hobby
Music Style: chillout /electronica/dark ambient keyboardist
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Sound: Absolutely beats all other products with similar features. Clean crisp sound with very good transients. Feature: Has the best chips on the market, I've got it hooked up to my Apple Powerbook. They rock with Cubase. Quality: Built like a tank. It's tucked away in my wire shelf a arms lenght away. Looking solid! Value: Pricey but well worth it! Manufacturer Support: Never had to call them, product takes care of itself! The Wow Factor: I would have designed it looking the same as they did. Overall: I will be keeping this forever.
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"RME comes through again!" submitted May 8, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Producer
Music Style: Rap/Hip Hop
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Sound: Extremely high quality, however not to the Lynx Two's level, but it comes close. Feature: It has everything our studio could need. Quality: Very well built, and the face plate looks nice as well. Value: The most powerful interface out there, you better believe it. Manufacturer Support: I had to contact them once, about converter questions, and they answered within 2 hours. The Wow Factor: It's a great looking piece. Overall: I don't expect to upgrade from this at all.
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"2 years and stil;l going strong. im suprised it got more expensive." submitted May 16, 2008

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: engineer
Music Style: dubstep
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Sound: its great , but i feel like someday i will hear better .. but then again i need better monitors. ive had it for 2 years already and its stil sounding crisp.! Feature: everything works perfect ,, ive seen friends srtruggle for hours with thier configs..!@ my rme setup is always straight and easy .. with the best mixing i feel i can get .. Ease of Use: way to easy for such a professional machine.. i think the cheaper crap interfaces are much harder to setup. Quality: 2 years and running , this thing is built like a tank/// true german engineering.. Value: i chose 7 becuase i relaly do think i get the best price on mine .. but nowdays the m audio 2626 is looking real good for the money ... but i mightjust get an maudio to add onto my fireface. Manufacturer Support: no problem The Wow Factor: it could be sexier.. but if your into the rough, no gimmicks look, then this is your beauty .! i love the way it looks, its pro.!!
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"Great unit! Worth the money!" submitted May 26, 2008

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: pro
Music Style: indie rock
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Sound: Nothing short of professional sound quality. Feature: More than any other firewire interface. Built to last. Ease of Use: Slight learning curve if you're not a pro. Quality: Built to last....amazing product keeps going and going. Value: It's pricey, but definitely worth it. I converted from a firestudio and never looked back. Manufacturer Support: Haven't needed it The Wow Factor: It's got everything you could ever want in a firewire unit! Overall: I am 100% satisfied with all of the RME gear I've ever tried, and I must say it's certainly pro level sound and build quality. Perfect for a portable rig.
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"Amazing unit" submitted July 31, 2010

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: composer, song writer, mixing engineer
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Sound: Best converter among fire-wire interfaces Feature: All the features I need is there.There is only one thing which I wish it had !!!! ON-BOARD DSP effects Ease of Use: The Total mix software is amazing. You can have any routing plan you may have in your mind. The look of the total mix is a little bit old and it is a little bit complicated to learn. Quality: Best Germany quality. Value: just alittle expensive for not having on-board effects. Manufacturer Support: Send an email and test your self. They will answer you in less than 24 hours. The Wow Factor: FF 800 is incredible in my opinion. you get what you pay for . When I was decided to upgrade from EMU 1820M I ended up with two options, FF800 OR 828 MK3. These two have the same i/o (except 4 pres for ff800 while 2 for 828). 828 MK3 had more options like on-board DSP effects and nicer GUI. I really needed the on board DSP for EQing the main out (room eq). Regarding the price RME WAS 1700$ while MOTU was 750$(less than a half of FF800), but finally I bought the RME FF800 and below are the reasons: 1- The driver is a crucial component for any DAW. if you surf the forums you will clearly see that RME has the best driver and the MOTU is one of the worst especially for PC. 2- The RME hardware is far more robust than the MOTU. Don't forget that the the RME is made in Germany while the MOTU is made in CHINA and again if you search the internet you will find a lot of unsatisfied MOTU users who are complaining about the hardware problems. For RME near to none. 3- The total mix is a unique software that let you rout any input to any output. Of course you can do this on MOTU but with some limitations. 4- The support of RME is phenomenal. I sent an email to RME support and they replied the same day. Do this with MOTU and see the result. If you go to WWW.RME.COM you can find a lot of technical stuff and all the documents are ready to be downloaded, on the other hand you can't even find any MOTU user manual on the net !!!!!!!!! 5- I don't have any proof to this but I've heard from several professionals that the clocking technology in RME is superior to any other firewire interface But I didn't test them side by side. I bought the FF800 and I won't look back. I'm sure that I have a high end base interface which lasts long and can accept future upgrade like outboard converter and effects and pres.
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"The most powerful Firewire interface in the world! You can believe the hype!" submitted November 16, 2004

By a customer from sbcglobal.net
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Manufacturer Support
Musical Background: Active Musician, Studio Owner, Producer, Writer, Engineer
Music Style: R&B, Gospel, Hip Hop
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: This is hands down the best sounding interface I have ever purchased. I justed stepped up from the Delta 1010. I don't have anything negative to say about Maudio, it's just older technology, converters, and etc.. It has taken my music to another level sonically. Now my mixes translate better over multiple systems. Compared the to Fireface my Maudio cards sounded muddy and lacked that sonic clarity I was shooting for. Hit and miss mixes are now a thing of the past. I absolutely love it. It's perfect for recording Hip Hop and R&B. Feature: Total mix is a key feature that actualy acts like a real world mixer with actual gain rather that the just level indicater's like the Maudio interface had. Not only do you get the +4 reference level you come to expect but you can actualy dial in an aditional 6dbs of gain! Incredible! Quality: Built like a tank. Some don't like the front handles but I think it adds character. Makes the unit uniquely RME! It stands out in my rack. Value: The best purchase I have ever made for my studio! Period! Manufacturer Support: Since I've bought my unit I've had zero problems. I also subscribed to the RME audio forum which keeps you up to date on all things RME! The drivers are rock solid and have been tweeked several times since its realease which has improved an already excellent product. Overall: For all its greatness I have only one small gripe. The Mic pre on this unit are excellent. But I'm a guy who craves a lot of gain. It just didn't give me the gain I'm normaly acustomed to. It seemed like I had to crank it just short of clipping before I got the gain I wanted. Not to worry though I already have a stand alone Mic Pre and didn't buy it for the mic pres included. Otherwise this is a dream product and should be on anyones wishlist if they are serious about their music!
12 of 13 people (92.31%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"RME till death." submitted April 4, 2008

By a customer from dslextreme.com
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Musical Background: Musician
Music Style: All styles. Pop, Rock, Classical, Latin, Biergarten.
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zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
Sound: Crystal clear. Worth it. Feature: Everything I need. Like the firewire 800. Ease of Use: Pretty straight forward. Quality: Solid as a rock. Value: Worth the money, totally. Manufacturer Support: Haven't had to. The Wow Factor: The best in its class. I like the way it looks. The phantom power lights that come on when clicking the software interface buttons is cool. Overall: RME till death.
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"Divine!" submitted July 26, 2007

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Musical Background: Active Musician, Recording Engineer, Producer
Music Style: Pop, Rock, RnB, Jazz
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Sound: Pure professional results, simply awesome! Quality: Great AD/DA converters for the money The Wow Factor: I would surely go for a second one. Overall: Pro all the way, crystal clear sound. Prefer to connect the unit using a 800 firewire cable.
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"Solid Unit....Recommended" submitted November 17, 2006

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Musical Background: Music Producer
Music Style: HipHop, Pop, RnB, Soul, House, Reggae
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: Very clean, true sound. I run my Motif, Fantom XR, MoPhatt and Proteus thru it. I had a Digi 002R before and this interface kills it. Feature: Everyone seems to say the same thing when it comes to faults of the unit. It would have been nice to have a master/control room knob and phantom power buttons, however using the software isn't an inconvenience, you get used to it. Ease of Use: Easy to use. Quality: Built well, Stable software. (Had firewire problems with Digi002R) Value: You get what you pay for. Manufacturer Support: Never had a need to contact them and probably never will. The Wow Factor: I own it Overall: Right now this handles all of my A/D D/A converting.
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"I know my english sucks!! but trust what Im writing here." submitted October 15, 2006

By a customer from camiloposada.com
Overall
Musical Background: graduated in composition, and now im a producer and composer
Music Style: all the art in general. I record rock and clasical music principaly
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Sound: the sound is transparent, balanced, detalied . before the rme i had a maudio delta 1010. Nothing bad to tell about the delta 1010. I like the Rme cause its firewire and i can use it in my studio and in diferents locations with my laptop and it has more features than the delta 1010. Excelents preamps. better than my mackie vlz pro 1604. an other thing i like is the low latency. and obiuosly that it has more than 25 inputs at the same time. with the AD converters dont believe all the things people say, they are very good AD converters but sincerly compared with the maudio converters the difference is not like you would think. is difficult to hear a sustancial difference. trust me i spend more than 8 hours making tests with to more sound ingeniers. Feature: nice preamps, nice AD converters, ultra low latency. very funtional sound card. you can route all the signals like you want. a lot of inputs and outputs. what else you need?? I hate 2 things of this sound card, and i will never forgive the manofacturer for this. 1. dont have Control room volume knob (it sucks) 2. no phanton power bottons you have to do this using the software. is something you can handle but would be a nice detail for the next model RME Ease of Use: Is not the easiest sound card to use cause its very versatile and has a lot of features. but tha mannual is well redacted and you will learn how to use it. Quality: nice finished, looks fine, and aparently feels compact and well build. i bought it 7 months ago and any problems yet. Value: a little expensive but you will be happy with it. I like this product and i recomend it. Manufacturer Support: i cant answer the question. i got not expirience in this matter The Wow Factor: Its not an relic but looks nice Overall: im satisfied with the fireface. i dont need something better than this for now. I think I will had it for a long time.
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"outclasses all interfaces in its price bracket." submitted June 18, 2006

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Sound: ad convertion and clock is the best. rme=quality.. Feature: two Adat lightpipe.. 4 Octa Mic quality pres'... excellent conversion! Quality: The best for the price! Value: like i said, best for the price! Manufacturer Support: rme fixes problems very quickly! The Wow Factor: i;m ordering one today! Overall: killer unit! and i'v done a lot of research and heard many units..
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"Can it get any better??? hmmm...dont think so." submitted May 7, 2006

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Musical Background: 16 years
Music Style: Classical / Pop / Acoustic / R&B
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: Besides anything eles, this thing sounds like no other. Crisp, Clear and Transparent. I love the fact that the fireface is a 'what you put in, what you get out' type of product. The sound is so professional, it puts many other sound interfaces to shame. The Preamps on this thing sound amazing (RME claim that they are class A discreet) for something thats included in an 'all in one' box. I used my Rode K2 valve mic through the Fireface Pre to record a lovely female singer, and i got a very clean sound with plenty of SPL and dynamic range. IMO The recording quality of the vocal track was just as good as stuff i hear on finish albums, if not better. Feature: The question should be - How many features does this beast 'not' have? It has it all, and to date it hasnt proven me wrong. I use all the analog channels for I/O, i use the first 8 channels of Adat digital, as well as a couple of the pres. Ease of Use: Very simple, it pretty much plug and play. On my mac it was no more than a few minutes and i was recording right away. Quality: Built like a tank. Well actually is built like a Pro interface, its well made, and the pots are solid, and the jacks dont wobble like some motu's do. Value: Well worth the $$$ if you can justify it, or else it is a bit expensive for your average bedroom producer (like most of the kids nowadays). Manufacturer Support: Do you really think this is of any concern. The Wow Factor: Not sexy looking, but it looks damn professional and business like. Overall: If my fireface 800 ever fails to serve me, than i would easilty replace it with another without a blink. This interface is destined to be an industry standard FW solution.
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"Forget Apogee Rosetta...The Fireface Kills for the price...A Professional Choice." submitted March 30, 2006

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Music Style: R&B / RAP / POP
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Sound: Lush Lush Lush!!!!!!!!!! Feature: Too many features to list and all work niceley. Ease of Use: Its only a sound card, it doesnt get easier than that. Seriously, this thing works flawlessly and installed with out a hitch. Quality: I have never heard a better sound interface than this. If Apogee gets any better, than i dont want to know, i dont have time for subtle differences. This thing sounds awsome. Value: If you are serious about recording, then its pure value for money. If not, then its a premium. Manufacturer Support: If you need it that is. I would email them if i need support. The Wow Factor: Looks sophisticated and High end. Overall: Woudnt buy an other firewire based interface again. This thing has it all and more.
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"This has to be the finest sounding firewire interface in the world!!!" submitted March 29, 2006

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Musical Background: Song Writer / Producer
Music Style: RnB / Hip Hop / Ambient / House / UK Garage
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: With the latest AKM chips and RME's own analogue components, the sound of the Fireface 800 is killer. The A-D is very clean, clear, and Un Coloured. What you put in is what you get out. Superb sound al the way...very impressed with the conversion. The D-A output of 119db is just brilliant (even thru the headphones as specs claim). My audiophile grade headphones sound awesome through the RME output. My highend monitors pay off even further with the gorgeous output of the D-A on this beast. You can hear all the detail of the audio, precise imaging, and natural depth of bass with clean midrange. The top end is extremely smooth. Wonderful. Feature: Swiss Army Knife like features. All the I/O's you can ask for...its so well equipped. I use it for all my synths and drum machines on the way in. The outputs route to my mixer and monitors. The D-A on this thing is the best...period. Ease of Use: Took me less than 5 Mins to setup on my G4 with my DAW. I was shocked. I had ore trouble with my previous basic Maudio PCI card. The Fireface is a breeze to setup. It is a true plug and play. Quality: Nothing to say in this department. Its built like a damn tank. All the knobs on the front are very tight and smooth. The jacks are solid. I was impressed again. The top plate has all that writing, which did put me off at first, but once its racked, its gone. Value: If you can afford it, the Fireface is a step above all other firewire interfaces. Its definately high end, and a very professional product. I was looking at a Motu 828 mk2, but bought the RME instead. All the reviews and good things i heard turned out to be true. I dont normally beleive the hype. Manufacturer Support: Not needed it. I doubt anyone would. you get 2 years warranty i think, so its quite cool. The Wow Factor: Very professional looking. It looks plain and bland, but look at Apogee (eewww). The Fireface to me looks like a serious peice of kit. No gimmicks and thrills, and most of it is software controlled. I was suprised that i could control the Mic Pre's Phantom power from software control panel...and it lights up on the fireface...cool. Overall: I have to say, i had never heard of RME a few years ago, and used M Audio sound cards previously. But what ever i did hear about the company was positive and all praises. So i am glad i bought the fireface over other units. The damn thing worked first time round, which doesnt normally happen with other sound cards. No tweaking, just recording...no joke.
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"High quality product. For PC, beats the pants off Motu." submitted December 8, 2004

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Sound: Has AKM converters, which are really the high-end standard now. Not sure how I feel about the onboard preamps, but they'll do for anything non-critical. Feature: They pretty much tried to think of everything. The only thing I wish it had was a bunch of TDIF ports so you can acutally run offboard converters at 192kHz. Quality: Very well built. Value: It's expensive, but I wasted so much time playing with that stupid MOTU during sessions trying to get it to work right... Worth it. Manufacturer Support: No experience The Wow Factor: Not real sexy looking (ala motu, etc). But who cares. Overall: I recommend this product.
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