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Presonus Firestudio vs. MOTU Traveler vs. Alesis 26 IO

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  • Presonus Firestudio vs. MOTU Traveler vs. Alesis 26 IO

    Hi Folks...

    I must decide between these 3 audio interfaces... for the home-project studio of my cousin:

    1. Presonus Firestudio
    2. MOTU Traveler
    3. Alesis 26 IO

    which has the best AD conversion,
    which has the lowest LATENCY at the 24 bit / 96 KHz resolution,
    which has the best software drivers and stability ?

    The PC/OS is:
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600 +, 2 GB RAM
    Windows XP plus SP2

    The software is:
    Steinberg Nuendo 3


    Anyone knows ?

    Thanks, all the best,

    guitarist and producer

  • #2
    I personally am using the Traveller at the moment w/ Sonar 6.2 PE. The card is stable and works well. I honestly think the Presonus is a better value, but a lot of people reported severe issues with the FS and Sonar, so I stayed away.

    All three allow low latency monitoring, so it comes down to your needs, as the difference in AD preamp quality etc at this pricepoint is probably minimal.

    There is a pro review going on right now on the Alesis and seems to be a really great bang/$ piece. The fact that is isn't in a rack form kind of turns me off personally, but it is reported to sound quite good.

    Hope that helps


    • #3
      Hi, thanks for reply,

      First, I was really interested in Focusrite Saffire Pro 26 I/O.
      I tested this thing at the studio of my colleague, and I must say:

      unacceptable high LATENCY !

      I talked with the representative from the Focusrite,
      but latency issue is still unsolved on the table...
      (according to the software drivers.)

      I found Craig Anderton's review of the Alesis IO 26 on Harmony Central site...

      Looks like the mic pre amps have not enough GAIN !

      There is more than 10 dB shortage/absence of the gain ! Geez !
      So, I will stay away from this thing...

      I need minimum 4 XLR mic pre-amp inputs,
      so, for the 750-850 EUR (in Europe) only 2 possible competitors are

      Presonus Firestudio

      MOTU Traveler


      I heard some comments...
      Some people (osci) say:

      I have now traded in my traveler for a Firestudio. The bottom line is that it sounds way better.

      etc. etc.


      At the first sight, looks like the Traveler has the better/recent AD conversion than the Firestudio (192 vs "only" 96 KHz...) ... but...

      what about the "whole system/box" ?

      I know, the RME Fireface 400 is the best thing on this World for the 800 EUR, but we need 4 XLR mic pre-amps immediatelly-now, not later,

      for the only 800-850 EUR.


      Anyone has the (MP3 or WAV) samples both from the Traveler & Firestudio ?


      can I conclude that Presonus Firestudio is BETTER than
      OR "EQUAL" to

      the MOTU Traveler ?


      Is Presonus Firestudio able to put down the LATENCY

      under the 3 ms

      on this configuration:

      AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600 +, 2 GB RAM
      Windows XP plus SP2

      The software is:
      Steinberg Nuendo 3

      at the 24 bit / 96 KHz recording resolution ?

      Anyone from PRESONUS to comment this ?

      Is the Traveler significantly BETTER (in every aspect !) than the 828 mk II ???

      My colleague from the (1.) sold the 828 mk II, just to buy Focusrite Saffire Pro 26 !

      He said: 828 mk II is not good...

      (I said: Saffire Pro 26 can be excellent, if Focusrite is able to put down the LATENCY...)

      Is MOTU Traveler able to put down the LATENCY

      under the 3 ms

      on this configuration:

      AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600 +, 2 GB RAM
      Windows XP plus SP2

      The software is:
      Steinberg Nuendo 3

      at the 24 bit / 96 KHz recording resolution ?


      Anyone knows this:

      WHICH AD CONVERTERS are in Presonus Firestudio and MOTU Traveler inside ???

      I found this for the MOTU:

      The Motu family of audio interfaces are all built upon essentially the same platform. The newer generation utilize Texas Instruments TMS320 series of DSP processors to handle bussing and routing. The converters are Asahi Kasei (AKM), and are the same converters used in many other brands of interfaces, including Digidesign, RME, Maudio, Roland, and many more. Given their strong Macintosh drivers, these units are fantastic choices for an Apple-based home studio.


      WHICH AKM AD converter is in the Traveler ?

      Thanks, all the best !


      • #4
        I looked at the Firestudio, Traveler and IO26 along with the Saffire Pro 26.

        I have gone with tried and true and ordered the Traveler. While it is only four pres I realised I can use the pres for vox in my band and take a line out to the FOH mixer. Then I can use the mixer pres for the non critical drums and line out of that to the Traveler.

        The presonus guys say they have latency down to 3ms but I query that as others say that most FW interfaces have a double layer in the signal path that makes 11ms about the lowest.

        Also the Traveler can be modded by Black Lion Audio to give a radar style clock stability. This modding seems well organised and popular.

        I have heard that the Saffire has the same gizzards as the Alesis but has clock as well. I think this was the Saffire and not the Firestudio.

        Rigorous testing shows the sound of the Alesis is up there with the others. I only went for MOTU as it is established and I can make it better with modding. It really was a tough call as all of these systems look great and I thought that the Alesis deserves lots of purchasers.

        The lack of clock could be a bonus as you may wish to slave it but that can be a problem too.


        • #5
          I had the presonus fire pods.. i had two, my singer had one, and my producer friend had one.. they all have major issues, the firewire is super unstable.. the Firestudio is good with a PC.. the preamps are nice enough. Thats PreSonus

          The Alesis IO26 is probably your best bet in my humble opinion from reliability, support, compatibility, overall sound quality, latency, midi aspects. My only concern was that I liked have rackmount gear for doing remote stuff.. but i am currently installing a desk that im gonna rig up a mount for these for my permanent setup. I'd also recommend a snake if you have one.And besides, Alesis almost single handedly invented home multitracking for the consumer budget.. remember the Porta02? the ever so Delicious ADAT machines of the 90s (i had 4 sync'd at one point)

          The ProFire is GREAT, also compatible if you wanted to go ProTools (which if you're doing alot of editing and midi, id say why the hell would you) but a bit more pricey than the rest in this range

          Thats my bit,

          good luck to you... no matter which you choose if any of the ones listed above, I'm more than sure that the sound quality will be sufficient for you.. just weigh the other options!

          Happy creating and capturing


          • #6
            these two units (firestudio tube or project) from presonus have new chipsets and are the best of the whole line up. affordable and daisy chain-able. most of all, and most important of all, if you could test the preamp quality on all the preamps you are talking about the presonus will smoke them all for open sound and clarity. the best judge is your ears. buy your favorite choices and take the home and test them, send them back if you don't like them...this is the best way to make a decision on sound even if it costs you shipping. i tried the presonus tube in my studio for a few weeks and made the switch from the rme fireface 800. want to track my progress using it as a live mixer and simultaneous multitrack recorder? go to


            • #7
              The only chainable PreSonus stuff I've seen on their website is the Firepod or FP10.

              Are you saying you can do that (chaining) with other PreSonus? Maybe other brands (assuming same hardware/brand/model for all chained interfaces)?

              Reason being, is that I ordered the FP10 specifically so I could chain it with a second unit. If I can do that with the FireStudio or FireStudioProject (considering that I would have 2 matching units) - then I might go that route if the FP10 doesn't pan out (read on).

              The FP10 I bought has an issue (defective, makes noises at 96K/24, 88K/24 has hum, but 44K/24 and 48K/24 are quiet) - so I'm sending it back defective for another unit - if that one also has issue, I might have to choose something/someone else...

              But the point being that I want to be able to record 10+ channels at once...



              • #8
                i have a firestudio sitting to my left and an alesis io26 to my right. neither of which will run on my laptop. best of luck to ya brutha.
                -"Who is John Galt?"-


                • #9
                  I just picked up a Saffire Pro 26 for a song on Craigslist, and I have been using it for about a week with VERY low latency - no issues so far. We're talking <1ms for smaller sessions and <5ms for HUGE monstrous sessions.

                  Here's the funny thing though - using it with Reaper - no issues, smooth as silk, low latency, can record 24 simultaneous channels with no errors... just great.

                  With Sequoiia/Samplitude - NO go. Massive errors no matter what the buffer settings are.

                  Computer is an Asus G1-X1 laptop, dual 2.4s, 4GB Ram, external 7200RPM drive.
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