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Your opinions re: interfaces wanted: Steinberg UR44 vs TC Electronic Impact Twin


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Hello there gentlemen, and ladies, if there be any. My long-faithful interface recently gave up the ghost and I've found myself in need of a new one. In actuality, I have already purchased the Steinberg UR44 and currently have it in my possession, and it is so far working quite well. However, I am still within the return period on it and have an opportunity to pick up a TC Electronic Impact Twin at the same price, actually slightly less, so if I choose to I can end up with it instead.

 

Why would I care if the Steinberg is working fine, you ask?

 

Just a couple small reasons. For one, I've tried a few different interfaces and the Steinberg wasn't my first choice (though it is a lovely device so far). Some of these were Firewire interfaces, while the Steinberg is USB. So along the way I did invest in a nice, quality SIIG Firewire card with an audio use approved TI chipset, and it would be nice to get some use out of that, just on principle. I'm sure you understand.

 

Otherwise, the Impact Twin generally has a reputation for being, shall I say, a cut above many of the $300 and below devices on the market when it comes to preamps and converters. Of course, from what I can glean through some Googling, the Steinberg is no slouch and is armed with Yamaha's D-Pres and the same converters as some of their higher end devices.

 

Both the Steinberg and the Impact Twin fill my needs as far as inputs and outputs, MIDI, all that sort of thing.

 

I'm basically just asking if there's any compelling reason when it comes to pres or converters (or perhaps included plugs) to choose the Impact Twin over the Steiny, because I'm at a point where I can do so at pretty much no cost and I've already got a compatible Firewire card.

 

Thank you all in advance for any insight you might be able to give. :)

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I have not tried either one of those interfaces, but I went and looked at the manufacturer's web pages for each of them and they both look like good products on paper. I believe the TC has some onboard DSP for things like monitor reverb, which might tip the scales in its favor. It also has an ADAT port, which might prove useful later if you decide you need more inputs; you could always add an 8-channel ADAT Lightpipe equipped preamp to your rig.

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Thank you for your input, Phil. The Steinberg also has onboard DSP actually, which only serves to bring them more neck and neck with each other.

 

The Steinberg has two more preamps with phantom power on two of it's inputs, but does lack ADAT functionality. However, it's unlikely I'll need more inputs than it already has.

 

Boy, they really are very similar. Maybe I'll just sell the Firewire card.

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I don't see any reason to keep the firewire card - unless you have a bunch of external firewire drives or something, in which case holding on to it makes sense, but if all you've ever used it for is to connect an audio interface, you can probably safely get rid of it. A good interface might last you four or five years... by that time I suspect that firewire will have pretty much faded from popular use, with USB 3 and Thunderbolt taking its place.

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Most interfaces are really good today. The biggest items hardware wise are the quality of the built in preamp, converters and expandability.

Everything else comes down to how well the drivers were written for stability and speed.

 

I suggest you Try and Google all the reviews you can find and dig up the dirt vs digging up positive things. You can learn more about the complaints gear might have just so long as you weed out the amateur/rookie complaints that are caused by them screwing things up.

 

I'd go to any forums those companies might have and read all the posts you can on the topics, and Google any reviews you can find, both good and bad. If there's a flaw there, and you see the company addresses it, then you have some service support to help you. If its one of those dead phone companies, you'll find that out quick enough too. You'll find a bunch of people asking questions and not getting any answers.

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Thank you both for your contributions. I've decided to hold on to the Steinberg for the time being, and probably will for a good while unless something goes wrong. Everything installed easily and it's worked perfectly from day one; it's really quite a lovely piece of gear.

Edited by Mind Riot
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