Additional AD converters for RME UCX

Want to expand 8 analog inputs on RME UCX with external AD converter card.
I don’t need more analog outs but 16x inputs would be good!

I know Ferrofish Pulse16 or RME 1610 will do the job. RME at 2200€ is a bit too expensive for me but Ferrofish as far as I see is around 700€ - 800€ used, not cheap but acceptable. But I really don’t need more outputs (at least at the moment no plans to mix OTB ).

Maybe there are older solutions from RME which will work fine or something else? Would love to hear comments from UCX users, really want solid, hi-q and problem free setup which will work for years.

I think the UCX only has one set of ADAT in and out? That will only give you 8 extra ins and out. So might be overkill to buy a 16 AD/DA interface.

You can buy a regular RME interface used and set it up to work as a standalone ADAT interface. I have an RME Fireface 800, and use an RME FF 400 and Behringer ADA 8200 as adat expansion for 26 in and out.

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Ogh I see. Yes, it has only one ADAT input so you’re right.

Anything more reliable and maybe better sounding than Behringer (got a lot of bad experience in the past with B and don’t want to get into troubles again )?

If you need it for line ins only, the Behringer is totally sufficient. I’ve got one linked up with my Apollo 8 (blackface) and it’s fine for that purpose (expanding number of line inputs).

If you want preamps, a good value-for-money option would be the Audient ASP800 or ASP880.


Absolutely no need in preamps here, I would use it for post fader outs from my analog mixer.
Also no need in DA outputs.

So it’s really sufficient? Will be no big difference between RME and B inputs?

I mean the converter on your RME is higher spec than the Behringer’s. The Behringer ADA8200 uses a Cirrus Logic CS4270 converter, which is pretty common in low- to mid-range audio gear. It’s very good value for money at that price point. Dynamic range is at 105dbA though, I think your RME UCX converter has a dynamic range of 114dbA - so you lose some here.

For my purposes it’s definitely fine. I use my Apollo’s preamps for vocals & guitars and have a few of my hardware boxes run through its line inputs (DT, SP16, AS1) then have most of my hardware (OT, A4, Kawai MP11, a bunch of other synths etc) running through the Behringer ADA8200. All runs through a patchbay, so if something is critical, I can route it to my Apollo inputs effortlessly in two seconds.

They are cheap to buy new. You could try one and if you feel it’s a significant loss in quality you can send it back.

Don’t forget that the DA conversion happens in your UCX, so there you’d be using your RME again (not sure if this is relevant to you, eg if you use effects inside you DAW etc).

I looked at ADAT expanders extensively and even contemplated getting another Apollo to daisy chain out of fear I’d lose too much sound quality. So I got the Behringer ADA8200 to try and noticed that it’s not big enough a difference for my intended purposes to warrant a 2000€ difference in expenditure.

But if you press me hard I’d say I hear a little less clarity on the highs and a little less detail in the mids when my hardware runs through the Behringer. But again, not enough to lose sleep over it.

Conversion is funny like that, I just posted in another thread here how big a difference I heard when I switched from my TC Konnekt to my Apollo and here I am telling you not to sweat it lol - I guess I was emphasising the DA conversion there :yum:

Hope this helps.

PS: I should add that I usually avoid Behringer products where I can and I refuse to buy any of their knock-off synths out of principle, but the ADA8200 (and their patchbay) is a utilitarian effort that marks an exception for me.


Second hand RME (FF400/800) or MOTU 828/Ultrlite MK3,4) in standalone mode should be cheap enough and could double as a spare or second interface if you need it to. Will also hold value better than a new B should you ever need to sell it. Oh, yeah, will also sound a bit better :slight_smile:
I mean, differences between converters are subtle, but everything passes through them all the time (in and out) unlike effects where differences are dramatic but it’s only parts of your signal sometimes.

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I dont notice any difference on the Behringer and RME converters. My RME interfaces is older, so might be a bigger difference from your interaface. But after mixing, effects and eq, it is good enough.

I paired an FF800 with my UCX. Even better is that you get 10 extra channels not just 8, and a second independent headphone mix too.

IMO B’s stuff is garbage. I can absolutely hear the difference on just a single pass. Maybe your monitors or ears aren’t hearing it but there are lots of us who can blind AB it every time.

One sounds like consumer grade stuff. The other sounds like high end pro gear. There’s a real difference, and it is audible. Whether it matters to you depends on whether you care about getting a great sound or you’re fine with consumer grade results. That’s a matter of opinion, certainly. But what isn’t a matter of opinion is that there is a significant difference to the end result that a lot of people will definitely notice in the final product.


Sounds like it’s time for a blind test. :wink:

I got decent monitors, my hearing isn’t that bad either. But after effects and prosessing it doesn’t matter that much.

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Over the past week I’ve been looking into this exact same problem with the same interface. Ethically I cannot bring myself to go for any B gear, even if it’s pre-edgelord PR campaign B. The only issue I see with going for an old RME interface (the option I’m 90% settled on) is if you buy one used that does not have USB support and is not already set up to be in ADAT-sender mode, you may have some trouble actually getting the interface to talk to a computer. Both windows and OSX have phased out firewire support. If you are using a windows desktop, you can buy a PCI-E firewire expansion card and force old firewire drivers to run via a little bit of legacy windows snooping, but I’ve heard reports that on OSX it’s a lot harder, or impossible, to get a firewire-only device to be recognized on the platform anymore.

If you got some old computers laying around though you could use those to flash/set up in totalmix the RME interfaces to get them to be in the rate state for you to just use as a standalone box though. Would be the easiest way if you are non tech savvy to add just more of the same sound rather than looking at other manufacturers.

It does, actually. Processing can actually worsen the intermodulation problems cause by poor sampling. You get IMD, along with an increased noise floor, and yes if you record the same signal with great preamps and simultaneouslty with shitty ones and mix them identically its even easier to tell the difference in the end. That’s why pro studios who are notoriously budget conscious and know their product is most likely to be played on the shittest smartphone in mono still use super high end converters. Because it matters.

I have a modern Mac and talk firewire to my FF800 with zero problems. There is a Thunderbolt to FW adapter that works like a charm. But once you set it to be an adat format converter you generally don’t need to touch it again. RME even updated their drivers to work with Big Sur so it’s still absolutely supported even on the M1s.


There is also the focusrite octapre

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I went with the Ferrorfish Pulst 16 for my Fireface 802. Have a look on their website. They offer “b-stock” for around 800 EUR. Mine came with 2 nice coffee cups and 8 adat cables. So now I´m fan boy for sure! :slight_smile: I like the display to see the levels of audio outs and ins. And the menu is very easy to navigate. Sound is also great!

In my setup I have 18 inputs and outputs from RME. 6 from the behringer. When I multitrack everything while jamming those tracks doesn’t matter that much. And when I send all channels back to the mixer for an analog mix down the “added” noise floor from the ADA is the least of my concern.

I would say that the Ada is good enough for most hobbyist, and a cheap way to get more inputs.


If you have drivers that support catalina and you use the thunderbolt to firewire adapter then firewire works perfectly on Mac os catalina

Have you ever used an ADA8200 in person?

I agree that Behringer stuff isn’t worthwhile in most cases, but the ADA8200 is decent for sure.

I know at least one professional studio in Berlin that has a few of these for low priority recordings.

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Thanks for the clarification. I don’t use a mac but I guess some camera-centric features of firewire were removed, so that is why I thought that the whole port was removed.