Anyone familiar with RME FireFace 800s?

Wake up, old thread!

I can’t believe I found a forum thread on the internet addressing my situation almost exactly - and on this forum no less!

So here’s my situation: I just purchased an 3rd gen Focusrite 18i8 and was looking to expand the number of inputs. My first instinct was to grab a Behringer 8200, but then I stumbled upon a used Fireface 800 for $475 CAD (~$375 USD).

Having confirmed that the fireface can run with my M1 Mac, I’m now seriously considering this option. In addition, as mentioned above, in the future, I could use the fireface as an expender to the 18i8 if needed.

Question (finally, sorry): To start off with, what would you recommend - using the fireface as the main interface, with the 18i8 for the extra inputs or the other way around?

Second, would you agree that the fireface is a better investment than an AD8200?

I pretty much exclusively use synths, by the way, so no vocals, guitars, etc really.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and input.

Behringer audio gear (not the synths) has its utility but it is hard to think of it as an investment. Soundwise you will aspire for more and they hardly have any resale value. The fireplace will remain a high standard converter for a long time.

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I can’t speak to your issues directly. I recently sold a Fireface 400. It was excellent. I only sold it to fund some new gear. I kinda regret it, as it’s going to cost me a pile of cash I don’t have to replace, and it spoiled me for most other interfaces.

It was stable, very flexible, had very low latency and sounded great.

The flexibility is vast, and greater than it seems at first glance. The outputs can be set to three different levels; the combi sockets can take in a signal from the XLR and TRS sockets in parallel; the TotalMix software allows for a wide range of routing and mixing setups; you can run them without a computer (after some prior configuration with one). You can add ADAT-compatible expanders.

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You should use the fireface as the main interface. The Converters alone are a mile above quality than the focusrite.

It’s crazy that a >10 year old interface is better quality than the newest and latest scarletts. I love RME haha


Fireface 800 user here. It is still my main interface despite having Behringer’s X32, Saffire pro 14, apogee duet (og model) and several other interfaces bought and sold.
The ad/da and support are just so damn good. I’m still running mine with a single thunderbolt 2 to firewire adapter on a Macbook pro 2015. I have two newer macs (including M1) but haven’t felt the need to buy another adapter yet. Just keep in mind you will need to “double adapter” that beast. I don’t believe thunderbolt 3 to firewire exists except for a rare (with bad reviews) OWC docking station.
I plan on picking up a new babyface and using the ff800 as an expander.

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Good to keep in mind - thanks @Lieder

I know I can likely find this info via Google, but if you might know off the top of your head: what adapters will I need to make this all work?

Thanks very much for all the replies so far. I’m contiually impressed by the level of engagement in this forum and the helpfulness of its members. Invaluable!

Shout out to @Joe_b, @Octagonist, @sleepfc, @Lieder!

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…i got lot’s of shitstorm elsewhere, when i was stating that, rme is top notch in naked converters but lack a lot in firmware and overall combining construction…

and an old friend of mine, really aware of what he’s doin’ since ages sonicwise, swore on fireface 800…had three!!! of them in use in quite a while…someday they started loosing connection to host…needed reboots more and more often from that point on…
til they finally dropped dead silent…all three…!!!
nope…no electrical issues…
and total mix (rme’s digital mixing backend) was just starting to talk in math 'n tongues…
all rme had to say…sorry…they’re broken…and nope, we can’t do anything about it…
no reason what caused it, no excuses…no offer for exchange…

well…now he’s happy with uad…
with exact same host backend…!!!

my personal experience with a fireface 400 was pretty much the same…sounded great and pretty clinical for two years…then dead…

i’m happy with metric halo ever since…

so final conclusion…experiences differ a lot…all subjective…i guess…

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Apple official dongles:
thunderbolt 3 to thunderbolt 2
Thunderbolt 2 to firewire 800

Around 30-50$ Each I believe.
I highly recommend the official dongles, third party can be unreliable.

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That’s a serious bummer. Definitely would’ve turned me off.
My experience is the exact opposite. Got mine used in 2012 and been cranking it nearly nonstop for 9 years without any issues with the exception of something on Snow Leopard or mountain lion and a delayed driver…can’t remember now.

The fact that until only a year or so ago they continued support was pretty impressive and satisfactory to me.

I will say the one time I wrote on the forum a rep replied and was a bit salty-ish. Could’ve been the German to English conversion though. Who knows.

UAD has definitely caught my eye though. Love the plugin concept, but haven’t had one around to test drive

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@Lieder - offcial dongles. roger that! Thanks again.

Quick update that may not be of great interest, I realize, but that I’m sharing because the number of people I personally know that would gaf is very near zero:

I ended up missing out on the FF800 (took to long to move on it and it sold). I was pretty bummed. Then later that same day, I somehow managed to find a FF UFX for $625 CAD ($500 USD) near mint, in box, with manual… and ARC remote!

I still can’t believe my luck.

If my tracks suck now, I won’t have much left to blame it on. Haha.

Thanks again for the FF800 feedback you all originally provided.


Congrats on your purchase!

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