End of an Era

Looks like my MR816 journey is at an end. The last version of the Yamaha drivers have started to glitch and I’m getting intermittent pops and dropouts on my Windows 10/64bit system. Knowing that Firewire was a dying format, I assumed my MRs’ days were numbered. I was right…

It’s a real shame that Steinberg abandoned providing software updates to support what were - supposedly - their “flagship” products. Forgetting for a moment what a royal PITA it was that Steinberg initially (and falsely!) advertised that they could be daisy chained and still offer “zero latency” monitoring, then promised they would fix the problem, and then went back on that promise, these interfaces sounded pretty good. The on-board effects weren’t the best I’ve heard, but they were more than acceptable for providing some dynamics control and reverb during the (“zero latency”) overdubbing process. So to see them dump offering updated driver support to the thousands (?) of purchasers was a real kick in the teeth.

The OS users had it worst. One day , without warning, their $1000 interfaces were transformed into $1000 paperweights. Whether this was Apple’s doing and/or whether Steinberg was within it’s legal rights to abandon support isn’t the issue. It’s about how you treat your customers. Most reputable companies put out a notice advising their clients there would be updated drivers soon. Many others (the better ones) advised their clients BEFOER THE OS UPDATE their products wouldn’t work, so they didn’t brick their studios by doing the update before new drivers were available. But not Steinberg… They offers $200 trade-in towards another $3000 interface (the AXR4). In my opinion, that was slap in the face. Rather than using the OS issue as a marketing ploy to “persuade” people to buy new Steinberg interfaces, they could have used a small fraction of the anticipated aggregate rebate amount to have updated drivers written. I have my doubts that they sold many interfaces through that “rebate” plan, but I’m guessing they lost way more customers than they saved.

Companies like RMA and UA have their own issues, but they make solid products and they support their customers with updated drivers long after they discontinue selling their products. Steinberg doesn’t. Why anyone would chose to buy another Steinberg product after such a clear example of disregard for one’s customers is beyond me.

I’ll probably keep at least one of them as a set of ADAT in/outs for my next interface. But one thing is certain - it will NOT be another Steinberg product.

I’ve been on this forum for years. I’ll keep using Cubase, but as for the MR816 (legacy hardware), this is good bye!

I agree with your sentiments.

The fact is that it IS a Steinberg issue… with perhaps an underlying Yamaha cause. These days all SB hardware is Yamaha and they are TERRIBLE at support and maintaining their products. So as SB customers we should be twice as careful.

Apple made it clear that 64 bit only was coming years and years ago. Maybe a decade. Certainly we’ll before the 816 became legacy. There’s was no excuse for this travesty aimed at paying customers .

I guess Yamaha is the parent company here so they call the shots. I charge them with being lazy, poorly managed, dishonest and dishonorable.

For Steinberg’s part I think they should fight harder for us… or at least stop with the “ it’s been a tough decision “ crap. The SB name is on the badge … stand up for yourselves.

Until then don’t let anyone waste their money on SB hardware or anything Yamaha… nor even motor cycles.

I’d be happy to buy S/H 816 units just for their preamps and wire them up with my UR824 as extra recording channels.

The S/H market is now looking at a glut of older firewire devices that will still work if you’re happy to run an older OS and just go back to the last working versions of the drivers/tools. A lot of pro studios are running really old software that just works for recording and are not worried about other tasks and internet connectivity but I know not everyone has or wants a dedicated DAW machine or are happy to stay in older DAW versions.

The root of the issue is the firewire connection though and it seems only the bigger costing interfaces from RME etc have the more ongoing driver coverage.

I ended up getting an RME UFX+ and running the 2 MRs as ADAT I/Os. The RME is SOOOOOOO much more stable, latency is better, product support is better (got a tech support callback - that actually fixed an issue - the same day!) and I have 100% confidence in their maintaining their drivers. I’ll never buy another piece of Steinberg hardware.

I’ve heard nothing but good things about RME.