How does sonic quality on UR824 compare to MR series

Hi all, I’ve been debating in my mind even before I got the UR824, whether I should get the MR816csx.
I’ve heard nice productions with the MR816x somewhere in the signal chain and a lot of praises sung
for that unit, but less so for the 824; maybe because it’s newer. If any of you guys who own both units
would be so kind as to post your preferred unit out of the two, I would be grateful. I’m still considering
purchasing a MR816csx or x. The MR costs more and it seems it is touted as the flagship model. Confused
at this point?

Well, this thread doesn’t answer the question about sonic quality in comparison, but does draw comparisons of sorts, so I’ll just put that here:

The reason I asked my initial question was because I’ve done a lot of research on the two interfaces. There are threads that go on for months and years bubbling over the MR816x. Not so much for the newer UR824. While I can’t
compare the the two Steinberg units. I can give my limited thoughts on the UR824 and my limited use of it in case
someone else is considering. I like the Pres with mics (at least the one I tried - an old Shure). For guitar, I’m not thrilled. Mind you, I haven’t tried everything I could with Instruments or Mics, these are my initial thoughts. As for
the Jackson Guitar, which just naturally has a crisp sustaining tone, the character and tone of it was pretty much destroyed through the UR824.
I’m hoping that micing the amp or line in from the amp will be better. This Jackson sounds great through a Emu 1820m with line out #1 to the input of a Fender Vibrosonic Reverb Amp. Just a mostly clean tone that even my wife says it sounds good, which it must if she says so, but I thought the same thing. The UR824 sound better
going from one Computer; through Reaper and out to the 1820m into another computer. Monitoring through the Emu 1820m. My initial assessment is the UR824 adds a tinny sound to an already crisp and bright guitar, whereas the 1820m doesn’t. I’ll do more tests, but I did notice it was harder to record a clean signal overall with that guitar through the UR824.

Not that Steinberg would remember, but I’ve been a member since 5-6-2008 and I used Cubase VST 5.1
well before that - still do!.

O.K., I gave another try with the Jackson, and it was better, with monitors, but a horrible experience through
the headphones; kinda crackley and thin - with low volume. Surely I don’t need a headphone amp for my headphone
amp? Wide open just to hear. I think I was clipping before just to hear through the phones. Hopefully an update
can fix this. I hate to lose a stereo out for an external hp amp. At least on the Emu 1820m the headphone out could be used as another stereo out. The routing on the UR824 leaves a lot to be desired. I keep thinking “Limited” when using this unit. More testing needed for sure.

Apparently the UR824 was the missing link to turn my guitar into a radio receiver. I couldn’t continue working with the 824 last night because I was getting multi-band radio reception; loud enough that I recorded it to a track. This
reminds me of my CB days when the skip was up in the evening and airwave trash would come in on the channels.
None of my other audio equipment has ever exibited such nonsense. I don’t use wireless any where. I will have to
check my wife’s phone if it happens again, because the problem started when she came home and walked in the
proximity of my activities … Still, this is NOT good. The only change to my setup was the UR824. Bad, BAD 824. Bad dog!

On a side note, I’m beginning to think that the Hi-Z on this unit produces inferior results for my setup. Thin and tinny sound. I did hook a peddle steel guitar up yesterday and if I remember correctly I had to pad the channel and I DO remember the I had to leave the Hi-Z off. That instrument has a very high output though. It sounded decent enough, but I’m coming to the conclusion that this unit works better for line-in, mics, & miked instruments. I did run a line out from the amp into a padded channel on the 824 and it was an improvement but I had a horrible hum. It’s a tube amp meant for the days of analog with that recording jack, but there may be another problem there that needs investigated further, I’d say.

Also, I can’t use the 824 as standalone going into the Emu 1820m unless it is a SINGLE mono output, because two
channels (outputs 1 & 3) gets summed together. Only tried 1/4" cables (TS & TRS) so far. I’ll try ADAT when I get
a chance. I think the UR824 could’ve been better engineered though. I would have paid more for more routing options on the 8 analog outputs.

So is the UR824 as good as the MR816? Some people seem to like both, but RME still pops up in my mind. Maybe with it’s pros and cons it’s no better or worse than any other functionally limited unit in that price range compared with any other brand’s pros & cons.

I guess this will be a blog about being able to integrate the 824 into my setup. To be fair, the pres on the 824 are
better than the EMU 1820m, and to be equally fair, I would not discard the 1820m completely in favor of the UR824.
That little unit has many more routing options. Too bad that Creative choked the life out of the Emu brand.

Stay tuned!

I was messing around today with a standalone demo of Peavey Revalver. I noticed that I had a better
reproduction of my guitar tone than what Reaper was printing or monitoring. I read of someone else
complaining about another “mainstream” DAW fizzing and distorting the top register of their tone.
This gave me new hope that I can use the UR824 as a DI. The Revalver didn’t sound as good in Reaper.
I don’t ever remember Cubase VST 5.1 destroying my tone. I might have to spring for the latest
Cubase at some point, but I’m thinking it would be a problem for live gigs. I do like Cubases’ MIDI
functionality, yet I need something all in one package. I have different DAW’s scattered around different
PC’s, and they all provide a certain usability for specific tasks. But nothing is a reliable “all-in-all” DAW,
especially for live ventures. I had hopes for Reaper, but after my discovery, not so much as far as guitar
is concerned. May be time to blow dust of the Hard disk recorder? No “Windows” based personality flaws with
hardware units. That’s for sure!


you are reporting very strange things!

For me the UR824 works fine: No noise, no distortion, no problems with drivers, no problem with the DAW.

The MR interfaces have a few features more than the UR. They use Firewire instead of USB. The MR Interfaces are simply cacadable via Firewire - the UR only via ADAT. The MR have more integration features in Cubase (connect).
Additionaly the MR interfaces should run with a lower latency time (Firewire instead of USB). I have a latency time of about 5ms with 64 samples buffer.

So I would say, the MRs are a little bit better than the URs.

The Preamps and the DSPs shoude be the same…


Thank you for your input. It’s good to hear that you are not having
problems with the UR824. My main concerns over the differences between
the two units were the Preamps & Converters. The price difference
between the two left me wondering if those components were lesser on
the UR824. I’m having better results with Mics on the 824. I just
hoped I didn’t have a lower quality unit over all.

Yeah, I’m getting some strange results. Doing a lot of troubleshooting
now. Too bad the USB drivers don’t work with Windows XP 64 bit. I’m
getting ready to try it on XP 32 bit. What little I used it on Vista
32 bit on a laptop seemed less glitchy. The troubles I’m reporting are
in Vista 64 bit which is my main gig box PC. I’m considering everything
as the source of the problem. I see most people are using Windows 7 & 8.
I’m getting ready to get Windows 7 in the near future. So, still testing.

I tried Peavey Revalver standalone again and nothing but problems. The only
thing different from the last time I used Revalver was an update to Quicktime.
Something is probably interfering somewhere.

I’ve got to get my guitar tone printed some way. Scratching my head at this point.
I’ll be ordering a diff Mic to mic my amp. I’m thinking that will give the best
results but I want various guitar tracks captured through diff methods for other
flavors. I’m just sensitive about my tone because I know what is there and what
I’m getting are not matching up rightly. Still working at it!


In the document they are writing over the “D-PRE” preamps “This is a very high-end preamp that was used for the previous flagship, MR series.”

I think the price difference is manly caused by the usage of the expensiver Firewire solution. in a USB Solution must only be implemented a Slave functionalty. Firewire is much complexer because there is no need of a master.


Hi Werner,

Yeah, I’ve read alot about the UR824 and the few
comparisons between the MR and UR were from soon
after the release of the UR824, which was why I
was hoping for more current comparison on sound
quality. I already know the UR is extremely useful
as a Mic Pre. I hoped someone who owns both would
put my curiosity to rest over the MR816csx; whether
I should go ahead and get one or not. If it works
better for guitar, then I would be interested.
At this point, I’m not considering daisy-chaining
multiple units, but I would be disappointed if I
got the MR816 and it is the same with a guitar
quality-wise as the 824.

I’ve heard another complaint about guitar through
one of the Steinberg interfaces, maybe the MR, but
I’ll have to try and find it again to ease my mind.

I’m considering everything from headphones to guitar
electronics as the source of my dissatisfaction. I’m
happy with live sound though, yet my tone is breaking
up with everything tried so far through the UR824 with

Today, I’m considering purchasing a Shure KSM44A to mic my amp and ease my pain.

In case someone else is reading my posted ramblings
to decide on purchasing the UR824, I can report
a cure to one of my previous complaints about
the headphone amp; use a 1/4" TRS from the guitar
to input #1 or #2 on the front of the unit. The
signal will be boosted!

Well, I’m not giving up on my quest for understanding, so I found this on a forum. I’ll post it here as a piece of
the puzzle:

Originally Posted by StefanSchreiber
Hello gurnisht,

Thank you and everyone here for your interest in our new UR interfaces. Regarding the converter quality allow me to jump in here. Due to ongoing developments within the three years since the MR interfaces were first released, the converters of the UR and MR interfaces cannot be identical. Nevertheless the components for both MR and UR were chosen to observe the same criteria to provide the optimum sound quality. Not only is this the case for the converters but is reflected in selecting all components and designing the entire circuit, such as power unit design, capacitors, op-amp selection, and circuit hard wiring. Fact is, laboratory tests have proven that the sound quality of the UR units is as good as the MRs‘.
If necessary I will try to add to this thread in the future.

Many thanks,

Stefan Schreiber
Steinberg Media Technologies

So, we now have that properly in place here concerning the converters. I’m now on to find out why I can’t
DI my guitar with this unit. I’m so disgusted right now over my efforts that I’m considering replacing equipment
and adding other equipment. I’m not blaming the UR824 as the cause of my frustration - in fact, I’m looking at
everything going in, thru, and out of the unit. There is still much testing to be done in every aspect. And I
repeat, I do like a mic through the UR824 and the steel guitar was better than the guitar, so I know at least I have a starting point of usability. I did try to mic my guitar amp. It was different but didn’t produce anything I could
use. That could be entirely the fault of the cheapish mic.

Onward and Upward!

I don’t know what I did different to think this was the cure here, but after I looked at the specs on the two
front jacks and found that they are TS (unbalanced), I tried a regular guitar cable again and there was no
difference. Maybe getting some of the bugs worked out??? I don’t know.

I see a new post has been submitted by I can’t see it in the browser. Also I have a message I can’t
view… Weird.

OK 15 posts and 13 are viewable. What is this, Cubase?

Tried to post here twice, but I have no idea why I had no success…

I wanted to tell you, that the inputs are only unbalanced when using hi-z. Using balanced cables with hi-z doesn’t work.

Oh good, it’s sorted out.

Yeah Werner, the center 1/4" part of the combo jack is unbalanced and the XLR part is balanced.

I may have a serious headphone quality problem. The guitar tone is extremely nasty with HP. Maybe
a compatibility problem with impedance?

Also, my main guitar has passive pickups, which may play some factor.

So, I have to get better HPs and Monitors AND build a amp chamber of some sort, AND get a better Mic. Those are the next steps to solving the mystery.

I would love to be making music, but this has to be solved some way.



there’s no problems with:

1: the pre’s
2: the head phone amps

I think you need to look at what you’re trying to achieve here.

I’m saying this as someone who records guitars almost everyday here in the studio.



What I’m trying to achieve is guitar tracks that work.

There should be no problem with any of the components on the UR824. I don’t know if you read any of this through
but, I’m looking at everything OTHER THAN the UR824 at this point.

It’s good to hear the UR824 is working on your end MR and it probably will be on this end when I get it sorted out.

I noticed something last night using a mic. There is a difference in the signal between input #2 on the front of the
UR824 and input #3 on the rear.

Using input #2 on the front with dynamic mic:
I had enough headroom left over on the gain knob, but I had a lower signal while clipping occurred. I couldn’t hear
the vocals over the guitar, so I inserted the same mic into input #3 on the rear.

Using input #3 on the rear with same dynamic mic:
I could now hear the vocals over the guitar. I still had plenty of headroom and NO clipping.

As for the Jackson guitar previously reported, it works best without Hi-Z engaged - gain knob wide open. Not my
ideal choice, but the only way usable with this guitar. If I was using a distorted guitar, I probably wouldn’t have a
complaint with Hi-Z. But, I hardly ever use distortion these days.

My conclusion is, with the mic & guitar tested, you have to be careful what you use and where/how you insert it.

As for the latest driver & firmware update, I had to increase the buffer to 256 samples from the 96 samples I was using at 48 KHz. Now I have to deal with latency. This is a problem.

OK, I noticed after I added 2 more instances of plugins I was already using that I was getting crackles in the audio.
This is when I increased the buffer size from 96 to 256. I believe the extra plugins were responsible for the audio
corruption, NOT the firmware update.