The last years I bought/tested a bunch of different interfaces and I have to admit that the AXR4 is the best so far. Why? Because for me two things are most important:
Both are exceptional (just recently I tested the new RME Fireface UCX II and there was a noticeable difference).
Mostly, I only need four preamps and they are the best I’ve experienced with an interface. I don’t want to buy additional external pre-amps and with the AXR4 pre’s I have got everything I need (especially with the silk modes). When I need more, I still have my old Yamaha rack module with 8 pre amps. But the clarity and flexibility with the RND Silk modes is amazing.
My setup is simple. I don’t use a lot outboard gear (except my TC Finalizer or ALESIS Masterlink or ADAT HD24) and I only got one pair of monitors. When I will add another pair of studio monitors sometime in the future, maybe I will get myself a monitor controller.
I recognized some frustration in this forum regarding updates etc., which I can understand. But on the other hand I haven’t experienced any driver issue at all.
And again, the AD/DA conversion absolutely top notch! They let my Eve Audio monitors shine like never before. I notice some progress in my mixing abilities and that’s fantastic!
Some time ago, I got to know the VCM effects on an Yamaha board and that is my only little wish: To make those available for the AXR4.
But on the other hand, to work mainly only with 4 plugins (I am talking about the 4 native VCM effects) and to dive deep into those four is more effective than to use 20 different plugins, when you just have superficial knowledge. Of course, I use some more plugins at later stages of mixing/mastering.
My conclusion: The AXR4 is the best sounding interface I’ve know so far. Regarding the pre-amps, they are the best I’ve ever experienced when it comes to integrated pre-amps in an interface. My setup is not very advanced, that’s why I don’t have to care much about other issues, some other users may experience.