MR816 worst audio interface?

What is wrong with these tests?

You know what they say about gearslutz - the forum where the uneducated go to fight with the misinformed. Don’t pay attention.

Come on now… Jay Messina just did an excellent Q&A on GS. Whether you are placing him in the uneducated or misinformed stereotype, you’re way off. That’s just one of many examples. GS is an awesome forum with all of the trappings of any Internet forum.

Interesting study and it does point out that the MR816’s padded mic amp inputs (as opposed to a normal line input) effected the results significantly.

In actual use, however, I find the MR816x to be better than that ranking might suggest. My Nuendo rig is primarily set up for mixing and has high latency (typically 24ms!) so overdubs can be tricky with my normal interfaces. The Mac Pro I use does not allow direct monitoring unfortunately. My usual interfaces are Apogee AD-16x and DA-16x units optically connected to a MOTU 2408 mk3. For vocal overdubs, etc. I temporarily switch over to the 816 (still clocking from the AD-16x) and then enjoy the no-latency input monitoring and monitor switching. I would like more headroom on the 816’s padded inputs but I’ve been able to deal with it.

So, I’m glad to offer a few words in support of the MR816X and I hope Yamaha/Steinberg design actual line inputs for future models!

Can you elaborate what this means for us layman?

Sorry not to be clear before, but a normal line input has a sensitivity that is set for a line level, usually +4dBm for balanced and -10dBm for unbalanced. Little or no gain is added to a line input.

A mic amplifier (preamp) is designed to increase the level that comes into it by quite a bit, possibly 40dB or more. The volume adjustment for the mic amp is usually on the output of the mic amp, so if your incoming signal is louder than the mic amp can handle, it distorts no matter where you set the volume control.

The pad reduces the incoming signal by a certain amount (26dB on the 816) to bring the incoming signal closer to what the mic amp wants to see, reducing the chance for overload.

But the because the mic amp is still applying a gain increase, there is a higher noise floor with a mic amp used this way versus a line input.

Clear as mud? I wish I could explain it better, but I have a hunch this is one reason the MR816X was ranked low on the survey because I think it’s a good piece of gear.

I went from a FireFace 800 to the MR816 and was very happy. Not a bad interface at all. A few shortcomings for sure, but sounded great.

Some of the best sounding records I’ve made we’re done on my 816’s and that’s comparing against RME,LYnx and Apogee.

There are some annoying software shortcomings but all in all it won’t be the weak link in 99% of people’s chains.


Yup Ive did bench tests using Lynx/Duet/& an MRX…thru QSC monitors/ Funktion One PA rig…at extremely high volume levels…( I produce Club Music professionally ) and I can assure you that the MRX is as good as ANYTHING on the market & NOT as low in anybodies estimations, I Mix & Bounce at volume levels that No one on that gearslutz test will or would do…120db + and at those levels, you can certainly make comparisons easier (when the audio is “inside” you…I hate it when I come here and read mass amounts of negativity againt the MRX, Ive had it since it was launched, and the only time Ive EVRER had a problem,was when Win 7 came around,and I had the hiccup with having to use the Legacy firewire driver. I estimate a shedload of people if they really knew software , pc systems and their configurations, only a small percentage of peeps would complain.

yes Direct M is a problem with 2 cards etc…yeah, want the headphone knob to control whatever you could think of, there is a few shortcomings…but all in all, I think its a damn fine card…and with teh Cubase integration…super sweet…I certainly am going to pick up another 1 or 2 before “game is over” as apart from the Inputs…(& these days I dont record many bands) I use mainly for playback…I really dont think there is a better card suited for modern production, at a price before you head into stupid territory…but then I dont need 24 in/outs these days!. :laughing:

I agree; taken for what it is, the MR816CSX is one awesome piece of gear.

Steinberg’s only failings were in marketing; they should have been clear about the monitoring limitations.