Steinberg UR44 vs Presonus Studio 1810 (vs Focusrite 18i8)

Hi folks, got a budget of c£250 and at the moment it’s down to a choice of the above interfaces. Boxes to tick are: 4 mic pres (with inst/line options), outputs for an extra pair of monitors, and at least one extra input/output pair for hooking up external fx to Cubase. That they’ve all got 2 headphone outs is also good.

My thinking so far…The Focusrite 18i8 has come highly recommended. It only has one set of analog outs, which is a shame, but I’ve used FR for years (Saffire LE) and I’d be happy to buy another. On the other hand, shopping around for a monitor switchbox to compensate seems like another exercise in itself (apart from the extra cost) so I’m hoping for a better option.

The two I’ve come across so far I don’t know. Steinberg’s hardware seems popular enough round here so that’s got to be a good start, this SOS article even expressing a preference for it over the 18i8. The big unknown for me is the Presonus Studio 1810. Just where does the quality of their hardware - particularly preamps - fit into the general scheme of things?

Please dive in with your opinions.

Thanks for reading, C

I think you’ll be hard pushed to find a bad sounding pre-amp in this price range, they will all have headroom and low noisefloors only dreamt of a decade or so ago in professional studios. As an ex UR44 owner - I must say I loved it and found the on-board DSP very handy. Don’t overlook the Behringer U-Phoria 1820 - 8 mic pres, 18in/20 out. MIDAS pres sound pretty good to my ears and you’ll have ~50 euros spare to go towards a monitor switch. Yep some Behringer stuff is crap - this isn’t.

That’s a very handy reply, thank you. And you’re the second person to mention that particular Behringer…

Focusrite have worst drivers

A bit biased here as I have been using PreSonus interfaces for over 11 years with really only one recent issue. And that one issue was resolved quickly through their (IMO) very good customer service.

A couple more thoughts…

  • The 1810 is a fairly new release. So it’s got the latest and greatest stuff available.
  • Based on the PreSonus forum I don’t see many complaints/issues about it. But, maybe they haven’t sold many/any?
  • They seem to provide timely updates for their drivers and other software.
  • You do get a copy of Studio One 4 Artist with it. I do use it periodically when collaborating with friends that use it. Also, it is interesting to compare Cubase to it.

The only downside I see is that the PreSonus Audio interface mixer software is really tailored to work best with their Studio One DAW (pretty neat really). But, it is not needed with Cubase so… no big deal.

Have fun choosing. :wink:

Regards :sunglasses:

Thanks very much everyone, the choice has now been made: Focusrite Clarett 4pre. So much for budgets…

I was told not to go for the Presonus by a couple of people whose opinions I respect (preamps, I think) and couldn’t find any feedback about the 1810, which I thought was bit odd. Of course, it had to be the case that that was the only one with all the connectors I need and more… Anyway, the Clarett was going for £350, so we had a look, liked the better preamps with the Air function and it has enough connectors. Unfortunately, by the time we went to get it the price had gone up to £500! But a day later it had gone down to £400 so we got it. And now it’s back up to near £500. Talk about a bit of luck!

I’ve had a SaffireLE for years but it’s Firewire and the drivers are getting creaky so I’m perfectly happy to stay with Focusrite (bit too late for that, 01w!). Anyway, the deed is done so if you’ve got any contrary opinions it’s too late :wink:

Thanks again for all contributions,

Nice one, glad you’re happy.

Hey, Guys! I’ve come to narrow my choices precisely up to these three interfaces. I would greatly appreciate any help to make my decision. Greetings!