Topic: Is Babyface still a good choice today if I want to save some money?

I have a computer that's about 10 years old (but the overclocked CPU is still plenty fast even for today's apps), and over the years, I've had one audio interface after another either failing (no longer powers up), or have severe driver issues, or are no longer supported by the manufacturer (lack of driver updates for years).

Currently, I'm using Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen, and it keeps giving me problems. It'll change the buffer to 1024 on its own and I get all kinds of crackles and pops, and when I try to change it back (I prefer around 128), it would crash my computer. This happens almost every day or two. None of the driver updates has fixed this, and I was told maybe my motherboard is too old and isn't compatible with current drivers.

So while looking for an alternative that has a reputation of rock-solid drivers, RME was everyone's top suggestion. But the current Babyface Pro and FS models are quite expensive, and most of the used ones I find online are the old Babyface (the blue or silver version with the breakout cables). I see from RME's website that they are still supported with the latest drivers, and while that makes me very happy, I'm still a bit nervous about buying such an old product (although my computer is just as old) and how much longer RME will support it.

So am I pretty safe if I try to save some money and go for a used Babyface?

2 (edited by ramses 2020-05-15 07:33:19)

Re: Is Babyface still a good choice today if I want to save some money?

The initial Babyface got two major updates and I personally regard them as very interesting for the product:
1. BBF Pro
2. BBF Pro FS which has currently the fastest converters
    and a lot of improvements which are mentioned on product page https://www.rme-audio.de/de_babyface-pro-fs.html

  • +19 / +4 dBu switch on the bottom adds a direct way to reduce the output level, thus improves SNR for sensitive active monitors, avoids distortion / overload, and helps to keep TotalMix FX faders near 0 dB instead of high attenuations.

  • Full SteadyClock FS circuit as in the ADI-2 Pro FS for lowest jitter and highest jitter immunity.

  • 3.5 mm TRS phones output power rises from 70 mW to 90 mW. THD of both phones outputs improved by up to 10 dB. Uses same output op-amps as ADI-2 Pro now. Output impedance of 3.5 mm TRS lowered from 2 Ohms to 0.1 Ohms.

  • Mic inputs SNR improved from 112.2 dB to 113.7 dB, TRS Line inputs SNR improved from 114 dB to 116.3 dB (120 dBA). THD Line inputs improved by 8 dB.

  • 6 samples less latency on the AD side by new ADC (5 samples AD, 7 samples DA. It won't get quicker...).

  • All the above improvements were achieved without raising the units power consumption.

  • K-slot for theft protection.

Differences of RME recording interfaces you can see in the excel of this blog article, which I put together over the years with information from: web, RME forum, manuals: https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … B-MADIfac/

Excel: https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/index.ph … 0-04-xlsx/
PDF: https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/index.ph … 20-04-pdf/

I am personally the opinion .. if you spend money now, then go for the latest product to get all bells and whistles.

You need to calculate, that an RME product is something for more than maybe 3-5 years compared to consumer products with a completely different product lifetime and support...
Some RNE devices get now driver support for nearly 19 years ... this relativates costs ...

For a new device you get warranty. Usually 2y, at least in Germany. 3y in Germany if you buy e.g. from Thomann.
And even 5y if you are from UK any buy from Synthax. These are additional reasons maybe to invest now for something that might be your companion for the next 5 or even 10+ years.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 1909, Cubase, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Is Babyface still a good choice today if I want to save some money?

The Babyface uses the same driver as other USB devices, and that driver will continue to support the Babyface - as well as the Fireface UC, which is even older (2009)... If the price difference is significant, and you don't need the extra features, the BF is still a good interface.


Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME

Re: Is Babyface still a good choice today if I want to save some money?

Driver support will ensure it as reliable as the more recent Pro and Pro FS models.  RME have an outstanding reputation in terms of long-term product support.

But where the newer Babyface models are more reliable is in the build quality itself.  The Pro is German-made and dispenses with the breakout cable which is the weakest link in the chain.

Eastwood Records
www.eastwoodrecords.co.uk

Re: Is Babyface still a good choice today if I want to save some money?

Thanks for the replies! I've gone ahead and bought a used Babyface Snow Edition. Can't wait to experience the rock-solid driver and quality sound.