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  #1  
Old 07-26-2013, 10:29 AM
hermonmusic hermonmusic is offline
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Default Mbox Pro 3 vs Scarlett 18i20 Help me decide!

I know the sound quality is better on the Mbox Pro 3, but in comparison with the Scarlett 18i20, is it really a big difference in sound quality?
Please, any input and advice would be appreciated.
One more question.
The Mbox Pro 3 has firewire 400 ports, I only have one firewire 800 port on my MacBook Pro (mid 2009) and my Audio HD and Sample HD they both are connected to this port. Will it work? How should I connect the Mbox 3 and Hard Drives to get the best performance. (Right now I'm using a Digi 002R but I'm having problems)

Thank you for all your help.

Mac Book Pro 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
8 GB Memory
Two Firewire 800 Mercury Elite Pro HDs
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:41 PM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: Mbox Pro 3 vs Scarlett 18i20 Help me decide!

I think the daisy chain issue answers your question about which one to get. Get the Scarlett for the simple fact that it's USB, thereby putting it on a separate buss from the firewire drives.

It does seem like the Mbox Pros have more issues with daisy chaining than the 002/003 used to have, based on some people's reports. I think the newer Macs make it more difficult as well (including yours).

As for the sound quality, the Focusrite stuff is still a big jump in conversion quality from the 002. It may not be as good as the Mbox Pro, but on the other hand, I'm pretty sure that the Focusrite built in preamps are better than the Mbox Pros, which is also important to sound quality. And as mentioned, either one is a big jump from your 002. Plus the Scarlett gives you the same amount of I/O that you're used to having.
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:41 PM
hermonmusic hermonmusic is offline
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Default Re: Mbox Pro 3 vs Scarlett 18i20 Help me decide!

Thank you for your comments. I didn't know about the Mbox daisy chain problems with newer computers. Good advice. In a new computer, with one thunderbolt port and one firewire 800 port like the new Mac Mini, should the daisy chain issues disappear?

Thank you again for your help. I'm just trying to spend the hard earned cash wisely.
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Old 07-26-2013, 04:15 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Mbox Pro 3 vs Scarlett 18i20 Help me decide!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hermonmusic View Post
Thank you for your comments. I didn't know about the Mbox daisy chain problems with newer computers. Good advice. In a new computer, with one thunderbolt port and one firewire 800 port like the new Mac Mini, should the daisy chain issues disappear?

Thank you again for your help. I'm just trying to spend the hard earned cash wisely.
Yes, you could use an Apple Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter to avoid this being an issue.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:30 PM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: Mbox Pro 3 vs Scarlett 18i20 Help me decide!

Yes, the Thunderbolts are on separate busses. But I assumed you were talking about using your current computer.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:51 PM
hermonmusic hermonmusic is offline
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Default Re: Mbox Pro 3 vs Scarlett 18i20 Help me decide!

I'm going to buy another computer in a couple of months. Maybe a Mac Mini. I don't know if I should wait for the new Mac Pro. I think its going to be to expensive.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:21 AM
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FLi FLi is offline
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Default Re: Mbox Pro 3 vs Scarlett 18i20 Help me decide!

One thing to consider is the low latency performance. The Mbox 3 Pro is a few notches up the ladder whereas the Focusrite boxes are right at the bottom. There is a comparison sheet on Gearsluts.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/music...data-base.html

I own a Mbox 3 Pro and, although its not without its faults (there's a thread circulating right now on the matter), it's a great card. I owned a Digi003 before which was also great but not nearly as portable. I also sold a client a Focusrite Liquid Sapphire 56 and although I was impressed, the client has said the pre's aren't that great and on long form jobs the latency issue starts hurting you a bit.

The Mbox 3 is a clever box but the competition is strong.
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:06 AM
hermonmusic hermonmusic is offline
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Default Re: Mbox Pro 3 vs Scarlett 18i20 Help me decide!

Does the Mix Control that comes with the Focusrite eliminate the latency issue?
At least while recording? Or will have the latency issues when mixing also?
Thanks again
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:32 AM
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chrisdee chrisdee is offline
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Default Re: Mbox Pro 3 vs Scarlett 18i20 Help me decide!

I don't know about the scarlett but mbox 3 pro has direct monitoring though the internal mixer. So your recording signal can go directly out to the headphones out. I think the Mbox 3 also have direct monitoring but i might be wrong.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:48 AM
nst7 nst7 is offline
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Default Re: Mbox Pro 3 vs Scarlett 18i20 Help me decide!

The Mix Control software with the Focusrite units allows direct monitoring for low latency tracking, for all inputs. In fact, it is probably the most well thought out, most versatile direct monitoring software implementation of any interface manufacturer in the industry right now.

On the flip side, one thing about the Mbox Pro that makes it unique in its price range, is that the analog inputs can be set to straight line in, without going through the preamps. This might be important to you if you have some high quality pre's to track through. With the Focusrite units, you're still going through the gain stage of the preamps, as is the case with many lower priced interfaces.
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