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  #1  
Old 09-26-2013, 04:44 PM
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Default Firewire interfaces with thunderbolt only macs

Is anyone successfully running a core audio interface via:

1. Thunderbolt to FW800 cable

connected to a

2. FW800 to FW400 cable

???

I am running a TC electronic SK48, and wondering if it's going to work like this or not. It's my understanding that a thunderbolt to FW800 cable has a FW controller built right into the cable, but as we all know not all firewire controller chipsets are created equally when it comes to using audio interfaces.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Firewire interfaces with thunderbolt only macs

John,

I didn't have any troubles with my Saffire Pro 40 running the Tbolt to FW800, and FW800 to FW400 cable. Focusrite has since certified the tbolt to FW800 adapter. They're only $40, just give it a shot what do you have to lose?
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: Firewire interfaces with thunderbolt only macs

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_daw View Post
John,

I didn't have any troubles with my Saffire Pro 40 running the Tbolt to FW800, and FW800 to FW400 cable. Focusrite has since certified the tbolt to FW800 adapter. They're only $40, just give it a shot what do you have to lose?
I currently have a non-thunderbolt imac, and I'm considering upgrading to the new haswell one.

I'll look on TC's forums too and see if anyone else has done this yet with a TC interface, but this sounds promising.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Firewire interfaces with thunderbolt only macs

Metric halo has also qualified the apple cable for use with their interfaces. I don't use one. I just remember them posting it in their mailing list.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: Firewire interfaces with thunderbolt only macs

John, generally the adapters are working great for most people. The only people who have issues are those who are trying to use interfaces or drives that are actually buss powered by firewire. Apparently the adapter is not designed to handle power.

Keep in mind that since Thunderbolt uses the PCIe protocol, using this adapter is no different than someone adding a PCIe card with firewire ports to a Mac Pro.

Also, keep in mind that the Imacs all come with 2 Thunderbolt ports, and these are each on their own buss. So between those two, and USB 3, you can have 3 different busses to handle your various items.
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Old 09-27-2013, 07:56 AM
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Default Re: Firewire interfaces with thunderbolt only macs

Good to know about bus powered drives.

It sounds like I'm probably going to be okay. TC's site says that it should work, but is untested and not officially supported. It's just annoying that there are not more inexpensive thunderbolt solutions yet. There is a belkin box that is around $300 that adds firewire, esata, usb3 and ethernet but it seems ridiculously expensive for what it does, especially if these $40 adaptor cables do the trick. However, if the belkin box solves the bus powered drive problem, then maybe it's worth it.

I have to assume that the imac's 4 built in USB3 ports are all on the same bus, which means they are collectively limited to 205Mb/s according to macgrurus. I wish there were a more inexpensive method of getting an additional USB3 bus. I think my current needs will be able to work around the imac's connections, but I'm just wondering what I'll be doing 2-3 years from now.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:30 AM
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Default Re: Firewire interfaces with thunderbolt only macs

People are mentioning $40 cables. The Apple Thunderbolt to firewire adapter is $29. Are we talking about the same thing or something else? Or are you guys talking about the combined purchase price of the adapter and the 800 to 400 cable?

As for other choices, John, you might consider getting this when it comes out:

http://sonnettech.com/product/echo15...rboltdock.html

It seems expensive, but consider that with the new Imac, you would need an external optical drive anyway, plus a hub of some kind, plus at least one enclosure for an external hard drive (and this one is thunderbolt speeds). Adding that stuff up separately, this is a good value. Plus it includes Esata ports, which is handy if you already have drives with those.


Also, if you're thinking about getting a Thunderbolt to PCIe chassis for any reason, they've just come out with this $99 item that would also help:

http://sonnettech.com/news/pr2013/pr...ango3pcie.html
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:54 AM
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Default Re: Firewire interfaces with thunderbolt only macs

honestly never looked at the price, I just pulled $40 from the previous post. but even if you already have a FW800 to 400 cable, I believe unless you have a FW800 device between the audio interface and computer, you'll need a FW800 F-F gender changer, since the apple thunderbolt cable is as male FW800.

I don't mind spending $400 on one box that meets my needs, but it seems like there are several $300-400 boxes that all do something different.

If I buy the new imac, I will need the apple cable at a minimum. This still doesn't solve the problem of bus powered drives though.

What's on my want list?

1. macgurus 4 drive usb3.0 rackmount enclosure $462
2. belkin thunderbolt to FW800, esata, etc. adaptor - $300

including the price of the apple cable, that's almost $800 in underwhelming, though necessary accessories right there. I also know that these items will be worthless in a few years too.

What I really want is a 4 drive trayless, rackmount box like the macgurus rackmount, but with a thunderbolt connection. I'd happily pay $500 for that, and then I would not need to buy anything else. There is a blackmagic designs rackmount, but it only accepts 2.5" drives and only has one thunderbolt port. There is also a thunderbolt drive enclosure called the datatale, but it's a top load design, which is not ideal for my studio, I'd much rather have a rackmount version.
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: Firewire interfaces with thunderbolt only macs

I know you're looking at the Imac, but perhaps the release of the new Mac Pro will also be timed with some Thunderbolt solutions like you mentioned.

Meaning, the same types of products will be needed for the Mac Pro that are also needed for the Imac, Mini, and laptops, so there's even more of a market for them. I assume that various companies have been developing products in anticipation of the Mac Pro release.
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Firewire interfaces with thunderbolt only macs

Yes, I think you're right that I should hold out a little longer. Thunderbolt still seems too expensive, and like there are a lot of niches that need to be filled regarding thunderbolt peripherals.

Just want to make sure I upgrade while my old imac is still worth over a grand.
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