MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

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Mr.Kus
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MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by Mr.Kus » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:15 am

I'm getting into Eurorack and need to upgrade my Audio Interface from very old EMU 0404 pci card. I would like to get interface with dc coupled outputs to be able to control the modular with DAW and enough inputs, and headroom in the inputs, to be able to multitrack the eurorack without separate mixer or dedicated output modules. I want adat in and out to be able to expand the connectivity with expert sleepers modules later. I think one mic preamp would be enough, but it wouldn't hurt to have two, for occasional recording of vocals or violin. Midi i/o is a big plus although not absolutely necessary. I'm mainly going to use the interface with Windows 10 PC, but I use MacBook Pro for work and I might want to connect that to the interface occasionally too.

I've been looking at MOTU interfaces mainly because of dc coupled outputs and Ultralite mk4 seems to be the best option in my budget range, but it's out of stock everywhere and I don't know if or when there's going to be new stock. Ultralite AVB is pricier and has less analog outputs, but it is available and seems to be the second best option in Motu lineup.

I just recently realised Presonus studio series have dc coupled outputs too and 1824c have all the connectivity options I'm looking for. It is cheaper than Ultralite mk4 and better yet it's available.

Ultralites have direct monitoring, which I think is missing in 1824c, that's not a deal breaker although it would be nice to be able to use the interface to connect the modular into monitors without having to turn on the computer. Motu probably have more robust build quality and possibly less latency although I just read some good experiences with 1824c's latency. According to specs ultralites have a bit more input headroom and maximum output volume than 1824.

Does anyone know if the ultralite mk4 is still in production or if it is discontinued?

Any experiences, opinions, or advice with the mentioned interfaces appreciated and if there's any alternatives with similar specs in the price range let me know.

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by seta666 » Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:29 pm

I own the presonus 1810 and it works flawlessly in Windows 10, including de DC coupled outs. I wish I went for something with adat in/out as it only has adat in ; other than that I highly recomend presonus hardware. At the beginning it was not performing well but I changed to a usb 3.0 port and it fixed all problems, I guess there was a bottleneck in the usb 2.0 bus, all my ports are occupied.

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by Mr.Kus » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:30 pm

seta666 wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:29 pm
I own the presonus 1810 and it works flawlessly in Windows 10, including de DC coupled outs. I wish I went for something with adat in/out as it only has adat in ; other than that I highly recomend presonus hardware. At the beginning it was not performing well but I changed to a usb 3.0 port and it fixed all problems, I guess there was a bottleneck in the usb 2.0 bus, all my ports are occupied.
:tu: I think I might go with the Presonus.

I asked about the Ultralite mk4 from one shop that I found having an estimate of restock in 7-14 days. Guy told me they were told there's some units in the factory storage, but that was over a month ago and they haven't got any. He's going to ask from the factory, but wasn't very optimistic about ever getting the restock and even took it of their website entirely.

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by seta666 » Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:04 pm

If cost is a concern I would go for the old usb 2.0 one if you can find old stock or one secind hand in good shape, type C does not offer any benefits over usb 2.0 for audio, has more bandwith but
usb 2.0 has more than enough for audio. Latency is the same, in fact presonus type C uses usb 2.0 usb protocol.

From presonus website:

" For users looking for an audio interface that will not require an adapter, PreSonus offers the Studio 24c, Studio 26c, Studio 68c, Studio 1810c, and Studio 1824c. These audio interfaces use the USB 2.0 protocol which is fully compatible with just about any USB-C™ port on any computer on the market. However, it is always a good idea to double-check the specs for your computer. "

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by scozbor » Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:18 pm

I'm also looking into these 2 interfaces. Leaning towards MOTU, but it seems weird that there aren't any around. Still seems to be heaps of the mk3 around. I would love to hear any comments on general performance between the 2 units.

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by Mr.Kus » Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:17 pm

seta666 wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:04 pm
If cost is a concern I would go for the old usb 2.0 one if you can find old stock or one secind hand in good shape, type C does not offer any benefits over usb 2.0 for audio, has more bandwith but
usb 2.0 has more than enough for audio. Latency is the same, in fact presonus type C uses usb 2.0 usb protocol.

From presonus website:

" For users looking for an audio interface that will not require an adapter, PreSonus offers the Studio 24c, Studio 26c, Studio 68c, Studio 1810c, and Studio 1824c. These audio interfaces use the USB 2.0 protocol which is fully compatible with just about any USB-C™ port on any computer on the market. However, it is always a good idea to double-check the specs for your computer. "
I'll keep my eye on the older version too. Although only shop I've seen having it in stock within reasonable shipping distance is asking for 499 € and cheapest usb-c model I've found is 465 €.

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by Mr.Kus » Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:22 pm

scozbor wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 5:18 pm
I'm also looking into these 2 interfaces. Leaning towards MOTU, but it seems weird that there aren't any around. Still seems to be heaps of the mk3 around. I would love to hear any comments on general performance between the 2 units.
Yeah I find it strange too. There's many older MOTU models still available, but no Ultralite mk4's anywhere. It's not discontinued according to their website, but many resellers have labeled it "sold out" or "not available anymore" instead of just "out of stock".

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by scozbor » Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:48 pm

Just heard from the AU distributor:

its has been discontinued currently due to a obselessance of a part with no plans for 2020 delivery at this time

the ultralite AVB is available and ongoing

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by Mr.Kus » Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:46 am

scozbor wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:48 pm
Just heard from the AU distributor:

its has been discontinued currently due to a obselessance of a part with no plans for 2020 delivery at this time

the ultralite AVB is available and ongoing
Thanks!

I found AVB version from local retailer for significantly better price than what larger European online retailers are asking. It is still a little bit more expensive than mk4 and almost 150 € more than Presonus 1824c.

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by Mr.Kus » Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:39 pm

scozbor wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:48 pm
Just heard from the AU distributor:

its has been discontinued currently due to a obselessance of a part with no plans for 2020 delivery at this time

the ultralite AVB is available and ongoing
Today Finnish distributor answered to my inquiry that Motu's been having supply difficulties because of covid, but they are expecting shipment next month, just nothing certain about the date. :hmm:

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by scozbor » Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:58 pm

I would go for AVB version but I have no use for AVB and I do actually want SPDIF...

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by Mr.Kus » Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:29 am

scozbor wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:58 pm
I would go for AVB version but I have no use for AVB and I do actually want SPDIF...
Yeah, it also has less analog outputs, is a bit older model and costs more. I think I'll wait a little to see, if the Finnish distributor actually gets the restock his expecting before deciding.

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by Mr.Kus » Sat May 02, 2020 3:52 am

Apparently 1824C doesn't have 8 independent analog outputs in addition to main outs. From the manual: "The first
two outputs share their playback streams with both the main
outputs and Headphone 1. Outputs 3 and 4 share their playback
streams with Headphone 2"

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by scozbor » Sun May 10, 2020 5:46 pm

I ended up with the presonus 1824c, and yes this is correct.

Outputs 1&2 are a direct mirror of the main outputs. I assumed you would simply be able to re-route this in the control software, but you cannot. So you essentially get 6 assignable outputs.

Not too big a deal for me. I guess I need to get some new monitors to make use of outputs 1&2 :)

Otherwise it sounds great, build quality is excellent. Control software is basic but fine.
And with the money I saved (being cheaper than MOTU) I picked up an FMR RNLA.

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by autopoiesis » Mon May 11, 2020 12:02 pm

Mr.Kus wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 3:52 am
Apparently 1824C doesn't have 8 independent analog outputs in addition to main outs. From the manual: "The first
two outputs share their playback streams with both the main
outputs and Headphone 1. Outputs 3 and 4 share their playback
streams with Headphone 2"
wow, I had been excited about the 1824C until I caught this. 6 assignable outputs is a big letdown to me vs. the potential this unit has on paper. (with the MOTU Ultralite, it's 10 assignable outputs beyond whatever you choose to be your main outs.)

@scozbor , have you looked into the voltage output range on your 1824C? the specs sheet says +18 dBu for the analog outputs, which could ideally translate to +/- 8.7V, but that's far from guaranteed because in the case of the MOTU Ultralite Mk4 the outputs are +20 dBu but their voltage tests measure +/- 4.7V.

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by Mr.Kus » Mon May 11, 2020 9:43 pm

There seems to have been some issues with adat outs in previous Presonus Studio 1824: viewtopic.php?f=35&t=210814

@scozbor have used adat out? Is there still problems with the c version?

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by scozbor » Mon May 11, 2020 10:21 pm

No way of testing ADAT I'm afraid.
Can confirm +/-8.7V for CV outs...

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by steptek » Sun May 17, 2020 3:05 am

seta666 wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:29 pm
I own the presonus 1810 and it works flawlessly in Windows 10, including de DC coupled outs. I wish I went for something with adat in/out as it only has adat in ; other than that I highly recomend presonus hardware. At the beginning it was not performing well but I changed to a usb 3.0 port and it fixed all problems, I guess there was a bottleneck in the usb 2.0 bus, all my ports are occupied.
I’m starting to look for a new interface to replace my old Saffire and the PreSonus 26c, 1810 or 68c we’re the ones I was looking into, so good to hear of your experience.
I’m not sure I need the extra channels of the 1810, but not sure the 26c (which was my first consideration), being buss powered as opposed to mains, would have enough kick to use the dc coupled outs to drive my euro modules.
Google is getting a workout here!

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by seta666 » Sun May 17, 2020 3:37 am

Look for a non C 1810, should be cheaper and hatware wise are the same. 1810C has type C input but works at usb2.0 speeds

The only problem on the 1810 regarding modular is it only has ADAT in, no out. I wanted to add a expert sleepers ES-6 for 6 dc coupled ins plus the 4 outs on the 1810 was more than enough for me. Problem is the ES6 needs the ES3 to get clock...I hope ES make an updated ES3 version with clock.

ES also makes 2 spdif base module but I am using those with audio

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by scozbor » Tue May 19, 2020 6:39 pm

So I ended up using the un-assignable outputs (1&2) on the 1824c for their intended purpose: a crappy speaker to test mixes on.
Works a treat!

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Re: MOTU Ultralite [mk4/AVB] vs. Presonus 1824c with eurorack

Post by Mr.Kus » Wed May 20, 2020 2:16 am

scozbor wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 6:39 pm
So I ended up using the un-assignable outputs (1&2) on the 1824c for their intended purpose: a crappy speaker to test mixes on.
Works a treat!
:tu: I have two pairs of monitors so I might be able to utilize outputs 1 & 2 also. There was some humming issues with the cheaper pair, but that might have been caused by the power outlets of the apartment I was living in then. They have been in storage for the past ten years, need to check if they play nice in my current apartment.

No word from the Finnish distributor about the ultralite mk4. I've tried to bid on a few ebay auctions with no luck. One seller was not willing to ship to Finland, even though he had not placed any restrictions on shipping options inside eu. Another was not able to change the shipping preferences after he had started the auction, even though he was willing to ship to Finland, so ebay didn't allow me to place a bid. Third went for more than I was willing to pay for used one.

Good thing I'm in no hurry as I still have some renovation to do in the room I'm going to use as my home studio.

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