New Line of ESI FireWire Products Introduced      11/03/03

Buying Choices
ESI (, debuts four new products based around the IEEE-1394 (FireWire) standard. The line includes three 24-bit/192kHz audio interfaces; the 4-In/4-Out QuataFire, the 8-In/8-Out OctaFire, the 16-In/16-Out HexaFire, and the 8180fs, a MIDI/SMPTE interface. The QuataFire ($499.99 US MSRP) is 4-In/4-Out 1/3 rack space size box that offers high-quality 24-bit/192kHz audio performance. Notable features include two front panel mounted combo connectors that can be switched between mic and line inputs. The mic preamps are equipped with switchable +48 volt phantom power, individual input gain controls and a headphone output with its own monitor level volume. The QuataFire also features 2-In/2-Out MIDI, a coaxial S/PDIF input and output and FireWire interface. The OctaFire ($699.99 US MSRP) is 1U rack that is based on ESI¡¯s popular WaMi Rack Series but enhanced with FireWire.This 8-In/8-Out device features four combo connector mic pres with +48V phantom power along with a headphone monitor on the front panel. Other features include 4-In/4-Out MIDI connectors offering up to 64 channels of MIDI, Coaxial S/PDIF I/O, and Wordclock in and out. The flagship product of the series is the HexaFire ($999.99 US MSRP), a 16-In/16-Out box housed in a 2 rack space unit. The front panel features 8 balanced mic preamps. Combo connectors offer the choice of using XLR or TRS inputs. 10 step LED peak metering lights for channel inputs and outputs are also on the front panel. Other important features include +48V DC phantom power on each channel, S/PDIF digital I/O, and a headphone monitor, along with S/PDIF coaxial I/O, Word Clock I/O, and a 1-in/1-out MIDI interface. Sixteen channels of AES/EBU in and out are accessible via four D-25 connectors. Two IEEE-1394 ports can connect the HexaFire to a computer or daisy chain the unit with up to three other HexaFires. The 8180fs is an 8x8 FireWire to MIDI interface offering up to 128 channels of MIDI along with full SMPTE and Wordclock synchronization. The front panel is equipped with MIDI activity lights. The unit can be used together with up to three other 8180¡¯s. The MSRP for the 8180fs is $499.99 (US). The QuataFire, OctaFire, HexaFire, and 8180fs are all Windows XP and Mac OS X compatible and are scheduled to start shipping in May of 2003.

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