I need to connect an old yet very powerful Focusrite Saffire 24pro DPS to my machine and need to buy a new 2m firewire 800 to 400 cable. I tried to search Amazon and Google but cost is in range between < £1 up £24. I also searched for reviews on cables, some say firewire transfers a digital signal therefore distortions due to interference, yet other say even though we have "010101" in signal distortions still cause problems with detection of device, data may be transferred multiple times due to errors etc.

Do you think good quality of cables for audio and recording purposes matter? If someone also could give me a good brand to search for, I would be grateful.

2 Answers 2


Cable quality isn't going to affect the quality of the audio. If it's working, it's working. If it's not, you'll know.

The only thing that quality will affect is the longevity of the cable, which may be an issue in a professional environment where it's getting a lot of use.

Digital audio is either going to be audible and working, or it isn't. If you are experiencing dropouts or such gaps in the audio, you have a faulty cable which requires replacement.


As opposed to USB, I had quite a few Firewire cables that caused trouble. For example, there are cables that roll up on a spool: unreliable up to unusable. I think results became better (but still pretty bad) when you unrolled the spool. Would have been nice if it worked but not worth the dropouts. Also the transfer quality tended to be best if you used no adapters but had a cable with the right connectors (4-pin, 6-pin) from the start. Even then, there have been some working and some not-so-working cables.

I have no experience with 800Mbps Firewire though: this is exclusively 400Mpbs experience.

In contrast, I never had a USB cable, even if it was included with a USB 1.1 device, that would have had problems working with USB 2.0 high speed.

One reason might be that USB 2.0 is half-duplex and Firewire is full-duplex: obviously the most likely candidate for interference is communication occuring simultaneously in the other direction. That makes USB much more tolerant of crappy cables.

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