FWIW I think the preamps and A/D converters in the original M-Box are already pretty darned good. No one should have any problem getting a fine sound with it, up to and including commercial quality. If you can't, it ain't the box's fault.
For about $450 this is very cool way to get up and running.
i was gonna post this last week, but it just pissed me off too much! it's a complete joke as an upgrade, side grade, whatever you wanna call it. it should have been 96k/firewire, and NO EXCUSES! one of the mbox's biggest selling points is the ability to edit & work on sessions done "at the studio" on hd. let's face it, MOST people that work in hd do so at 96k these days! and let's be honest, when most are passing the hd interface's converters, do you REALLY wanna believe that the new mbox's are gonna be improved to anything resembling pro quality? we all figgered out AGES ago that if we wanted good converters, WE'D have to supply 'em. same goes for mic pre's. so why can't digi just give us the BASIC NECESSITIES for a reasonable price, like the competition has now been doing FOR YEARS! it would not have broken the bank to upgrade the mbox to 96k and firewire! no, they just wanna strand their users into giving up & upgrading to their next fiasco, the 002/r!!! so REALLY, what they want to try and impress upon us is that if we want their "pro" shite (which, even THEN forces us to outsource the converters!), we'll bloody well have to shell out over $10,000!!! plus, digi have this wonderful penchant for stranding their customers who bought last year's incarnation WITH NO SUPPORT!!! they continually take miles whilst giving inches in return. what balls these guys have!!!
Bummer... no firewire! I though for certain this was the direction they were going to take. I wonder what the product managers are thinking over there?
I like the preamps in the orginal Mbox as well... I've had no problems getting a decent sound out of it. Neve or API it is not, and if that's what you're comparing it to then that would be a bit unfair.
I just bought the original MBox at a blowout price. I figured they were upgrading the Mbox but now I see it, it doesn't seem that they've done anything really. So I'm pretty damn happy I bought my Mbox for so cheap - $299 from MF. I think the pres sound pretty good, not great but fine for my needs. It is really easy to record with though and I find myself actually getting stuff done more easily and quickly now. I wasn't going to pay full price but this deal came along and was too good to pass on.