Questions & Answers

FireStudio Project with an iMac 27" 2017: Will a FireWire 800 to Thunderbolt 3 Adapter get the job done?

+1 vote
asked Mar 15, 2018 in FireStudio Series by adamhamacher (220 points)
I've got myself into a bit of a pickle here. My new 27" iMac (running OSX High Sierra) only has USB and Thunderbolt 3 ports, no FireWire 800 like my old MacBook. (I can't even say I'm mad, FireWire is really old now) I was doing some Googling and what little info I could find seemed to tell me that using an older FireWire interface this way can be hit or miss.

Right now the only two options for me are to use Apple's Thunderbolt 3>Thunderbolt 2 adapter connected to Apple's Thunderbolt 2>Firewire 800 adapter.


Drop $300 on this fancy dock that supports FireWire, and just hope the interface works.

Anyone else gone down this road before? and if so what were your solutions? Thanks in advance for the advice!

3 Answers

+1 vote
answered Mar 27, 2018 by AlexTinsley (923,250 points)
Best answer

To get 1394 on your Thunderbolt 3 enabled Mac, you'll need to acquire 2 Apple Adapters and link them together, Apple designed it this way. 

- Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter ---> Thunderbolt 2 to 1394 Adapter --> BiLingual FW800 (9-pin) to FW400 (6-pin) Cable --> FW Audio Interface

0 votes
answered Jul 6, 2020 by radar23 (1,940 points)
Yep as   Alex said, I can also confirm this TB3 to TB2 to FW800 to FW400 train works.  I'm on a Windows 10 laptop, an Acer nothing fancy...
0 votes
answered May 30, 2022 by davedoty (140 points)

Using PreSonus FireStudio with Apple Thunderbolt 3

As an FYI, I am using my PreSonus FireStudio with firewire output/input into Thunderbolt 3 on an iMac Pro 2017 running Catalina.
Software: I manually installed the Kexts needed (using Pacifier to open and show the Kexts, etc. in the Presonus installer).
Hardware: I use a firewire 800 to 400 adapter, into an Apple Thunderbolt 2 adapter, then into an Apple Thunderbolt 3 adapter. Maybe $80 in cables. I have have Phantom Power working too.

I wanted to test this cable solution out because I am buying an Apple M1 soon and wanted to know if I had to 'upgrade' my two perfectly fine FireStudio interfaces.