Originally Posted by spunkadellic
wait, isnt echo good?
Good one Spunkadeeeezy...
To the original poster though, A comparison of the 2 units asked about.
I would say this from a moderate amount of experience. But still all in my personal OPINION from educated statements from several people that are considered "in the know". So I believe, but YMMV. Take it how you want. Just thought I should share.
I have heard the Apogee Rosetta 200 wisely described as more of a Mastering Converter. And this is good !!. More went into it. It does less with less channels and is a stand alone converter if need be. Less features stuffed on its IC allows for alot of good things along with a better design in the power supply not having to power all that stuff and cause thermal noise, etc.. All that makes its IC chip alot easier to concentrate on excellent conversion (for lack of better words.). Its analogue circuitry is also built with a little more "care" for the audiophile (for lack of better words again)... With its "Coda" , and Dither it is a real more of a detailed professional unit as far as conversion goes (to me, IMO)...
Now, the Ensemble. It has a STUFFED IC. It is stuffed with features and Mic Pres and tons of channel capabilities. And ALL in a Firewire ONLY situation. It is NOT a stand alone converter. Now this is good for some, but IMO bad for Audiophile nuts (ha, well Apogee period is bad for audiophile nuts). The power supply needs to be able to power all them extras (and them particular extras are pretty major).... That causes a different situation in the power supply for the circuitry in a bad way to make it short. It also crowds the converter chip and ultimately "starves" it from quality (for lack of better words). Also remember all this also must go on through a simple firewire connection. It MUST use Apples "Core Audio" - again good for some, terrible for others.
All in all, the Ensemble is a entirely different beast from the Rosetta 200 no matter what anyone else tries to say. If you need all them channels and you don't want to go get some high end stand alone Mic Pres and you are using Apples Core Audio, and are willing to sacrifice a bit of conversion quality, then man the Ensemble might be for you. Ultimately if "decent" is ok for you with Mic Pres and Conversion, and you need them channels then it is real cool for the buck !!
If you want moderately higher "decent" conversion and don't need them channels and either don't need or would rather spend some more on separate better Mic pres.... Then the Rosetta 200 is for you. Especially if you only need 2 channels of a stand alone converter.
NOW if you want above "decent" of all that (conversion, mic pres, etc..) then don't get Apogee period unless you get into the 16x's...
Thats the best I know on them units personally --
My 2cents - and again, just from my miles -- hope it helps...