The Apogee Ensemble was waiting for me when I got back from a short trip. I finally got to fire it up today and compare it with my Fireface 800 - DAC1.
Luckily I had two good quality male XLR to 1/4" balanced cables, so I could connect it to my Dynaudio BM6As. No XLR outs on the Ensemble - 1/4" only.
I didn't have time to test the mic pres to see how they compare to the Trak2 I sold a month ago, but I did some A/B comparisons with my Fireface - DAC1 setup.
My short term verdict is that the Ensemble sounds virtually identical with the DAC1 (anyone want to buy one?
) I've been using Steely Dan's Two Against Nature for the listening session. If there are differences, it's not easy to hear them. A few times I thought the DAC1 was a bit tighter and more detailed, but then as I listened to the Ensemble, it sounded so close I really couldn't tell for sure.
The two headphone outputs are nice and perfect for overdubs. They also sound very close to the DAC1 headphone outs. Hard to tell the difference. It's nice to be able to turn down the monitors and adjust the two headphones separately with the same knob.
Unfortunately, the push button knob that toggles to control the monitors & phones levels, crapped out on me.
What a stupid hassle. Oh well, what can you expect when Mercury is retrograde?