Originally Posted by Johnkenn
Lets not get crazy here. I've had both...multiple times. The Symphony has better AD and DA. Listen to the mids of the acoustic guitars. I agree that the AD is closer than the DA, but the DA isn't close at all with critical listening. The Apollo is an excellent value...It woul be cool to see them do an upgraded Apollo that would compete with the Hilo, Orpheus and Symphony. If it was up to par conversion wise, I would snap it up.
Haven't used the Symphony or the Hilo, but when placing the Orpheus next to the Apollo you'd be incredibly hard pressed to tell what is what (I've tried). Both AD and DA. Couldn't say that with more confidence if I tried
For all intents and purposes, they're a similar interface in a different package.
I'll also hop on and say the AD on the Apollo is pretty fantastic. For someone like me who mixes in commercial rooms, having a solid AD stage is key. The DA is important of course, but as long as it's not impeding what I'm hearing on the floor during beds, it's doing its job. I only ever use it for guitars and vocals anyways. Drums are also done in commercial rooms. My Apollo is the overdub machine, and for that purpose and IMHO it's one of the best out there regardless of price.
That being said, if the symphony is even better than the 16X series converters from Apogee, I'm sure it rocks. But it's in a little different league with regards to pricing, and intent. If I had a room with a console, patch bay, and a bunch of outboard, I'd probably be in a symphony. For a mobile rig, not going to happen. 2U with a fan is an automatic turn-off, no built in preamps at all (even though Apollo's are more "utility" pres if anything) is a no-go, and a $3K entry point for an 8x8I/O is $1K more than an Apollo DUO which is another channel of BAE in my world. Plus, from my experiences with previous versions of Maestro, the UA console application is light years better (not to mention having the ability to track through UA plugs).
Guess what I'm saying is that IMO, the Apogee is probably the better converter, but the Apollo is the better interface. Depends on what you're doing with them.