apogee symphony
datafeist
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#1
24th December 2012
Old 24th December 2012
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apogee symphony

Hello,

Is the apogee symphony i/o good to use as mastering convertor?

Thx
#2
24th December 2012
Old 24th December 2012
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It's not ideal, but monitors and rooms are far more influential than converters.
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24th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datafeist View Post
Hello,

Is the apogee symphony i/o good to use as mastering convertor?

Thx
No good as a converter
Full stop!
Very closed and narrow sounding, especially at 96khz.

The older apogee's were WAY better IMO.
#4
25th December 2012
Old 25th December 2012
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If you want Apogee 2ch converter get Rosetta 200.
datafeist
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26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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Is the prism orpheus better as mastering convertor?
#6
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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Well, look at who is using them...Spike Stent, Bob Ludwig, Chris Lord Alge, Bob Clearmountain...but what do those guys know anyway-right?
#7
26th December 2012
Old 26th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlavorWhif View Post
Well, look at who is using them...Spike Stent, Bob Ludwig, Chris Lord Alge, Bob Clearmountain...but what do those guys know anyway-right?
Using as a part of their day-to-day work, or endorsing, or endorsing for pay? All very different things.
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27th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAzevedo View Post
Using as a part of their day-to-day work, or endorsing, or endorsing for pay? All very different things.
Exactly right!
Never trust endorsements unless you see the dudes actually using em every day with great results!

Spike Stent has always used a Lavry AD122 MKII to print his mixes.
Bob Ludwig has just about every high end 2 ch converter on the planet at his disposal.
#9
28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
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Really?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MAzevedo View Post
Using as a part of their day-to-day work, or endorsing, or endorsing for pay? All very different things.
Do you really think Spike Stent and Bob Ludwig need corporate sponsorship from a tiny company like Apogee? They use the gear because it is fantastic and they pay for the gear just like you and I do.
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apogee symphony-spike2.jpg  
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28th December 2012
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Originally Posted by FlavorWhif View Post
Do you really think Spike Stent and Bob Ludwig need corporate sponsorship from a tiny company like Apogee? They use the gear because it is fantastic and they pay for the gear just like you and I do.
Ha Ha....Not even in the rack with the gear he is using but instead, sitting on top of it.
Apogee are not a tiny company either.
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28th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datafeist View Post
Is the prism orpheus better as mastering convertor?
Prism Orpheus is OK but not as good as Forssell MADA 2 or Lavry DA924/AD122.
The Weiss converters are also really good.
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28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Table Of Tone View Post
Ha Ha....Not even in the rack with the gear he is using but instead, sitting on top of it.
Apogee are not a tiny company either.
That is the third time you are wrong about Apogee in just one thread.

-Apogee is a small company (less than 40 full time employees worldwide).
-We do not pay anyone to endorse our products. All engineers volunteered to have their name mentioned.
-Your description of the sound quality of Symphony is quite unusual. Never heard anyone make those claims. And there are quite a lot of users out there. Wonder if you really heard a Symphony.
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28th December 2012
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28th December 2012
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Nms did a loopback shootout and symphony came in as a close second in transparency to Hilo. Of course hi end Prism ADA or Lavrys are a step up on everything. But for transparency and based on loop backs I would think symphony would be great and on par with Orpheus. If one can't create an amazing master with anything in this range I wouldn't think the blame would be on the converters.
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28th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oortjes View Post
That is the third time you are wrong about Apogee in just one thread.

-Apogee is a small company (less than 40 full time employees worldwide).
-We do not pay anyone to endorse our products. All engineers volunteered to have their name mentioned.
-Your description of the sound quality of Symphony is quite unusual. Never heard anyone make those claims. And there are quite a lot of users out there. Wonder if you really heard a Symphony.
Had three recent albums in for mastering recorded using the Apogee Symphony.

All of em had a slightly closed, narrow and over cozy feel to them.

One of the albums had a couple tracks recorded before the recording eng got the symphony.
They sounded more open and were instantly easier to to work with at my end.

40 employees world wide is not that small for a pro audio converter co.
Are you talking direct employees?

I design for a leading guitar amp company and we have less direct employees than that.

I'm just not a personal fan of the Symphony sound.
I have other mix eng friends that have tried them and agree with my comments.

I also totally understand the current situation with components, etc.

I am, on the other hand, a big fan of the older, Dan Lavry designed Apogees!
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28th December 2012
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Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
Nms did a loopback shootout and symphony came in as a close second in transparency to Hilo. Of course hi end Prism ADA or Lavrys are a step up on everything. But for transparency and based on loop backs I would think symphony would be great and on par with Orpheus. If one can't create an amazing master with anything in this range I wouldn't think the blame would be on the converters.
Mastering is about getting the absolute best quality out of a set of mixes.

If you don't have the right tools, you're not the one that should be finishing the record off.

Sure any good ME can master with either an Orpheus or a Symphony but it's not gonna be the best!
It's 70% the operator and 30% the tools.

30% still makes a big difference to the end result!
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28th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Table Of Tone View Post
Had three recent albums in for mastering recorded using the Apogee Symphony.
You're positive they were to blame? With so many other things in the recording chain – with so many choices made in the tracking and mixing process – how could you possibly conclude that the converters were responsible for what you were hearing?

Correlation ? causation.
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28th December 2012
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Originally Posted by ben_allison View Post
You're positive they were to blame? With so many other things in the recording chain – with so many choices made in the tracking and mixing process – how could you possibly conclude that the converters were responsible for what you were hearing?

Correlation ? causation.
Very good point with regards to knowing that it was definitely down to the converters each record was recorded with.

All three records were mixed ITB as well, which will never have the width and colour of an SSL.
Different studios, engineers, etc.

The fact is that when the second record came in, I didn't have a clue what had been used.

All I knew was that I didn't like it that much because it reminded me of another album I'd finished off that was recorded using the symphony.

When I did ask, it turned out to be the symphony as well.

I guess the PTHD guys will tend to lean towards anything that's not 192's these days?
The fact is that on the way in, and even out to an SSL, in a multitrack situation, the 192's are not that bad!
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28th December 2012
Old 28th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Table Of Tone View Post
Had three recent albums in for mastering recorded using the Apogee Symphony.

All of em had a slightly closed, narrow and over cozy feel to them.

One of the albums had a couple tracks recorded before the recording eng got the symphony.
They sounded more open and were instantly easier to to work with at my end.

40 employees world wide is not that small for a pro audio converter co.
Are you talking direct employees?

I design for a leading guitar amp company and we have less direct employees than that.

I'm just not a personal fan of the Symphony sound.
I have other mix eng friends that have tried them and agree with my comments.

I also totally understand the current situation with components, etc.

I am, on the other hand, a big fan of the older, Dan Lavry designed Apogees!
The only Apogee converters Dan Lavry had a hand in, were the AD500 and AD1000 back in the early nineties. They were great converters for their time.

You should try the Symphony yourself. If there is one thing that stands out about them, is how close they are to the source. This is the most common response I get from users and are my own listening test experiences. The specs confirm this as the distortion of Symphony is one of the lowest you can find, of any converter currently on the market.
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28th December 2012
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I guess for mastering converters are a huge deal, but for close to 2 grand you should be able to get great results with the symphony. If they are a step up from the duet, then it comes down to the engineer not the tools.
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28th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oortjes View Post
The only Apogee converters Dan Lavry had a hand in, were the AD500 and AD1000 back in the early nineties. They were great converters for their time.

You should try the Symphony yourself. If there is one thing that stands out about them, is how close they are to the source. This is the most common response I get from users and are my own listening test experiences. The specs confirm this as the distortion of Symphony is one of the lowest you can find, of any converter currently on the market.
The AD500 and AD1000 are still great sounding converters today and blow a lot of new stuff into the weeds IMO.
Not just newer Apogee items either!

Admittedly, it may be the absence of certain overtones that I and a few others are missing when hearing material that's been recorded using the symphony?

What is the A weighted dynamic range at 96 k on the symphony?
#22
29th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Table Of Tone View Post
Mastering is about getting the absolute best quality out of a set of mixes.

If you don't have the right tools, you're not the one that should be finishing the record off.

Sure any good ME can master with either an Orpheus or a Symphony but it's not gonna be the best!
It's 70% the operator and 30% the tools.

30% still makes a big difference to the end result!
Valid. But I used an Echo Audiofire 12 ($500) on a project once and the client was blown away by the openness and imaging of the music and always wants me to use it on his material. Even though I have 'better' converters, he likes the sound of the EA12 on his work.

What type of music are you mastering?
#23
29th December 2012
Old 29th December 2012
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I use the Symphony I/O every day of the week for mastering. I love it; for me, it's by far the best thing out there. Everything I've worked on in the last two years, including the 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' soundtrack has gone through it

It has unbelievable low end frequency response--all the way down to DC. Very full, clear bass. Distortion (THD+N) specs are also incredibly good, especially the D/A side (most important to me).
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29th December 2012
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Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
Valid. But I used an Echo Audiofire 12 ($500) on a project once and the client was blown away by the openness and imaging of the music and always wants me to use it on his material. Even though I have 'better' converters, he likes the sound of the EA12 on his work.

What type of music are you mastering?
At the end of the day, it's down to what the customer likes the sound of.

It's important to have a choice of more than one DAC-ADC in mastering as your customer is obviously liking some of the overtones induced by the EA 12.

There is no such thing as a perfectly transparent converter!
They ALL have a sound for sure.

Sometimes it can make more of a difference than swapping out an EQ or Comp!

I master mainly Rock and Pop.
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29th December 2012
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I worked with a producer on an important remote recording project. He brought his Apogee Symphony. We could not get it to work. He finally was able to download some new firmware and it partially worked. We could not get it to output any audio even though it was recording that audio on the hard disk. It was a complete mess. I would not touch one of those for remote recording use ever again. I think Apogee is a GREAT company but I think they really dropped the ball on this product. I see others saying how great it is but in real world use it sucked.

MTCW and YMMV
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30th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
I worked with a producer on an important remote recording project. He brought his Apogee Symphony. We could not get it to work. He finally was able to download some new firmware and it partially worked. We could not get it to output any audio even though it was recording that audio on the hard disk. It was a complete mess. I would not touch one of those for remote recording use ever again. I think Apogee is a GREAT company but I think they really dropped the ball on this product. I see others saying how great it is but in real world use it sucked.

MTCW and YMMV
Sounds like user error to me.

Perhaps you didn't configure Maestro properly ?

And

Did you contact Apogee tech support ? They have always been very helpful to me over the years.

And

I own symphony IO and a bunch of other converters - and a very good listening environment - and the symphony IO sound very, very good. Numerous other engineers have listened and agreed at my studio.

The Symphony IO have also been incredibly solid for me - in both PT interface emulation mode , standalone mode, and USB mode.
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30th December 2012
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Originally Posted by Table Of Tone View Post
No good as a converter
Full stop!
Very closed and narrow sounding, especially at 96khz.

The older apogee's were WAY better IMO.
I see you do stand up comedy, Table of Tone.

I own apogee 16x converters. A model loved by many.

I did blind, level matched comparisons between my 16x and Symphony IO before buying the SYMPHONY IO.

The Symphony IO sound substantially better than the 16x.

Another good engineer did the test with me and also agreed with this.

The 16x already sounded great.

Have YOU done blind, level matched tests? I highly doubt it.
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30th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixerguy View Post
I see you do stand up comedy, Table of Tone.

I own apogee 16x converters. A model loved by many.

I did blind, level matched comparisons between my 16x and Symphony IO before buying the SYMPHONY IO.

The Symphony IO sound substantially better than the 16x.

Another good engineer did the test with me and also agreed with this.

The 16x already sounded great.

Have YOU done blind, level matched tests? I highly doubt it.
Better in what way?
Cleaner for tracking?
Less likely to clip?
Cleaner for playing back a mix?
Wider image?

Explain better....
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30th December 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixerguy View Post
Sounds like user error to me.

Perhaps you didn't configure Maestro properly ?

And

Did you contact Apogee tech support ? They have always been very helpful to me over the years.

And

I own symphony IO and a bunch of other converters - and a very good listening environment - and the symphony IO sound very, very good. Numerous other engineers have listened and agreed at my studio.

The Symphony IO have also been incredibly solid for me - in both PT interface emulation mode , standalone mode, and USB mode.
The remote recording was on a Saturday and Sunday = No Apogee tech support. The user had been using the converter in his studio for some time with no problems, why it decided to take itself off line was a mystery. This was a very fast paced very demanding recording session with lots of groups and lots of different setups. The one thing we did not need was an important unit that decided to malfunction. I have used Apogee converters before and loved them. This box was a nightmare... I think the producer finally sent it back to Apogee for some work. There have been other threads on the WWW saying that this unit was NOT what people have come to expect from Apogee and I have to agree.

I am glad you had nothing but good experiences with your Apogee products. That is the way I have always felt about the company until this mess.

Would I purchase an Apogee converter in the future - you bet I would. Would I purchase one of these - NO WAY. I make my living off audio and the last thing I need is a piece of equipment that malfunctions.

#30
9th January 2013
Old 9th January 2013
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I have a new symphony system for over two months now and I have to admit that I have very hard time getting adjusted to the sound of this converters. I am recording and mixing mostly but I also do the mastering sometimes.

I tried to mix some of my older project done with my older converters ( rosetta 800,16ADX, ssl , rme ) and 8 of 10 mixes I just can`t get my mix done on new apogee to sound nearly as good as with my older converters - really strange...

On the other hand when I just print the older mixes ( totally recalled) the mixes sound same or better with new apogee symphony than with apogee 16adx or rosetta 800...

I have a feeling that some overtones are missing in this new apogee design, something I can`t point my finger at. It`s like this : I am near the end of the mix and there is nothing more to do for the mix but my ass is not moving and I am not excited by the song/mix ...

I still think/hope it`s a user error on my side because I can feel that this converters have great potential for ultra high end sound quality with more depth and clarity than my older ones but for now I am not getting there which is really frustrating.
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