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#2341
20th April 2012
Old 20th April 2012
  #2341
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cjoe707 View Post
just curious, does everybody else's apollo front led panel flash when its powered on?
Nice little disco
#2342
21st April 2012
Old 21st April 2012
  #2342
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Question for anyone able to confirm an answer. I'm wondering since Apollo has 8 line inputs, am I able to use external preamps like SSL Alpha's or Vintech pre's into the Apollo interface for the purpose of using the latency feature for tracking with plugins on each of the inputs? Basically I'm looking to track a drum kit & I noticed that the Apollo unit only comes with 4 mic pre's.

Thanks!
Paul
#2343
21st April 2012
Old 21st April 2012
  #2343
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCallMeGus View Post
Question for anyone able to confirm an answer. I'm wondering since Apollo has 8 line inputs, am I able to use external preamps like SSL Alpha's or Vintech pre's into the Apollo interface for the purpose of using the latency feature for tracking with plugins on each of the inputs? Basically I'm looking to track a drum kit & I noticed that the Apollo unit only comes with 4 mic pre's.

Thanks!
Paul
Yes, you can use external preamps through the line inputs.
#2344
21st April 2012
Old 21st April 2012
  #2344
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCallMeGus View Post
Question for anyone able to confirm an answer. I'm wondering since Apollo has 8 line inputs, am I able to use external preamps like SSL Alpha's or Vintech pre's into the Apollo interface for the purpose of using the latency feature for tracking with plugins on each of the inputs? Basically I'm looking to track a drum kit & I noticed that the Apollo unit only comes with 4 mic pre's.

Thanks!
Paul
That's from UA tech support.

That will work great. You just take the line outputs of the external preamp into the Line inputs 5, 6, 7 and 8 and you can then use the 4 Apollo preamps and the Daking preamps for a total of 8.
#2345
21st April 2012
Old 21st April 2012
  #2345
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Awesome thanks for the response. I had another quick question in regards to my previous question. I was wondering if it's possible to use the 4 included mic pre's on the Apollo unit while also simultaneously using the 8 line inputs for separate external mic pre's for a grand total of 12 mic pre's for tracking?
#2346
21st April 2012
Old 21st April 2012
  #2346
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No, it's either the 4 in-built mic pre's or line ins. You can only get 8 in total.
#2347
21st April 2012
Old 21st April 2012
  #2347
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Quote:
Originally Posted by method1 View Post
Some strange stuff going on here.
The inconsistencies are not making much sense.

Definitely worth asking the question via the official support channels and give us a heads up what they come back with.

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#2348
21st April 2012
Old 21st April 2012
  #2348
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustCallMeGus View Post
Awesome thanks for the response. I had another quick question in regards to my previous question. I was wondering if it's possible to use the 4 included mic pre's on the Apollo unit while also simultaneously using the 8 line inputs for separate external mic pre's for a grand total of 12 mic pre's for tracking?
8 total analog inputs but you can also add 8 digital inputs on the optical if you have additional converters with ADAT optical out. This way you could record up to 16 inputs (8 digital and 8 analog)
#2349
23rd April 2012
Old 23rd April 2012
  #2349
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stakeoutstudios View Post
Nice little disco
I know it does the little disco light show lol but I'm talking about right when i flip the power switch on the entire led panel will flash then presume to do its disco light show a couple seconds later. I just thought that the initial flash that happens on my unit seems unusual and was wondering if anybody else's unit does this as well.
#2350
23rd April 2012
Old 23rd April 2012
  #2350
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ADAT inputs...

Okay, I can't find anything in this thread, nor on the UA website that details how the two ADAT inputs can be used. It does say you can get 8 additional in via SMUX, but can I get 8 or 16 inputs from another lightpipe device at 44.1 or 48kHz? Does it every work with 8 channel lightpipe pres at lower sampling rates?! No where does UA confirm either. All it says is 8 channels via lightpipe. You'd think you could get 16 at half the sampling rate. Just wondering cause I'd love to get 24 inputs into my computer for live recording. Thanks in advance for the info!!!
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#2351
23rd April 2012
Old 23rd April 2012
  #2351
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Dog View Post
Okay, I can't find anything in this thread, nor on the UA website that details how the two ADAT inputs can be used. It does say you can get 8 additional in via SMUX, but can I get 8 or 16 inputs from another lightpipe device at 44.1 or 48kHz? Does it every work with 8 channel lightpipe pres at lower sampling rates?! No where does UA confirm either. All it says is 8 channels via lightpipe. You'd think you could get 16 at half the sampling rate. Just wondering cause I'd love to get 24 inputs into my computer for live recording. Thanks in advance for the info!!!
Been discussed to death. You can use both ports to get 8 ins at 96KHz or less, you can use a single side to get 8 inputs at 48KHz. When using the single side to get 8 at 48 the other input is disable and the other output mirrors the first.

Stupid, we all agree. probably motivated by the fact that they intend for multiple Apollo units to be sync'ed, and therfore folks wanting 24+ channels of Apollo will have to buy two (and probably two lightpipe adapters too).

Good news for me is that the coax spdif input/output support up to 192k for two channels, so that makes adding a golden converter pair like the BLA Sparrow easy, without wasting the lightpipe ports.
#2352
23rd April 2012
Old 23rd April 2012
  #2352
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Category 5 View Post
Been discussed to death. You can use both ports to get 8 ins at 96KHz or less, you can use a single side to get 8 inputs at 48KHz. When using the single side to get 8 at 48 the other input is disable and the other output mirrors the first.

Stupid, we all agree.
Sorry! Must have missed it in the 118 pages of this thread. Ha! But the UA site is interestingly vague about this. Thanks for the info.

And YES this is very stupid! I've never heard of a company disabling a second SMUX connection when used at a lower sample rate. This will have me looking for a different interface because I need a higher I/O count when doing live recording! Gotta love crippleware.
#2353
23rd April 2012
Old 23rd April 2012
  #2353
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Long thread, so sorry if this is a repeat discussion, but does anyone know how high end the clock is on this thing? I'm really happy with my Black Lion Sig Mod and think the clock is amazing. Not sure if migrating over to apollo would be a step down in that department.
Any insight?
#2354
23rd April 2012
Old 23rd April 2012
  #2354
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenbecker View Post
Long thread, so sorry if this is a repeat discussion, but does anyone know how high end the clock is on this thing? I'm really happy with my Black Lion Sig Mod and think the clock is amazing. Not sure if migrating over to apollo would be a step down in that department.
Any insight?
It's really not proven that an external clock makes things better (at least more linear). Some people say the sound is improved by one, other say no. heck in the Behringer vs Lynx converter shootout almost everyone said the Behringer sounded better, so if you want to truct the ears of the masses go ahead.

I'm 100% sure BLA will be coming up with a mod for the Apollo and I'm sure the clock will be one of the things they improve so we'll just have to wait and see.

I'm sure when they do the audio will be measurably better...whether or not it will be audibly better is another story. There clearly are audible differences between all the popular mid-high end converters, that's for sure. Whether it has to do with clock, analog design, converter chips, etc. and whether one is more TRUE than the other will always be open for discussion and disagreement.

The bottom line is, after all the tests are done you have to get a device that has the price and features you want, with audio quality you find acceptable. If the Orpheus was cheaper and had RME's driver performance it's be the number one selling interface. As it stands I'll bet the UFX outsells it 100 to 1 or more. Apollo is gonna steal some of that for sure if they can make enough of them. When you listen to good records made on any of them I doubt you can pic the Prism from the Fireface. There are way too many variables in between.
#2355
24th April 2012
Old 24th April 2012
  #2355
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenbecker View Post
Long thread, so sorry if this is a repeat discussion, but does anyone know how high end the clock is on this thing? I'm really happy with my Black Lion Sig Mod and think the clock is amazing. Not sure if migrating over to apollo would be a step down in that department.
Any insight?
General consensus: Use an external clock when you need to clock multiple devices. Use the internal clock when using a device by itself.

There is some wise argument that external clocking, even with a good clock, can introduce jitter greater than that of an inferior internal clock.

I have an external clock because I need clock distribution, not because I can hear any sonic improvement. I've never actually heard a device sound better because I plugged it into a Rosendahl.

Someone here must have done some blind testing or NULL experiments with different clocks.
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#2356
25th April 2012
Old 25th April 2012
  #2356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Category 5 View Post
Been discussed to death. You can use both ports to get 8 ins at 96KHz or less, you can use a single side to get 8 inputs at 48KHz. When using the single side to get 8 at 48 the other input is disable and the other output mirrors the first.

Stupid, we all agree. probably motivated by the fact that they intend for multiple Apollo units to be sync'ed, and therfore folks wanting 24+ channels of Apollo will have to buy two (and probably two lightpipe adapters too).

Good news for me is that the coax spdif input/output support up to 192k for two channels, so that makes adding a golden converter pair like the BLA Sparrow easy, without wasting the lightpipe ports.
I would think it has to do with the fact that they want to preserve bandwidth for the DSP side of the story...16 channels of I/O via ADAT at 48 KHz leaves less capacity for plug-ins...at least until the thunderbolt card is available...but it won't come free..
#2357
25th April 2012
Old 25th April 2012
  #2357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seb4gear View Post
I would think it has to do with the fact that they want to preserve bandwidth for the DSP side of the story...16 channels of I/O via ADAT at 48 KHz leaves less capacity for plug-ins...at least until the thunderbolt card is available...but it won't come free..
But 16 channels of bandwidth at 48kHz is the same as 8 channels of bandwidth at 96kHz. Every other converter and interface that supports SMUX is capable of this. Now as to whether the DSP can support 24 channels of processing is a completely different matter, but as far as lightpipe and bandwidth are concerned, it shouldn't make any difference. I still think it's crippleware. Maybe they will resolve this with the Thunderbolt upgrade, but I'm not holding out for that.
#2358
3rd May 2012
Old 3rd May 2012
  #2358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Category 5 View Post
PGA2500 chips as used in the orpheus and UFX sound quite nice coupled with good quality poly caps, decent op-amps, and careful design. Those chips are about $20 a piece (less in quantity) and are digitally controlled. My guess is that's what the Apollo is using.

Design aside, and obviously sharing a PCB and PSU with the rest of the kit good PGA2500 based pres could probably be done in quantity for $30-$40 per channel, bringing the cost of 4 pres to less that $200 easily, and with quite usable quality well above what Mackie boards provide.

The SHARC chips can be had for about $35 (cheaper in quantity) making the DSP section about $140 or less.

Good converter chips can be had for $20 or less per chip in quantity. CS5381 stereo ADs are $20 in quantity. $80 for 8 AD CS4398 DA chips are about $7 in quantity so $35 for 10 DA. To be safe, figure $120 for converter chips.

We're at $460 for 4 good pres, 4 DSP chips, and the same converter chips as used in the Prism Orpheus.

Figure about $700 more for the psu, chassis, connectors, FW/USB system and of course some nice clean BB op amps, poly caps...knobs, etc and I'll bet they can still make a hell of a box for about $1200 a piece. That's $1300 margin for UA and Sweetwater to make their cut before a single plugin is bought. Heck, even if it's another $1000 in parts there's still a grand left over for the margin.

Never underestimate manufacturing might and the mass-production discounts.

Now will we see PGA2500 based pres or cheaper THAT or BB designs? My guess is they go with the PGA2500 to run even with Apogee, RME and Prism. Plus, the fact they are digitally controlled almost gives that away.

Will we see those very same converter chips? Probably not. They'll probably go with a slightly lower spec quad AD pair and Quad DA pair, which won't matter much if the op amps and design around them is done right. BB or AD op amps is my guess...this thing will not quite match the Orpheus, but will match the Lynx or RME. The 118db quoted specs are probably from the chip data sheets, not the actual box, so measured results will be lower (unweighted will for sure be lower). It won't matter much. We're talking a difference of 3-4 dB of dynamic range...and we'll still be well in the 110's.

I'm betting a quad box costs them less than $1500, and for that price, they "CAN" make a damn fine sounding unit for sure. Whether they did or not remains to be seen. It certainly isn't impossible to expect the quality that's being speculated.

I doubt SQ will be less than the RME UFX that many people are already thinking of ditching for this device.

Drivers? Won't even come close. Not even this time next year or two years from now. How good they are, and can get will determine how well this box does against the competition it will be up against.

Lynx, Apogee, RME, even MH and Prism are all just as capable as each other as far as how good of a record can be made on them. All other things equal, I doubt most ears could tell the difference between a production made on any of them.

My guess is that the Apollo will sit somewhere in that mix as well. UA has never been a lower-end market company anyway.
Just got mine and had to pop the top. It's as good as anyone could have hoped inside there. Most of my guesses above were correct except the AD/DA chips. They didn't skimp like I thought. They are using the same DA as the Orpheus and AD that is about on par. Op-Amps are 5532s throughout. Nothing wrong with that! No 4580 or TLs in there. Slightly lower spec'ed Headphone DA as expected, everything else looks top notch and the design is clean and beautiful! Where did they skimp? Looks to me like the knobs and that's it. What a really nicely designed and put together box this is. Just wow.

AD chips are AKM AK5388EQ (2x quad AD) absolutely comparable to CS5381 in Orpheus

DA Chips are Cirrus Logic CS4398 (same as orpheus and Lynx) x5 - All outs including main

Headphone DA is a little lower spec'ed AKM AK5388EQ x2

Preamps are (as expected) Burr Brown PGA2500 chips and using 5532 op-amps - Same as Orpheus again.

All in all in actuality this is a best case scenario. Not sure what Black Lion would do to this one except maybe beef up the PSU and decouple the converters.

This thing is a bargain considering the components and build quality inside. Especially at the 15% discount the quads are selling for. I am thoroughly impressed to say the least. Gotta switch now from geek to musician. Now to go play with it!!!!!!
#2359
3rd May 2012
Old 3rd May 2012
  #2359
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Category 5 View Post
Just got mine and had to pop the top. It's as good as anyone could have hoped inside there. Most of my guesses above were correct except the AD/DA chips. They didn't skimp like I thought. They are using the same DA as the Orpheus and AD that is about on par. Op-Amps are 5532s throughout. Nothing wrong with that! No 4580 or TLs in there. Slightly lower spec'ed Headphone DA as expected, everything else looks top notch and the design is clean and beautiful! Where did they skimp? Looks to me like the knobs and that's it. What a really nicely designed and put together box this is. Just wow.

AD chips are AKM AK5388EQ (2x quad AD) absolutely comparable to CS5381 in Orpheus

DA Chips are Cirrus Logic CS4398 (same as orpheus and Lynx) x5 - All outs including main

Headphone DA is a little lower spec'ed AKM AK5388EQ x2

Preamps are (as expected) Burr Brown PGA2500 chips and using 5532 op-amps - Same as Orpheus again.

All in all in actuality this is a best case scenario. Not sure what Black Lion would do to this one except maybe beef up the PSU and decouple the converters.

This thing is a bargain considering the components and build quality inside. Especially at the 15% discount the quads are selling for. I am thoroughly impressed to say the least. Gotta switch now from geek to musician. Now to go play with it!!!!!!
You didn't happen to take any pictures of the inside did you?
#2360
3rd May 2012
Old 3rd May 2012
  #2360
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#2361
3rd May 2012
Old 3rd May 2012
  #2361
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Category 5 View Post

They are using the same DA as the Orpheus and AD that is about on par.

Headphone DA is a little lower spec'ed AKM AK5388EQ x2

Preamps are (as expected) Burr Brown PGA2500 chips and using 5532 op-amps - Same as Orpheus again.
Thanks Category 5

In short, Apollo converters chips and preamps are same, or similar, to the Orpheus ones, except the Headphone DA, right?

But the analog path from converters should be considered as well, this could be the main differentiation sonic factor, what do you think?
#2362
4th May 2012
Old 4th May 2012
  #2362
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Category 5 pics!
#2363
4th May 2012
Old 4th May 2012
  #2363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Baron View Post
Thanks Category 5

In short, Apollo converters chips and preamps are same, or similar, to the Orpheus ones, except the Headphone DA, right?

But the analog path from converters should be considered as well, this could be the main differentiation sonic factor, what do you think?
Actually, both Apollo and Orpheus make use of the un-exciting but tried and true 5532 opamps. Much better than the more common TL chips and not really a weak link at all. Not much difference between these two.

AD is a different chip. It is one step under AKMs best chip (120db vs 123db DR is only measured diff, as well as quad vs stereo so a bit cheaper). Same family that grace the Metric Halo ULN series, the Digi192 and a few others well regarded for their conversion. Better than ULN2, one step under the ULN8. Probably chosen over the ak5394 due to it coming in quad rather than only dual configurations. Less circuitry, cheaper, and just about equal performance. The spec sheet shows that it can work in mono mode where it equals the AK5394. Not sure how that works. Maybe UA is.

Were it not for the "loopback" transparency controversy thread this would sit right next to the Metric halo and prism boxes. Above the UFX. Nothing wrong with the design, converters or analog circuitry. Even the PSU is good considering it's a DC to DC supply that is further smoothing an already filtered external DC current. Maybe the clock can be improved? Not sure on this one. As far as AD/DA and the analog components around it, it looks excellent. You can be sure if there are any questionable components Black Lion will find them and offer an upgrade. lol I already sent them my pics to evaluate.

Surprise surprise! DSP card may actually be considered a throw in here. Considering the internals and DSP this box could fetch more than its' msrp.

The knobs, however, are for shite! lol
#2364
4th May 2012
Old 4th May 2012
  #2364
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Category 5 View Post
Especially at the 15% discount the quads are selling for.
Thanks for that highly technical review Category 5! Can you tell us where this discount is being offered?
#2365
4th May 2012
Old 4th May 2012
  #2365
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Originally Posted by fun_seeker View Post
Thanks for that highly technical review Category 5! Can you tell us where this discount is being offered?
jrrshop.com - use coupon code "group"

if that won't work try "forum"
#2366
4th May 2012
Old 4th May 2012
  #2366
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Category 5...

I'd like to congratulate you for your pragmatism, objectivity, facts and pictures!

#2367
4th May 2012
Old 4th May 2012
  #2367
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Originally Posted by Big_Bang View Post
Category 5...

I'd like to congratulate you for your pragmatism, objectivity, facts and pictures!

2nded
#2368
4th May 2012
Old 4th May 2012
  #2368
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Originally Posted by C//AZM View Post
2nded
+1
#2369
4th May 2012
Old 4th May 2012
  #2369
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Category 5 View Post
Actually, both Apollo and Orpheus make use of the un-exciting but tried and true 5532 opamps. Much better than the more common TL chips and not really a weak link at all. Not much difference between these two.

AD is a different chip. It is one step under AKMs best chip (120db vs 123db DR is only measured diff, as well as quad vs stereo so a bit cheaper). Same family that grace the Metric Halo ULN series, the Digi192 and a few others well regarded for their conversion. Better than ULN2, one step under the ULN8. Probably chosen over the ak5394 due to it coming in quad rather than only dual configurations. Less circuitry, cheaper, and just about equal performance. The spec sheet shows that it can work in mono mode where it equals the AK5394. Not sure how that works. Maybe UA is.

Were it not for the "loopback" transparency controversy thread this would sit right next to the Metric halo and prism boxes. Above the UFX. Nothing wrong with the design, converters or analog circuitry. Even the PSU is good considering it's a DC to DC supply that is further smoothing an already filtered external DC current. Maybe the clock can be improved? Not sure on this one. As far as AD/DA and the analog components around it, it looks excellent. You can be sure if there are any questionable components Black Lion will find them and offer an upgrade. lol I already sent them my pics to evaluate.

Surprise surprise! DSP card may actually be considered a throw in here. Considering the internals and DSP this box could fetch more than its' msrp.

The knobs, however, are for shite! lol
Thanks for sending pics to BLA!!!
#2370
5th May 2012
Old 5th May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR Music View Post
Thanks for sending pics to BLA!!!

Well, if it can be made better I'm sure there are some people who will have to get it done. lol. Maybe I'm one of those folks. At least we know it's a pretty well made piece from the get go, for folks that don't want to drop $500 more and be without their interface for a few weeks.

Once the thunderbolt interface comes out I am betting this will become the next top-selling interface, DSP aside. At its' price it really has everything going for it.

....except those awful knobs.
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