I have an rme adi-2
that I use just for headphone monitoring I also have an ad16x
and an ua2192
. The rme does not even come close to the apogee. And I think the ua is much better than the apogee
On a couple rare occasions I have had to track with the rme and It does not even come close I'm sorry to say.
If rme had the same quality as apogee wouldn't everyone just buy the RME? for less than half the price? People are always searching for the product at the lowest price but with converters (90% of the time) you get what you pay for.
The quality of converter unit is due many variables. Quality of the analog i/o componets the circuitry etc... But the quailty of the the converter chips themselves are one big reason why they can differ so much in price. Even if two companies like RME and Apogee used the same exact brand and model of a dac chip there can still be a large difference in price and quailty.
adc chips are semiconductors. The quailty of a semiconductor can vary from batch to batch, lot to lot. 2 single chips made on the same day in the same factory can differ(obviously). Do you realize that 2 chips made on the same silicon wafer can vary in quailty too?
When chips come off the line in a fab they go through a special process call metrology. Which is basically a testing/quailty phase. Even though two chips or a batch of chips were intended to be of the same quality they my not be to to inconsistencies in the semiconductor process. This is why completed lots go through a sort of grading process. Intel does this all the time. Do you know back in the day, an intel 'sx' chip and a 'dx' chip could have been made at the same time? one was ever so slightly flawed and relabled as an 'sx' and sold at a discount. Where the 'dx' met or exceded the standard of quailty and was sold at full price.
The same holds true with dac or any chip that requires high tolerances and quality. So just cuz two different converter mfg's use an 'ADCxxx' chip doesn't mean the two 'ADCxxx's are of the same quality. The low jitter clock everyone always talks about has to do with the quailty of components and their implementation. this all costs $$$$$ and you pay for it in the end. Nothing is free.
It's like when you hear Alesis hd24xr uses the same converter as radar
why do the two units sound different then? Well the analog I/O is different
but maybe they are not really using the same quality of the same converter chips?
Companies like weiss and lavry dont' charge 5X more money than RME just to be greedy jerks.
you get what you pay for....