I've posted these opinions elsewhere on this forum.
I've owned an AD8000se for 7 years, and when I first got it, I was blown away - big improvement over the O2R converters, which were an improvement over the ADAT converters. But time marches on, and the AD8000 (which was originally meant to be an upgrade for the Digi 888) is sounding a bit long in the tooth.
I just finished a comparison with the Rosetta 800 (I was asked to beta test for a few days), and yes, imo the Rosetta sounds better than the 8000. For less than half the price, you also get d to a conversion. You don't get the meters, and all of the routing flexibility (which is expensive and which most of us can work around).
I was ready to ditch my 8000 for a Rosetta. As the Rosettas weren't available yet, I decided to try another new Apogee product, the Big Ben (master clock). To my shock, the 8000 sounded MUCH better - tighter, better soundstage, midrange clarity. Very close to the new Rosetta. (I can only assume that the Big Ben would slightly improve the Rosetta.) If you have an 8000 (or any other digital rig) you might want to *hear* the Big Ben - cheaper than upgrading converters.
As many complaints as we are hearing about the AD8000, I wonder how many other 8 channel converters have been out there as long, and are still in widespread use?
As far as a quality converter being out of your price range, I thought the AD8000 was costly, but I find it amazing that I'm still earning money with it. I have found it to be cheaper to buy the best you can and run it as long as you can. My O2R has become a glorified keyboard mixer, my sound cards have changed every few years (as have my computers, keyboards, etc.), but the 8000 soldiers on with a new lease on life thanks to the Big Ben. Will I also get a Rosetta? Absolutely.
BTW, we all have opinions, and we all have different perspectives. Go listen to this stuff and come up with your own opinion, based on your own perspective - it's all part of your ears *education.*