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Apogee Ensemble Audio Interfaces
Old 3rd August 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 
jeswa's Avatar
 

Apogee Ensemble

Here are my needs:
DAC for a PC with a Fireface 400
Audio Interface (and or) DAC for Mac Book Pro
Stereo Monitor controller
Headphone Amp
A few line inputs to monitor/record my analog modular synth

I was going to go for a Lavry DA-10 / Benchmark DAC-1 / Apogee Mini-DAC
but the Ensemble looks like it will do all that and more.

I don't need the sexy A/D on the Ensemble right now, but I may soon enough.
I don't need the extra outputs, but would like the option to monitor in 5.1.
Are the extra features on the Ensemble worth the extra $ over a Mini-DAC/Lavry/Benchmark?

Would anyone talk me out of it?

Also, how might it compare to a Dangerous Music D-Box?
Old 3rd August 2007
  #2
Gear Head
 

I was recommended to stay away from the ensemble at the present time. If you turn the volume knob too fast, it has a tendency to jump back and forwards. But it looks nice. I went with the Rme fireface, but that does not sound ideal for you at all. I don't think the ensemble is the way to go if you don't need the whole package, but that's just me.
Old 3rd August 2007
  #3
16942
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeswa View Post
Here are my needs:
.
Are the extra features on the Ensemble worth the extra $ over a Mini-DAC/Lavry/Benchmark?

Would anyone talk me out of it?

Also, how might it compare to a Dangerous Music D-Box?
Bear in mind that "Mini-DAC/Lavry/Benchmark" are NOT audio interfaces, you would still need an audio interface to connect them to.

I have a LavryBlack DA10 and I love it but it sounds to me like the Ensemble, which is Mac only BTW, may be the right choice for you.
Old 3rd August 2007
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Jeswa,

The Ensemble can do everything you listed, If you have any further questions about it please feel free to call me (310)584-9394 or ask here in the thread.


Mortlar,
Who ever told you about the knob issue may have a defective unit. You may want to have them call us to set up an RMA. We will be more than happy to discuss it with them and take care of any problems they are having with their Ensemble.

Chris Lawson
Apogee Electronics
Old 3rd August 2007
  #5
Lives for gear
 
chrispick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeswa View Post
Would anyone talk me out of it?
I wouldn't (with this exception*). I really like mine.


*It's Mac only. You say you have a PC, and I assume you mean a WinTel only box.
Old 3rd August 2007
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

The Ensemble will work fine in his situation on the PC as well. He already has the Fireface and just wants to use a higher quality DAC. The Ensemble can be set up in standalone mode, he can run S/Pdif out of the Fireface into the Ensemble and just use it as a stand alone D to A converter.

Chris Lawson
Apogee Electronics
Old 4th August 2007
  #7
Gear Head
 

Clawson:
Might have been a faulty unit, but that was what turned me away from it.
It was a music store in Norway that had it on display.
Old 4th August 2007
  #8
TZk
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mortlar View Post
I was recommended to stay away from the ensemble at the present time. If you turn the volume knob too fast, it has a tendency to jump back and forwards. But it looks nice. I went with the Rme fireface, but that does not sound ideal for you at all. I don't think the ensemble is the way to go if you don't need the whole package, but that's just me.
that is truly one ridiculous argument
nothing against your opinion but it just doesn't tell us anything regarding quality of the device.
I think he should go with the ensemble because the volume knob is bigger than on most devices. But no jumping back on the 2 ensembles over here.

I upgraded once from RME to apogee. Big difference. And after a big ben... lovely.
A big ben even let's a digi002 sound decent.
Old 4th August 2007
  #9
Gear Head
 

I´m just telling my experience. I only tested the ensemble for 5 minutes, and I saw the volume jump 3 times. And I was not exactly playing with it or doing anything i shouldn´t. With that one bug i figured there could be more. I like to be able to trust my equipment to perform 100% correctly. If the ensemble never bugs out (and the unit i used was faulty) then go buy it...
It´s a very sexy piece of equipment.
Old 4th August 2007
  #10
Gear Nut
 

Don't mean to hijack the thread, but..

I've heard that buying used Apogee gear voids the warranty regardless of how new it is. Does anyone know if this is true? I'm specifically talking about an Ensemble or Rosetta 200.

Thanks
Old 4th August 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 
NoVi's Avatar
The Ensemble has some flaws, but you can work around it.

Although not as extreme as described I rarely notice turning the volume knob does not quite accurate respond to movements.
The only other flaw I find a bit more annoying is that for some reason the Ensemble is suddenly not recognized by the system and then defaults to the internal monitor speaker. The trick I use to work around this is to switch the Clock Source Select in the Maestro software to World Clock and then back to Internal and usually that solves it.

Despite these small flaws I'm very happy with Ensemble.
Old 4th August 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clawson View Post
...

Mortlar,
Who ever told you about the knob issue may have a defective unit. You may want to have them call us to set up an RMA. We will be more than happy to discuss it with them and take care of any problems they are having with their Ensemble.

Chris Lawson
Apogee Electronics
Hi Chris,

My Ensemble too has issues with the volume attenuator jumping by larger than anticipated values when adjusting the level - it's sporadic but still has occurred regardless of firmware revisions. This is in addition to some pervasive noise and level issues from the outputs. Previous conversations with tech support have indicated that these were not defects. So, what's the deal then? From what you said abaove I need an RMA to send back my Ensemble.

-G
Old 7th August 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
 

bump
Old 8th August 2007
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Always a step too late ...

Last year I bought an used AD-8000 because the Apogee webite announced the imminent release of the Ambus Firewire card so I'd be able to get 8-channels i/o with my DAW (Logic on Mac Pro, Cubase on PC).

Right after I bought it, the Ensemble was announced...

Coincidence or not, the AMbus 400 Firewire card release date was pushed further and further back. Finally I learned it was available but guess what? Now it's not any more!

So now I've got myself an AD-8000 that I've only owned for one year, and now I'm forced to make another choice from the following -- advice please!

1. Keeping the AD-8000 and buying an RME DSPe AES-32 card so I can run 8 channels AES/EBU between the AD-8000 and my Mac Pro.

2. Ditch the AD-8000 and getting the Ensemble.

The decision should be clear, but please bear in mind that I'm on a limited budget and only need 8 in/outs. Are there other options I can pursue?

Thx 4 the help!
Old 8th August 2007
  #15
Gear Head
 

I can't seem to stick to my own advice.
Despite the obvious flaws i've seen on the only ensemble i've ever laid hands on, i just ordered one yesterday. It just looks so nice, has two big knobs heh and the xlr inputs are on the back. Sold my fireface 800 despite being totally happy with it. (got what i paid for it)
I decided to trust Clawson, and if the ensemble turns out to be **** i can guarantee that you will hear about it.
It is not available here for another 4 weeks, but i'll make sure i post any issues on this forum.
Wish me luck...
Old 1st September 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 
rids's Avatar
 

So it's almost a month, did you get your Ensemble? I'm interested to hear how it is compared to the Fireface.

I'm looking at getting one of these 3, Fireface, Ensemble or Rosetta. Someone said the Ensemble doesn't have the warmth that the Fireface has. Have you guys noticed this? The same person said that the Ensemble has better and more clearer preamps than the Fireface. And then throw the Rosetta in the mix and I'm not sure what to pick.
Old 1st September 2007
  #17
JPZ
Lives for gear
 

Ensemble really is great, I don't think you can go wrong with it and I prefer it much more than the FF800.
Old 1st September 2007
  #18
Gear Head
 

the delivery time has been terrible because of the popularity here in norway. talked to my distributor yesterday, and they told me it was just around the corner. I´ll update you as soon as I get it. Any other new/old ensemble owners got something to contribute?
Old 1st September 2007
  #19
Here for the gear
 

I've tried both the FF800 and the Ensemble.

I found that the RME sounded clear, but a little too sterile for my tastes. The Ensemble sounds better IMO, but not as good as a Rosetta.
Old 1st September 2007
  #20
Lives for gear
 

I just got an Ensemble about a week ago and it is incredible! Everything works great, sounds great ,feels rite, and it even looks great. Its built like a tank, heavy with a beutiful stainless steel face plate and an awsome finish on top that looks like its covered in dew. I actualy thought it was wet when I pulled it out of the box.
I sereously could not be any more pleased. Oh and again it sounds great !
The pres are awsome! Oh and it is very easy to use and the software is intuitive.
Almost zero latency when recording and DI Strat sounds beautifull as well.
Also the soft limit feature works like a limiter , I just recorded a high soprano with it who is bad about overs. With out soft limit the recording clipped' With soft limit no clips and I could not here a change in the sound at all . I just bought an RNC that im gonna send back because soft limit dose it better.
Go buy one, I seriously dought youll regret it.
Scott
Old 2nd September 2007
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by notchrec View Post
Last year I bought an used AD-8000 because the Apogee webite announced the imminent release of the Ambus Firewire card so I'd be able to get 8-channels i/o with my DAW (Logic on Mac Pro, Cubase on PC).

Right after I bought it, the Ensemble was announced...

Coincidence or not, the AMbus 400 Firewire card release date was pushed further and further back. Finally I learned it was available but guess what? Now it's not any more!

So now I've got myself an AD-8000 that I've only owned for one year, and now I'm forced to make another choice from the following -- advice please!

1. Keeping the AD-8000 and buying an RME DSPe AES-32 card so I can run 8 channels AES/EBU between the AD-8000 and my Mac Pro.

2. Ditch the AD-8000 and getting the Ensemble.

The decision should be clear, but please bear in mind that I'm on a limited budget and only need 8 in/outs. Are there other options I can pursue?

Thx 4 the help!
you should talk to Craig Calistro...
i did the same thing and i bought the AMbus fire wire cards at his shop.
and if you download the firemix software from apogee you wont have any latency problems at all!!!
by the way these converters totally rocks! - my best advice is to keep it.

Craig Calistro
953 Rainbow Trail
Orange CT 06477 USA
203 891 8918
Calistro Music :: Selling Only the Highest Quality Recording Gear
Old 3rd September 2007
  #22
Here for the gear
 

Thanks to Ciccia. I've actually called Apogee directly and spoke to Greg there who sold me one of his last three Ambus Firewire cards! (They must have been keeping them around in shoeboxes waiting for ppl like me), Now I'm using it with the AD8000. Like Ciccia said no problems with FireMix and very low latency in CoreAudio. Since I was just about to throw down much more money for a Fireface 800, my dealer in Taiwan didn't think I made a good decision, but I still love the sound of the AD8000!
Notchrec
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