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Rosetta 800 Upgrade Path: Symphony vs Lio-8 vs X.Sum
Old 19th October 2013
  #1
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Rosetta 800 Upgrade Path: Symphony vs Lio-8 vs X.Sum

Hello,

I am considering upgrading from my current AD/DA + monitor control setup which includes an Apogee Rosetta 800 96k (with X-Firewire card), a Presonus Central Station, and Focal Twin 6 Be speakers.

My main issues with my current rig have to do with latency during recording, coupled with the Central Station being a weak link in my signal chain. A third but lesser consideration would be the lack of portability of my current rig.

I am considering the following:

1) Upgrading to an Apogee Symphony AD/DA. I am wondering if anyone can speak to the latency performance of this unit when operating via USB with large track counts? Also, does the Symphony contain a built in monitor controller solution (i.e. can the front panel knobs be assigned to control monitor/headphone output levels)?

2) Upgrading to the Metric Halo Lio-8. Great sound with a smaller physical footprint than the Symphony. Same question as above regarding latency. I know that this unit includes a monitor control feature.

3) Keeping the Rosetta 800 and purchasing a Speck X.Sum Line Mixer. Use the X.sum as a monitor controller and to mix external sound sources with my DAW output, effectively eliminating latency.

Any thought or alternate suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Old 19th October 2013
  #2
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I have owned the Rosetta 800 and AD16x/DA16x Apogee units and run them all with the x-firewire card. Not a great experience from my memory and I upgraded to the symphony cards as soon as they became available. I had zero latency issues with those boxes after doing so and that was with using software monitoring while recording all of the time. Currently I own a Symphony I/O and a Metric Halo LIO-8 with 8 pres installed.....

The Apogee stuff is awesome when running through a symphony 64 card / thunder bridge setup. Regardless of the series of converters, you will not have latency issues. I cannot speak to the USB functionality of the Symphony I/O as I have no need to use it.

That being said, I can't say enough good things about the LIO-8. The hardware, software (MIO console) and drivers leave absolutely nothing to be desired. If you think twice about running a firewire interface in this day and age... don't. The Metric Halo stuff is flat-out incredible, my only regret may be not buying into their stuff years ago. The sound/conversion quality between the two units is splitting hairs. I run them both at a 32 sample buffer when tracking and monitor via DAW software with zero problems. The LIO offers a lot more than the Symphony outside of conversion... it gets my nod for many reasons that I won't get into here in this thread.
Old 19th October 2013
  #3
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Thanks for your thoughts madgansound,

Sounds like the x-firewire card may be the principal latency culprit.

The LIO-8 is a worthy contender indeed.

Does anyone have info regarding monitor control functionality on the Apogee Symphony?

And on the worthiness of the the Speck X.Sum as both a monitor controller and solution to my tracking latency issues?

Cheers!

Last edited by TapeDelay; 19th October 2013 at 10:32 AM.. Reason: Needed to rephrase Speck X.Sum question. Thx.
Old 19th October 2013
  #4
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Looneytune's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by madgansound View Post
I have owned the Rosetta 800 and AD16x/DA16x Apogee units and run them all with the x-firewire card. Not a great experience from my memory and I upgraded to the symphony cards as soon as they became available. I had zero latency issues with those boxes after doing so and that was with using software monitoring while recording all of the time. Currently I own a Symphony I/O and a Metric Halo LIO-8 with 8 pres installed.....

The Apogee stuff is awesome when running through a symphony 64 card / thunder bridge setup. Regardless of the series of converters, you will not have latency issues. I cannot speak to the USB functionality of the Symphony I/O as I have no need to use it.

That being said, I can't say enough good things about the LIO-8. The hardware, software (MIO console) and drivers leave absolutely nothing to be desired. If you think twice about running a firewire interface in this day and age... don't. The Metric Halo stuff is flat-out incredible, my only regret may be not buying into their stuff years ago. The sound/conversion quality between the two units is splitting hairs. I run them both at a 32 sample buffer when tracking and monitor via DAW software with zero problems. The LIO offers a lot more than the Symphony outside of conversion... it gets my nod for many reasons that I won't get into here in this thread.
You say the sound differences in conversion between the Symphony and the Halo is splitting hairs. Are they that close in quality?
Old 19th October 2013
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Looneytune View Post
You say the sound differences in conversion between the Symphony and the Halo is splitting hairs. Are they that close in quality?
To my ears they are both great converters. You can't go wrong with either. I do like the smaller physical footprint of the LIO-8. I also like the fact that the the LIO-8 has monitor control functionality that the Apogee Symphony appears to lack (please correct me if I'm wrong about this).
Old 19th October 2013
  #6
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madgansound's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Looneytune View Post
You say the sound differences in conversion between the Symphony and the Halo is splitting hairs. Are they that close in quality?
Yes to my ears they are that close. It's fairly easy to A/B them when they are side by side in my rack running to the same computer.
Old 19th October 2013
  #7
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Symphony I/O does have monitor control functionality. You can connect a pair of speakers directly off the analog outputs and control level attenuation (for the speakers and headphone outputs) through either the front panel knob, the Mac keyboard volume keys, or the Maestro software.
Old 20th October 2013
  #8
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Looneytune's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by madgansound View Post
Yes to my ears they are that close. It's fairly easy to A/B them when they are side by side in my rack running to the same computer.
Yeah thanks. Currently own the Symphony I/O with no complaints.
Just wanted to hear what an owner with both has to say about the sound of the Halo.
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