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HEDD 192 Upgrade or Apollo Quad? Audio Interfaces
Old 10th December 2014
  #31
Lives for gear
Interesting news. A lot of folks here say the D/A conversion on the HEDD is better than the Apollo.
Old 22nd December 2014
  #32
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazer Toms View Post
Interesting news. A lot of folks here say the D/A conversion on the HEDD is better than the Apollo.
Here is my assessment of the Apollo Quad/HEDD 192/API A2D/Dangerous Source combination.

There is no doubt in my mind that the HEDD 192 is way better than the Apollo on both ends A/D and D/A. I have A/B'd them over and over on both ends and there is a very big sonic difference. The HEDD 192 D/A is pristine, super clean, more rounded, and warmer. I find the Apollo to be slightly brittle and harsh on the high freq end D/A, and lacking warmth and depth overall. When I first started listening to the Apollo DAC I was dissapointed in the sound (coming from an M-Audio 1814). It was definitely clearer than the M-Audio DAC, but it was harsh on my ears, especially the high end freq range. I was actually squinting when listening to some types of music. Maybe some burn in time is required for this to change. I've had it for about a month now.

I now use the HEDD 192 and the API A2D on the A/D side and the HEDD 192 and Dangerous Source on the D/A side. On the D/A side I use the Dangerous Source for monitor controller and use the D/A also via USB. The Source allows me to use it for listening to iTunes, YouTube and use the keyboard volume control when the Source is hooked up USB. When I added the Dangerous Source DAC, I was hearing sounds I literally didn't hear with the Apollo DAC. There is a very big sonic difference and it gives the chain a pro quality sound. Really liking this setup so far. It also allows me to use the HEDD 192 DAC into the Dangerous Source as monitor controller for easy A/Bing. It's a toss up right now between the two DACs (HEDD 192 vs Source), but right now I'd give a slight nod to the HEDD 192. The HEDD 192 seems a tad more controlled (tighter?) and sonically pleasing to my ears, but I like them both. They are both a big leap above the Apollo DAC. It's really fun to listen to high quality music with either of these DACs.

The API A2D is very clean and pristine on the A/D side as well. There is very little sonic difference between the API A2D and the HEDD 192 A/Ds using the API pres for vocals when no processing is used on the HEDD 192. The reviews on the API A2D are stellar so I was expecting great things and it has not dissapointed. The build quality and sound quality is first class. It also allows me to use the HEDD 192 A/D and bypass it's internal converters. There is a more noticeable difference when adding the processing on the HEDD 192 as it gets bigger and sounds warmer with Tape, Pentode, and Triode engaged. Really changes the behavior of the API pres if you don't want that API edge sound. It's a really good combo for changing the flavor of the API pres to suit your needs. I'm also really impressed with the API A2D converters at this point. For the price I think it's the best deal in town considering you get two great pres as well. The sonic difference from the Apollo A/D and pres is night and day on vocals and acoustic guitar. I don't want to make it sound like the Apollo converters are bad, they just aren't at the pro quality level these other converters are at. I saw one GS compare his API A2D A/D converters to his Lynx Hilo A/D and couldn't tell the difference. That's impressive to me.

The Apollo makes a great TB interface (Mac) and the plugins are truly amazing if not world class. I'm having a blast with the various compressors and tape plugins. I also like the preamp plugins, specifically the UA 610s, Neve 1073 channel strip, and API Channel Strip plugins. I really feel if you want pro quality conversion, you have to add higher end A/D and D/A conversion to the Apollo. Hope that doesn't start a GS war, but it's the truth IMHO. The Apollo is what it is, a great DAW interface/DSP unit with great plugins. It provides plenty of I/O for what I need, and a decent monitor controller which you won't find in many all in one units. I would put it's converters somewhere between entry level and pro.

I'm a bigger fan now of the HEDD 192 after comparing it to the Dangerous Source which gets rave reviews and compared to high end DAC units. It's a timeless piece of equipment that just keeps getting better with each converter upgrade.
Old 22nd December 2014
  #33
Lives for gear
Thanks for the reply! Do you know if there is a way to use the HEDD with an Apollo Twin?
Old 22nd December 2014
  #34
Gear Maniac
 

@ ahallada what's the signal flow of your setup and how are you connecting everything? i'm trying to see it in my head, but it's not working out for me right now :/
Old 23rd December 2014
  #35
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazer Toms View Post
Thanks for the reply! Do you know if there is a way to use the HEDD with an Apollo Twin?
Depends on which way you want to use it, A/D or D/A. If there are digital inputs or output capabilities you should be able to use it. Unfortunately there is no way that I know of using the Apollo Twin or Apollo Quad pres into the HEDD for A/D conversion. The Apollo interface Preamps are connected to their A/D converters and don't allow for processing outside that I know of. But you should be able to use an external Preamp into HEDD into Apollo and bypass the Apollo A/D converters. I would call UA and ask them. On the D/A side if the Apollo Twin can output digital then you may be able to go into HEDD digitally and then into a monitor controller and out to monitors.
Old 23rd December 2014
  #36
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwazi View Post
@ ahallada what's the signal flow of your setup and how are you connecting everything? i'm trying to see it in my head, but it's not working out for me right now :/
A/D

1. Mic>API A2D Mic input> API A2D analog out> HEDD 192 analog in>HEDD 192 SPDIF out>apollo Quad SPDIF in> TB to DAW.

2. Mic> API A2D Mic input> API A2D SPDIF out> apollo Quad SPDIF in>TB to DAW

3. Mic> apollo Quad> TB to DAW

D/A

1. DAW USB > Dangerous Source > Monitor out

2. DAW TB>apollo Quad> SPDIF out to HEDD 192 SPDIF in> HEDD 192 analog out>Dangerous Source analog in> Monitor out

3. DAW TB> apollo Quad> monitor out

Hope that helps!

Allen
Old 25th December 2014
  #37
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahallada View Post
A/D

1. Mic>API A2D Mic input> API A2D analog out> HEDD 192 analog in>HEDD 192 SPDIF out>apollo Quad SPDIF in> TB to DAW.

2. Mic> API A2D Mic input> API A2D SPDIF out> apollo Quad SPDIF in>TB to DAW

3. Mic> apollo Quad> TB to DAW

D/A

1. DAW USB > Dangerous Source > Monitor out

2. DAW TB>apollo Quad> SPDIF out to HEDD 192 SPDIF in> HEDD 192 analog out>Dangerous Source analog in> Monitor out

3. DAW TB> apollo Quad> monitor out

Hope that helps!

Allen
Perfect. Thank you.
Old 27th October 2015
  #38
Gear Head
 

Hi,

I'm in a similar situation to others in this thread, in the sense that i am buying a new apollo UAD thunderbolt 2 card (8 quad) and i have a cranesong hedd 192 too also.

The shop i am buying the apollo card from is saying the cranesong will not be needed anymore with the purchase of the new card, as the apollo has great converters and emulation plugs to buy via the UAD store.

This may be true, but I always like to get a more neutral opinion from others who aren't sales people to know it's honest information.

so what do you guys think? considering i make dance music only and work with plugins and soft synths only - should i part ex the cranesong to bring the cost of the apollo down, or buy the apollo and keep the cranesong too.

The advisor at the store said i will basically have to AD/DA twice with the cranesong as the apollo will be the monitor controller because the cranesong doesnt have one. Which is more hassle when i should be focused on making music.

so i suppose my question is - are the AD/DA convertors better and worth keeping over the apollos? and if not, is it worth keeping for the saturation over the UAD plugs?


Thanks
Old 28th October 2015
  #39
Gear Head
 

anyone?
Old 28th October 2015
  #40
Here for the gear
 

I'm also interested in this thread and thinking that do I need the HEDD 192 or not when I already have Apollo 16. It is a hard question to answer, as I don't have chance to make comparisons or go out and listen to HEDD192 by myself.

A lot of people tell me, "there is huge sonic difference". Sometimes, when people say such a thing, in the end it has been so small difference that none of my clients noticed a thing. But sometimes, there really is a difference which you can "more than feel".

I'm not interested in the tape emulation of HEDD at all, only the quality of AD/DA conversion against Apollo 16.

So those blessed ones who have had the chance to use both, please, keep up the good comments and opinions coming!
Old 30th October 2015
  #41
Gear Head
 

looks like were not going to get any help here :(

i'll repost it as a new topic see if we get some luck.
Old 31st October 2015
  #42
Gear Nut
Just my opinion, but if you're making dance music with software synths and not recording too much with microphones, I'd get the Apollo. You'll get way more use out of the plugins. The HEDD is a great converter with some harmonic enhancement to get things from outside your computer, into your computer. But it sounds like you're generating most of your sounds inside the computer.
Old 4th November 2015
  #43
Gear Head
 

reply i got back from another thread...

Ok he is full of it because you could send a digital signal into hedd for d to a conversion or you can send an a to d signal into hedd. You can keep the hedd for a mix print/ master print ad. This means you would send your mix out of your Apollo da to the hedd ad then back in Apollo spdif or adat. The hedd has some cool fx that take a few UA plugs to replicate and they are not free. In fact the tape and saturation and special plugs like culture vulture are the most expensive $300 and up a piece unless a deal is on.

If you don't find yourself using the hedd for monitoring or printing mixes/ masters you could also keep it as a converter for overheads or another stereo pair of whatever you like the hedd sound on.

If you aren't going to do any of those things with the hedd (and I'm sure there are many more uses for it) then I would trade it in. When was the last time the hedd was updated? The new Apollo da is a step up and many people are saying it's a great improvement. I also believe the ad was improved as well so the new Apollo is definitely a very very pro piece.

I would also look at Orion studio from antelope audio brand new more I/o and mastering grade monitor outputs. (You can check specs if you like best to hear them both in your studio)

Also the plugs are cool to track through but IMO it's not a substitute for outboard because it's after the ad conversion.

Also the newest motu interfaces with sabre converter chips are getting amazing review from pros as well as on this board. Also these offer tracking fx. They are cheaper as well meaning you could get the 16 in and 16 out converters they have for probably cheaper than new Apollo.

Don't forget about the new apogee ensemble. Major upgrade to this unit. Great sound. Reliable. Great drivers. All around or cheaper than new Apollo as well.

Lots of great options in this price range. Good luck
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