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Apogee Duet vs. Mbox 2 Pro DEATHMATCH! Audio Interfaces
Old 13th August 2008
  #31
Gear Maniac
 

I've done some more recordings, I hear a difference between the Duet and the Mbox 2 pro, its slight, but the Duet sounds better to me.

More importantly, my outboard tube pres sound better through the Duet, because i can completely bypass the preamp gain stage, unlike the mbox 2 pro.


-Freq
Old 13th August 2008
  #32
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I could hear a difference in the files. Not much though. I also think that the midrange is flattering on your guitar in those examples. The transients were better on the apogees but I really had to listen to it.

You could make a nice record with either of those boxes. I mix down to a g4 connected via an Apogee Duet. I have never used the mic preamps though. The outs hardly ever get used here either as I import the bounces back to the other mac via the network.

I use 24 channels of motu 1224 to record too and then bounce the whole shebang through a Trident mixer to another mac that has the Duet on the main outs. All of those new boxes sound a little better than the Motus at this point. I put an aarvark clock on the MOTUs and I like that.

My personal view on alot of this is 1. Workflow is key. 2. Use good preamps. Just don't use garbage pres and you will be ok.
Old 15th August 2008
  #33
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by staudio View Post
Yeah I do prefer the Duet. I have never noticed any hiss under any monitoring conditions. I have used several sets of high end cans, monitors, and monitor controllers with the unit and no hiss here. I keep the output cables very short, six feet.
I think the mbox has better seperation on the outs than the duet. I hear better imaging.

Duet everything kind of sounds too perfect, and muddled.


-Freq
Old 15th August 2008
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gracejames View Post
ST, appreciate your comments/feedback. And i believe you. I would expect the Duet to be better but i am guessing that the difference will not justify buying it for me. I will do my own tests in the future to make sure. I think it may be better to go to the next level of converter quality (ie...AD16X/UA2192,Aurora, etc). Even though, i think the Duet is at a phenom price point and is so handy being small for portable and others uses. I wish i could hear some files from you too.
The Duet is a great option for those that want a very simple system with limited high quality functions. I use it almost exclusively for remote stereo recording and as a listening DAC at home. I use better multi track converters like the AD16x, Rosetta 200, and Mytek 8192 when working in the studio. If your budget/needs allow, then you should absolutely get a higher end converter. I think it is important to buy a product that fits your requirements as closely as possible. For me the Duet was a good solution to my need for a simple portable unit with reasonable quality.
Old 15th August 2008
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freq18Hz View Post
I think the mbox has better seperation on the outs than the duet. I hear better imaging.

Duet everything kind of sounds too perfect, and muddled.


-Freq
Use what works best for your needs.
Old 8th September 2008
  #36
Here for the gear
 

Arrow

Thanks very much for those double blinds!

Having a similar dilemma, I resolved to go with the Mbox2 Pro (lol) So I could run
'Alsihad'.

However, I use it mainly as an S/PDIF inpur for my Focusrite Trackmaster with DAC card
for my front end. I tried the DI inputs on the MBox 2 pro about three times, and that was enough dfegad

Apart from that, it's really just a glorified dongle.

Apparently, Focusrite presented Digidesign with it's version of the Mbox2 ( they did the Mbox 1 & pre's) and Digi turned it down. Something about it being over spec for their market position... Funny company, Digidesign...
Old 17th October 2008
  #37
Gear Nut
 

Freq, I got your point with this kind of test, but I also felt that A/B is at least for me the best way to compare sonic qualities.

I would love the you could some simultaneous recordings so that people that are used to A/B could do that also.it's up to you.

anyway, thanks for your work
and comments


If anyone is interested in a Mic preamp shootout go here:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-mu...-tl-audio.html
Old 17th October 2008
  #38
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This is very interesting, I had been hoping someone would do a shootout of the sorts.

I did a DAW shootout between Logic, ProTools, and Cubase. We exported files (dodging the summing algorithms), bounced to disk (utilizing the algorithms), and recorded directly from the outputs of the I/O (doging the export function and the summing, to hear solely the DAW itself). Additionally, all three were sent to tape and back into the DAW to be evaluated again.

We then did a blind A/B test between between 6 or 7 of my friends... the outcome?

The only thing noticable was wether or not it was bounced to tape (fairly obvious).

Which was voted the best sounding? The bounced track from ProTools, not to tape


*to be fair, we didn't "tweak" anything before going to 2" to make it sound the best possible. All were monitored in a top notch studio through a SSL 9k on custom Meyer speakers and NS10's. heh
Old 18th October 2008
  #39
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jonsays's Avatar
 

I love my Duet. That's all I can say.
Old 19th October 2008
  #40
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Newcleardaze's Avatar
 

Its not really a deathmatch unless you smash the loser...
Old 17th January 2009
  #41
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womoma's Avatar
 

There is a huge descrepancy between the reputation of these boxes, and their performance.

It's quite clear that the MB2P is a very capable recording interface, and when compared like this, one must conclude that either the MBox Pro deserves a better reputation, or the Duet is overrated.

I would also like to hear some similtanious recordings, which I am sure will be further vindication for MB2P owners.

Yes, the Duet is sexy and has that cool Apogee pedigree, but the MBOX 2 Pro offers similar quality, and many more features, albeit for a bit more money.

I think the Duet is better value for "project studios", but for a band using Pro Tools, the MB2P is the way to go.

Most importantly, I think no sleep need be lost about mysical magical converters and preamps, because the difference between these 2 devices seems to be at best, subtle, but more likely, completely subjective, or imaginary.
Old 19th May 2009
  #42
Gear Addict
 

I love my Duet. Using Logic on a MAC for my personal recordings, so Protools isn't that compelling for me. I like the price point, the reliability and the sonic performance of the Duet just fine. I can EQ and engineer my recordings to sound the way I need if there are any deficiencies. Whether one preamp/interface is better is subjective in many cases. Both are clearly quite worthy. Do they sound different? It seems so. But is the Duet or M-Box clearly deficient in any way? If you want and need to run Protools, then the Duet won't work. But sonically, for the money, it's just fine.

Some people might prefer the m-box, others ...a Profire610 or Mackie Onyx or <fill in the blank>. And some will prefer the Duet. While I tend to get wrapped up in A-B shootouts, wating to clearly pronounce a sonic champion, I've realized if I learn I learn how to best use whichever Preamp/Interface I have, learn to EQ it, record with it etc, its all good.
Old 8th June 2009
  #43
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Doesn't the mBox 2 Pro audio have to be routed via Digi's core audio software before hitting Logic and all onter non-PT apps? Word on the street is that Core Audio is a sound quality killer. MB2P sounds best in PT they say. Can anyone confirm all these rumours?

If Core Audio does subtract sound quality and if MB2P audio is routed through Core Audio when using the MB2P with Logic, then maybe if the MB2P is much better sounding than the Duet w/ Logic when the MB2P is used "natively" w/ PT app.
Old 11th June 2009
  #44
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by relaxo View Post
Doesn't the mBox 2 Pro audio have to be routed via Digi's core audio software before hitting Logic and all onter non-PT apps? Word on the street is that Core Audio is a sound quality killer. MB2P sounds best in PT they say. Can anyone confirm all these rumours?

If Core Audio does subtract sound quality and if MB2P audio is routed through Core Audio when using the MB2P with Logic, then maybe if the MB2P is much better sounding than the Duet w/ Logic when the MB2P is used "natively" w/ PT app.
That doesn't seem right. Too many Logic Pro users and lovers in the recording scene. If Core was a sound quality killer, wouldn't that be more widely advertized and known? Hmmm. Can't believe everything you hear or read. I have to take this with a grain of salt.
Old 11th June 2009
  #45
RTR
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I see you have blankets over the speakers too when using the mbox!!! That's what it sounded like to me when I bought mine, 4 day's later sold it and bought a M.A. 610 and even my old ears could hear night and day..so yes..I hate the mbox from my own experience!! But the Duet does kinda sound like my 610, to me that is..I don't want anyone freaking out!!!
Old 9th September 2010
  #46
Here for the gear
 

Deathmatch: Apogee vs Mbox

I just purchased an Apogee ONE (based on glowing reviews I found EVERYWHERE) - and at least 1 reviewer who said it ate the Mbox's lunch for sound quality. However, using the Apogee means I have to get another piece of software under my belt (Soundtrack Pro, in this case). For recording in the field, I found the whole process a bit cumbersome - but perhaps that was due largely to my unfamiliarity with SoundTrack Pro. I'm quite at home in ProTools.

That said, the quality was certainly very good. I used a AKG C414-B II XL into the Apogee ONE (which supplied the 48v phantom power) into a MacBook Pro. Typically, I am only dealing with recording voice on location.

I began reconsidering my choice of Apogee simply because it would be easier if I could stay in the ProTools domain. (All my post is done on a ProTools HD2 system.)

However, I'm still seeing comments that seem to snub the sound quality of a ProTools Mbox over the Apogee. Listening to the Duet VS Mbox Deathmatch comparison files, I was hard pressed to hear any difference (listening thru my MacBook Pro.) Perhaps, I'll give them another listen over studio monitors. But at this point, I really don't hear any discernible difference among the samples.

Steve St. John
New Orleans
Old 9th September 2010
  #47
Here for the gear
 

Cool Apples to Apples?

I just purchased an Apogee ONE (based on glowing reviews I found EVERYWHERE) - and at least 1 reviewer who said it ate the Mbox's lunch for sound quality. However, using the Apogee means I have to get another piece of software under my belt (Soundtrack Pro, in this case). For recording in the field, I found the whole process a bit cumbersome - but perhaps that was due largely to my unfamiliarity with SoundTrack Pro. I'm quite at home in ProTools.

That said, the quality was certainly very good. I used a AKG C414-B II XL into the Apogee ONE (which supplied the 48v phantom power) into a MacBook Pro. Typically, I am only dealing with recording voice on location.

I began reconsidering my choice of Apogee simply because it would be easier if I could stay in the ProTools domain. (All my post is done on a ProTools HD2 system.)

However, I'm still seeing comments that seem to snub the sound quality of a ProTools Mbox over the Apogee. Listening to the Duet VS Mbox Deathmatch comparison files, I was hard pressed to hear any difference (listening thru my MacBook Pro.) Perhaps, I'll give them another listen over studio monitors. But at this point, I really don't hear any discernible difference among the samples.

Steve St. John
New Orleans
Old 10th September 2010
  #48
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= F$ ='s Avatar
 

Great test!! lol @ the way this confused all the Duet Parrots.
Old 14th October 2010
  #49
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DAC´s

I believe this test is leaving something important out. Apogee is known for its DAC´s, which we obviously aren´t listening to, because we´re using our own DAC´s.I´ve never used the Duet, but when I installed the Rosetta at a studio I used to work at, the difference (with a MOTU 828) night and day. Not talking about recording or preamps, just listening to CD´s from the computer.
So even if we are listening to the ADC´s and the preamp, we´re hearing it all through the same DAC.

Cheers
Old 19th December 2010
  #50
Here for the gear
 

I hear quite a difference between the two.
The Apogee has more depth because of its 114 db dynamic range.
As far as I know the converters are exactly the same as in the ensemble.
You hear what you play.Theyy are not there to colour the sound.
The Mbox sounds like it was recorded in a cave by comparison.
The midrange emphasis you hear there is actually lack of hi-end detail.

It's the same thing with certain guitar cables.
Try using an evidence audio cable for awhile and then try going back to your regular cable.
You will notice the difference fairly quickly.
There is far more depth and balance to the evidence audio cable.

One other thing to point out here, it depends what you're playing back the tracks on as well.Maybe your speakers aren't bringing out the difference.
But pretty much everyone can hear the diffence.
There were some spoken word tests I found somewhere on line with the Apogee and mbox and the difference was very noticeable.
It's an increase in the depth of the sound.
I can't find them again though.
Old 20th December 2010
  #51
Registered User
 

the duet is way better. Most low end sluts are use to that low end build up, but it becomes a mess when theres a full mix of it. On top of that the duet is predictable. My mic will sound like my mic not my mic mixed with low end / mid range mud. How is this better? well take vocals for example if I'm using a compressor and my pre is clean my mic sounds good more of the signal I'm going to use hits that compressor giving me a louder clean useable gain level a more pro sounding vocal results. If however I'm having to cut the mud before the compressor I bring the mic pre up to compensate which adds more noise. If I dont cut it the vocal is not compressed as much in the vocal range and I can't hit the compressor as hard on the way in. That can make a very big diffrence. also a cleaner pre gives me more options in post. I can add the warmth I want later or tube sound or whatever rather then trying to compensate the way I work / mix for the sound of the preamp. Those diffrences on my hd600 headphones were not subtle to my ears
Old 29th September 2011
  #52
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Can I have my cake and eat it too?

How about if I got a Duet 2 to use with Logic, and picked up Pro Tools 9? I would need a MIDI to USB cable to get my older keyboard in, but wouldn't that be a good solution?
Old 21st October 2011
  #53
Here for the gear
 

It funny, I was hear a much bigger difference betweens A and B then between G and L
To be honest I don't hear any different between G and L . also fanny that all those smart people that can alway tell you what is better where scared to tell what they think before # 18. Thank for the great test, I learned much more about the business of pro audio from this test then which one is better the Mbox 2 pro or Apogee Duet.

David
Sound Effects | Free Sound Effect | Sound effects downloads , The Long Beach Recording Studios. - Long Beach Music, Voiceover and Foley recording in long beach California
Old 21st October 2011
  #54
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mcgruff's Avatar
 

I can't see any files. It's asking me to login.
Old 23rd March 2013
  #55
Gear Addict
 

Do you guys think the Duet 1 will be an improvement over the Mbox 3?
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