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New Motu Ultralite MK3 vs Apogee Duet Audio Interfaces
Old 10th October 2008
  #1
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
New Motu Ultralite MK3 vs Apogee Duet

Hi All,

I write electronic based music on a Mac Pro running the latest version of OSX and Logic Studio 8 (8.02) plus a Korg MS2000 and Emagic midi USB interface. I've been using the built in sound in the Mac.

I want to incorporate some occasional vocals and bass/electric guitar in my songs and therefore have to buy a 'soundcard'.

I've narrowed down my choices to:

Apogee Duet
Motu Ultralite MK3 (The new one just released with 24/192 & DSP effects)

The Apogee appears to be an elegant solution and the Motu is the most fully featured. There is little info on the new Utralite (MK3) around (previous posts here refer to the MK1) so it's difficult to determine which is the better way to go.

Is the Duet still ahead of the Ultralite, now that the Ultralite is updated, in the sound quality/pre's stakes? Or is there little or no difference (in sound quality) and the Ultralite is the better value with it's large number of i/o's etc?

This is a really tough decision, particularly with the Ultralite being updated, so I'm hoping the experts can help me out a bit

Thanks in advance for your help!
Old 10th October 2008
  #2
Gear nut
 

midi is the only thing the ultralite would offer you, and you already have that covered. get the duet. i own both, and i only regret buying one of them.
Old 10th October 2008
  #3
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Thanks for the reply erich! Is your Ultralite the new (MK3) version? Just curious as the Ultralite has gone from 24/96 to 24/192 and I wonder if the converters etc have been updated and are now on a par with the Duet...

Cheers
Old 11th October 2008
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
allyouneedisears's Avatar
 

The Duet sounds amazing, that's what matters. Get the Duet.
Old 11th October 2008
  #5
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Thanks for the reply andrewjudah!

It certainly seems that the overwhelming consensus is that the Duet sounds pretty good
Old 11th October 2008
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VNVNation View Post
Thanks for the reply andrewjudah!

It certainly seems that the overwhelming consensus is that the Duet sounds pretty good
I have the Duet after having the MOTU Ultralite (not MKIII) for a year or so...the Duet sounds great, the Ultralite sounded meh.
Old 11th October 2008
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Has anyone used the NEW UltraLite?

Hello VNV:

Note that not a single writer up to the time I'm posting this has used one of the two products you're asking about: The new UltraLite.

The UL and the Duet are such different products that features alone would rule one or the other out. One is a full multi-track recorder and playback device in a real hardware box with real connectors and good multi-channel hardware metering; the other is a very good sounding box built for simplicity-assuming the proprietary breakout cable is simple.

No one here has heard the new UL.

The new UL may be great or awful. But the best people to tell you about the UL are the people who have used it.

Still, back to the beginning: These boxes are so different I'm a little surprised at the difficulty of a choice.

Mostly, it depends on what you're doing and what your priorities are. I would *guess* that both products are very good at what they do.
Old 11th October 2008
  #8
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Good points JEGG. They are certainly very different! Here's how I sort of see it:

Duet:
+Sound quality (in and out)
+Elegant, simple design
+The Apogee brand
-Only 2in/2out
-Closed system (can't upgrade at later stage)

Ultralite MK3:
+/-Sound quality is an unknown
+Comprehensive routing options
+Expandable
-Paying for DSP effects I probably won't use
-Possibly complex to set up and operate (Cuemix vs Maestro)

If the price difference was more (here in Oz the Duet is $A700 and you can get the Ultralite for about $A850) the Duet would be a done deal.

However, you are spot-on, this is a moot point until someone has a MK3 and can confirm a sonic improvement or not...
Old 12th October 2008
  #9
Lives for gear
 
desotoslo's Avatar
 

i have both, duet killz. though good recordings are definitely possible on the ultralite. but yea, duet killz.
Old 21st October 2008
  #10
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Okay, I finally got to directly compare the Duet and the Ultralite MK3 at a local dealer and I decided to go with the Duet as it sounds clearly better by quite a margin than the Ultralite. This isn't to say that the Ultralite wasn't good, it is; and at the price is a great value if you need all the i/o and DSP effects etc. However, the MK3 sounds murky and less detailed in a direct comparison IMHO.

Thanks for all the responses and help!
Old 14th November 2008
  #11
Lives for gear
 
blaugruen7's Avatar
how many inputs can you have at once at the duet?
Old 16th November 2008
  #12
Lives for gear
 
blaugruen7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by VNVNation View Post
Okay, I finally got to directly compare the Duet and the Ultralite MK3 at a local dealer and I decided to go with the Duet as it sounds clearly better by quite a margin than the Ultralite. This isn't to say that the Ultralite wasn't good, it is; and at the price is a great value if you need all the i/o and DSP effects etc. However, the MK3 sounds murky and less detailed in a direct comparison IMHO.

Thanks for all the responses and help!
i am exactly between these two units.
it seems you have decided yourself.

you say MUCH better soundquality?
you listened back and forth with the same headphones to the same material?

how stable is the duet?
Old 16th November 2008
  #13
Lives for gear
 

how stable is the duet?[/quote]

I've had Duet since it came out, it's switched on for weeks at a time, never any problems.
Old 16th November 2008
  #14
Lives for gear
My Duet just might be my favorite piece of gear I own. Simple, elegant, SUPER PORTABLE, easy to use, and I never have to worry that my interface is the reason something doesn't sound great.heh
Old 18th July 2009
  #15
Gear interested
Cool

I have same problem mate.
Apogee or Motu .... or Focusrite PRO 24 DSP (new) ???
For me Apogee is like a toy for "rich kids". Ok sound great but I don't think it's completely flat signal. Motu Have more I/O and DSP, sounds flat.
Any way new Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP is interesting with 0 latency and "Virtual Reference Monitoring" nice pre-amp's.

...uppssss bit late post

Last edited by adimix; 18th July 2009 at 02:36 PM.. Reason: late post
Old 18th July 2009
  #16
Gear Nut
 

I Would of purchased the Apogee but its mac only. I went with the Motu UL MK3 and really like it. The new drivers work real good in Windows 7 and 64 bit ones are available for when I upgrade. The build quality of the box is amazing and with my TI express card the thing sounds great even at very high CPU load. My only issues is there is no Motu run forum and it seems like not alot of people have one. The sound of this thing is really growing on me..I wish I could find more comparisons/opinions of its converter quality. The idea of the Apogge is REALLY cool but no windows driver even though apogee had windows drivers for other devices really makes me think twice about a company.. I moved from Protools to Samplitude in order to avoid this kind of crap..
Old 6th February 2010
  #17
Gear interested
 

@jrwaltb

I wanna do exactly what you have done, but its a tough decision. The duet and logic vs samplitude and the motu UL 3.

Got any more advice? on the subject or your experiences so far with your motu-samp set up?
Old 7th February 2010
  #18
Gear maniac
 
Illmo's Avatar
 

FWIW, I just got a MOTU UL MKIII and it sounds great!(way better than my M audio FT ultra) The actual device however, sucks.The headphone volume and the master volume are the same knob, u have to click it, to switch.There is also no input/track mix knob , so some sort of mixer is a must. The onboard effects sound great (but who uses those anyway)...never used apogee and other than a Big Ben(someday), I probably never will. For the money, i would either stick with motu, or go RME.
Old 7th February 2010
  #19
I thought I read the new UL's drivers don't go as low in ASIO buffers than previous versions, which would make latency a little higher.

Other than that, the UL is a pretty sexy unit.
Old 8th February 2010
  #20
Gear nut
 

I picked up a MOTU Ultralite MK3 to replace my Duet when I wanted a second mixing bus. I did not do a thorough head-to-head comparison, but the headphone output from the MOTU was so inferior to the Duet that I sent the MOTU back immediately and ordered an Ensemble.


:Fuzz
Old 9th February 2010
  #21
Gear maniac
 
Illmo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzworks View Post
I picked up a MOTU Ultralite MK3 to replace my Duet when I wanted a second mixing bus. I did not do a thorough head-to-head comparison, but the headphone output from the MOTU was so inferior to the Duet that I sent the MOTU back immediately and ordered an Ensemble.


:Fuzz
I cant stand the Headphone setup at all, but i love the stability and sound.I basically just need a headphone/monitor mixer and ill be golden....
Old 18th June 2011
  #22
motu ultralight hybrid vs duet

duet sucks ballz i heard it and i am not impressed at all the ensemble is awsome but the duet sux i heard the motu and i was impressed but im recording vocals so idk wat u guys are recording drums or guitar but for vocals i dont like the duet its sound kinda like an mbox with i also dont like and ofcourse it sounds better than mbox but still in that low range im tryn to get a pro sound from what i hear i like the notu unless ur goin for th symphony or ensembletutt
Old 18th June 2011
  #23
the motu has 192k hd audio how can a duet sound better than hd???
Old 18th June 2011
  #24
i take it back they both suck just go for the ensemble or rme ff800
Old 18th June 2011
  #25
Sonic Hooligan
 
Llitsor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by YungNyce718 View Post
duet sucks ballz i heard it and i am not impressed at all the ensemble is awsome but the duet sux i heard the motu and i was impressed but im recording vocals so idk wat u guys are recording drums or guitar but for vocals i dont like the duet its sound kinda like an mbox with i also dont like and ofcourse it sounds better than mbox but still in that low range im tryn to get a pro sound from what i hear i like the notu unless ur goin for th symphony or ensembletutt

Christ, is that really English where you come from?
Old 18th June 2011
  #26
Lives for gear
 
desotoslo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by YungNyce718 View Post
duet sucks ballz i heard it and i am not impressed at all the ensemble is awsome but the duet sux i heard the motu and i was impressed but im recording vocals so idk wat u guys are recording drums or guitar but for vocals i dont like the duet its sound kinda like an mbox with i also dont like and ofcourse it sounds better than mbox but still in that low range im tryn to get a pro sound from what i hear i like the notu unless ur goin for th symphony or ensembletutt
duet definitely doesn't suck.

my jump from my ultralite mk1 to the duet was like
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