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New APOLLO blackface Converters Audio Interfaces
Old 24th June 2015
  #1
New APOLLO blackface Converters

Hi everyone.

I know the question has been asked alot lately but cant really find many answeres around.

How is the new AD/DA converters in the new Blackface apollo?

The only reason I have not jumped on the Apollo train before was because of the converters not sounding good enough.
I come from Prism Orpheus and Lynx Aurora conversion and I´m ready ditch those and jump to the UA family if just the converters got a little better. Simply because I want all the other stuff so bad that Apollo offers.

Anyone out there with experience from the new Blackfaced Apollos regarding it´s conversion? (AD & DA)

Thank you!
//Ted Krotkiewski
Old 24th June 2015
  #2
Gear Nut
 
Doc Asbury's Avatar
 

Hi Ted, I have the same question and have spent the last 24 hours searching the internet. The best info I've found so far is on the UAD forum where I found an indepth thread discussing the differences. The general opinion seems that the differences in A/D D/A conversion are audibly negligible. Statistically the published differences in noise and THD differ by under 3 dB at most, which most people (myself included) can't discern.

The most interesting points made re: black vs. silver had to do with patching & connectivity, apparently there are significant differences there that aren't obvious at first glance.

But I haven't found any opinions such as "these new converters smoke the old ones!" if that's what you're looking for to make the leap. I hope others who have actually heard them side by side will chime in.
Old 24th June 2015
  #3
I have a blackface Apollo. The converters "smoke" those in the silver face. Oh right, I have never compared them. I really don't know. My point is information on open websites may not always be reliable. Not sure how the the converter bashing of the original Apollo got started but it never ceases to amaze me the way certain gear immediately gets love and other gear - not so much. And, what is often most remarkable is that most of the people offering these usually wildly varying opinions have not actually used, heard or compared the devices. So with that I just got the blackface 8P because it did what I needed a converter to do - exactly what I needed it to do. It fit my budget, space and most of all, operational requirements. Imagine my surprise when it sounded great.

Allot of people are afraid to make their own decisions until they have vetted the decision through a public process and find a decision that does not illicit any responses that might make them feel stupid. There is an extreme psychological factor that goes into these choices that has little, if anything, to do with sonic differences. Yeah, hold on - let me get down of the soap box…...
Old 24th June 2015
  #4
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djshire's Avatar
 

....who decided that "blackface" was a good term to use for this?
Old 24th June 2015
  #5
I can't wait to hear the converters in the new Apollo Tweed.
Old 24th June 2015
  #6
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maks's Avatar
 

had the original, the new is of the same flavor(obviously cause they all can be merged into one big thunderbolt system) which is staying true to the source input signal(fun begins with processing, recording)..the new has more power (head-amps), more 3d, much more clarity all around. (especially the upper registers) is it a night to day difference ? somewhere in the middle overall a worthy successor.

Last edited by maks; 23rd November 2015 at 04:54 PM..
Old 24th June 2015
  #7
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Billy Buck's Avatar
 

Try before you buy and form your own opinion:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jCNxed657c

That being said, as an original silverface owner (purchased one of the first ones back in April 2012), I am sticking with my SF as it sounds plenty darn good for my rock & roll tastes. What would get me to upgrade my SF to BF would be UA coming out will an Apollo Octo (8 DSP's for realtime & unison processing). Eight internal DSP's would do me more good right now than upgraded converters. I do believe UA will come out with an Octo version in 2016, as consumer demand will dictate it. Then I'll upgrade to the BF.

Cheers,

Billy Buck
Old 25th June 2015
  #8
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by G0G0MRM0J0 View Post
I can't wait to hear the converters in the new Apollo Tweed.
Apollo 'Tweed'??
Old 25th June 2015
  #9
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy Buck View Post
Try before you buy and form your own opinion:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jCNxed657c

That being said, as an original silverface owner (purchased one of the first ones back in April 2012), I am sticking with my SF as it sounds plenty darn good for my rock & roll tastes. What would get me to upgrade my SF to BF would be UA coming out will an Apollo Octo (8 DSP's for realtime & unison processing). Eight internal DSP's would do me more good right now than upgraded converters. I do believe UA will come out with an Octo version in 2016, as consumer demand will dictate it. Then I'll upgrade to the BF.

Cheers,

Billy Buck
I could not believe they did not do the Apollo Octo when the new version was released. Seems like it should be technically possible and should not have been too difficult since they were already doing a redesign anyway. It is also desparately needed seeing as how some of these new plugins use huge amounts of DSP. It was a huge let down to see the new Apollos without an Octo version.
Old 25th June 2015
  #10
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deng's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
I have a blackface Apollo. The converters "smoke" those in the silver face. Oh right, I have never compared them. I really don't know. My point is information on open websites may not always be reliable. Not sure how the the converter bashing of the original Apollo got started but it never ceases to amaze me the way certain gear immediately gets love and other gear - not so much. And, what is often most remarkable is that most of the people offering these usually wildly varying opinions have not actually used, heard or compared the devices. So with that I just got the blackface 8P because it did what I needed a converter to do - exactly what I needed it to do. It fit my budget, space and most of all, operational requirements. Imagine my surprise when it sounded great.

Allot of people are afraid to make their own decisions until they have vetted the decision through a public process and find a decision that does not illicit any responses that might make them feel stupid. There is an extreme psychological factor that goes into these choices that has little, if anything, to do with sonic differences. Yeah, hold on - let me get down of the soap box…...
Just unpacked mine and about to register and set it up......lo and behold they want to grab more money from me.....have to decide whether I wanna upgrade to a custom software package. So I'll report back in the next few days. Can only compare it against the iD22, I won't bother with the 003.....lol

I'm with the poster^^^ I quoted...
I made the purchase based on my requirements as a home studio guitarist but what sold me are the unison preamp plugs and the reports/reviews I read from credible posts/posters (...lol...)

I have a brownface Fender amp......

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Last edited by deng; 25th June 2015 at 04:34 AM..
Old 25th June 2015
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by djshire View Post
....who decided that "blackface" was a good term to use for this?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Apollo 'Tweed'??
See vintage Fender Amps
Old 25th June 2015
  #12
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
See vintage Fender Amps
Uhm, still confused...he said 'converters' in the 'new apollo tweed'>>

Quote:
Originally Posted by G0G0MRM0J0 View Post
I can't wait to hear the converters in the new Apollo Tweed.
Converters in a vintage fender amp?

Do you mean he's making a play on words with the 'blackface' fender and calling the new apollo blackface a 'tweed'?

Guess it was lost on me since a fender blackface is not a 'tweed'...
Old 25th June 2015
  #13
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Uhm, still confused...he said 'converters' in the 'new apollo tweed'>>



Converters in a vintage fender amp?

Do you mean he's making a play on words with the 'blackface' fender and calling the new apollo blackface a 'tweed'?
I believe, because of Fender amps, many things get called black face or silver face. I think the Tweed thing was a joke, but you'd have to ask the person who posted it.
Old 25th June 2015
  #14
Uh, yeah. It's a joke. I know a blackface is not a tweed. Figure if we're gonna call the new apollos 'blackface', might as well call the old versions 'silver face' and it's not a stretch to say hey what about an apollo tweed.
Old 25th June 2015
  #15
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swafford's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by G0G0MRM0J0 View Post
Uh, yeah. It's a joke. I know a blackface is not a tweed. Figure if we're gonna call the new apollos 'blackface', might as well call the old versions 'silver face' and it's not a stretch to say hey what about an apollo tweed.
Dude, this is very serious Gear Slutz, not some comedy Gear Slutz.
Old 25th June 2015
  #16
Very serious intweed... *places on his monocle*
Old 25th June 2015
  #17
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Boss Man View Post
I could not believe they did not do the Apollo Octo when the new version was released. Seems like it should be technically possible and should not have been too difficult since they were already doing a redesign anyway. It is also desparately needed seeing as how some of these new plugins use huge amounts of DSP. It was a huge let down to see the new Apollos without an Octo version.
While I would LOVE to have an OCTO Apollo, I seem to remember somewhere on the forum the UA guy chimed in and said it's not possible to fit it in the chassis - 8 Sharc chips just won't fit with all the other stuff in there.
Old 25th June 2015
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldTools View Post
While I would LOVE to have an OCTO Apollo, I seem to remember somewhere on the forum the UA guy chimed in and said it's not possible to fit it in the chassis - 8 Sharc chips just won't fit with all the other stuff in there.
That's what the guys @ UA have mentioned to me as well... with all the rest of the items packed in their box, they do not have room for 4 additional shark chips. Yet- they somehow made a satellite octo.

BTW... they came out with new converters on the Apollo blackface versions because some other, unnamed competitors, came out with a new interface and slightly beat them on some of the spec's. These were a response to that.

And- the Apollo Tweed thing- well that's also an allusion to Rocky.

https://yt3.ggpht.com/-bAScdrbJatg/A...k-no/photo.jpg
Old 25th June 2015
  #19
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GP_Hawk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by G0G0MRM0J0 View Post
........
BTW... they came out with new converters on the Apollo blackface versions because some other, unnamed competitors, came out with a new interface and slightly beat them on some of the spec's. These were a response to that....
You mean the unamed one with thunderbolt, usb, and avb connectivity?
Old 25th June 2015
  #20
Gear Nut
 

I doubt very much if anyone will be able to hear the converter difference between the silverface and blackface model. Specs are good on papers but in reality is very difficult to hear the difference unless you have cat’s hearing.
Old 25th June 2015
  #21
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by G0G0MRM0J0 View Post
That's what the guys @ UA have mentioned to me as well... with all the rest of the items packed in their box, they do not have room for 4 additional shark chips. Yet- they somehow made a satellite octo.
It's not actual physical space that's the issue, it has to do with the amount of connector pins on the buss or something that the apollo is designed around...they used all the pins. Would have to redesigned the whole apollo unit around a different circuit board and chip sets (not the SHARC chips).

The Octo satellite only has to do outboard DSP...no analog audio interfacing/conversion, etc....

I'm sure an Octo Apollo is in the future....but unlikely for the next couple of years considering they just came out with these updated blackface version...
Old 25th June 2015
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GPl View Post
You mean the unamed one with thunderbolt, usb, and avb connectivity?
Exactly.
Old 26th June 2015
  #23
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maks View Post
had the original, the new is of the same flavor(obviously cause they all can be merged into one big thunderbolt system) which is staying true to its source(fun begins with processing, recording)..the new has more power (head-amps), more 3d, much more clarity all around. (especially the upper registers) is it a night to day difference ? somewhere in the middle overall a worthy successor.
Thanks for this. Anyone else tried UA's so-called "next generation" converters? Let's hold 'em to task for using those words and share some actual user experiences.
Old 26th June 2015
  #24
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They sound good to me, i can mix on the old ones and i can mix on the new ones.

Not sure how good you guys are wanting them to be.
Old 26th June 2015
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GPl View Post
You mean the unamed one with thunderbolt, usb, and avb connectivity?
That unnamed one did a fantastic job at killing the MK1 Apollo for me. God that Apollo sounded like garbage, and I'm not even a converter snob. Unnamed, single space, 16 I/O converter for life!!

(PS, you can actually name them whatever you want and make it flash on the screen. The 12 year old in me thought BONER SLICE was an appropriate name. Guess what pops up when I select the IO in Pro Tools...)
Old 26th June 2015
  #26
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mitzush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Petesie2 View Post
Thanks for this. Anyone else tried UA's so-called "next generation" converters? Let's hold 'em to task for using those words and share some actual user experiences.
I've had an Apollo Twin for a year or so and like it very much. I got a new BF Apollo 8 a couple of weeks ago.

I was fully prepared not to notice a difference in conversion.

Well I did notice, and I can say that the improvement in clarity and definition was a marked one. I actually felt like turning down the tweeter on my monitors.

No idea if anyone else has had the same experience, but I wasn't prepared for it.
Old 26th June 2015
  #27
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deng's Avatar
Never used the previous Apollo but compared to my current DAC’s
…….. a late afternoon > mid morn difference…..lol

In my treated room, the immediate apparent impression was improved clarity, brighter without the brittleness on the very first tracks/songs.

After several hours and a new day’s listening session, my ears having acclimatised, noticeable boomy bass response on some material in the past has all but disappeared and is now tighter, focused and well defined ( At some stage I thought my room acoustics needed some fine tuning/modification…..not now! )

++ clarity, +++ definition, ++ soundstage/depth, + musicality

Improved the weakest link in the system for now……lol
There’s no going back, a great sounding match with the Twins

Pics or it never happened…….
Attached Thumbnails
New APOLLO blackface Converters-ba8.jpg  
Old 26th June 2015
  #28
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mitzush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by deng View Post

Pics or it never happened…….
there ya go

Old 27th June 2015
  #29
Nice setup! But the monitor that high? I'd get neck cramps...
Old 27th June 2015
  #30
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mitzush's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
Nice setup!
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
But the monitor that high? I'd get neck cramps...
I love it. My eyes are level with the top 1/4 of the screen. I doubt that would give anyone neck cramps.
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