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Orion 32+ GEN 3 vs Aurora(n) 16
Old 27th March 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Orion 32+ GEN 3 vs Aurora(n) 16

Hello Gearslutz! How are you?

I'm looking to upgrade my converters, and my choice have been set on either the newest Orion 32+ GEN 3 or the Aurora(n) 16.

I would like to know if any of you guys had the chance to try out the Orion 32+ GEN 3 yet? I'm really curious to know how does it compare soundwise to the Aurora, as I am really tempted to get extra channels to feed my SSL Sigma (for less money!).

Thank you!
Old 31st March 2019
  #2
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Bump
Old 6th April 2019
  #3
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After A/B-ing, I ended up preferring the Aurora (n) and went with it!
Old 12th April 2019
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsuko G. View Post
After A/B-ing, I ended up preferring the Aurora (n) and went with it!
You made the right choice, I've owned both, the Aurora is way better, plus Antelope support and their drivers are some of the worst I've ever experienced
Old 12th April 2019
  #5
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Dan O's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzbass56 View Post
You made the right choice, I've owned both, the Aurora is way better, plus Antelope support and their drivers are some of the worst I've ever experienced
Can you give me some more detail on this. Do you use it with a Mac? I'm considering a orion+ gen 3 but I'm not sure about the stability of the drivers and so on.

Btw. Have you looked inside one and checked what converters they use?
Old 22nd May 2019
  #6
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So far so good....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan O View Post
Can you give me some more detail on this. Do you use it with a Mac? I'm considering a orion+ gen 3 but I'm not sure about the stability of the drivers and so on.

Btw. Have you looked inside one and checked what converters they use?
Note that I do *not use it with a Mac...and I don't have Thunderbolt; however, as I've mentioned in the thread I've started here on GS about this unit, the drivers have been rock solid over USB 2 for both of my studio computers.

I cannot speak to past experiences with driver support and/or stability - and there's an undeniable history of varied experiences - both good and not so good. What I can say is that the driver set, on Windows, for USB2, for the new 3rd gen. Orion 32+, is excellent. It works, it's solid, and the unit sounds fantastic.

That Antelope can offer this number of channels - at this level of conversion - combined with their already-recognized amazing clocking ("oven" version in this unit) is amazing. It's not cheap - but per channel for these AD/DA specs is *well below anything at this level on the market.

The other stuff - the phenomenally-spec'd monitor outputs, FPGA stuff, etc. - is really just extra "icing".

I'm not just being a fanboy for the thing. I bought it in early Feb. and waited over two months to go public with my review/thread. I was hoping to start a bit more discussion - but maybe that will happen in the future as a few more of these units get into different studios.

All that to say that I decided to go the other way. I'm selling my Aurora (past gen.) 16 as a result of this unit's performance. The Aurora is/was amazing - nothing bad to say about it at all - the 32+ is on another level, however - especially when considered as a converter *and* interface.
Old 22nd May 2019
  #7
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Dan O's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicenzajay View Post
Note that I do *not use it with a Mac...and I don't have Thunderbolt; however, as I've mentioned in the thread I've started here on GS about this unit, the drivers have been rock solid over USB 2 for both of my studio computers.

I cannot speak to past experiences with driver support and/or stability - and there's an undeniable history of varied experiences - both good and not so good. What I can say is that the driver set, on Windows, for USB2, for the new 3rd gen. Orion 32+, is excellent. It works, it's solid, and the unit sounds fantastic.

That Antelope can offer this number of channels - at this level of conversion - combined with their already-recognized amazing clocking ("oven" version in this unit) is amazing. It's not cheap - but per channel for these AD/DA specs is *well below anything at this level on the market.

The other stuff - the phenomenally-spec'd monitor outputs, FPGA stuff, etc. - is really just extra "icing".

I'm not just being a fanboy for the thing. I bought it in early Feb. and waited over two months to go public with my review/thread. I was hoping to start a bit more discussion - but maybe that will happen in the future as a few more of these units get into different studios.

All that to say that I decided to go the other way. I'm selling my Aurora (past gen.) 16 as a result of this unit's performance. The Aurora is/was amazing - nothing bad to say about it at all - the 32+ is on another level, however - especially when considered as a converter *and* interface.

Thanks for your reply. It seems that you got the opposite opinon then to "Jazzbass56".

I know that it is sort of a stoopid question but can you describe the differences you experienced soundwise? Or was your decision more based on the specs?
Old 22nd May 2019
  #8
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vicenzajay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan O View Post
Thanks for your reply. It seems that you got the opposite opinon then to "Jazzbass56".

I know that it is sort of a stoopid question but can you describe the differences you experienced soundwise? Or was your decision more based on the specs?
They are actually a bit more alike than they are different soundwise. If anything (and this is trying to describe something that is so subjective it's comical, of course), I'm finding the Antelope unit a bit more 'balanced' in its sound. Instruments are super clear and distinct - and multiple trips through the converters remain superbly detailed and dynamic.

The Aurora is a great set of converters as well - I would never say otherwise. The original Aurora 16 was *the converter center for my studio for a long time. I don't think there's a 'wrong' choice here.

One clear advantage for the Antelope, to my lights, is the conversion and quality of the primary monitor outputs. The specifications (and actual performance) of those is simply superb. Also nice is the fact that all the connection options are "baked in" (ADAT, MADI, AES, SPDIF, etc.) without needing any expansion cards, etc. Lynx's clocking is absolutely outstanding; however, Antelope's clocking sets the industry standard. Having the Trinity technology and "oven" housing allows this converter/interface to also be an industry-standard studio clock master.

Hope this helps.
Old 23rd May 2019
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
Dan O's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicenzajay View Post
They are actually a bit more alike than they are different soundwise. If anything (and this is trying to describe something that is so subjective it's comical, of course), I'm finding the Antelope unit a bit more 'balanced' in its sound. Instruments are super clear and distinct - and multiple trips through the converters remain superbly detailed and dynamic.

The Aurora is a great set of converters as well - I would never say otherwise. The original Aurora 16 was *the converter center for my studio for a long time. I don't think there's a 'wrong' choice here.

One clear advantage for the Antelope, to my lights, is the conversion and quality of the primary monitor outputs. The specifications (and actual performance) of those is simply superb. Also nice is the fact that all the connection options are "baked in" (ADAT, MADI, AES, SPDIF, etc.) without needing any expansion cards, etc. Lynx's clocking is absolutely outstanding; however, Antelope's clocking sets the industry standard. Having the Trinity technology and "oven" housing allows this converter/interface to also be an industry-standard studio clock master.

Hope this helps.
I don't know if you have the time or interest. But I would like to ask you a question.

Have you seen the gearslutz thread where a guy gathers loopback tests from all kinds of interfaces? Noone has done one with the orion gen3 and it would be very interesting to see how it performs.

You download a file and have it played and recorded with two cables connected from then outs to the ins of the interface. Then you send the recorded file back and he process the files to see how much the file has been altered.

Do you have any interest in trying this? It would be very interesting to see the result altough i know that there is more to it than this test.

It's a very long going thread where he constantly updates the "testlibrary".

Evaluating AD/DA loops by means of Audio Diffmaker
Old 23rd May 2019
  #10
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Sounds intriguing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan O View Post
I don't know if you have the time or interest. But I would like to ask you a question.

Have you seen the gearslutz thread where a guy gathers loopback tests from all kinds of interfaces? Noone has done one with the orion gen3 and it would be very interesting to see how it performs.

You download a file and have it played and recorded with two cables connected from then outs to the ins of the interface. Then you send the recorded file back and he process the files to see how much the file has been altered.

Do you have any interest in trying this? It would be very interesting to see the result altough i know that there is more to it than this test.

It's a very long going thread where he constantly updates the "testlibrary".

Evaluating AD/DA loops by means of Audio Diffmaker
This sounds fascinating (and no, I haven't read that thread in its entirety - I will).

I'd certainly be open to doing that. Is the idea to contact the thread "owner" and let him know that I have a gen. 3 unit on which we could run the test?
Old 23rd May 2019
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
Dan O's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicenzajay View Post
This sounds fascinating (and no, I haven't read that thread in its entirety - I will).

I'd certainly be open to doing that. Is the idea to contact the thread "owner" and let him know that I have a gen. 3 unit on which we could run the test?

Ok cool!

You'll need a big cup of coffee to get through the whole thread.

If you want to you can just read the lastest "list of results" post by "didier brest". It contains info on how to read the results and also instructions how to do the test yourself.

It's quite interesting. Some results are as expected with expensive converters in the top but there are also some cheap ones with really good results and some exclusive ones with not so very good results.

There's a lot of debating about wether this is a good method or not and if there's more to it. But I must say it's still quite interesting. Sometimes you can wonder if the owner of the converter done the test correctly but when other owners get the same result it seems to be correct.

I have a friend that is a really qualified tech. I've asked him to take a look at it, when he has got the time and see what he says.

Then of course there's also the aspect that what measures good doesn't necessarily have to sound good.
Old 12th June 2019
  #12
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Skamm Goodiez's Avatar
Im usually not the biggest Antelope fan... But I gotta give them props when they deserve it.

I was looking for an interface with 32 outs that could do +24 dBu and the 32plus gen 3 was right up the alley so I pulled the trigger on it.

I then proceeded to install everything and when I ran the launcher.... There was no option to put the Orion32 at +24dBu. At this point I am pissed thinking I wasted 4KCan

I called tech support and explained the situation to Coco. And 24 hrs later (today) guess what? They fixed the issue and updated the control panel!. Kudos for that Antelope!

Last edited by Skamm Goodiez; 12th June 2019 at 06:17 PM..
Old 20th August 2019
  #13
Here for the gear
Hi guys,
on the above subject, I was wondering if anyone has had a chance to compare the new Orion 32+ Gen 3 with the Apogee Symphony MKII?

I pulled the plug on the later a while back (16 i/o), with the intent of upgrading to 32 i/o when funds permit. And now the dubio starts to creep up on me... strikly from a financial point of view it would make more sense to trade in de Apogee for the Orion and even have a couple of euro's to spare (possibly).

Would be very interested in anyones views / experiences etc!
Thanks in advance
Kees
Old 20th August 2019
  #14
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Skamm Goodiez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HamburgerFactory View Post
Hi guys,
on the above subject, I was wondering if anyone has had a chance to compare the new Orion 32+ Gen 3 with the Apogee Symphony MKII?

I pulled the plug on the later a while back (16 i/o), with the intent of upgrading to 32 i/o when funds permit. And now the dubio starts to creep up on me... strikly from a financial point of view it would make more sense to trade in de Apogee for the Orion and even have a couple of euro's to spare (possibly).

Would be very interested in anyones views / experiences etc!
Thanks in advance
Kees
I can only speak for the Gen3 since I don't have the apogee. Mac user.

Had the Gen 3 for 3 months now. NEVER had a single issue with it.

Sonically it sounds great.

I guess Antelope finally got they s#!t together.
Old 27th August 2019
  #15
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Is anyone using the Antelope with an older 2010 Mac Pro/USB 2? I have a 2.66 12 core and have been running an Apogee Symphony/16adx setup but am looking towards the future of upgrading the Mac someday. In the mean time, I’m trying to get other pieces of the studio puzzle sorted out ahead of time. I think that if the Orion works, I can get rid of some other pieces of redundant gear such as my Benchmark dac1, etc.
Old 27th August 2019
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davey boy View Post
Is anyone using the Antelope with an older 2010 Mac Pro/USB 2? I have a 2.66 12 core and have been running an Apogee Symphony/16adx setup but am looking towards the future of upgrading the Mac someday. In the mean time, I’m trying to get other pieces of the studio puzzle sorted out ahead of time. I think that if the Orion works, I can get rid of some other pieces of redundant gear such as my Benchmark dac1, etc.
I cannot speak for the Mac piece, but I am running the Antelope over USB2 with two computers - both of which feature fairly dated tech.

The oldest is a computer I built in 2010, very quiet and stable - AMD machine using the 1090T phenom II. I do have 16gb of RAM and two SSD drives in there, but the architecture (AM3+) and general tech is very dated.

It works a treat with the 3rd gen. 32+ over USB2. 32 channels i/o with no hiccups. Love the FPGA effects that I do own on the unit (8 or 9 of them at this point). The sound is fantastic - better (subjectively, so just my opinion) than my previous Lynx setup (which was also great - no complaints here).
Old 2nd September 2019
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsuko G. View Post
After A/B-ing, I ended up preferring the Aurora (n) and went with it!
Hey, been a while since you made the switch but do you mind sharing a bit more detail about why you picked one over the other? I'm in the same boat you were in but don't have the opportunity to get and test them both. Thanks!
Old 2nd September 2019
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Sure thing!

Basically, I'm upgrading my studio from a 2 years debut on Apollo interfaces, and I was looking for THE best sounding interface (to my ears) that could make the difference, and has enough I/O to integrate a 16 channel summing mixer in my hybrid setup.

My first worry is that I would lose a pair of outputs for monitoring through my system which will leave me with 14 channels of summing, and that's when I started to look over at Antelope's Orion HD.

What led me to my decision is that, despite the lesser number of I/Os, Lynx converters sounded noticeably cleaner, clearer and wider to my ears than the Orion HD. I went with the USB version, which saved me a lot of money compared to the TB, and the installation was seamless. Everything works like a charm, and boy oh boy is it an upgrade from Apollo, which I find the converters muddier (warmer in a way).

I think it is the best upgrade I've made so far.
Old 3rd September 2019
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsuko G. View Post
Sure thing!

Basically, I'm upgrading my studio from a 2 years debut on Apollo interfaces, and I was looking for THE best sounding interface (to my ears) that could make the difference, and has enough I/O to integrate a 16 channel summing mixer in my hybrid setup.

My first worry is that I would lose a pair of outputs for monitoring through my system which will leave me with 14 channels of summing, and that's when I started to look over at Antelope's Orion HD.

What led me to my decision is that, despite the lesser number of I/Os, Lynx converters sounded noticeably cleaner, clearer and wider to my ears than the Orion HD. I went with the USB version, which saved me a lot of money compared to the TB, and the installation was seamless. Everything works like a charm, and boy oh boy is it an upgrade from Apollo, which I find the converters muddier (warmer in a way).

I think it is the best upgrade I've made so far.
Very little in the way of feedback on the Aurora (n) in general so thanks a lot for returning with details!
Old 13th September 2019
  #20
vcm
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsuko G. View Post
After A/B-ing, I ended up preferring the Aurora (n) and went with it!
I've got the same dilemma to change the converters for my SSL Sigma.
I am currently using the old Orion 32

Looking now at Orion 32 HD 3rd Generation, Aurora (N) and UAD Apollo X 16...
All are not perfect for some reason..

1) I need 24dBu headroom to push sigma so Aurora (N) has 20dBu only unfortunately (right?) - same as my Orion 32...it will be like u have ferrari and cannot go >80km/h

2) 32 channels of summing + AES interface: with Aurora (N) 32ch u cannot add AES card that I would love to have, with Orion 32HD u dont have AES too, ok for Apollo x 16 - it has 2 aes but to get 32ch outputs for Sigma u need two x 16.....so it will be too much expensive...on the other hand though this will give 2/2 AES and 12 core UAD plugins in total!!

very tough decision...I even think to sell Sigma to downgrade to 16ch summing to make life easier...but I love its 2 buss flexibility, monitoring and automation...and the sound is just what I need and can rely on (as I have lots of 500 series with color to add)

Old 13th September 2019
  #21
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Those very few of us who own Antelope 3rd gen converters get beaten up quite a bit here, but I will tell you that (having owned both Lynx and Antelope), I am a huge 3rd gen. Antelope interface fan. These are just incredibly well-executed boxes that, I think, would not require you to "downgrade" to 16 channels.
Old 14th September 2019
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davey boy View Post
Is anyone using the Antelope with an older 2010 Mac Pro/USB 2? I have a 2.66 12 core and have been running an Apogee Symphony/16adx setup but am looking towards the future of upgrading the Mac someday. In the mean time, I’m trying to get other pieces of the studio puzzle sorted out ahead of time. I think that if the Orion works, I can get rid of some other pieces of redundant gear such as my Benchmark dac1, etc.
You'll need to slap in a USB 3 card
Old 14th September 2019
  #23
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T_R_S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicenzajay View Post
Those very few of us who own Antelope 3rd gen converters get beaten up quite a bit here, but I will tell you that (having owned both Lynx and Antelope), I am a huge 3rd gen. Antelope interface fan. These are just incredibly well-executed boxes that, I think, would not require you to "downgrade" to 16 channels.
+1
Old 14th September 2019
  #24
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Skamm Goodiez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicenzajay View Post
Those very few of us who own Antelope 3rd gen converters get beaten up quite a bit here, but I will tell you that (having owned both Lynx and Antelope), I am a huge 3rd gen. Antelope interface fan. These are just incredibly well-executed boxes that, I think, would not require you to "downgrade" to 16 channels.
I can vouch for the 3rd gen aswell
Old 18th September 2019
  #25
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GregAnikin's Avatar
 

Lynx aurora n

I have lynx aurora n 16 channels and i want to expand like in 32 more channels and thinking about demoing Orion 32 gen 3. I think it’s not gonna be a downgrade but i can tell you Lynx’s customer service is freaking great! I get answerd on my emails in a minutes. Using it 3 month only (Lynx) never had an issue with it, sound wise - freaking amazing, especially after uad that is so muddy and dark. Stereo field of Lynx is astonishing! Price is a bit high, but if you need a top notch, that’s the way to go.
Old 5th October 2019
  #26
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I wonder how the 32+ gen3 compares to hd gen3 sonically.
Old 15th October 2019
  #27
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GregAnikin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lupez View Post
I wonder how the 32+ gen3 compares to hd gen3 sonically.
Had a chance to compare 32+ to my Lynx and i don’t like it. Overcomplicated, somehow shows up as 64 channels when i only have 32 and i can’t manage to delete it, sent 5 emails to Antelope - never got a response from them, so screw it, i’m going with 32 more channels of Lynx.
P.S. forgot to write down about the sound - compare to Aurora it sounds not that wide, low end is not juicy, it’s like flat and not interesting, highs and mids are not there, matter fact, reverbs that i used on lead vocals in the mix are gone, like i never used it. And i played 2 track file going back and forth between devices. Updated Orion’s app and it stopped communicating to pro tools for unknown reasons. Unplugged, packed and sent it back.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #28
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darkinners's Avatar
Avoid Antelope Audio like a plague!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #29
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by darkinners View Post
Avoid Antelope Audio like a plague!
Maybe just avoid Antelope drivers and software.

RME drivers and software work very well, and very reliably, as do RME MADI computer interfaces. And the Antelope Orion 32+ works well on MADI interconnection, and sounds good.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #30
Gear Head
 

I can't comment on the Aurora product, but I can serve as a data point for the Antelope product. I have owned the ORION 32+ gen3 for about a month now, and it has been rock solid via thunderbolt on my Windows 10 Pro 64 machine (FWIW, my motherboard is Gigabyte x299 Designare with native thunderbolt). I'm using it with Pro Tools 19.6, and it works a treat! Runs all day long without issue, and the routing matrix they provide is super flexible, so you can send any input to any output, etc.

Re the FPGA effects, I have always used an analog cue path, but just for kicks I used the routing matrix to run my mic preamp out through their low latency path (with the included Antelope EQ/compression/reverb), and into my headphone amp. Comparing that against my analog path I thought the results were totally usable for tracking, even for vocals, which is usually where I have difficulty with any latency at all.

Also, the one time I have used their support team (after I goofed up a software update), they were immediately available by chat, and fixed my mistake instantly via remote login.

So color me impressed, and I would suggest the ORION 32+ gen3 is definitely worth considering, particularly at their price point.
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