The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Apollo x8p: Extremely disappointed about the sound
Old 16th January 2020
  #1
Here for the gear
 
borisovonline's Avatar
Apollo x8p: Extremely disappointed about the sound

Hello dear slutz!

UAD plugins are great, no doubts, but I'd like to discuss something about the sound of Apollo x8p.

I was RME user for 10 years, had Babyface, Babyface Pro and Fireface UCX. Love the sound of RME because of its clarity.

3 month ago my friend persuaded me to try UAD products. I wanted UAD plugins many years and that was a great chance to jump to the train.

I bought Apollo x8p + 1 Octo Thunderbolt.

But when I connected everything and play some songs... I was extremely disappointed about the sound. It's much more muddy in comparison to RME. It's like you have a blanket on your monitor speakers. Extremely disappointed.

I have "golden ears", so for me the differences are absolutely obvious:
- roll of in high ends
- bump in low-mid
- overall clarity is just poor

I use Genelec 8030A+7050A subwoofer in properly damped room.

Is this a legendary UA sound? Tell me I'm wrong, because it's ridiculous. It's just an entry level sound.

RME converters are FAR FAR better!

Did I do something wrong? Maybe I have to do firmware upgrade? Or something else? I wish I'm wrong.
Old 17th January 2020
  #2
Here for the gear
 

Even with golden ears you’ve got to be doing something wrong. Not sure what that is, but the new Apollo X line should sound better than your old interfaces with ease.
-J
Old 17th January 2020
  #3
Here for the gear
 
borisovonline's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturmicide View Post
Even with golden ears you’ve got to be doing something wrong. Not sure what that is, but the new Apollo X line should sound better than your old interfaces with ease.
-J
I did A/B, put UCX and x8p on a table and switching on the fly. Same cables, same levels, same songs, same room. The clarity and “airiness” of RME is FAR better.
Old 17th January 2020
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Then take it back and use your RME then, problem solved. If you did the test and that was your conclusion seems pointless to ask others opinion
-J
Old 17th January 2020
  #5
Here for the gear
 
borisovonline's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturmicide View Post
Then take it back and use your RME then, problem solved. If you did the test and that was your conclusion seems pointless to ask others opinion
-J
There is no way to take an equipment back in my country. And I’m really interested in Unison technology and live effects in Console. But the overall sound really disappointed me.
Old 17th January 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
 
basehead617's Avatar
Agreed that there is something wrong.. if anything it should sound better and at minimum i doubt most people could tell the difference between these two very modern converters..
Old 17th January 2020
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
guigui's Avatar
 

I think it's only your preference, there's nothing wrong. I don't like UAD's converters either.

I've been using RME UFX+ for a long time and its clarity is much more pleasant to my ears than what I hear from UAD's interfaces.

I've been on a quest to get something better than my UFX+. Maybe Aurora(n). Or maybe the new RME - M-1610 Pro, although I don't know if it's better than what I already have.
Old 17th January 2020
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

The fact that you have a need to announce this aberration of aural incite speaks volumes. Sell it if you can't return it. Sell it to your friend who told you to buy it, apparently it sounds different to him or her.
Old 17th January 2020
  #9
Gear Nut
 

I'd suggest try RoomEQwizard to check quantitative comparison..
Old 17th January 2020
  #10
Gear Nut
 
Jeff19's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by borisovonline View Post
I did A/B, put UCX and x8p on a table and switching on the fly. Same cables, same levels, same songs, same room. The clarity and “airiness” of RME is FAR better.
I’m assuming you are using the UAD interface with no plugins running while tracking/monitoring, right? You just didn’t mention it.

Are you using the UA/ RME preamps or line in? I assume line in, but both interfaces do have preamps and you didn’t mention it.
Old 17th January 2020
  #11
ULA
Here for the gear
 

I believe what you are hearing is simply the sound of UAD's interface.

When it comes to the minor difference between units, we all have different preferences. You might prefer better clarity and imaging and be more sensitive to that aspect while others might prefer the bump in the low mids or other aspects of the Apollo sound.

I'm (still) a huge UAD fan despite having recently moved away from a UAD interface for similar reasons having found better clarity with a prism interface.
Old 17th January 2020
  #12
Lives for gear
- roll of in high ends
- bump in low-mid
- overall clarity is just poor


I don't know, this seems like am exaggeration to me.
Or something is set wrong.
I haven't used the converters on my Apollo because I'm ITB, but now I kinda want to test it.
Old 18th January 2020
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Could be a defective unit. You should test your unit against another one.
Old 18th January 2020
  #14
Make sure you're listening at the same volume.
Old 18th January 2020
  #15
Lives for gear
 
nyandres's Avatar
While I typically think UAD performs sonically worse than other interfaces in the same price range, and era, I think in this case you may have a defective unit... UAD and pretty much any modern interface smokes any 10 year old interface. I did say UAD performs worse than the competition (considering you are paying for other features also), BUT it definitely is a massive improvement from a 10year old RME. But if you dont like it keep using the RME.
Old 18th January 2020
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Question is: why UA needed to make several converter revisions/ updates in just a few years? I had a Sony Dat Recorder from 1995 which sounded perfect! My E-MU 1820M from 2005 sounds perfect and is still working with windows 10.
Old 18th January 2020
  #17
Here for the gear
 
borisovonline's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ULA View Post
I believe what you are hearing is simply the sound of UAD's interface.
Looks like that, yes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ULA View Post
I'm (still) a huge UAD fan despite having recently moved away from a UAD interface for similar reasons having found better clarity with a prism interface.
Which Prism Sound interface did you choose?


Quote:
Originally Posted by lllubi View Post
Could be a defective unit. You should test your unit against another one.
I don't think so. Look, it sounds good, but just good, nothing extra, nothing special, while RME always adds something special, something amazing. Of course in their price range.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
Make sure you're listening at the same volume.
Come on, man, I'm not an idiot.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nyandres View Post
I did say UAD performs worse than the competition (considering you are paying for other features also), BUT it definitely is a massive improvement from a 10year old RME.
RME Fireface UCX and Babyface Pro are not a 10 years old units.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LonDonsen View Post
Question is: why UA needed to make several converter revisions/ updates in just a few years?
Nice remark! That's a question!
Old 18th January 2020
  #18
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by borisovonline View Post

I don't think so. Look, it sounds good, but just good, nothing extra, nothing special, while RME always adds something special, something amazing.
Woooh. Red flag there.

RME adds something special?
Converters typically don’t “add” anything. Unless we are talking about intentionally colored one. Neither of those two are like that.

Please upload some recordings of both units and try to explain with your own words what you are hearing. It’s the only way that you can get valueable feedback from this forum.
Old 18th January 2020
  #19
I go in and out of commercial studios that have a variety of professional quality audio interfaces. I come home to my Apollo (black face) and the audio I have recorded outside sounds just the same. Definitely NOT audibly worse.
Old 18th January 2020
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonDonsen View Post
Question is: why UA needed to make several converter revisions/ updates in just a few years? I had a Sony Dat Recorder from 1995 which sounded perfect!
I think they made one revision - from the early silver face to the new blackface.
Ironically, pretty much everyone agrees that dat audio sounds universally poor compared to most modern interfaces.
So you are questioning the quality of UAD interfaces while praising 90's dat machines?
Old 18th January 2020
  #21
Here for the gear
 
borisovonline's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by planck View Post
Woooh. Red flag there.

RME adds something special?
Converters typically don’t “add” anything. Unless we are talking about intentionally colored one. Neither of those two are like that.
You misunderstood me. I didn't mean "adds color", or "adds saturation", or something like that. I meant, for the price of RME they converters sound FANTASTIC, where Apollo sounds just ok, nothing special.

P.S. As far as I know in american culture "ok" = "3 points of 5, maybe 4", but means "i don't satisfied". But In Russia we would say "awful" or "bad" in that case.))
Old 18th January 2020
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by borisovonline View Post
You misunderstood me. I didn't mean "adds color", or "adds saturation", or something like this. I mean for the price of RME they converters sound FANTASTIC, where Apollo sounds just ok, nothing special.
You're posting an opinion and trying to make it out as fact.
You are welcome to decide for yourself Apollo doesn't sound as good as RME.
Others on the forum disagree.
We are going to go nowhere with this.
If you don't like it, fine. many other professional users think it sounds great.
Old 18th January 2020
  #23
Here for the gear
 
borisovonline's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
You're posting an opinion and trying to make it out as fact.
I didn't try to make it as fact. But to be OBJECTIVE, count please how many great reviews about RME converters in whole Internet and gearslutz in particular, and how many the same reviews about UAD converters. RME's happy users reviews are disproportionately more. And that's a fact.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
We are going to go nowhere with this.
I'm going to try Lynx Aurora in 1-2 days and compare.
Old 18th January 2020
  #24
Hi Boris, welcome to Gearslutz

I usually use iZ RADAR conversion (Classic 96 cards) and/or Sound Devices. I review quite a few interfaces for Gearslutz including the Apollo x8p.

Prior to the review I thought the Apollo might sound homogenous; my experience is that each manufacturer has a subtle 'family' sound that permeates all their products (due to differences in design, manufacture, and components - even if the same chips are used) and Apollo is no exception.

You may not like the Apollo sound and that is a fine decision and you should stick with your instincts. I cannot criticise you for reaching that conclusion. You may prefer other manufacturers sound.

Another perspective is that time is needed to acclimatise to the relative strengths and weaknesses of a new audio system - this has been my experience across a range of conversion. I needed to adjust my workflow (in terms of timbre, colour and tonality) to find a sweet-spot. If an interface is fatiguing, then that is a serious issue....something is wrong.

One question: with the x8p, how do you feel about the different sample rates being on different chips? Is the even or odd sample rate more preferrable to you?
Best, Arthur
Old 18th January 2020
  #25
Lives for gear
 
basehead617's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by borisovonline View Post
I didn't try to make it as fact. But to be OBJECTIVE, count please how many great reviews about RME converters in whole Internet and gearslutz in particular, and how many same reviews about UAD converters. RME's happy users reviews are disproportionately more. And that's a fact.



I'm going to try Lynx Aurora in 1-2 days and compare.
Well I'll go against the grain..

At work I use a Fireface UCX and I don't think it sounds particularly good at all. Worse than my Apollo.

But we're still talking about in the realm of small differences to begin with which is the case with all modern converters.
Old 18th January 2020
  #26
Here for the gear
 
borisovonline's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
Hi Boris, welcome to Gearslutz
Another perspective is that time is needed to acclimatise to the relative strengths and weaknesses of a new audio system - this has been my experience across a range of conversion. I needed to adjust my workflow (in terms of timbre, colour and tonality) to find a sweet-spot. If an interface is fatiguing, then that is a serious issue....something is wrong.
Yes, I think you hit the point. It’s annoying and fatiguing me. I'm not 100% sure for a now that I can’t live with it, but it looks very similar like you describes.

It feels like Apollo signal is overhotted. Too hot, too punchy, too harsh. It sounds for me like a cheap (ok, mid-range) automobile sound system with a sub. Too tight! And not airy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
One question: with the x8p, how do you feel about the different sample rates being on different chips? Is the even or odd sample rate more preferrable to you?
Best, Arthur
I haven’t tried them yet, but I’ll try.


Quote:
Originally Posted by basehead617 View Post
Well I'll go against the grain..

At work I use a Fireface UCX and I don't think it sounds particularly good at all. Worse than my Apollo.
Does your work room have absolutely the same components? Monitor speakers, subs, damping, even cables?
Old 18th January 2020
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by borisovonline View Post
RME's happy users reviews are disproportionately more. And that's a fact.
Completely unscientific.
I’ve been using Apollo interfaces for about ten years and never posted a review. I also doubt any well known audio engineers or professionals post online reviews.

Quote:
I'm going to try Lynx Aurora in 1-2 days and compare.
I replaced my Lynx Aurora with an Apollo about ten years ago and didn’t notice much difference, certainly not that it was a step backwards in sonics. Apollo offered me a lot more features that I wanted over Aurora, so I never looked back.
Old 18th January 2020
  #28
Here for the gear
 
borisovonline's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Completely unscientific.
I’ve been using Apollo interfaces for about ten years and never posted a review. I also doubt any well known audio engineers or professionals post online reviews.
Yes and no. When people really LOVE the products, they are trying to write a review. Not for all products, but for the most loved products. In marketing we call those people “brand advocates”.

And it’s easily to prove. Everybody loves UAD Plugins and as a result we have lots of good reviews everywhere. But much less less people love Waves products (to be honest, they have some brilliants), so we have much less good reviews everywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I replaced my Lynx Aurora with an Apollo about ten years ago and didn’t notice much difference, certainly not that it was a step backwards in sonics. Apollo offered me a lot more features that I wanted over Aurora, so I never looked back.
Will see how it sounds in comparison with Apollo. Have you ever tried Prism Sound? Actually, I wanted to take Prism Sound for the test, but there is no way to take it right now, only Lynx.
Old 18th January 2020
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by borisovonline View Post
Yes and no. When people really LOVE their products, they are trying to write a review. Not for all products, but for the most loved products. In marketing we call those people “brand advocates
I’m more interested in what working professionals think. And in several years of working in professional environments I’ve never met a pro who volunteered an online review after they bought something.
Unless they endorse a company/product and that’s part of the deal.
Old 18th January 2020
  #30
Lives for gear
 
basehead617's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by borisovonline View Post
Does your work room have absolutely the same components? Monitor speakers, subs, damping, even cables?
Yes I've used the Apollo in the place of the UCX in the same room with same cables.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump