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002, Quartet or Mbox3
Old 21st October 2013
  #1
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002, Quartet or Mbox3

So my situation is a bit tricky ... I am getting back into recording after a 4 year break and my current setup is 002 running PT 7.4 into Pacifica - Distressor and Mytek AD convertors.

I was looking at the new Mbox 3, getting PT 11 and running into Pacifica - Distressor to Mytek or ... getting an Apogee Quartet and selling off the Pacifica and Mytek.

Two questions - would I get better quality getting the Mbox 3 and PT 11 than I would just keeping my current setup (the 002)? Any advice on how my current setup stacks up to the Quartet? Input number isn't super important and should be fine with 2-4 inputs.

Any advice or suggestions are super appreciated!
Old 21st October 2013
  #2
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There's a lot to be said for not buying into the upgrade cycle.
Keep PT 7.4, and have Black Lion Audio do a Signature Mod to your 002. A very capable interface, and the mod makes a HUGE difference.
Old 21st October 2013
  #3
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Both the Quartet and Mbox 3 conversion is light years better than the 002. You may not feel the need to keep the Mytek with either one.

The Quartet does seems a little more versatile, but it's also more expensive. And even though the Quartet preamps are very nice quality, they're very clean, and you may want to still have the very high quality Pacifica for a different color.

If your Mytek does Spidf or AES, and you just need 2 channels, you might consider getting an Eleven Rack. It's about $669 right now, and gets you Protools 11 and 10, a new Ilok 2, and an interface that's supported in PT11 and beyond, besides being a great guitar effects box, all for only a couple hundred more than buying an LE to PT11 crossgrade and new Ilok 2.

You can then go Pacifica>Mytek>Eleven Rack, bypassing the Eleven Rack conversion (which is not much better than the 002) and just use it as an interface.
Old 21st October 2013
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodwindy View Post
There's a lot to be said for not buying into the upgrade cycle.
Keep PT 7.4, and have Black Lion Audio do a Signature Mod to your 002. A very capable interface, and the mod makes a HUGE difference.
Aside from the fact I don't think bla mod the 002 anymore, only the rack, I really think this is bad advice.

Pt10 is light years on from 7.4, and 11 should be a further improvement. Deliberately spending money to keep yourself at the same level of "retro" computing is a poor investment decision. If you can buy a new interface with features that suit for the same price, it makes sense to do so. Modding an old interface, the OP won't be able to take advantage of new software either.

Playlist comping, new shortcuts and of course delay compensation are massive improvements on the software. Increased track counts, included beat detective and so on...the list could go for pages. I can't advise against your advice enough.

Now - there's a lot to be said for if it ain't broke don't f with it - but that's not what you're suggesting (and if the OP has the money to invest, it's worth doing it IMO).
Old 21st October 2013
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodwindy View Post
There's a lot to be said for not buying into the upgrade cycle.
Keep PT 7.4, and have Black Lion Audio do a Signature Mod to your 002. A very capable interface, and the mod makes a HUGE difference.
I had the mod done years ago, and my 002R is just fine with PT10. Is yours the rack or console?
Don't know if I would go that way now, given how much changed in four or five years...
Old 21st October 2013
  #6
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The Mbox 3 is a solid interface. I use one on a portable rig w/ PT10. I actually sold my Apogee Duet (original) when I got the Mbox. Sound quality is on par, but the Mbox has some better features for cue mixes, and I like the knob/button per function of the Mbox.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Aside from the fact I don't think bla mod the 002 anymore, only the rack, I really think this is bad advice.

Pt10 is light years on from 7.4, and 11 should be a further improvement. Deliberately spending money to keep yourself at the same level of "retro" computing is a poor investment decision. If you can buy a new interface with features that suit for the same price, it makes sense to do so. Modding an old interface, the OP won't be able to take advantage of new software either.

Playlist comping, new shortcuts and of course delay compensation are massive improvements on the software. Increased track counts, included beat detective and so on...the list could go for pages. I can't advise against your advice enough.

Now - there's a lot to be said for if it ain't broke don't f with it - but that's not what you're suggesting (and if the OP has the money to invest, it's worth doing it IMO).
Thanks for the comment. I have money to invest and want to have a quality project studio. Def don't want retro computing ... so I could probably sell the Myteks if I get the Quartet or the Mbox as the converters are better in these?? Any more advice as it looks like I will be selling off my 002 and starting over. Input count isn't so key for me just a quality signal for at least two tracks. I'm not totally sold on Avid to be honest.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #8
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Was also looking at the Metric Halo ULN-2 ...
Old 22nd October 2013
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strawdps View Post
Thanks for the comment. I have money to invest and want to have a quality project studio. Def don't want retro computing ... so I could probably sell the Myteks if I get the Quartet or the Mbox as the converters are better in these?? Any more advice as it looks like I will be selling off my 002 and starting over. Input count isn't so key for me just a quality signal for at least two tracks. I'm not totally sold on Avid to be honest.

I don't know if anyone said that these new converters are better than the Myteks, but rather that they're way better than the 002, and may be very close to the Myteks. Basically, conversion has come a long way in the last few years, and many lower end converters have sound quality close to, or equal to what higher end older converters used to have. And newer high end converters are now at a whole new level.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #10
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Bla still do the mod on the digi 002 and while im not a pro tools user my engineer is and it is serious differences in 7.4 and 10, I would say get the mod, upgrade to pt10 and see where you want to go from there

Sent from my SGH-T989
Old 27th October 2013
  #11
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So I looked at the RME UFX, Apollo and the Quartet intensely and what I think I'm gonna do is use my Mytek 96 AD convertor into a Mbox Pro SPDIF.

So the chain will be -

Pacifica - Distressor - Mytek - Mbox Pro

I would be bypassing the convertors in the Mbox so this should be a solid setup?
Old 27th October 2013
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strawdps View Post
So I looked at the RME UFX, Apollo and the Quartet intensely and what I think I'm gonna do is use my Mytek 96 AD convertor into a Mbox Pro SPDIF.

So the chain will be -

Pacifica - Distressor - Mytek - Mbox Pro

I would be bypassing the convertors in the Mbox so this should be a solid setup?
Yes. For sure. Don't mod the 002. BLA does solid work but dropping a bunch of coin on an interface that may or may not work well (it's not "supported") from PT11 onward is crazy.
I had an 003 Signature BLA box and went to the Apollo. I think the stock Apollo sounds better than the BLA 003. And not by a little.
I now use a Burl B2 SPDIF'd into my Apollo but that's another thing altogether. I think you're wise to just get a more current interface and use your Mytek channels via SPDIF.
Old 27th October 2013
  #13
I am an Mbox Pro Gen 3 user. The first system I had was Motu 2408 with 24 i/o. Lots of channels, 32, was good though at the time I didn't really need so many. The Mbox has 4 channels. Preamps are not great. They simply don't have enough clean gain, and there is little expandability.

If I were purchasing today the determinative factors would be the preamps and expandability. I would like to get the channel count up again and though I don't need 32 simultaneous inputs I might need a minimum of 8.

You may find you need more channels eventually, even if you think that would never happen. The MBox is not expandable by much. On the other hand, the Quartet has 8 digital inputs via lightpipe. I don't know if they can be used along with the analog inputs or instead of them but that is something you can find out. Assuming contemporaneous use is possible, this factor is significant and could be very useful. Also it might save you money and problems in the future.

Also, thought I have not used a Quartet, the reviews and reports indicate that the preamps are quite good and I am fairly certain they are better than those on the MBox Pro.

Considering the the preamps and expandability and the Apogee sound, it seems to me the Quartet is a great choice. It was not available when I purchased the MBox Pro. Had it been I would have certainly gone that route.
Old 27th October 2013
  #14
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If you're only using 2 channels via Spidf with the Mytek, you can use anything with a Spidf, like the Eleven Rack, or even cheaper, the NI Komplete Audio 6. Unless you want the extra ins and outs for other things.
Old 27th October 2013
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nst7 View Post
If you're only using 2 channels via Spidf with the Mytek, you can use anything with a Spidf, like the Eleven Rack, or even cheaper, the NI Komplete Audio 6. Unless you want the extra ins and outs for other things.
great point! so it wouldn't effect the sound quality at all if I went with a cheaper interface? Right now 2 ins will suffice and if I need more I would probably get more ins with a Lavry or Mytek product ...
Old 27th October 2013
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strawdps View Post
great point! so it wouldn't effect the sound quality at all if I went with a cheaper interface? Right now 2 ins will suffice and if I need more I would probably get more ins with a Lavry or Mytek product ...
No. Won't affect the sound. The interface would just be a way for the Mytek to talk to your computer.
Old 27th October 2013
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullseye View Post
On the other hand, the Quartet has 8 digital inputs via lightpipe. I don't know if they can be used along with the analog inputs or instead of them but that is something you can find out.
Yes, you can use both at once for 12 simultaneous inputs.
Old 27th October 2013
  #18
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If you go with a cheaper interface, I highly recommend the Komplete Audio 6, fir its rock solid drivers and low latency.

However, you mentioned getting PT11, so that's why I mentioned the Eleven Rack. You'd get PT11/10, the required Ilok 2, and you'd also have an interface with Spidf to use the way we're discussing. It would work out to about the same as buying the LE to 11 upgrade, an Ilok 2, and a cheap interface like the KA6. And you'd have the cool guitar processing as well.
Old 27th October 2013
  #19
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I would say the Mytek and the Quartet combined would make a very powerful interface. To me buying an MBox Pro 3 is all about a way to get into Pro Tools with the biggest bang for the buck approach. If you have Pro Tools already and can upgrade for less than the purchase cost of the MBox I would say get a different interface. Not bashing the Mbox Pro 3 its a really good interface but it is not as expandable as a Quartet.

Plus honestly the Quartet is a pretty impressive sounding interface. Maybe I am biased because I use a Quartet but the fact is the DA on it is 123DB A weighted. It is really hard to touch that kind of DA without paying 2k or more. Seeing as the Quartet comes in at a price much below 2k its significant. This is what led me to going with the Quartet and honestly sound wise I do not feel let down. Plus the Mic Pres are quite good and very useable. So when figure out you are getting 4 very useable Mic Pres plus incredible DA as well as very good AD 114DB a weighted it gets appealing.

Now you can get good sound converters for less but if you like Apogee and want high quality Apogee its not a bad way to go.

I am considering an Upgrade to a Symphony System myself so I can install more analog ins and outs.

Though I will say I was in your place and considering the MBox and decided the Quartet suited me better at the time. I did not regret that decision.
Old 28th October 2013
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dpro View Post
I would say the Mytek and the Quartet combined would make a very powerful interface.
Thanks for the reply - just curious though why would I need such an expensive interface if I am bypassing the quartets mic pres and convertors?
Old 28th October 2013
  #21
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It would work out to about the same as buying the LE to 11 upgrade
Old 28th October 2013
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strawdps View Post
Thanks for the reply - just curious though why would I need such an expensive interface if I am bypassing the quartets mic pres and convertors?
Well actually I spaced out earlier thinking the Quartet had Spdif in. It does not, it only has ADAT in and ADAT out as well as WordClock out. Though the Mbox Pro does not have spdif in either nor AES or adat. ( this is the original reason I passed on it)

So basically if you pick up either interface the Mytek loses out and you might as well sell it. The Quartet has an edge over the Mbox Pro 3 in the conversion department and the Mic Pres. I say its the better sounding unit.
Though you could make a good recording with either one.

Whatever you do do not sell the Pacifica because the more Mic Pres you have the merrier.

So if you are thinking of keeping and using the Mytek whatever interface you buy to augment it will have to have either spdif in or AES in.

At this point I suggest trying to listen to some of these converters to see what you like.
Old 28th October 2013
  #23
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The Mbox Pro DOES have Spidf. It's just on a breakout cable that also contains the Midi and Word Clock cables (that hooks up to a proprietary jack on the back).
Old 29th October 2013
  #24
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I'm in the same boat. I have a Digi 002 and want to upgrade. On one hand, I'm not using Protools as my main DAW anymore, so getting the BLA Mod is an option. On the other hand, the new Audient id22 looks to be the perfect interface for me. I'm just waiting on Windows 8 Drivers for the Audient. Avid could choose not to upgrade drivers then I would be stuck.
Old 30th October 2013
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dpro View Post
Well actually I spaced out earlier thinking the Quartet had Spdif in. It does not, it only has ADAT in and ADAT out as well as WordClock out. Though the Mbox Pro does not have spdif in either nor AES or adat. ( this is the original reason I passed on it)

So basically if you pick up either interface the Mytek loses out and you might as well sell it. The Quartet has an edge over the Mbox Pro 3 in the conversion department and the Mic Pres. I say its the better sounding unit.
Though you could make a good recording with either one.

Whatever you do do not sell the Pacifica because the more Mic Pres you have the merrier.

So if you are thinking of keeping and using the Mytek whatever interface you buy to augment it will have to have either spdif in or AES in.

At this point I suggest trying to listen to some of these converters to see what you like.
Thanks for the replies guys ... now I'm thinking I might as well keep the 002 and just go up to PT 11 and use Pacifica - Mytek chain?? What would be the point of getting a new console if I'm not using the Mic Pres or the Convertors right??
Old 30th October 2013
  #26
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The main benefit would be future compatibility.

The 002 is not supported anymore, but may still work for a while. Or any random dot release could change things. But you could keep using it until it just won't work anymore.
Old 31st October 2013
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nst7 View Post
The main benefit would be future compatibility.

The 002 is not supported anymore, but may still work for a while. Or any random dot release could change things. But you could keep using it until it just won't work anymore.
Thanks good to know that there wouldn't be ANY sonic improvements to using the Mbox Pro as opposed to the 002 given I am using the Mytek and Pacifica exclusively
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