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Apogee: the new Ensemble Thunderbolt
Old 12th October 2014 | Show parent
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
I haven't had one in my studio yet to actually listen to. My recommendation comes purely from what I know of its build and having analyzed audio test files passed through the converters. I'm looking forward to digging into it more when I have time, but what I've seen so far tells me it's at least the next cleanest thing to a Symphony. They really set out to raise the bar this time. Very good to see.
I have a 16A at mine right now and it does indeed sound very much like a Symphony to me (from using a Symphony in a friend's place), for better or worse. Both of them do this thing where to me they are a little on the bland side in a way, however they make it a very 'clean canvas' to paint on and bend into whatever place you go. And stay very tall and wide and relaxed/uncontorted sounding with it.

About to test more on Tuesday including clocking him from a Ross Martin PCM4222. Curious to see whether it will sharpen the mids up. The clock in that thing isn't half bad and has sharpened up a friend's UCX to sound a lot better than on its own. Like adding more 'rightness' somehow and setting things free to flow/soar instead of sounding stuck. The Motu flows already though, unlike the UCX on its own, so I just fancy seeing whether it makes for more contrast in the mids, which seem a bit milky/hazy to me. But the Symphony has that flavour too. Can't say I love that.

Funny how converters are. You can test your null test way all day long and it still wouldn't tell me what it will FEEL like to work within its sonics, nor will recorded examples do ****e. About as useful as recording monitors to find out whether they would work for you. Only way is try it out. IMNSHO
Old 12th October 2014 | Show parent
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
they make it a very 'clean canvas' to paint on and bend into whatever place you go.

Funny how converters are. You can test your null test way all day long and it still wouldn't tell me what it will FEEL like to work within its sonics, nor will recorded examples do ****e.
I haven't done any null tests on the Motu AVB. It's only one measurement tool and definitely not the best method of analysis.

To me a converter shouldn't feel or sound like anything. It should be a clear window into the source. If the mix is tall it should be tall or wide if it's wide. This is the goal of most designers, and as we know, conversion artifacts are very measurable.
It should be something that tests cleanly with any method I throw at it, then allow me to move forward without thinking about it or questioning if what's coming out is exactly what is going in. Don't want to hear it, don't want to think about it. Same philosophy I have with control rooms.
Old 12th October 2014 | Show parent
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
I haven't done any null tests on the Motu AVB. It's only one measurement tool and definitely not the best method of analysis.

To me a converter shouldn't feel or sound like anything. It should be a clear window into the source. If the mix is tall it should be tall or wide if it's wide. This is the goal of most designers, and as we know, conversion artifacts are very measurable.
It should be something that tests cleanly with any method I throw at it, then allow me to move forward without thinking about it or questioning if what's coming out is exactly what is going in. Don't want to hear it, don't want to think about it. Same philosophy I have with control rooms.
Sure. As a theory. I also like the idea of getting something from Santa. But more realistically all converters sonics 'feel of something' and if that feel disturbs me I couldn't care less whether it measures well. I want to create art inside this thing, so whilst totally getting out of the way would be greatness, at a more realistic money expenditure I might have to focus on whether I like the flavour or not as opposed to spend to the extent of 'no flavour'.

Not convinced 'no flavour' actually exists with converters. Doesn't exist with any other studio gear, why would conversion be any different. And the 'least flavour' boxes are still too expensive for me. Can't afford a Horus.
Old 12th October 2014 | Show parent
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
So go Motu AVB series. Cleaner conversion than Apollo & Ensemble (DC coupled like the Symphony, better converter chips) and you can stick to processing in your daw.

They just released another driver update. Support hasn't ended at all.
Yea I've also been looking into the Motu 1248. Just haven't seen any reviews of it yet. I'm def curious about the pre-amps and conversion. I know it's supposed to have good converter chips but there is so many other factors that affect the DA like clocking and power supply. However, with similar specs to the duet/quartet/ensemble it should be in a similar league.

I know support hasn't ended for the ensemble but IMHO it has been treated like an after thought. A close friend of mine has had one for just over 5 years now and while it worked great for a while, it has slowly become unusable. He's constantly waiting for new updates from Apogee. You might as well forget about being able to use a modern OS. Every single update he's done has wreaked havoc on the ensemble. Cracks, pop, soft switches not working, Maestro problems etc. have all but made his box unusable. I do realize that some of the blame is on Apple for writing crappy FW drivers etc but at some point as a company when your products are having these kinda problems (and if you look around LOTS of people in these threads have had similar problems with their ensembles) you need to step up and address the problems in a timely manner with a new update and not just say it's an "Apple" issue. I just think it would be ridiculous to pay 2-2.5k for an audio interface and still have these kinds of problems.
Old 12th October 2014 | Show parent
  #35
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Isn't the exactly what their new mavericks driver is??

Agreed, they left it so long, most people have sold theirs and the market value has plummeted for a reason, but it seems there is new light there now.....
Old 12th October 2014 | Show parent
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsolo View Post
Yea I've also been looking into the Motu 1248. Just haven't seen any reviews of it yet. I'm def curious about the pre-amps and conversion. I know it's supposed to have good converter chips but there is so many other factors that affect the DA like clocking and power supply. However, with similar specs to the duet/quartet/ensemble it should be in a similar league.
To clarify, the Motu AVB is much closer to Symphony conversion than Duet2/Quartet/Ensemble2. The distortion and noise I measured when analyzing it also supported this. It was better than anything I could have expected.

Regarding the original Ensemble, it's a really old unit now. Eventually support fades away. Some companies are better about this, but it happens. Your friend would be better off using it over ADAT with a better interface like RME RayDat which would be a big improvement. That or just retire it in favor of a new unit with better conversion/drivers/connectivity.
Old 13th October 2014 | Show parent
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
To clarify, the Motu AVB is much closer to Symphony conversion than Duet2/Quartet/Ensemble2. The distortion and noise I measured when analyzing it also supported this. It was better than anything I could have expected.
I am not sure how you got this conclusion . The New Ensemble is not out yet. You could not have tested it. The Motue specs to close to the same as the Ensemble actually. It's 2 db below on the AD which on the New Ensemble is 119db. It's equal on the DA at 123db. While the new Ensemble uses the same DA as the Quartet it benefits for a completely different reworked power supply vs the Quartets and has a reworked front end going in as well. No one behind Apogee and one or two producers have actually had hands on with the Units beyond playing around with them at AES.
So to say the Motu is closer to the Symphony well how could you? You don't actually know yet.
Old 13th October 2014 | Show parent
  #38
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Originally Posted by Dpro View Post
I am not sure how you got this conclusion. The New Ensemble is not out yet.
I can make that statement pretty easily for these reasons:

The Symphony offers DC coupled converters, just as the Motu AVB and Hilo do.

The Ensemble2/Quartet/Duet2 do not.

The Symphony has measurably far less conversion artifacts than Quartet/Duet2. The Motu AVB also have measurably far less conversion artifacts than the Quartet/Duet2. It's pretty close to the symphony in this regard. Although, unlike the Symphony, the Motus use the Sabre32 32bit ADC chips as well as the DACs.

You're certainly welcome to speculate otherwise, but the new Ensemble is going to sound closer to a Quartet than Symphony. The interface and added channels will be where it shines.

The distortion characteristics are also far more important and revealing than the dynamic range spec.
Old 13th October 2014 | Show parent
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
I can make that statement pretty easily for these reasons:

The Symphony offers DC coupled converters, just as the Motu AVB and Hilo do.

The Ensemble2/Quartet/Duet2 do not.

The Symphony has measurably far less conversion artifacts than Quartet/Duet2. The Motu AVB also have measurably far less conversion artifacts than the Quartet/Duet2. It's pretty close to the symphony in this regard. Although, unlike the Symphony, the Motus use the Sabre32 32bit ADC chips as well as the DACs.

You're certainly welcome to speculate otherwise, but the new Ensemble is going to sound closer to a Quartet than Symphony. The interface and added channels will be where it shines.

The distortion characteristics are also far more important and revealing than the dynamic range spec.
Those reasons you speak of are conjecture, you talk about the distortion characteristics but you are speaking out of conjecture here. You have not tested the distortion figures for the New Ensemble. You have not tested the New Ensemble at all.

You are basing things off the testing of the Duet II and the Symphony and drawing a conclusion about the new Ensemble.

I already pointed out and Apogee has as well stating the changes made with the New Ensemble. It's not a Duet II or a Quartet to say it's close to them without test data is speculation on your part plain and simple.

Your willingness to test stuff and put out data is a good thing. Though when you speak from conjecture without actual data it cannot be stated they way you are stating it. Unless you follow it with "in my opinion". At the point it becomes your opinion which you are entitled to but not possibly actual fact.
Old 13th October 2014 | Show parent
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dpro View Post
Those reasons you speak of are conjecture
I'm not sure you understand what conjecture means. The DC coupled converters offered in the Symphony, Hilo, & Motu AVB are not conjecture. Neither is the gap in conversion artifacts between the Symphony & Quartet/Duet2. That gap is intentional. It's the result of their design & component choice just like it was back when it was Ensemble vs 16x.

Quote:
You are basing things off the testing of the Duet II and the Symphony and drawing a conclusion about the new Ensemble.
Correction, I'm basing it off of testing the Duet 2, Quartet, Symphony, AVB series, Hilo, the design of each of them, and everything Don from Apogee has stated about it and where it fits into their hierarchy thus far.

Look, I know you're a big Apogee fan, but you should be realistic in that the Ensemble is going to sound more like a Quartet than a Symphony. You should be able to also understand the logical reasons for why they would intend it to be that way. The reality is, if you want Apogee's flagship conversion you will have to pay for it. To think there's any way around that is wishful thinking. If you own a Quartet and love the conversion but want more channels & a better connectivity then go for it. I would suggest demoing it against the Motu AVB series though if you're not an "Apogee only" guy though. It's one company's flagship model vs one company's second tier model. That comes with a few predictable ramifications.
Old 14th October 2014 | Show parent
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
To clarify, the Motu AVB is much closer to Symphony conversion than Duet2/Quartet/Ensemble2. The distortion and noise I measured when analyzing it also supported this. It was better than anything I could have expected.

Regarding the original Ensemble, it's a really old unit now. Eventually support fades away. Some companies are better about this, but it happens. Your friend would be better off using it over ADAT with a better interface like RME RayDat which would be a big improvement. That or just retire it in favor of a new unit with better conversion/drivers/connectivity.
Ya you're def not wrong it is very old and they can't support it forever I do agree. IMO though I think they could've done a few things better but that's just me. I'm def not one of those guys that automatically expects manufacturers to support devices for over 10 years old like MOTU does (which is great) and blast manufacturers up and down if they don't on every forum and blog because they don't make a windows XP driver lol.

Oh wow, didn't know the new MOTU interfaces spec'd out in the Symphony range. On paper it looked pretty close to the Duet 2/Quartet/Ensemble 2 which is how I came to that assumption. I would really like to see a comparison between the Quartet and MOTU 1248.
Old 14th October 2014
  #42
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I'm actually really surprised the Ensemble 2 hasn't gotten any complaints about using the same DA conversion as the Duet 2/Quartet. When the Quartet first dropped haters came out the woodworks to bash it and make snide remarks about how it was just two Duets put together lol. I personally think the Duet 2/Quartet both have outstanding DA and never understood why people made such a fuss about it when it dropped. However, they did a good upgrade with the AD path on the new Ensemble which I guess made up for it using the same DA not to mention all the expandability options built in and the fact that is takes true advantage of thunderbolt.

While Apogee did custom build the power supply for the new Ensemble I really don't see it making much a difference from a DA standpoint. Sonically I expect it to be close to the Duet 2 and Quartet if not almost identical. However, I could be wrong. I'm sure this will be an evenly divided debate for a future thread once people have had time with the new Ensemble.
Old 14th October 2014 | Show parent
  #43
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I come from a world of Focusrite Scarlet 2i2's so to hear all this conversion talk is wonderful. However, I think the "forest is being missed for the trees." The Ensemble 2 is more than D/A converters. I particularly like the ability to connect so much analog outboard gear. The headphones outputs that can handle high impedance Sennheiser's is a welcome feature. Lastly, as a guitarist I've never been a huge fan of re-amping but Apogee's Guitar I/O could prove useful especially since its all done through the Ensemble 2, and the amps of course. I also like the lack of DSP; I do not want EQ or Reverb coming from my interface. Personally, I see a "problem-solver" of an interface that when combined with a new MacBook Pro or Mac Pro is hard to beat.
Old 14th October 2014 | Show parent
  #44
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsolo View Post
I would really like to see a comparison between the Quartet and MOTU 1248.
The Symphony is definitely the one comparable to the 1248. I've been busy with a studio build so haven't had time to explore the 1248 test files I arranged further, but it was clearly in another league compared to Quartet/Duet. They went beyond what I would have expected. The lingering question for me is exactly how close it is to Symphony. We'll see.

In the past they chose to use cheaper components that would allow more affordably priced units.. for which there is an obvious market. It was immediately obvious that this time they set out to take a different route though and they go into detail about what they've done sonically with these new boxes. If you look at past products you won't find anywhere near that amount of emphasis on the sonic quality, specs, and component details.

Product hierarchy is an interesting thing though. It has to be priced to fit in a certain place in your product lineup so that it doesn't take away from what you already have on offer. At $1000 more than the Motu AVB we'll see how the new Ensemble fares, but there's no way Apogee could release units like that for a $1500 price tag without throwing a monkey wrench into their whole product lineup. Regardless of which unit people go for, I think people will be very happy with these new boxes. It's great to see TB becoming more established!
Old 14th October 2014 | Show parent
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
I'm not sure you understand what conjecture means. The DC coupled converters offered in the Symphony, Hilo, & Motu AVB are not conjecture. Neither is the gap in conversion artifacts between the Symphony & Quartet/Duet2. That gap is intentional. It's the result of their design & component choice just like it was back when it was Ensemble vs 16x.
No sir it's you that do understand what conjecture means here is the definition
conjecture
[ k?n?jekCH?r ]
noun
noun: conjecture · plural noun: conjectures
an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information:
synonyms: speculation · guesswork · surmise · fancy · presumption · More
verb
verb: conjecture · third person present: conjectures · past tense: conjectured · past …
form an opinion or supposition about (something) on the basis of incomplete information:

synonyms: guess · speculate · surmise · infer · fancy · imagine · believe · More

Which is exactly what you are doing as you have not actually tested the new Ensemble
Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Correction, I'm basing it off of testing the Duet 2, Quartet, Symphony, AVB series, Hilo, the design of each of them, and everything Don from Apogee has stated about it and where it fits into their hierarchy thus far.

Look, I know you're a big Apogee fan, but you should be realistic in that the Ensemble is going to sound more like a Quartet than a Symphony. You should be able to also understand the logical reasons for why they would intend it to be that way. The reality is, if you want Apogee's flagship conversion you will have to pay for it. To think there's any way around that is wishful thinking. If you own a Quartet and love the conversion but want more channels & a better connectivity then go for it. I would suggest demoing it against the Motu AVB series though if you're not an "Apogee only" guy though. It's one company's flagship model vs one company's second tier model. That comes with a few predictable ramifications.
This has nothing to do with being an Apogee fan. It has to do with you stating something equivocally as fact without all the information . Like,the definition shows and like I said testing other units and basing your statement off them without testing the new Ensemble is incomplete facts which means it's conjecture.

Based on your own supposed standards of testing even taking what Don says should not be enough for your conclusions.

Good God man hold yourself to the principle of testing you try to espouse. You have not tested a new Ensemble so you cannot equivocally say the Motu is better .

I respect that you like to test things and put out the data but you are speculating here until you have the data from testing a New Ensemble. That is conjecture plain and simple.


Like I said before if you stated this as your opinion it would be a valid statement but your willingness to state it as fact completely invalidates it. Until you have tasted the new Ensemble.

Oh and this conversation is done.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsolo View Post

Oh wow, didn't know the new MOTU interfaces spec'd out in the Symphony range. On paper it looked pretty close to the Duet 2/Quartet/Ensemble 2 which is how I came to that assumption. I would really like to see a comparison between the Quartet and MOTU 1248.
They don't they actually spec out slightly below the new Ensemble on input and equal to it on output. NMS is putting a lot of weight behind the DC coupling which the Motu has and Symphony's have but the New Ensemble does not.
The Motus input specs at 117-118 db a weighted and output specs at 123db a weighted.

Symphony specs at 120db a wieghted input and 129db a weighted DC coupled. He is basing his statements off trying to average the differences which is conjecture and purely theoretical.

Until he has test the Motu against the New Ensemble he cannot state it's better.It actually specs closer to the New Ensemble than the Symphony. Oh and this is my opinion as I do not have all the facts yet! Based off these numbers,Testing would be the only true way to tell for sure.


Plus the only thing in the new Ensemble that is in the Quartet/Duet II range is the excellent DA out which is a class leading standard for them at 123 db a weighted
.
Inputs on the Quartet/ Duet II are 114 db a weighted. Inputs on the new Ensemble are 119db a weighted via a re worked input path. Plus the New Ensemble has a reworked internal power supply vs external lower power line lumps for the Quartet/Duet II.
Old 14th October 2014
  #46
Funny how they market "Direct Memory Access (DMA) engine to more efficiently read and write data directly to Mac memory independent of the Mac CPU" as an innovate feature. AFAIK direct memory access is standard in pcie bus communication, which is basically what thunderbold is about.
Old 14th October 2014
  #47
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Quote:
They don't they actually spec out slightly below the new Ensemble on input and equal to it on output. NMS is putting a lot of weight behind the DC coupling which the Motu has and Symphony's have but the New Ensemble does not.
The Motus input specs at 117-118 db a weighted and output specs at 123db a weighted.

Symphony specs at 120db a wieghted input and 129db a weighted DC coupled. He is basing his statements off trying to average the differences which is conjecture and purely theoretical.
I realize that, I was just trying to be courteous and let him have his opinion I know the specs of Apogee's new stuff very well since I moved to the mac platform specifically to use there interfaces and thunderbolt lol (and to just try something different). However, I also know that there is more to AD/DA than just specs. One thing that kinda disappointed me about the MOTU 1248 is the hp outs. They spec out at 108 dB a-weighted which is quite a bit lower than the line outs. Wasn't expecting them to spec out at 123 dB like the other line outs but wasn't expecting them to be that low. Sometimes I do have to work in headphones for longer periods and still need to be able to make the same or similar judgments that I would make on monitors. Was nice to see the Ensemble hp outs spec out at 120 db a-weighted.
Old 15th October 2014 | Show parent
  #48
nms
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Originally Posted by Dpro View Post
No sir it's you that do understand what conjecture means
You're not listening. The choice of DC coupled converters and the fact that one of these products is a company's flagship model while the other is intentionally compromised is not conjecture. It is fact. As for my not having laid hands on the Ensemble 2 yet, I don't have any proof that the sun will rise tomorrow, but I have enough reasons to indicate it will.

Quote:
If you stated this as your opinion it would be a valid statement but your willingness to state it as fact completely invalidates it. Until you have tasted the new Ensemble.
I've been very clear about where my statements come from and not having laid hands on an Ensemble 2 yet.

Quote:
They don't they actually spec out slightly below the new Ensemble on input and equal to it on output. NMS is putting a lot of weight behind the DC coupling which the Motu has and Symphony's have but the New Ensemble does not.
About that.. and this is why spec sheet numbers are only ever the tip of the iceberg..

I've been busy with a studio build so haven't had time to look into this more than my initial quick look, but I made some time today.

At this time I can no longer state with any certainty that Symphony offers cleaner conversion than the AVB series.

This is just a glance. I'll do a full run down of the units and check another Symphony plus the Antelope Orion & Zen in 2-4 weeks when I have more time. My 16A test was run at 88.2khz which is why the analyzer extends above 20khz. It's all I have on hand at the moment, but seriously.. this is beyond what any of us would have expected and an undeniable sign of an extremely good design:



Old 15th October 2014
  #49
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the guy on this forum who works for apogee stated that the new ensemble is close to a symphony
Old 15th October 2014 | Show parent
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brb View Post
the guy on this forum who works for apogee stated that the new ensemble is close to a symphony
Quote? He did not. There are very significant differences. Different converter chips & DC coupled outputs for a start. The Ensemble 2 has the same DACs as Quartet/Duet 2, but they used a lesser quality ADC in the Duet2/Quartet which they have upgraded this time around.
Old 15th October 2014 | Show parent
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Quote? He did not. There are very significant differences. Different converter chips & DC coupled converters for a start. The Ensemble 2 has the same DACs as Quartet/Duet 2, but they used a lesser quality ADC in the Duet2/Quartet which they have upgraded this time around.
On this page, post #92:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/137t...ace-mac-4.html

Quoting Don Spacht from Apogee:

"Yes, you're right - the ADC is a completely new design that nearly matches the performance of Symphony i/o!"
Old 15th October 2014
  #52
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Yes it does sound like the ADC isn't far off. Nice upgrade to the ADCs. The DACs have some fundamental differences though.
Old 15th October 2014
  #53
Nothing matches my Symphony !!
Old 15th October 2014 | Show parent
  #54
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Just checkin' ... the plots are a 1k sine thru the A/D? What's the darker orange line?
Old 15th October 2014 | Show parent
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Yes it does sound like the ADC isn't far off. Nice upgrade to the ADCs. The DACs have some fundamental differences though.
Hey NMS….I'll be buying a new interface before the end of year and had narrowed it down to a Symphony, Apollo, and now the new Ensemble. The new Motu 16 really intrigues me though as it seems to have all of the features I need for a great price. In mentioning it to my gear dealer though he said there'd be no way it would sound nearly as good as an Apogee or Apollo.
It seems from your testing that you have the new Motu 16. Can you elaborate on how it actually sounds compared to an Apogee? How are the drivers? Ease of installation? Company support? Are there any sound clips available to hear online? Over the past few years Motu has not kept pace in quality compared to other converter/interfaces and faces stiff negative perception of their product. Is the Motu 16 really comparable now or is it just a nice deal for low to mid conversion of 16 channels? Any insight would be much appreciated!
Old 15th October 2014 | Show parent
  #56
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Originally Posted by lpedrum View Post
In mentioning it to my gear dealer though he said there'd be no way it would sound nearly as good as an Apogee or Apollo.
Shocking. It's probably the first time ever a sales person had no clue what they were talking about. Haha. He's behind on his homework and should stay after class. It's here and it's unlike what any of us expected from them.

Quote:
It seems from your testing that you have the new Motu 16. Can you elaborate on how it actually sounds compared to an Apogee?
I don't own one, but after what I saw with the test samples I arranged I plan to pick up a 1248 after I get a few other purchases out of the way. Lynx Hilo is my primary unit though.

There is no "an Apogee". Their product line varies greatly. At this time the Symphony is the one which most closely resembles the characteristics of the Motu AVB. Karloff has one and commented that it reminded him of the Symphony a lot.

Quote:
Over the past few years Motu has not kept pace in quality compared to other converter/interfaces and faces stiff negative perception of their product. Is the Motu 16 really comparable now or is it just a nice deal for low to mid conversion of 16 channels?
Check into it yourself. Motu have a ton of info on their website about what makes these different than anything they've ever done. Although only a glimpse, you can see for yourself above it's annihilating the Apogees there for conversion artifacts. How were any of their previous products not comparable? They were among the best in their price range. Can you think of any other company who offered an 8ch USB/TB interface for under $1k? It's just that they targeted a more moderate price range previously, so they weren't a contender in the upper end of the interface market.

If you can afford a Symphony then I'd say demo them both if you want to be certain. Otherwise I'd just grab one of these and move on. Unless you only need a few channels, in which case you may want to also consider Hilo or the new Antelope Pure2 *if* it delivers.

Regarding the screenshots, disregard the dark upper line. That's just the peak hold since the RTA jumps at initial onset.
Old 15th October 2014 | Show parent
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Karloff has one and commented that it reminded him of the Symphony a lot.
I wouldn't say 'a lot' at this stage, although it did sound similar in some respects. It is also going back though, so take that for whatever it's worth. Wasn't for me. Only proves you need to hear these converters and try to work on one before coming to a personally useful conclusion. A measurement is only a starting point of useful info.
Old 15th October 2014 | Show parent
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
It is also going back though, so take that for whatever it's worth. Wasn't for me.
What didn't you like specifically and what do you currently use? What are you looking at going with instead?

Also, I don't recall if you ever mentioned, have you owned a Symphony or where was the comparison there from? If you did A/B them at the same time I think they'll sound close. The Sabre32 converters ad DC coupled outputs contributing there a lot. The 17A is killing the Apogees for noise floor and distortion in that test shown above though.

I saw you mentioned pops & crackles with your demo unit. Did you get that figured out? With the new launch that doesn't surprise me a lot. I usually hold off a while til the water's smooth before getting on board. Don't have time for that nuisance!
Old 15th October 2014 | Show parent
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
What didn't you like specifically and what do you currently use? What are you looking at going with instead?

Also, I don't recall if you ever mentioned, have you owned a Symphony or where was the comparison there from?

I saw you mentioned pops & crackles with your demo unit. Did you get that figured out? With the new launch that doesn't surprise me a lot. I usually hold off a while til the water's smooth before getting on board. Don't have time for that nuisance!
Got it running smoothly (Mr Miller is amazingly proactive and helpful!!!) but although it sounds wide, tall and relaxed in a similar way to a Symphony it also sounds bland, flat and like the contrast is turned down on the whole sound. The Symphony comparison comes from using one at a friend's studio.

Seems like the actual conversion is great but the analog stages are built by measurement and not by ear at all. That's my guess anyway.

I am on SSL Alphalink, which isn't perfect, but I prefer it so would actually have felt like a step down. Might look at getting an Orpheus next. Or an Aurora 16.

It's a pity as the 16A is a perfect feature set for me, but it was a no go sound wise for me.
Old 15th October 2014 | Show parent
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nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
Seems like the actual conversion is great but the analog stages are built by measurement and not by ear at all. That's my guess anyway.

I am on SSL Alphalink, which isn't perfect, but I prefer it so would actually have felt like a step down. Might look at getting an next. Or an Aurora 16.
Strange. The Orph & Aurora are nothing alike. Aurora is so bland and less detailed. The Alphalink is dirtier than all of the above though. We have very different taste in converters. Did you take to Hilo at all? Lavry Black/Blue?
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