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-   -   Universal Audio Apollo 8 DUO - Thunderbolt 2 (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/reviews/1068635-universal-audio-apollo-8-duo-thunderbolt-2-a.html)

Deleted User 15th February 2016 09:13 PM

Universal Audio Apollo 8 DUO - Thunderbolt 2
 
The Universal Audio Apollo 8 Duo is one of the strongest interfaces I've owned. I am coming from a BLA Mbox and an Apogee Ensemble.

As far as sound quality is concerned, the only thing that can top this interface is a mastering grade interface such as the Lynx Hilo. Even so, the Apollo offers an opulent, robust sound with a hint of vintage vibe.

The direct inputs and preamps are sonorous and transparent, with plenty of headroom for recording a variety of sources. The unison modeling technology is actually quite nice; I find myself using it much more often than not. The API and Neve models are fine, but the UA 610 is spot on. I would happily use the 610 via unison instead of the real thing. The tone it affords has plenty of low mid bloom, that is second only to the immaculate gain from a Great River.


While the console app is not perfect, after several months of use I find it intuitive and stable enough. The real benefit here is the ability to apply UA plug-ins with virtually zero latency during tracking.

Overall this interface is an able performer that will 'get out of the way' and let you make records.

Fiedelfinn 11th June 2018 08:31 AM

i upgraded to this interface from my Focusrite Scarlett 18i8. I did not suspect any dramatic difference in sound, but i found some of the UAD Plugins very interesting so i went for the Apollo.
When comparing converters the differences in sound are usually very subtle, but this was a huge step up. The differences were even audible on a small HiFi system.
The Preamps are good, especially for internal ones. But still, even with unison, they are absolutely no replacement for external pres. They sound less detailed and 3d than the original hardware. The Breakup on the 610 plugin actually sounds better than my original solo 610, but when set clean, the hardware wins by far.
Mixing with the plugins is only possible with the legacy versions and some less DSP hungry Plugins. But thats not a big problem for me, because its very easy to track through the plugins via the console software, which is a workflow i really like. Most of the time i also use a UAD reverb on an aux bus. You cant do much more with the duo version.
The build quality is very good, wth the exception of the two main knobs (monitor and preamp). They feel feel very cheap and wiggly.
In terms of price the Apollo is okay, keep in mind that the Plugins are very expensive and you cant really mix with them unless you buy an extra satellite.
If i had the choice between the Apollo and a cheaper interface with good converters + external preĀ“s, i would probably go for the cheaper interface.
But since i already have an external pre i am very happy with my Apollo and would buy it again.