Antelope Audio Orion32+ by TheDawg
I've found the sound to be very natural, pristine, and detailed sounding. Coming from a 1st gen Apollo, its a very audible upgrade in terms of sound and AD/DA conversion. One big feature in the 32+ is in the mastering grade dedicated output on the unit, something the original 32 didn't have. It's said to have come from Antelopes Pure Mastering converter which is top notch so that's a nice added feature.
Ease of Use:
In terms of connecting the Orion 32+ with cables and hardware, its pretty simple. Where its not so easy to use is with the software matrix program. It will take some time to get used to how to configure it to patch the channels I/O's to do what you want the unit to do. There is room for improvements in the implementation of the software matrix program. The upside is that this can come in future software updates (and hopefully they do). Outside of the software, the unit is pretty simple to use once it's up and running.
This is where, and why, the Orion32+ stands alone in the AD/DA interface category. For its price point, you get 32 I/O's now over Thunderbolt with dedicated mastering grade outputs, and all of the usual digital I/O's, WC, etc...You really get the most bang for you buck on a per channel conversion with its quality of sound. The Thunderbolt implementation is rock solid in my use of it and really was the deciding factor in getting this unit. There's very low latency, to the point that its really negligible. Also added in the Orion 32+ is Antelopes new built-in DSP effects which I haven't bothered to use yet so I can't really add input on that now. I'm guessing the longterm play is to take a piece out of the UA Apollo playbook here with real-time effects processing on tracking.
Bang for buck:
Excellent! In my opinion there isn't another unit on the market that gives you everything I mentioned above with excellent sound quality for the $3,495 price tag. If you tried to piece together units that equaled what the Orion 32+ has, you'd easily pay more.