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Apogee Electronics Element 24

Apogee Electronics Element 24

4.75 4.75 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

What surprised me was the lack of user reviews on Apogee's element series. What motivated my purchase was the search for a mobile option to replace my Duet 2. What I discovered was a lack of higher quality options. If you're looking for a thunderbolt interface, this is the way to go.


22nd January 2017

Apogee Electronics Element 24 by Obagam

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Apogee Electronics Element 24

I read a lot of opinions here about the Element and not a whole lot of real facts. The first thing I kept reading in this forum was that they use the same converters found in Duet 2/Quartet. This is WRONG. They are the same components found in the new new Ensemble Thunderbolt and it has the same headphone output technology found in the Apogee Symphony Mk2 and Apogee Groove. So you get all this amazing technology at a lower price point because everything is controlled by software via computer or mobile app.

I like having a mobile option when I step out of the studio and to me the Duet 2 was perfect. It is showing its age and the Element was the next best option. I love being able to have super low latency using Thunderbolt. I can run plenty of channels and tons of plugins with no CPU lag or the usual crackles and pops on 32 buffer. My current go to plugins are by Acustica, Equilibrium EQ, Fabfilter, Waves and Slate Digital.

I have a pair of 600ohm Beyerdynamics DT880 modded with Mogami cable. The headphone output auto switches to 600 ohm and they sound absolutely breathtaking. If you have an interest in the Apogee Groove, it's an excellent choice. The Element, Groove and Symphony MK2 use the same headphone output technology.

The monitor output is the same as found in the new Ensemble Thundebolt and it sounds amazing. I appreciate the fact that you can stack units and build your studio out accordingly with the Elements.

The Element 24 is perfect for mobile use. It fits in my backpack and its foot print is smaller than my macbook pro 15".

My only gripes are the fact that it's not buss powered. Having to plug it in is very inconvenient. Thunderbolt 3 should carry more power so will this soon be a focus for Apogee? I was tempted to get the Zoom Tac 2R because of this. The mixer can also be confusing to work with in the beginning but after spending some time you get used to the workflow. I like how you can work with the hardware directly from Logic Pro X. The wireless control option through mobile app is a great feature! I wish it had DB25 for quick use with API lunchboxes but it's still usable. I'm also amazed the outputs are not DC coupled like the competing UAD Apollos.

Overall, I love the sound quality, the simplicity and the speed of thunderbolt. I'd like to hear a comparison with the new UAD Apollo but based on specs it looks like the elements have better AD/DA specs and headphone output. There's no in depth AD/DA specs from UAD which is pretty shady I think. You can only find them here: http://media.uaudio.com/support/down...are_Manual.pdf. Compared to the Element, they don't even come close. I highly recommend the Element series for seasoned studio veterans and anyone just starting to build out a studio.

  • 9
4 weeks ago

Apogee Electronics Element 24 by Woodwindy

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Apogee Electronics Element 24

I own the Symphony (mk1) in my recording studio, and I really wanted to step up my game in my woodwind teaching studio. Because the quality of the Symphony is so high, I really felt that sticking with Apogee, especially at this price point, was a no brainer. I also decided to include the optional remote with my order. Both items were a good decision.
I will review a few key points here, but suffice it to say that I feel that Apogee made wise decisions on the quality and features for the price point they were targeting.

Converters:
Nice. I have not AB'd them with my Symphony or Mytek 192, but they are a HUGE improvement over my little Mackie Blackjack, as well they should be at this price and recent design. Much better sound quality in every respect.

Inputs/Outputs:
Exactly what you need in a 2 channel interface.

Headphone out:
More than adequate for most situations, however, in my teaching studio, I use phones a lot, and I have learned that a lot goes into powering headphones, so I ordered the Neve headphone amp and Sennheiser HD650's, and ran the 1/4" headphone out of the Element into the 1/8" input on the Neve. Immediately, the low end and transient response of the headphones came alive, in comparison to driving the phones directly from the Element. Not a knock on the Apogee, but just what happens when the headphone amp costs nearly as much as the interface.

Mic Pre's:
Huge improvement over the Mackie. And I'm confident that the quality of the mic pre's and just about everything on the unit is greatly increased by not making this thing bus powered. But, again, I'm pretty spoiled from the recording studio, so I got 2 Manley Core's and bypassed the pre's in the Element. Great addition, great improvement. But are the factory pre's in the Element of good quality, and can you make great sounding records with them? Absolutely.

Software:
Excellent. Killer. Love that you can change the input pad on the Element right there in the software, so if you're using separate pre's, just a mouse click on the +4 db and the XLR input is ready for action.

Remote Control:
This thing rocks. And at $199, it's a bargain. The Element software makes customizing the buttons a snap!
CAUTION: I couldn't find the included cable to connect the remote. After searching for about 20 minutes, I finally realized that there is a false bottom inside the box. There it was!

Build quality (of the Element and the remote):
Absolutely superb.

Apogee customer support:
Wow--I'm such a fan of the "Chat" button on the front page of their website. Links you straight to Tech Support, and response is very quick. Absolutely brilliant!!! Just that button is reason enough to buy Apogee.

I'd like to say again that adding a Neve Headphone amp and Manley Channel Strips are in no way a knock on the quality of the Element 24. Apogee has delivered more than you have a right to expect in a $595 2 channel interface. In order to create a significantly better box, they would need to at least quadripal the asking price. The Element 24 is at the heart of my teaching studio, and it performs admirably. Highly recommended!

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