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Old 6th April 2009
Gear Addict

I'd say go with this combination -

1. Apogee Ensemble - $2,000
2. Universal Audio 710 - $800
3. Black Lion Audio Auteur - $465

Total - $3265

Now, my reasonings. First of all, As much as I believe in the Digi 002/003 mods from BLA, I'm thinking putting any money into the MOTU unit, given their mod isn't nearly as extensive as the Digi mods, might be a waste when you could REALLY upgrade to something that will not only be a HUGE upgrade in the converter dept., but will also give you great integration with Logic, plus a nice set of four clean, airy, transparent pre's.

Next, the UA 710 is my newest toy. I just picked up a pair a few weeks ago and have been using them on all my drum sessions for the overhead SM81s. Love them. Not really too sure how much of that "tube/solid-state blending" I could have been hearing just on drums, but I'm definitely looking forward to experimenting with it more on guitars/vox. But back to my point, they sound great. I've had 610s for a while and always dug the "bigness" of them. The 710 is a bit more modern, but definitely big sounding. Would make a great "versatile" primary channel.

Finally, another one of my newest acquisitions, the Auteur two-channel pre. I haven't actually received it yet (UPS tracking says Wednesday! ) but if they're at all as they've been described to me as, they'd make an awesome addition to the analog palette at your spot.

So there, for $3600 bucks with some cables and tax, you've just upgraded your converters SIGNIFICANTLY, & added seven, BANGIN, new pre's to the analog rack.

You're welcome. Go forth and rock.