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Apogee Ensemble or RME Fireface UFX?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by ChrisH, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    Ill be using it with a iMac and Cubase 6.
    This will be my main Recording interface, will be used with external pre amps for tracking "rock" drums, guitar, vocals, exclusively in my home studio.
    I know the feature differences between the two, my question is on the audio quality, does one have better conversion quality or Pres?
    I do like the idea of higher channel abilities with the RME, so.. if the conversion audio quality is just as good as apogees, then i'll get the RME.
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Is there an actual question here? Really?

    Both of these are fine units with excellent converters. They are not necessarily the same generation of technology. Both could be used in similar ways. One of these units allows stand alone use and adjustment a bonus of direct recording to a USB drive up to 2TB in size.

    If you want realistic answers and not some BS fan boi "I like brand X best because it ROCKS," then you have to give us some information. What kind of recording are you intending to do? How many simultaneous tracks? Is doubling as a redundant digital recorder important? How are you going to connect your data stream and will you be daisy chaining? Are you using outboard preamps or the onboard preamps of the interface?

    There are so many variables and your post just comes across as an attempt to fish for fans for which I cry fowl....err.....foul. Give it another try with an actual purposeful question.
  3. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    I'm not one for posting stupid posts, I didn't realize my phone didn't post the rest of my thread.
    It's fixed.
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Excellent follow up. I'm now on my Droid so will be brief. In my opinion the Ensemble was competing more with FF800 or FF400. The UFX has the very latest RME converters and preamps. I would say that trumps the particular Apogee interface. The big bonus is the USB recording and for you Mac guys with disappearing 1394 ports the dual 1394/usb connection options.
  5. ChrisH

    ChrisH Active Member

    Awesome, thank you for the help.
    Does anyone know how the audio quality of the converters in the RME UFX compare to an Apogee Da16X?
  6. musictech77

    musictech77 Active Member

    i asked black ion something about maudio profire 2626 modification.they told me that the sound quality of maudio before the modification is identical with apogee ensemble or rme fireface 800.so they think that apogee ensemble-fireface800 and maudio profire are all in the same league.i don't know anything about the sound quality of the newer rme interface but ...if you don't want to spend that money consider seriously the profire.
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Sorry. Someone fed you a line of crap. There is nothing by M-Audio that is on par with ANYTHING by RME or Apogee. The clock is shitty on M-Audio gear as well as the analog circuitry. Crap. Did I mention M-Audio sounds like garbage? Entry level beginner gear? Ok. Semi pro or entry level pro gear? No so much. This decision isn't based upon specs but upon actually utilizing and listening to the gear. Can someone with lots of pro audio experience get decent enough sounds from M-Audio gear? Yes but that doesn't make it good. It just proves experience trumps gear.
  8. musictech77

    musictech77 Active Member

    have you heard the profire 2626??the profire is different than the other maudio cards.the clock is less than 3 picoseconds..
  9. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I have heard it, yes. And used it. And used the Fireface. And used the Apogee. The 2626 is not in the same league. Better than all the other M-Audio gear is not much of a recommendation as I've rarely heard such nasty analog sections from gear purported to be even prosumer let alone pro.

    Black Lion being able to modify gear to being equal does not make the pieces in original equipment state equal. I have utmost respect for BLA and their abilities to make a basic platform into excellent equipment.
  10. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    If you are reporting correctly then either (1) the guy you talked to at BLA needs to get his hearing/objectivity checked or (2) the people at BLA split the audio world in the "stuff we think we can make better" and "stuff we think we can't make better (for a reasonalbe price)." If it's option (2) then a lot of gear is "identical." I have a lot of respect for BLA as well, but never rule out option (1) (especially for yourself.)
  11. musictech77

    musictech77 Active Member

    i'll try to find the email from black lion and post it here..thanks anyway for the advises.finally jim williams modificated my alesis hd24xr to jim and...iam very happy with it.
  12. musictech77

    musictech77 Active Member

    i found it:

    Hey Stergios, I will try to answer all of your questions below. Cheers.


    2011/11/23 stergios tsirliagos <t.stergios@yahoo.gr>
    I'm from greece-athens and have aprofire 2626 and i saw at a forum that you can upgrade it..
    i have few questions please for you..:)

    1)if i don't make any upgrade and leave the maudio as it is...what level of conversion does it offers comparable with famous and reliable converters of the market??(like lynx l22 and mytek ad96) - The stock Profire 2626 is in the same basic ballpark as the Apogee Ensemble or the RME FF800.
    2)after the upgrade can be the alesis comparable with mytek or lynx?? - The modded Profire 2626 will sound better than a stock Ensemble, RME FF800 or RME UFX.
    3)how many days do you need to finish the upgrade??(sorry for this kind of ''stress'' question but...i really nedd this unit to work...! ) - The standard turnaround time is 7-10 business days from your scheduled mod date. This does not include the return shipping time.
    4)what is the total cost (shipping cost included) for this upgrade? - The modification is $575 and the shipping would be between $60-80.

    thanks!!i'm looking forward for your answer!!

    Black Lion Audio
    1800 W Cuyler Ave
    Chicago, IL 60613

    Be sure to join our mailing list by clicking the link on our homepage, http://www.blacklionaudio.com!

    if you notice i did a mikstake in the question No2.i sent the same email first to jim williams regarding my alesis and then i copied it and..tried to make changes and replace the alesis with the profire in the text..!!
  13. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The paper specs may be the same but the actual unit in reality is not in real world usage. Especially the analog stages which are even more important than the ADC.
  14. musictech77

    musictech77 Active Member

    as you realized i didn't asked for the paper specs.thanks for the infos anyway. i got better feeedback after searching about alesis modification from mr williams so..i finally didn't modificate the profire.i used it only as an interface and connect the alesis via adat to the profire.
  15. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    This is exactly useless as you haven't used all the gear in question or even the modified 2626-and BLA is in business to sell their mods. So rather than revive an old thread with useless information it would be better to endeavor to actually gain some real world experience.

    As platforms to be modified, all three of these are on the same footing. I'll say again that in practical real world usage, the 2626 is not in the same general class as RME or Apogee. And utilizing the comment from BLA as justification about a modded unit being better than an unmodded unit is disingenuous because if a mod doesn't make the original platform considerably better then there is no point to the mod.
  16. musictech77

    musictech77 Active Member

    hello.. you and other moderators admitted that you respect black lion's mods,as i do .that's why i asked them about the quality of conversion of profire before the modification.so i think that i received a responsible answer.they don't have any reason to claim that maudio is at the same league as fireface800.they don't earn something from that statement. ;)
    also...iam not an maudio dealer.i said that finally i modificated my alesis hd24xr.so don't advise me please which threads should i read or answer.it is my decision.you don't know how much i try to endeavor real experience. :)
    i respect your opinion about maudio interface but you should also respect the opinions of other proffesionals like black lion's people.a man here mentioned rme(ufx and not fireface800) and apogee enseble and i just suggested him to have in mind a cheaper solution which is identical as black lion claimed.That's all.please notice their answers again:

    -The stock Profire 2626 is in the same basic ballpark as the Apogee Ensemble or the RME FF800
    -The modded Profire 2626 will sound better than a stock Ensemble, RME FF800 or RME UFX.

    ..they don't write anywhere that
    mod doesn't make the original platform considerably better .

    as you understood i don't have any personal opinion about the sound quality differences between these 3 models.i mentioned that but i thought that it 'd be nice if someone could save some money.in any case, the person conserned should make a research.we are not Gods.this is just a forum.finally we have to trust our ears. :)

  17. bgielen

    bgielen Active Member

    I know this is a terribly old thread, but google decided to give it a very high ranking regarding info on the profire 2626,
    so i feel the need to chime in!

    First of all, Musictech77, when BLA (a company that i respect a lot) says a profire is In the same ballpark,
    they are at the same moment stating it's not up to par with those interfaces, just not that much worse you would call it another ballpark.
    As any user of the 2626 would tell you, the sound quality is def not up to par with RME/Apogee/Probably anything in that price class.

    But let's set aside the sonic differences, the profire has probably the shittiest drivers/software around.
    I've gone thru countless hours of firewire port problems, repairing disk permissions, reinstalling drivers ... and it still kept crapping out.
    It was a well know problem on the M-audio forums for years, but every driver update was disappointment.
    Finally, when my student budget allowed, i threw it in the bin and never looked back.
    I didn't even sell it, because i felt bad asking money for something that badly engineered.

    An audio interface should be a problem free device, which integrates seamlessly in the setup,
    and the profire 2626 is anything but that.
    The apogee & RME cards I'm working with now haven't had one software hiccup in 2 years of use,
    and aren't really in the same ballpark soundwise. It's just that nothing is really really terrible these days,
    in which case you could even get away with saying that behringer converters are in the same ballpark as Lavry/Prism/...

    Respect for an opinion is very important, but you should always have your salesmen filter on,
    cause no doubt the BLA updates are great,
    the main objective is selling, not informing you meticulously on how stock soundcards measure up

    Edit: I'm not trolling, I just really needed to get my experience out there, since it was an experience alright.
  18. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    All y'all are just kidding yourselves. These modifications really make no difference. The difference comes in engineering technique first and foremost. Any professional can make a professional recording with any piece of equipment. Sonic purity? My ass. Only people with nothing better to do keep modifying equipment they bought to make it better. It ain't better. It's a slightly improved piece of crap. BFD, really.

    I too have a HD 24 xr. And it's fed from Neve and API. And that sounds just plain fabulous. And there is absolutely no reason to modify the HD 24. That's a waste of money. If you want something better... you buy something better. I'm completely familiar with Jim Williams and BLA, And while they do some nice mods, the nice mods are designed for crappy equipment to make them sound different kind of crappy. Everybody is using IC chip converters today and they are all perfectly 100% adequate to use. If you practice your engineering chops, you won't need any silly modifications. But there's a sucker born every minute and people love to waste their money.

    Have some fried calamari for me
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  19. bgielen

    bgielen Active Member

    RemyRad, what a terrible add on.
    I'm pretty sure your HD24xr is perfectly capable of doing some high standard recordings.
    But so are many other products on the market on all different kind of price points.

    I think we all could agree engineering skills are the only really artistic valuable thing here,
    right after the artists performance.
    But did it cross your mind we are sharing these experiences/are asking these questions because we don't want to just blow our money?

    I can see how mods to, for instance a profire 2626, wouldn't seem of any value to you,
    i even share that view. But if that's the way people choose to make nice recordings,
    who are you to judge? Searching for the best audio quality is also a way to make your work & the performers work stand out best, i see no problem in the desire of wanting the best deal.
  20. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Remy doesn't need my defense but I'll just point out a few things.

    First, she could make a decent recording with a pair of tin cans and a string.
    Second, she HATES the sound of PCM audio. Did I mention she really doesn't like it at all? It makes her throw up in her mouth a little.
    Third, Remy knows the specifications of her gear and how to baby it if necessary to polish the turd that is Behringer if she has to.
    Fourth, Remy gets fed up with every third person obsessing about what the brand of gear is instead of learning how to integrate what they have.

    Gear does matter but engineering skills account for a greater percentage of success in a recording. This is not a knock on Remy at all to say most other high level engineers consider there to be a relative minimum quality of converter they want to work with. If you feed a better converter with the same great analog front end Remy has you will get better potential. The question is then whether that resulting increase is worth it for the product being produced for ipods and crappy compressed downloads from Amazon or whatever.

    For most folks, they would be better off learning the spec's on their gear than chasing a better converter provided the one they have actually functions. That said, I would never own another M-Audio converter from my past experiences.

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