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Apogee Mini DAC still relevant in 2015?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by JesterMasque, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. JesterMasque

    JesterMasque Active Member

    Hey guys!

    Here's my rig:
    Steinberg UR824
    PreSonus DIGIMAX FS (ADAT into UR824)
    Audient MiCO (TRS into DIGIMAX)
    Chameleon Labs 7622 (TRS into the DIGIMAX)
    MacBook Pro Retina 2.4GHz i7 Quad-core
    Cubase 5, 7.5, 8
    Event 20/20 bas V3 Monitors
    Better treated control room than most
    (Assume everything is properly connected with balanced Mogami cabling, as it is)

    Back in 2009, probably the biggest difference I ever heard in my monitoring system was putting my friend's Apogee Mini DAC into my setup. At the time I had an M-Audio Profire 2626, and until running 2-channel optical into the Mini DAC (then out to my monitors) I never realized what a "separated" mix sounded like in my own room. I mean, to my ears it was a massive difference, and it was easy to A/B to hear it. Everything sounded more clear and true to the source material, and my mixes really translated so much better since I felt the need to do less.

    What I am wondering is whether or not this thing is worth buying as an external DAC for my UR824. It seems technology moves so fast that I wonder if the converters in the Mini DAC are even on par with the ones in my Steinberg now. What do you guys think?
     
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm unfamiliar with Apogee,
    This looks like a really nice DA. If you can get one priced well, and you liked it before, it should serve you well for years. A good DA for monitoring is an essential for me so kudo's for being interested in your sound this much.

    To my understanding, converters aren't necessarily improving right now, but the interfacing is, and will continue for years! You need to decide if this has the correct interfacing for you? USB3 or Thunderbolt are what I would be looking for.

    The resale on these will not be good. But who cares if you can get this on a deal and it works great for you.
     
  3. JesterMasque

    JesterMasque Active Member

    You know, I have been looking in that direction and bought an Apollo 8P last week. Suffice it to say that it did not live up to it's hype and price point. Then I ordered a Focusrite Clarett only to find that it is still backordered until September (if even then with their development issues)..

    As far as interfacing, I simply can't see any issue with my UR824. Using it with Cubase I get direct monitoring and the latency is just barely 5ms round trip. I just wish there was more easily accessible info out there to learn more about how hardware affects DA conversions. I'm finding it difficult to find little more than speculation.
     
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    What didn't you like about it?
     
  5. JesterMasque

    JesterMasque Active Member

    Well, up one level in this forum (Converters and Interfaces) is a thread called "Anyone else less than thrilled about the Apollo 8P?" Or something to that effect. I have a list of issues I had, and from my research it seems I wasn't the only one with those issues.
     
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I owned 2 A16's. I loved the build and the concept, and they interfaced just excellent but I really really really hated how they are incorporating the store. Its a Pro Tools add-on. I now see why its selling.
    Without sounding too cocky, Sequoia is miles ahead of where this is. A great clean converter and some outboard gear is really the best place for me. Those who are caught up on having the latest UAD, and need all that extra PCI, I see why you'd want this.(y) It feeds the boat bloat really well. And you can buy online without even thinking twice.:cautious:

    As far as conversion goes and having them for an interface, I think they are good enough for most people. UAD gear is an excellent addition to Pro Tools. I think every Avid owner should add these to your lineup.
     
  7. JesterMasque

    JesterMasque Active Member

    "...excellent addition to Pro Tools."

    Yep, I found that out, considering I run Cubase and I really don't plan on changing. I may acquire Logic and Pro Tools into my system for outside engineers like I did with Ableton, but the more I work with other DAWs, the more I love Cubase's workflow. I've been a paying user since SX (then upgraded to SX3, 5, and 7.5/8), and it just makes sense to me. I am quite efficient in it and never have trouble completing a record because I have to call customer service (Pro Tools, anyone? So many horror stories from friends who are balls deep in their HD investment).

    I really though I had a weak point in my DAW's rig, but after the experience with the Apollo, I realized how well off I actually am. I'm putting my money into a new channel strip plugin suite, mics, and maybe a few more flavor a of pres for the front end.

    Now, if only I can find a new location for the studio, since the commercial building I am located in has so many problems of its own..
     

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