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I own 2 Aardvark Q10's which I use on my Dell computer. They have their own A/D converters rated at 24 bits 96khz. I keep reading the great raves the Apogee system )like the Rosetta) keep getting from everyone. They have the same sampling rate as the Q10, but an Apogee system cost like 3 tiems the price of the Aardvark Q10. Any of you have any suggestions ? should I keep my Q10's ? Will the Apogee make a world of a difference ? I really want to improve my quality and I was wondering if this could be a missing link. Thanks again!

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Massive Mastering Mon, 09/20/2004 - 09:43

It depends on what you're shooting for -

For a lot of project & home studios, the Aardvark stuff is fine.

For critical listening, recording, mixing and mastering, stepping up to something at least as decent as Apogee is a must. The difference is night-and-day.

That being said, I just got rid of my Apogee converters in favor of Lavry converters. Again, night-and-day from Apogee. Can't even imagine a much better set (which is exactly why I got them).

If you're looking for more than a stereo set, Apogee's 16x converters are a bargain for what they deliver...

KurtFoster Mon, 09/20/2004 - 10:27

Keep in mind that you are going to lose the pres in the Aardvark by switching to Apogee's or Lavry's ... they only have line level inputs .. no pres.

Another point I always make is great converters are absolutely of no value if all you are going to put into them is crap ... meaning great mics, pres, eqs and compressors should be the priority before you consider conversion ... It's the old "garbage in / garbage out, story.

Going out and purchasing top shelf conversion is expensive and the investment is tenuous at best ... it will be of diminishing value over time and as standards change. Front end equipment like mics and pres will essentially last for ever while converters come and go. I would be willing to bet that within 5 years, DSD or something like that, will be the "newest thing" that everyone will be looking at in terms of digital formats .. while the mic pres I have owned for ten years already, will still be viable..

Once the marketplace has become saturated with 192 converters, the manufacturers are not going to stand by idly while their sales drop off .. they are going to "re invent the wheel", so they have something new to offer their customers..

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying there is no place for great converters. My opinion is that good converters, before you have good front end gear to feed them, is "putting the cart before the horse".