apogee DUET / -10 vs +4db / help, please!!!

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by frecuencializer, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. I was thinking about getting an Apogee Duet, since i´m going to use it with Mac and Logic Audio.

    My current set up includes four preamps: two Api 512c thru a Dav Electronics Bg.no6 stereo compressor (with balanced outputs), a Joemeek VC1qs channelstrip (with balanced output) and an UA LA610 (with balanced output). As you can see all the preamps just have balanced outputs.

    It follows that Apogee Duet just have two analog inputs, but fisically has 4 inputs: two Xlr Balanced line inputs (maximun gain of 20db) and also two jack non-balanced inputs (maximun gain of 8db), then you choose from the soft the inputs you want to use, two as much.

    I didn´t want to be pluggin and unpluggin to the balanced xlr input each time that i want to change the preamp, so i wondered if i just connect two preamp to the balanced input and the other two to the non-balanced input, isn´t that going to be right? since i´m using short good cables (less than a meter, mogami cable and neutrik connectors). In that case, which preamp you´d let plugged to the balanced one: API512c x2, UA LA610 or Joemeek?

    Thanks a lot!
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    You can actually plug-in all of those preamps to your 4 available inputs. Remember this however, all of your preamps are not only line level outputs. They are all rated at a nominal + 4 DB output with headroom to +24 DBm. Which means they can be loaded into 600 ohm inputs. You don't have that need. So when plugged into your 3 pin XLR inputs, your device wants to see -50, microphone outputs. You'll need to have your gain down along with any kind of pad switched on for the inputs. Your unbalanced inputs can tolerate line level inputs. So on the outputs of your other 2 units, you'll short pin 1 to pin 3 to utilize as the ground and pin 2 as the tip or hot. If your Apogee device has a selection for + 4 or, -10? Select + 4, for inputs as well as outputs.

    You've selected a nice batch of preamps with an interface that has its own reasonable sounding microphone preamps. In fact, Bob Clearmountain regularly uses his Apogee microphone inputs as he likes them. And he has an older unit that they don't even make anymore. So not quite sure why folks like yourself purchase great microphone preamps when your computer interface has its own lovely preamps? Not sure what you hope to gain? Certainly more & different textures. Just not quite well thought out. You can still only record 2 channels at a time. Duh? Mom and Dad didn't get you the Christmas present you asked for?? Or maybe not playing with a full deck? Your purchases aren't bad but it's like purchasing a set of four tires for your motorcycle. How did you accomplish this? Must be good paper route?

    Hot corned beef on rye with mustard. Hold the corned beef. Right.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. Thanks a lot, it´s great I can keep all the cables plugged in.

    Maybe the preamps on the DUET are quite good and enough (at least for me, of course), as i´ve heard (cause i´ve not bought it yet) is that they are quite transparent, but sometimes that´s not the reason you buy a preamp, sometimes you buy a preamp cause it has a certain response when you pass thru it an electric bass from a DI signal (Joemeek), or when you pass a voice thru a certain mic (LA610), or the response with e-guitars (API), or whatever. I don´t consider myself professional, and I don´t need to record more than two tracks at the same time, that´s why a firewire interface with two inputs it´s just alright for me. After all, drums, I record them in another studio, or I do with a Roland e-drum.
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    I'm not convinced that the Apogee Duet is the right box for you. The two XLR inputs can be used as balanced line ins as long as you set them up carefully (no phantom power!), but the instrument inputs are going to struggle to act as the proper way in for the other two signal sources.

    You may be better served by looking at something like the TC Konnekt 8, which has 4 balanced inputs. If you only need two-channel recording, just select which channels you want from the available list. It won't be long before you need more than two.

    As an aside, preamps and other outboard gear that have differential outputs driven by separate op-amps (such as the DAV range) should not have their output XLR pin 3 shorted to ground. If you want an unbalanced output from them, leave pin 3 open circuit and take the output from pin 2 with pin 1 as ground. In contrast, floating transformer outputs need pin 3 grounded for unbalanced operation.
  5. the reason to go for the Duet is because in that range of price i think it has the best converters. any other card with more inputs and the same quality in the convertes i think it´s much more money.

    I don´t think i have many problems to adjust the volumen in the Xlr input, because in the software maestro you can choose for Xlr Inputs Mic level or line level, isn´t that right?
  6. droc8705

    droc8705 Active Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I'm with Boswell on this one. if you don't mind me asking, where are you located? here in the US, the Apogee duet goes for $495, where as the TC Electronic Konnekt 24D goes for $500, a much better unit for a mere $5 more. It comes with 2 great pre amps, 4 more line level inputs, as well as adat and s/pdif inputs. you may not need more than 2 channels at once, but it's always fun to have more available as to experiment later on down the road. just my 2 cents though.

  7. I´m in Spain.

    i´ve heard good things about Duet, but haven´t heard much of the TC. I´ll check it out.

    what i haven´t understood is the cable configuration. What you mean it´s that i must use a standar mono cable XLR>jack, isn´t it?
  8. Well, I think i´ll go for Duet.

    My question is:

    If I must left plugged-in four channel strips:

    2 x API512c > DAV electronics BG.6 (stereo compressor)

    Joemeek VC1qs

    Universal Audio LA610

    Which two of those would you keep plugged to the balanced inputs of the Duet? In this case no problem: Xlr (stereo) to Xlr (stereo).

    Which of those two would you keep plugged to the non-balanced inputs of the Duet? In this case I must use Xlr > ¼” Jack mono, how is the cable to use?
  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Firstly, your need to ask this question shows that you are making a mistake in opting for the Duet as against a different similar-cost interface of equal or better audio quality that has 4 balanced line inputs.

    Secondly, the stereo output of the DAV BG6 clearly forms one pair, leaving the VC1QS and the LA610 as the other two sources. The DAV can drive unbalanced by wiring a cable in the way I described in my previous post, so you have a candidate there for feeding instrument inputs.

    Thirdly, it's not that difficult to repair an LA610 that has had phantom power accidentally applied to its output, but I don't know whether this is true for the VC1QS.
  10. Boswell, i really appreciate your words, they really help me to take a decition, or not to take it as well.

    Maybe I think about it, what about RME FireFace 400, i can get a second hand one for a bit more.
  11. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    When choosing an interface, generate a shortlist of possible models and then ask yourself several questions about each shortlisted model. The questions should include:

    - Does it have the functional features I require?

    - Does it fit in with the other equipment I want to use with it?

    - Is the audio and manufacturing quality high enough for the purpose for which I need it?

    - Does it fit within my budget?

    Both the RME FireFace series and the TC Konnekt series of interface are high quality (at least as good as the Duet). In my view, one of these interfaces would be a better investment for you than the Apogee Duet.

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