1. Hi Guest, if you haven't already... enter to WIN ACID Pro Give-away
    Dismiss Notice

Apogee Duet- Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by DonnyThompson, Oct 27, 2017.

Tags:
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    Does anyone here have any experience with the Apogee Duet? Not the Duet 2, just the regular Duet released in 2013. I have the opportunity to pick one up from a friend who's switched over to a UAD 8 ch i-o.
    I've heard good things about apogee preamps and converters, and I've probably passed signal through their converters at some point working at other studios, but have never owned anything Apogee myself. Anyone have any experience with it, or thoughts?
    Thanks! :)
    -donny
     
  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    Ps...
    SR is 44 to 192.
     
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Home Page:
    Mac only. Is that OK?
     
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    PC W10 support coming this November. ;)
     
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    77 Sunset Lane.
    even for legacy units?
     
  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    It’s also FireWire which limits its portability these days. No direct experience with it, but for its online going rate of $150, it’s probably not going to be beat quality wise by any other current unit at that price.

    I’ve used the apogee ensemble and Rosetta 800, and the Rosetta is the sound of commercial audio up till about 2014/15 when next gen stuff came out. The ensemble wasn’t really as good. It lacked that ‘thing’. I would venture to say the Rosetta 800 still smokes any current 5/600$ interface. The 800 made me a better engineer instantly.

    I’d rather have the high end of yesterday than the mediocre of today in the case of apogee.
     
  7. Makzimia

    Makzimia The Minstrel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Location:
    Hyde, England
    @kmetal FYI, there is a USB-FW convertor these days :). I would say if the price is right and it suits your purposes, go for it.
     
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    That’s interesting I must have missed them last year when I looked.

    There seems to be mixed views on whether they work well or not. Port speed and the way the Data is transferred in streams vs packets seems to be the main places of contention. I’m not sure if the FW drivers work via usb or not.

    Either way if your on a desktop with a free pcie port it’s easy and cheap enough to add a FW card.
     
  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    It's a USB unit.
    Yes the W10 drivers will work with the Duet 2013
    Nope. USB.
     
    kmetal likes this.
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    Here's my thinking on this, guys...
    I'm more interested in this for it's converters than I am the pre's.
    I've done some research on this - and to be clear this is the Duet, not the Duet 2 - and I can bypass the preamps on this if I want and send a line level directly to the converters without hitting the preamps, so the thought is that I could use my nice external preamps with this, without coloring the sound of sending their signal through another preamp stage.
    I've heard good things about their preamps, more transparent than others, so I'm not ruling out the option of using this as a pre as well.
    Keeping in mind that my current pre is the Presonus VSL1818; and while it's served me well, the thought of upgrading my conversion has been with me for awhile. I can get this Duet, used very little, for $200 and my buddy will take four payments of $50.
    I've checked with Apogee and this model will work with W7 and up starting in November; at which point I can download new drivers and firmware. It's supporting USB without any need for an adaptor or PCI card. My buddy has assured me that if I have any issues using this on my PC, he will take it back.
    This is where I'm at now.
     
  12. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Home Page:
    Interesting, Donny. Do you have a reference for the line inputs on the break-out cable bypassing the pre-amps? I had always assumed on the 2013 duet that the pre-amp could be configured as mic, instrument, -10 line or +4 line.
     
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    According to what I've researched thus far, your assumptions are correct. I will say that I do like the idea of being able to send the line out of my external standalone mic preamps directly to the converters - without chancing any coloration that could happen by having to bus the signal through the Apogee's mic pre's. This is probably the most important thing for me - and I'm not saying that I would never use its preamps, I probably will if I want a more transparent signal...but the main priority is to improve my conversion quality from what I've been using in the Presonus for the last few years. So when all is said and discussed, I suppose what I'm really asking my friends here, is what they know or think about Apogee conversion.
    I don't have any preferences yet, pal, because I haven't made the final decision to buy it yet. I was waiting to hear what you guys thought before I decided to pull the trigger. ;)
     
  14. Makzimia

    Makzimia The Minstrel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Location:
    Hyde, England
    All up, sounds like a worthwhile buy at the price Donny.
     
  15. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    Home Page:
    I agree - with the W10 drivers said to be coming out next month and you having effectively a money-back return policy from your friend, you can't lose. I'd be really interested in your comments on how you think it sounds.

    On the topic of line level pre-amp bypass to get directly at the converters, I've been more and more impressed by the ADC access using the balanced insert returns on my Audient ASP880. Feeding a 4-channel API3124+ into the insert returns of 4 channels and using the very transparent Audient pre-amps (with variable impedance inputs) on the other 4 channels gives 8 channels of 96KHz conversion to send via lightpipes into one of my Alesis HD24s. The sonic flexibility of the two pre-amp variants plus the lovely Audient converter quality affords great flexibility when recording small groups that include vocals and any other sources that would benefit from the API treatment.
     
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Sounds like a winner. Apogee is good stuff in my experience sonically, and stable technically.

    I would imagine you’d notice an improvement on the DAC side too if you end up hooking up your speakers to it. Apogee is smart for opening up their products to Win users.
     
  17. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    While researching, I have read comments saying that the Apogee preamps are "sterile" sounding... I take this to mean transparent, and that doesn't bother me. I already have pres that have color, I've been wanting a "clean" pre to add to my rig for awhile now. Besides, I can always add character any number of different ways, either by front-loading with a tube or transformer pre straight to the converters, or through ITB processing.
    I am impressed by the gain on the Duet ... 80db gives me plenty of gain for low output dynamic or Ribbon mics.
    -d.
     
    kmetal likes this.
  18. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    My mentor had done an album for an 80’s style metal band a few years back. It was due for release on a German indie label. Anyway we were hangin in the studio one day checking it out and I went ‘damn dude that guitar sounds good’. He replied with do you believe it was the ensemble’s pre?

    During roughs he had mic’d the gtr with it because it’s what was available. When they went to do finals, they tried the api and calrec, ect, but liked the ensembles pre amp sound the best still,. So they used that for the album.

    I’m not suggesting they’re like magical or anything, but it’s good to have some nice clean no nonsense pres around. After all it’s a marriage of the source mic and pre. So I wouldn’t write them off just cuz they’re plain.
     
  19. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Location:
    Akron/Cleveland, OH
    Home Page:
    I totally agree. When I mentioned that I wanted the Duet for its conversion, I didn't mean to imply that I wouldn't use the preamp sections as well. For a while now, I've been wanting to add a more transparent pre to my arsenal - I have plenty of color and character pres available... both tube and tranny models, and they're nice and sound good, but I've been missing a very clean preamp to have as an option. The Duet also sports 80db of gain, and that impresses me, as using lower output dynamics and Ribbons will be no problem.
    So, while the conversion upgrade is the main reason I want this, I'm not writing off the preamps as incidental... I'm sure I'll find occasions to use them. ;)
     
    kmetal likes this.
  20. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Home Page:
    Sounds like a lot of bang for the buck man!!
     
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice