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RME UCX vs APOGEE DUET

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Here's where to talk about preamps, cables, microphones, monitors, etc.

RME UCX vs APOGEE DUET

Postby rickindies » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:00 am

Hi guys,

I'm thinking to buy a new audio interface (replacing my broken 10 years old Metric Halo 2882). I'm looking for good converter & pre amp mainly. Dont need many i/o (2 tracks live recording is the most that I'll ever do in my jingle / tvc post pro studio).

I'm using DP 7.2, Mac Pro Westmere 2.4 Quad Core & Focal CMS 65 for the monitor. Mainly I compose, arrange (MIDI programming) and do guitar/vocal tracking with this set up. And also do some premix before my engineer mix it for final mixed & mastered (on different workstation).

So thats pretty much the things that we do with this set up here. Any insight / suggestion between this rme ucx vs apogee duet? The biggest concern for duet is the USB thing for me. I've heard that some friends of mine had experienced some sudden mute / off when working. Is it really that bad the usb thing? (To be honest I'm not really sure if this is a USB thing). But my main concern is still the converter & the pre amps, I want to get the best converter & pre amp out of these two.

Anyway any insight / suggestions regarding this 2 products will be appreciated! Thanks
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Re: RME UCX vs APOGEE DUET

Postby mhschmieder » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:53 pm

RME stuff is more stable, as those guys are computer experts and innovators who develop their own converter chips in-house and thus are able to step past the normal limitations of both USB and Firewire. I can't think off-hand of another company that develops their own chips.

As for sound, you'll get people on both sides here, and some of my most-respected fellow forumites swear by Apogee. I personally find RME more transparent, but give Apogee points for better stereo imaging. The difference isn't night and day so for me it comes down to trust, and I simply have more faith in RME as a company that delivers rock solid drivers.

There are few companies that match these two when it comes to "the low end of the high end" (the TRUE high end is INSANELY expensive) -- especially in the rack mount USB/FW form factor.

You may find that the decision comes down to features. RME has the most comprehensive mixer/console of any vendor (SSL is close but doesn't offer comparable hardware). The other side of that coin is that some find it too complicated because it can do so much.
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Eugenio Upright, Dingwall Afterburner, BB-1025X, 50th T-Bird, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Warmoth Fretless, Viking Baritone
57 Goldtop, Firebird, Select Strat/Tele, G5422-12, X-175B Manhattan, 000-28, D-15M, J-15, M-120, ABT60
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RME UCX vs APOGEE DUET

Postby kgdrum » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:53 pm

Well as a happy RME user I'm a bit puzzled by the question because IMO if you want the best quality interface with 2 in & 2 out the Metric Halo ULN-2 is unquestionably better than any similar products on the market by either RME or Apogee or any other manufacture I can think of.
If its a budgetary issue I understand but if you're saying you want the best quality I/O with the best DACs IMO MH wins hands down.
RME is a great company they have great drivers & from most reviews and user reports they've figured out how to get great performance via USB and TotalMix is very good but MH I think is in a different class with convertors etc.....if I had the budget I'd be using Metric Halo.
2.8 Quad MacPro 3.1,24 gig,OSX10.8.3, DP8.05 RME fireface 800,Great River ME-1NV preamp,a few microphones,NI Komplete + numerous VI's & plugins, UAD2, Vdrums (TD20 expanded) Superior 2 etc..., Focal Twin 6 monitors, Shunyata PowerSnakes and Conditioners,too many hard drives... ESATA
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Re: RME UCX vs APOGEE DUET

Postby mhschmieder » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:16 am

But the OP said the MH was ten years old and broken. I thought the favourable comparisons to MH were more within the past few years -- though I am aware there are some much older units from high end manufacturers that still surpass newer units from the mid-rangers like Apogee, Lynx, and RME.

I got the impression the OP's MH can't be fixed though. Also, prices in Indonesia may vary more just as UK and Europe prices are often skewed my manufacturer compared to NorthAm.
MacPro Quad-Core Intel Xeon (2.8 GHz, 16 GB), OSX 10.9.5, MOTU DP 8.07, iZotope RX 4.0.0
FireFace UFX, OctoPre Mk II, True Precision 8, AEA RPQ, Radial PZ-DI & Reamp JCR

Eugenio Upright, Dingwall Afterburner, BB-1025X, 50th T-Bird, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Warmoth Fretless, Viking Baritone
57 Goldtop, Firebird, Select Strat/Tele, G5422-12, X-175B Manhattan, 000-28, D-15M, J-15, M-120, ABT60
Yamaha WX5, Hammond 44 Melodion, XK-1c, Suzuki Andes, Minimoog Voyager, Prophet 12, MEK
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RME UCX vs APOGEE DUET

Postby kgdrum » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:51 am

If you want what most people would agree is the best 2x2 interface with the best convertors most would say its the ULN-2.
I'm on iPhone via tapatalk, I missed the Op being in Indonesia.
I use RME,I love Totalmix etc.....
I consider it great reasonably priced gear but if someone says they want the best convertors & preamps in a 2x2 I/o
RME will not be my 1st inclination.
I've been lusting over the ULN-8 for a while now,lol
And now with the Apollo from UA in the market as much as I love RME,for me it will take a major new product to be released from RME to get me off of either MH or UA for my next i/o.
2.8 Quad MacPro 3.1,24 gig,OSX10.8.3, DP8.05 RME fireface 800,Great River ME-1NV preamp,a few microphones,NI Komplete + numerous VI's & plugins, UAD2, Vdrums (TD20 expanded) Superior 2 etc..., Focal Twin 6 monitors, Shunyata PowerSnakes and Conditioners,too many hard drives... ESATA
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Re: RME UCX vs APOGEE DUET

Postby mhschmieder » Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:23 pm

Well, the Lynx HiLo may also be a good option for the OP, and is getting mixed reviews relative to Metric Halo. I don't know the prices in Indonesia; I just know that country of origin sometimes causes funny price ratios in other countries compared to what we're used to in the USA. Just in case one brand isn't priced proportionally over there, it's worth having backups.
MacPro Quad-Core Intel Xeon (2.8 GHz, 16 GB), OSX 10.9.5, MOTU DP 8.07, iZotope RX 4.0.0
FireFace UFX, OctoPre Mk II, True Precision 8, AEA RPQ, Radial PZ-DI & Reamp JCR

Eugenio Upright, Dingwall Afterburner, BB-1025X, 50th T-Bird, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Warmoth Fretless, Viking Baritone
57 Goldtop, Firebird, Select Strat/Tele, G5422-12, X-175B Manhattan, 000-28, D-15M, J-15, M-120, ABT60
Yamaha WX5, Hammond 44 Melodion, XK-1c, Suzuki Andes, Minimoog Voyager, Prophet 12, MEK
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Re: RME UCX vs APOGEE DUET

Postby rickindies » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:36 am

Thanks for the reply guys. Yeap I'm located in Indonesia and unfortunately there is no single distributor / reseller or service center for MH. I've been emailing the guy from MH (they have excellent service btw) and after a long long email unfortunately the only solution is to ship my MH to US. Which can cost around $300 - 400 from where I from, not too mention the service charge + any broken chips/parts that need to be fix. Apart from the cost, the time consuming (for shipping etc) is also the other factor that I don't think I can afford for now.

I will definitely try to ship& fix my MH someday, but I think for now the best option is to buy a new & cheaper soundcard (compared to MH) with a good converter & pre amps and the 2 brands that I come up with is RME & Apogee. I heard that Lynx also is a good option, but thats out of my price ranges. My budget is $1200 ( I could get good deal for RME products here, and I don't think Lynx has any product at this price). But the thing is I don't need many I/O since there is only one small booth-room for the studio. I also don't use any of these studio's equipment for live purposes; that might requires many i/o or expansion. So I think why not just buy DUET or Babyface perhaps instead of UCX.

As I mentioned before the biggest consideration is the USB factor, some said that these days usb 2 has a very good quality in it so don't have to worry about latency & stability factor, some said is a "must" to use fw interfaces for audio use. Any thoughts on this?

If fw / usb is not an issue I'll definitely get the the 2x2 interface!

Also does RME using the same type of chips for the converter/ pre amp that they use for UCX & Babyface? Anybody has experiences with both items?

Thanks
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Re: RME UCX vs APOGEE DUET

Postby mhschmieder » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:41 pm

RME uses chips from their high-end products in their budget line; the main differences are I/O connectivity and form factor (you pay more for MADI), functionality, and some internal circuitry. Babyface has a few minor caveats in reviews but is a very scalable product for a 2 ch. ADDA.
MacPro Quad-Core Intel Xeon (2.8 GHz, 16 GB), OSX 10.9.5, MOTU DP 8.07, iZotope RX 4.0.0
FireFace UFX, OctoPre Mk II, True Precision 8, AEA RPQ, Radial PZ-DI & Reamp JCR

Eugenio Upright, Dingwall Afterburner, BB-1025X, 50th T-Bird, 60th P-Bass, Select J-Bass, Warmoth Fretless, Viking Baritone
57 Goldtop, Firebird, Select Strat/Tele, G5422-12, X-175B Manhattan, 000-28, D-15M, J-15, M-120, ABT60
Yamaha WX5, Hammond 44 Melodion, XK-1c, Suzuki Andes, Minimoog Voyager, Prophet 12, MEK
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