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  #1  
Old 12-31-2014, 03:48 AM
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adam79 adam79 is offline
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Default Apogee Quartet vs UA Apollo Twin

I was checking out the Apogee Quartet. This unit gets awesome reviews. It doesn't have the UA plugin abilities, but it does have 4 mic pres which is more important to me. Plus I think I might be able to swing the price tag, just barely. Too bad I don't have an extra $600 or I'd be able to get the Apollo w/ the 4 mic pres, but I just don't have the extra money. Any comparisons on the quality of these two units would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Adam
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2014, 07:46 AM
VRW VRW is offline
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Default Re: Apogee Quartet vs UA Apollo Twin

I have been using a Quartet for about 2 years, had an 003R prior to it and did an extensive research
back in the days which one to get for a replacement.

There were some guys, engineers and producers who even have had a bunch of chart success with their
work and were quite knowledgeable, I was talking to at this time and asking the exact question.
Although they were using the Apollo themselves they told me as to pure audio quality the Quartet would
beat even much more expensive gear including the Apollo.

This was what I thought to have heard myself too when comparing a lot of interfaces including Quartet and
Apollo. They confirmed it without knowing about my personal experience.

As I didn´t need more than 4 mic pres and more the Quartet could offer, I went with the Quartet and was
impressed by it´s A/D D/A as well as by the good quality of it´s 4 mic pres.
I am still absolutely happy with it and would recommend it to everyone looking for exceptional audio quality
for a quite affordable amount of money.

Of course, the Apollo offers a lot more features, I/Os and would be much more versatile however if one would not
really need all these features but looking for great audio quality, the Apogee Quartet is the right choice for sure.

It´s hardware design is pretty clever, well thought and simple to use.
Super easy, convenient way to use/to toggle between 3 different monitor set ups for example and many more.

The Yosemite driver works flawlessly with Pro Tools 11 and several different applications like iTunes, Soundforge,
Logic Pro X, Ozone 6 stand alone, T-RackS stand alone etc.
It is no problem to have all those app opened at the same time and just toggle between them, playing audio via
the Quartet driver. Something which never had been possible with the Avid Core Driver.

Anyway. The Quartet is an exceptionally well sounding, still affordable, clever, little unit which I for sure would
recommend for the use with Pro Tools 11 and Yosemite.


The very best to you,


cheers, VRW




Mac Mini i7Quad, 16GB Ram, MBP Mid 2012 2,5GHz i5, 16GB Ram, MacOS 10.10.1 Yosemite, Apogee Quartet+Duet 2
Genelec Active, Yamaha NS10, Pro Tools 11.3, Logic 10.0.7, Waves, MCDSP, Duende Native, HOFA, IK Multimedia, NI etc.
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2014, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: Apogee Quartet vs UA Apollo Twin

Sorry I'm not including quotes, but I'm on my iPhone and it's a hassle. What do you mean that the Twin has more I/O options? The Quartet has 4 micpres to the Twins 2 and has the same 8ch ADAT support. It definitely has more plugin options with its dedicated DSP for UA plugs and the unison tech. Its good to hear that the Quartet has better converters and mic pres.. that goes a long way.

For only a $150 more u can get a used Apollo Duo on eBay, but that doesn't include the plugin bundle promo w the 610 unison and EMT plugs. Some of the used Duos say they come w the Thunderbolt card. Did the Duo come out before the Twin as a FireWire 800 interface?

A concern I have about the Quartet is that it's a USB2 interface vs the Twin's Thunderbolt. This means no zero latency monitoring, right? I'm assuming that there's a usb to thunderbolt adapter, but that's more to free up the usb slots for other devices, right? I've read that if u have more than one usb plugged in at the same time it lowers the speed on all devices connected. Is this true? Plus I've read mixed reviews in the efficiency of these adapters.
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:28 AM
bradch00 bradch00 is offline
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Default Re: Apogee Quartet vs UA Apollo Twin

Hope I'm not throwing useless information (or opinion) into what I think is a thoughtful discussion on the options available today for audio production. I recently retired my mod'd Project Mix I/O and replaced it with an Antelope Audio Zen-Studio and am really happy with it, so far. Have a done any large sessions with it yet? No, I've only had it a week, but man I am digging' it. my 2 cents.
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OWC Thunderbay Mini (4TB SSD)
Interface: Antelope Audio Zen-Studio
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2014, 10:27 AM
VRW VRW is offline
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Default Re: Apogee Quartet vs UA Apollo Twin

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam79 View Post
Sorry I'm not including quotes, but I'm on my iPhone and it's a hassle. What do you mean that the Twin has more I/O options? The Quartet has 4 micpres to the Twins 2 and has the same 8ch ADAT support. It definitely has more plugin options with its dedicated DSP for UA plugs and the unison tech. Its good to hear that the Quartet has better converters and mic pres.. that goes a long way.

For only a $150 more u can get a used Apollo Duo on eBay, but that doesn't include the plugin bundle promo w the 610 unison and EMT plugs. Some of the used Duos say they come w the Thunderbolt card. Did the Duo come out before the Twin as a FireWire 800 interface?

A concern I have about the Quartet is that it's a USB2 interface vs the Twin's Thunderbolt. This means no zero latency monitoring, right? I'm assuming that there's a usb to thunderbolt adapter, but that's more to free up the usb slots for other devices, right? I've read that if u have more than one usb plugged in at the same time it lowers the speed on all devices connected. Is this true? Plus I've read mixed reviews in the efficiency of these adapters.
Sorry, my bad. Thought you were only talking about the big brothers Apollo Duo/Quad/16.

Yes, the Duo actually comes as a FW interface which you can upgrade with an additional Thunderbolt card.

Theoretically it´s true that a Thunderbolt connected interface has less latency than a USB interface.
However even Thunderbolt offers not zero latency.
You only can achieve that with a direct mixer function (if external as a mixer board or built in).
As long as it is software based monitoring there will be no zero latency monitoring.

Just can tell from my personal experience that I can work most of the time with
64 samples buffer, except with real big sessions with lots of plugs etc. And you even can go
down to 32 samples in many cases.

As to the Apogee interfaces they are pretty cool, I have never noticed that the Quartet is a USB unit
in a negative way. It´s different to all MBoxes/MBoxes Pro which I also have worked with and no difference
or actually working better than the 003 Firewire.

Sure Thunderbolt is cool. I love it too. If I could afford it I would only buy Thunderbolt drives (PCie Flash drives )
for my audio but I cannot say anything bad about the Apogee USB. It works great.

I decided to buy the Quartet because of it´s really exceptional ADDA in this price range and haven´t been
disappointed so far. It really sounds cool.

As far as I know there´s no serious Thunderbolt to USB adapter, there´s only a Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter
but anyway you should not use any adapter with the Quartet. This for sure will cause you issues.
It works flawlessly on every USB 3 port I have used so far but it will not do it via any adapter (if there is any TB-USB).

If you really need a lot of USB connections except to the interface maybe an Apollo may be the better choice for you.
I definitely can confirm that small stuff like keyboard, mouse, dongles and Midi do not affect the speed of the USB in
any way (this is what I do use).

I cannot say anything about a permanently connected bus powered external USB 3 drive but whenever I connect my
additional USB drives (use FW and Thunderbolt to FW on my Minis/MBP for my audio drives) I do not notice anything
negative.

If using the Quartet you could get an external drive with Thunderbolt connection for example which would be a cool
solution (if you need external drives anyway).

I definitely understand it if you say it could make more sense to use the Thunderbolt ports with one of the new Macs
as there are 2 available and why not use it? I just can confirm that the Quartet´s USB is working like a charm and you
can use it with decent low latency.

You will have to find out for yourself what´s best for you particularly.

Wishing you the best of success and a happy new year!


Cheers, VRW



Mac Mini i7Quad, 16GB Ram, MBP Mid 2012 2,5GHz i5, 16GB Ram, MacOS 10.10.1 Yosemite, Apogee Quartet+Duet 2
Genelec Active, Yamaha NS10, Pro Tools 11.3, Logic 10.0.7, Waves, MCDSP, Duende Native, HOFA, IK Multimedia, NI etc.
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2014, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: Apogee Quartet vs UA Apollo Twin

Sorry for not including quotes in this reply, but I'm on my iPhone and it's a pain to select n cut out parts of the post I don't want included. Anyways, what additional I/O options does the Twin have over the Quartet? To my understanding, the Quartet has double to mic pres, as well as the 8ch ADAT option, like the Twin.. The Quartet even has a second optical in. Does this act as a stereo (two channel) S/PDIF input? The Quartet's industry standard converters and higher quality micpres than the Twin are definitely a plus.
The only only advantage to the Twin, that I can see, is the dedicated UA plugs and the unison tech. This is a huge plus, but there's still always the option to buy a UA DSP card down the road, if u can get the card for a laptop (although the unison tech would still be outta the picture).
Has anyone else had the chance to try out these two units and have any comparisons to offer? Or knowledge of another interface that excels at this price range? The Twins 899 price tag is doable, the 1395 tag on the Quartet is really pushing it, while the 1999 on the Apollo Duo, which would be my first choice is too far outta my price range.
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2014, 01:02 PM
VRW VRW is offline
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Default Re: Apogee Quartet vs UA Apollo Twin

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam79 View Post
what additional I/O options does the Twin have over the Quartet? To my understanding, the Quartet has double to mic pres, as well as the 8ch ADAT option, like the Twin.. The Quartet even has a second optical in. Does this act as a stereo (two channel) S/PDIF input?
Only Thunderbolt.
Twin has 2 micpres, 4 Line OUTs, 8 ADAT INs
Quartet has 4 micpres, 6 Line OUTs, 8 ADAT INs, MIDI in, Wordclock OUT

The 2nd ADAT Ins on the Quartet is for higher sample rates from 88.2-96KHz.
In this case ADAT 1 Ins are for Channel 1-4, ADAT 2 Ins are for Channel 5-8.
At sample rates from 44.1-48KHz all 8 Channels come in via the ADAT 1 INs.
Unfortunately none of both offers SPDIF INs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam79 View Post
The Quartet's industry standard converters and higher quality micpres than the Twin are definitely a plus
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam79 View Post
The only only advantage to the Twin, that I can see, is the dedicated UA plugs and the unison tech.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam79 View Post
Or knowledge of another interface that excels at this price range?
This one is brand new, Thunderbolt or USB connected (both), very high
audio quality, many features and I/Os...a modern 003R plus even more features
4 micpres, 8 separate ANALOG LINE INs, 8 ANALOG LINE OUTs, 2 separate MASTER OUTs,
2 separate MONITOR OUTs, SPDIF IN/OUT, 16 ADAT INs/OUTs (2x8), WORDCLOCK IN/OUT/
THROUGH, USB 2, Thunderbolt, Ethernet, DSP Mixer+Onboard FX

MOTU 1248
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/1248


Another cool piece of gear is the RME UCX.
Very good quality but only 2 micpres, 8 ANALOG Ins, 6 ANALOG OUTs, 8 ADAT INs/OUTs,
WORDCLOCK IN/OUT, SPDIF IN/OUT, USB 2, FIREWIRE
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FirefaceUCX

IMO the new MOTU is a very interesting product which offers a lot for the price
and got a very high class sound quality. It´s very new because there are not many reviews yet.

This is another MOTU Thunderbolt audio interface in the price range of the Apollo Twin which
many people use successfully.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/828x


Hope it will give you some help and inspiration.

Once again all the the best and a musical 2015 to you,

VRW



Mac Mini i7Quad, 16GB Ram, MBP Mid 2012 2,5GHz i5, 16GB Ram, MacOS 10.10.1 Yosemite, Apogee Quartet+Duet 2
Genelec Active, Yamaha NS10, Pro Tools 11.3, Logic 10.0.7, Waves, MCDSP, Duende Native, HOFA, IK Multimedia, NI etc.
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2014, 01:04 PM
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adam79 adam79 is offline
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Default Re: Apogee Quartet vs UA Apollo Twin

I actually just freed up some money and I'm now able to afford the Apollo Duo! However, now that I've read all the great things about the Quartet, I can't decided which one to get! I could possiblely be the most indecisive person on the planet! I could go with better mic pres and a/d, d/a converters, plus cash left over for monitors or a mic, or something else cool.. or just go w the duo and have the UA plugs at my disposal and the extra line ins for outboard gear or whatever. My mind drives me crazy some times. And I only have an hour, maybe hour n half to decide ( so I can get the plugin promos)!
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:23 PM
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Southsidemusic Southsidemusic is online now
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Default Re: Apogee Quartet vs UA Apollo Twin

Keep in mind that the Apollo Duo only has 2 Shark Processors and frakly it is abit on the low side. When you use their better plugins like Reverbs and Unison etc the Duo won't let you use a whole lot of plugin instances so of you don't plan on using more than 15 - ish plugins at the same time then OK but any more you need to start boucing down the tracks that has UAD-2 plugins on them.

On the other hand I would NEVER recommend anyone getting an older USB2 interface anymore as they have been out for a while and the USB2 yechnology is getting older and older and slower and slower.

Best Regards
Christopher
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2014, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: Apogee Quartet vs UA Apollo Twin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southsidemusic View Post
Keep in mind that the Apollo Duo only has 2 Shark Processors and frakly it is abit on the low side. When you use their better plugins like Reverbs and Unison etc the Duo won't let you use a whole lot of plugin instances so of you don't plan on using more than 15 - ish plugins at the same time then OK but any more you need to start boucing down the tracks that has UAD-2 plugins on them.

On the other hand I would NEVER recommend anyone getting an older USB2 interface anymore as they have been out for a while and the USB2 yechnology is getting older and older and slower and slower.

Best Regards
Christopher


I thought that the unison tech is just used when recording.. once the track is recorded to the drive I thought that the DSP is no longer in use. Are u saying that even after the track is recorded w/ unison, the DSP is still being used/taxed by the unison plugins on playback?


Also, you wouldn't recommend the Quartet because of its USB2 connection? Are you saying that as technology advances the speed of the Quartets USB2 connection will run slower than it does now? I don't really get how that would work..


Thanks,
Adam.
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