Computer audio - my final answer, finally

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I have not kept up with Apogee in about 20 years, but their AD1000 was the best sounding ADC around 25 years ago. Then they came out with a "mini me". Have not kept up past that, but I dont think you can go wrong with Apogee for ADC or DAC.
I have an Apogee Duet which is kind of their desktop hobbyist recording interface, though a nice one. Their professional ADCs are top notch and used in a lot of studios.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
I wish I'd known about Dennis earlier, but no hard feelings on the 'dead' Luxman not being all that dead. I passed it onto you knowing that Dennis would probably figure it out, and I knew of no techs in Chicago that I really trusted (and still don't...though Deltronics did get that Luxman up and running for a bit after its first breakdown). AND, that integrated was the main inspiration for me getting the L507u that I run now, which I absolutely love. It's always been my dream to have an integrated amp that I felt sounded as good as my separates and the 507u is the first one that has. I see the 5L15 as sort of a grandfather to my integrated...though I have to say I think the 5L15 looks even more cool.

The ADC I have is so nice that I plan to use it for ripping vinyl to files, which I'll put on my server. It's a Universal Audio Apollo X6 (or maybe x8?). The apogee unit is nice but lacking a bit in body, the first Apollo I had was a smaller Apollo twin and it was a bit better than the Apogee, and the new Apollo is just on another level. It seems completely transparent to the analog source. The previous two had a digital character to them while the new one just sounds more...analog.
The lineage between the 5L 15 and L507u is pretty remarkable, at least in terms of visuals and certainly design goals as well. Like you, I've always had a thing for nice integrateds, probably why I've got six of them around and in use. The L507u is gorgeous!

That ADC looks absolutely amazing, if way beyond both my needs and budget. If I ever got more into recording and mastering it would be great, though! What I really need is something simpler (and lots less expensive), but with equally good basic conversion potential.

Another area to concern has to do with connectivity as until I move to a newer computer (another huge expense) I'm pretty much working with the 2008 options in that regard. Ditto whatever issues might arise from software incompatibility. I'm still running a 2008 Pro double-quad and it does everything I need and more with quiet reliability, but my next generation in that area is under consideration. Performance-wise it is still far from obsolete, opens and works with vast photo files instantly for example. Still, something I sadly have to give thought to. I've been running top-end Mac units for a quarter century and really don't want to get off that path if I can avoid it. Every single one I've owned has been quite perfect, from the 2c, Quadra etc. through several G4s, a G5 and this one. I've always bought them a few years used and they represented amazing value, but prices for potential relevant units have gone crazy (due to much smaller pool to buy from) and it makes me ponder what might come next.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
Was curious and google played along.


Apparently the Mini Me is 2 gens prior to the Duet.

Interesting! It looks like a used Mini-Me might be exactly what is needed. I need "really good", not absolutely cutting edge for this sort of thing. I'd rather save my shekels toward a new computer or cart for turntable to be quite honest.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
The lineage between the 5L 15 and L507u is pretty remarkable, at least in terms of visuals and certainly design goals as well. Like you, I've always had a thing for nice integrateds, probably why I've got six of them around and in use. The L507u is gorgeous!

That ADC looks absolutely amazing, if way beyond both my needs and budget. If I ever got more into recording and mastering it would be great, though! What I really need is something simpler (and lots less expensive), but with equally good basic conversion potential.

Another area to concern has to do with connectivity as until I move to a newer computer (another huge expense) I'm pretty much working with the 2008 options in that regard. Ditto whatever issues might arise from software incompatibility. I'm still running a 2008 Pro double-quad and it does everything I need and more with quiet reliability, but my next generation in that area is under consideration. Performance-wise it is still far from obsolete, opens and works with vast photo files instantly for example. Still, something I sadly have to give thought to. I've been running top-end Mac units for a quarter century and really don't want to get off that path if I can avoid it. Every single one I've owned has been quite perfect, from the 2c, Quadra etc. through several G4s, a G5 and this one. I've always bought them a few years used and they represented amazing value, but prices for potential relevant units have gone crazy (due to much smaller pool to buy from) and it makes me ponder what might come next.
We need a new desktop computer here and will get another mac as I just have too much invested in that system to turn back, through my use of Logic Pro, various version of mac-compatible Lightroom and Capture One, and the fact that our phones, ipads, all talk to it. My own desktop is ok but its a 2013 and my wife has started to work with video editing and its getting a bit taxed by all of it. We're waiting for the new generation to come out with the new chips that are supposedly much faster than what the current generation has.

I should have invited you over to record some violin and had thought about it, as in addition to that interface I have a pretty extensive microphone collection, from stereo condensers to tube condensers, ribbons, old dynamic mics, you name it. The only problem was, the room I had everything set up in had horrible acoustics. Thousands of dollars worth of mics, ADC, and various plug-ins and outboard gear and all you'd hear was that awful room. It didn't have an audible echo, but everything in it sounded dead/flat and just ...off.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
We need a new desktop computer here and will get another mac as I just have too much invested in that system to turn back, through my use of Logic Pro, various version of mac-compatible Lightroom and Capture One, and the fact that our phones, ipads, all talk to it. My own desktop is ok but its a 2013 and my wife has started to work with video editing and its getting a bit taxed by all of it. We're waiting for the new generation to come out with the new chips that are supposedly much faster than what the current generation has.

I should have invited you over to record some violin and had thought about it, as in addition to that interface I have a pretty extensive microphone collection, from stereo condensers to tube condensers, ribbons, old dynamic mics, you name it. The only problem was, the room I had everything set up in had horrible acoustics. Thousands of dollars worth of mics, ADC, and various plug-ins and outboard gear and all you'd hear was that awful room. It didn't have an audible echo, but everything in it sounded dead/flat and just ...off.
Recording would have been fun. I've actually not yet recorded the violin I play most often these days so I only really have the impressions of listeners to go by and how I experience it under my ear. Violins more than most instruments need a half decent acoustic to sound right. Too often I've done recording sessions where a mic was either stuck directly on my violin or hung over it and I've always said "you want me to sound like a kazoo?". I've contemplated buying a couple of decent microphones sometime, but it hasn't happened yet.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
I find myself in a similar situation, home office stereo and I'm wondering if I can somehow afford better small speakers.

Does it ever end?
"Does it ever end?":roflmao: In general - probably not. In specific situations, perhaps sometimes. When it comes to my desktop system I think I can safely say that as long as everything keeps working (amp and speakers are 40 years old) I'm done.
 

MWalt

Active Member
"Does it ever end?":roflmao:
Main listening room, bedroom system, office system...…..No, it never ends. I was in the bedroom late last night listening to my bedroom system-Smooth Jazz from a Polish radio station on the squeezebox touch at low volume. It sounded sublime. The next day I was plotting for new gear in there!
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
Main listening room, bedroom system, office system...…..No, it never ends. I was in the bedroom late last night listening to my bedroom system-Smooth Jazz from a Polish radio station on the squeezebox touch at low volume. It sounded sublime. The next day I was plotting for new gear in there!
Hmmm... yeah - Main system, desktop system, living room system, kitchen system, bedroom system, shop system, garage system, art studio system, one for my wife's store and now one for my stepson's room. A few...

EDIT: missed one -TV room system... ;)
 
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If you dont need a mic pre/PS, the Apogee model between the Mini Me and the Duet was called Rosetta(there are a few versions, multi channel, etc). Lots for sale on the bay. Gets solid reviews.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
Another discovery. I was talking with Dennis (who it turns out has the 0.1 version - same drivers and cabs) and there are slider switches on the back that vary the balance to the drivers. In the 0.1 there is just a "contour" switch that varies the emphasis to the woofer, but in the 0.2 there is a second switch that controls the level of the tweeter output. I can't find anything describing the switches in a manual anywhere (at least not yet) but I did find an old thread on AK that mentions them. "Quote from an original owners manual: In position "A" response below 70 HZ is increased and response between 100 and 250HZ is decreased. This is useful for cars or mid bass heavy situations. In position "B" the response below 70 HZ is reduced and the response between 100 and 250 HZ is increased. This gives a warmer sound and is useful in a home environment."

When I checked the setting on the speakers it turned out they were set to "maximum excitement": Tweeter to +1 and the Contour to "A". I've set the tweeter to "0" and I think it a slight improvement. I'm trying the "B" setting on Contour and the jury's still out on that change. I need to listen more and to a range of material to decide on that.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
So, after careful consideration the tweeter stays at "0", but the "Contour" went back to "A". With the speakers so close on the desk the extra bass is helpful and the extra mid-range was not as appealing, even with classical fare. All fairly subtle, but not so much as it doesn't make a difference in extended listening.
 

fiddlefye

Senior Member
Sorry to keep "flogging a dead horse" but it amazes me that two weeks in the Infinitesimals have just kept on improving. Over the past few days a last tiny bit of "tightness" somehow subtly vanished and they're now incredibly warm, open and liquid-sounding. They really do the incredibly fine Luxman justice.
 
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