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Apogee Duet DAC ROCKS! - Page 10

post #136 of 550
Well, I brought my Duet home (had to get it from the FedEx Depot today)...took about 5 minutes to setup, if that... Been listening to various tracks, some ALAC, some 256kbps mp3...and all I can say is WOW!! I obviously thought this would be a good purchase, but I didn't expect such an obvious improvement. Granted, I have an extremely basic setup--MBP > Duet > AudioEngine A5's, so any upgrade was probably going to be more noticeable than for some of you migrating from other DAC's (I've never used a external DAC before). Other than one of the screws for the breakout cable not wanting to screw in at all (it just spins), this has been a very pleasant experience so far.



ETA: Quick question... I have the volume of my Macbook Pro turned all the way up as I read I should do. I have powered speakers that have their own volume control; should I turn the speaker volume control all the way up too? I currently have the speaker volume control set at the halfway point, and it sounds great. Would it be "harmful" in any way to tun the speaker volume control to max? I hope this isn't too stupid of a question
post #137 of 550
Quote:
Originally Posted by feverfive View Post
Quick question... I have the volume of my Macbook Pro turned all the way up as I read I should do. I have powered speakers that have their own volume control; should I turn the speaker volume control all the way up too? I currently have the speaker volume control set at the halfway point, and it sounds great. Would it be "harmful" in any way to tun the speaker volume control to max?
You should ideally be using line-level output from the Duet to your speakers, and controlling the volume with the speakers.
post #138 of 550
No, the knob on the duet is fine for controlling your volume with powered speakers.

The way you can tell you aren't hurting anything is you don't hear lots of static and garbage. It's bad sound that harms speakers.
post #139 of 550
Surely you would get a better s/n ratio leaving the apogee duet all the way up if you're going to be using a pre-amp between that and your power amp (that volume knob would count as a pre amp here)? Of course it would in theory be better to run without a pre amp.

I'm getting one of these as soon as my credit card arrives lol!
post #140 of 550
Did anyone say they were using it with a preamp?
post #141 of 550
You don't think the volume control on the speakers would count as a preamp?
post #142 of 550
O.K. clear as mud!! As far as running line level from Duet to speakers, I'm not sure how to do that. I'm using a Y cable (1/8" mini stereo on one end--connected to the out on my A5 powered speaker; & 2 [L-R] 1/4" males into the monitor outs of the Duet breakout cable). Or am I misunderstanding (wouldn't be a shocker to me)...
post #143 of 550
Wait... is the Duet a DAC, or a DAC/amp combo? If its the latter, can you just use the DAC, bypass the amp, and send it to an external amp?
post #144 of 550
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgm View Post
Wait... is the Duet a DAC, or a DAC/amp combo? If its the latter, can you just use the DAC, bypass the amp, and send it to an external amp?
Yes. Very successfully!
post #145 of 550
Quote:
Originally Posted by feverfive View Post
O.K. clear as mud!! As far as running line level from Duet to speakers, I'm not sure how to do that. I'm using a Y cable (1/8" mini stereo on one end--connected to the out on my A5 powered speaker; & 2 [L-R] 1/4" males into the monitor outs of the Duet breakout cable). Or am I misunderstanding (wouldn't be a shocker to me)...
Hey feverfive, I have the exact same setup--and the exact same question.

I haven't yet plugged the Duet into the Audioengine5's, because I haven't been certain on how best to connect everything.

Where did you grab a 1x 1/8" --> 2x 1/4" connector, if you don't mind me asking? The A5's are great and I can't wait to use them with something other than my iPod. They deserve some clean Apogee sound.
post #146 of 550
most good music stores will have that exact cable, but if not, radio shack has a 1/8" to rcas, and rca->1/4" mono adapters.
post #147 of 550
Quote:
Originally Posted by parhelictriangle View Post
Hey feverfive, I have the exact same setup--and the exact same question.

I haven't yet plugged the Duet into the Audioengine5's, because I haven't been certain on how best to connect everything.

Where did you grab a 1x 1/8" --> 2x 2/4" connector, if you don't mind me asking? The A5's are great and I can't wait to use them with something other than my iPod. They deserve some clean Apogee sound.
I got mine here--> Hosa CMP-159 at Performance Audio

They also have a 3 foot version...
post #148 of 550
Ok, I'm a bit confused, could anyone clear this up? All help is greatly appreciated.

I'm currently running my Audioengine A5 powered speakers from the Duet via the 1/4 outs on the breakout cable (and a stereo mini male to 2 male 1/4" mono adapter courtesy of Calrad electronics).

Since the volume of the headphone stage and the line outs are controlled simultaneously, Apogee apparently recommends setting a volume level on the Duet for headphone listening and then adjusting speaker volume with the speaker volume control.

I usually listen to my headphones at about 3 notches on the Duet's onscreen readout. To get a comfortable volume on the speakers I have to go to about 10 pm on the Audioengine knob.

Is this setup ideal? Am I going to get cleaner sound by cranking the Duet all the way (sans headphones, of course). Or is running the Duet at full volume harmful (especially considering the integrated amplifier stage in the Duet)?

I'm accustomed only to headphones, so setting multiple volume levels confuses the hell out of me. Please help--there's a bit of contradiction in this thread.

I do like that setting the Duet volume level low gives me a bit more adjustment on the speakers--with the Duet at full volume, a few degrees on the speaker knob is pretty loud, and getting the speakers to sound balanced between the channels puts the volume a bit beyond my comfort level. I'm using the Audioengines like monitors (which they basically are) so they're only about four feet from my head.

EDIT: And one further question: is there any downside to leaving the Duet connected semi-permanently to a MBP? The computer does get a bit warm with the Duet running, especially if there's any video running. I get a few random crashes when I unplug the Duet, so I'd prefer to avoid that if possible.
post #149 of 550
Change it so when muted, the headphones are on and the speakers off, and when unmuted, the speakers are on and headphones are off. Then adjust the volume with the duet volume control. Listen for yourself to determine what sounds best to you as to which level sounds best where for the speakers and duet.

I never disconnect the duet from my mini, to no negative side effects.
post #150 of 550
Thanks, grawk. So just to clarify, you wouldn't expect any degradation in sound if the speakers were set at 10 o'clock and the Duet at about 1/4 volume?

This setting sounds fine to my ears, although I do notice a bit more snap snare drums (for example) if the duet is on full and the speakers turned way down.
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