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Apogee Duet: HD-600 or 650s? - Page 3

post #31 of 41
You definitely should get a headphone amp for 650s, tho I don't know whether that specific one will make a difference or not. I'd recommend the 600s, as I think they're better headphones except when REALLY good amps are involved.
post #32 of 41
Originally Posted by parhelictriangle View Post
Thanks, grawk. Look forward to hearing your HF2-Duet impressions.
I posted some impressions in Jude's HF-2 thread. In summary, the duet and HF-2 are a match made in heaven.

Does anyone have any good amp recommendations for the Duet? Something like the Headroom Desktop would probably be in my budget range (when I do have a budget). Seems a little difficult to to get impressions of the Headroom stuff-- not enough esoteric cred anymore?

I'm guessing the Micro line from Headroom isn't going to be a dramatic improvement over the Duet HP-out. No?

Anyway, something sub-1500 USD that sounds good with HD650s and the Duet? I'm trying to get things right enough to stave off the upgradeitis for a few more years. Famous last words, I know.
Sub $1500 gets you some darn good gear. From headroom, I'd get the balanced ultra desktop. It's a great amp. Other amps I've loved in that price range are a well built M^3 with Sigma 11, various Eddie Current amps, the Luxman P-200 from TTVJ, and the FET-A from TTVJ. I'm sure there are many others that would work well also.
post #33 of 41
My HD580 sound good out of the duet. I held off on selling my HD595 until i could cofirm that. i will miss being able to plug cans right into the ipod but suppose ill just need to get some new low impedance cans or IEM.
incidentaly i just ordered a compass for a *cough pc system(work) i have...I will probably try to do a comparison of both the DAC and amp sections of duet and compass post burn in.
post #34 of 41
Originally Posted by grawk View Post
You definitely should get a headphone amp for 650s, tho I don't know whether that specific one will make a difference or not. I'd recommend the 600s, as I think they're better headphones except when REALLY good amps are involved.
I've noticed that a lot while researching 600 vs 650... everyone seems to say 600's are better but how come the 650's are priced more? Is it a case of the 650s having a higher potential quality with the right gear and not being stellar without it while the 600's are easier to drive well without perfect gear?
post #35 of 41
Originally Posted by leveller1642 View Post

[...] am curious to know if the Duet's 30 ohm output rating is sufficient to power the HD-600s to their fullest potential or is a dedicated headphone amp with 300 ohm output necessary?

Super old thread. Did you ever find the answer to this last part?

post #36 of 41

I'm curious too.  No one has described precisely how they are not the best quality on the duet or even the ipod.  Is the ipod simply not loud enough?  Or are there actual quality difference?  Does the duet's 32ohm impedance cause some frequency shifts?  Details please...

post #37 of 41
Originally Posted by parhelictriangle View Post

Originally Posted by grawk View Post
I don't use maestro save files personally. I also found that I got better performance by using the line out and not instrument out setting, and just setting the volume at max on the duet.

Apologies for the large bump; I seem to have developed a veritable crapload of questions.

Grawk, do you still use the Duet?

Eventually, I'd like to add an amp to the chain, using the Duet as a DAC. I think I can be pretty happy with my MBP/ALAC/Duet as my digital source.

I do think the Duet drives the HD650s reasonably well (and I do love my 650s), and certainly better than a lot of cheap or portable setups that I've tinkered with briefly. I'm happy with it for now, but I definitely want to upgrade the amp stage when I have more income.

So, although I'm just pipe-dreamin' at this point, I'd love some advice on how to set up the Duet for this purpose. Amp advice-- how is this H3? Also, do you still recommend the line out, duet at 0db attenuation for connecting to an amp? I've seen on some other, err, head-related forums where I lurk but haven't registered that some prefer setting the Duet at 25% or so. For some reason the idea of this bugs me-- shouldn't the Duet be maxed to give the best signal-to-noise ratio?


You should have you duet maxed or close to maxed and the studio monitor speakers turned down or up until they are at your typical listening volume.  This gives you good signal to the speakers, but leaves a little headroom if extra volume is needed.  Then you use the duet to control the volume.  This is even what apogee recommends.  For home stereo they recommend full volume and then controlling the volume with your stereo.  The idea is that most studio monitors have volume controls on the back, so leaving a little headroom won't sacrifice any noticeable quality, but makes volume adjustments much more simplistic.  If you want the absolute best quality, max the duet.

Incidentally, when I run the Duet outs to my powered speakers, I need to keep the Duet at about 25% to avoid blasting my ears out before the channels sound balanced for near-field listening.

Another question: does anyone know where I can find a break-out cable with the appropriate RCA-connectors for amp use. And--beyond that-- is there any way to go balanced from the Duet, so I can really do the HD650s a service?


Going balanced is unnecessary.  There won't be any improvements in sound quality.  Balanced cabling is primarily for longer runs and specific applications.  You can however use a 1/4" to RCA adapter and you will see absolutely no quality loss, assuming the adapter isn't of completely horrible build quality. :-P

Gah, I apologize again for question-dumping in this old thread. Any advice would be much obliged.

Edit: One last question. I'm sort of a n00b to computer audio-- but I'm a little confused by sample rates. I listen to lossless files mostly, these are 16bit, 44.1 khz. But under Audio MIDI setup, the sample rates are listed as 44.1 with 24 bit sample size (for input and output). Do I have this setup right?


Yes.  That is the duet's default output.  The mac audio system will manage any sample rate changes or conversions based on the application you're using.  Some applications can fight for different settings, and in that case you might get crashes, audio glitches or you simply won't know because it is converting the signal automatically.  That is why sometimes you should open itunes after everything is set, because it detects your settings and handles the audio accordingly.  The mac os is very good at handling audio though, and usually you shouldn't have any issues.


Lastly, there is a known issue or rather "design implementation" with the duet, where 44khz audio setting causes hiss/noise.  You can safely go into the midi/audio control panel and change the "format" to 48khz or higher.  The system will automatically handle conversion, but using any other setting on the duet removes the hiss/noise.  Try it and you should hear it.  This is not typical amp noise though, because you will see that adjusting the volume won't increase the hiss/noise.  I talked with apogee and it has something to do with the gain staging being pre volume knob.  Anyhow, it works. :)


Edited by luisdent - 2/11/13 at 12:38am
post #38 of 41

I just got my hd600 and they sound excellent on the duet.  They meet the 1/8th impedance rule and the duet has plenty of power and details and frequency response are excellent.  Other than mismatched IEMs because of impedance issues, the duet is one of the best quality interfaces I've heard.  And I've heard a bunch.



These sound so good on my duet, all that I want to do all day is get home to listen to more music! haha.  But really.  I just can't get enough.

Edited by luisdent - 2/14/13 at 5:15pm
post #39 of 41

Any update? Are you still pleased with the Duet/HD600 combo after a few months of use?

I have the Duet 2 and am considering the HD600 but more than a few postings here and elsewhere say it isn't a good match. Then again, several other posters say they are very happy. Very confusing. 

post #40 of 41

always trust your own ears.

post #41 of 41

If you mean me, I actually had to sell them.  I didn't want to, and I indeed loved them after a lot of use.  However, I needed a high quality portable earphone and couldn't justify the cost of both.  I've been considering re-buying them again when I can afford them if that means anything... :-)  But I settled on an IEM as it can be used anywhere.  I couldn't take the hd600 anywhere (realistically).  I found them to be very high quality.  The only two gripes I have with them are the isolation (zero) and they are a tad too much mid bass.  When I say a tad, I mean a tad.  I prefer extreme flat graphed response and I lowered the mid bass a tad to make the perfect.


However, they were the closest thing I've ever heard to perfectly flat without eq, so I didn't find it necessary per se.  I simply wanted the utmost flatness. :-)  If you are worried about the duet, I didn't hear any difference between that and any of my other high end gear or portable c5 amp...  They follow the 1/8 impedance rule that is generally accepted, and I don't hear any issue there.  They are powered with no issue by the duet either with plenty of headroom.

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