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Apogee Duet 2 - Page 2

post #16 of 26

Bumping an old thread... would the duet serve as a good DAC to couple with a tube amp like the LD MKiii?

post #17 of 26

Yes. Balanced TRS - XLR (+4dBu) or unbalanced TS - RCA (-10dBV) connections with no problems. 

post #18 of 26

Here I am bumping an old thread. I just received my Duet 2 from Amazon. My current DAC/amp is a ODAC/O2 by JDS Labs. This is a good unit for the price. The O2 is my first headphone amp. I have been surprised how good it sounds, transparent and detailed.  But I wanted to see what I am missing out on with the more expensive units. I tried DACMagic and I found the ODAC/O2 to be a better unit because of the better amp.

 

There are so many to select from. So I went directly to the heart of the matter. Recording engineers need to work with good and accurate equipment. So I picked up an Apogee Diet 2 on a "loaner program" from Amazon. ;) I am very impressed! All I got to say is "WOW". So this is what I have been missing out on with the more expensive DAC/amps! The sound has something to it that makes it more "balanced" and natural, and fuller, if that makes any sense. My hearing is not that good, but a friend of mine perceived the differences to be more obvious to him, which is clarity and better high frequency extension,

 

I am going to give the ODAC/O2 to my mother for her classical music while I use the Apogee for all my types of music. I purchased a refurbished unit from Amazon for only $450. This powers my 250-ohm Beyerdynamic DT880s very well at a little over half volume. A further plus is I can use it to record my music created by synthesizers.

 

Bob

 

PS: I am finding that all DACs are not created equal. IMO a good part of this is how well they do their jobs. I think the most difference in quality to be found is with jitter and the quality of processing done for their reconstruction filter, which is part of the conversion process they do to go from digital to analog. And then there is the audio amp part to consider. FWIW


Edited by r010159 - 5/24/14 at 6:45pm
post #19 of 26

Anyone notice the difference between line outs and headphone outs? Is the difference noticeable? Is it worthwhile to purchase an amp for this DAC?

 

Bob

post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by r010159 View Post
 

Anyone notice the difference between line outs and headphone outs? Is the difference noticeable? Is it worthwhile to purchase an amp for this DAC?

 

Bob

I've been using Apogee Duet 2 as my main DAC and i didn't noticed any significant difference between line outs and headphone out.

 

It's a great device and you definitely CAN drive headphones like Sennheiser HD600, HD650 and so but i'd recommend adding amp to it. I did noticed a difference when adding Schiit Asgard 2 to my chain (i've tried few others too and a could hear the difference) - especially with the low end and soundstage.

 

Duet 2 is little bit on the bright side so i'd pair it with warmer amp.

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightthree View Post
 

I've been using Apogee Duet 2 as my main DAC and i didn't noticed any significant difference between line outs and headphone out.

 

It's a great device and you definitely CAN drive headphones like Sennheiser HD600, HD650 and so but i'd recommend adding amp to it. I did noticed a difference when adding Schiit Asgard 2 to my chain (i've tried few others too and a could hear the difference) - especially with the low end and soundstage.

 

Duet 2 is little bit on the bright side so i'd pair it with warmer amp.

 

I did noticed a difference when adding Schiit Asgard 2 to my chain...

 

Is the Schiit Asgard a warmer amp? A good pairing for the Apogee?

post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by r010159 View Post
 

 

I did noticed a difference when adding Schiit Asgard 2 to my chain...

 

Is the Schiit Asgard a warmer amp? A good pairing for the Apogee?

Yes - in my opinion. It's a solid state but it's a warm amp. Slightly laid back.

Brighter amp would make Duet 2 sound a little bit too forward and maybe a little bit harsh (it also depends on headphones of course).

post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightthree View Post

Yes - in my opinion. It's a solid state but it's a warm amp. Slightly laid back.
Brighter amp would make Duet 2 sound a little bit too forward and maybe a little bit harsh (it also depends on headphones of course).

How have you found the Duet when compared with other DAC/amps?

I am comparing mine to an ODAC/O2 that I also posess. At first they sounded similar with the exception of new depth added to the sound stage with the a Duet. Was this worth the extra money? But then I find it helps to become acquainted with the "sound" of the Duet for some time before critically comparing it to the O2. This is where the detail in the differences with the timbre of each sound becomes more aparent to me when comparing the same music to the O2. I am definitely impressed by the Duet.

Bob

PS: I EQed the music to offset the boost in treble that the headphone amp has on the Duet.
Edited by r010159 - 6/3/14 at 10:24pm
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by eightthree View Post
 

I've been using Apogee Duet 2 as my main DAC and i didn't noticed any significant difference between line outs and headphone out.

 

It's a great device and you definitely CAN drive headphones like Sennheiser HD600, HD650 and so but i'd recommend adding amp to it. I did noticed a difference when adding Schiit Asgard 2 to my chain (i've tried few others too and a could hear the difference) - especially with the low end and soundstage.

 

Duet 2 is little bit on the bright side so i'd pair it with warmer amp.

 

I have a question for you. Does the Duet impart an analog type sound to the music? Or is what I am hearing a 100% accurate representation of the music? For that matter, I do not know what an analog type of sound is suppose to sound like. I am just guessing here. Maybe this analog-like sound is only in action when the Soft Limiting feature is invoked?

 

Bob


Edited by r010159 - 6/7/14 at 5:44pm
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by r010159 View Post


How have you found the Duet when compared with other DAC/amps?

I am comparing mine to an ODAC/O2 that I also posess. At first they sounded similar with the exception of new depth added to the sound stage with the a Duet. Was this worth the extra money? But then I find it helps to become acquainted with the "sound" of the Duet for some time before critically comparing it to the O2. This is where the detail in the differences with the timbre of each sound becomes more aparent to me when comparing the same music to the O2. I am definitely impressed by the Duet.

Bob

PS: I EQed the music to offset the boost in treble that the headphone amp has on the Duet.

The only DAC's i've been comparing Duet with was the first generation of Apogee Duet and there's definitely a difference - duet 2 is more transparent. Also few other but not really high-end. I was more interested in finding a good transparent DAC without any frequencies being hyped - most accurate, reference DAC and theres nothing that can beat Duet 2 in my opinion. The only drawback i find is Duet's stability. It's having problems to connect sometimes but it's have nothing with the sound.

 

I'm not EQing anything but it's because i'm ok with the bright character of it. Also I haven't heard ODAC/O2 so i can't say anything about it.

post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by r010159 View Post
 

 

I have a question for you. Does the Duet impart an analog type sound to the music? Or is what I am hearing a 100% accurate representation of the music? For that matter, I do not know what an analog type of sound is suppose to sound like. I am just guessing here. Maybe this analog-like sound is only in action when the Soft Limiting feature is invoked?

 

Bob

 

Duet 2 does not have an "analog" type - especially that the main goal with Apogee Duet 2 was to deliver low distortion, great dynamic range and clear sound. I think by adding tube amp you'll get the analog feel to it. It's all about balancing your rack to the way you want it to listen to - Asgard 2 was definitely "warming" sound of a Duet.

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