Originally Posted by adupree
Again, I personally know lots of people who will agree with me. Dynamic range, jitter, THD all are effected by converters. This is why if you look at any larger studio you will see them run high-end converters. I can't think of a single studio I've worked at that isn't running Apogee, RME, Prism, Antelope, SSL, Lynx, Benchmark or other similar converters.
Now you are talking about a whole different beast. I never said converters couldn't get better than what you find in a fairly basic pro interface. There are many reasons people run RME, their DACs aren't usually one of them (certainly not the reason I bought mine). Their DAC isn't bad, but it isn't a major step up either. Either you run a babyface for latency and decent preamps for the price, or you move up and go to a separate DAC from the RME interface. Apogee is similarly eh until you get to the Symphony range, again, DACs are broken out form the interface, Of course studios run higher end DACs, and interfaces, but if you think your Apogee duet or RME babyface is a major step up for audio output, you are mistaken. There are many things they do better which make them worth the money, but for the same money, you can go with something else for listening only and have a better solution. I still stand by the opinion that at the Sub $1k interace level, improvements are in drivers latency, number of I/O channels, and preamps, not the output stage. Over $1k sure, but you are basically buying a digital interface with external preamps, AD and DA.