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Recommend upgrade from Apogee Duet

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by csholtmeier, Oct 13, 2010.
  1. csholtmeier
    I'm currently using an Apogee Duet with my MacBook Pro and Denon AH-D7000's. I like the increased depth and better bass than with the MacBook headphone out, but the Duet seems to make things sound "rounder" and more "glued" together. I use a Sound Blaster card at home, and although it is noisier and smaller sounding, the mids and highs seem to be delivered quicker and with more precision than the Duet.
    I would also like something that is cross platform.
    I have been considering the Nuforce HDP or the RSA Predator. A seperate amp and DAC is not out of the question.
  2. Mr.Sneis
    Imo your best bet is separate units!
  3. aamefford
    If it must be portable, I upgraded to the Headroom HeadAmp Pico amp / dac from the Apogee Duet, and found it an excellent upgrade.  If it is a stationary system, there is a world of choice.  I am currently in love with my Headroom Ultra Desktop Amp.  I previously had a MisterX Dynalo paired with a DacMagic.  All three were an improvement to the Apogee, at least to me.  There are many here who will argue that the Apogee can't be beat as a dac under $1,000.  I'm not one of them, though I did like my Duet.  If I recorded as well, I'd still own it.
  4. justin w. Contributor


    HeadAmp Pico [​IMG]
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  5. qusp Contributor
    as a dac, you wont beat it with any portable IMO, but you could team it with a nicer amp section, like the fiquest (new version) or one of the balanced options.
    pico is a nice option too, though IMO the duet is superior; the predator only uses native USB receiver for the dac, not close to duet's dac section IMO
  6. aamefford

    Doh!  Sorry Justin - HEADAMP Pico.  And as I stated above, a really fine portable DAC/AMP.  I'm getting back into IEM's, there may be another one in my future!
  7. Dev Avidon
    I would second that the Duet is about as fine a portable DAC as you're going to find.  I'd strongly recommend taking a look at the Scherzo Andante; it's a battery powered full size amplifier that I use with my Duet and k702s for portable reference listening when I'm doing engineering and editing work on the road.  It has a dead black background, probably the quietest amp I've heard, with power to spare and a perfectly clean, neutral signature.  The wire with gain cliche?  This is it.
  8. elbuzzard
    If your are going to go the way of separate  components why not upgrade the amplification first and see if that improves the sound.  The amp in the Apogee is not highly regarded here.  I think it does an adequate job with Grados and the ATM50.  I get better results using a G5 desktop vs. my Mac Book Pro.  It had more headroom.  HD 580 is underpowered with Mac Book Pro and pretty damn good with the G5.  Unfortunately the G5 has a loud fan that drives me nuts.
    I use DUET to record and it is an amazing interface with Logic and Garage band.  I have also used it for doing needle drops with some success. 

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