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Rating and Reviews: Apogee Duet FireWire

Made specifically for Mac, the Apogee Duet firewire interface features two channels of professional-quality 24-bit/96kHz audio input and output.

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"Clean Preamp, Clean Gain, High Quality sound, This IS the Centerpiece for Recording!" submitted June 11, 2011

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Hobbyist, Producer,
Music Style: Rap, Rock, Pop
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Sound: The only thing you need to know about Apogee is that they have been the industry standard for years. The Apogee Duet has some of the cleanest gain for preamps, and the sound quality is so stellar you'll be amazed by your recordings. Feature: Loved Everything about it. Ease of Use: I was recording within 5 minutes of pulling it out of the box... without reading any manuals. Quality: Pretty Solid, I bought a special carrying case that was made for it, but it definitely feels like it has some solid construction going on. Value: Definitely worth more than what I paid for... Easily, and with zZounds price beating system I was able to afford it. Before I buy anything I always look for a low price, and end up back here at zZounds! Manufacturer Support: Never had to deal with them, which tells me it's a good product. The best support you can get from a company is a product that does what it claims! The Wow Factor: This is practical, every studio should have one. Overall: Completely satisfied, if I went to another product it would be a newer version of this product which has already been released, but knowing what kind of a sound comes from this, I jumped on it when the Duet2 was released knowing that the release would drive down the prices of the Duet 1.
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"If you want an interface to match your Macbook Pro" submitted June 24, 2009

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Hobby Beatmaker
Music Style: Hip hop, House, Rap, Movie Scoring
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Sound: honestly, after reading all the hype about this interface with Mac/Logic.....I was expecting to orgasm over the clarity and crispness over the sound. I can't even tell the difference without it, people say their iTunes come alive and all this and that.......not true, it does what its supposed to do but its no miracle worker Feature: breakout cables are actually pretty nice because they hang behind my desk and limit some of the clutter.........besides that its just a big knob Ease of Use: had to install the software....which was outdated......and the update still doesnt download for some reason Quality: looks sick.....my friends think its really expensive, and it is Value: I wish I had demod some other interfaces first......cuz I can't return this thing Manufacturer Support: was on hold for about 10 minutes before someone just disconnected me..............tried again for another 10 and reached someone The Wow Factor: they did a great job adversiting but not performing
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"Not worth the hassle" submitted April 16, 2009

By a customer from msn.com
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Musical Background: "Recording Engineer", "Active Musician"
Music Style: CHRISTIAN, "Rap", "Rock", Any style that sounds good with me rapping over it
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Sound: Let's put it this way: I got a better sound out of a Fast Track Pro. Feature: The features are cool, if it sounded good they would be even better. Except the breakout cable will break, so be warned. Ease of Use: If you know anything about recording software and audio interfaces it is very easy to use. Quality: Everything but the breakout cable seems like it would hold up. Value: The Fast Track Pro that I got a better, crisper, and cleaner sound out of was $200. You tell me how good the value of this thing is for $500. Manufacturer Support: Never dealt with them but I will give them the benefit of the doubt. The Wow Factor: It looks like an Ipod! Of course I wanted it! Overall: I bought it, than returned it. It also had a kernal problem which crashed my iTunes. The pre-amps and convertors sounded like garbage. I will NEVER buy an Apogee product again. Other than that it was good. : )
6 of 38 people (15.79%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Sounds Great and Feels Sturdy" submitted January 4, 2011

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Musical Background: Active musician/producer
Music Style: Experimental/electronic
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Sound: I recently purchased the duet and so far I think the sound quality is amazing! Things are crisp and clear, and I am hearing things that I never did before. I haven't compared it to too many other devices but Apogee is known for their sound quality and attention to detail and so far I would agree. Feature: All of the accessories that it was supposed to come with were high quality and work as promised. I wish they made a quad or something that had four simultaneous ins. The two seem to be a little bit limiting. Ease of Use: The layout is extremely intuitive and the maestro software is great. There are a couple of things I wish it was capable of doing, on the software side, but overall pretty good Quality: The product is solid and sturdy. The attention to detail was impressive. It seems very rugged. Don't know that for sure but the construction seems very compact and well planned. Value: The item is a bit pricey for the number of ins you get, but the sound quality is great and the build is solid. Manufacturer Support: Very good support, chatted with someone via a live online chat, she was very helpful and answered all my questions as to the best of her ability.
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"Nothing can touch this in terms of sound quality for its price." submitted October 3, 2009

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Sound: Nothing better for the price. I have some decent PRE's and I have to say this thing keeps up with them, its nice characterful but compared to RME preamps it rules! Feature: One has to mention that the main feature is that it sounds GREAT. The breakout cable may upset some but have you seen how easy it is to make your own cables for this device? The PRE's are brilliant. The software is perfect. The integration with a MAC is brilliant. Its firewire powered, needs no additional power and works well. The knob is a midi controller that works in logic really well. The thing to mention about the features is this, they have not given you 100 inputs, SPDIF, MIDI (except the controller), ADAT etc, they have concentrated the product design to suit a bloke and his instrument for analog recording. And if you need the midi but, you can always add some aggregate midi usb input and keep the apogee for its fine A/D D/A convertors. Ease of Use: If you can't use this you shouldn't be recording. I used to own the RME fireface 400. Compared to that its simple, really simple, the single knob is a real joy to use. Quality: There is nothing to dilike about this device, most MIDI has gone the way of plug ins and USB keyboards fill the gap. If you are a singer songwriter or sound engineer looking for a small perfect interface this is the only one to buy. Value: Find me a product this good for this price. I guarantee you won't. Manufacturer Support: I haven't dealt with Apogee but the site is great and from what I hear the are a good bunch. The Wow Factor: Simple answer as I got one and ive used plenty of low end and high end kit. This is a prosumer aimed device that is professional in its build, there is very little on the market that could touch this baby. Overall: There is nothing to touch this kit for the price, Apogee knows this, if you take it back to your store as you are unhappy then this is not the device for you, not because the service or quality is bad.
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"Cool design - clean sound." submitted July 3, 2009

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Musical Background: Singer/songwriter/home recorder
Music Style: Alternative
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Sound: Seems to sound very clear through Yamaha HS50's. Feature: Basic design, doesn't try to do too much. Ease of Use: Very easy, after getting used to software interface (turning on phantom power, adjusting mute behavior). Quality: Firewire port is off-centered, so the cord just barely fits in - almost took it back, but since it works, I kept it. Knob was dirty when I opened the package, but was easy to clean. Value: Very expensive but seems to be high-quality. The Wow Factor: Cool design, clean sound. Overall: Had it for several weeks now, seems to be very good, but I'm not an expert. Wondering about adding a mic pre in-between, don't know if it's worth it.
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"Wonderful interface at a very reasonable price." submitted June 10, 2009

Sam from zZounds
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Sound: Apogee has been making high end AD/DA converters since the 1980's. They have built a good reputation for themselves with such units as the Rosetta 800/200, AD16/DA16, etc. That being said, the converters aren't the same as on their higher end units, but they do sound quite good. Out of many interfaces that I have used (PreSonus, Digidesign, and others), the Apogee would definitely get my pick for best under $500.00. Great clarity and depth, with good stereo imaging. The preamps in the unit are very clean and provide 75 db of gain. They aren't going to give you much character (like some higher end pre's), but they will give you a very clear signal from your microphones. I have used many different microphones with this unit, and have gotten good results from almost all of them. Even the SM7B, which is rather gain-hungry proved to be a pretty good match with the unit. DA is also very good. The only concern is that the outputs of the unit are unbalanced, so you may experience a slight hum (very slight), but nothing that would prevent you from accurately hearing everything. For the sound quality that you get from the unit, it is a worthy trade off. Feature: I will be honest. There are other units around the same price range as the Duet that contain many more features, such as digital in/outs, MIDI capability, multiple headphone outs, etc. The Duet is rather light in the feature range. However, if you only require two simultaneous inputs and outputs, then the unit is perfect. MIDI gear typically interfaces via USB with many units, and MIDI interfaces are pretty affordable now. Digital in/out would have been nice, but the Duet's converters are wonderful, so I don't think I will miss that feature too much. Mac compatible only, but that's no problem for me. Ease of Use: Couldn't be any simpler. If you are familiar with any other unit in the same vein, you should have no problems at all. Interface is very, very intuitive and straightforward. I had the unit installed, running, and recording in under ten minutes. The Duet has a wonderfully simple, yet very capable control scheme. You can also push in the rotary encoder to select volume control for input one, input two, master output, or each of the four assignable MIDI controllers. Quality: The quality of the Duet seems to be quite good from my initial impressions. Unit is sturdy, and the drivers are well made. Some have complained of the breakout cable breaking, but I don't think this will be a rampant issue with the unit (I would only think this would be a problem if you are traveling quite frequently with the unit). Anyways, there is currently a breakout box for the Duet available made by a small, third party company if you are concerned. The Duet itself is very well constructed. Value: If one thinks about it, many high-end two channel converters are anywhere from the same price to thousands of dollars (Mytek, Benchmark, other Apogee). While the Duet isn't necessarily in the same league, it still compares quite favorably with these more expensive units. Add in the fact that one can get two wonderfully clean, transparent preamps, plus a great headphone amp and both AD and DA, and the value of the unit becomes very apparent. Manufacturer Support: I haven't had to contact Apogee for service work yet, but they seem to be pretty easy to work with if one understands their policies and is a reasonable customer. Like every manufacturer, some have wonderful experiences, and some have awful experiences. Keep in mind, people who have negative experiences are more likely complain than people who have positive experiences that they can praise. The Wow Factor: The unit is quite pleasing aesthetically. The Duet was designed very well, and it is a great match for my MacBook Pro (the finishes match up nicely). Features and sound quality aside, the Duet is very visually attractive. Overall: Overall, I feel that the Duet is the best sounding interface of anything $500.00 and below, and beats many other units that cost more. However, this superb sound quality is balanced by a relative lack of features (as compared with other interfaces at the same price point). If you are only tracking one instrument at a time, and do not need MIDI capability in your interface, then I would definitely suggest taking a closer look at the Duet. For my application (recording only solo instruments), it's a perfect fit.
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