Universal Audio Apollo Twin vs Focusrite

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by bass12, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Just wondering if anyone here has any experience with both the Universal Audio Apollo Twin and either the Focusrite Scarlett or Clarett (in a comparable format to the Apollo input/output-wise). I'm basically looking for the best sound/least amount of latency I can get in a compact interface.
     
  2. Yes there is an audible difference. The Appolo converters and preamps are much better quality and obviously you pay for it. The Audient ID22 is price in between those interfaces yet its performance equals that of the Apollo.
     
    gscroggin, JulienP. and bass12 like this.
  3. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    They're better quality than the Scarlett stuff, but are markedly lower quality than the Clarrett models. What you're paying for in an Apollo is good, but not great, converters and preamps and a hardware dongle with DSP for running UA plugins. The latter part of that being the big dollar value. If you use UA plugins they're the best deal around. If you don't use UA plugins you can get a lot nicer preamps and converters for the same money and in some cases, like the Focusrite Clarrett series, even less.
     
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  4. Indeed, i would definitely go for the Audient ID22.
     
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  5. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Any thoughts on the Clarett vs the RME Babyface?
     
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  6. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Anything RME is going to be high quality. Their converters are all top-notch. Admittedly I'm not up on their offerings as nothing in their lineup really works for my studio's needs at the moment, but I've always been very impressed with what they do.
     
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  7. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Since starting this thread I've done more research and I really don't need much in the way of plug-ins (which makes me think the UA is not the best option for me). I'm now leaning more towards the RME.
     
  8. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Any thoughts on the ID22 vs the RME Babyface?
     
  9. The Babyface and the ID22 will deliver the same quality level. The Audient has only one headphone outpout while the Babyface has two.
     
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  10. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    I'm in the same boat. I'm currently using Apogee units which have stellar audio quality, but have been a little glitchy. MOTU has really stepped up their game and are using the same converters as Apogee's top tier Symphony units. MOTU isn't a company I'd considered before, but after listening to their 16A converter with a pair of Yamaha MLA8 preamps I was incredibly impressed. This is obviously way more i/o than what you're after, but if it scales down I'd definitely give them a look. All that said, I don't think there's a better quality 2-channel unit for the money than the Focusrite Clarrett line. They're frankly incredible for the price and outperform many units with prices above their own.
     
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  11. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    Audient stuff is definitely impressive and seems consistent from their high end consoles all the way down to the ID22. Very cool.
     
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  12. Aloe

    Aloe

    Apr 10, 2016
    Ukraine
    two years ago I've bought a Clarett from a guy who moved to UAD. he told me that according to his comparison preamps on Clarett are more high-quality, but flexibility of UAD Unison was very useful to him. besides from that, he also wanted a small desktop unit, not a rackmount one. that's how I ended with my first Clarett and still rock it.

    and yes, if you want the best latency, go with Thunderbolt, so no Scarletts for you. I believe, Clarett Thunderbolt has lower latency than UAD devices and PreSonus Quantum has even less.
     
  13. MuttThud

    MuttThud

    Aug 31, 2017
    UK
    IME choice of connection protocol is almost as important as quality of A/D overall. The new generation of Thunderbolt 3 interfaces are all really good with latency so low as to be irrelevant. The difference between brands of TB3 interfaces boils down to quality of preamps (although generally I think they’re all v good now, UAD and Focusrite included), physical usability of the hardware (eg hi-res metering vs simple green/amber/red LED) and whether or not you like the idea of proprietary plugins (eg UAD plugins with their Unison tech). I researched this a lot and listened to several of the major options. In the end I went for UAD (Arrow in my case) and bought a number of their plugins as I really like the plugin integration when tracking. Pleased with it: bombproof stability, love the bass amp models, sounds great.
     
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  14. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    NEW YORK
    RME is nice. The Baby Face Pro FS will give you the results you are looking for. Many reputable companies still use USB 2. Which in many ways enough for audio. When using video or daisy chain thunderbolt is better.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2020
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  15. David Vector

    David Vector Supporting Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    Michigan
    I've been pleased with the solid performance and improvement in latency (vs. an NI KA6 I used previously) since recently switching to an RME Fireface UCX (connecting via USB). From the charts I've seen, you could shave off an extra millisecond or two at a given buffer size with some Thunderbolt interfaces. The improvement in latency between RME and many lesser USB interfaces (like the aforementioned NI KA6) is relatively more dramatic.
     
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  16. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I ended up ordering the Clarett. Not sure when I’ll actually get my hands on it given what’s currently going on with the virus. Thanks to everyone for all the valuable feedback!
     
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  17. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Well, turns out the Clarett I'd ordered was unavailable. I ended up getting an RME Babyface.
     
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  18. juliuzz

    juliuzz

    May 26, 2021
    In the same boat now, choosing between Clarett, UAD twin, and RME - so do you like the choice you made?
     
  19. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I'm happy with the RME, though I am curious about the Universal Audio Apollo (I know some people with the UA and they love it). I originally stayed away from the Apollo because I didn't want to be paying extra for the included plug-ins but given what I've spent on plug-ins since then...
     
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  20. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Here
    FWIW
    Been a fan of UAD since UAD-1 cards , and have a ton of plugins.
    Got the Apollo Sliver FireWire when it first came out , super product.

    Long story short , had to change my MOTU PCI system for my home studio , went for a MOTU 1248.
    I prefer it over the Apollo , sound wise.
     
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