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Lynx Aurora 16 vs Antelope Orion 32+ vs UAD Apollo 16
Old 29th November 2016
  #1
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Lynx Aurora 16 vs Antelope Orion 32+ vs UAD Apollo 16

Hi all,

I'm in the market for a 16 channel converter (AD/DA) - I have added the Orion32+ as its in the price bracket of £sub3000 which is where I want to stick. (Will be testing them at some point but would be intrigued to see your initial thoughts)

The Orion has the highest channel count but the reliability issues (everyone seems to have had an issue) - are seemingly swaying me and I have read a fair few times that the Aurora has a better sound.
I would use the converters for connecting outboard gear/occasional hardware synths..
I write DnB and saw that Rob Swire originally had the Aurora 16 so that's kind of tempting me but I'm also tempted by the DSP addition of UAD plugins.

Would anyone who was in this dilemma care to share their opinion?

Thanks,
Old 29th November 2016
  #2
Moderator
 
Trev@Circle's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I had 3 lynx auroras in my main rig here until I recently got a burl mothership. If it says anything, I have decided to keep two of them and put them in the B room rather than just get rid of the lot.

Slightly different thing, and not one for discussion in the high end, but I recently dumped my UAD card/plugins having undertaken some A/B tests which I found to be an eye opener.
Old 29th November 2016
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Oldone's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I concur with Trevor having done this shootout. The Lynx have aspects to the overall sound which are more distinct in the mid and lower range i.e. clearer, tighter, than the Orion. I've not heard one recording done with the UAD, even by top mixers, that I would consider in the same league as the Lynx or Orion. I consider the UAD more of a pre production tool for working out arrangements and song development. I too am moving away from their plugins as I own a lot of similar hardware which I didn't when I started using their plugins.
Old 29th November 2016 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldone ➡️
I concur with Trevor having done this shootout. The Lynx have aspects to the overall sound which are more distinct in the mid and lower range i.e. clearer, tighter, than the Orion. I've not heard one recording done with the UAD, even by top mixers, that I would consider in the same league as the Lynx or Orion. I consider the UAD more of a pre production tool for working out arrangements and song development. I too am moving away from their plugins as I own a lot of similar hardware which I didn't when I started using their plugins.
Very interesting actually. Tight and precise low end is really what I need with DnB writing with the low end being so important for me. I suppose sound is possibly sacrificed in the orion due to its doubled channel count. Don't get me wrong its a nice idea with it but I can't help that think sound is probably sacrificed at that kind of price point!
Old 29th November 2016
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by frow3n ➡️
Hi all,

I'm in the market for a 16 channel converter (AD/DA) - I have added the Orion32+ as its in the price bracket of £sub3000 which is where I want to stick. (Will be testing them at some point but would be intrigued to see your initial thoughts)

The Orion has the highest channel count but the reliability issues (everyone seems to have had an issue) - are seemingly swaying me and I have read a fair few times that the Aurora has a better sound.
I would use the converters for connecting outboard gear/occasional hardware synths..
I write DnB and saw that Rob Swire originally had the Aurora 16 so that's kind of tempting me but I'm also tempted by the DSP addition of UAD plugins.

Would anyone who was in this dilemma care to share their opinion?

Thanks,
I usually agree with Trev but in this case I have a very different assesment. To my ears, the first gen Apollo had a upper mid range glare and cloudiness. It's soundstage was not as wide and deep as some of the best converters. It provided solid conversion but was bested by many of the top end converters such as the Symphony, and Avid HD.

I haven't heard the Orion so I can't speak on it. I have heard the Auroras and they are very good, detailed and clear but I also find them lean with a bit of upper mid hardness. Maybe that's is because I've gotten use to the Symphony's lusher yet still detailed presentation.

I recently bought the gen 2 Apollo and can say it's stellar and in the same qualitative ballpark as the Symph which I also own. It appears clear that UAD set out to make qualitative improvements to the Apollo range and I think they greatly succeeded in addressing the earlier units shortcomings and making the next gen Apollo a truly outstanding converter.

As far as plugins are concerned I think there is a general consensus that UAD plugins are among the very best. I certainly find them equal and in many instances better than the plugins I've used from Waves, Slate or Nebula. But as with most plugins, the key imho is to use them judiciously like you would their hardware counterparts for those that have hardware counterparts. Ive found that slathering plugin after plugin on just because you can usually makes things sound worse than better. Good luck.
Old 30th November 2016
  #6
Lives for gear
 
MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Question 1. How will you be hooking this up ? Thunderbolt ? PTHD ? HDX ?
2. The Lynx Aurora 16 also brings 8 AES to the party. This can be quite useful.
3 current promotion here in US gets you a free UAD-2 with every Apollo

Your answers can help guide you toward a decision
Old 30th November 2016
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS ➡️
Question 1. How will you be hooking this up ? Thunderbolt ? PTHD ? HDX ?
2. The Lynx Aurora 16 also brings 8 AES to the party. This can be quite useful.
3 current promotion here in US gets you a free UAD-2 with every Apollo

Your answers can help guide you toward a decision
My Daw is Nuendo 7 and I'm on windows. Thunderbolt is most likely but I'd consider DANTE on the Aurora as that's coming out in December!
The promotion on the Apollo is cool but I'll be testing the converters in December and buying them a month later or so after I've sat down and had a proper think.

What are your thoughts based on my answers?
Old 30th November 2016
  #8
Gear Nut
 
juniorexploder's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Like [email protected] I have also moved to a Burl MS- however beforehand I owned and used all three- I can overwhelmingly recommend the Lynx Aurora- unlike both UAD and Orion, Lynx only upgrades the cards only - their support is beyond amazing, and I never had a seconds worth of technical issues with the Lynx. Rock solid with everything I threw at it- cross platform, OS, 6 different DAWS, didn't matter. And they don't annoyingly come out with a new "improved" model at every NAMM show like Orion or UAD. So the Aurora held it's resale value WAAAAY better than the Apollo or Orion. And as far as sound - I heartily agree with Oldone in terms of low-mid response, Seriously a great piece of kit. Can't go wrong...
Old 5th February 2017 | Show parent
  #9
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by juniorexploder ➡️
And they don't annoyingly come out with a new "improved" model at every NAMM show like Orion or UAD.
Until this year!! haha, saw the new line there everyone's going for a dark look these days i guess... maybe the silverplate will go up in value now.


I know this is an old thread but I found it because I am also an Aurora 16 owner and I just came across a pretty decent deal on the Orion and was considering swapping them if the quality was on par for the financial benefit.

My Lynx has performed flawlessly since I bought it in ~2 years of consistent (almost daily) use 6-8 months out of the year. I'm thinking I shouldn't **** with a good thing, those extra channels are seductive though..

Anyways, for anyone else stumbling across this post looking for insight, I can add to the Aurora party and say that they are really great sounding and super reliable converters.
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