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Mbox Pro 3 vs. Apogee Ensemble vs. RME UFX - Gearspace.com
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Mbox Pro 3 vs. Apogee Ensemble vs. RME UFX
Old 24th January 2011
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Mbox Pro 3 vs. Apogee Ensemble vs. RME UFX

Hi - I'm looking to upgrade from my Apogee Duet and am trying to decide between the new Mbox Pro 3, the Apogee Ensemble, and the RME UFX. I like the fact that they all have two headphone outs (one for me and one for a singer), along with the ability to do cue mixes to those outs. I don't record live drums or multiple instruments at once, and I have my own external preamps.

The Ensemble is attractive since it is around $1500 used, but it doesn't have the DSP processing of the other two (like reverb on a singer's vocals during tracking). And Apogee's DA/AD is superb.

The Mbox Pro 3 has a very attractive price ($800) and it's converters are said to be on par with Apogee Duet / Ensemble. However, I've heard of some QC issues in the hardware and not sure about the drivers.

The RME UFX has a lot of features and RME's drivers are supposed to be the best, but how's the DA/AD? Reviews of other devices say it is a little clinical.

Any thoughts / opinions / advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
C
Old 25th January 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Im not familiar with the RME unit but IMO any Mbox would be a downgrade from an Ensemble and your Duet as well.
Old 25th January 2011
  #3
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clonkified ➑️
The RME UFX has a lot of features and RME's drivers are supposed to be the best, but how's the DA/AD? Reviews of other devices say it is a little clinical.
What does clinical mean? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I'd venture to guess that in a double blind test, few would be able to point out the clinical one

RME does look a bit clinical whereas Apogee is more artistic looking, maybe that's what they meant?

~Jay
Old 25th January 2011 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manfrensengensen ➑️
Im not familiar with the RME unit but IMO any Mbox would be a downgrade from an Ensemble and your Duet as well.
Wrong on the new mbox 3. New converters designed by the apogee guys that came over to avid. They did a great job. For mobile been using mbox 3 pro instead of my duet.
Old 25th January 2011 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
PopularDemand - how are you liking the Mbox 3 Pro compared to the Duet? How are the drivers in terms of latency and stability? Would you recommend the unit? Are you using it with PT or something else?
Old 25th January 2011 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Using PT and Logic. Stable. Mbox Pro 3 has many features that Duet does not but they both sound good.
Old 25th January 2011 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I've been loving my Mbox 3 Pro. I've been running PT9 on my Macbook Pro and, an HP DV6000, and my AMD Phenom quad core box and it works flawlessly.

Very nice sounding interface.
Old 25th January 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Mbox Pro 3 vs. Apogee Ensemble vs. RME UFX

Quote:
Originally Posted by PopularDemand

Wrong on the new mbox 3. New converters designed by the apogee guys that came over to avid. They did a great job. For mobile been using mbox 3 pro instead of my duet.
Well maybe I would agree it has more I/O and features but for some reason I can never find the specs on Digi/Avid gear. Seems their converter/pre amps specs are not listed, or some big secret.

Use to sell Digi gear. Worst support I have ever seen. Got tired of pissed people when they find they had to email Digi and wait for a response to get a patch to get their gear running.
Hated recommending it. They sucked at supporting the companies selling their stuff too. Hope it's better for you.
Old 25th January 2011 | Show parent
  #9
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UPRYZ's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
At this price point I doubt there is any discernabe difference in the sound of the AD/DA in these units. None will get in your way. Choose based on feature set.
Old 26th January 2011 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manfrensengensen ➑️
Well maybe I would agree it has more I/O and features but for some reason I can never find the specs on Digi/Avid gear. Seems their converter/pre amps specs are not listed, or some big secret.
http://www.avid.com/static/resources...logy_Guide.pdf

Old 31st January 2011 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by PopularDemand ➑️
Wrong on the new mbox 3. New converters designed by the apogee guys that came over to avid. They did a great job. For mobile been using mbox 3 pro instead of my duet.
Just to clarify, no Apogee product engineers have left Apogee for Avid. Our core engineering team has not changed in over 10 years.
These same core engineers designed the X-Series and Rosetta Series converters, Big Ben, Mini series,Duet, Ensemble, ONE, GiO and of course, Symphony I/O.

Chris Lawson
Apogee Electronics
Old 31st January 2011 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by UPRYZ ➑️
At this price point I doubt there is any discernabe difference in the sound of the AD/DA in these units. None will get in your way. Choose based on feature set.
+1

That's what I was going to say.

But you didn't state your OS or DAW of choice.

Mbox is probably still the best choice for Pro Tools despite recent native support. And the Ensemble is mac only. So that helps narrow things down a little...
Old 2nd February 2011 | Show parent
  #13
Here for the gear
 
cgiugliano27's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
...and the apogee engineer speaks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clawson ➑️
Just to clarify, no Apogee product engineers have left Apogee for Avid. Our core engineering team has not changed in over 10 years.
These same core engineers designed the X-Series and Rosetta Series converters, Big Ben, Mini series,Duet, Ensemble, ONE, GiO and of course, Symphony I/O.

Chris Lawson
Apogee Electronics
hey Chris,
in your honest opinion, do you think the Mbox3 is on par with the duet in ad/da conversion? I am debating on which one to get....leaning towards the duet but the mbox3 has some nice features...I use Macbook Pro with PT9?
Old 2nd February 2011 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgiugliano27 ➑️
hey Chris,
in your honest opinion, do you think the Mbox3 is on par with the duet in ad/da conversion? I am debating on which one to get....leaning towards the duet but the mbox3 has some nice features...I use Macbook Pro with PT9?
First let me say that I am not an engineer at Apogee, I work in the marketing department.
As far as the Mbox3, I honestly couldn't say because I have never used one. I can only go by what I have heard from our customers who have made the upgrade to Duet. So that of course in no way qualifies an opinion on my part.

If you have any questions about Duet before or after your purchase, please let me know, or contact our support department by phone, email or live chat
located here is our Santa Monica, CA office. Support is free and they can help you now or in years from now.

Chris Lawson
Apogee Electronics
Old 3rd February 2011 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clawson ➑️
First let me say that I am not an engineer at Apogee, I work in the marketing department.
As far as the Mbox3, I honestly couldn't say because I have never used one. I can only go by what I have heard from our customers who have made the upgrade to Duet. So that of course in no way qualifies an opinion on my part.

If you have any questions about Duet before or after your purchase, please let me know, or contact our support department by phone, email or live chat
located here is our Santa Monica, CA office. Support is free and they can help you now or in years from now.

Chris Lawson
Apogee Electronics
I find it strange you use the term, "upgrade". I have used your products and think they are awesome. I now own an Mbox Pro and feel it's also a very nice interface. To me choosing between these interfaces is a little more complex than conversion quality as your products and the Mbox do fine in this regard. I think the beauty of the Duet and the One are how much quality you get in such a compact form factor. The preamps are very usable. The trade off is limited I/O and the fact you can't use them with a PC. The Mbox Pro costs more but has a ton more I/O, cross platform, decent preamps, and sounds (at least in my opinion) great. It's major flaw is Digi putting out sub par interfaces for so many years that people do not trust Avid and dismiss any new offerings immediately.

To me the decision is easy. If do not need a ton of I/O, enjoy being very portable, and ony use a Mac, I go with the Duet. It's a no-brainer. If I need more I/O or need to use a PC you buy the Mbox Pro. Both products will record quality tracks.

While I have Apogee guy here I need to again compliment you on the quality and innovation of your products. However you need a Duet type product that will work on a PC. Not offering such a product is ridiculous. I use both Mac and PC's for audio and multimedia production and would love to have a Duet that would work with both. In fact, I may NOT have bought the Mbox Pro if you had such a product because I rarely use more than two inputs at once. I think you guys would absolutely rule the home recording market if you had a Duet that would work with a PC.
Old 3rd February 2011 | Show parent
  #16
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sventvkg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm at the same point right now trying to decide between an Ensemble and a new MBox 3 Pro. If they are close I will go for the MBox but I really need some opions on how the new MBox 3 stacks up. So far it's looking favorable via this thread PLEASE, keep em coming so we can decide!
Old 3rd February 2011 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
I think the Ensembles are awesome. However they cost almost $2k. An Mbox Pro is around $750. If the Ensemble is better it's not $1250 better.
Old 3rd February 2011 | Show parent
  #18
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AnalogueRazor's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I haven't used the Apogee stuff, but my Mbox3 Pro is a huge step up from the previous Digi stuff I've owned. Not only in sound quality and construction, but also stability. Maybe that has to do with PT9, I don't honestly know. I just know my work flow has been much smoother since the upgrade to the new Pro.
Old 3rd February 2011 | Show parent
  #19
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Have You Considered...

a Steinberg MR816/CSX ?

Huge bang for the buck and they sound stellar. You can set up dsp mixes in your headphones (2 of them).
Old 3rd February 2011 | Show parent
  #20
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Beyersound's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dove ➑️
a Steinberg MR816/CSX ?

Huge bang for the buck and they sound stellar. You can set up dsp mixes in your headphones (2 of them).
.......and if you have Cubase/Nuendo you can set up much more than 2 monitor mixes!
Old 4th February 2011 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
FYI - I went with an Mbox 3 Pro. Just received it last night, but it was pretty painless to set up and seems to be working fine with Logic. Initial reaction is that I like the sound of the Duet slightly more (through an external pre), but that may be due to a variety of factors (I'm used to the Duet, level variation in recording, etc.). However, given the flexibility of the Mbox, the fact the PT9 upgrade (if I ever choose to) is cheaper, and the price, I'm pretty happy. As you said, the conversion quality isn't going to be the thing that will hold the recordings back (plenty of released material was recorded with the older Mbox / 002 / 003).
Old 5th February 2011
  #22
JGM
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dove ➑️
a Steinberg MR816/CSX ?

Huge bang for the buck and they sound stellar. You can set up dsp mixes in your headphones (2 of them).
What about this with PT9? would this be a better route than the MBox 3 Pro? Or the Focusrite Saffire 56 or 40?
Old 23rd March 2011 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
Rimby's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
For those that own this unit...how low are you able to get the buffer settings? I need something can handle live, low-latency performance and monitoring with virtual instruments.

I'm trying to decide between this and the RME Babyface.
Old 24th March 2011 | Show parent
  #24
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zephonic's Avatar
 
13 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Funny that, I am a Cubase user and was just beginning to look at the MboxPro as an alternative to the MR816.

Anybody use the MBoxPro with Cubase? How's low latency performance on OSX?

Can it work comfortably @ 64 samples (24/44.1)?
Old 24th March 2011 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
With Logic and an 8-core Mac Pro, I can get the Mbox Pro 3 to function fine at 64 (and even 32 sometimes).

With Pro Tools 8 LE, I have to use at least 128 or 256 / 512. I tried the Cubase 6 demo and it was doing fine at 64.
Old 24th March 2011 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
Rimby's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clonkified ➑️
With Logic and an 8-core Mac Pro, I can get the Mbox Pro 3 to function fine at 64 (and even 32 sometimes).

With Pro Tools 8 LE, I have to use at least 128 or 256 / 512. I tried the Cubase 6 demo and it was doing fine at 64.
Thanks for the info. Sounds good.
Old 24th March 2011 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by zephonic ➑️
Funny that, I am a Cubase user and was just beginning to look at the MboxPro as an alternative to the MR816.

Anybody use the MBoxPro with Cubase? How's low latency performance on OSX?

Can it work comfortably @ 64 samples (24/44.1)?
Why? I can't imagine the MBP is any better with less bells and whistles. Funny, though...my MR816 works better in PT's than it does Cubase 6...
Old 24th March 2011 | Show parent
  #28
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zephonic's Avatar
 
13 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I like the features on the MboxPro. Like monitor-switching, mono button etc.

I'm sure that can be done with MR816X as well from within Cubase, but that is not the same.

from a $$$ POV, for $999 you get the MBox Pro with PT9.

So if MBoxPro plays nice with Cubase, it would be a worthwhile investment, if only for the inclusion of PT9.
Old 12th April 2011 | Show parent
  #29
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chrisdee's Avatar
 
9 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogueRazor ➑️
I haven't used the Apogee stuff, but my Mbox3 Pro is a huge step up from the previous Digi stuff I've owned. Not only in sound quality and construction, but also stability. Maybe that has to do with PT9, I don't honestly know. I just know my work flow has been much smoother since the upgrade to the new Pro.
I'm also thinking about getting the new Mbox Pro. I want to move up in ad/da quality from my old Mbox 2 Pro.
What was your previous Digi stuff ?
Old 12th April 2011 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Nut
 
AnalogueRazor's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdee ➑️
I'm also thinking about getting the new Mbox Pro. I want to move up in ad/da quality from my old Mbox 2 Pro.
What was your previous Digi stuff ?
I owned an Mbox 1 for years, then an Mbox 2 mini, as well as using an Mbox micro, and spending some good time with the Mbox 2.

I also worked at a studio using a Digi002 and an HD system (3 I believe, through a 192, but it's been a while). However, those systems I don't have access to any longer to compare the sound.
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