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Old 4th January 2005
Lives for gear
GYang's Avatar
Somebody asker earlier about real experience and comparison on UA 2196 and Apogee Rosetta 800.
We have both in studio, UA 2196 for more than year and Apogee for over 6 months now. We just needed 2 channels of ADC more to existing setup, so we took Apogee for 1 week test and kept it.

Both converters are indeed very good and we can easily live with any of them. Compared to our earlier RME ADI8DS and MOTU HD196, they are definitely better in all respects, not only different, but clearly better sounding.
When we tried Prisms and DCSs, yes indeed, converters can sound more pleasant than UA and Apogee, but we did not find enough reason to spend more for improvements they provided.

In direct A/B comparison our opinions divided, but more often on acoustic materials and vocals we prefer Apogee, it provides the sound we further process digitally and at the end of the day tracks sound more natural. UA can do the same in pretty similar quality and some subtle nuances, especially in DAC when whole mix goes to analogue outboards make Apogee preferable choice.
I believed from the beginning that UA made all efforts to provide good conversion offering natural, less digitally harsh sound, but as always it is questionable if such approach equals to better conversion or represent some pleasant sounding artifacts.

We'll keep both and do not think to change UA for second Apogee, but if I would need to opt for one of them, it would be clearly Apogee Rosetta 200. Also, several additional functions on Rosetta + connectivity options are good addition (although not main point to choose it) to this device.
If you already owe UA I don't see any reason to change it for Rosetta, but for new purchase everyone should try and test closely.
Also, as stated in other forums, external clocks are unlikely to make anything better in both of mentioned converters.