I owned the Apogee, and it was good. But better was the next DAC I bought- the MHDT Labs Havana. You can't find better for the money in my opinion.
8 responses Add your response
The nice thing about DACs is that they are easy to ship and swap out. I'd get the Duet and another one. Sell the one you are less happy with and buy another one. Do this until you have found your sweet spot. I did this with about 6 from $300 to $2,600 and ended up with one that was $1,100.
Being able to swap out gear at close to purchase price is one of the great features of Audiogon.
The Duet looks pretty sweet. Its limited to no higher than a 96kHz signal though. Download the User Manual and check it out. I'm thinking of the Mini-DAC because it can handle the higher resolution 176.4 files.
Evaluating 2 DAC's at a time sounds like a great idea if you are working with a 30 day return policy.
You could also buy one DAC and see if local audiophiles are willing to bring their DAC over for a listening session.
Stubby - Hi. Yes, I ended up with the Exemplar Mini DAC. You do not see them on Audiogon but you might be able to get one from Exemplar. It bested my Resolution Audio Opus 21 which I sold for $2,400, having paid $2,600 for it a few years earlier. I bought and sold a Bel Canto and came out $100 ahead. I bought and sold a Scott Nixon tube DAC and was out less than $50 on the transaction. I got another two DACs that I cannot remember and never lost much. It was (is) the price of the hobby: playing around with different equipment.
Has anyone compared the apogee duet 2 with audiophile dac's for fun. Also has anyone converted analog signal from turn table and phono stage preamp to digital file and then played it back thru Duet 2 and possibly another DAC of higher quality like a Berkeley DAC USB or something else considered pretty good. I'm wondering if the playback of a recording made from a record and a decent turn table has been played back via a great DAC and it you considered the results worth the time and effort taken to make the digital file in the first place. Meaning instead of paying say $25 for a 176K file, you made the 176K file from a record you bought at a garage sale for 1.00 and brought it home and put it on the old VPI record cleaning machine, found out there were no pops or scratches on this 1.00 record and sucessfully made the file as good as you could. WAS IT WORTH IT? So say you get good at it, and makes hundreds of files, that normally would cost upwards of 2K or more, clearly made your money back 4X over, is the sound good enough to take the time to do this? Or just spend the money on the files. Oh what about the 1000 records I have that are getting worn out from so many plays, sure would be nice to get a digital file of these before they are all dead, ya think. but is the machine Duet 2 good enough or should a higher end Apogee model be bought?
The Duet is an EXTREMELY good DAC. Better than most 'audiophile' DACs costing many times more. Apogee has spent DECADES on making the very best converters in the business. They are definitely at the head of the pack and only a few surpass them in my opinion (i.e. Nagra, Mytek are comparable and a few custom made ones I've heard). I know people are very emotionally attached to their investments but they owe it to themselves to hear the Duet.