Opinions on Apogee Duet performance

I am looking for opinions from those of you that use the Duet or have used it. I am most concerned with the sonic characteristics used as a dac. If you can compare it to other dacs you have used that would be helpful.It looks like a good option for me as I was looking at the Mini dac in a mac based system and for it's headphone capabilities.. I am assuming that since it is made for mac that it should be plug and play. What are your experiences?

I've got one and use it to listen to music through my headphones. Aesthetically, it is beautiful to look at and beautifully built. It has a wonderfully slim form factor and partners any Mac wonderfully.
As for sound, it is wonderfully smooth yet at the same time highly resolving, it also projects a very realistic sound stage with my headphones. I find listening to it for long periods totally non-fatiguing. At its price point it is nigh on unbeatable in my opinion.
Highly recommended.
Have you ever tried it in your big rig? What phones are you using? I will be using a pair of HD 650.
Rrboogie, I haven't placed it in my main system but I would not be surprised if it compared very favorably to my Resolution Audio Opus 21 CDP, which in and of itself is a great CDP.
The headphones I use for listening are Audio Technica ATH-W1000.
I used to listen through a Red Wine Audio modified Ipod and Ray Samuels SR-71, both excellent products and truly portable but the Apogee/Mac combo beats it. It really is that good. If it were to be produced by an audiophile company you could comfortably triple the price.
I am even more eager to hear one now! I have emailed apogee with some technical questions and if I can make it work in my system this will be my next dac.

Thanks for your reply!
I love my Duet. The price is right, set-up is pretty much plug and play and it sounds great. Just remember it's not a stand-alone DAC. It will only take digital input via Firewire and only from a Mac. That means you will have wires going from your laptop to the Duet and from the Duet to your stereo. You will need a big enough hard drive to hold all your music. Also, you can't use the Duet with another kind of transport or with a wireless streaming setup like a Squeezebox.

I didn't like the break-out cable so a friend built me an interconnect. It has just a d-sub connector on one end and a pair of Eichmann bullets on the other. It sounds better, I don't have to use adapters, and I don't have all those extra wires and connectors to deal with.

Just some things to keep in mind.

I need to have two sets of single ended outputs for my system. Can I use a Y cable for each channel to achieve this or is there another way to do this? From what I have read you have to switch output from either the headphone output or the breakout cable but can't output from both at the same time.I read something about aggregates or something that would allow you to output out of both but I need more info on this. I am sending one pair of outputs to my integrated and another pair to my HT receiver which gives me remote control of my subwoofer and option of mutichannel playback.
There is only 1 set of outputs on the break-out cable, single ended only, using 1/4" microphone type jacks. However, you can use the headphone jack at the same time or mute one or the other using Maestro (included software). I just plugged in my headphones and I'm getting sound from them and my speakers. (The headphone jack is 1/4".)

So you should be able to hook your integrated to the break-out cable and your receiver to the headphone jack or vice versa. Or you could use y-cables to see if that sounds different.

What you can't do is set the line out and headphone volumes independently on the Duet. The Duet FAQ says they run together.

You can set up Aggregate Devices from the Audio tab on the Audio Midi menu bar but I don't know what that does or how to set it up.

Hope that helps.

Well, I called around yesterday to see if any local shops had a Duet in stock and low and behold I managed to get a used unit that had 3 days of use at a studio. I also purchased a 1/4" phono to RCA pair to run my sub from the headphone output. I can sum up my first impressions as WOW! The reviews are dead on for this unit. This is the tightest,deepest and most articulate base I have had from any of my systems. The sound is dynamic and punchy yet smooth and revealing. I was worried that the highs were not going to be to my taste which is to the warm side but these are crystal clear without harshness. In fact, I was able to listen at high levels with absolutely no audible distortion. My Dad sat in to listen and agreed that this is the best sound that I have had from my system. I am using a pair of Senn HD 650 right now as I type and I am very pleased with the head amp. I think that this is one of the nicest looking products on the market as well. The portability factor is a huge plus as well. I will have top notch sound on my weekends in Whistler or while on vacation.
Thank you to those that replied and to those that read this thread let it be known that I give this product a huge thumbs up!

I have been using Duet with Mac mini for about a month now and it sounds really sweet. In the beginning, it didn't sound attractive but as it breaks in the sound becomes very sweet. I don't think it sounds better than over $1,000 Dac such as PS Audio DLIII Statge 3/4 mod. It sounds really nice. The overall sound is comparable my previous DLiii (unmodified version) except the bass area. Bass on Duet is not as strong as DLiii. However the overall sound is well balanced and very nice. Especially at the price, I highly recommend it. BTW I made a custom cable just for listening using Mogami cable and it helps the sound I guess as well.

Good luck...