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Reviews Thunderbolt audio interface


Antelope Discrete 4 Synergy Core review

When Antelope goes for greater Synergy About a year and a half ago, Antelope released the Discrete, a new range of Thunderbolt & USB interfaces including discrete preamps, their famous FPGA module as well as the stack of audio effects that would usually come with it. Now back in June 2019, Antelope releases a new version of its Discrete 4, this time providing dual DSP chips in addition to the FPGA. Marketing ploy or real step forward? read more…

Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII Review

Yet another step forward Three years ago Universal Audio introduced the Apollo Twin, a more friendly priced desktop version of their Apollo flagship audio interface. read more…

Universal Audio Apollo Twin Review

Twin Sound "It would be ideal if UAD offered a less expensive Apollo with only two mic preamps," we wrote in our review of the first Apollo almost two years ago, and also, "Given the choice of transparent-sounding preamps, it would be no surprise to find vintage preamp emulations in the future. Just wait and see." The time has come now to welcome the Apollo Twin read more…

User reviews on Thunderbolt audio interface products

Bonne qualité prix (Zoom - TAC-2)

By Ullie Swan, 22/06/2019
Bonne qualité prix. Ça fait son boulot. Pratique. Auto alimentée par thunderbolt. Mais je pense qu’il y a mieux en préamplificateurs s sur du long terme si on veut passer au niveau supérieur. A ce prix là franchement j’étais déjà très contente. Et ça fait plus de 2 ans que je l’utilise.

Encore du bon! (Focusrite - Clarett 2Pre)

By Greg Datalab, 26/03/2017
Sans port Thunderbolt, passez votre chemin!

Elle succède à une Motu Ultralite MK3 Hybrid, et elle lui succède sans aucune honte. Loin de là…

Les plus:

- La qualité des pre-amp est vraiment top, meilleure que ceux de la Motu à mon gout.
- Le format, petit mais costaud
- La latence
- Le son de sortie

Les moins :

- Pas d'aération, mais ne chauffe pas trop quand on fait que de l'écoute, un peu plus quand l'alim phantom est active
- Le logiciel Focusrite Control, que je n'aime pas (purement subjectif)

Je retournerai chez Focusrite pour la prochaine carte son je pense. Vraiment pas déçu!

Zen Tour Review and comparison with other interfaces (Antelope Audio - ZenTour)

By ili_vintage_gear, 01/02/2017
I'm an ex RME UCX user.
And i have used also Apollo (the first version not the Black faced or MK2).
Many times i've worked also with Metric Halo ULN8 bigger productions.
I've used also Audient ID14 while mixing for a friend.
I had also the Motu 8pre so i know only the preamps of that unit.
And i've also worked with NAGRA VI (which is only a portable recorder).
So i know these devices quite a lot to have a perspective view.

I got Zen tour for replacement, while i was waiting for my Prism Sound Lyra 2.

Drivers: 2/5
I use it with Win7 and USB2.
For the moment the drivers are not very stable.
Multiple times i got clicks.
Sometimes the device got disconnected by itself without a reason.
I needed a lot of time to find how to install it.
In that case it's the opposite of RME.
Which are the most stable drivers i've ever encountered.
But i'm sure that these issues will be solved in the future.

Console: 3.5/5
The routing is quite confusing and i think it could be better thought.
It's a bit complicated in some stuff.
It's not very usefull like the RME or Apollo.
The Monitor output has no Mono, phase invertion, M/S possibilities.
On the other hand, the mixer is really easy to undestand it.
It's just confusing because you can't rename the channels
and you have to recognise them by the colours.
The reverb and all the FX's are cool.
I think if anyone needs to make a live recording it's a very handy device.

Convertion Quality: 2/5
The most important subject.
Well... I'm quite disappointed from the result.
I thought it would have been much better than my old UCX.
In the convertion quality of the Main Monitor it's in the same level with my old RME UCX.
A tiny bit better but it's very close.
It's a bit more clear in quality of sound but worse in the sound field (it sound even more Mono than the RME). Which was my main problem.
And while mixing you can have the tendency to open up the stereo-field of the mix more than it should.
On the other hand, the headphone amplifier is good. Much better than the UCX.

Preamp Quality: 2.5/5
It's like the UCX and Apollo and Audient on the subject.
Zen is a bit thiner but less aggressive than the Apollo of the 3K-5K area,
bit more flat than the the UCX.
It sounds a bit plastic but the quality is correct.
By the way. Motu 8pre is excellent for it's price.

Whoever have worked with real preamps knows that the internal preamps of these devices are not serious preamps.
They all sound a bit fuzzy and plastic. Except the ULN8.
I have worked with DAV BG1, UA610 solo + MK2, UA 710, Avalon, Neve 1073, Chandler, Grace 201.
I would give ULN8 3.5/5 in preamp quality next to the big boys.
It's a bit faster sounding and a bit thiner than real preamps but it has this analog vibe.
ULN8 is in a different category from RME, Apollo, Antelope for the moment.

The price doesn't justify the sound it produces.
It's a good unit if you want to record big sessions.
Connect it with an external preamp via ADAT and use the internal FXs that are pretty cool.
If you're an electric gtr guy then it's your thing.
The sound of the internal cabinet and re-amplifier is the only thing that it's really unique in that device and it sounds very good.
Here Antelope have done a great job.
Apollo plugins are awful for el gtr cabinets for the moment.

But in general terms Zen Tour is not the unit i would buy to mix and record instruments seperetely.
The convertion sound is very mediocre. Preamps are OK but nothing special.

In terms of sound quality i would put these interfaces in the row:
1) Metric Halo ULN8 = best by far from anything else.
2) Apollo version 1 & 2 = good overall quality, easy console, excellent plugins, good sound.
3) Audient = because it's really cheap and produces very good results for that price.
Very good semi-pro device. I would chose it over RME for sure.
4) Zen Tour = Quite expensive, mediocore sound quality, quite good for guitarists and live recordings.
5) RME = Great drivers easy to use and superbly robust. Sound quality is close to the others except the DA convertion which it's not well.
I think it's even worse than Audient which costs half.

--I haven't tested the Lyra 2 yet. When i get it i'm going to tell you about it--

P.S.1: Special mention for the NAGRA VI.
I compared it with the ULN8 at the preamp quality and the AD quality @ 192KHz.
I can say nagra is a clear winner by far.
I couldn't imagine my microphones could sound like that.
The sound of this unit is incredible.
It's the closest thing i've ever heard to the term "natural sound".
What a pitty that it has only 6 channels.

News Thunderbolt audio interface

[MUSIKMESSE][VIDEO] Live from the Antelope booth

Published on 04/07/16
A presentation of the Antelope Zen Tour, Live Clock & Goliath at Musikmesse 2016.

[MUSIKMESSE] Antelope Audio Goliath

Published on 04/07/16

[MUSIKMESSE] Antelope Audio ZenTour

Published on 04/07/16

Feature Articles Thunderbolt audio interface

A Visit to Apogee's HQ in Los Angeles

Published on 10/07/14
A Visit to Apogee's HQ in Los Angeles
Apogee just released the newly redesigned Ensemble audio interface for Mac, a 30x34 unit featuring Thunderbolt 2 connectivity. We visited Apogee HQ in Los Angeles on the day it was released to video …

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Thunderbolt audio interface classified ads

Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII Duo Audio Interface

$580 Reverb classified ad

Universal Audio Apollo 8 QUAD

$1,450 Reverb classified ad