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4 years ago
No, you won't be able to bypass the amplifiers in the Quartet's input stages. You would be able to set them to unity gain for line level which will minimize their effect on the sound.
I gotta say, having heard the Ensemble, the Lynx Aurora and the RME UCX in a level matched A/D D/A comparison, I would say that it is boutique enough for me. The UCX sounded very close to the Aurora (same conversion technology as the Hilo) and the Ensemble sounded different than the the Aurora and the RME, but not in a particularly bad way. The bottom line here is that I will not hesitate for a second to recommend an RME product for sound quality.
The big question is probably whether "fantastic" is really a noticeable step up from "really good" for most listeners. Having owned an 896HD and also having worked with or owned a bunch of Apogee, one thing that is certain to me is that the 896HD is a REALLY significant step down from just about everything else being discussed. The upside with the Symphony is that you can always expand it in the future and retire the 896.But don't discount how good the Quartet sounds. Even with the mic preamps inline, it sounds shockingly good.
3 years ago
1 year ago
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