Behringer X18 or 32 & Apogee Quartet ASIO with Cubase - Any reason they wouldn't sound comparable in sound quality?

I am currently using a Quartet, but recently purchased a Behringer X18 (may switch to an X32 though) to get 5 hardware synths into Cubase. Some people are saying that I should just use the ASIO audio interface built into the Behringer, as it would pretty much sound as good as my Quartet. I guess the reasoning is that digital converters all sound pretty comparable in 2017. I do not possess the technical knowledge to know if this is necessarily true though, so I would like some other opinions please.

Thanks! :smiley:

Absolutely not. There is definitely a sonic difference between an Apogee and a Behringer. You would clearly hear this if you directly compare brands such as those (I did a similar testa few weeks ago with high end and low end converters, and I LOVE to debunk myths!). There is a lot of snake oil in the audio world, but that’s one area where you do get more for the higher end stuff. Whether or not that matters to someone’s ears is up to that individual, though, and also whether or not they prefer the sound of one or the other.

Try it and see if you like the sound, simple

Thanks! Unfortunately I don’t have any female to female XLRs available today to go directly from the X18 to my Focal Twins to test it, but it does make sense about the converter thing.

But then again, in the blind test on Gearslutz years ago, between the behringer ada8000 and a apogee, the behringer had the most votes for best sounding.
I know of some high end producers that own and use the X18 for recording live gigs, simply because it is convenient and sounds good enough. But only you can decide that.

Interesting! I didn’t know that. Of course, in an online test you can’t hear the D to A converters so much to compare, only the A to D. But still, that’s interesting.

Is the ADA8000 the same converter that is on the X18 X32?

No I don’t think so, the X18 most likely uses newer and better converters.
A much bigger difference in quality would be the preamps, or really the whole analog part of the device.

Thanks! So far I’ve only heard good things about the X18 or X32’s preamps. I’ll just have to buy the proper XLR cables and have both my wife and I do a comparison between the XR18/32 and my Quartet…although I have a feeling that we probably will not hear a difference.

Your Focal Twins won’t accept a female XLR?

No, my Focals are all lady, and can only accept a male XLR connection. :smiley:

The time I got to compare inexpensive to expensive converters was done blind, at a mastering studio my friend owns here in L.A., about three months ago. A few of us were there, checking it out together. The difference was clear to all of us, but it wasn’t comparing the two interfaces in question on this thread. It was between an Antelope something or other, an M-Audio of some sort, and a UAD Apollo. The Antelope sounded the most clear, “big” and defined, with the UAD pretty close behind though not quite at the same level of detail. The M-Audio was definitely more muddled in comparison to the other two, noticeably not as clear and defined. The preamps were completely bypassed – this was only D to A straight from his mastering DAW. Again, this was a totally blind test for us, with all units hooked up to the same DAW and my friend switching directly between them (just a short pause as the DAW switched to the different interfaces), all going to the same super high end mastering monitors (I forget the brand). And again, it’s not between the ones that you’ve mentioned here – I’m just saying this as a general point of reference for cheap vs. more expensive in the case of converters. All three of us “voted” exactly the same. Others may not care about the difference, which is totally fine of course!

All of this is to say that a blind test moving quickly between the interfaces is the only way to truly know objectively. :slight_smile: Obviously most of us can’t do that!

I’m actually thinking of just using the ASIO of the XR18 now and keeping my Quartet to run the audio in from the XR18’s main outs. My Quartet would act like a speaker monitoring system, hence giving me the Quartet’s big volume knob, multiple monitor outs, dim, earphones, mute, etc. all within easy reach. I think this might work out well since I was never keen on the idea of having to control everything with the XR18 via my iPad or PC regardless, hence I would have had to purchase a Mackie Big Knob, or a Presonus monitor Station, etc. I set it up that way last night last night and so far it seems like a great solution to have the best of both worlds, as they say… I would love your opinion on that idea. Thanks! :slight_smile:

Sounds like a good plan to me. I assume you are going digitally out of the XR18 so you can use the Apogee D/A converters for listening? Ideally you would use both ins and outs to the Apogee, but this way at least you’re getting the benefit of hearing everything through those high end converters.

I only asked because you said you needed a female to female XLR to connect the X18 to your Focals. So there seems to be some sexual ambiguity in your statements. :slight_smile:

Unfortunately there are no digital outs on the XR18. I’m going out from the main XLR’s master L/R outs into the Quartet’s 1/2 inputs. I guess if I want a bunch of ins and outs and with a really great converter I’ll just have to save up for a high-end interface like an Antelope Orion.

Ah yes. Unfortunately you won’t get the benefit of the Apogee’s converters with this kind of setup since all of the audio is going analog through the XR18 first. But there are many higher end interfaces indeed that have a bunch of ins and outs such as Lynx, Apogee, Antelope (as you said), and even UAD is a good one though not quite up there with the likes of Antelope in my experience.

Yeah, I think that is to eventual solution. I’ve been eying an Antelope for some time now anyway. I won’t ask the wife for permission to pick that up until sometime next year though. She generously allowed me this year to buy a mess of synthesizers, including a Modal 002, 008, a DSI OB6 and Prophet 12, and a Moog Subsequent 37…so I’m not going to even ask her to spend another $3k on an interface…for now. LOL

That sounds like a smart move - ha ha!