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New soundcard vs old one. How different?

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Would a modern Audient ID14MKII or SSL 2+ sound much better and have better pre's than an old original Apogee Duet Firewire?!

I'll explain:

I'm back doing some music and sound after an 8 year break.

I'm an old(er) grumpy guy from the days of tape recorders, desks, outboard and ADAT's as a modern thing!

Back in 2003 we got some Apogee converters (purple AD16&DA16) and they made all the difference in relation to the standard Digidesign 888's.

When the studio closed down (after the digital/mp3, Idols, X-Factor pandemic that still reigns!), I kept a small setup with some not so good soundcards.

Cheaper Focusrite, many M-Audio... The stuff I could afford.

We always used Logic because ProTools 5 didn't offer the "composing" tools we needed. We had the ESB plug to run PT and TDM on the background!

When Apogee released the Duet I bought one as it was a great affordable way to have 2 good sounding preamps and convertors.

I still have it and I'm still using it. But...

Am I right in thinking that new ok soundcards like the ones mentioned, will have better quality (it's been more than 10 years!) pre's and converters?

Or is the Duet alright still?

I know there's great new Apogee, rme and UAD stuff, but I don't want to spend that much.

Thanks a lot.


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It all comes down to what computer and OS version you gonna use the old Duet with.

MacOS Catalina for example won't recognize those old interfaces anymore because they used 32-bit drivers.

The previous OS version, Mojave, would still recognize them, but no guarantee for success because FW stuff was already on the way out and Thunderbolt and USB 3 was replacing it.

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Hi. Thanks for your reply.

I'm still using the Duet on a 2011 iMac (with fw) running High Sierra.

The last drivers are already 64bit (intel).

My idea is to upgrade the soundcard for one with better converters given the advances in technology.

But will a new Audient sound better than an old Apogee Duet?!

I'll have to buy it and see...

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I really can't say if Audient has better converters than Apogee.

Remember that an interface has an analog circuit as well on the mic pres, which is a big part of the sound.

So many interfaces might use the same converter chip but skimp on cost on the analog side.

If you want better, I would buy Apogee again.

Otherwise, keep using the Duet.

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I've been thinking about this very question. I, too, have a FireWire Duet that is too old to run with my current setup. Bought a gen1 Focusrite Scarlett some years back as a potential solution to some issues I was having, which then became my mobile interface, and is now my main one by virtue of being the only one that I can practically use with my 16" MBP. I don't know why Apogee quietly discontinued the latest version of the Duet, but I know you can't go wrong with it still if you can find one. I thought I'd save up for the Symphony, but I'm at a place now where I want four inputs/preamps, and Apogee's offerings on that front are non-existent now. They seem to be going after the UA market… I digress. I think this is one of those situations where ultimately we need to head to the nearest music shop (if that's feasible/once we're past COVID enough) and compare.
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