The New Apogee Quartet Audio Interface

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Apogee just announced the new Quartet, a USB 2.0 audio/MIDI interface that enables you to record up to 12 channels into an Apple computer, and will act as the centerpiece of your recording studio. Quartet features four combo-XLR inputs, each with a high-quality preamp for connecting microphones, instruments and line-level signals. It also has two optical inputs, which allow you to connect up to eight additional inputs through an external ADAT Lightpipe expander. The rear panel of Quartet features six analog 1/4” TRS line-level outputs, a Word Clock output and dual USB ports. One USB port is for connection to a host computer, and the other is dedicated to MIDI. A generously sized volume/control knob, dual color OLED displays and several customizable backlit control buttons complete the package.

There are many computer audio interfaces to choose from on the market, and the most important attribute that sets Apogee apart from the competition is its acclaimed sound quality, much of which is achieved by its AD/DA converters. Before the introduction of Quartet, if you wanted that Apogee sound, you had to choose between the dual input Duet 2 or the 18 input Ensemble. The new Quartet fills the gap nicely between these two products, offering the ability to track an entire band in a compact, tabletop interface. If you already own Duet 2 or Ensemble, you can use these interfaces with the new Quartet. Ensemble can be connected to Quartet’s optical input to add eight recording channels, and Duet 2 can be used with the Quartet by connecting both interfaces to a Mac computer and setting them up as Aggregate Devices in OS X.

The multiple analog outputs on Quartet make it possible to mix sound in 5.1 surround. You can also use the outputs to reference your audio on up to three separate sets of recording monitors. There are three “QuickTouch pads” with LED highlight rings above the main controller knob that can be assigned different functions, such as Mute and Sum to Mono. They can also be assigned to turn on and off the separate analog outputs, so you can quickly hear how your sounds translate on different kinds of speakers. Setting up these button assignments is easy with the included Apogee Maestro 2 software.

The Quartet’s two high-resolution color OLED displays supply you with detailed metering and other pertinent information, such as gain level, headphone volume and phantom power status. It’s built tough with die-cast aluminum and steel, made in the USA. Designed to integrate seamlessly with your Mac computer, Quartet is compatible with any Core Audio application such as Logic, Pro Tools 9 and 10, Ableton Live and Final Cut Pro.  

Apogee Quartet
Analog Inputs 4 x Combo XLR
Analog Outputs 6 x 1/4" TRS line
1 x 1/4" stereo headphone
Digital Inputs 2 x Optical Toslink ADAT/SMUX
Digital Outputs 1 x BNC Word Clock
MIDI In/Out Via dedicated USB port
Mic Pre EIN: 128 dB (un-weighted) @ 60 dB, 150 Ohm input
Max input level: +20 dBu
Input impedance: 3 Kohm
Hi-Z Max input level: 14 dBu
Input impedance: >2 Mohm
A/D Conversion Max input level (+4 dBu ref): +20 dBu
Max input level (-10 dBV ref): +6 dBV
Input impedance: 5 Kohm
Frequency response 20 Hz - 20 kHz: > +/-0.2 dB (@44.1 Khz)
Rel. THD + N: -106 dB (@96 Khz)
Dyn. Range: 114 dB (A-weighted)
D/A Conversion Max output level (+4 dBu ref): +20 dBu
Max output level (-10 dBV ref): +6 dBV
Line output impedance: 90 Ohm
Max output level headphones: 19 dBu
HPH output impedance: 30 Ohm
Frequency response 20 Hz - 20 kHz: > +/- 0.05 dB (@44.1 Khz)
Rel. THD+N: -113 dB (@96 Khz)
Dyn Range: 123 dB (A-weighted)
Connectivity USB 2.0
System Requirements Intel Mac 1.5 GHz or faster (not Windows compatible)
2GB RAM minimum, 4GB recommended
OS 10.6.8, 10.7.4 or greater
Available USB port
DC Power