In one of the early NAMM announcements this year Apogee has unveiled the Symphony I/O Mk II, the successor to its former flagship has been was well regarded throughout the industry for its sound quality and features. By Peter Gardner.
The previous Symphony's pedigree means that this redesigned interface promises to build upon solid starting foundations, making it of interest to anyone in the market for a high quality interface and converter package over the coming months.
Continued refinements to the signal path by the Apogee design team promises a new level of clarity and definition from the AD/DA converters continuing to maintain the originals sonic legacy. With up to 32 channels of inputs and outputs, the Symphony offers plenty of I/O, which is backed up by choices of Thunderbolt on the Mac, Pro Tools HD on the Mac or PC as well as Waves SoundGrid system connectivity options.
The front of the Symphony gives us a touchscreen, allowing you take care of various routing and calibration needs without having to delve into the computer control panel. The headphone monitoring is also upgraded and is now being based around the same constant current drive technology first introduced in the Apogee Groove, which is proven to be capable of driving even the most demanding of headphones cleanly.
Round the back you will find two bays capable of taking the new I/O modules, as well as accepting your older modules from the Symphony Mk I which is designed to let you expand the unit as your requirements change. The are currently 3 new modules available offering various mixtures analog and digital connectivity, as well as a 8 channel mic preamp option. You will also find another bay capable of taking the HD option card for Pro Tools currently and as new connectivity methods appear in the future, it should give Apogee a way of allowing for continued upgradability as new standards emerge.
This whole package is a continued development of what was already a popular older model, offering a great series of options to those wishing to pick up their first Symphony and numerous improvements that might tempt a few upgrades.
Base configuration options with included I/O start from $2295 for both the Thunderbolt and Pro Tools HD versions. The empty Thunderbolt chassis costs $1695 should you already have older modules you wish to populate it with, and the SoundGrid edition is set to follow later in the year.
Full spec sheet over the page.
Apogee Symphony I/O Mk II spec sheet
Best AD/DA conversion of any Thunderbolt audio interface
Up to 32 channels of modular analog I/O with optional 8 mic preamps
Best per-channel value of any interface in its category
Choice of Thunderbolt, Pro Tools HD (Mac/PC) or Waves SoundGrid connectivity
Ultra-low latency performance
Intuitive touchscreen display and front panel control
Designed in California, Built in the U.S.A.
Analog to Digital:
THD+N: -114dB @ 22dBu (0.00024%)
Dynamic range: 122dB A weighted
Maximum input levels:
+4dB setting: +24dBu
-10dB setting: +6dBV
Frequency response at 44.1kHz: 1-20,000 Hz (+/- 0.05dB)
Input impedance: 10K
Digital to Analog:
THD+N: -117dB @ 21dBu (0.00014%)
Dynamic Range: 129dB A weighted
Max output levels ñ 8 to +24dBu
Frequency response at 44.1 kHz: dc to 20kHz (+/- 0.05dB)
Output impedance: 25 Ohm
Outputs are balanced through Apogeeís proprietary Perfect Symmetry Circuitry (PSC)
1 stereo 1/4? headphone output on front panel
-110dB @19dBu into 600 Ohm (=80mW)
-101dB @14dBu into 32 Ohm (=470mW)
Dynamic Range: 121db A weighted
Output: Apogeeís proprietary Constant Current Driveô provides smooth frequency response with any headphones
90-240VAC, 50-60Hz, 150W
Thunderbolt: Mac OS only 10.9.5 and above
HD: Any Mac or PC running Pro Tools HD 9 or greater
Symphony I/O Mk II Interface
Quick Start Guide
Symphony I/O Mk II Dimensions:
Inches: 17.75 (19 with Rack Ears) x 11.5 x 3.5
Centimeters: 45 (48.26 with Rack Ears) x 29.2 x 8.9
Symphony I/O Chassis Box
Inches: 22.875 x 17.75 x 9.25
Centimeters: 58.1 x 45.1 x 23.5
I/O Module Box
Inches: 13.75 x 12.25 x 3.25
Centimeters: 34.9 x 31.1 x 8.3