This conversation was originally posted to my Twitter feed.
A couple of very interesting bits of new gear announced today.
- PRS are updating the McCarty 594 range to sound bang-on like a vintage burst.
- And UAD are releasing new Apollo desktop interfaces, including something I’ve always wanted: an Apollo x4.
Tim Pierce has a video up about the McCarty 594 changes:
Chicago Music Exchange has a great comparison too:
And Sweetwater has a good video about the Apollo x4 here:
The Apollo X4 Is A Missed Opportunity
Last year, UAD revamped their rack units, and introduced an Apollo x6. 4 Unison preamps + 2 more normal ones, and plenty of lines out. Pricing was too close to the old Apollo 8 units to bridge the gap though.
[The Apollo x6 actually has 2 Unison preamps, and 4 additional line-in-only preamps – Ed]
(It’s not just the hardware that’s expensive. You need to buy plugins from UAD to run on that hardware, and they’re not cheap either. They’re a fraction of what the actual outboard gear they’re emulating costs, but every UAD owner spends more on plugins than on Apollo hardware)
I’m sure I’m not the only UAD customer who told UAD in one of their surveys that I would love to buy a 4-preamp unit. Now it’s actually here, there’s a problem. It’s expensive. It’s practically Apollo x6 money. They’ve plugged the hardware gap, but not the pricing gap.
Actually, it’s worse than that. At least one UK retailer is listing the Apollo x4 for *more* than the Apollo x6 atm.
I’m genuinely gutted. I’ve been trying to justify an Apollo x6 to myself all summer. When we’re rehearsing, I record each session, and I could really use an extra preamp or two. Same when working with my Kemper, where I’m using multiple mics at once.
If the Apollo x4 had been priced in the gap, I’d have ordered mine first thing in the morning. But I’m not paying Apollo x6 money for one.