X-Firewire FAQ’s

The X-Firewire card is an option card that can be installed in supported Apogee converters. It turns the Apogee converter into an audio interface.

Q: What devices can use the X-Firewire option card?
A: The X-Firewire option card can be installed in the AD-16x, DA-16x, Rosetta-800, or Rosetta-200.

Note: Though mentioned in the Big Ben User’s Guide, X-Firewire is not supported in that product.

Q: What computer and operating systems can I connect to an X-Firewire equipped device?
A: You can connect an X-Firewire equipped device to any Mac computer from OSX version 10.3.9 and up, or a PC computer running 32-bit versions of Windows XP SP1 & SP2 (SP3 and later versions of Windows are not supported).

Q: How do I update the firmware?
A: Installation instructions are included with the firmware download file on our website (X-Firewire).

NOTE: There are different firmware versions depending in which product the X-Firewire card is installed. Make sure you download the correct one from our website.

-Special Note for AD-16x & DA-16x: Since these units can operate in a Standard or Advanced routing mode (Users Guide pg 8), each mode requires a different firmware version. See [this KB article] for more information on the Advanced Routing mode firmware.

The update is performed through the standard firewire connection to the computer.

    • On a mac, the firmware can only be updated via OSX 10.6.7 or earlier. If you are running OSX 10.6.8 or higher you will not be able to run the firmware updater application.
    • On a PC, you must have Windows XP SP2-32bit or earlier (SP3, 64-bit, and later versions of Windows are not supported).

Q: Will there be new software at some point that works with the newest version of OSX and Windows?
A: The X-Firewire option cards are discontinued & there is no further Apogee software development for it. That said: although there are some graphical (GUI) anomalies Maestro 1.9.13 appears to still be functional on newer versions of OSX.

NOTE: Currently, you can connect an X-Firewire equipped device to a mac computer and have it automatically work as an audio interface. This is because the X-Firewire card is class-compliant and doesn’t require the installation of additional software or drivers. This will continue to work as long as Apple maintains the Firewire CoreAudio Driver in their OS releases.

AD/DA-16x X-Firewire Firmware Notes

Because the AD-16x and DA-16x can operate in a Standard Routing mode or Advanced Routing mode, a different firmware version is provided for each mode.

In Standard Routing mode:
– AD-16x: You will need the firmware labeled AD-16X (Mac or WinXP). This firmware will offer…

  • 16 channels of analog input
  • 2 channels of digital output
  • Sample rates from 44.1 – 96 kHz.

– DA-16x: You will need the firmware labeled DA-16X (Mac or WinXP). This firmware will offer…

  • 2 channels of digital input
  • 16 channels of analog output
  • Sample rates from 44.1 – 96 kHz.

In Advanced Routing mode:
– For both AD-16x & DA-16x, you will need the firmware labeled DD-16X (Mac or WinXP). This firmware provides…

  • 16 channels of input (analog for AD-16x, digital for DA-16x)
  • 16 channels of output (digital for AD-16x, analog for DA-16x)
  • Sample rates limited to 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz.

On a Mac, the Firmware Updater application is included with the firmware file download. If you have Windows XP, you’ll need to download the updater application separately (download here).

Instructions for performing the update are included in the ReadMe pdf file that comes with the firmware file download.

NOTE: The update can only be installed via a Mac system running OSX 10.6.7 or ealier, or a computer running Windows XP SP2 or ealier. See the X-Firewire FAQ article for more detailed information.

Duet (FireWire) vs. Duet 2 (USB)

Duet/Duet 2 Comparison Chart





Duet 2

Duet 2

Computer Connectivity FireWire 400 USB 2.0 High Speed
Sound Quality 1st Generation 2nd Generation
Roundtrip Latency performance 32 buffer @ 96kHz = 4.6 ms64 buffer @ 44.1kHz = 7.23 ms 32 buffer @ 96kHz = 3.6 ms64 buffer @ 44.1kHz = 5.8 ms
Power FireWire Bus Power USB Bus Power (DC power optional)
Sample Rate 24-bit/44.1-96kHz 24-bit/44.1-192kHz
Input Channels 2 2
Output Channels 2 4 (Stereo headphone out & L/R speaker outs)
Speaker Outputs Unbalanced Balanced
Independent Headphone Out N/A 1
Microphone Preamps 2 2
Microphone Preamp Gain up to 75dB up to 75dB
Line Level Input 1 1
OLED Display N/A 1
Touchpads N/A 1
Metering LED Segments Full Color OLED
Breakout Cable Design 2 XLR In, 2 1/4″ In, 2 1/4″ Out 2 Combi In, 2 1/4″ Out
Maestro Version Maestro 1 Maestro 2
Phantom Power 1 1
Phase Invert 1 1
Soft Limit N/A 1
Group Inputs 1 1
Mute Outputs 1 1
Sum to Mono N/A 1
Dim Outputs N/A 1
Toggle Headphone Source N/A 1
Core Audio Compatible 1 1