Login / Register
 
A/D Converters : which one sounds the best?
New Reply
Subscribe
JOHN
Thread Starter
#1
16th April 2006
Old 16th April 2006
  #1
Gear addict
 
JOHN's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2003
Location: LONDON
Posts: 326

Thread Starter
JOHN is offline
A/D Converters : which one sounds the best?

Hi Everyone
I am considering one from the list below, but I need your help and comments on your own personal use of the equipment. Basically I need to know which make is the best in sound, the most musical and transparent sound is what i am after

A/D Converters

1. Apogee Big ben
2. Apogee other
3. Prism
4. Radar

Any comments will help

Thanks
#2
16th April 2006
Old 16th April 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Gravity8058's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,815

Gravity8058 is offline
Big Ben is the best of those A/D convertors, especially for clipping!
#3
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 
AdamJay's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 2,826

AdamJay is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by JOHN
Hi Everyone
I am considering one from the list below, but I need your help and comments on your own personal use of the equipment. Basically I need to know which make is the best in sound, the most musical and transparent sound is what i am after

A/D Converters

1. Apogee Big ben
2. Apogee other
3. Prism
4. Radar

Any comments will help

Thanks

first thing is first

the big ben is not a converter.
#4
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #4
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Sunny Vancouver, BC
Posts: 207

antiguru is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamJay
first thing is first

the big ben is not a converter.
Neither is the radar, really.


Hate to sound like a jerk, but have you priced these units out? It's quite the rare individual who can afford a Radar for "personal" use.
#5
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #5
Gear interested
 
PeterG's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 16

PeterG is offline
Mytek

Audition the Myteks, too. Big Ben is a clock. Radar is a system, as opposed to ADC used with DAW. Some people love that fact, others want software etc. and a choice of converters. Choose as an engineer or a composer, choose according to budget. Choose for compatibility.
__________________
“I think every child should have a hill all his own to climb. And I think every child should have one star up in the sky that is all his own. And I think every child should have a tree that belongs to him.”

Dibs, age 5, In Search of Self.
#6
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #6
Gear Head
 
D.T. Jambor's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 60

D.T. Jambor is offline
Best AD?



db tech / Lavry Engineering
AD12296-MKIII
__________________
- Mastering und Recordings Components - www.truetrackrec.de
#7
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Dave Peck's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: S.F bay area
Posts: 2,374

Dave Peck is offline
Many top mastering engineers feel that the Pacific Microsonics Model One and Model Two converters are the best sounding converters. They're out of production, hard to find, and expensive, but you did ask which converter sounded the best.

Disclaimer: I used to work for them and I currently work for a company that services them, but I don't benefit from anyone buying one on the used gear market.

DP
#8
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #8
Gear Head
 
Joined: Apr 2006
Location: chicago
Posts: 44

Send a message via AIM to patevil
patevil is offline
radar type would be the ADA 800
#9
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: mexico
Posts: 5,066

raal is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by D.T. Jambor
Best AD?

db tech / Lavry Engineering AD12296-MKIII
a very well known mastering engineer wrote: "Our favorite A/D D/A converter is the Pacific Microsonics Model Two. All the others you mention are in second place for us. At 192kHz I defy anyone to reliably differentiate the converted sound verses the original (analog source)." he considered Lavry Gold, Weiss, DCS, Prism and others second to these. he also said many people liked all of these converters so i should listen to them for myself before deciding. will not say his name as he wrote me privately and i haven't asked his permission to post his opinion.

at any rate, from JOHN's original post i gather he's looking at multichannel systems. can't imagine anyone getting 16 or 24 channels of Lavry Gold or Pacific Microsonics for tracking/recording.

since i've also been looking for ADDAs recently, here's what i've found. hope this is of some help:

1. Apogee Big Ben -- great clock. some people say Isochrone is better. i have an Isochrone and just ordered Apogee 16X converters, so as soon as i can, i'll compare the 16X clocked to Isochrone and to their own clock (same as BB) - will also clock my Digi 192s to Isochrone and 16X and report results.

2. Apogee other -- there's alot in the 'other' category. let's assume you mean 16X series which is their latest offering with BB clock. i actually bought these because of comments from different people who have owned Lavry Blue and Prism and have preferred 16X. someone else has both 16X and Prism and uses each for different things. someone else considered Lavry Blues better than 16X. FWIW i came to the conclusion 16X must be at least comparable to Prism so i opted for 16X as there is a dealer in Mexico for these. no way to compare for myself.

3. Prism -- from what i've gathered, are more neutral sounding than Radar or Apogee. this may or may not be what one is after. however, there are those who say Apogee 16X is quite close to the original source while others say they're colored in a very pleasing way.

4. Radar -- from what i gather, the closest of the lot to analog tape (Nyquist and S-Nyquist models), so obviously colored. have not been able to find any direct comparisons between Radar and 16X and believe me, i've looked. if a standalone recorder is needed, this would be the obvious choice for me.

price wise, Radar and Prism are the most expensive.

i haven't personally compared any of these to date, so this is only to share some impressions after doing much research in GS, other forums and articles, and asking for opinions. bottom line, i haven't been able to conclude there's an absolute 'best' one here.

my less than 2¢.
#10
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #10
Gear maniac
 
echo unit's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Greenland
Posts: 282

echo unit is offline
Radar are sounding best to many people who have a lot of money

Apogee are sounding best to people who don't have a lot of money


Pick one according to your lifestyle. Are your recordings getting lots of airplay on radio? Do you drive a BMW paid for by a record company or management firm?
Do you have a day job or a familiy? Perhaps some debt or a mortgage?
#11
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #11
Lives for gear
 
indie's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2004
Location: C-ville area VA
Posts: 1,618

indie is offline
Some ultra LOW cost converters that sound really good are the ones in the Kurzweil Rumour. I just tried them as converters for the 002r and the difference between the Rumour converters and the 002 was HUGE. Of course the 002 converters are utter crap though.
But since this is the High End forum, I love Prism and Radar.

Micah
#12
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: mexico
Posts: 5,066

raal is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by echo unit
Radar are sounding best to many people who have a lot of money

Apogee are sounding best to people who don't have a lot of money
do you know anyone with alot of money that's done a blind test between 16X and Radar comparing them to an analog source? would love to hear their opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by echo unit
Do you drive a BMW paid for by a record company or management firm?
would rather a hummer than a beamer. and i don't like hummers too much.
#13
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #13
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2002
Location: Songwriter Gulch, Nashville TN
Posts: 12,926

Bob Olhsson is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by raal
... from JOHN's original post i gather he's looking at multichannel systems. can't imagine anyone getting 16 or 24 channels of Lavry Gold or Pacific Microsonics for tracking/recording...
It's no more expensive than a 2" analog machine used to be!
#14
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Dave Peck's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: S.F bay area
Posts: 2,374

Dave Peck is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by raal
at any rate, from JOHN's original post i gather he's looking at multichannel systems. can't imagine anyone getting 16 or 24 channels of Lavry Gold or Pacific Microsonics for tracking/recording.
True, it's a rare occurance, but there have been some sessions with 24 channels of Pacific Microsonics D/A conversion for analog mixdown. Two big friggen racks with twelve Model Two converters and a third rack just for the power supplies. That's about as gearslutty as it gets. thumbsup

I may be able to post a photo of the rig.

DP
#15
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: mexico
Posts: 5,066

raal is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
It's no more expensive than a 2" analog machine used to be!
i remember we payed about $80K for our A800s back in the 80s. aren't Lavry Golds about 16K for stereo ADDAs (so $192K for 24channels ADDA), and Pacific Microsonics more than that? BTW much respect for you Mr. Olhsson.

the conclusion i've come to is that usually the more 'transparent' the converter, the more expensive. this is something that could be desirable for mastering, and maybe for mixing to, but maybe not for tracking and recording. so i'm thinking more 'colored' ADDAs for recording, and possibly a high end stereo verter for mixing and some recording would be the best way to go (for me). if 'colored' is like an A800 or ATR102 i could live with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Peck
True, it's a rare occurance, but there have been some sessions with 24 channels of Pacific Microsonics D/A conversion for analog mixdown. Two big friggen racks with twelve Model Two converters and a third rack just for the power supplies. That's about as gearslutty as it gets. thumbsup

I may be able to post a photo of the rig.

DP
wow.
#16
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #16
Lives for gear
 
crypticglobe's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Nashville
Posts: 2,569

crypticglobe is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by echo unit
Radar are sounding best to many people who have a lot of money

Apogee are sounding best to people who don't have a lot of money


Pick one according to your lifestyle. Are your recordings getting lots of airplay on radio? Do you drive a BMW paid for by a record company or management firm?
Do you have a day job or a familiy? Perhaps some debt or a mortgage?
I don't have a "lot" of money, but when it came time to buy 32 channels of amazing sounding conversion... I had set aside enough cash to cover whatever was best out of the following:

Radar
Apogee
Lavry
Mytek
Lynx Auroras

I tried them all... did blind tests with many of them. Ultimately, preferred the Lynx. That's what I bought and pocketed the extra cash. Thus I COMPLETELY disagree with your ascertion.

Now granted... if I was REALLY rich... I would have just purchased 15 UA 2192's (I own 1 already), because THAT is the best sounding conversion I have ever heard... to my ear. However, Lynx has really shown up with a product that costs far less than that quality does anywhere else.

Anyway... JMTC...
__________________
Steve Lamm
www.cgrmusic.com
#17
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #17
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2002
Location: Songwriter Gulch, Nashville TN
Posts: 12,926

Bob Olhsson is offline
I see your point but is $192k that much in a room with a $500k console? Wouldn't an A-800 have been around the same percentage of the cost of a console back then?

There's a huge difference between analog coloration and digital opaqueness. A carefully measured amount of noise can emulate analog colorations in a striking manner but you never recover lost detail. When you go to boost the top-end of stuff recorded with cheap converters it often sounds like sandpaper.

Too many digital to analog comparisons also have an unmentioned Teac to Studer component in them.
__________________
Bob's room 615 562-4346
Georgetown Masters 615 254-3233
Music Industry 2.0
Interview
Artists are the gatekeepers of truth! - Paul Robeson
#18
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,252
My Recordings/Credits

Jim Williams is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by raal
do you know anyone with alot of money that's done a blind test between 16X and Radar comparing them to an analog source? would love to hear their opinion.

would rather a hummer than a beamer. and i don't like hummers too much.
Same here. I love my Hummer, most BMW drivers are jerks on the road here in So. Cal.

The Hummer gives me some space and respect that I don't ever get in the Jeep Wrangler. Guess they know I could crawl right over them if they piss me off.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
#19
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #19
Gear Guru
 
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,252
My Recordings/Credits

Jim Williams is offline
I'm enjoying the Crystal CS5381 A/D. It's a modified engineering evaluation board.
Don't expect to see it in pro audio converters anytime soon. Most of the high enders are stuck on the cheaper AKM 5394A A/D including Lavry and Mytek.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
#20
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Dave Peck's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: S.F bay area
Posts: 2,374

Dave Peck is offline
As mentioned, here is a photo that includes 24 channels of Pacific Microsonics Model Two converters (in the far racks). This is the converter rig for the scoring sessions for the film "Memoirs of a Geisha". Normally, these Pacific Microsonics converters would stand out like the monolith from "2001" but in this photo they are dwarfed by the rest of the converters and other gear, which include:

4-ProTools HD-ACCEL: 1-192kHz, 2-96kHz, 1-Aliverb (not shown)
184-channels Genex 192kHz converters
48-channels Radar-V 192kHz Recorders
Plus various clocking & syncing gear.

This gear is owned by DMT Rentals in southern California. Thanks to Doug Botnick at DMT for the photo.

DP
Attached Thumbnails
A/D Converters : which one sounds the best?-20-ft-dmt-rentals-lr2.jpg  
#21
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #21
Lives for gear
 
jumpnyc's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 923

jumpnyc is offline
That is totally INSANE. WOW.
#22
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #22
Lives for gear
 
MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2002
Location: MIAMI FLA
Posts: 2,413

MIKEHARRIS is online now
Circle House...a local HipHop/ R & B fave studio recently underwent a refresh...added the 2192 to the room in addition to the HEDD. Owner said the HEDD was for HipHop...2192 for R & B. ...what are you doing??
__________________
harrisaudiosystems.com
#23
17th April 2006
Old 17th April 2006
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: mexico
Posts: 5,066

raal is offline
thanks for the photo dave! that's gotta be the sluttiest ADDA rig in the universe! amazing... do you know what console was used for mixing?

i guess the GSluttiest thing i saw in that era was the people from fleetwood mac coming in with racks of pultecs, disconnecting the EQs on the V3, and wiring a shiteload of channels, each with its own pultec!!! when they finished those sessions, they had to rewire everything back to the way it was; of course the client payed for wiring/rewiring the rig at full rate. those were the days...
#24
18th April 2006
Old 18th April 2006
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Dec 2004
Location: mexico
Posts: 5,066

raal is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
I see your point but is $192k that much in a room with a $500k console? Wouldn't an A-800 have been around the same percentage of the cost of a console back then?
the V3s cost about $600K as i recall. linking two A800s for 48 tracks was in fact an expensive deal. but boy was rewinding and cueing to a spot a pain in the a**!

back then, there was no such thing as 'transparent' or 'colored'. high end was A800, A80 and/or ATR102, and a Neve or SSL, big monitors and NS10s. people traded the sound of an A Range, Neve 80XX and in our case Trident 80B for automation and dynamics per channel. now people are trading automated SSLs and Neves for DAWs! FWIW i'm spoiled by DAWs and good analog sound. i think a happy marriage of both is right around the corner. good times.

BTW i heard there's a possibility of the pacific microsonics going back into production.
#25
18th April 2006
Old 18th April 2006
  #25
Lives for gear
 
robot gigante's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2003
Location: meta city 1
Posts: 4,659

robot gigante is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams
Same here. I love my Hummer, most BMW drivers are jerks on the road here in So. Cal.

The Hummer gives me some space and respect that I don't ever get in the Jeep Wrangler. Guess they know I could crawl right over them if they piss me off.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

Probably because the Hummer makes people think (perhaps wrongly) that you're an asshole who *would* crawl right over them if given half a chance. Seems like a lot of Hummer drivers give people that impression, hence the space. I don't know if you'd term being wary of Hummer drivers 'respect,' more like 'watch out for the asshole'! I'm not talking about you in particular of course!

I think the Cranesong HEDD might not be the most transparent, but it's definitely one of the most musical coverters out there- worth checking out.
11413
#26
18th April 2006
Old 18th April 2006
  #26
11413
Guest
 
Posts: n/a

i'll take 8 channels of A/D and 24 channels of D/A please... the rest in the picture you can divvy up amongst yourselves...

DiMethyl Tryptamine rentals??? Terence McKenna would be proud...
#27
19th April 2006
Old 19th April 2006
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Dave Peck's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: S.F bay area
Posts: 2,374

Dave Peck is offline
A few details and tidbits about this rig - The converters shown here were used for the duration of the scoring sessions for the film, which took a few weeks and were done at both Sony Scoring in Culver City using a highly customized Neve 88R, and also at UCLA's Royce Hall with Yo Yo Mah and Itzhak Pearlman. The banks of converters were used for both A/D into the DAWs and D/A monitoring at Sony, and for A/D at Royce Hall (monitoring there was done via a Yamaha DM2000).

DP
#28
20th April 2006
Old 20th April 2006
  #28
Gear Guru
 
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,252
My Recordings/Credits

Jim Williams is offline
After that investment I wonder if they'll do it again in a couple of years when the next gen of converters is released?

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

BTW, whether the Hummer creates respect or fear, the results are the same, I get my space. Something you need in pistol packin' So. Cal.
#29
20th April 2006
Old 20th April 2006
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Dave Peck's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: S.F bay area
Posts: 2,374

Dave Peck is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams
After that investment I wonder if they'll do it again in a couple of years when the next gen of converters is released?
I know they have had the Pacific Microsonics converters in their rental pool for a few years now and there has been big demand for them, so they have probably been quite a good investment. And if / when they do decide to replace them with newer gear, it could be good news for folks who have been wanting to buy one of these.

DP
#30
20th April 2006
Old 20th April 2006
  #30
Gear nut
 
ted demen's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 77

ted demen is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams
Same here. I love my Hummer, most BMW drivers are jerks on the road here in So. Cal.

The Hummer gives me some space and respect that I don't ever get in the Jeep Wrangler. Guess they know I could crawl right over them if they piss me off.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
u drive a hummer in a city?
and u think it gives you respect?

u know what they say.....the bigger the car, the smaller the penis

New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
Snatchman / So much gear, so little time!
1
tree montgomery / Low End Theory
14
RPiper / So much gear, so little time!
13
woods / High end
0

Forum Jump

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.