Low cost A/D converters. Any difference between them?
Iggy Poop
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26th February 2009
Old 26th February 2009
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Low cost A/D converters. Any difference between them?

Any opinions on low budget converters? I was wondering if units like the Echo Layla, Profire 2626, PreSonus Digimax, Aphex 142, Behringer AD8000 have any audible differences in the conversion quality. I listed all 8 channel units because that's what I've been researching. I'd like to know if anyone has had the opportunity to compare these or other low cost converters. I'm not much concerned about the preamps as I use externals.
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26th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop View Post
Any opinions on low budget converters? I was wondering if units like the Echo Layla, Profire 2626, PreSonus Digimax, Aphex 142, Behringer AD8000 have any audible differences in the conversion quality. I listed all 8 channel units because that's what I've been researching. I'd like to know if anyone has had the opportunity to compare these or other low cost converters. I'm not much concerned about the preamps as I use externals.
Yeah...that's a real can of worms right there. The Echo Layla gets great reviews...that's about all I can say about it. Some people will report radical differences and some people won't hear any differences at all.

Frank
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i've used Echo & the B.
with low end setups it's kinda hard to tell the difference because there's so many other weak links in the signal path. I came from 4track cassette & ADAT recording prior to using them, so both were a big step up in sound quality from what i was accustomed to. Both have served me well & ultimately both have left me wanting for more.
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26th February 2009
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Believe it or not the M-Audio ProFire series has received great reviews for its converter quality. A few qualified people on this forum said that there was no noticeable sound difference between its converters and those of the RME FireFace 800, do a quick search and you'll see.

I'm curious about the Echo stuff to be honest... I am not doubting the conversion quality but I can't help but notice that it is fairly old technology (unlike the ProFire series which is pretty darn new) and has been around for a while... Long enough to establish a solid reputation here in GS which leads people to recommend it even if there are better offerings that use newer technology...
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I had a firebox and recently got the echo layla for 50 bucks and a trade with a set of hd 280s. Huge upgrade from my firebox from before. I love it. I keep hearing good things about the maudio profire and was looking at purchasing that or the behringer for 8 more channels.
Iggy Poop
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26th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weasel9992 View Post
Yeah...that's a real can of worms right there. The Echo Layla gets great reviews...that's about all I can say about it. Some people will report radical differences and some people won't hear any differences at all.

Frank
I know I'm in can of worms territory but I'm really curious to see the different opinions. I wanted to see if there was anyone out there who did direct comparisons on 2 or more units.
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I saw a comparison between and Echo Audiofire 8 a lower end box and an apogee rosetta. Everyone spotted the low end box. Not too many pick the Echo and apogee correctly every time. I am not saying Echo is the same as apogee but pointing out that the difference isn't huge.

My AF4 is rock solid on XP and Vista 32. That is important as well.
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26th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obitheincredible View Post
I had a firebox and recently got the echo layla for 50 bucks and a trade with a set of hd 280s. Huge upgrade from my firebox from before. I love it. I keep hearing good things about the maudio profire and was looking at purchasing that or the behringer for 8 more channels.
I too was a Firebox victim. Terrible piece of gear: almost anything is better.
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27th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toxostoma rufum View Post
I too was a Firebox victim. Terrible piece of gear: almost anything is better.
I never thought it was that bad. I mean 90% of the time I made beats with it so mainly Midi and Da to hear it back with a lot of vsts. But ya when I started recording there was a lacking to it. The preamp s really bugged me.
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27th February 2009
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I was user of the original Echo Gina then evenutally upgraded to a Layla 3G, used it for years and still run it on my backup system. I upgraded to an RME Multiface II, which is more than twice the cost of the Layla and frankly, and difference in quality is minimal. I also added a Presonus Digimax FS to add 8 additional channels that I can send via ADAT, and I think that is a tremendous value for the money. I would recommend the Layla for sure and suggest the Presonus gear to lightpipe in additional channels.
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27th February 2009
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I don't have direct experience with any of the units you listed but, at this point, I might lean to the Echo unit, since I've tended to hear of problems with a number of the others, typically involving driver issues. That seems to be the big headache for a lot of the otherwise promising looking low end hardware. And -- hell -- there are more than a couple of higher end pieces that have been dogged by driver issues, too.

(FWIW, I have an Echo Mia PCI card I bought around 2001 or 2002 or so and, while it's installed as an auxilliary unit on my PC, I haven't been using it [I have an 828mkII FW box from MOTU that's mostly been OK for what I use it for but it's highly unlikely I'll be buying from MOTU again]. But it always struck me as a good sounding unit that has never been a lick of trouble.)
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The digimax are being used all over the place. The ones with the dual servo pres have my attention. The problem is that they are ADAT out.
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I like echo...had motu hd192s and apogee ad8000's before and am satisfied with the echo converters.

(also had presonus digimax, digidesign, some others.)
Iggy Poop
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Originally Posted by XHipHop View Post
I like echo...had motu hd192s and apogee ad8000's before and am satisfied with the echo converters.

(also had presonus digimax, digidesign, some others.)
That's pretty interesting considering the price point of the other 2 compared to the Echo.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop View Post
That's pretty interesting considering the price point of the other 2 compared to the Echo.
Yup...good bang for the buck.

Probably getting a Universal Audio 2192 in the near-ish future. Will let you know how the echo hangs in comparison after i do so some in depth comparisons.

The echo def. does a commendable job for a small amount of loot though. I guess they leave off all the bells and whistles that everyone else crams onto their converters and that's why they aren't a few hundred dollars more.
Iggy Poop
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27th February 2009
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I keep hearing that Echo converters have latency issues. If I ran the Echo into a Digi 002R via ADAT would it add to the latency issues that Pro Tools already has?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop View Post
I keep hearing that Echo converters have latency issues. If I ran the Echo into a Digi 002R via ADAT would it add to the latency issues that Pro Tools already has?
i don't know if they work in "standalone" mode like that. also, no latency issues for me? where are you hearing this?
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27th February 2009
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Ya I dont believe you can run the echo stand alone.
Iggy Poop
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I already emailed Echo about using it with the Digi and they said I could do it at 44.1 and 48k only.

Some other posts on the forum indicate that the Echo units have some latency issues.
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27th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop View Post
I already emailed Echo about using it with the Digi and they said I could do it at 44.1 and 48k only.

Some other posts on the forum indicate that the Echo units have some latency issues.
Hmm...well, i'm a mac and use it on a imac 90% of the time but before that it was more of a mobile thing with a macbook. Using coreaudio drivers with Logic 8 and/or Reason 4. Never had latency issues even on very heavy tracks.

I also chain an HDV camera off of the other firewire port of the Echo and do my video transfers that way and sometimes chain addition harddrives. Again, no issues. Maybe it's a PC thang?

But all systems go over here.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XHipHop View Post
Hmm...well, i'm a mac and use it on a imac 90% of the time but before that it was more of a mobile thing with a macbook. Using coreaudio drivers with Logic 8 and/or Reason 4. Never had latency issues even on very heavy tracks.

I also chain an HDV camera off of the other firewire port of the Echo and do my video transfers that way and sometimes chain addition harddrives. Again, no issues. Maybe it's a PC thang?

But all systems go over here.
good to hear. thanks.
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28th February 2009
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I frequently track at the lowest buffer setting (32) one track after another. Latency is never an issue. I have had big mixes working well with lots of plugs at (512). Perhaps those bad reports are due to PC issues. I am running a Quad phenom.
Iggy Poop
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28th February 2009
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Originally Posted by Heartfelt View Post
The digimax are being used all over the place. The ones with the dual servo pres have my attention. The problem is that they are ADAT out.
Which Digimax unit are you talking about?

Also, anyone have comparisons with the Profire 2626?
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28th February 2009
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Hi,
I think maybe something like the profire would be best. I have heard it , and it sounds really good, but the converters on the EMU 0404 sound more rounded and full, im not sure if EMU do 8 channels, but if they did these would probably be the winners. If your running mac, the ensemble would be worth the extra savings, you really wont regret it, the converters sound awesome and its extremely stable, extremely! I think converters are the one thing you really do have to pay that bit more to get that special detail. There are great mics & pres that don't cost the earth, but conversion really is critical. I dont regret for a minute getting Lavry black AD/DA (I only need 2 channels for my work though and they are bloody expensive), they have made the most difference for sure, and RME, MOTU etc don't really come close to true pro quality. The Apogee would definitely be the best bet. Save them pennies, you will only wish that you had.

Nice one bruvvvva!

Toby
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28th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop View Post
I already emailed Echo about using it with the Digi and they said I could do it at 44.1 and 48k only.

Some other posts on the forum indicate that the Echo units have some latency issues.
Just wondering but are we talking about the echo Layla 24/96?
Iggy Poop
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28th February 2009
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I was talking about the Layla 3G.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy Poop View Post
Which Digimax unit are you talking about?

Also, anyone have comparisons with the Profire 2626?

LT and 96K

I can name 3 records, commercially viable with LOTS of radio play with EVERY track recorded through the Digimax 96K ->AES digital out->PTHD for mixing.
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Anyone know if you can do that with the Layla 24/96?
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28th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartfelt View Post
LT and 96K

I can name 3 records, commercially viable with LOTS of radio play with EVERY track recorded through the Digimax 96K ->AES digital out->PTHD for mixing.
let's hear them.
Iggy Poop
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28th February 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heartfelt View Post
LT and 96K

I can name 3 records, commercially viable with LOTS of radio play with EVERY track recorded through the Digimax 96K ->AES digital out->PTHD for mixing.
That's cool. I'd really like to know what they are.
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