New Black Lion Audio Sparrow mkII A/D Converters
Old 20th March 2012
  #31
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lpkyer View Post
how hard were you hitting the converters on the way in?


-1.9 DB on the peaks, I've also printed much lower level before...no real sound change to me
Old 21st March 2012
  #32
Gear interested
 

Btw, I'm selling a Black Lion MK2 Micro Clock. I don't think I have to say what it does. Awesome piece of gear. Its brand new had it for a month only. Hit me up at perfect4th@hotmail.com if interested. - Thanks - D
Old 23rd March 2012
  #33
Gear interested
 

..a noobie offtop:

Would anyone please tell what else do I need to use between the BLA a/d and my PC (that is, no audio interface) to record audio?

I apologize for my incompetence and this question might sound idiotic, but what kind of device (cheap and reliable) do I need to get the signal from a/d to PC?

Thank you for any help!

Last edited by ruxxes; 23rd March 2012 at 01:41 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 23rd March 2012
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruxxes View Post
Would anyone please tell what else do I need to use between the BLA a/d and my PC (that is, no audio interface) to record audio?

I apologize for my incompetence and this question might sound idiotic, but what kind of device (cheap and reliable) do I need to get the signal from a/d to PC?

Thank you for any help!
That is what audio interfaces do. They interface audio. That is what you need. There are very simple cheap ones, and very fancy expensive ones, and everything in-between.
Old 23rd March 2012
  #35
Gear interested
 

Yes, I see.. Maybe I should re-formulate my question:

Would you please suggest a 2-in interface of a reasonable quality (that at least won't kill what the BLA a/d does, and won't be an overkill at the same time)?

Thank you!
Old 23rd March 2012
  #36
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruxxes View Post
Yes, I see.. Maybe I should re-formulate my question:

Would you please suggest a 2-in interface of a reasonable quality (that at least won't kill what the BLA a/d does, and won't be an overkill at the same time)?

Thank you!
Ah! Do you have a decent D/A converter or monitor controller with D/A? If so, you can get away with pretty much any cheap unit with spdif in/out, because it won't be doing anything to your audio. Presonus, M-Audio, RME, etc. - any name brand should be fine and have stable drivers. If you don't have a good monitoring chain, you might want to consider something like the Apogee Duet, which I hear has decent onboard conversion and headphone amps.

IMO your D/A quality should at least match the quality of your A/D, however.
Old 23rd March 2012
  #37
Gear interested
 

In order to use the sparrow you need a interface. if you use something cheap like a old mbox your d/a sucks I suggest something like apogee or the new mbox 3 then use the sparrow mkII as you two main in.
I'm still confused about your question but If your asking weather to use a interface with sparrow a/d or something compatible. As a owner of many interfaces and I'm pretty convinced that the white sparrow kills pretty much every converter in quality. nothing in the cheaper range will come even close.
Old 24th March 2012
  #38
Gear interested
 

lobsterinn, TrueNotes: thank you!

apogee appears to suck with PC (no mac here, sorry, on budget), but I've found that my older m-audio (2496) claims to have a separate S/PDIF i/o passthrough.

Folks from BLA (another kudos to the responsiveness of their support!) have approved my guess, so now I am looking for a separate d/a device in the same quality category that BLA's Sparrow (Red yet)... Can you suggest anything (upon which I can build with time - e.g. in case of upgrading to White)?

So far I seem to not need an interface at all..
(please don't be confused, as this might be a task of avoiding an audio interface as such, which might be utopian, I see )

Last edited by ruxxes; 24th March 2012 at 03:40 AM.. Reason: typo again!
Old 24th March 2012
  #39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruxxes View Post

Folks from BLA (another kudos to the responsiveness of their support!) have approved my guess, so now I am looking for a separate d/a device in the same quality category that BLA's Sparrow (Red yet)... Can you suggest anything (upon which I can build with time - e.g. in case of upgrading to White)?
)
Well BLA just came out with D/A converters, which I understand are upgradable from the red to white just like the A/D. I think those and most other standalone D/A's have passive volume control and headphone amps. Maybe you can get away without an interface....
Old 26th March 2012
  #40
Gear Head
 

Interface

Yep, dont forget that if you have an optical input ( TOS link) on your computer like every mac pro has, then you can record with no other hardware required. The white/red/black sparrow has AES, SPIDIF and TOS link optical outputs.

I have the optical output of the white sparrow going to my Mac Pro input TOS link. from there you can use any audio software that recognizes your optical input to record.
Old 27th March 2012
  #41
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
Sparrow sounds real good.
Old 14th June 2012
  #42
Gear interested
 

Upgraded from red to white........ sounds awesome....
Quote
2
Old 17th June 2012
  #43
Gear Head
 
Jerz3455's Avatar
 

Hardware BLA Sparrow Mr. White vs. Forssell

I've had the incredible opportunity to acquire and work through the White Sparrow DA & ADc. I'd been bugging to AB it against the likes of a Forssell MADA-2. Just as I vented about it yesterday in another thread, late yesterday evening, I'd gotten my wish.
My buddy answered the slut call and brought by his Forssell for testing. For the past 13 1/2 hours we AB'd 1 mix before & after print and 3 different masters before & after print. 1 of which was the mix printed.

Song 1: R&B Ballad
Song 2: Contemporary Inspirational Christian Rock
Song 3: Pop/Dance Electronic Heavy, Club-esque

Please bear in mind, All mixing AND mastering was done ITB.

The Forssell MADA-2 is an incredible piece. I got what I expected from the unit. Wide open, great separation, smooth. I was thoroughly pleased with it on the masters. I TOTALLY cosign on this unit.

BLA White Sparrow is highly underrated. This unit stands its ground in so many ways. Surprisingly big sound, I think attributed to the headroom. It feels really natural and forgiving. They say its rich, i don't wanna say THAT much, but it is fair to say that it is ORGANIC. This unit shocked me as well, and I was thoroughly pleased with it also.

We've both concluded that both of these converters were TOP grade boutique units. I wouldn't say one is better than the other. Its a matter of picking your poison. Price wise they're both in the same +3k range, but I believe the BLA (for both units) is about $400 cheaper.
I have great respect for both companies. They're both top contenders.
Old 18th June 2012
  #44
Gear interested
 

Keep in mind that the BLA A/D has a internal clock that is amazing. I'm not sure if the Forsell has a internal clock....
I couldn't find any information on it...
Old 26th June 2012
  #45
Black Lion 003, clock and Sparrow...

I got the white face Sparrow and was so impressed with it that I got the same upgraded clock in the 003 mod. Also got that better clock stand-alone for my board. My setup necessitates a clock for the board and one for the 2 track computer. (different frequencies) 003 also got better I/O chips.
Results are subtle but significant. I notice that decisions are easier to make. Reverb trails are more noticed and I am able to use less.
It really is like lifting a veil off the speakers.
Now I can hear the slightest tweaks in eq, etc.
Artist and clients noticed the improvement with no prodding from me.
One of the best purchases I've made after the Rupert Neve Masterpiece.
Robert Snyder
RoughWood Recording Studio
Quote
1
Old 30th January 2013
  #46
Several Months in and its still great!

This week a client who has produced 2 CD's here said,"The new project sounds better in raw tracks than the other CD's sounded finished." The other projects were done pre-BLA upgrade. I also noticed we can work longer without ear fatigue. It's great that producers ask what we've done to improve the sound so much. I decided early on not to say anything to see if anyone would notice. They sure do!
Old 6th May 2013
  #47
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn sullivan View Post
Yep, we cant "undo" converter artifacts or "EQ" them out as some laughably ( but seriously) ask , no more than you can EQ out phase shift or cancellation. Like you said, you can add that if you want, but if you dont want you are screwed with a lesser converter.

I was going to get the Red Sparrow (after hearing a bunch of FM192 stuff which is what the Red is based off of) as well but sold off some gear and swung the bat on the White. I was already very impressed with the music i've been hearing off the Red. Obviously a very good converter.

Again, previously i mixed to tape for this reason, not to get a tape sound but to get as close as i could to the depth of the mix coming off my console. Tape is expensive, rentals are expensive, buying a ATR 102 is 5-6k before all the crazy mods, after the mods they are closer to 8-12k+. So 2k to get what i wanted is now looking like a steal.

Yes it hurts to open the box, with your wallet still smoking from spending the money, to find a half rack unit inside. It doesn't compress, limit, or have a huge VU meter on it. Its doesn't give you 8,16 channels of anything.

Its not retro, some hipster kid wearing his sisters corduroy pants in Echo Park will not think its cool at all. He'll point to my RCA OP6 pre which has an enormous VU meter and think that's doing all the work even when its not on.


Really what the White sparrow needs to be cool is :

• a new name... how about " Super Convertatron"
• It needs a cats eye tube on for a power light
• huge Bakelite knobs with controls like "punch", "slam", "overshoot", "Grain", "woolen lows", Silken Highs", "Bit Crush", and of course "Slew" and optionally "Heat" The Latin version could also have "pasión"
• a 1/2" inch thick aircraft aluminum front plate thats c&c milled with custom engraving
• chrome pull handles
• external power supply with a giant mu metal sheilded Toroidal transformer that sits on specially milled metal pylons that prevent earth resonance. the power supply must contain lethal voltages also for no reason at all.
• gotta weigh at least 35 pounds, again, for no reason.
• Giant slow ballistic VU meters for watching really fast peak levels
• point to point wired with solid silver by real Elves
• Silver foil and Teflon capacitors.
• require a new Isolated Transformer mains service drop of 200 amps, just for the converter.

Now thats cool!



Bro, you probably made the Ultimate Vintage Guide for Engineers Worldwide, the CAP thing is sort of Must to the Hi-Fi guys lol.

I have both the White Sparrow AD and DA and can say they are great units, but i think BLA should release something for 500 bucks too.

1k, 2k both prices are far from afordable, a DAC or ADC tageted in the Pro Market for 500 bucks would be very good for a lot of people and im sure if there is someone who can do its BLA.
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