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Whos using high end AD converters (Burl, Levry, Forssell)? Digital Converters
Old 1 week ago
  #61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
Better quality components, better powersupply, different clock.
Using an eq to get a better sound out of my converter is beyond my understanding.
Is that your rack? Nice!
I heard a prototype of that Bricasti M1 DAC many many years ago. The sound was on top of my nose. Mind Blowing, to say the least.
Old 1 week ago
  #62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell View Post
Mind Blowing, to say the least.
Im in awe of what Casey and his gang are doing. The man does understand sound.
Everyone tells me to have my Mytek upgraded. That it's next level. But something else always ends up eating my moneys.
Old 1 week ago
  #63
Quote:
Originally Posted by rasseru View Post
so which were which in the test? I hear similar things to Reptil

A: sounded nicest softer highs, somehow a clearer image and the pad/vocal thing enveloped me better

B: had the chunkiest bass. I actually liked the warmth from the bass on this but could hear there was a lack of definition in the highs

C: similar to A
Listening to the high whispy (windy) sound I also concluded that B lacked the definition in the highs that was present in A and C, and perhaps C has slightly higher definition than A which were close enough to be called the same. To the average person B is the same as A and C. However it's hard to really decide anything for sure yet... to make an informed decision I really need to listen to 3 samples with different bassy type sounds (heavy machinery, jet taking off, revving race car engine) and trebly ones (wind, water, glass breaking, wind chimes). Then that should help sort them out.
Old 1 week ago
  #64
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I see this subject is full of differing opinions... I just use my ears.
Old 1 week ago
  #65
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rasseru's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post

You could use converter A and fatten up the bass a bit more

thats a bit like me saying 'You could use converter B and put a transient designer on the piano and drive it a little less'
Old 1 week ago
  #66
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My "research" on converters is not that scientific. The tracks recorded to tape with tons of vibe sounds good even with youtube compression. The 70s stuff translates even with sh*tty conversion, such as the Grateful Dead 70s golden age board bootlegs. Super hifi accurate digital conversion is not a must have, it's a nice to have, but it's not at the top of the to-do list.
Old 1 week ago
  #67
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Building a good sounding converter is really hard. Especially at the low samplerates of 44,1k and 48k. There are always tradeoffs in the filters, which can sound staggeringly different. Power supplies, clocking and jitter, the handling of DC offsets etc. - there's quite a list of things that need serious attention.

Manufacturers focus on certain aspects that are rather easy to do with all-in-one-chip sigma delta converters - like decent THD or SNR, while neglecting other crucial aspects that may carry far more psychoacoustic weight.

I find the idea of "colouring" converters ludicrous. We have other gear for that.
Old 1 week ago
  #68
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01rsa's Avatar
Now even consumer grade digital is too hi fi for my taste so there's no way I spend a cent for something technically better. I simply don't care. On another hand the choice of microphone, preamp, synth..etc does matter in my opinion.
Old 1 week ago
  #69
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High end converters are probably comparable with high end monitoring.. I've never had the joy to use high end converters, but for now I am happy with the fireface uc until I've the bucks to upgrade at some point.. what I definitely can say is, that after upgrading my lower budget speakers to, let's say, entry level high end speakers a couple of years ago I could understand people talking about removing the veil/curtain/fog from the ears.. I guess it's a similar thing with converters, the higher you go, the more detailed and natural the sound will be.. there was definitely a huge difference between the ada8000 and the fireface converters, so I am sure there'll also be a difference between mid and high end converters, maybe it's just getting more subtile the higher you go.
Old 1 week ago
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01rsa View Post
Now even consumer grade digital is too hi fi for my taste
Low bitrate MP3 enthusiast?
Old 1 week ago
  #71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treebase DMX View Post
Most people don't need high end conversion for electronic music - only for recording vocals and acoustic instruments. Electronic stuff doesn't have the subtleties and dynamic range to need that kind of investment.
You're listening to the wrong electronic music then.
Old 1 week ago
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asdf View Post
I've spent something like six or seven years looking for a DA that wows me. I've tried everything on your list as well as the Crane Song stuff and Prism stuff and Avid HD stuff. Actually the Avid HD I/O was designed by the Crane Song guy I think and yeah they do sound good. Eventually I settled on the Mytek. Although you might find Burl or Lavry or Cranesong more your flavour. Why? Because it's got an amazing musical tone and vibe. I love listening and monitoring through it. It's deadly accurate without being sterile. Burl has this too and I don't think you would go wrong if went that way. It does what good analogue tape does (it reminded me of my tape machine a lot). Hyper realistic kind of blur the line between speaker and listener type thing kind of fun factor. Good analogue tape is subject of much discussion when it comes to colour and saturation but actually when you don't drive it it's pretty transparent. But the crazy detail/realism thing is still there. That's Mytek pretty much. People on here whinge about flat VSTs and what not. It's probably not a bad guess to suggest the DA is the culprit.

Honestly either of those that you've listed have this quality. Music becomes this hyper realistic thing jumping out of the speakers and the line is blurred between you and whatever's in the speaker. It's like being in the music. I don't think you could go wrong with any of the aforementioned. It will come down to some priorities you have ultimately and the tone you're after. They each have a flavour and before you can know which one is your flavour you need to do a lot of listening. And working with them of course.

I wouldn't put RME on that list however. It's not got the qualities I mentioned. I'd also leave out the others like UAD and Antelope et al. That's just not worth your time.

Overall the DA purchase was by far the most exciting thing I've added to the studio even though you wouldn't think that; and nor did I when I first embarked on that quest. They can make even the ****ty speakers sound passable and workable. Along with PSI A25 or Geithain 901k it's really magical. Like going from CRT to Imax 3d really. You're in there . Well worth the money in my opinion.

The AD well either the Burl or Mytek. Or Cranesong or Lavry. Again they're all great. Just comes down to what you want. Burl is really amazing at AD I think. It will add some nice vibe. It's a very musical converter. And I guess that's probably another big feature that's transformative. These are a joy to listen to. I wouldn't say the Burl AD is too coloured. It's just, well, musical. Mytek is also great. Again, you'll have to listen and figure out what you like. It's a big quest so give it time. Any of the converters mentioned in this tier however would be a good choice so even if you missed your mark on the first try you'd still end up with something great.

old ****ty souncards sounds better
Old 1 week ago
  #73
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I owned a Forssell MADC-2 for a few years but sold it after I closed my commercial studio. I still miss it.

Back then I had a Babyface too. AD on the Forssell is another league. It even enhanced the Babyface's AD and DA just by clocking it.
Old 1 week ago
  #74
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01rsa's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by e6400ultra View Post
Low bitrate MP3 enthusiast?
No, in fact I like 24bit during recording/mixing phase for the headroom but I often record my stereo mix in my ASR-10. I'm used to its particular sound I find less clinical. 128kbps MP3s sound bad I agree but I like the sound of my Sony minidisc recorder, there's a compression algorythm involved but the sound is good.
I guess there's a bit of nostagia that can explain those preferences.
Old 1 week ago
  #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by living sounds View Post
I find the idea of "colouring" converters ludicrous. We have other gear for that.
Why? It's just another stage in the path to color your sound, if that's what you want. Even with tape, when the signal is converted to the magnetic tape, you can color the sound. This is no different.
Old 1 week ago
  #76
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Converters are not like monitors where the differences are really obvious. We are talking about miniscule differences here. If I were to buy a high end converter I would concentrate on the functionality, connections and suitability for your workflow.

My choice was Crane Song HEDD 192, since you can now get the latest A/D revisions second hand for quite cheap since the Quantum was released. It has all the functionality and connections I need (but no optical connections not to mention Dante for example). However for the price you get both ADC and DAC and a very good word clock you can use to sync your other devices. The "process" is a gimmick really, but it might turn to be useful. Just make sure you don't turn the knobs to more than '5' (check with RME DigiCheck and you know why). One other thing was that the digitally measured SNR was lower than I expected when using 16 or 20 bit, but I assume that's because of HEDD's dithering functionality (and the bit depth obviously). However using 24 bit it's dead silent. My studio is analog with quite a lot of hiss so the dithering functionality is actually very useful if you want to render straight to 16 bit (one shot samples etc.).

I don't think converters are for character really, but I assume even Burl sounds clean unless you push it. It comes to what you need and how you use it. I assume any recent converter with an AKM or Cirrus Logic converters AND a good clock will be sufficient for electronic music. Personally I tested the HEDD comprehensively for any possible flaws and when I was sure everything worked I called it a day.
Old 1 week ago
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drainyoo View Post
Why? It's just another stage in the path to color your sound, if that's what you want. Even with tape, when the signal is converted to the magnetic tape, you can color the sound. This is no different.
You probably have no idea how much engineers hated, hated, hated the fact that tape was never neutral. You could never do a revision and have things stay the same.

There's plenty of gear with colour, a converter is ideally free from it.
Old 1 week ago
  #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by living sounds View Post
You probably have no idea how much engineers hated, hated, hated the fact that tape was never neutral. You could never do a revision and have things stay the same.

There's plenty of gear with colour, a converter is ideally free from it.
Oh, I can definitely imagine that at the time engineers didn't like that tape colored the sound and that they had to deal with tape hiss. But now folks try to get that tape coloration back because we've realized that it's damn sweet. That's why there are tons of tape emulation plugs and hardware that try to achieve similar characteristics as tape. The Burl gear is like this, they also market their ADC and summing mixer this way.

My point is, there are folks who want that coloration. They seek gear that adds to the sound. The converter is just another step in the path to add that coloration. I don't think that's ludicrous. If you want it, you have that option. If you don't, there are a bunch of clean converters. I believe that the reason music from the 70s, 80s and 90s had such a great tone is because they ran everything through so much gear that colored the sound, and then ran it to tape over and over again. I've modeled my studio based on this idea. I could be dead wrong, but damn it makes me happy and I have fun when making music.
Old 1 week ago
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drainyoo View Post
Oh, I can definitely imagine that at the time engineers didn't like that tape colored the sound and that they had to deal with tape hiss. But now folks try to get that tape coloration back because we've realized that it's damn sweet. That's why there are tons of tape emulation plugs and hardware that try to achieve similar characteristics as tape. The Burl gear is like this, they also market their ADC and summing mixer this way.

My point is, there are folks who want that coloration. They seek gear that adds to the sound. The converter is just another step in the path to add that coloration. I don't think that's ludicrous. If you want it, you have that option. If you don't, there are a bunch of clean converters.
I own a very nice tape recorder just for the sound. And racks full of gear filled with tubes and transformers. But I do not want that on every source and for every step of the way. Much better to have a choice.
Old 1 week ago
  #80
Gear Guru
Electronics around the converter chip is what "colors" the sound and Burl or anyone else, isn't trying to be a "color" box. This gets way overblown..... Any converter will alter the sound slightly, but a LOT less than whatever you're using to capture it..... when people say they'd use a Burl or even a RADAR to substitute for tape, they probably have never used a tape machine......
Old 1 week ago
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
Electronics around the converter chip is what "colors" the sound and Burl or anyone else, isn't trying to be a "color" box. This gets way overblown..... Any converter will alter the sound slightly, but a LOT less than whatever you're using to capture it..... when people say they'd use a Burl or even a RADAR to substitute for tape, they probably have never used a tape machine......
I don't think anyone is saying the Burl ADC or any other ADC is a substitute for tape. But, Burl does market their ADC as kind of a tone box. This is directly from their website:

The B2 BOMBER is designed for great specifications, but more importantly, it is designed to give you the ultimate in recording tone. For years now people have been trying to figure out why their digital recordings don’t have the warmth and feel of analog tape recordings. We try using tube Mic Pres and great compressors, but there is still something missing. There is still that blurriness, that graininess and lack of depth that comes with digital recordings.

BURL AUDIO has solved this problem by designing an analog audio path that is complimentary to your Mic Pre and to the analog to digital process. By using a revolutionary hybrid circuit with a proprietary transformer, the BURL AUDIO BX1, and a discrete class-A, zero feedback, zero capacitor signal path, we have achieved dynamic and tonal balance.

The attenuator settings on the front easily allow you to change input headroom giving you the ability to hit the front end hotter or colder depending on what the material calls for. And don’t be afraid to run the B2 BOMBER hot, it only sounds better.
Old 1 week ago
  #82
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I'm still patiently awaiting quantum entanglement DACs.
Old 1 week ago
  #83
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by drainyoo View Post
I don't think anyone is saying the Burl ADC or any other ADC is a substitute for tape. But, Burl does market their ADC as kind of a tone box. This is directly from their website:

The B2 BOMBER is designed for great specifications, but more importantly, it is designed to give you the ultimate in recording tone. For years now people have been trying to figure out why their digital recordings don’t have the warmth and feel of analog tape recordings. We try using tube Mic Pres and great compressors, but there is still something missing. There is still that blurriness, that graininess and lack of depth that comes with digital recordings.

BURL AUDIO has solved this problem by designing an analog audio path that is complimentary to your Mic Pre and to the analog to digital process. By using a revolutionary hybrid circuit with a proprietary transformer, the BURL AUDIO BX1, and a discrete class-A, zero feedback, zero capacitor signal path, we have achieved dynamic and tonal balance.

The attenuator settings on the front easily allow you to change input headroom giving you the ability to hit the front end hotter or colder depending on what the material calls for. And don’t be afraid to run the B2 BOMBER hot, it only sounds better.
Yeah I'm probably a bit oversensitive, since there was a thread on here where someone was talking about a Burl as a tape type thing and I was like "no way". Burl seems to come up in tape discussions and I find it interesting that Burl talks about blurriness and graininess in digital recordings.

Conversion can be harsh which is a problem. Smoothing with a transformer attenuation, and whatever their hybrid circuitry is, is interesting. I gotta go back and find the Tape Op interview with the developer.......thanks for fishing out the quote!
Old 1 week ago
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
Yeah I'm probably a bit oversensitive, since there was a thread on here where someone was talking about a Burl as a tape type thing and I was like "no way". Burl seems to come up in tape discussions and I find it interesting that Burl talks about blurriness and graininess in digital recordings.

Conversion can be harsh which is a problem. Smoothing with a transformer attenuation, and whatever their hybrid circuitry is, is interesting. I gotta go back and find the Tape Op interview with the developer.......thanks for fishing out the quote!
Bad conversion is harsh. Sticking a transformer before or after a current monolytic DAC chip to mask the converters shortcomings is not the solution to the actual problem IMHO...
Old 1 week ago
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
Yeah I'm probably a bit oversensitive, since there was a thread on here where someone was talking about a Burl as a tape type thing and I was like "no way". Burl seems to come up in tape discussions and I find it interesting that Burl talks about blurriness and graininess in digital recordings.

Conversion can be harsh which is a problem. Smoothing with a transformer attenuation, and whatever their hybrid circuitry is, is interesting. I gotta go back and find the Tape Op interview with the developer.......thanks for fishing out the quote!
No prob, and I totally hear ya. I do think Burl goes a bit overboard with their marketing, but they're smart. They're targeting folks like me. I agree that the idea of Burl gear as a tape replacement is nonsense, but their gear does add stuff that I love to my tone.

I think this is the interview you're talking about:

Rich Williams: Behind the Gear with Burl Audio | Tape Op Magazine | Longform candid interviews with music producers and audio engineers covering mixing, mastering, recording and music production.
Old 1 week ago
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcB View Post
There's a dropbox link on the video to the .wav download.

Dropbox - DAC Test Files - Simplify your life

Finally had a chance to listen.

A sounds most like the original, so I'm guessing it's the Bricasti based on the assumption more expensive sounds most transparent
B seems to have the most amount of stuff go missing compared to the original, so I'm guessing budget Focusrite
C sounds a bit larger than life but close to the original, so I'm guessing the Prism sound

Interestingly, the differences were much easier to hear for me on the exposed piano section. It was also easier to hear the differences listening at a pretty moderate volume level. It's also not what I'd view as being high quality source material with sampled piano loops and cheapo drum samples.
Old 1 week ago
  #87
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MarcB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by adydub View Post
Finally had a chance to listen.

A sounds most like the original, so I'm guessing it's the Bricasti based on the assumption more expensive sounds most transparent
B seems to have the most amount of stuff go missing compared to the original, so I'm guessing budget Focusrite
C sounds a bit larger than life but close to the original, so I'm guessing the Prism sound

Interestingly, the differences were much easier to hear for me on the exposed piano section. It was also easier to hear the differences listening at a pretty moderate volume level. It's also not what I'd view as being high quality source material with sampled piano loops and cheapo drum samples.
hmm , everyone seems to be able to hear differences other than me. Maybe it's time to swap out my Dangerous Source to something a bit better?
Old 1 week ago
  #88
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by adydub View Post
Finally had a chance to listen.

A sounds most like the original, so I'm guessing it's the Bricasti based on the assumption more expensive sounds most transparent
B seems to have the most amount of stuff go missing compared to the original, so I'm guessing budget Focusrite
C sounds a bit larger than life but close to the original, so I'm guessing the Prism sound

Interestingly, the differences were much easier to hear for me on the exposed piano section. It was also easier to hear the differences listening at a pretty moderate volume level. It's also not what I'd view as being high quality source material with sampled piano loops and cheapo drum samples.
I've got a question. Can you use a Bricasti as a converter just by not using the reverb? I'm thinking the conversion has to be fantastic......go digital out into your DAW or recorder?
Old 1 week ago
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcB View Post
Just examined the waveforms and they're different - something isn't right possibly the sample rate fluctuations or clock? You can't do the null phase inversion because they're at slightly different rates.
Yep.
I can confirm it.
All 3 are vastly different from the original in timing.
Makes for a nice slow flanger effect if you try to line them up in different areas of the wave, but also for some horribly badly clocked ADC... Wouldn't pay more than 5$ for such device.
Old 1 week ago
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutantt View Post
Yep.
I can confirm it.
All 3 are vastly different from the original in timing.
Makes for a nice slow flanger effect if you try to line them up in different areas of the wave, but also for some horribly badly clocked ADC... Wouldn't pay more than 5$ for such device.
I love Streaky.. but now we have the conspiracy... is it done on purpose to hide the reverse phase null test?
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