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Is it really worth it to have expensive interfaces/converters? Audio Interfaces
Old 18th October 2007
  #61
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wordclock difference

I'm also in the process of upgrading my firewire audio interface - yes I'd love a Prism Orpheus, but I can't afford one.. I'm trying to avoid paying for an Ensemble and from the last post and others I've seen its the wordclock that can make one of the biggest differences.
I don't really need top mic preamps - I go to a studio if I need top mic/pre-amp combinations - just quality line ins so I'm thinking what about something cheapish like the Tascam FW1804 (£200 in the UK at the moment) and a good wordclock generator like the Mutec MC-3 SmartClock (£380)

Or would it just be better to go for a RME 800...
Old 18th October 2007
  #62
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er sorry last post was 'sposed to go in another thread..
Old 22nd October 2007
  #63
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Man, this type of thread makes my head go "ka-pow". I'm also in the market for an upgrade in AD/DA.

As my ears grow and I begin to find my stride in what I do, I've been noticing a 'haze cloud' over everything I record. Yes, I do not have a lunchbox full of API or GR pre's, but I do track through an RNP as my main pre.

So I contacted Mercenary about this lack of punch and clarity, suggesting possibly an API 3124+ would be the answer. I was told that my Delta 1010 is probably the biggest issue I have and an Aurora 8 or 16 would be the best option to lift this fuzzy haze off my audio. The guy Im talking to described the problem I'm having pretty well right off the bat.

So I began to read and read. It's clear that everyone has their own opinion on what the best upgrade path is... and you can never rely on the advice 100% because if someone owns that gear they are more-than-likely biased.

So what's an upgrader to do?
Old 23rd October 2007
  #64
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Luko's Avatar
 

i have already descided the next piece of kit i buy is going to be the black lion mod on my Motu Travller as well as purchasing their micro-clock

be keen to hear first hand reports on this mod, theres no travller reviews on their site, just other Motu gear...
Old 28th October 2007
  #65
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Absolute's Avatar
 

Talk about convertors always contains such snobby opinions. Think about why--its because people spent a boatload of money and cant tolerate anyone suggesting 1000's of dollars could have been wasted.

If money wasnt involved...people attitudes would be much different

One thing I do know...if everyone who posted a snobby remark posted a mix there wouldnt be on single person who would win because of their converters

Companies area able to charge what they do because of feelings of inadequacy. Not everyone, but I suspect the number is very large. I say this because, usually, the people who downplay converters most are the best in the Biz.
Old 29th October 2007
  #66
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolute View Post
If money wasnt involved...people attitudes would be much different

One thing I do know...if everyone who posted a snobby remark posted a mix there wouldnt be on single person who would win because of their converters
if you had taked the time to do same mix just in diferent conditions / enviroments, soundcard, wax in the ears, speakers, room...
you will notice how diferent each mix will be.. and youll do them all...

and isnt just money what makes the people attitutudes...
just have figured all out!
jajajaja

like its isnt just about converters...
i think some soundblaster live DA sound better than my RME hdsp9632 but are useless...becouse the most crappy drivers, you cant eq without hearing clicks or pops or mute segments at 4000 samples of buffer size...

some high end DA chips dont have issues with Intersample Peaks = you dont hear but are there

everything affects...

if you want to paint a monalisa you need the best inks and paper or the worse will be enough?
same for all things..
anyway...

the best AD/DA are useless without the best drivers, or the best wordclock,
the best drivers are useless without ... etc...

"Universal Audio" [email protected]
wrote:

UA2192 has:
DA: AK4395
AD: AK5394


AES In to Analog Out:
48 kHz: 0.91 msec
96 kHz: 0.45 msec
192 kHz: 0.23 msec

Analog In to AES Out:
48 kHz: 1.31 msec
96 kHz: 0.66 msec
192 kHz: 0.33 msec


same AD/DA as esi ex8000 / 032, similar to emu 1820m/1616m, old fireface800, some mytek, etc..

same speed as RME FF800 before 2005
slower AD/DA speed than RME adi-8qs or lynx aurora8/16

i guess the magic "$$" its the, custom built op-amps
the no capps in the signal path,

similar sollution AD/DA in mytek will be $1K less but... 96k
by listening the mytek vs. weiss vs. ua2912 in mytekdigital.com

ua2192 wins in the 3d bass sound,
mytek has a classic but thin/weak bass sound
"test was tape -->AD, if it were DA-->AD and posted the original .wav also, i could know for shure "
weiss and ua2192 are similar mids and highs,
with a bit more or less harmonics

but i still think... chip brand and model are near 40%, circuit design 30% and wordclock 30% of the sound

some day if i hear 1820m/ex8000/032 vs. ua2192 with same wordclock
maybe that could change % ratios...

in digit life thers a review:
RME Fireface 400
about the new RME FireFace400 with new all in one akm chips, and still they rate emu 1616m a tiny bit better headphone out.

my 1820m headphone vs. RME HDSP9632 headphone out both clocked with Lynx Aes16 SynchroLock(TM)
listening with WMP9 and EQ´ed, same song, the diference its verry big
the digi002r headphone its a joke/toy

it all comes down to: if you enjoy what you hear...
AKM DA chips are a bit more sensitive to inter-sample peaks...

i have heard fireface 800 model after 2005, that has the DA: AK4396
with faster DA times, similar times to the AD,
before 2005 has the akm ak4395 DA

sounds verry good but...
the RME AD AKM chips its verry inferior to lynx L22/Two, emu 1820m/1616m, EX8000 / 032

and firewire Asio buffer drivers size/speed isnt nearly as good as Lynx Aes16/L22/Two Asio/Ds super drivers

im so eager to hear the RME ADi-8 QS vs. Lynx Aurora 8 clocked with Lynx SynchoLock(TM)

i had lots of audio soundcards...
i do recomend to go for Lynx L22 / Two / AES16

Lynx has great analog/digital circuit design, the best Asio/DS drivers,
the AES16 has the SynchroLock(TM) but no AD/DA
L22/Two have the latest AD AKM chips, but the DA its a CirrusLogic two steps down from the latest cirrus DA chip

...if you are not 100% happy with the DA, you can later upgrade to any other
like lavry black da10, mytek DAc, weiss , rme adi2, etc...
with AKM , Cirrus, Ti BurrBrown, Analog Designs, etc..


God save & help those poor animals being brutally f.u.ck-e.d up & torchured arround the globe, God please give what ever your wisdom knows to those people.
petatv.com
Old 7th January 2008
  #67
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Eigenwert's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by YUGA View Post
directly connecting to your Mac Pro's optical-out makes sense (very low latency!).
I need something else to connect my converters due to HIGH latency and lack of external clocking option of the Mac Pros optical interface. tutt
Old 7th January 2008
  #68
Here for the gear
 

a friend was just asking me why the RME multiface II is generally considered a better interface then the m-audio audiophile 192 when they have very similar specs:

RME multiface II
SNR 111 dBA,
Dynamic ratio analog AD: 111.5 dBA, DA: 112 dBA THD+N AD: -98 dB (0.0012%), DA: -97 dB (0.0014%) Analog level @ 0 dBFS (set by front panel switch): +2 dBV, +13 dBu, +19 dBu Dynamic ratio stereo monitor output: 119 dBA, output impedance 30 Ohm

Audiophile 192
signal to noise ratio:-113dB @ 48kHz (A-weighted)
dynamic range:113 dB @ 48kHz (A-weighted) THD + N:0.0006%, 1kHz, -1dBFS @ 48kHz frequency response:+/-0.1dB, 20Hz to 20kHz @ 48kHz


or at least they seem close enough to me. so is it that the RME has better conversion? Is there a measurement that tends to express this? or is the proof only in the pudding (the listening)

interesting conversation for such a non-technical guy like myself
Old 7th January 2008
  #69
Gear Nut
 

The Audiophile's snr is apparently -100db (as measured by Swedish mag Studio), not -113db

I remember being slightly disappointed with it at time of purchase, as it offered no audible improvement over my aging Luna II card, which, according to Creamware, has an snr of -98db.

G
Old 7th January 2008
  #70
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areyou sure it was the audiophile or the audiophile 192?
Old 7th January 2008
  #71
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gio.vanni's Avatar
 

OH conversion how we love THEE. A to D and back again D to A!!!!! Oh, was I singing that out loud?

The fact of the matter here folks is this. It all comes down to what your goals are, what type of music you are doing and what type of sound you are after. Once you hit mid-level conversion and can't make a good mix or song, then it sure the hell isn't the converters, it's the stuff comin' into 'em and the person workin' the mix.

I keep the conversion to a minimum in my project studio. My Mv8800 goes completely digital into an 01v96 and digitally into an RME 9652. The only thing that get's converted are my synths and my 01v96 handles all of that. That way, I have clean audio to and from my mixer and DAW. I don't have to worry about multiple stages of ADA. And for me, this works beautifully.

This argument is tired. The people that haven't heard or can't afford good conversion get all pissed off in these threads. The fact is good converters are worth it. They REALLY are if you are serious about audio.
Old 8th January 2008
  #72
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuehler View Post
When I upgraded my converters it was a night a day difference too.

For the better monitoring alone it is worth it even if you are ITB all the time.
Yep, my experience exactly.

I went from using some crappy $300 2in/2out thingy (couldn't even tell you what it was.... M-Audio something or other maybe?) to an Apogee Ensemble when I got my new Mac a couple of months back.

First thing I did? I loaded an old project into my new Mac with the new Apogee attached, hit play, and it instantly sounded (as somebody else said earlier) as though the fuzzy blanket covering my speakers had been lifted away. It was rounder, more present, I could hear more detail.... it sounded like the difference between a $300 soundcard and a $3000 interface. (funny that!)

So yes, it's worth it! Even just for the better monitoring.
Old 8th January 2008
  #73
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bozak View Post
areyou sure it was the audiophile or the audiophile 192?
AP 192.
Old 3rd May 2008
  #74
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h4nc0's Avatar
If you are mostly doing software synths in mostly ITB setup, you might consider the possibility of running those individual lifeless/2 dimensional tracks out (DA) to an analogue pre/EQ/or comp and back (AD). This process makes a HUGE difference. And converters matter here. I think this process is even more important if you are doing mostly softsynths.
Old 5th May 2008
  #75
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d1rtynyc's Avatar
Damn, I thought I knew what converter I was going to buy & now all this chat has made me re-examine the Universal Audio 2192.
Old 10th May 2008
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h4nc0 View Post
If you are mostly doing software synths in mostly ITB setup, you might consider the possibility of running those individual lifeless/2 dimensional tracks out (DA) to an analogue pre/EQ/or comp and back (AD). This process makes a HUGE difference. And converters matter here. I think this process is even more important if you are doing mostly softsynths.
Can you elaborate more on this? I don't really understand. After hunting for the right sound card for my goals (soft synths ITB) i can't reach a conclusion. All i wanted was a PCI soundcard that will pair well with either BM6A or Adam A7's. I don't want to spend more than 1k MAXIMUM for what i want to achieve but i am after decent hardware if i'm forking that much over studio monitors and a novation 61 remote sl.

I need something that has good driver support for windows xp, that has good software for EQing when i play games/movies/mp3s on the monitors and preferbly PCI cause i want to hook up my headphones to a quality audio interface than the onboard soundcard.

I need help!
Old 11th May 2008
  #77
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bozak View Post
a friend was just asking me why the RME multiface II is generally considered a better interface then the m-audio audiophile 192 when they have very similar specs:

RME multiface II
SNR 111 dBA,
Dynamic ratio analog AD: 111.5 dBA, DA: 112 dBA THD+N AD: -98 dB (0.0012%), DA: -97 dB (0.0014%) Analog level @ 0 dBFS (set by front panel switch): +2 dBV, +13 dBu, +19 dBu Dynamic ratio stereo monitor output: 119 dBA, output impedance 30 Ohm

Audiophile 192
signal to noise ratio:-113dB @ 48kHz (A-weighted)
dynamic range:113 dB @ 48kHz (A-weighted) THD + N:0.0006%, 1kHz, -1dBFS @ 48kHz frequency response:+/-0.1dB, 20Hz to 20kHz @ 48kHz


or at least they seem close enough to me. so is it that the RME has better conversion? Is there a measurement that tends to express this? or is the proof only in the pudding (the listening)

interesting conversation for such a non-technical guy like myself
It is interesting you make that comparison because I own a Delta 1010 and an RME Fireface 400 and to be honest, in terms of straight conversion to and from the same bit depth and samplerate, I don't notice any difference between the two. Now I'm not the type of person to convert multiple times and ship digital stuff outboard and then back into Cubase but in terms of straight AD and DA yeah. I don't notice any difference.

I don't regret spending double the money on the RME and I do prefer using it day to day compared to the 1010 because it has onboard pres, loads more digital I/Os and a way better software mixer, all of which I do use. The convenience of having it all in one portable package is something I've gotten so used to that I don't really want to give it up. The extra cost was worth it for me.

By the way, my housemate has a 1212M and I can't tell the difference between the conversion on that, my 1010 or the FF400 so make of that what you will. In terms of the numbers and tech specs the manufacturers put out that would appear to make sense.

On the really expensive converters like the Lavry ones. I like Dan Lavry's philosophy on converter design. It is logical and mathematical and it is about good engineering and low noise and low jitter, all of which is measurable even if it isn't necessarily detectable by the human ear.

He doesn't waste time saying that his converters 'sound' arbitrarily 'better' than everyone elses and that they will make your audio come alive, jump out of your speakers and hump you in your chair. They are just simply engineered to do one thing and do it the best it can possibly be whether you can hear the difference or not.

Even though I can't afford Lavry converters and have no practical use for them at present I do have to acknowledge that at some point down the line the bits and bobs in my converters were probably derivative of his designs somewhere and that the consequent lack of R&D costs are what make it possible for me to own something of comparible quality on the cheap.

If I had the money to spare would I buy a Lavry? Probably, though my respect for the man and the company that produces it would definitely be a biasing factor in that decision. Call me sentimental but I'm all for supporting the good guys in this industry.
Old 11th May 2008
  #78
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Jazzpunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robobaby View Post
He doesn't waste time saying that his converters will make your audio come alive, jump out of your speakers and hump you in your chair.
If he were to make such a converter, I'd take two!
Old 13th May 2008
  #79
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h4nc0's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Movendi View Post
Can you elaborate more on this? I don't really understand. After hunting for the right sound card for my goals (soft synths ITB) i can't reach a conclusion. All i wanted was a PCI soundcard that will pair well with either BM6A or Adam A7's. I don't want to spend more than 1k MAXIMUM for what i want to achieve but i am after decent hardware if i'm forking that much over studio monitors and a novation 61 remote sl.

I need something that has good driver support for windows xp, that has good software for EQing when i play games/movies/mp3s on the monitors and preferbly PCI cause i want to hook up my headphones to a quality audio interface than the onboard soundcard.

I need help!
Well, I went all ITB and sold all my external synths and etc because of the convenience, however the sound I was getting was just 2 dimensional and lacked depth, etc. I've found running soft synths/tracks through a nice outboard (pre, comp, or EQ) can add harmonic distortion which will give those tracks more depth and pleasing characteristics.
Old 13th May 2008
  #80
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzpunk View Post
If he were to make such a converter, I'd take two!
Ooh, threesome.
Old 19th March 2009
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robobaby View Post
It is interesting you make that comparison because I own a Delta 1010 and an RME Fireface 400 and to be honest, in terms of straight conversion to and from the same bit depth and samplerate, I don't notice any difference between the two. Now I'm not the type of person to convert multiple times and ship digital stuff outboard and then back into Cubase but in terms of straight AD and DA yeah. I don't notice any difference.

I don't regret spending double the money on the RME and I do prefer using it day to day compared to the 1010 because it has onboard pres, loads more digital I/Os and a way better software mixer, all of which I do use. The convenience of having it all in one portable package is something I've gotten so used to that I don't really want to give it up. The extra cost was worth it for me.

By the way, my housemate has a 1212M and I can't tell the difference between the conversion on that, my 1010 or the FF400 so make of that what you will. In terms of the numbers and tech specs the manufacturers put out that would appear to make sense.

On the really expensive converters like the Lavry ones. I like Dan Lavry's philosophy on converter design. It is logical and mathematical and it is about good engineering and low noise and low jitter, all of which is measurable even if it isn't necessarily detectable by the human ear.

He doesn't waste time saying that his converters 'sound' arbitrarily 'better' than everyone elses and that they will make your audio come alive, jump out of your speakers and hump you in your chair. They are just simply engineered to do one thing and do it the best it can possibly be whether you can hear the difference or not.

Even though I can't afford Lavry converters and have no practical use for them at present I do have to acknowledge that at some point down the line the bits and bobs in my converters were probably derivative of his designs somewhere and that the consequent lack of R&D costs are what make it possible for me to own something of comparible quality on the cheap.

If I had the money to spare would I buy a Lavry? Probably, though my respect for the man and the company that produces it would definitely be a biasing factor in that decision. Call me sentimental but I'm all for supporting the good guys in this industry.
if you cant hear the diference between M-Audio 1010, RME ff400 and EMU 1212m
something is wrong within you.
= i doubt you know who are really the good guys in this industry.
Old 19th March 2009
  #82
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Carey M's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by space2012 View Post
i doubt you know who are really the good guys in this industry.
Yeah, because Dan Lavry, a guy who actually knows a thing or two about digital audio, AD conversion, etc., is... in reality... THE DEVIL?

- CM
Old 19th March 2009
  #83
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Ben F's Avatar
I think RME work well for electronic music. There is a big difference between a budget converter and RME. I can generally tell when people bring tracks in that have been recorded with average converters- they just lack punch and depth. I also think it makes mixing easier with a good DA because the separation is better, so you EQ is more precise.

However, when you get to the top level the differences become much smaller. We have Lavry Gold AD and a Prism ADX8 in the studio and I could happily live with either. Went though a lot of testing and the Prism and Lavry came up on top. The lavry is a better AD but many people wouldn't be able to pick it in an AB test.

The ultimate audio interface at the moment would be the Prism Orpheus, if you could justify the price!
Old 19th March 2009
  #84
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OurDarkness's Avatar
 

I use 3 RME interfaces (Fireface 800 x 2, Hammerfall Multiface x 1) and I bought them for various reasons:

1. Because of the ultra stable drivers (working in XP and NOT Vista, of course)
2. Because of the mid-end converters
3. Because of the excellent software
4. Because of the ins and outs.

I am very happy with them - but then again I never had the chance to test a high-end converter like Prism, Lavry or DAD. I have an Eventide H-8000FW, which has very good converters but my setup is minimal and kinda weird right now because I am in the process of relocating... (it's Andromeda A6 -> H-8000FW - > RME Fireface 800 -> computer ... don't asky why... ) so I will try to make a test sometime. Moreover, my room and monitors aren't exactly ideal so I don't think I can come to a safe conclusion.

I am willing to buy a more expensive and hopefully better converter *only* if I hear an improvement to the sound. Unfortunately, I have lots of analog ins and I don't even want to think what a Prism or DAD would cost me...
Old 19th March 2009
  #85
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duvalle's Avatar
 

great you bumped this thread up ...

i am about to upgrade my daw to an Intel Core i7-965 XE.
since the new motherboard will only have 2 pci slots (taken by uad-1 cards),
i have to get rid off my emu 1820m. the 1820m is sounding allright
but sounds much better when clocked to the api a2d. my master 2bus ad/da is lavry da10 - A2d.
but i do monitor through my soundcard, since there is no other way to connect another lavry via spdif.

anyway .. ;-) ... i was looking into all kinds of cards like lynx or even Orpheus,
but decided to go with the rme ff400, because of stable drivers and good audio quality.
i do mostly pop/dance/electro stuff so i am glad you think rme will be ok.

but here is my dilemma:
i got a nice collection of outboard for the 2bus like 1272, 2500, 5005, hammer eq.
so when comparing the value of that chain to the value of the ff400 or 1820m makes
me think i could be missing something here ... should'nt be every thing on the same
level? if i will use the DA of the rme for monitoring, can i really hear everything
my toys can deliver??
Old 19th March 2009
  #86
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Swami Digital's Avatar
 

I use SSL converters. Imo, if you use any outboard processing, you really need good converters, because the effect is cumulative through the multiple A/D D/A conversions. If you do all your processing in the box, and only record synths, then really good converters may be less of a priority than other gear. If you record other things, good converters are quite important, but great mics and preamps may be higher priority.

That's just my opinion.

-D
Old 19th March 2009
  #87
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carey M View Post
Yeah, because Dan Lavry, a guy who actually knows a thing or two about digital audio, AD conversion, etc., is... in reality... THE DEVIL?

- CM
God gives good stuff for free, like air O2, water h2O, photons, rain, clouds, wisdom, advices,
the Devil takes away from you, your own ability to think, hear, see for yourself,
the Devil makes you desire/chase bad stuff, by makeing you beleive/think its good stuff ....

but ... doing some listening tests,
take a listen of Lavry Gold vs. apogee ad-16x
$3500usd. per channel. vs. $218.75usd. per channel aprox.
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/4001522-post27.html

or the 3daudioinc.com ADCD cd.
Manley Slam! Digital is verry nice ADC.

or search gear shootouts, UA2192 allways one of the best, most transparent.

mytekdigital.com has lots of files vs. Weiss ADC2 mk2, and others...
etc...
Old 19th March 2009
  #88
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Carey M's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by space2012 View Post
God gives good stuff for free, like air O2, water h2O, photons, rain, clouds, wisdom, advices,
Don't forget... Earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, Loa loa worms, AIDS, cancer, influenza, birth defects... And and... KILLER BEES!

Quote:
the Devil takes away from you, your own ability to think, hear, see for yourself,
And Dan Lavry does that? Really? How? By sticking with the laws of physics?

- CM
Old 19th March 2009
  #89
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oldgearguy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by space2012 View Post
if you cant hear the diference between M-Audio 1010, RME ff400 and EMU 1212m
something is wrong within you.
= i doubt you know who are really the good guys in this industry.
No, the reality may be that the original poster's monitoring chain, room, or other circumstances masks some of the differences. Heck, even proper gainstaging can make a huge difference in the way things sound.

It doesn't matter if you're all analog, all digital, or a mix - the system works as well as the weakest link.
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