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Acousence, Andiamo, Lake People, Lavry, StageTech ADC shootout
Old 2nd April 2017
  #31
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Though I didn't know Acousence, I preferd that sound best. And checked the price...bang!
Anyway, thanks for posting these files.
Old 3rd April 2017
  #32
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Adebar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by koko.jumbleee View Post
Though I didn't know Acousence, I preferd that sound best. And checked the price...bang!
The price too high or too low?
Old 3rd April 2017
  #33
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Rumi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post
The price too high or too low?
Well, it's less than half the price of the second hand Lavry Gold gearslutz currently shows further down in this thread...
Old 3rd April 2017
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post
The price too high or too low?
4900euro is too high for me.
but if I were mastering guy and had enough budget, I would go for this unit.

by the way I was interested in lake people, it seems really good.
Old 4th April 2017
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koko.jumbleee View Post
4900euro is too high for me.
The 2 channel arfi-adc2 is only 2787 EUR with external psu included.

Over 40% less than what you assumed. Where did you find the price of 4900 €?

Last edited by Adebar; 4th April 2017 at 01:23 AM..
Old 4th April 2017
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post
The 2 channel arfi-adc2 is only 2787 EUR with external psu included.

Over 40% less than what you assumed. Where did you find the price of 4900 €?
https://www.cm-audio.net/arfis-adc2
oops, I didn't scroll to the bottom!
sorry.
Old 15th July 2017
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post
Yes, a good clock often improves converters. I had the Grimm CC1 (the big brother of CC2) and since i use the Acousence I sold the CC1. The Acousence clock is better in my setup.

It would be interesting if the LP improves clocked by the Acusence in your setup as well.
If you like to test that we would be glad to arrange a demo.

After there were several inquiries for a 19" version we are happy to tell that now there is also a 19" version of the arfi-adc2.
It seems I missed your post at the time. Thank you for the offer to demo. I might take you up on it! The Lake People ADC F444 is capable of very fast locking to external clocks, which helps a lot when the external clock is better than the one built in. I have clocked the LP to Hilo and Mytek clocks too, but the jump in quality with Grimm CC2 clearly stood out so far.

For tracking the Acousence would not make much sense to me as I almost always need the same quality for at least four channels, but for mixdown/mastering I can see it to be interesting. I was not able to find out, but what is the input sensitivity of the Acousence calibrated to, and can it be set to another as well? For tracking I always calibrate my LP's to +20dBu, while I use +6dBu for mastering. The +20dBu gives best results with most preamps as they can sit in their sweet spot of amplification (especially the great ADT TM101's perform at their peak around that value), while the +6dBu allows for a totally unstrained mix/master chain with very moderate gaing staging. In both cases it makes a big difference for the end result so I want to have that option in my converters.

Good to know that there is a 19" rack version of the arfi-adc2, as I could not see it on the Acousence website. Does it have its power supply built in? With a link-through in case you want to combine it with other units from the line? Does the rack version have simple clear information about the sample rate that it puts out? (I could not understand the readout of the table top version.)
Old 15th July 2017
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
It seems I missed your post at the time. Thank you for the offer to demo. I might take you up on it! The Lake People ADC F444 is capable of very fast locking to external clocks, which helps a lot when the external clock is better than the one built in. I have clocked the LP to Hilo and Mytek clocks too, but the jump in quality with Grimm CC2 clearly stood out so far.
Only a comparison will tell, how it would work in your set up.

Quote:
For tracking the Acousence would not make much sense to me as I almost always need the same quality for at least four channels,
You can have up to 32 channels in a 3 RU frame.
And there ar extensions possible with 2 to 8 channels in a 1 RU frame.


Quote:
I was not able to find out, but what is the input sensitivity of the Acousence calibrated to, and can it be set to another as well?
For now the input sensitivity is set to 21 dBu for 0 dBFS.


Quote:
Good to know that there is a 19" rack version of the arfi-adc2, as I could not see it on the Acousence website. Does it have its power supply built in? With a link-through in case you want to combine it with other units from the line?
The 19" version has a built in power supply. This can also support additional units.
Other units of the line can be cocked by the adc2 via the native sampling frequency of the chip via a proprietary connection with out the disadvantages of a PLL (always adding jitter) you need when clocking via wordclcock.
Old 20th July 2017
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post

The 19" version has a built in power supply. This can also support additional units.
Other units of the line can be cocked by the adc2 via the native sampling frequency of the chip via a proprietary connection with out the disadvantages of a PLL (always adding jitter) you need when clocking via wordclcock.
. i wonder if the built-in power supply makes an audible difference compared to the one with external PSU?

. do you clock your other units via AES?

Last edited by Deleted User; 20th July 2017 at 09:24 AM..
Old 20th July 2017
  #40
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Actually the current 19" is totally the same. The 2 seperate housings with half 19" width are just mounted on a 19" front plate.

There will be a new 19" unit with one housing. Here the power supply will be a box in the box for avoising any intererence. Critical listening tests shoewd the sound is the same.

Clocking.
Mostly I prefer clocking via AES instead of WC.
The Acousence has an additional port with the native clock frequency of the converter. This way no PLL is needed which always ads a certain spectrum of jitter.
Old 31st August 2017
  #41
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Just found this thread and haven't listened to the sound clips yet. I will tomorrow when I'm back in the control room.

But I own a DirectOut Andiamo XT2 (MC without the mic pres) and it's a great-sounding converter - both the DAC/ADC.

Apart from the converters, it's also a really nice MADI and AES/EBU router.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shelterr View Post
So if the Andiamo is the version with the Mic Preamps, were those engaged but at zero on this test? Or are the preamps being bypassed? It seems like a great value and a stellar convertor to me!
It is.

I do think that my Crookwood ADCs sound even better, same goes for the DACs, but price/channel count/features/performance the Andiamo is hard to beat.


Cheers
Fred
Old 4th March 2018
  #42
Gear Addict
 

Mod

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
The "reference" is the parallel digital recording done beside the one with the nagra (diff mics, no splitter), afaik.
The Andiamo has indeed preamps, but not bypassable, 32 ch. So great bang for the buck for sure.

I even prefer the Lavry over the Andiamo which I see at latest position, I think. Taste seems to differ quite a lot here . It reminds me at RME somehow. Very upfront, somewhat aggresive, but without a proper depth of field, maybe cool for pop/rock, but for me quite unnatural sounding.
Hi JP,
i just have visited your website and have seen that your LP ADC has a mod.
Is it ok to ask what you can mod on an ADC converter?
Thanks
Old 14th March 2018
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilaci View Post
Hi JP,
i just have visited your website and have seen that your LP ADC has a mod.
Is it ok to ask what you can mod on an ADC converter?
Thanks
Sorry about the late answer (gearslutz hasnt messaged me here).
Possibles to mod any audio devices are mostly similar; chips, caps, ICs or tubes, bypassing certain sections, cabling, housing, power supply comes to my mind... In most cases its just try and error, I think. And a thing of taste.
The LP ADC is great (with healthy levels), even out of the box, especially considering the crazy low price in comparisson to others.
Old 1st April 2018
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post
Sorry about the late answer (gearslutz hasnt messaged me here).
Possibles to mod any audio devices are mostly similar; chips, caps, ICs or tubes, bypassing certain sections, cabling, housing, power supply comes to my mind... In most cases its just try and error, I think. And a thing of taste.
The LP ADC is great (with healthy levels), even out of the box, especially considering the crazy low price in comparisson to others.
Thanks for the feedback. Yes the gearslutz messaging is "strange".
Ok, modding is nothing for me as a beginner. I have it in combination with an Apollo Twin via ADAT and just having the luxus to have my little outboard gear directle cabled to the LP because it starts nerving in an small environment.

Maybe can you give me a starting point between level outboard gear vs the level knob on the LP. Everthing on 12 o´clock or do i just overthink it.

I even like my voice with my recording chain ;-)

Thanks and happy easter...
Old 12th April 2018
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilaci View Post
Maybe can you give me a starting point between level outboard gear vs the level knob on the LP. Everthing on 12 o´clock or do i just overthink it.
It is probably better to set your gear to the best/desired settings and then to adjust the input sensitivity of ADC RS 04.
In my opinion RS 04 works very similar with any sensitivity.

If you turn the analog limiter on it starts to affect the signal from ~ -3 dBFS and above.
Old 12th April 2018
  #46
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post
Here is another shootout of 5 AD converters:

- Acousence arfi-adc2
- Direct Out Andiamo
- Lake People ADC RS04
- Lavry Gold 122-96MX
- StageTech Truematch

The 24/96 Files are ready for download here
http://www.acousence.de/Daten/Wandlertest.zip

The comparison was done by Ole Muth from Accelerando Musikproduktion and Harald Wittig who wrote a review about it in Studio Magazin issue 10/2016.

Enjoy listening and I´m curious what you will say.
This was interesting to compare the ADCs.
I like how StageTec Truematch sounds.
Maybe it is not so close to the original, but it is musical to my ears.

Finally, I decided to make my own recording of the "referenz" tracks.
They are recorded through the following chain:
Lake People DAT RS 05 > Violectric DAC V800 > Lake People ADC RS 04.

So, I replaced the Nagra DAC in the original chain (if I understand it correctly).
The levels are accurately matched via ADC, no additional processing.

The tracks, which may be merged to the original folder structure: Wandlertest.zip — Yandex.Disk
I don't know the meaning of the 'mk2s' and 'mk21' prefixes, so I leaved them unchanged.

It is interesting to hear your opinions.
Old 12th April 2018
  #47
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Rumi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zhgutov View Post
This was interesting to compare the ADCs.
I like how StageTec Truematch sounds.
Maybe it is not so close to the original, but it is musical to my ears.

Finally, I decided to make my own recording of the "referenz" tracks.
They are recorded through the following chain:
Lake People DAT RS 05 > Violectric DAC V800 > Lake People ADC RS 04.

So, I replaced the Nagra DAC in the original chain (if I understand it correctly).
The levels are accurately matched via ADC, no additional processing.

The tracks, which may be merged to the original folder structure: Wandlertest.zip — Yandex.Disk
I don't know the meaning of the 'mk2s' and 'mk21' prefixes, so I leaved them unchanged.

It is interesting to hear your opinions.
MK2s (brighter omni, I guess) and MK21 (wide cardioid?) are Schoeps capsules.
Old 13th April 2018
  #48
Gear Addict
 

Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by zhgutov View Post
It is probably better to set your gear to the best/desired settings and then to adjust the input sensitivity of ADC RS 04.
In my opinion RS 04 works very similar with any sensitivity.

If you turn the analog limiter on it starts to affect the signal from ~ -3 dBFS and above.
Many thanks for your input.
Old 1 week ago
  #49
mpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post
For now the input sensitivity is set to 21 dBu for 0 dBFS.
Is there any way to have this modded for mastering use?

I’m worried this calibration will push my analog chain too far out of it sweet spot. I guess I could print low but I’d rather not. : /
Old 1 week ago
  #50
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Adebar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpr View Post
Is there any way to have this modded for mastering use?

I’m worried this calibration will push my analog chain too far out of it sweet spot. I guess I could print low but I’d rather not. : /
Which direction do you want to go? More than 21 dBu for 0 dBFS?

The DAC has variable output.
For the ADC part it depends.

The new 1 RU unit is called arfi-system191. It is modular and you can have it as
AD, DA or ADDA converter with different I/O options like AES/EBU, S/PDIF coax and TOSLink, AES on RJ45 ...

Picture of the new unit attached.
Attached Thumbnails
Acousence, Andiamo, Lake People, Lavry, StageTech ADC shootout-sys191.jpg  
Old 1 week ago
  #51
mpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post
Which direction do you want to go? More than 21 dBu for 0 dBFS?
Thanks for the info and the pic!

Well assuming the Acousence is calibrated at -17dBfs = 0VU = +4dBu (and not -21dBfs = 0VU) then I would like the sensitivity raised to -14dBfs = 0VU.

Is this possible via a pot or jumper inside the unit?

Most of my analog gear has an optimal sound when levels hover at or a few dB above 0VU depending on the box.

Thanks!
Old 1 week ago
  #52
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I see.

(BTW I find the reference to 0 VU always confusing since mostly 0 VU means +4 dBu, but at public broadcasters it often means +6 dBu)

Most converters are by default calibrated to +18 dBu for 0 dbFS. That's what you want.

+21 dBu for 0dBFS is just 3 dB more and often preferred by mastering guys since they can drive their analog equipment a little higher. And for tracking it is good as well in my view.

Regardless of that I will find out what is possible.
Old 1 week ago
  #53
mpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post
(BTW I find the reference to 0 VU always confusing since mostly 0 VU means +4 dBu, but at public broadcasters it often means +6 dBu)
I think its a safe bet that in pro audio nowadays that 0VU = +4dBu.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post
Most converters are by default calibrated to +18 dBu for 0 dbFS. That's what you want.
No, that is not what I want. Maybe 15 years ago when I was doing Studer transfers all day, but for mastering I do not want -18 dBfs = 0VU. Right now I am using Prism ADA-8RX and have them calibrated to -14 dBfs = 0VU. Before that I had Merging HAPI and used the same calibration. It just works best for my chain. There's no need to debate this please.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post
+21 dBu for 0dBFS is just 3 dB more and often preferred by mastering guys since they can drive their analog equipment a little higher.
I do not know many guys who like driving tubes and transformers that hot unless they are going for a very colored sound or perhaps using parallel processes. However, I can use a solid state amp at the end to raise level, but I would rather just get the converter calibrated correctly so that my DA and AD levels are even. I use Plugin Doctor (in hardware mode) to measure my chain before every job and if the AD DA aren't equal, it throws off the measurement window.
Old 1 week ago
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post
+21 dBu for 0dBFS is just 3 dB more and often preferred by mastering guys since they can drive their analog equipment a little higher. And for tracking it is good as well in my view.
I find myself never driving my chain when mastering, even though I have a lot of headroom available. On the contrary: for maximum transparency I keep it below +15 dBu. And I know of several more ME's that do. The fact that the Acousense cannot be calibrated by the user is a major reason for me not to consider it. (Using Lake People F444 instead: very easy to calibrate over a wide range of levels.)
Old 1 week ago
  #55
mpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earcatcher View Post
(Using Lake People F444 instead: very easy to calibrate over a wide range of levels.)
What method do they use for changing level? Pot, jumper, switch or digital attenuation?
Old 1 week ago
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpr View Post
What method do they use for changing level? Pot, jumper, switch or digital attenuation?
Pot. One on each channel.
Old 1 week ago
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpr View Post
Right now I am using Prism ADA-8RX and have them calibrated to -14 dBfs = 0VU. Before that I had Merging HAPI and used the same calibration. It just works best for my chain. There's no need to debate this please.
OK.

As mentioned before the sensitivity of the arfi-system191 is +21 dBu for 0 dBFS.
This is just 3 dB more for 0 dBFS than your current set up with the Prism converter.

The concept of the input stage is for quality reasons a minimalistic passive design with a well selected transformer. So calibrating the input stage is not possible at this time.

The DA side has exactly the same output level of +21 dBu at 0 dBFS with switch position "fixed". It can be set to "variable".

With 16 bit converters it made sense to use every bit. With 24 bit converters I like this sensitivity. For tracking I don't run higher than - 10 dBFS at the peaks and for mastering I still leave some headroom and do the limiting in the digital domain.

Only if you want to override (clip) the AD converter for loudness reasons it may cause problems with old vintage analog equipment.
Old 1 week ago
  #58
mpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post
OK.

As mentioned before the sensitivity of the arfi-system191 is +21 dBu for 0 dBFS.
This is just 3 dB more for 0 dBFS than your current set up with the Prism converter.

The concept of the input stage is for quality reasons a minimalistic passive design with a well selected transformer. So calibrating the input stage is not possible at this time.

The DA side has exactly the same output level of +21 dBu at 0 dBFS with switch position "fixed". It can be set to "variable".

With 16 bit converters it made sense to use every bit. With 24 bit converters I like this sensitivity. For tracking I don't run higher than - 10 dBFS at the peaks and for mastering I still leave some headroom and do the limiting in the digital domain.

Only if you want to override (clip) the AD converter for loudness reasons it may cause problems with old vintage analog equipment.
Thank you for checking on whether or not the Acousence converter can be modded. I understand that the chosen level is inherent to its design.

I feel this sensitivity is not ideal for mastering irregardless of AD clipping use, and I suggest that the developer consider some degree of user calibration in the future.

Mark
Old 1 week ago
  #59
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Adebar's Avatar
We are aware of this and so far the decision was made to keep the signal chain this way minimalistic for reasons of resolution and detail (avoiding the word sound).

Even taking a different transformer with a different ratio would change the quality - the current one was found in a long time selection.

The arfi-system193 offers a mic input option for the AD modules. In conjunction with that there may be a way for things what you suggest.
Old 1 week ago
  #60
mpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post
The arfi-system193 offers a mic input option for the AD modules. In conjunction with that there may be a way for things what you suggest.
So the 1ru arfi-system193 can be loaded with ADC and DAC modules that sound identical, using the same converter chips, same analog front and back end designs, and same PSU as the stand alone boxes?





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