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Behringer ADA8200 / BLA Modded Behringer ADA8200 Shootout
Old 8th June 2017
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Behringer ADA8200 / BLA Modded Behringer ADA8200 Shootout

I recently sent my Behringer ADA8200 out to BLA for the premium mod. No need for you guys to tell me what better converters there are out there for the money or anything like that, I made the decision because I was curious to see what these guys can do and to see if it actually improved anything.

I have a hybrid setup. My SSL-Xdesk gets 16 inputs, I get 8 of them directly from my Apollo, and the other 8 come from the Behringer ADA8200 which is connected to the Apollo via ADAT. Everything comes out of the X-desk into a Burl B2 Bomber for conversion then back into the Apollo.

Before I sent the unit to be modded I bounced a song I did for a remix competition. Once I got the unit back I hooked it back up and bounced another version; none of the analog equipment had been touched while the unit was away. Both files are within .1db RMS of eachother (I did not have to change the levels on either track to get them to be that close, that is how they naturally match up).

I re-named the bounces "This" and "That," one is the original Behringer, the other is the modded Behringer, not gonna say which is which at the moment but I have a feeling you guys will be able to identify them. Let me know which you like better, and why. I'm not so much interested to see if you can tell which is which, I'm more curious to see which one people think sounds better. Below is the Dropbox link to both 44.1/24 files.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ctjjrxt67...UtrV3mHha?dl=0

Last edited by Obe1; 8th June 2017 at 06:49 PM..
Old 8th June 2017
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Dropbox doesn't work..
Old 8th June 2017 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Perra View Post
Dropbox doesn't work..
Try now
Old 8th June 2017
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
thanks for doing this. I am interested in doing the same thing with my zen tour and x-desk. I will listen when I get home. In your opinion was the upgrade worth the cost?
Old 8th June 2017 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mack View Post
thanks for doing this. I am interested in doing the same thing with my zen tour and x-desk. I will listen when I get home. In your opinion was the upgrade worth the cost?
I'll give my opinion after some people have commented. I don't wanna put any specific opinion in people's head before they listen on their own.
Old 8th June 2017
  #6
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RonT's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I still have 2 of the ADA8000. Always thought they were good enough. Seems like the 8200 is even better.
Old 8th June 2017 | Show parent
  #7
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonT View Post
I still have 2 of the ADA8000. Always thought they were good enough. Seems like the 8200 is even better.
Take a listen to the two files, let me know what you think.
Old 9th June 2017
  #8
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Duke Murdock's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
The difference was bigger than I expected even through laptop speakers. With the mix as is I actually felt that the unmodded version was easier to listen to. The mod seems to have improved the clarity and separation of the tracks and I didn't think it sounded as cohesive. With some more "glue" to manage some of the peaks and the separation provided by the mod I think you'd ultimately arrive at a better end result. Maybe it's just confirmation bias or whatever but I felt the modded version informed me of things in the mix that the unmodded version didn't. That's enough for me to take a closer look at modding mine. Cheers for doing this.

Just don't tell me that you uploaded the same file to both locations or I'll lose my ****.
Old 9th June 2017 | Show parent
  #9
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke Murdock View Post
The difference was bigger than I expected even through laptop speakers. With the mix as is I actually felt that the unmodded version was easier to listen to. The mod seems to have improved the clarity and separation of the tracks and I didn't think it sounded as cohesive. With some more "glue" to manage some of the peaks and the separation provided by the mod I think you'd ultimately arrive at a better end result. Maybe it's just confirmation bias or whatever but I felt the modded version informed me of things in the mix that the unmodded version didn't. That's enough for me to take a closer look at modding mine. Cheers for doing this.

Just don't tell me that you uploaded the same file to both locations or I'll lose my ****.
Lol no its not a trick, one is the modded version and one isnt. But you keep speaking as if you know for sure which is which. Which track do you think is the modded one?

And in regards to it not sounding cohesive, there's a good chance that the modded one won't since the track was not mixed through it, so the mix wasn't tailored for that box.
Old 9th June 2017
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Classic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I preferred "This". Immediately grabbed my ear, smoother highs and better clarity. Thanks for posting!
Old 9th June 2017
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
"This" did seem bigger to me. Especially on the low end where the kick sounds like it had been mixed louder. That being said I am not sure that one is "better" than the other for the song. Interesting!
Old 9th June 2017
  #12
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DR Music's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
THIS
Old 9th June 2017 | Show parent
  #13
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DR Music's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obe1 View Post
Lol no its not a trick, one is the modded version and one isnt. But you keep speaking as if you know for sure which is which. Which track do you think is the modded one?

And in regards to it not sounding cohesive, there's a good chance that the modded one won't since the track was not mixed through it, so the mix wasn't tailored for that box.
Great point!
"This" did it for me
Old 11th June 2017
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
There doesn't seem to be too much more interest so I'll say which is which. "This" is the Black Lion modded Behringer. I'm pretty sure most of you knew that, but figured I'd confirm it.

Is it worth it? Hard to say. I didn't get to compare it with $600 used interface like a Rosetta 800 or Lucid 88192. I do believe it made a positive difference in my setup though so I don't regret it.

My opinion about Black Lion as a company is currently pending though. I had a shipping issue that turned out to be Black Lions fault, and not a reasonable one either. I'm currently waiting to see if they're going to offer me a discount for having to wait an extra two weeks due to their negligence. Hopefully they do the right thing and take responsibility for their mistake and give me some sign that they actually care about their customers.
Old 12th June 2017
  #15
Lives for gear
Thanks for taking the time to do the test and post the result.. very cool of you...

I actually preferred THAT.

thanks again

cheers

Wiz
Old 12th June 2017 | Show parent
  #16
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiz_Oz View Post
Thanks for taking the time to do the test and post the result.. very cool of you...

I actually preferred THAT.

thanks again

cheers

Wiz
Yeah I was surprised at the lack of threads about this mod. It worked out that I hadn't touched my analog equipment since the mod went out so it was a good opportunity for a shootout.

It's hard doing tests like this though because the mix was done on the unmodded interface so it was tailored for that unit. Had I started the mix on the modded version then just swapped it for the original interface when the mix was done, it's likely the unmodded box would have sounded out of place.. It's hard to say which is "better" for my purposes. But enough talking about it, time to get to work
Old 13th June 2017 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obe1 View Post
It's hard doing tests like this though because the mix was done on the unmodded interface so it was tailored for that unit. Had I started the mix on the modded version then just swapped it for the original interface when the mix was done, it's likely the unmodded box would have sounded out of place.. It's hard to say which is "better" for my purposes. But enough talking about it, time to get to work
That's a good point. Although I probably wont have the mod done I am now certain that the Behr will be 'good enough' for my needs. Just ordered one. Thanks again for taking the time and sharing.
Old 10th August 2017
  #18
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
OP,

any more clarity on the worth of the mod now that you've had a bit more time with it?

looking for an extra 8 channels for my Apollo (Black) and it's between modding one of these used Behringer 8200 units or hopping on a new Presonus DP88. I think they work out to about the same price after the Behringer mod
Old 10th August 2017 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by citrusonic View Post
OP,

any more clarity on the worth of the mod now that you've had a bit more time with it?

looking for an extra 8 channels for my Apollo (Black) and it's between modding one of these used Behringer 8200 units or hopping on a new Presonus DP88. I think they work out to about the same price after the Behringer mod
All in all I wouldn't do it again, but not because of the quality, because of the process of having it modded. Too many things can go wrong. Too much waiting. Too much shipping. If I had to do it again I would just look for a used Lucid 88192 on Ebay or used Apogee Rosetta 200/800. The sound quality from the Behringer is fine, but for me is not worth the mod hassle. I will say though I have never heard the Lucid or Rosetta, but they are very popular used converters and appear to hold their value well.
Old 4th November 2017
  #20
Lives for gear
 
11 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
HOLY CRAP. THANK YOU FOR DOING THIS!!!!

I'm definitely getting my Rosetta modded now. WOW. I'm super impressed.
Old 12th October 2020
  #21
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
would be nice to see what they`ve exactly done to the unit:


from the website:
We are offering the following modifications for the ADA8200:

Standard Mod
Analog

-New, high performance op-amps on EVERY analog input and output (mic preamps, line inputs, and line outputs)
– Improving the performance of the analog stage circuits makes a drastic difference for tracking, mixing, and mastering (expect amazing micro-dynamics and space)!
Premium Mod (includes Standard Mod)
Analog

– New, high-grade signal path capacitors on EVERY analog input and output (mic preamps, line inputs, and line outputs)
Digital

– Proprietary decoupling on all A/D and D/A converters
– Our approach to converter decoupling reduces noise generated during the conversion process, leaving you with crisp, clear audio!


would be reall great if someone give more info cuz sending my unit from europe doesnt make sense.
Old 13th October 2020 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by acidrecords View Post
would be nice to see what they`ve exactly done to the unit:


from the website:
We are offering the following modifications for the ADA8200:

Standard Mod
Analog

-New, high performance op-amps on EVERY analog input and output (mic preamps, line inputs, and line outputs)
– Improving the performance of the analog stage circuits makes a drastic difference for tracking, mixing, and mastering (expect amazing micro-dynamics and space)!
Premium Mod (includes Standard Mod)
Analog

– New, high-grade signal path capacitors on EVERY analog input and output (mic preamps, line inputs, and line outputs)
Digital

– Proprietary decoupling on all A/D and D/A converters
– Our approach to converter decoupling reduces noise generated during the conversion process, leaving you with crisp, clear audio!


would be reall great if someone give more info cuz sending my unit from europe doesnt make sense.
Not to be redundant, (would also like to "see" some of the mods from BLA)

BLA switched the OpAmps, Capacitors, and decoupled the circuit around the converters (and probably elsewhere, psu comes to mind, probably around input/output stages in general).

As for what brands of caps & opamps, or how "proprietary" their decoupling is, it is all pretty generalized for options (unfortunately I haven't used BLA)

Decoupling is pretty straight forward. No mention of IC or resistors, but one would assume there is a few decoupling circuits and resistor changes.

Proprietary (to me, in this sense) simply means in compliance with electrical codes/standards.
Nothing too complicated.

The physical work of switching OpAmps, Caps, etc...
is the real cost because it requires a bit of experience.

Cannot see the value of sending it away for the work due to shipping & labor costs. At least, not a Behringer unit.

There are a lot of experienced users on Gearslutz who could chime in with better detail.
Jim Williams is one that comes to mind with advice on modifications over the years.
Maybe the owner of the thread can open the box up and take a photo.
Old 13th October 2020 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwellander View Post
Not to be redundant, (would also like to "see" some of the mods from BLA)

There are a lot of experienced users on Gearslutz who could chime in with better detail.
Jim Williams is one that comes to mind with advice on modifications over the years.
Maybe the owner of the thread can open the box up and take a photo.
jup would be nice to have a look / more info
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