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Goliath HD Loopback Files Synchronisers/Clock Generators
Old 7th July 2017
Goliath HD Loopback Files

Well, it's that time again. Everyone couple years when I feel a new bar has been reached for Antelope conversion (and conversion in general), I find myself doing loopback comparisons between the original source track and the converted (out and back into the interface) "copy". I'm sending along the files I did tonight, with setup notes below to chew on.

Here are the FILES. They contain the original track, a copy using Goliath HD and another with Goliath HD clocked to our 10MX Atomic Clock. I used two different DAW's, Logic and Studio One. Myself and others have been saying we prefer Studio One sonically to other DAW's, so this is a way doing that comparison at the same time. The goal is to copy the original file, as closely as possible, to that end, I find the following steps helpful to attaining a closer "copy".

• Use maximum buffer sizes for the DAW. I've found the shorter the buffers, the sound thins out. No clue exactly why this is, but for mastering, I always default to the largest buffer.

• Turn off delay compensation. In Studio One this is called "ignore plugin delay". Again, not sure why the delay compensation works against the sound, when it should just be yet more buffering, but less processing is usually "more", when it comes to sonic integrity.

• Turn off software monitoring. Just yet another convenient thing that to my ear, deteriorates the sound quality slightly

• Use magnetic hard drives, not solid state. This one I've tested quite a bit and it's frustrating, but I prefer magnetic drives. Do the test sometime. Load a session on an SSD and then on a magnetic drive and record the same source into each drive, then compare the results. Use something with an open top end and deep bass, as these are the areas I heard the most differences, other than a generally more open sound using magnetic.

• I use solid core copper wire for my cables and all the loopbacks were done with solid core Alpha wire and silver Switchcraft connectors. Both, the preference of Doug Sax after extensive cable tests years ago at The Mastering Lab.

• I used a 96K file. While I'm a fan of 44.1, I think the higher the rate, in my experience, the closer the "copy" sounds like the original source.

Even if you steadfastly disagree with any of these notes, the only reason I'm sharing them is in the interest of full disclosure, for when others may perform similar tests. As for power, I'm in Germany which has 220v balanced power on the lines already, so I don't have a power conditioner.

Last edited by Clybourne; 7th July 2017 at 10:29 AM..
Old 5th February 2018
Here for the gear

Gearslutz had long discussions about using the 10M clock, so I don't want to duplicate any of the information. Reading your post, I saw that you have used the Goliath HD with the 10M clock. I am a Goliath HD user myself. I'm no expert by any means, but have experience with good converters. Throughout the years I have used RME, Avid, Forsell, UA and now Antelope. They were all good, but I really think that the Goliath converters are one of the best out there.
Could you please tell if using the 10M clock really made a difference?
Old 3rd October 2018
Hey Clybourne,

Thanks for doing this with so much diligence.
Is there a chance you make these files available again? I'm super interested.

Old 18th March 2019
Gear Nut
Hey man theres a loopback test thread on GS where they use Audio diff maker (forget the exact name) to compare an original file with its loopback file. It would be interesting to see where the Goliath comes out in the list. Would you mind sending the thread starter of that thread your files? Heres a link to the thread:
Evaluating AD/DA loops by means of Audio Diffmaker
Thanks in advance!
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