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WAVs Posted: A/Ds- Apogee vs Lavry vs ... Mackie???
Old 3rd July 2005
  #121
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atticus's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddS
What does that have to do with anything, except you trying to stir up trouble? As I have explained on many occaisions, I was not originally an Apogee fan, mostly because there were so many on this forum that were blatantly anti-Apogee. It was not until I actually listened to the Apogee clock on my Prisms that I realized many of the readers were being brainwashed by the likes of you and not listening to the products.

I have done all of the listening, and as a result, I believe that the Apogees are amazing boxes that sound better than the rest. I imagine that bothers you since when looking back on YOUR posts, its appeears that your job with Benchmark was among other things, being an Apogee attack dog. So many readers have called you on your tactics when it comes to this so I guess it should be no surprise that you are doing it again. I just hope the readers here are savy enough to see through the attempts to respin this thread after the fact. A real disservice to the Gearslutz community.
Who are you talking about the Gearslutz community? At least when I post my opinions I use my real name. I have over a thousand posts on this forum that have nothing to do with anyone I have ever worked for, so if anyone wants to do any research feel free to. Being an "attack dog" is not what I am known for and you calling me that is absolutely false. As far as "brainwashing", that is another falsehood posted by an anonymous poster.

The fact of the matter is that these test do nothing more then confuse the issue. If one is to do a blind test then it has to be absolutely specific, with correct level matching, and with varied styles of music to listen to. By posting a non scientific, flawed test and allowing a large group of people to pass judgment on it, a disservice has been done. I mean no disrespoect to the original poster, but we have a gigantic amout of flawed information floating around on the internet with regards to audio, much of it perpetuated here. If people reach what they think are proper conclusions based upon inaccurate information and a "me too" mentality then we are not really learning anything at all. We are simply regurgitating forum hearsay and marketing materials. I prefer to work in openness and truth, and I make no apoligies for that.

People should know that a lot of companies hire anonymnous posters to hang out on forums and plug one product or another. I did use to work for Benchmark and I did get into some squabbles with some people over opinions of certain products, which I was well within my right to do. If anyone would like to do any research on my forum activity, again, please feel free to do so. I have made every post under my real name with real contact info, unlike some others in this thread. Thanks.
Old 3rd July 2005
  #122
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obostic's Avatar
 

I'm Sorry Guys,

I don't believe the results. I have both Apogee and Lavry converters in my studio and no way in hell the Lavry sounds that bad as number one does. dfegad In fact, the strongest character of the Lavry converters is clarity. So, what is the real story behind this post? Marketing maybe!
Old 3rd July 2005
  #123
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by obostic
I'm Sorry Guys,

I don't believe the results. I have both Apogee and Lavry converters in my studio and no way in hell the Lavry sounds that bad as number one does. dfegad In fact, the strongest character of the Lavry converters is clarity. So, what is the real story behind this post? Marketing maybe!
Quite possible ....

I have done an extensive comparisons between Apogee Rosetta /Mytek/ Lavry Blue ADs and the results were quite distinguished in the sound quality (from the worst the best in the same order). The Lavry´s highlight is indeed the utmost clarity and faithfullness to the source. And what else should a real AD do ?
Yes, some people may be impressed to hear more bass, but are we still talking about an AD or an AD with an instant EQ ? I personally prefer to use a separate dedicated EQ if needed ...

Anyway, I don´t think that few anonymous sound samples could be a real serious source for judging the subtleties of AD convertors ... There are so many factors involved that could make it far from objective ...

The offered samples also show rather limited monotonic musical style, which offers quite a small field for any general impression and judgment

Comparing single straight sources (like a clear vocal or an instrument via top class mics and preamps) can usually tell much more interesting things about a particular convertor ...
Old 3rd July 2005
  #124
Lek
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I listened to the files before the results were given, and I thought the Mackie sounded the best (followed by the apogee, then lavry third). I try to go by gut instinct and choose on the first time I listen (not listening later again and again).

However, at prosoundweb in the mastering forum there was a shootout between a mixdown via three different methods - to analog, through a cranesong hedd to digital, and just to digital. I actually thought the digital sounded the best... Until I just replaced my event monitors with dynaudios and now the analog file (wait...analog file?) sounds the best! So what Fletcher said about different d/a's, monitors, etc was right on for that test. I preferred different mixes through different monitors.

Alternately, when I mix down my own stuff, shooting out different mic pre's or mics, I generally do seem to agree with my opinion when trying them out on different systems (car, boombox, audiophile speakers). So who knows!

God damn it, I shouldn't be doing this at 3:00am, frickin insomnia...
Old 3rd July 2005
  #125
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Yes, but a question remains: if a convertor boosts low frequencies (which is very easy to do and seemingly flattering to ears), does it speak about its real quality and accuracy ?
Old 3rd July 2005
  #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToddS
I love how AFTER we know what is what, people come out of the woodwork claiming the opposite of what those that did the blind test chose....
well i picked the mackie & Lavry over the apogee....maybe i didn't give it enuff 'critical' listening....*Shrug
Old 3rd July 2005
  #127
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So Bang, which one sounds the most like the mix coming off the console?
Old 3rd July 2005
  #128
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krid's Avatar
 

Bang said that it was the Apogee :

Quote:
And I don't hear grain in the apogee, I hear music. If you all heard the original mix you'd get it... sounds 98% of what the live sound off the console sounded like. The Lavry made it a tiny bit smoother then reality. The Mackie added a bit of more low mid stuff which gave it some weight, but too much if you ask me.
Old 3rd July 2005
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obostic
I'm Sorry Guys,

I don't believe the results. I have both Apogee and Lavry converters in my studio and no way in hell the Lavry sounds that bad as number one does. dfegad In fact, the strongest character of the Lavry converters is clarity. So, what is the real story behind this post? Marketing maybe!
First off, number one doesn't sound bad at all. Like others have said, it is the quitest printed of the bunch, raise your fader a half db. It doesn't have quite the personality of the apogee but it still sounded good to me. But do me a favor and don't be a complete asshole and accuse me of being a marketing dickhead when all I wanted to do was find a nice A/D to print the mixes from MY OWN BAND'S ALBUM.. and hell, I decided to post the results here just in case anyone gave a rats ass like I did.

And if you don't believe it fine. I didn't do magic here, I changed the cables in my patchbay from "lavry" to "apogee" to "mackie" and hit record each time. Nothing crazy. You heard the exact thing I printed off each one.

Now, back to topic.. alphajerk posted about the apogee being "holy" and I can hear that now. It seems that the apogee kinda has a bit of a "sound" to it, a bit in the way upper mids like 7kish... and it also seemed to slightly dip the 300Hzish, because when the guitars hang on the Gb, they don't quite HUMMM. I also tried to record with the Rosetta with my voice, and that scratchy midrange that I have (if you've heard the samples thats me singing) was kinda "smoothed" out and the overall sound was kinda "hi endy" compared to my Lynx II, which had the grit, but was duller overall...

Last night I did a lot of A/Bing and then went back to the original mix off the console. The apogee did sound good, but I will officially make the conclusion that the Mackie might have sounded closest to the original mix. The 250Hz stuff I heard was simply because I was A/Bing with the apogee which had less 250Hz.. but I think the real mix DID have this.

Is the rumor that Rosetta 200 + Big Ben = A/D 16X? Can anyone attest the Rosetta being more "hyped" then the A/D 16X? ToddS, ever compare the Rosetta and AD 16X? Man, my brain is getting fried over this stuff.

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Old 3rd July 2005
  #130
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang
Last night I did a lot of A/Bing and then went back to the original mix off the console. The apogee did sound good, but I will officially make the conclusion that the Mackie might have sounded closest to the original mix. The 250Hz stuff I heard was simply because I was A/Bing with the apogee which had less 250Hz.. but I think the real mix DID have this.
I guess i ain't deaf heh
Old 3rd July 2005
  #131
Lives for gear
 

again, a bit weirded out by how the big ben clocked rosetta may have imparted its OWN sound to the audio... so I did another test which I just posted with acoustic material that compares the Rosetta on its own clock vs external Big Ben clock.

edit: I also am now adding a vocal track from the same acoustic song that I tracked DIRECTLY to the rosetta with both the intelliclock internal and world clock Big Ben external. I have a completely different view on the Big Ben now, and I APOLOGIZE TO ALL WHO TOLD ME I SHOULD HAVE COMPARED WITH INTERNAL CLOCKS AS WELL, because you were all right. This new comparison post got MOVED to the mp3 upload section.

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Old 3rd July 2005
  #132
Gear Maniac
 
Stixxs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang
.. and hell, I decided to post the results here just in case anyone gave a rats ass like I did.

Steve
www.bangrecording.com
www.blacklinerock.com
Yup...and that's the thanks you get

...Same person will be griping next month ya didn't post a sample at all.

-Stixxs
Old 3rd July 2005
  #133
Gear Maniac
 

Bang, Thanks for posting this shootout! Did you by any chance happen to note the calibration settings on each one of these AD's? Many Thanks, Martin

PS this is my first post on Gearslutz - hooray! It's been great reading here thanks to helpful folks such as yourself! Even the flame wars have been entertaining from time to time...
Old 4th July 2005
  #134
I didn't listen, but was the Apogee track actually hotter than the others (> 0.1db diff)?

I seriously hope not, as that would dismiss everyone's effort and opinion about these tracks...
Old 4th July 2005
  #135
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood
I didn't listen, but was the Apogee track actually hotter than the others (> 0.1db diff)?

I seriously hope not, as that would dismiss everyone's effort and opinion about these tracks...
the results are already far from being an i deal indication of a 'flawless' a/b/x type shootout.
it is was it is.
i'm not sure that 1/10 of a dB is really gonna skew the test SOOOOO much as to negate whatever other faults were employed in his methodology.
i'm really surprised i could hear the difference between and betwixt the original tracks over my AlBook speakers. when i listened to the second set of tracks over a proper rig it was so much easier to hear the differences. but, for me, it was really a question of which one sounded 'best'.
Old 4th July 2005
  #136
Quote:
Originally Posted by µ¿ z3®ø™
the results are already far from being an i deal indication of a 'flawless' a/b/x type shootout.
it is was it is.
Then they should have simply been labeled to begin with...

Quote:
i'm not sure that 1/10 of a dB is really gonna skew the test SOOOOO much as to negate whatever other faults were employed in his methodology.
i'm really surprised i could hear the difference between and betwixt the original tracks over my AlBook speakers. when i listened to the second set of tracks over a proper rig it was so much easier to hear the differences. but, for me, it was really a question of which one sounded 'best'.
Determining which one sound 'best' isn't possible if the clips weren't made properly. And yes, matching to within 0.1dB is necessary as even small differences can be magnified a surprising amount by level differences - years of research has proven this...

FWIW, I have no horse in this race as I am not in the market for converters nor am I looking for validation of any I own, I'm just pointing out that if the levels are off, this 'test' becomes invalid. Level matching is easy if one is willing to pay attention, but can easily skew the results if not handled properly.
Old 4th July 2005
  #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood

FWIW, I have no horse in this race as I am not in the market for converters nor am I looking for validation of any I own, I'm just pointing out that if the levels are off, this 'test' becomes invalid. Level matching is easy if one is willing to pay attention, but can easily skew the results if not handled properly.
Brad, the 'tests' were invalid already. It wasn't a 'scientific' test at all...Just a forum cat sharing some AB's he was doing for himself. We all learned the exact signal chain ahead of time...so...The difference in levels is a moot point based on so many other factors that would be considered ' flawed'. That is what µ¿ z3®ø™ meant.

Still fun and still interesting to discover...once again...that all gear is relevant primarily to the user who is using it and in the fashion are they are using it.

P&B,
Old 4th July 2005
  #138
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood
Determining which one sound 'best' isn't possible if the clips weren't made properly.
actually, within the context of what it is, all that IS possible to do is pick out which one sounds 'best' on a subjective level.
don't get me wrong. i think that a true a/b/x test can be very useful in shootouts. in fact, it's probably the only really useful tool in gathering any valid statistical data across a cross section of peeps. however, when i check out gear i rarely have an opportunity to a/b/x. usually it's an 'insert' test. as in, insert the device in the signal chain (yes, with matched levels) and listen for how the music is changed. i actually have a personal preference for this type of audition.
but what remains is that someone used a methodology, in this particular instance, that perhaps enabled them to come to some sort of decision about their signal chain. from an abstract pespective it's been interesting to watch this whole thing, particularly the ones that would only comment after the results had been posted.
FWIW, i use the rosetta 800. prior to me purchasing it, i had listened to both it and the lavry. i thought both were excellent but ended up going w/ the apogee because i thought it sounded closer to the source than the lavry. perhaps for a brief moment i experienced some sort of feeling of validation or relief (as in, "whew, i made the right choice and my money wasn't wasted on getting anything better than a 'muckie'."), but in the long run it really doesn't matter to me. my choices are usually 'outside the frame' (eg. electrostatic monitors, non close micing of guitar amps) and i made the choice a long time ago that i might be taking the 'path less travelled'.
the test here is what it is.
it's like, "do U prefer this picture of paris hilton or this picture of helena bonham carter?"
i just kinda feel fer BANG. i mean really, he must have leather fer skin not to think that we're just a bunch of a/b/x **** test nerds when really it's been a case of hangin' in the back yard, drinkin' beers, shootin' the sh!t and lookin' at a couple o' snapshots.
Old 4th July 2005
  #139
Ahh, FWIW, I'm not detracting from Bang's effort, and am sure many get something from it. But just as hanging out shooting the breeze is no way to pick gear, I wanted to emphasize that if these clips aren't level matched, this particular 'test' is a bad choice to use for that.

I rarely ABX as well, very difficult to set up properly. But if it comes to splitting hairs, I feel it's the only way to remove bias from the listening session.
Old 4th July 2005
  #140
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood
Determining which one sound 'best' isn't possible if the clips weren't made properly. And yes, matching to within 0.1dB is necessary as even small differences can be magnified a surprising amount by level differences - years of research has proven this...
Years of research have also shown that we cannot reasonably discern a level difference this small.
If we were talking 0.5-1db then we are into the area where I might agree with you - but even that is a small difference and noticeable only by a few.
Old 4th July 2005
  #141
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasbin
Years of research have also shown that we cannot reasonably discern a level difference this small.
If we were talking 0.5-1db then we are into the area where I might agree with you - but even that is a small difference and noticeable only by a few.
actually, the AES has published 2 papers that i know of (i could post a link if U like, but U will have to PAY to read them) that suggest that in order to do a valid A/B/X test that the levels must be matched to within much closer limits in order for the test to be valid.
we're not really talking about the ability to HEAR the differences in dB but HOW the differences in dB affect the results of an A/B/X.
two different things.
Old 4th July 2005
  #142
Quote:
Originally Posted by µ¿ z3®ø™
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasbin
Years of research have also shown that we cannot reasonably discern a level difference this small.
If we were talking 0.5-1db then we are into the area where I might agree with you - but even that is a small difference and noticeable only by a few.
actually, the AES has published 2 papers that i know of (i could post a link if U like, but U will have to PAY to read them) that suggest that in order to do a valid A/B/X test that the levels must be matched to within much closer limits in order for the test to be valid.
we're not really talking about the ability to HEAR the differences in dB but HOW the differences in dB affect the results of an A/B/X.
two different things.
Exactly, and that number is 0.1dB or less.
Old 4th July 2005
  #143
Gear Addict
 

I don't understand how they're two different things. If you choose a particular sample as sounding different or better, and the only thing different with it was the level, then you heard the difference in level. Doesn't matter if you consiously identified what was causing the difference in sound or not.

I admit I'm basing our inabliity to hear this on what I heard about in some relatively old research. I'm willing to be persuaded by the results of an ABX test that makes sense to me.
Old 4th July 2005
  #144
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DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasbin
If we were talking 0.5-1db then we are into the area where I might agree with you - but even that is a small difference and noticeable only by a few.
You're kidding, right?

0.5-1dB of too much vocal, bass, kick, dirt guitars can destroy an otherwise good mix. 1dB is a lot on my speakers...

Numorous times I have clients ask me to up the vocal a little and very rarely is more than 0.5-1dB needed.

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 4th July 2005
  #145
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasbin
I don't understand how they're two different things.
in the time before a/b/x testing it was conventional wisdom that differences of less than 1 dB were not audible.
subsequent to tha advent of a/b/x testing it was discovered that, statistically, it was possible to skew the results of an a/b/x test by having one of the sources incrementally louder than the others. i'm talking less than 1 dB and more than 0.1 dB. so, altho the ear remains fairly unable to discern the differences of less than a dB, when confronted with an a/b/x test, statistically, listeners preferred a signal that was of higher output (>1dB, <0.1 dB) even though they were unable to attribute this to one signal being louder than the other.
Old 4th July 2005
  #146
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Blackwood
I rarely ABX as well, very difficult to set up properly. But if it comes to splitting hairs, I feel it's the only way to remove bias from the listening session.

wait, maybe i'm still high... there's something fishy about removing bias from a test designed to conclude preferences!

i know, i know, the idea is to isolate the exact variable you're evaluating, and a/b/x is good for that. but there is another way, and involves a simple connection to your emotional core. forget what you hear, tell me how you feel, quickly; don't think about it.

don't you just know, really know, as soon as you patch something in or fire it up? less than a second, precognitively?

so far, that method nabbed me a u99 over a 47fet, an api2500 over a smart c2, and a nicerizer over an api8200. each of those decisions was made within two or three seconds of hearing each piece, and the ensuing months of use have borne out the initial impressions i had of what each unit does to the sound, where it eventually leads me, and how i feel about it.

there are so many ways that the behavior and sound of a particular piece of gear can affect what we do, the ability to discern a from b under intense conscious effort and pressure holds little weight for me. i believe the instinct i have to prefer a over b is a deeper part of me knowing that the characteristics of the unit, however bold or subtle, can be pushed and pulled and tweaked by me to get me where i want to go easier, and better, than the alternative(s).


gregoire
del ubik
Old 4th July 2005
  #147
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
don't you just know, really know, as soon as you patch something in or fire it up? less than a second, precognitively?
Don't take this personally, but I have no respect for these kinds of claims. The psychological field is 99% certain that these sorts of "precognitive" intuitions are really just caused by prejudice, unrecognized confirmation bias, or external factors, etc. We all do it but it's important to recognize and eliminate. Hence ABX tests.
If you want to debate that point the only real alternative is in a not-fully-scientific philisophical viewpoint, which IMO is probably not suitable for discussion on these forums.
Old 4th July 2005
  #148
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
don't you just know, really know, as soon as you patch something in or fire it up? less than a second, precognitively?
Not if you are looking for subtle differences between very similar things, like good ADCs, for example...

If you are talking about processing coloration or mics, then sure, but it's been proven over and over again that things that are louder, even almost unnoticably louder, can sound 'better. And if you don't think you can be fooled that easily, think about the last time you were EQing something and heard it sounding better before you realized the EQ was bypasssed...

When it comes to determining which of two pieces is more accurate, gut instincts need to go out the window.
Old 5th July 2005
  #149
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasbin
The psychological field is 99% certain that these sorts of "precognitive" intuitions are really just caused by prejudice, unrecognized confirmation bias, or external factors, etc. We all do it but it's important to recognize and eliminate. Hence ABX tests.
If you want to debate that point the only real alternative is in a not-fully-scientific philisophical viewpoint, which IMO is probably not suitable for discussion on these forums.

i respectfully disagree on all counts, especially the one where you disagree with me and then tell me that my only real alternative for debating your point is to be non-scientific and go elsewhere .

the last two or three years of experiments in behavioral psychology and cognitive science are pointing powerfully towards the opposite conclusion, namely, that extensive thinking and explaining and quantifying tends to distort our perceptions more than clarify them, and that the accurate conclusions we reach after much consideration are actually known to us well before we get to the point of being able to articulate them.

the research is rigorously controlled and methodologically sound, not at all what you seem to be (understandably) presupposing given the vibey nature of my language. this is all heavy on my mind these days as i'm reading malcolm gladwell's _blink_, and it's hitting home. i invite you to check it out, you may be pleasantly surprised, but even if not it's still a throughly entertaining and thought-provoking read.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 5th July 2005
  #150
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasbin
If you want to debate that point the only real alternative is in a not-fully-scientific philisophical viewpoint, which IMO is probably not suitable for discussion on these forums.

Actually...in my experience....gear is very "not-fully-scientific or philisophical"...

As hard as you might want to convince someone, you cannot take the 'mojo' out of gear or the discussion of gear.

Thank goodness musicians like SRV or Jaco didn't overanalize the way thier instruments were setup... Acoustically lame and structurally crippled. Lacking in natural resonance and bolt-on necks to boot!

Lacking in tone? Maybe with anothers hands.

The idea that certain peices of gear resonate deeper with some cats is as valid as anything else in this business. Some folks just seem to favor certain pieces even though they are 'universally' lower in the gear food chain.

Jus' sumptin' bout it that works for em'...

Gear has soul...ain't no other ways about it.
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