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Burl B2 vs Apogee Symphony Digital Converters
Old 29th October 2015
  #1
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CJ1973's Avatar
 

Burl B2 vs Apogee Symphony

Im considering purchasing a stereo ADC for the following reasons:

- to compliment by current Symphony Set up (16IO)
- have as my portable AD device for travel as Id just need 2 ins
- for mix buss for this signal chain Tower Mac Pro/DAW->Symph16->16 ch analog console ->mix bus comp/eq->(BURL? or other new AD)->MacBookPro

Curious to know if Burl does sound 'better' (subjective I know) than Apogee for tracking and also if Burl is great on Mix for analog vibe, similar to HEDD even.

Also, what Im noticing is the Dante card etc., which seems a cheap hook up ($40?) to the MacbookPro.... seems odd but assuming reality is 1Mil worth of sound/console etc. end up through a $20 USB or Firewire cable anyways.....

Point being, are there 'impracticalities' due to this AES/SPDIF/ and now Dante system on Burl when it comes to just getting the job done. Symphony is a non-drama system.

Any thoughts on sound, usage, comparisons, etc welcome. Thanks!!!
Old 29th October 2015
  #2
Gear Maniac
Looking forward to hearing some feedback regarding this Burl unit as well. I'm looking into the B2 ADC to work as my final 2 bus print convertor back into my Apogee Ensemble TB over S/PDIF.
Old 29th October 2015
  #3
Gear Addict
I used to own the Burl Bomber ADC & currently own the 8 X 8 Symphony I/O. I think the Symphony sounds just as good as the Burl, only different. (the Burl is a bit richer or "warmer" sounding but the Symphony sounds a bit more "open" and clear). Both sound great and if money was no object I'd own them both. However, if I had only enough money to spend on the Burl now, I'd probably get something else instead since I feel my conversion needs are covered
Old 30th October 2015
  #4
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Woodwindy's Avatar
I demonstrate the sound of the Burl compared to the Symphony on this video:
http://youtu.be/OpEVaqSBmY8
Old 30th October 2015
  #5
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodwindy View Post
I demonstrate the sound of the Burl compared to the Symphony on this video:
http://youtu.be/OpEVaqSBmY8
saw your vid on youtube when i started doing research on the B2. great song, beautiful rig.
Old 30th October 2015
  #6
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Thanks! Will check out video, Keith! Any further opinions would be appreciated! Thx
Old 30th October 2015
  #7
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Woodwindy's Avatar
If I had to do it all over again, I would buy a Mothership.
Old 30th October 2015
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodwindy View Post
If I had to do it all over again, I would buy a Mothership.
Nice song on the release party vid. I couldn't like or up vote the vid but wanted to tell you.
Old 30th October 2015
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseUTB View Post
Nice song on the release party vid. I couldn't like or up vote the vid but wanted to tell you.
Thank you, Chase!
Old 30th October 2015
  #10
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thermos's Avatar
The Burl is awesome, I borrowed one once to demo for mastering, and often get mixes printed through one. I own a Symphony for tracking (Forssell MADA-2A for mastering). I also owned a Hedd for a while. The Burl enhances the audio, the Jensen transformers really add that sound to the input. The result is clear and open but weighty, but the mix changes. My friend who uses one for printing (he has a mothership, and about 8 tape machines) complains that the bass is never the same when he captures. He wants a Forssell MADA-2A for mix capture.

The hedd is nothing like the Burl. The processing sounded like plugins to me, even in 2009 before we had the great plugins we have now. Slate VTM and U-He Satin really destroy what it does in DSP land. There may be newer conversion updates since then, but I thought the converters were only so so back then. Nothing compared to the Forssell, and not as open and real sounding as the Burl.

Symphony is great, lots of depth but I think the transient energy and stereo image are a bit wrong. I like that for tracking though, not nearly revealing enough for mastering. In short the Burl is great for capture, you just have to make adjustments in your mix to accommodate for it. If you want something that sounds like the mix more, then check out the Antelope Pure 2. And don't worry about using a USB cable! Thats not going to do anything to your audio. Different brands of audio cable will probably have more of an effect than what your digital connection is.
Old 30th October 2015
  #11
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Slug1's Avatar
I mix 'through' my Burl B2 so I don't have an issue with it changing the mix because I'm monitoring through it as I'm mixing. I send one AES out to my DBox to monitor, and the other AES to Avid HD IO to capture the mix. So I'm directly monitoring what's going through the Burl and being captured. I love it.
Old 30th October 2015
  #12
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Squawk's Avatar
I have a Mothership and owned the B2 prior to that. No experience with the Symphony though. What I really like with the B2 is having the input level control right on the front. If you only want 2 channels and portability, I highly recommend it.
Old 30th October 2015
  #13
just uploaded a track with / without the B2, on the forum a few days ago, it may help re the flavour,

Burl ADC Bomber B2 on mix bus

j
Old 30th October 2015
  #14
I've looked a lot into the connectivity options since I'm considering a MS (8x8), and I'm just about sold on the Dante option. 2ms latency, minimal cabling, the ability to route and dup channels digitally, and the fact that big companies like Yamaha and digico, as well as many others are Dante compatible (with the option card) it's the way to go imo.

Also, it can carry multiple sample rates simultaneously. And different formats. Video, audio, control surface data.

Ive read some success stories with it, on GS and elsewhere. Overall I think if burl is going to put their name on it, I have no reason to believe it doesn't work as prescribed. If the format, or the jack/card cheapened sonics burl would not use them on a product whose sole purpose is to handle and maintain audio fidelity.

Also, the advantage w the burl, is you simply buy multiple MOBO cards, if you needs various connection protocols. This is something not other high end converters do, or at least do as easily.

The minimal cabling, wide compatibility, and the high track count / sample rates sold me. I think as 10/100/500gbs speeds become more common, it's going to be easier to stay current hardware wise, a little longer. I hope to have mine powered up and racked in about 6mo.
Old 31st October 2015
  #15
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Hey Keith....
Thanks for your time and information on the video. Cool comparisons and very informative!
Curious to know.... of the two compressors, which did you prefer? Manley or DW? If you had a choice.
Also, did you get a chance to track through the Burl or send the Apogee 2 buss mix output into Burl B2 for its color? If so, was there a huge difference?
Finally, in your opinion, how much did you feel the burl B2 by itself improve the sound in comparison to Apogee ITB?
Thanks!!
Old 31st October 2015
  #16
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Woodwindy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
Hey Keith....
Thanks for your time and information on the video. Cool comparisons and very informative!
Curious to know.... of the two compressors, which did you prefer? Manley or DW? If you had a choice.
Also, did you get a chance to track through the Burl or send the Apogee 2 buss mix output into Burl B2 for its color? If so, was there a huge difference?
Finally, in your opinion, how much did you feel the burl B2 by itself improve the sound in comparison to Apogee ITB?
Thanks!!
Compressors:
2 bus--Manley
Tracking--DW Fearn
Tracked through Symphony, but now a track through the B2 whenever practical.
I did not go through the B2 for color, but more for the clarity and snap it provides. The longer I use it, the more I appreciate its quality. I go through the b32 for color/character/width.
The b2 is indispensable to me, but you must have an interface to run it.
Hope that helps. When mixing down, I go into the Mytek 192 d/a into a second computer to capture the mix at 96 or 192khz. I have the choice to mix or mix and master in one pass.
I wanted to stand at my rack and make adjustments with good judgement, so on the way are Audeze LCD-3 headphones. I'm really excited about the reference point these phones will provide, as well as the improvements in workflow. I'll have much more confidence in my EQ/compression moves.

Last edited by Woodwindy; 31st October 2015 at 03:34 PM..
Old 31st October 2015
  #17
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Double post
Old 31st October 2015
  #18
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CJ1973's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodwindy View Post
Compressors:
2 bus--Manley
Tracking--DW Fearn
Tracked through Symphony, but now a track through the B2 whenever practical.
I did not go through the B2 for color, but more for the clarity and snap it provides. The longer I use it, the more I appreciate its quality. I go through the b32 for color/character/width.
The b2 is indispensable to me, but you must have an interface to run it.
Hope that helps. When mixing down, I go into the Mytek 192 d/a into a second computer to capture the mix at 96 or 192khz. I have the choice to mix or mix and master in one pass.
I wanted to stand at my rack and make adjustments with good judgement, so on the way are Audeze LCD-3 headphones. I'm really excited about the reference point these phones will provide, as well as the improvements in workflow. I'll have much more confidence in my EQ/compression moves.
Thanks!
A couple of questions again....you mention that a interface is needed to run B2? Can you please clarify this and what you use as an interface?
I hear that B2 with Dante card option that is $2499 along with a $40 Dante card is all that's needed.
Also with mixdown, is there a reason you went with Mytek over B2?
Old 31st October 2015
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
Thanks!
A couple of questions again....you mention that a interface is needed to run B2? Can you please clarify this and what you use as an interface?
I hear that B2 with Dante card option that is $2499 along with a $40 Dante card is all that's needed.
Also with mixdown, is there a reason you went with Mytek over B2?
I went with Mytek 192 Black Mastering D/A just because I run a Mac, and the Mytek speaks FireWire to the 2 track (mixdown) computer. I am unfamiliar with Dante.
Old 31st October 2015
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodwindy View Post
I went with Mytek 192 Black Mastering D/A just because I run a Mac, and the Mytek speaks FireWire to the 2 track (mixdown) computer. I am unfamiliar with Dante.
Thanks. This box?
Mytek Digital Stereo192-DSD DAC Black Mastering Version - Vintage King Audio
Can i ask what connections you used from say your Vari Mu into Mytek?
Old 31st October 2015
  #21
Baz
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Well, I was one of about 20 people that attended this event at Stu McKillop's place and have to say it left all of us pretty impressed down to the the last man - and Kevin over the top stoked winning a B2!

Rain City Recorders

I used to think these sort of head to head A/B's were a bit of smoke and mirrors but in a great listening environment, it's pretty obvious.We listened to well tracked material that was multed to an AVID unit as well and toggling back and forth was quite inspiring. The great low end was the most obvious to everyone but what really impressed me was the mid range as well.The AVID had this hype in the upper mids that could be especially heard on the vocal and horns that was just kind of nasty comparitively.

It's really something to be sure.
Old 31st October 2015
  #22
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Btw, anyone know what a "Virtual Dante Card" is? Any working knowledge or experience with this and B2/Dante?
https://www.audinate.com/products/so...tual-soundcard ?
Old 31st October 2015
  #23
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Woodwindy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
Thanks. This box?
Mytek Digital Stereo192-DSD DAC Black Mastering Version - Vintage King Audio
Can i ask what connections you used from say your Vari Mu into Mytek?
Vari Mu into B2 Analog in, AES out to the Mytek with the Mytek clocking the Burl (the Mytek gets upset when it's not the boss), and firewire out to the master recording computer.
Old 31st October 2015
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodwindy View Post
Vari Mu into B2 Analog in, AES out to the Mytek with the Mytek clocking the Burl (the Mytek gets upset when it's not the boss), and firewire out to the master recording computer.
And the additional Mytek purely because Burl doesn't interface with recording computer right? As I understand it, with the newer Dante option, that extra stage can be bypassed and B2 is direct into the computer with Dante virtual sound card.... Unless of course one prefers the signal hitting the Mytek for its own sound along the way? Which I assume you like?
Old 1st November 2015
  #25
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ1973 View Post
Btw, anyone know what a "Virtual Dante Card" is? Any working knowledge or experience with this and B2/Dante?
https://www.audinate.com/products/so...tual-soundcard ?
I have quite a bit of experience with Dante DVS (dante virtual soundcard).. I can only say it's really good. BUT I never used it in conjunction with a Burl (so have no experience with the b2 specifically).

I've used the Dante with an A&H GLD80 digital live mixer for recording a live band and tracking the FOH mix, plus all the separate tracks..
Very stable system that worked flawlessly with a macbook pro. I'm not so sure if latency could be an issue for you.. but when printing a mix, I don't think this will ever be an issue. (Plus I don't know if the card for the burl has the same specs as the one I use live, so do not consider my comment above as a potential issue).

What you could listen here is mostly the mix I did live for the FOH, a bit corrected and mastered.. mind you..everything is live performed: the mix, all the fx and dub are made LIVE when the band was performing that evening.

http://youtu.be/YjRRNfBKJcg



Cheu

Last edited by cheu78; 1st November 2015 at 09:40 AM..
Old 9th November 2015
  #26
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Thanks all! Would love any more thoughts on B2 vs Apogee Symph....
Thinking of purchasing a B2 this week with Dante option for tracking mostly and compliment my 24io Symph set up. Thx
Old 9th November 2015
  #27
Burl B2 vs. Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt

Quote:
Originally Posted by citrusonic View Post
Looking forward to hearing some feedback regarding this Burl unit as well. I'm looking into the B2 ADC to work as my final 2 bus print convertor back into my Apogee Ensemble TB over S/PDIF.
I ran a test between the Burl B2 ADC versus the Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt (running thru my outboard chain). The results were surprising. The difference is negligible. I'm monitoring with PMC speakers, Focal headphones and a pair of Grado headphones.

One could argue that I'm crazy.

I just submitted my final mixes to the mastering engineer and I can guarantee you this: nor the Burl or the Apogee is getting in the way of the mix. I ended up submitting the prints using the Ensemble Thunderbolt.

The shootout reaffirmed what I thought: 'prosumer' gear is literally right at the doorstep of high end gear. And it should be... The Ensemble Thunderbolt is brand new (late 2014); the Burl has been out since 2007/2008.

If I were you, I'd grab a sweet outboard processor with some tubes & trannies (comp/EQ) and run your mixes thru that stuff (before I'd buy the Burl). Seriously.

However, a part of me still wants that green machine in the rack!

-Phil
Old 9th November 2015
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaver View Post
I were you, I'd grab a sweet outboard processor with some tubes & trannies (comp/EQ) and run your mixes thru that stuff (before I'd buy the Burl). Seriously.

However, a part of me still wants that green machine in the rack!

-Phil
Thanks, Phil.
Yes seems the "green" aspect is also the temptation and its split between Burl and Inward Connections.... Lol
In seriousness, yes I have to try before I buy for sure. If it's 5% or 10% even, I'd say I may not go with it as I can make up for that artistically and by a great vocal delivery and performance. If it's over 10% (hard to quantify but ears can guesstimate), is bite the bullet as i do lots of harmonies too and 10% per track at 10 tracks would add up!
Old 9th November 2015
  #29
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I have 56ch of Symphony and a 2ch Burl B2 ADC.

I used to run my mix print through the Symphony and I was pretty happy with everything. I then got the Burl B2 to see if it did anything nice.

I think on a casual listen that they sound very very close to each other. There is a very small difference with just A/Bing the same material printed through them at the same relative print levels.

However, what I noticed soon after I started using the Burl more as the main print AD is that when you are mixing through it that getting levels and balance seems to happen a bit faster and requires less tweaking. The Burl transformers seem to add a bit of glue and almost like a sticky quality to getting the balance. You move the fader and it sort of stops in the right place and stays there. I think that neither the Symphony or the Burl are clearly better than the other, but they behave a bit differently and steer your choices slightly differently.

I will also say though that the clocking setup can dramatically change the sound of the converters. In all cases I preferred the sound of the Symphony and Burl on their own internal clocks when being used as the main print ADC.

I didn't feel things were sonically right with clocking the Symphony to the Burl when tracking through the Symphony and similarly the Burl behaved best on its internal clock as well.
Old 10th November 2015
  #30
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Palaver View Post
I ran a test between the Burl B2 ADC versus the Apogee Ensemble Thunderbolt (running thru my outboard chain). The results were surprising. The difference is negligible. I'm monitoring with PMC speakers, Focal headphones and a pair of Grado headphones.

One could argue that I'm crazy.

I just submitted my final mixes to the mastering engineer and I can guarantee you this: nor the Burl or the Apogee is getting in the way of the mix. I ended up submitting the prints using the Ensemble Thunderbolt.

The shootout reaffirmed what I thought: 'prosumer' gear is literally right at the doorstep of high end gear. And it should be... The Ensemble Thunderbolt is brand new (late 2014); the Burl has been out since 2007/2008.

If I were you, I'd grab a sweet outboard processor with some tubes & trannies (comp/EQ) and run your mixes thru that stuff (before I'd buy the Burl). Seriously.

However, a part of me still wants that green machine in the rack!

-Phil
thank you so much for helping me shake the 2200 dollar burden that the Burl was going to be. It's nice to get advice from people who aren't perpetuating the gear lust just for the sake of having a new piece, however cool and green the new piece may be!

going to be putting one of the Silver Bullet stereo tone amps in my 2 bus chain, and I think that will give me the majority of the saturation, or vibe I've been wanting. i could put the 2 grand to better use- like new monitors, or a nice compressor.

thanks for the heads up!
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