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BURL DAC. What is it used for?
Old 9th June 2016
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

BURL DAC. What is it used for?

Hey! I am actually just curious as to what the DAC is used for besides feeding your studio monitors? I have a Hilo & was thinking of an ADC while using the DAC of my Hilo for running ITB tracks out through outboard and back into my DAW, but would having the Burl DAC add to the sound of the Burl AD? I heard Vance Pal mentioning using just the ADC isn't getting the full Burl impact on your music, so just curious what he meant. Does the DAC on the burl have a sound/impact that does back and feeds the Burl ADC, or is a DAC just used to hear your monitors?

Just wondering if it is worth looking into the mothership instead?
Old 10th June 2016
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooleyocity View Post
Hey! I am actually just curious as to what the DAC is used for besides feeding your studio monitors? I have a Hilo & was thinking of an ADC while using the DAC of my Hilo for running ITB tracks out through outboard and back into my DAW, but would having the Burl DAC add to the sound of the Burl AD? I heard Vance Pal mentioning using just the ADC isn't getting the full Burl impact on your music, so just curious what he meant. Does the DAC on the burl have a sound/impact that does back and feeds the Burl ADC, or is a DAC just used to hear your monitors?

Just wondering if it is worth looking into the mothership instead?
The Burl DA has similar discrete, Class A amplifiers as the ADC. Its just transformer-less and meant to be a linear unit. It does't have any non-linear reactions at high volume. The B2 Bomber AD has a little more character to my ears. The B2 DAC was meant to be a reference, perhaps as good as the best 2-track Tape Recorder Reproduce playback circuits. As Wil from Burl has once said - Rich set out to design the "Tape Machine of the Future" etc etc. The B-80's BDA8's are Eight Channel DAC's. Perfect for Mixing to a Console.

That's probably what Vance means, [I dunno…you'd have to ask him] unless he is referring to looping out and back with the 2 Channel Bomber's. In which case - Yea - You need both units. The Burl Bomber DAC absolutely has a Vibe to it. But it is considerably less colored than the ADC bomber. And the BDA8 modules have slight non-linearity at max levels. Splitting hairs at this point though. Regarding the B2 Bomber -- you should insert it in your signal path to listen for yourself but to my ears the bottom end is very deep and overall, the playback has a heft and weight to it. Feels very full and dense to me. Like Analog should be. It has a nice clarity and air up top. Again, to my ears.

The First thought for an application - besides patched into a B-26 Orca for referencing the signal - Would be in Mastering. Sending a Stereo Mix out to a piece of analog equipment -- or Chain of Analog Processing -- Then The signal gets Captured to an AD converter - Either AD Bomber or other. Whatever your preference is. This might also be used to send any generic signal out of the Computer - through the Burl DAC -- and back in. So if you had both Burl Bombers - You could loop out and back in.
Old 10th June 2016
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell View Post
The Burl DA has similar discrete, Class A amplifiers as the ADC. Its just transformer-less and meant to be a linear unit. It does't have any non-linear reactions at high volume. The B2 Bomber AD has a little more character to my ears. The B2 DAC was meant to be a reference, perhaps as good as the best 2-track Tape Recorder Reproduce playback circuits. As Wil from Burl has once said - Rich set out to design the "Tape Machine of the Future" etc etc. The B-80's BDA8's are Eight Channel DAC's. Perfect for Mixing to a Console.

That's probably what Vance means, [I dunno…you'd have to ask him] unless he is referring to looping out and back with the 2 Channel Bomber's. In which case - Yea - You need both units. The Burl Bomber DAC absolutely has a Vibe to it. But it is considerably less colored than the ADC bomber. And the BDA8 modules have slight non-linearity at max levels. Splitting hairs at this point though. Regarding the B2 Bomber -- you should insert it in your signal path to listen for yourself but to my ears the bottom end is very deep and overall, the playback has a heft and weight to it. Feels very full and dense to me. Like Analog should be. It has a nice clarity and air up top. Again, to my ears.

The First thought for an application - besides patched into a B-26 Orca for referencing the signal - Would be in Mastering. Sending a Stereo Mix out to a piece of analog equipment -- or Chain of Analog Processing -- Then The signal gets Captured to an AD converter - Either AD Bomber or other. Whatever your preference is. This might also be used to send any generic signal out of the Computer - through the Burl DAC -- and back in. So if you had both Burl Bombers - You could loop out and back in.
Thanks so much for the answer Doc! That was very insightful. So, if I am using it to basically run tracks OTB through an analog chain, then back ITB, you would say that the DAC would contribute to the "Burl" sound rather than "just" having the ADC unit?

The scenario I am grappling with is just buying the Bomber ADC and using the DAC on my Hilo, or going for ADC & DAC with Burl. Do you think the sound difference would be worth it (Hilo DAC Vs. Burl DAC?). Just wondering if there would be enough of a difference to warrant picking up the extra unit?
Old 10th June 2016
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooleyocity View Post
Thanks so much for the answer Doc! That was very insightful. So, if I am using it to basically run tracks OTB through an analog chain, then back ITB, you would say that the DAC would contribute to the "Burl" sound rather than "just" having the ADC unit?
Yea, I think the Burl DAC has a way different tone from the Hilo DAC.

Quote:
The scenario I am grappling with is just buying the Bomber ADC and using the DAC on my Hilo, or going for ADC & DAC with Burl. Do you think the sound difference would be worth it (Hilo DAC Vs. Burl DAC?). Just wondering if there would be enough of a difference to warrant picking up the extra unit?
I certainly hope it would! Hearing my mix back through the Burl DAC is impressive for sure. I certainly would want to capture its sound somewhere.

I hope this reply is of assistance to you,
Old 10th June 2016
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell View Post
Yea, I think the Burl DAC has a way different tone from the Hilo DAC.



I certainly hope it would! Hearing my mix back through the Burl DAC is impressive for sure. I certainly would want to capture its sound somewhere.

I hope this reply is of assistance to you,
Hey Doc,

Oh! I think I get it now! So using the DAC in my scenario, running out and back to the box, would actually allow me to capture the Burl DAC sound, because the DAC is feeding the outboard, the back into the ADC. Right? If that's correct, you actually made something complicated pretty easy to understand. Thanks again so much for the input. They don't call you Doc for nothin!
Old 10th June 2016
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooleyocity View Post
Hey Doc,

Oh! I think I get it now! So using the DAC in my scenario, running out and back to the box, would actually allow me to capture the Burl DAC sound, because the DAC is feeding the outboard, the back into the ADC. Right? If that's correct, you actually made something complicated pretty easy to understand. Thanks again so much for the input. They don't call you Doc for nothin!
Yup! You got it!

I know how this stuff can make you "loopy" -- so I try and bring it back down to Freddie Flintstone Bedrock town…Because I really enjoy using less of my brain when working! ha!
Old 10th June 2016
  #7
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell View Post
Yup! You got it!

I know how this stuff can make you "loopy" -- so I try and bring it back down to Freddie Flintstone Bedrock town…Because I really enjoy using less of my brain when working! ha!
Oh man, I know what you mean! When did music get so complicated? haha. But in all seriousness, thanks so much Doc, that really helped me out! I hope you are doing well!
Old 11th June 2016
  #8
Gear Maniac
I mix with a hybrid setup and I use a Burl DAC to send my stereo bus out to my outboard chain. It was an improvement over the Lynx I was using for that before. I come back in through a JCF AD8.

For monitoring I use the converters in my Crane Song Avocet. Works!
Old 11th June 2016
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell View Post
Yea, I think the Burl DAC has a way different tone from the Hilo DAC.
I agree with Adam. But if the OP is looking for a magic bullet or some tone enhancing effect from the Burl DAC, he won't find it. The Hilo and the Burl are both 'clean' DACs, just different sides of the same coin. If you want some type of smoothing or color effect you are going to get it more efficiently elsewhere, like from a pair of 1073s, RND 542s, even a pro 1/4 inch tape machine rolling 456 at 15ips.
Old 11th June 2016
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
I agree with Adam. But if the OP is looking for a magic bullet or some tone enhancing effect from the Burl DAC, he won't find it. The Hilo and the Burl are both 'clean' DACs, just different sides of the same coin. If you want some type of smoothing or color effect you are going to get it more efficiently elsewhere, like from a pair of 1073s, RND 542s, even a pro 1/4 inch tape machine rolling 456 at 15ips.
Thanks for the reply Nathan I appreciate the advice! I actually have a few things for tone, I was just after that "large" sound that apparently it has. Maybe a little more separation in the tracks?
Old 11th June 2016
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooleyocity View Post
Thanks for the reply Nathan I appreciate the advice! I actually have a few things for tone, I was just after that "large" sound that apparently it has. Maybe a little more separation in the tracks?
If you otherwise have a high end studio (including room and treatment, and full range monitoring) then moving from a Hilo dac to a Burl dac may be worth doing, for your processing or monitoring path. In a game of inches, at that level, it's going to be a small portion of your total signal path. I would recommend renting a unit for a day or two, or finding a studio with a Burl Dac to compare to your Hilo. You'll know if it's worth it after ab'ing in fifteen minutes.
Old 11th June 2016
  #12
Gear Maniac
I wouldn't say it adds "largeness". It's just a bit more open and free sounding that other converters. I don't associate what it does with size, but more about clarity and preservation of what's already there.
Old 11th June 2016
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
I agree with Adam. But if the OP is looking for a magic bullet or some tone enhancing effect from the Burl DAC, he won't find it.
Of course the gear won't magicaly inject a bullet into the music...Even if that gear is magically well endowed, its still up to the user to aim the bullet towards the bullseye. I would hope that, if the Burl DAC did make an audible difference, (it should for this type of coin IMHO) the user might be able to pull out more associated magic tricks.
Old 4th July 2016
  #14
wanted to up my sound so just purchased a burl b2 dac for monitoring my mixes...(just to note i do have treatment and good speakers).... question is did that make sense to buy it just for that reason ... meaning should i return it and get something else and if yes what? (see my gear link) "buy first think later"
Old 4th July 2016
  #15
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by callmelaub View Post
wanted to up my sound so just purchased a burl b2 dac for monitoring my mixes...(just to note i do have treatment and good speakers).... question is did that make sense to buy it just for that reason ... meaning should i return it and get something else and if yes what? (see my gear link) "buy first think later"
Dangerous Convert-8 could upgrade your monitoring as well as your summing...
Old 5th July 2016
  #16
does the Burlb2 dac go together with the orca or is getting the orca in this situation is a waste of money ..in other words am i getting the same product sound quality wise for monitoring by getting the orca
Old 5th July 2016
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by callmelaub View Post
does the Burlb2 dac go together with the orca or is getting the orca in this situation is a waste of money ..in other words am i getting the same product sound quality wise for monitoring by getting the orca
The Orca and a dac serve two different purposes. The Orca is a monitor controller the allows to monitor various input sources, listen through headphones, have multiple speaker outs etc.m. Pretty much a device that is a must for most any studio.
Old 5th July 2016
  #18
Old 27th July 2016
  #19
Lives for gear
 
bigbaby987's Avatar
Hey guys I think I'm picking up a B2Bomber DAC next week. I was talking to my rep and with the right monitoring setup you can A/B the Burl and you're existing converter (which is a Symphony Mark I).

I would like to know if anyone ever brings back the DAC's output and prints it. Any advice would be great.
Old 27th July 2016
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooleyocity View Post
Hey! I am actually just curious as to what the DAC is used for besides feeding your studio monitors? I have a Hilo & was thinking of an ADC while using the DAC of my Hilo for running ITB tracks out through outboard and back into my DAW, but would having the Burl DAC add to the sound of the Burl AD? I heard Vance Pal mentioning using just the ADC isn't getting the full Burl impact on your music, so just curious what he meant. Does the DAC on the burl have a sound/impact that does back and feeds the Burl ADC, or is a DAC just used to hear your monitors?

Just wondering if it is worth looking into the mothership instead?
the DAC on the Burl is a transformer-less discrete op amp line stage so you get a powerful clean sound. I have successfully created that sound using off the shelf discrete op amps without transformers.

The ADC on the Burl gets its mojo from having a transformer infut that you can saturate without it degrading the signal as much as others.

the mothership is a good design concept. But you are limited to 16 channels of DAC. The reason behind this is that Burl needs to build a bigger power supply as you install more than 2 DAC cards the voltage drops on the +/- voltages that supply the line stages
Old 28th July 2016
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbaby987 View Post

I would like to know if anyone ever brings back the DAC's output and prints it. Any advice would be great.
This is relatively common. Especially in the mastering process specifically. A high end Dac and Adc is highly recommended though, because it is the entire stereo mix going through them. Presumably there is processing happening between the two, otherwise it would be pointless IMO.
Old 28th July 2016
  #22
Lives for gear
 
bigbaby987's Avatar
Thanks Nathan! That's exactly what I was looking for.
Old 31st August 2016
  #23
Gear Nut
 
researchtriangle's Avatar
 

This is perhaps an odd scenario, but would the Burl DAC be overkill for getting programmed drum tracks off of a computer and onto tape?
Old 31st August 2016
  #24
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Squawk's Avatar
No, it would be great for that. And all things considered, the Burl DAC in a Mothership is relatively inexpensive, considering each card provides 8 channels of D/A. I've got 24 channels of DAC that I'm using here for summing. Happy with it. The Mothership is an initial expense, but once you get past that, it's a bit easier to expand.

Last edited by Squawk; 31st August 2016 at 08:06 AM.. Reason: Typo
Old 31st August 2016
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

The high cost of chasis is outweighed by the performance and cost on a per channel basis.

I'm rocking 24 out and 4 in and wouldn't change a thing except for potentially another 16-24 outs!
Old 31st August 2016
  #26
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Squawk's Avatar
Yeah, it is the 4 channel input cards that are harder on the wallet. Sound amazing though
Old 31st August 2016
  #27
Gear Nut
 
researchtriangle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squawk View Post
No, it would be great for that. And all things considered, the Burl DAC in a Mothership is relatively inexpensive, considering each card provides 8 channels of D/A. I've got 24 channels of DAC that I'm using here for summing. Happy with it. The Mothership is an initial expense, but once you get past that, it's a bit easier to expand.
Thanks for the info. I work mostly analog, and only do drums in a DAW (since who has access to a non-flaky drummer who can play anything?), so a Mothership would be definitely overkill for me...even a single Bomber still might be a bit of overkill, since I'll be doing drums in mono. I do care about sound quality though.
Old 2nd September 2016
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drtechno View Post
the mothership is a good design concept. But you are limited to 16 channels of DAC. The reason behind this is that Burl needs to build a bigger power supply as you install more than 2 DAC cards the voltage drops on the +/- voltages that supply the line stages
Where did you get the information that the Mothership is limited to 16 channels of DAC??
Old 2nd September 2016
  #29
Lives for gear
 

I have a mothership 24x24
Old 2nd September 2016
  #30
Gear Addict
 

From the Burl website:

"If you just mix, load up the B80 with 8 BDA8 cards for 64 channels of mind blowing fidelity."
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