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Lavry Gold AD worth the price? Digital Converters
Old 16th January 2017
  #1
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Lavry Gold AD worth the price?

Im looking for the most transparent AD possible to replace my lynx aurora. Is this essentially 10 year old AD worth the $8k price? Or has something new come on the market at a lower price point? This is for a mastering studio.

Thanks!
Old 16th January 2017
  #2
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I owned the Lavry Gold for a long time. I found it honest but a bit boring. Now I use a Pure2 clocked by a 10MX and find that combo much more exciting.

Last edited by trustyjim; 17th January 2017 at 03:25 AM..
Old 16th January 2017
  #3
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The Lavry Gold is not transparent. It has amazing low end and midrange, very musical. You just dont want it to fail as they are difficult to get repaired. So factor that into the price.

Prism is more transparent, but many clients prefer the sound of the Lavry.

Heard great things about the Pure2 but haven't heard it yet.
Old 17th January 2017
  #4
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Qes Labs PAD-2. Ive had mine for a while and its just a special unit.
Old 17th January 2017
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
The Lavry Gold is not transparent. It has amazing low end and midrange, very musical. You just dont want it to fail as they are difficult to get repaired. So factor that into the price.

Prism is more transparent, but many clients prefer the sound of the Lavry.

Heard great things about the Pure2 but haven't heard it yet.
Exactly this. I have a Lavry Gold AD as well as a Prism ADA-8XR and the Prism is more transparent, accurate, and higher headroom. HOWEVER, when the Lavry Gold is the right convertor for a job, nothing else will do. It has an image and a migrange texture that you can't get any other way.
Old 18th January 2017
  #6
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I got a used Gold AD mk 1 a couple of years back which some say sounds even better than the current golds. Took a massive risk because if it goes down, there's not much anyone can do about it being a mark 1.

Have had most of the usual suspects here, Lavry Blues, Aurora, Apogee, Burls and Prism which all sound fantastic. However, there is something really special about the gold and it sounds incredible from top to bottom.

Comparing to the other units, it doesn't necessarily have better highs/lows or transparency but as somebody already mentioned and I agree, it produces a sonic image that is a times almost hauntingly good. This is what I prefer most about the gold.
Old 18th January 2017
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davehall6162 View Post
I got a used Gold AD mk 1 a couple of years back which some say sounds even better than the current golds. Took a massive risk because if it goes down, there's not much anyone can do about it being a mark 1.

Have had most of the usual suspects here, Lavry Blues, Aurora, Apogee, Burls and Prism which all sound fantastic. However, there is something really special about the gold and it sounds incredible from top to bottom.

Comparing to the other units, it doesn't necessarily have better highs/lows or transparency but as somebody already mentioned and I agree, it produces a sonic image that is a times almost hauntingly good. This is what I prefer most about the gold.
I truly wish you best of luck with your MK1! I took the same gamble on an MK2 and it's looking like I'm gonna have to send it in for the upgrade. Intermittent issues that I've been able to work around so far (since I have my Prism) but it's coming for me!

Luckily, even with the costly upgrade it won't be too much more than an MK3 goes for used...and it will be basically a new unit. Now that I think about it...can the MK1 even be upgraded or repaired?
Old 18th January 2017
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelterr View Post
I truly wish you best of luck with your MK1! I took the same gamble on an MK2 and it's looking like I'm gonna have to send it in for the upgrade. Intermittent issues that I've been able to work around so far (since I have my Prism) but it's coming for me!

Luckily, even with the costly upgrade it won't be too much more than an MK3 goes for used...and it will be basically a new unit. Now that I think about it...can the MK1 even be upgraded or repaired?
Thanks shelterr, same to you. What issues are you having with the mk2...is it the overheating thing when running at 88 and 96?

My mk1 only does 44.1 and 48, and even at that it gets pretty hot, but even at 44.1 there's a beauty in this thing as its smoked ever other converter Ive compared it to confirmed by at least 3 other people in the room. Unfortunately though Lavry wont upgrade...and im pretty sure once it goes down they wont be able to repair. Now its just one of those rare magic pieces in the studio where I gotta pray it goes the distance.

The real kicker for me is that when I got a mk3 over to compare, it was almost like something was missing from the sound when switching from the mk1. The mk3 was a hair less real/exciting overall and definitely not the same in the lows. Im convinced its down to the differing analog sections and some of those now extinct parts in the mk1.
Old 18th January 2017
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davehall6162 View Post
Thanks shelterr, same to you. What issues are you having with the mk2...is it the overheating thing when running at 88 and 96?

My mk1 only does 44.1 and 48, and even at that it gets pretty hot, but even at 44.1 there's a beauty in this thing as its smoked ever other converter Ive compared it to confirmed by at least 3 other people in the room. Unfortunately though Lavry wont upgrade...and im pretty sure once it goes down they wont be able to repair. Now its just one of those rare magic pieces in the studio where I gotta pray it goes the distance.

The real kicker for me is that when I got a mk3 over to compare, it was almost like something was missing from the sound when switching from the mk1. The mk3 was a hair less real/exciting overall and definitely not the same in the lows. Im convinced its down to the differing analog sections and some of those now extinct parts in the mk1.
I run at my MK2 at 44.1 and also feel like it sounds better than the MK3 I used to have years ago. Bigger more relaxed low end and a bigger kick/snare sound to it. I never compared them direct but I'm pretty sure neither of us are crazy. I plan on making a few recall-able files with the MK2 before I send it off so I can hear what the real difference is between the MK2 and MK3. Even if the difference is extrmeley slight it may end up being enough for me to just stick with the Prism. After all...I did sell my MK3 for the Prism in the first place, but I demoed this MK2 for a month and felt like it was a worthwhile option to have alongside the Prism. And I may very well feel that way about the MK3 these days. It's just hard to know since almost everything in my mastering rig is different and upgraded since I sold my Mk3 back in 2012. Needless to say...I'm hoping for the best because when the Lavry Gold works best for a master there really is no substitute!
Old 18th January 2017
  #10
Is anyone using the Lavry Gold for tracking? Because of the inbuilt processing they have higher latency than other converters - even lavry recommend them as more of a mastering/mix capture solution.
Old 18th January 2017
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Is anyone using the Lavry Gold for tracking? Because of the inbuilt processing they have higher latency than other converters - even lavry recommend them as more of a mastering/mix capture solution.
Yeah...you'd have to be monitoring another input due to the latency. I have used it in limited amounts in tracking/mixing and I don't really love it. I certainly wouldn't want to track a record with it and then capture that same record's mixes/master with it. Too much build up of that "sound". It's got a thing it does well that is best suited for mastering for sure. I much prefer Lavry Blues for tracking.
Old 19th January 2017
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Is anyone using the Lavry Gold for tracking? Because of the inbuilt processing they have higher latency than other converters - even lavry recommend them as more of a mastering/mix capture solution.
I use mine for tracking all the time. Don't have a problem with latency.
Old 19th January 2017
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by syra View Post
I use mine for tracking all the time. Don't have a problem with latency.
Interesting.

Found this when researching;

Lavry Gold Users

Unfortunately Lavry's forums are down, possibly no longer functioning?

How are you monitoring when tracking? And what revision are you using (this is an old thread, there's probably 2 new models since then though no mention of reduced latency in specs).
Old 19th January 2017
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mks315 View Post
Or has something new come on the market at a lower price point? This is for a mastering studio.

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by deuc647 View Post
Qes Labs PAD-2. Ive had mine for a while and its just a special unit.
+1 on the PAD-2.
It's super transparent and detailed.
OP: In case you missed it, there's a whole thread here:

QES Labs PAD-2 vs Burl B2 Bomber Stereo ADC shootout vid
Old 19th January 2017
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
How are you monitoring when tracking? And what revision are you using
I'm using the latest MX revision. I'm monitoring through a Waves DLS so I'm relying on DSP while bypassing the DAW.
Old 19th January 2017
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by syra View Post
I'm using the latest MX revision. I'm monitoring through a Waves DLS so I'm relying on DSP while bypassing the DAW.
But still listening through the Lavry converters though right? I don't know offhand what the average Daw throughout is at 64 samples, I either record using PT HD or Uad console. And sample rate? I'm guessing 96k etc halve that latency.
Old 19th January 2017
  #17
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I would recommend the jcf latte. 2 mic pre and the a/d is super transparent. Also you get some nice d/a very happy with it josh knows what he is doing
Old 19th January 2017
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
But still listening through the Lavry converters though right? I don't know offhand what the average Daw throughout is at 64 samples, I either record using PT HD or Uad console. And sample rate? I'm guessing 96k etc halve that latency.
The Lavry Gold MK3 latency is around 400 samples more than the Lavry Blue so without monitoring some other input I can't imagine how it could be usable in most tracking situations.
Old 20th January 2017
  #19
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No, it is not worth the price at all in my opinion. |First, it is already a bit obsolete product (this technology speeds up a lot) and in these days the quality of very good convertors costing a fraction of LG already surpasses it in some cases ... And the quality of just "good" converters costing even smaller fraction is already such today, that it is more than sufficient for most of standard music productions.

It becomes already quite difficult to clearly distinguish the sound of various converters, unless it is a difference between very low end and very high end. And of course, unless you hunt for really top sound quality within delicate acoustic music instruments recording, classical music etc.

Microphones, preamps, acoustics, setting etc. make much bigger difference. To pay 8000 USD or so for 2 ch AD or DA is total waste of money in my opinion.
Old 20th January 2017
  #20
I can vouch for the Pure2 being a great unit and much much cheaper than the Gold
Old 20th January 2017
  #21
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Antelope gear sounds a bit "sterile" to me ... For example Mytek brings a bit more natural life into the sound to my ears, within still very affordable price ...
Old 21st January 2017
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
No, it is not worth the price at all in my opinion. |First, it is already a bit obsolete product (this technology speeds up a lot) and in these days the quality of very good convertors costing a fraction of LG already surpasses it in some cases ... And the quality of just "good" converters costing even smaller fraction is already such today, that it is more than sufficient for most of standard music productions.

It becomes already quite difficult to clearly distinguish the sound of various converters, unless it is a difference between very low end and very high end. And of course, unless you hunt for really top sound quality within delicate acoustic music instruments recording, classical music etc.

Microphones, preamps, acoustics, setting etc. make much bigger difference. To pay 8000 USD or so for 2 ch AD or DA is total waste of money in my opinion.

I thought the same until I got to compare what several units did to my mix as apposed to what was coming live off the console. Capturing the image as a whole of each channel and every piece of inserted hardware accurately during final stereo mix down is one of the most important tasks in my mind. The Lavry Gold was the first AD that sounded the same as straight off the desk and then some.

Sure nowadays, the ad/da chips are excellent and if you could find away to compare these directly I agree there probably would'nt be much difference. However, the analog sections and the surrounding hardware that hangs it all together play a crucial part of how the converters sound overall. That's where some of these 15 year old no expense spared almost 8K designs can still put some of today's best in the ha'penny place.
Old 21st January 2017
  #23
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Some of the older models of converters are really not very expensive anymore. I got my Prism AD-2 for $4k used! Not a bad time to buy...
Old 21st January 2017
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
No, it is not worth the price at all in my opinion. |First, it is already a bit obsolete product (this technology speeds up a lot) and in these days the quality of very good convertors costing a fraction of LG already surpasses it in some cases ... And the quality of just "good" converters costing even smaller fraction is already such today, that it is more than sufficient for most of standard music productions.

It becomes already quite difficult to clearly distinguish the sound of various converters, unless it is a difference between very low end and very high end. And of course, unless you hunt for really top sound quality within delicate acoustic music instruments recording, classical music etc.
Surpasses a Lavry Gold? What converters have you found that outperform a Lavry Gold? Would you say they also surpass those Forssell converters you've spoken so highly of?
Old 21st January 2017
  #25
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I just checked to make sure I hadn't imagined it but at 96k into PT HD tracking guitar through a AD122-96 MKIII was no problem at all in terms of latency

I have a lot of high end 2 channel AD's (Burl/HEDD/Prism) and the Gold clearly has something over them to my ears
Old 21st January 2017
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davehall6162 View Post
...
Sure nowadays, the ad/da chips are excellent and if you could find away to compare these directly I agree there probably would'nt be much difference. However, the analog sections and the surrounding hardware that hangs it all together play a crucial part of how the converters sound overall. That's where some of these 15 year old no expense spared almost 8K designs can still put some of today's best in the ha'penny place.
To my knowledge Lavry uses his own discrete converter design. No of the shelf converter ICs. At least in the Gold MK1/2 he did. So it's sound is not necessarily all down to the analog stage.
Prism on the other hand use integrated converter ICs but they developed their own precise PLL/clocking logic that makes their clock signals precise even when receiving a sub par external clock.

Personally I feel there is a difference between companies investing in serious R&D to come up with their own proprietary designs, as opposed to just taking an excellent off the shelf converter IC and arranging large transformers and a cool name around it to give it some mojo.
In my experience the difference can be heard.
Old 21st January 2017
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nednerd View Post
To my knowledge Lavry uses his own discrete converter design. No of the shelf converter ICs. At least in the Gold MK1/2 he did. So it's sound is not necessarily all down to the analog stage.
Prism on the other hand use integrated converter ICs but they developed their own precise PLL/clocking logic that makes their clock signals precise even when receiving a sub par external clock.

Personally I feel there is a difference between companies investing in serious R&D to come up with their own proprietary designs, as opposed to just taking an excellent off the shelf converter IC and arranging large transformers and a cool name around it to give it some mojo.
In my experience the difference can be heard.
Disagree completely. Listen to the Qes Labs PAD-2 shootout, then come back and say that. It uses a off the shelf converter and transformers but is supremely accurate to anything ive heard. Disclaimer i own it, but own it for a reason.
Old 22nd January 2017
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davehall6162 View Post
However, the analog sections and the surrounding hardware that hangs it all together play a crucial part of how the converters sound overall.
This. And I can see if some people don't like the LG's character... it comes down to taste. To me it makes everything sound better and it can take a beating (level-wise).
Old 22nd January 2017
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syra View Post
This.
It really is. How much has really improved in the past decade with conversion chips?

People like Dave Hill have continued pushing to get jitter to ridiculously low measured levels, and now we have 32-bit chips which some people feel have potential to capture or recover extremely low level detail in certain situations.

It's the circuits that surround everything which account for much bigger sonic differences in my experience.

In every case that comes down to a kind of signature coloration (or subjective lack thereof) which is determined by the taste, design goals, available components at a given time, and manufacturing budget of the product team.

The Gold AD series has a unique sound, and if that's exactly what you're after it should still be worth the price.
If you're open to other flavors, then audition as much as you can. There are many options these days, and it's possible that you may find something you like at a much lower price.

Anyone with one of the gold AD units able to post an interior guts shot?
Old 22nd January 2017
  #30
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Lavry uses successive approximation ADCs as opposed to Delta Sigma ADCs wich are standard in most other products.
This is a fundamentally different conversion process and the main reason why the Gold AD sounds the way it does.

Obviously a well constructed PSU, input/balancing topology are a necessity for a good AD converter design.
But then that goes for almost all analog audio gear.
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