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converters in 2020
Old 21st May 2020
  #1
Gear Head
 

converters in 2020

yes, I have done searches... I run an apogee da 16x and an original lynx aurora 16 (6 years old maybe) with hdx with CS Hedd 192 capturing the final mix (not the quantum)... It basically goes through an ssl matrix (lots of outboard) and I still use a fulcrum to mix my drums, then back to two channel on the console (nothing beats the dakings for makeup gain... and I have tried many pres)...

I am feeling out of date, but at 96k is there much difference... I hear great things about the Burl but not sure I can afford it.

So, I am looking at the Orion 32hd gen 3 or the lynx 32n... I have read the issues with the Orion but I understand they have been worked out for my needs?

Thoughts on the lynx n or Orion HD over the original Lynx?

I actually like the apogee da16x over the original lynx aurora for most things (nice analog colour) and the hedd is pretty much indistinguishable from just hearing the console outs through the speakers or having it in record back into PT... I prefer the hedd with the simulators off as there is a loss of depth for me, with even with just the tape engaged.

Anyways, does the quantum sound much better than the hedd 192 and the Orion HD gen 3 vs Lynx N... and how they compare to the original auroras?

thanks
Old 21st May 2020
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Liquidaudio's Avatar
 

I'm still using my old Digidesign 192 converters. Mixing great music, no complaints.

We're talking 1 to maybe 3 percent sound improvement with newer models. These companies have to make new products to stay afloat, these companies have marketing departments, so these companies will tell you that the new stuff is better than your old crappy converters.

I would not worry too much about converters, rather focus on the music. Not a single soul will care what converters you use.

And by the way classic great sounding albums went through old Sony converters in the eighties, they're classic albums because of the musicianship not because of the converters.

I even think 16 bit sounds better, but that's a whole different topic.
Old 21st May 2020
  #3
Lives for gear
 
cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currie View Post
yes, I have done searches... I run an apogee da 16x and an original lynx aurora 16 (6 years old maybe) with hdx with CS Hedd 192 capturing the final mix (not the quantum)... It basically goes through an ssl matrix (lots of outboard) and I still use a fulcrum to mix my drums, then back to two channel on the console (nothing beats the dakings for makeup gain... and I have tried many pres)...

I am feeling out of date, but at 96k is there much difference... I hear great things about the Burl but not sure I can afford it.

So, I am looking at the Orion 32hd gen 3 or the lynx 32n... I have read the issues with the Orion but I understand they have been worked out for my needs?

Thoughts on the lynx n or Orion HD over the original Lynx?

I actually like the apogee da16x over the original lynx aurora for most things (nice analog colour) and the hedd is pretty much indistinguishable from just hearing the console outs through the speakers or having it in record back into PT... I prefer the hedd with the simulators off as there is a loss of depth for me, with even with just the tape engaged.

Anyways, does the quantum sound much better than the hedd 192 and the Orion HD gen 3 vs Lynx N... and how they compare to the original auroras?

thanks
I never compared the ones you are asking for in a direct, controlled a/b.

But I’d not go for a cheap converter, if you’re looking for an upgrade.

DAD ax32 (Avid MTRX, which is the same thing for PT users), Avid HD I/O (believe it or not is a pretty good converter), Apogee Symphony mk2 (since you seems to like apogee), Prism ADA 8XR are all good or great and imho an “upgrade” from the 16x.
Never tried the new Aurora N, although they might be pretty good.. they always had good sounding stuff.

That said, for some it’s a worthy upgrade, for some others not so much.. don’t expect a massive change..



Cheu
Old 21st May 2020
  #4
Gear Head
 

anyone on Hedd 192 vs new quantum?
Old 22nd May 2020
  #5
Deleted 2c9d885
Guest
Mastering Converter Chips/Measurement List & Links

Instead of writing it all down again - I'm just linking to my list. If anyone has any other info for other interfaces or wants to open up their own to see the converters inside and update the list - cool!

I had Prism and Lynx Hilo's and Antelopes but I'm actually fine with MOTU 828ES for now as they have the same converters and PGA2500 preamps inside as most other high end interfaces but more I/O and drivers have been rock solid. (Same preamps as prism and some RME ... Same converters as Apollo X)

RMAA tests help to decipher if some may be cleaner than others in a loop and Audio Precision tests are best which there are some measurements on RME and MOTU and other gear around.

Overall, Most interfaces use the same chips and even onboard preamps nowadays which are actually cleaner than most standalone ones unless you're paying $350+/channel ... implementation by each company may differ a bit but not much - you can't make a AKM or Cirrus Logic or whatever AD/DA converter chip better by implementation - just make it worse by bad implementation. So I'd say just get whatever has the I/O you need and the most reliable drivers for your platform for the best price and spend the rest on things that actually have a bigger impact on sound.

Can you audibly tell the difference in a blind level-matched test between any of them ... probably not unless you're running 64 or 128 channels of AD conversion or they purposely try to impart a specific noise but I'd prefer not to have any added distortion or "color" on converters.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #6
Lives for gear
 
imloggedin's Avatar
Evaluating AD/DA loops by means of Audio Diffmaker you may want to inform yourself about converter transparency by studying this thread. The results are quite interesting.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by sm5 View Post
implementation by each company may differ a bit but not much - you can't make a AKM or Cirrus Logic or whatever AD/DA converter chip better by implementation - just make it worse by bad implementation.
the chip is only 1 part of the ecosystem

its an ANALOG to digital converter. a digital to ANALOG converter.

the analog stage is probably way more important than the chip.

i have had an 828...and if you cant hear a difference between that and a 2192, burl, pure2 (the other converters i own and have owned) then i dont know what to tell you
Old 23rd May 2020
  #8
Deleted 2c9d885
Guest
I agree that implementation and analog design is very important. If a designer screws that up it's all downhill! but look at actual full ap measurements of specific interfaces in the high end and most are actually really close: definitely if they use the same modern chips: implying for the most part the designers do their job right at these pro audio companies at least. (There are some poorly performing ones though!)
The DA in a new Motu measures better than a Hilo on AP tests. Not the AD ... At least in 624 though it's an older AD chip than the 828es. If you look at RMAA tests an Antelope Amari is highest ... Though RMAA is a loopback test like audiodiffmaker ... But with more info. (Not sure what motu828 you had ... There's many older versions with older chips and designs)

As far as audiodiffmaker ... my Lynx Hilo is on the top of the list of the results as you can see my name on many of the results there. I don't consider it a perfect test as you can't tell if it's the AD or DA as it's a loopback like RMAA and the diffmaker software is sorta wonky and not well documented and hasn't been updated in years. Certain numbers not even the thread starter knows how its exactly calculated. For example one number is low on the 828es but the other is much higher placing it much highee ... So it's an odd conundrum. More info is better so if you want to do a diffmaker test: cool. But I wouldn't put all my eggs in the diffmaker basket but think of it as one single aspect of measurements.

Another thing is actually doing proper level matched true blind tests with someone else flipping the switch etc at the same time... I've been fooled before when I don't have instant switching and let a minute or so lapse or don't level correct to .1 or something like that dB. Even going as far as actually covering your eyes not to know which is playing. Maybe you test like that? but I don't know.

Don't listen to me or anyone on here or what marketing each company spouts as to what "sounds" or is better is my best advice. Who knows what they are listening on and if they blind tested it properly. For all we know they are using some tiny crappy distorted speakers or low resolving headphones ... How many people actually do comparisons on Stax or Raal ribbon headphones? Or full range mastering speakers? How many on less resolving speakers and headphones? Did they get their ears checked recently!? Did I? :P Do they have lots of earwax buildup lol? Do I ha ha ha? Even if something truly does sound different ... Who's to say the person suggesting this or that has a similar taste as you or if clean to them is simply brightness.

I'd suggest simply looking at the AP measurements or RMAA or whatever other measurements there are to come to a conclusion is probably the smartest thing to do. Also asking companies for proper AP charts and full readouts like DAD or Cranborne/etc 2ould be a great step in the right direction for everyone here. If you don't already, when you receive a new item: truly blind test it. Though I'd personally still trust an AP analyzer more than my own ears as humans aren't perfect.

Anyway, I wish you luck in your search!
Old 24th May 2020
  #9
Lives for gear
 

IMHO
So my feeling - Unless you’re measuring pico seconds in Jitter, oftentimes that spoken of in reverence as most urgent is not every little bit as critically important as one would think. Many prefer older conversion simply as proven adequately stated. All depends on use I guess!
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