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Lavry Blue vs. Mytek AB listening test (also Lavry vs. Apogee)
Old 27th July 2004
  #1
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Lavry Blue vs. Mytek AB listening test (also Lavry vs. Apogee)

Finally I collected my new Lavry Blue AD DA, eagerly connected and started recording many samples of different instruments and vocals, always changing Lavry and Mytek for the same takes (tried both in 44 and 96 kHz). I was using 3 pairs of Schoeps and Millennia preamps (and U87 for vocals).

The result is very simple:
Mytek was a grand sound quality leap from my former Apogee Rosetta. But now, when compared to Lavry, Mytek sounded in all cases always a bit thinner, tiny bit "boxy" and slightly exagerrated in the highs. (but all this within a relatively small scale, of course)
Lavry sound was always a bit more pleasant, fuller in the mids, more warm, round, detailed and natural. All the instruments (violin, viola, flutes, guitar etc.) sounded very natural and pleasant. Comparing to that , in Mytek sound there was always a small touch of an artificial sound tembre (as if). Even on Lynn´s ADCD, I felt like if Mytek had some extra highs. I had the same feeling all the time I have been using it. Now, when Lavry sounds just warm and natural, without that tiny sharp end, I feel a nice relief ...
For vocals and spoken word with U87, Lavry had a lot more body and fullness than Mytek, which was more emphasised in the highs.

That said, Mytek still remains an excellent AD (leaving all the Digi 001s, 002s, 003s, Apogee Rosettas etc.) miles behind.
But Lavry is yet another step. I am happy I made it. Simply more round, full, pleasant and natural. I don´t think there is still much more to climb to the AD Mount Everest .Maybe few inches ? (worth several thousands dollars ...)

Now to the other end:
Apogee mini DAC was very grand leap from 001 DA. Everything suddenly sounded so much better, clear, more detailed.
Now I can see how everything in the world is quite relative.
After connecting Lavry DA (unfortunately only with software volume control so far), I felt like moving from a nice busy street restaurant to the five star Hilton hotel with the food served on a golden plate ...
Everything so clear, extremely detailed, full and spacy, yet just natural. Back to APogee - a bit muffled and not so distinguished in the sound layers (a bit mixed alltogether).

These are my immediate impressions after an enjoyable afternoon spent with a new great device ....

Anyone else using Lavry here ?


Ivo

www.savita.cz
Old 27th July 2004
  #2
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atticus's Avatar
You might want to check out the August issue of Stereophile. There is a very intersting article about one of the Lavry dacs in it.
Old 27th July 2004
  #3
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by atticus
You might want to check out the August issue of Stereophile. There is a very intersting article about one of the Lavry dacs in it.
Is it somewhere online ? (unfortunately I do not have an access to such magazines). Or do you have the article by chance somewhere nearby to send ?
email:

ivo (at) savita.cz

thanks

Ivo
Old 27th July 2004
  #4
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Hi Ivo,

have the DAC1 and two channels of Lavry D/A.
I use the DAC1 for monitoring and the Lavry for feeding outboard gear.
Wouldn´t be bad though to have an option for routing the Lavry to both. The way it is now it needs patching around on the rack, so I would use that only for a final stage. Maybe when I get me a monitor controller later ... but that would still need rack patching ( have become lazy about the patchbay ). Bob O. once showed me a passive splitter once, shall get me one of those not so far in the future.

Ruphus
Old 28th July 2004
  #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ruphus
Hi Ivo,

have the DAC1 and two channels of Lavry D/A.
I use the DAC1 for monitoring and the Lavry for feeding outboard gear.
Wouldn´t be bad though to have an option for routing the Lavry to both. The way it is now it needs patching around on the rack, so I would use that only for a final stage. Maybe when I get me a monitor controller later ... but that would still need rack patching ( have become lazy about the patchbay ). Bob O. once showed me a passive splitter once, shall get me one of those not so far in the future.

Ruphus
so ruphus do you think the DAC1 is a better monitoring solution then the lavry DACS? they sound too good or something?
Old 28th July 2004
  #6
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Teacher
so ruphus do you think the DAC1 is a better monitoring solution then the lavry DACS? they sound too good or something?
If I had two DAs and one was better, I would definitely use the better one for feeding the HW unit ...
Old 28th July 2004
  #7
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atticus's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by ISedlacek
If I had two DAs and one was better, I would definitely use the better one for feeding the HW unit ...
Rather then using it for the actual listening?
Old 28th July 2004
  #8
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No, Teacher,

for outboard procedure and final judge on the mix I use the Lavry.
The only problem I have with monitoring through it is that I yet have no passive pot to control volume ( need to adjust from DAWS master fader ) and also have to plug around. That is how the DAC1 comes in handy and being used for normal monitoring tasks.

They day I get a volume control I´ll probably still use it on the rig for its great connex options and the nice opportunity to feed it digitally from the stereos CD player for occasional comparisons.

However, while we are at it, there is a weird phenomenon. The feed from CD player goes through a 6 meter RCA cable ( one with usual impedance for audio [50 ohm I guess ], not a 75 ohm one ), and after a couple of weeks it stops transporting any signal through anymore. Have to exchange the cable with another one ( pulling and plugging in again doesn´t do it ) and then it works again. Really very curious, sounds almost impossible to myself. Asked Benchmark folks already, but didn´t get any advice I could follow.

Gave one of the out-sorted cables to a friend, he says it works just fine on his stereo, so the cables should be just fine.

Just besides.

Ruphus
Old 28th July 2004
  #9
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so the lavry's blow away the benchmarks in your opinion?
Old 28th July 2004
  #10
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I have really forgotten what I thought exactly when I compared them once on the fly. ( Also didn´t care too much, because it had to be clear which one to be better. )
Lemme have dinner and have a dedicated listening and then I´ll post here again. K?

Ruphus
Old 28th July 2004
  #11
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Originally posted by ISedlacek
If I had two DAs and one was better, I would definitely use the better one for feeding the HW unit ...
Quote:
Originally posted by atticus
Rather then using it for the actual listening?
Yes, because at the moment of processing the mix through an analogue gear, you are left at the mercy of your DA AD chain. If these gates are not of supreme quality, you lose more than you gain. What you hear, will come and go (and should be OK unless the second DA is too inferior), but what passes through the DA AD channels will remain forever thereafter.
Old 28th July 2004
  #12
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Ruphus

The only problem I have with monitoring through it is that I yet have no passive pot to control volume ( need to adjust from DAWS master fader ) and also have to plug around. That is how the DAC1 comes in handy and being used for normal monitoring tasks.

Ruphus
Yes, it is rather uncomfortable and my Genelecs (and my ears) got some unpleasant kicks yesterday.
Tomorrow I shall have this http://www.adesignsaudio.com/atty.htm
It is supposed to be quite neutral passive attenuator. Hope it will work OK.
As I mentioned in the other thread , I have some slight (ground ?) problems when connecting Genelecs directly to Lavry. I have no idea what I could do with it ...
Old 28th July 2004
  #13
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Ruphus
I have really forgotten what I thought exactly when I compared them once on the fly. ( Also didn´t care too much, because it had to be clear which one to be better. )
Lemme have dinner and have a dedicated listening and then I´ll post here again. K?

Ruphus
Please, do that and share your impressions ...
Old 29th July 2004
  #14
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

That Atty thing looks interesting. Do you have more info on it?
I was considering the SPL controller. Should be fine device. Me hopes. :O)

Ok, the comparison. You got me into a real task. It took some time.
It showed to become a quite critical trial, had to even close the windows as at that time in the evening a calm background yet through the Sony 7506 shells has been too much for that. Next thing to realize was how I for the first time really badly desired to have high end speakers. ( If only they had arrived yet! Was awaiting them for any day now, guess they will be delayed.)

From first trial I had an impression, but you don´t trust it.
Justified so, cause as you know we cannot print a sonic impression for more than 2 seconds. You can by help of experience sort of build memmory bridges I assume, but I´m no Bob Ludwig. The mess was that I had to plug around two TRS and one XLR, on top of that the DAC1 sits under a big device and it is a bit fiddly to get the male out from its back.
The routing BTW was Lynx digital out ( unfortunately I have only one digital out, don´t have its AES/EBU addon ) into either convertor ( DAC1 set to "callibrated", naturally ), both analog outs into patchbay and from there into standalone headphone amp.

I was listening to a two track with drums and rattle. And the results seemed very interesting. The DAC1 seems to have a punchier bottom than the Lavry. It can make your diaphragm flutter more. And while I guess it shouldn´t be it appeared like it was a milli tad louder. You could had even thought it sounded better. Yes, I think it could fool you and make you believe it was better sounding.
However, it appeared to me like it had a bit less of upper lows and lower mids which made made it sound more huge in a ( putative ) way. Like if the holler between the hights and the big bottom made it spacey or something. Really, very good sounding.
But when I switched back to the Lavry while noticing the smaller bang in the bottom I heard more mids, you could tell that there had been parts of the picture missing in the DAC1 image.
The Lavry contained more from the kick beaters smack and brought in more body of the hihats plate.


But, as it took me almost 10 seconds to switch between the convertors I felt not sure about the perception and after about about 15 switches decided to just record the results and compare them track by track.

So, feeded the convertors outs into the Lynx and recorded the return.
As source this time I took a classical guitar track accompanied by bongos and rattles.

That made things much better to compare. Just a click and there you were.

Again, the DAC1 sounds damn good without a question, but when you switch to the Lavry suddenly the chirrup of the bongos pops out, dark tones seem to get a subtle layer more meat, the guitar gains overtones and starts to sing, the whole thing comes more upfront and the top sounds more like analog. The image has more depth.

The revelation was thrilling fun. Me and myself seem curiously touchable by sonics and beauty can make me a wimp. I almost cry. he he he heh
We need a blush icon here.
But Jules is too busy.

All this however meant as nuances, like say the difference between 2 times great and 3 times.

In fact I must and want to congratulate Benchmark for what they achieved with that apparatus. It seems like the makers succeeded in tweaking the max out of what they put together, like they really maxed out optimally, emphasizing what makes the main or most impressive spots in the spectrum and allocating the deficiencies very, very tasty.

That intelligently made device arrays itself in such a grandious way that I can absolutely see how listeners could find it even preferable to the Lavry.

But it isn´t.

The Lavry is just one thing: Beautiful.

The DAC1 is a terrific option however for whenever the Lavry is not at hand. A very well made product and a definite bang for the buck.

Ruphus
Old 29th July 2004
  #15
Gear Head
 

Re: Lavry Blue vs. Mytek AB listening test (also Lavry vs. Apogee)

Quote:
Originally posted by ISedlacek
Finally I collected my new Lavry Blue AD DA, eagerly connected and started recording many samples....

Now I can see how everything in the world is quite relative.
After connecting Lavry DA (unfortunately only with software volume control so far), I felt like moving from a nice busy street restaurant to the five star Hilton hotel with the food served on a golden plate ...
Everything so clear, extremely detailed, full and spacy, yet just natural. Back to APogee - a bit muffled and not so distinguished in the sound layers (a bit mixed alltogether).

These are my immediate impressions after an enjoyable afternoon spent with a new great device ....

Anyone else using Lavry here ?


Ivo

www.savita.cz
Ivo-
Like your thoroughness and descriptions.
REALLY like your hotel/restaurant analogy.
Old 29th July 2004
  #16
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I'm just curious to know how you are connecting the Lavry to the Digi 001 since the Lavry doesn't have ADAT. Thanks.
Old 29th July 2004
  #17
djs
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally posted by ISedlacek
Yes, it is rather uncomfortable and my Genelecs (and my ears) got some unpleasant kicks yesterday.
Tomorrow I shall have this http://www.adesignsaudio.com/atty.htm
It is supposed to be quite neutral passive attenuator. Hope it will work OK.
As I mentioned in the other thread , I have some slight (ground ?) problems when connecting Genelecs directly to Lavry. I have no idea what I could do with it ...
i am using the atty for passive volume control on my lavry's. it doesn't offer much control in level. you will need to turn your d/a output down to its lowest setting to get it to a level useable with the atty. or, you can use 2 atty's for more conrtol. you may want to check out something like the firestation or one of coleman audio's boxes if you are using this for daw monitoring. these give you many other cool options, but also have a larger price tag.
Old 29th July 2004
  #18
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Ruphus
That Atty thing looks interesting. Do you have more info on it?
Not really. What djs writes (not sufficient volume control) scares me. I absolutely do not feel like moving with some screws within Lavry. With such a rough action (decreasing the output volume), how can you be sure, that your L and R remain in exactly the same level ??

Quote:
Originally posted by Ruphus
I was considering the SPL controller. Should be fine device. Me hopes. :O)
[/B]
It looks nice. I was considering Presonus CS, but gave up the idea after hearing few user reports. Coleman looks nice, but costs too much. This is a reply from SPL:
"Many thanks for your interst in the MTC, unfortunately the first production run had to be delayed due to problems with the first PCB delivery we got.
We expect to produce the first MTC at the end of August. Price will be at 594 Euro (excl. VAT, recommended retail).
Please get back anytime if you have further questions."


Quote:
Originally posted by Ruphus
Ok, the comparison. You got me into a real task. It took some time.

Ruphus
Very nice and colourful comparison, indeed ! Thank you very much
Old 29th July 2004
  #19
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Atty has arrived. Ouch .... It is a terrible thing 1) distorts the sound a bit 2) volume control is of no use (1 milimetr after zero it starts to explode) 3) the L R balance is uneven.

Returning quickly

Waiting for SPL ?
Old 29th July 2004
  #20
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Hi Ivo, you´re very wellcome. thumbsup

So we must scratch the Atty one from the list.

You know what would be better than the SPL or a Coleman ( I think to have read of the Coleman being not all that neutral, BTW )? Something that would individually recall volume. Like if you had the analog out splitted into pair A & B and could determine the level for A & B separately. ( At best with a callibrated setting as in the DAC1 or just a simple indicator / pot mark / null position.)
However, the only controller which I ´m aware of to be capable of doing that seems the Avocet. :O(

"Hey gringo, can you take me cross the border, just tell´em I´m your daughter" ( J.J.Cale in "Tijuana" )


Ruphus
Old 29th July 2004
  #21
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Well, what to do ? Why should we sponsor all these companies offering many extra things which for example for me are not needed at all (like talkback, switch to another 2 pairs of monitors etc.) ...
Is it really so difficult and expensive to make a simple transparent working volume control ?? Just one knob ? I wish Lavry has it there, even if costing more . Any idea ? Anyone here able to make it ?
Old 29th July 2004
  #22
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

There is a very popular quality passive attentuator with a gazillion steps.
We had a thread here a while ago where people suggested how to build such a controller with that dang.

Also there exists a simple controller with that attentuator build in. However it seems to be made for prosumer and has only RCA jacks.

Ruphus
Old 29th July 2004
  #23
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Ruphus's Avatar
 

Here, found the thread.
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...ght=attenuator

Btw, above I mixed up the Coleman with a Furman controller.
Also what came to my mind is the unit from Samson. I have the equivalent headphone amp and must say that thing is pretty good already. At least I couldn´t detect any obvious losses only that the stereo image was a slight tad narrower.
For auditioning tasks it should be doing well.

However, I´m tempted yet to check out about the SPL first.

Ruphus
Old 29th July 2004
  #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by ISedlacek

It looks nice. I was considering Presonus CS, but gave up the idea after hearing few user reports. Coleman looks nice, but costs too much. This is a reply from SPL:
"Many thanks for your interst in the MTC, unfortunately the first production run had to be delayed due to problems with the first PCB delivery we got.
We expect to produce the first MTC at the end of August. Price will be at 594 Euro (excl. VAT, recommended retail).
Please get back anytime if you have further questions."




Very nice and colourful comparison, indeed ! Thank you very much
can you link me to these poor reports all i heard are good things about its passive section(the section the audio goes from D/A's to speakers) but not so glowing reviews about the headphone amp, which is a completely different can of worms.
Old 29th July 2004
  #25
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Hey Teacher,

I spend a couple hours last night on behalf of your question.

Don´t you mind though, stay cool, man.

Tsss

Ruphus
Old 29th July 2004
  #26
gem
Gear Maniac
 
gem's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by ISedlacek
Atty has arrived. Ouch .... It is a terrible thing 1) distorts the sound a bit 2) volume control is of no use (1 milimetr after zero it starts to explode) 3) the L R balance is uneven.

Returning quickly

Waiting for SPL ?

hey this one looks interesting.
http://www.goldpt.com/vcb_sa2x.html
Old 29th July 2004
  #27
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matucha's Avatar
sure it does





$469 or $529 versions (diff. type of resistors)
Old 29th July 2004
  #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ruphus
Hey Teacher,

I spend a couple hours last night on behalf of your question.

Don´t you mind though, stay cool, man.

Tsss

Ruphus
thanks ruphus i appreciate it

seems like the dac1 maybe more ideal for hip hop reggae....genre's with big lowends from your assessment
Old 29th July 2004
  #29
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nlc201's Avatar
 

Not exactly a converter but supposedly Dangerous Music (Dangerous 2 bus, monitor, etc.) is coming out with an LT version of their monitor box. I would suspect it will be an active box knowing them. It will probably ditch the high end DAC and other features of the regular Dangerous Monitor in order to get the costs down. But those guys build to such a ridiculous spec anyway. I'm sure it will be a serious contender in that price range (if it is indeed IN that price range).
Old 29th July 2004
  #30
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

LA Audio make the SPX-20 Stereo 6 Channel Dual output Source Preamp which I have been using for several years as my main studio volume controller and monitor switcher. Very well-built and transparent to my ears at least.
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