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Alesis Masterlink converters vs Lucid AD9624
Old 27th September 2008
  #61
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratech View Post
I now realize that it doesn't matter. Capture a good performance wheather it be on Analog or digital. It's the performance that counts.
Of course.

But this is a High-End forum on a forum site called Gearslutz. Every single poster here probably knows the performance counts.

Quote:
My Masterlink has been very good to me and its converters sound fantastic!. The other higher end units are not going to get my clients to write me a check any quicker.
Nothing wrong with that at all.

I've worked in VO studios in which ***** that gets the job done' was the name of the game. No need to chase the gear if you and your clients don't need it nor notice the lack of it.

And BTW, your dissenting opinion on the Masterlink is appreciated....if everyone agreed it would be a rather boring uneducational experience here.
Old 27th September 2008
  #62
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Stratech, by stating that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and then calling me narrow minded indirectly is intolerant logic IMHO.

The Masterlink has horrible converters (just ask Jim Williams..he should know!) At least that is my own personal view after using the machine since 2002.

I have major tonal and volume loss with the ML, even when going through a RADAR 24 going AES into the ML. The quality loss from mixes into the ML is most note worthy indeed! The analog inputs are not any better, as that was my original path to the ML before I purchased a RADAR.

The continuous quality drop of the Masterlink has been an on going problem that I suffer with and it never seems to replicate what went into it!
Old 27th September 2008
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad John View Post
I have major tonal and volume loss with the ML, even when going through a RADAR 24 going AES into the ML. The quality loss from mixes into the ML is most note worthy indeed!
This shouldn't be evident if you burn the CD and play that CD in another (better) CD or DVD player.

Don't monitor or listen through the Masterlink analog outs....
Old 27th September 2008
  #64
Gear Head
 

Mad John, I'm sorry if I offended you with my remark! Did not mean to offend. You seem like you know what you are talking about and I see you are having sonic issues. I come from the big NYC rooms and I happen to think that with 25 years under my belt, I know what decent soud should be like. If you are having the problems you say you are having, then look elsewhere, my friend. I am getting stunning results from the following: Nuendo with the RME 9652 24 IO adat card. From here the SPDIF out of the RME 9652 hits the Masterlink via RCA coax cable using the canare cable and connectors reccomended for the task. The Analog balanced out of the Masterlink hits my mackie 32-8 mixer and the mixer hits my powered genelecs. The sonics are on the money! The input to the computer never sees the Masterlink. The Masterlink is used as my playback converter.
My input stage goes like this. Focusrite Liquid channel hitting the SPDIF in the RME 9652 card with a AES balanced to un balanced converter between the Liquid Channel AES out and the SPDIF input. The 24 ADAT optical in and out ports from the RME 9652 go to a Frontier Apache Adat patchbay Also connected to this patchbay are the 24 ADAT IO's from an Alesis HD-24 and the Outputs from two Mackie Onyx 800R preamps (Nice units by the way). The Mackie Onyx units are what I use to transfer signals from my 2" 16 track machine to Nuendo as well as a direct bass guitar line once in a while. This works for me and I am able to make a decent living with this setup. Is it the ultimate sonic setup? Absolutely not, But, it does a very good job with stunning results and it pays the mortgage.
Old 28th September 2008
  #65
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Thanks Stratech!

You certainly seem to have a method for running the Masterlink that works very well for your business! That's great!! I will have to try the RCA coax route on the ML and see if that creates any sonic difference. Again, I am glad that you have a great mix down method that works so well for you and your clients. I am a composer/artist and do not have clients that I have to keep happy, just my own ears and sensibilities. If I could hear the same sonic quality as I mix live to that which I hear on the playback, I would be quite satisfied indeed!

All the best to you my friend!

JT
Old 28th September 2008
  #66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad John View Post
Stratech, by stating that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and then calling me narrow minded indirectly is intolerant logic IMHO.

The Masterlink has horrible converters (just ask Jim Williams..he should know!) At least that is my own personal view after using the machine since 2002.

I have major tonal and volume loss with the ML, even when going through a RADAR 24 going AES into the ML. The quality loss from mixes into the ML is most note worthy indeed! The analog inputs are not any better, as that was my original path to the ML before I purchased a RADAR.

The continuous quality drop of the Masterlink has been an on going problem that I suffer with and it never seems to replicate what went into it!
The masterlink does not have horrible converters, I use the same AKM 4393/5393 converters in the HD24XR mostly for playback. There are other things happening in the masterlink which masked playback quality. When I used one analog in, it was a disaster. When I used one digital in, it was ok. Seems most of you have already figured that out by now. That Tascam R1k HDR is real nice in comparison. It's the next generation of masterlink. I've been through a few and they are a worthy masterlink replacement. They use the excellent BurrBrown PCM4222 A/D, (same as that $149 eval pcb) and the stunning BB PCM1792 DSD DAC.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 28th September 2008
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
The masterlink does not have horrible converters, I use the same AKM 4393/5393 converters in the HD24XR mostly for playback. There are other things happening in the masterlink which masked playback quality. When I used one analog in, it was a disaster. When I used one digital in, it was ok. Seems most of you have already figured that out by now. That Tascam R1k HDR is real nice in comparison. It's the next generation of masterlink. I've been through a few and they are a worthy masterlink replacement. They use the excellent BurrBrown PCM4222 A/D, (same as that $149 eval pcb) and the stunning BB PCM1792 DSD DAC.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Well there you are... I stand corrected by Mr Williams!

Jim, I think I am getting a little confused with the ML at this stage!

All I know from my own experience with the ML is that the volume and tone DROP when in AES COMING OUT FROM RADAR DIRECT. It is really horrible sounding on the ML hard drive! I can plainly see the signal going into tracks 23 & 24 of the RADAR (where I do the initial 2 track routing to get to the ML) and they are always visually stronger from what the led indicators on the ML display!

I have found the ML to be less than satisfactory as a 2 track master deck!

If I could transfer from my RADAR 24 to the ML via AES or Coex with the same levels as the RADAR, then I would consider BURNING material off the ML to my HHB 800.

I have never felt so incredibly confused when it comes to jimmy riggin a way to make the Masterlink to become a straight forward 2 track Master deck!

JT
Old 28th September 2008
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad John View Post
If I could transfer from my RADAR 24 to the ML via AES or Coex with the same levels as the RADAR, then I would consider BURNING material off the ML to my HHB 800.

I have never felt so incredibly confused when it comes to jimmy riggin a way to make the Masterlink to become a straight forward 2 track Master deck!

JT
Yeah, I don't know why you're have having such a problem here. I use a HEDD going into the Masterlink and have no problems whatsoever. The meter levels on my HEDD match the meter levels going into the ML.
Old 28th September 2008
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Yeah, I don't know why you're have having such a problem here. I use a HEDD going into the Masterlink and have no problems whatsoever. The meter levels on my HEDD match the meter levels going into the ML.
Fleaman you are using a HEDD, which is probably why you are getting a more acurate signal! I mean that is a fairly expensive converter (getting close to 4K!)

I do not have any converters at this time and there (I believe) lies the problem!

Sure gets expensive trying to maintain ones original MASTERS on 2 track mix down!

I just have to find a solution to this headache!
Old 28th September 2008
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad John View Post
Fleaman you are using a HEDD, which is probably why you are getting a more acurate signal! I mean that is a fairly expensive converter (getting close to 4K!)

I do not have any converters at this time and there (I believe) lies the problem!

Sure gets expensive trying to maintain ones original MASTERS on 2 track mix down!

I just have to find a solution to this headache!
But the point is you are going digi out/in (AES) from your radar to ML(?), so no need to convert (and you shouldn't!).

In my case I have to convert AD (analog to digi). Still, the ML is seeing the AES digi signal, should be the same with you?

Maybe it has to do with the conversion (bit rate). What do you send to the ML from your radar, 16bit/44.1?
Old 28th September 2008
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
They use some small 10 uf caps on the inputs that thins out the bass. Replace them with 47 uf and the bottom end tightens up. There are 2 per balanced input.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
the real question, and it may be that alesis doesnt really "exist" anymore, but after ten years(almost) of the masterlink, which is a great concept of a product, why has it never been updated, by alesis, or why hasnt a another company come with a better or more modern version of it?

seems there would very much be a market for it...
Old 28th September 2008
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilio View Post
the real question, and it may be that alesis doesnt really "exist" anymore, but after ten years(almost) of the masterlink, which is a great concept of a product, why has it never been updated, by alesis, or why hasnt a another company come with a better or more modern version of it?

seems there would very much be a market for it...
Jim answered your 2nd question in post #72.

As for Alesis....they are focusing on non-pro stuff, ever since Numark (the DJ people) bought them. Dunno if they are still the owners....
Old 28th September 2008
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Jim answered your 2nd question in post #72.

As for Alesis....they are focusing on non-pro stuff, ever since Numark (the DJ people) bought them. Dunno if they are still the owners....
yeah...i wrote while still on the first page....but thanks.
Old 28th September 2008
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Maybe it has to do with the conversion (bit rate). What do you send to the ML from your radar, 16bit/44.1?
Good question! I have to go check on that right now.

What should be the bit and or sample rate for ultimate CDR burning? I have often been on 48K and 24 bit on the ML (never thought to check the RADARS's rates) and recently I just brought the ML to 16 bit so it would not have to fight going from 24 to 16 in the final transfer process!

To be honest with you, I have an analog background in recording and this DIGITAL TRANSFER business is still new to me after 6 years of owning the ML. I will look into the RADAR's settings.

Thank you everyone for the great discussion. This is very helpful and I am motivated to getting the best end result now because of all of you!
Old 28th September 2008
  #75
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad John View Post
What should be the bit and or sample rate for ultimate CDR burning? I have often been on 48K and 24 bit on the ML (never thought to check the RADARS's rates) and recently I just brought the ML to 16 bit so it would not have to fight going from 24 to 16 in the final transfer process!
Ultimately a Red book CD is 16/44.1, I send the ML exactly that from my HEDD.

Unless you are recording trks in your radar at 16/44.1, they will have to be downconverted, either by the Radar or by the ML. My guess is the Radar will do a better job of downconversion than the ML will.

So you should try to send 16/44.1 from your Radar to the ML, then your ML won't do any conversion. Also make sure you have all the DSD in the ML off. Then burn a CD in the ML and play it on another player...
Old 30th July 2009
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
I wonder how much of this is that placebo effect I keep hearing about.


If someone figures it out for sure, let me know. I am just using my Masterlink stock.
I think you only need to play a CD on the Masterlink to realise that something isn't that great in the DA conversion at least. It is not a good CD player by any means.
Old 30th July 2009
  #77
Gear Addict
 
A4722's Avatar
 

shocking contrast

Made the mistake of listening to the ML D/A playback right after hearing the analog mix down (to the ML) from a large format MCI multi-track. { Mixed to ML thru a HEDD at 24/48 (AES into the ML) }

Cats screeching while sliding down a chalkboard !!!!!

It sounded so grainy seconds after hearing the analog playback from the MCI.

We were stunned... looking at each other in disbelief.

I too think that the D/A and or analog out of the ML has issues.

Makes me wonder what type of mental gymnastics we are doing to be able to digest modern digital playback in general.
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