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Will Big Ben improve mid-end converters?
Old 18th July 2005
  #1
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Sergievsky's Avatar
 

Will Big Ben improve mid-end converters?

I got a headache from reading all those ext vs int clock threads, but I still have to ask. For my setup, the converters I have are a Digi 002R, Yamaha AW4416 mixer/daw, a Presonus Firestation, and Motu 2408.

So it's looking like I need a master clock. Has anyone any experience with any of these things clocked with a Big Ben? BTW, most of the budget is going to a high-end mic and channel strip, which left me just short of getting a/d the likes of Rosetta 200. And since the 002R doesn't have separate word clock input my options for an ext clock gen seems to only be the Big Ben with its spdif out.

If a Big Ben can get all these things...umm...converting to their highest ability, it would be worth the money, n'est ce pa?
Old 18th July 2005
  #2
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I don't really like the Apogee stuff at all. I think it's overpriced. I was at Brent Averills the other day and one of the techs was going on and on about how crappy they found the apogee stuff has gotten in the last few years. I dunno I used the ad8000 a few times and found that I didn't even like it better than the 888's. I say put your money into good pres and eq's.
Old 18th July 2005
  #3
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orange's Avatar
 

not again !!!!!

do a search

si
Old 18th July 2005
  #4
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Sergievsky's Avatar
 

I did do a search. That's all I've been doing for the past f**king week. Not one has used it with anything similar to my setup, and as far as improving converters, well, as expected it's to each his own it seems.

Thanks superburtm for your opinion. It's funny that even the older apogees like the ad8000 still has mixed opinions, some like it better than the new stuff, others not. I was hoping the debate with Dan Lavry and Apogee could have ended up with something conclusive, but things got deleted and am not sure who's bs-ing who or even how it all ended.

I was just hoping someone had some experience with the specific gear I mentioned. I do realize in the end I'm gonna have to test it myself. It's just difficult for me since I live overseas and cannot just send a unit back if it's not up to snuff.
Old 18th July 2005
  #5
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I have big Ben and RME ADI-8 x2 etc...

Great WC my setup is rock solid and no glitches etc. I can hear some improvments in sound to but it's not like changing from a tractor to Ferrari.

I'm very happy with mine.
Old 18th July 2005
  #6
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u b k's Avatar
 

any chance of shaving a little $$$ off the mic/channel strip purchase and getting better converters at the same time?

if you're open to having your ideas tweaked: what's your budget, what mic and strip are you thinking about, and what kind of music is your focus?


gregoire
del ubik
Old 18th July 2005
  #7
Apogee are constantly tweaking their stuff to be better, so if someone didn't dig a 6 year old product that's not a good indication of their latest stuff. IMHO.

But I agree assesing word clock is a headache...

Old 18th July 2005
  #8
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Ruudman's Avatar
 

I like the ol' AD800SE, the new X-series and of course BB.
Apogee have a sound philosophy, even UV22 can tell you that.

I believe BB was created to improve mid-end converters, so you're asking
an imploding question


ruudman
Old 18th July 2005
  #9
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DeadPoet's Avatar
Mutec's Smart clock also has spdif on optical and coax + AES/EBU clock outs.

I have one and do not hear any difference with my AD/DA's (alesis hd24) clocked to itself or to the mutec. Got the clock cheap and it connects all my digital gear (most has only WC in) without problems.


Herwig
Old 18th July 2005
  #10
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dim light's Avatar
 

Yes I'm also a Apogee fan! The 16X is awesome.
Old 18th July 2005
  #11
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SoZo's Avatar
The truth is: hehe

Yes, it will improve mid range convertors alot. You guys who don't hear anything are not listening. Im not saying that your not able, but you are not paying attention at all. Absolutly microphones, monitors, and preamps are a must first, but when you have this in place apogee is like having a white (compared to a brown) canvis to paint on.

Bob Ludwig and Mark Knofler say the 16x is better then ANY analog...
Old 18th July 2005
  #12
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Thanks guys, I'll c if my old high school buddy (manager I'll be buying from) carries the mutec. The mic I'll be getting is the Gefell UM900, paired up with the Pendulum Quartet 1.

I'm an arranger who will now do an album at my studio for this one particular singer. She's our country's...Mariah, I guess you could say. So it's a pop album, and her voice needs to be da bomb stike stike Drums will be recorded at another studio, so Acoustic Guitar is the only other live instrument I'll need to worry about.

I did thought about a GreatRiver/rnc instead of the Quartet and getting the Rosetta 200, but I was thinking the Quartet/Big Ben/mid-converter would make more of a difference than the GRme1nv/rnc/Rosetta200. (actually I'm more interested in the V78m, but the balanced out to the unbalanced in of the rnc...I dunno).

Ugh. My wife is getting pissed off that I spend more time in front of the computer researching this ****. I'm getting dizzy staring at the monitor all day (working and surfing and reading ALL kinds of opinions). To make it worse the peso against the dollar sucks, and I'm using a Samson C-control for my ADAM S3As! (actually, that c-control ain't bad).

I love what I'm doing here and I love my country, but sometimes I wish I was in the US or Europe so I can try out these things.

Anyway, TIA for any more opinions and suggestions.
Old 18th July 2005
  #13
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atticus's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoZo

Bob Ludwig and Mark Knofler say the 16x is better then ANY analog...
Ummm, here is the link to the digital gear list at Bob Ludwig's studio, Gateway mastering:

http://www.gatewaymastering.com/masttech.asp

And here is the link to the Mix magazine (May 05) article about Mark Knopfler where it is very clearly stated that he prefers to record to 2 inch, 16 track analog and then dump to digital, via the AD-16x.

http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_mark_knopfler/

I'm not trying to cause any issues here, but I think that we should not make blanket statements without first checking our facts. Thanks.
Old 18th July 2005
  #14
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allbaldo's Avatar
 

I used a Big Ben to clock 3 888/24's recently and did hear a difference, but not nearly the difference I had hoped for. If I had the money to spend on a BB, I'd rather spend it on mics and pres.
Old 18th July 2005
  #15
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoZo
Bob Ludwig and Mark Knofler say the 16x is better then ANY analog...

well then, case closed!




gregoire
del ubik
Old 18th July 2005
  #16
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Riad's Avatar
 

I'm a fan of my AD16-x and DA16-x, at least over the Digi stuff which I didn't think was stellar.

I don't think 3K is outrageous for a 16 channels of In, or Outs, with the Big Ben clock.

Old 18th July 2005
  #17
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dolo's Avatar
 

i add a big ben just the other day to my apogee rosetta 800's set up. let me tell you it does makes a great difference. the high end became more extended yet smooth, the mids were extremely more detailed. and the the low end was more defined. i put my wife in front of the system and just before playing a single sound she said i won't know the difference because i don't even know what to listen for. well, i played a song for her and she immediiately responded by saying it didn't sound like this before. i tell you, it makes all the difference in the world to me. go for it!!!!!
Old 18th July 2005
  #18
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I did the exact same "wife" test when I got my Dangerous 2 Bus... she said, WOW. :D
Old 18th July 2005
  #19
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Female intuition, my brothers..
They know what to say to please you

ruudman
Old 18th July 2005
  #20
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I tell you what.. Apogee are a bunch of rip-off merchants if adding Big Ben improves the sound of their high end converters.

The only time an external clock improves the sound is if the internal clock is crud in the first place.

So what's up with that?? - why doesnt Apogees high end stuff have BIg Ben - or at least Big Ben technology built in?!

If it does - then what you're hearing is psychoaccoustic...
Old 18th July 2005
  #21
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Riad's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruudman
Female intuition, my brothers..
They know what to say to please you

ruudman
Believe me, my wife was looking to crucify me for spending more cash on the studio... but she had to admit it made a difference.

heh
Old 18th July 2005
  #22
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Riad's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogWai
I tell you what.. Apogee are a bunch of rip-off merchants if adding Big Ben improves the sound of their high end converters.

The only time an external clock improves the sound is if the internal clock is crud in the first place.

So what's up with that?? - why doesnt Apogees high end stuff have BIg Ben - or at least Big Ben technology built in?!

If it does - then what you're hearing is psychoaccoustic...
Um, it does. The AD16-x and DA16-x converters have the C777 clock built into them.
Old 18th July 2005
  #23
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dim light's Avatar
 

16X have the big ben C777 clocking stuff... Sounds awesome!
Old 18th July 2005
  #24
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dim light's Avatar
 

Riad we reply in dual mono!
Old 19th July 2005
  #25
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I have an apogee DA 16X. I borrowed a Rosetta 200 192khz. The Rosetta sounded pretty good on its own but not all that better then my Lynx II, in fact they were pretty similar overall. Then clocked the Rosetta via word clock from the DA 16X which has the big ben clock. I found the midrange became smeared and "choked" and the high end became overly smooth, in a way that seemed artificial. You can do a search and hear samples, I posted it all. So this all kinda freaked me out, especially when everyone has had opposite experiences. Don't know what I'm going to do about A/D/A for my new facility. I may try out the A/D 16X, maybe because the 777 was built into the design, it will sound better. We'll see. I wish for the love of GOD that someone would do a shootout between the Lynx Aurora and the Apogee X series, can't believe how little has been posted about the Lynx.

Steve
Old 19th July 2005
  #26
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dolo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogWai
I tell you what.. Apogee are a bunch of rip-off merchants if adding Big Ben improves the sound of their high end converters.

The only time an external clock improves the sound is if the internal clock is crud in the first place.

So what's up with that?? - why doesnt Apogees high end stuff have BIg Ben - or at least Big Ben technology built in?!

If it does - then what you're hearing is psychoaccoustic...


first of all i run abunch of other digital devices besides the apogge 800's. and with the big ben i'm able to clock everything from one source.
Old 19th July 2005
  #27
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Sergievsky's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mogWai
...The only time an external clock improves the sound is if the internal clock is crud in the first place...
That's what I mean, none of my digital gear are Rosetta or Lavry quality, clockwise I'm sure. So would a BB then be worth it, since a small bump in improvement multiplied by five pieces of gear, in addition to the other benefits what a master clock provides...doesn't that add up to a worthwhile investment?

Let's say the argument that int is better than ext clock, with ext clock adding more jitter, is theoretically correct, then that would mean BB would have to do something to to turn all those added artifacts into something acoustically pleasing, right? Sorry, I know all this is over my head, but I'm just wondering if theoretically A+B=C, how could other people say D is the answer? There couldn't be THAT many engineers who ends up fooling themselves that they're hearing something pleasing when it should sound worse.

Not to rehash these arguments, I still would like to hear more opinions on what BB does to midrange converters. It seems to me it is in this range that the relative differences in sound improvement would be a bit clearer.
Old 19th July 2005
  #28
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Sergievsky's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang
I have an apogee DA 16X. I borrowed a Rosetta 200 192khz. The Rosetta sounded pretty good on its own but not all that better then my Lynx II, in fact they were pretty similar overall. Then clocked the Rosetta via word clock from the DA 16X which has the big ben clock. I found the midrange became smeared and "choked" and the high end became overly smooth, in a way that seemed artificial. You can do a search and hear samples, I posted it all. So this all kinda freaked me out, especially when everyone has had opposite experiences. Don't know what I'm going to do about A/D/A for my new facility. I may try out the A/D 16X, maybe because the 777 was built into the design, it will sound better. We'll see. I wish for the love of GOD that someone would do a shootout between the Lynx Aurora and the Apogee X series, can't believe how little has been posted about the Lynx.

Steve
Yeah, thanks for that thread btw, though it certainly was one of the threads that gave me a headache. But it also kinda made me decide to put off spending a big chunk of the money into the high end converters (well, maybe not High, High End Gold/Weiss/Prism). I don't think the Yamaha/002R converters are that bad, I think they're good enough for me to hear the differences between high end mics and pres, and they're good enough that I think the argument of paying big bucks for a D/A "because you can't mix what you can't hear" doesn't fully apply. Am I wrong? Would I be less wrong with a Big Ben? Am I making sense?
Old 19th July 2005
  #29
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SoZo I have listened quite carefully and do not like the apogee stuff I have used. Sounded papery and small . If that makes any sense at all. I here the Lavry stuff is awesome though. But hey obviously alot of peeps like apogee they are making a killing.
Old 19th July 2005
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dim light
16X have the big ben C777 clocking stuff... Sounds awesome!
OK, I stand corrected that the Apogee X series has BB technology, and subjectively sounds "awesome".

But I dont see why the Rosetta should be made to sound that much better. These units are still what I consider very much high end - so if the clock is that bad, whats the deal?

A Rosetta, imo, should be THAT good on its own - with a good enough clock to run all of your digital gear to the same standard.

Whether or not the BB improves mid-range converters is another matter. But from what I've learned its always better to run your converter with the internal clock - since accurate crystal sync is a lot easier to implement than PLL (I dont profess to understand all the tech stuff - but I get the jist).

Some people say it sounds better, others that it sounds worse.. who to believe?
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