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Burl B2 DAC Digital Converters
Old 8th December 2009
  #1
Gear interested
 

Burl B2 DAC

So did anyone got the chance to play with one? Still not shown on the website but it should have become available in October.
Old 8th December 2009
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anatta View Post
So did anyone got the chance to play with one? Still not shown on the website but it should have become available in October.
We've yet to lay hands on the B2 DAC. Can't wait to hear it in action though.
Old 9th December 2009
  #3
Gear interested
 

I just received one for a test drive. Admittedly, I haven't had much time to use it. And I have no easy way of switching between DACs without having to unplug cables, so an instantaneous A/B test is not possible.

Nonetheless, IMHO, the Burl DAC is a noticeable improvement over my Apogee Rosetta 200. The Apogee sounds like it has a bit of a smiley face eq going on (slight low end bump and a more distinct high end boost) in comparison. The B2 DAC sounds flat - in a good way! Soundstage seems wider, but what do I know - I am deaf in one ear (hence my moniker 'Monoman'). I will say that the first time I heard the Burl DAC, my response was, "Oh, so THAT'S what my music is supposed to sound like!" The Rosetta 200 sounds 'digital', whereas the Burl DAC sounds, dare I say it, more analog. Preliminary summary is that this is one great box!

Just my $.02.
Old 9th December 2009
  #4
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monoman View Post
Soundstage seems wider...
Thanks Monoman!
What about the soundstage depth? Did you notice an improvement? Vocals?

Wonder how it stacks against more expensive units like Weiss DAC1, Prism DA-2 (hope you'll let us know Adamheh); a comparison with the upcoming Forssell DAC would be interesting also.
Old 10th December 2009
  #5
Gear interested
 

Unfortunately, I've always been deaf in one ear, so I don't know what stereo sounds like. Therefore I can't comment on soundstage or depth. Sorry, that's not much help, and I wish I could say more.

Nonetheless, I can say that there is something about the sound of the B2 over that of the Rosetta 200 that is not simply frequency related. And while the B2 DAC is noticeably different in its sound reproduction than the B2, it is not a night and day difference. And it's all very subjective. Hopefully someone with 2 functional ears can put the B2 to the test and post their opinions here.

Perhaps the best indicator of the performance of the B2 DAC is that I'm going to buy it!
Old 10th December 2009
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Also interested in this as I love the Burl ADC. Monoman, I don't suppose you've been given any sort of release timeframe? I suspect not, but can't hurt to ask!

Thanks for your feedback.
Old 10th December 2009
  #7
Gear interested
 

I loved the Burl ADC too. I figured the DAC ought to be similar, so I had to check it out. IMHO, suffice it to say, if you love the Burl ADC, you'll love the DAC.

The unit I have here is not a pre-production unit, and the serial number is in the low teens, so they are shipping now. Contact your dealer - they should be able to get you one.

Not that my choice to buy the Burl DAC needs affirmation, but I'd be curious to know what others think of it. Especially those of you out there that have 2 functioning ears!
Old 10th December 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
same designer as 2192? I'm curious how this baby sounds
same as adc? I would think? or is it more transparent purposely
for impartial monitoring?

Adam Brass do you guys have a demo room up there
in Foxboro where I could check it out ? when you get a unit in?
Old 21st December 2009
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
same designer as 2192? I'm curious how this baby sounds
same as adc? I would think? or is it more transparent purposely
for impartial monitoring?

Adam Brass do you guys have a demo room up there
in Foxboro where I could check it out ? when you get a unit in?
Hi Robert,

I think you are correct the B2 DA is meant for reference, and I would guess that it has a slightly different topology, given its description on paper. I still have yet to preview this unit or see first hand what its about, so I will have to inquire within. We do have our Studio, The METh Lab, which is ready and waiting to demo some righteous reference DA's. We have RADAR, Crane Song and Apogee AD/DA16x's in action there currently. I will inquire with Burl to find out the lead time on a B2 DAC. The B2 AD is mind altering drug. That thing sounds really good.
Old 27th December 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Adebar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anatta View Post
a comparison with the upcoming Forssell DAC would be interesting also.
Its easy to do already, there are prototypes out there. I have a MADA-2 as demo unit in case you are somewhere in Germany.
Old 28th December 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 
DONNX's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monoman View Post

Nonetheless, IMHO, the Burl DAC is a noticeable improvement over my Apogee Rosetta 200.

Just my $.02.

No offense...I am glad that's true. Apogee Rosetta to a Burl? lol For the money you spend on a Burl. It should be compared to the Apogee DA-16x. A better fight in the ring. Its like putting Mike Tyson with some newbie not Holloway.
Old 24th January 2010
  #12






44.1k Hz to 192k Hz, 24 bit, 2 channel DAC
Proprietary custom design BOPA1, all discrete op-amps
Zero capacitor signal path
Audiophile quality 6 position attenuator with standard headroom settings
High definition metering with simultaneous RMS and peak indication
Two AES and one SPDIF input with dual AES wire support
BNC word clock input with two outputs of extremely low jitter clock
Frequencty resonse at 48kHz sample rate is 10Hz to 22kHz, +/- 0.1dB
Frequencty resonse at 96kHz sample rate is 10Hz to 46kHz, +/- 0.1dB
Frequencty resonse at 192kHz sample rate is 10Hz to 94kHz, +/- 0.1dB
123dB Dynamic Range (A- weighted), 117dB (no weighting)
-105dB THD+N (+4dBU = -14dBFs)
Rugged, Made in USA design
Old 24th January 2010
  #13
Gear interested
 

Some listening impressions Adam?
I wonder why Rich Williams chose a SMPS instead of a linear PSU.
Old 24th January 2010
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anatta View Post
Some listening impressions Adam?
I wonder why Rich Williams chose a SMPS instead of a linear PSU.
Truthfully, I have not heard the unit yet!

We've only just added it to the web site!

Hopefully I will have some impressions soon.
Old 21st February 2010
  #15
Gear Head
 
Bob Ebeling's Avatar
 

Guilty as charged

I was zooming some youtube vids and came across Rich, (Mr. Burl if your nasty). I had an impression right away from his flippant, strange presence. I thought, wow, this guy, in a way, does not give a shi$. He is probably really onto something. I can trust him.

Forward 2 weeks, a few e-mails, and Fed-Ex drops off a Burl DAC yesterday. I jumped right in to a major comparison between it and my Mytek 8x192. I have just sold my Lavry DA-10 for monitoring, because I have arrived at a point where I'm sick of total seperation in listening. I want to hear the instruments glued together in a unified picture and not start off mixing by trying to achieve this. I've been on a big kick to restore the joy of analog ease to my work environment. This is a big step.

In my trial of the Burl DAC yesterday, I have found it guilty as charged. How was it charged? Just listen to Rich speak on his youtube vid. He talks about analog, about voicing in which the cymbals aren't bashing in your face. This is exacly what I experienced. You can trust this guy. How he describes it is how I'm experiencing it.

Because the highs have this nice smooth slope, the rest of the picture is rendered wide and beautiful. The Rhodes piano thru huge reverb on my main test-track had this aura and width that made me just want to listen and enjoy it. The lowend is huge, open but so damn tight! Switching back to the Mytek, the cymbals came a-bashing back on top and that pretty much wrecks the joy from there on down.

Checking out track 3 on Beck's 'Seachange' showed me further how analog true this dac is. The snare drum was very different between the two converters. Mytek showing a brighter/thinner element off, Burl showing it off like it was coming back off the origional 2-inch machine. I thought, this is how they mixed it in the studio. You can hear the tape compression, you can hear they printed that bitch hard. And the snappy sound of the Mytek is replaced with a gutteral pound.

I think there is a bit of confusion over the term 'reference', people thinking that means 'for monitoring duties'. Though I was using the Burl for 'referencing', my main thought right now is this; how could I not have this on my main analog insert? I use alot of outboard gear and go for the most coloration possible. I have no fear.

I'm over the argument that AD/DA should be neutral. I disagree. Although, truthfully, I'm not doing Celine Dion type music, so... But seriously, I don't think this translates the way people have built up in their heads and been sold on by the 'digital powers that be' for the last 15 years.

'Mr. Burl' has created a timeless companion of life here. It's got an attitude like my Marantz 2235b receiver. It says, 'I am going to present you with pleasure'.
Old 23rd February 2010
  #16
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Rich's ears for tone are second to none. The B2 adc is a sick piece, I have zero doubt the dac will kick ass deftly.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 23rd February 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
 

I want to demo one of these babys against the upcoming Bricasti
Old 23rd February 2010
  #18
Lives for gear
 
DONNX's Avatar
 

Nice review on the Burl. Man, I was in the same boat. Thinking high transparency on the DA monitoring was the ticket for me. But I just can't stand not having it more musical when I have another option of a DA that presents a musical sound. That is the reason why I love music. Tone, musicality, enjoy the sounds that come out of my monitors, etc. Haven't tried the Burl DA yet or the AD. Love to give it a burl!

Sounds like my kind of DAC.thumbsup. Is this transformer based like the A/D?
Old 23rd February 2010
  #19
Gear Head
 
Bob Ebeling's Avatar
 

Discrete Op-Amps. It's also the name of my new band. The Discrete Op-amps?

The more I pop back and forth between the Mytek and Burl, everytime I get this little rush. It's seriously like the comparisons we used to do switching between a 3M 79 (tape Machine) and Pro-tools Mix rigs.

The bottom is so much more. I could try a thousand descriptions, but it's early. It just makes me realize how focused we all have been and been forced to be on high end. The Burl is truly the first time I've heard digital roll off like it's coming off a tape machine. The highs are mellow, not harsh, it's wide, vast, and one. It's unified man. The bottom just makes you giddy. It's huge.

Time slowly twists and we forget certain glorious things. I've recently started a project that includes having to roll about 50 dat tapes full of mixes from 1995-1997. Some of the mixes I did myself on a huge API board in Detroit at Whiteroom Studios. It was unbelievable to hear how much sub I was mixing onto a DAT machine, and how subtle and soft the top was.

This is that.

Hey UBK, your vids are awesome. Really enjoyed those, you seem a long lost blood brother from the guild.
Old 23rd February 2010
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostboy View Post
I was zooming some youtube vids and came across Rich, (Mr. Burl if your nasty). I had an impression right away from his flippant, strange presence. I thought, wow, this guy, in a way, does not give a shi$. He is probably really onto something. I can trust him.

Forward 2 weeks, a few e-mails, and Fed-Ex drops off a Burl DAC yesterday. I jumped right in to a major comparison between it and my Mytek 8x192. I have just sold my Lavry DA-10 for monitoring, because I have arrived at a point where I'm sick of total seperation in listening. I want to hear the instruments glued together in a unified picture and not start off mixing by trying to achieve this. I've been on a big kick to restore the joy of analog ease to my work environment. This is a big step.

In my trial of the Burl DAC yesterday, I have found it guilty as charged. How was it charged? Just listen to Rich speak on his youtube vid. He talks about analog, about voicing in which the cymbals aren't bashing in your face. This is exacly what I experienced. You can trust this guy. How he describes it is how I'm experiencing it.

Because the highs have this nice smooth slope, the rest of the picture is rendered wide and beautiful. The Rhodes piano thru huge reverb on my main test-track had this aura and width that made me just want to listen and enjoy it. The lowend is huge, open but so damn tight! Switching back to the Mytek, the cymbals came a-bashing back on top and that pretty much wrecks the joy from there on down.

Checking out track 3 on Beck's 'Seachange' showed me further how analog true this dac is. The snare drum was very different between the two converters. Mytek showing a brighter/thinner element off, Burl showing it off like it was coming back off the origional 2-inch machine. I thought, this is how they mixed it in the studio. You can hear the tape compression, you can hear they printed that bitch hard. And the snappy sound of the Mytek is replaced with a gutteral pound.

I think there is a bit of confusion over the term 'reference', people thinking that means 'for monitoring duties'. Though I was using the Burl for 'referencing', my main thought right now is this; how could I not have this on my main analog insert? I use alot of outboard gear and go for the most coloration possible. I have no fear.

I'm over the argument that AD/DA should be neutral. I disagree. Although, truthfully, I'm not doing Celine Dion type music, so... But seriously, I don't think this translates the way people have built up in their heads and been sold on by the 'digital powers that be' for the last 15 years.

'Mr. Burl' has created a timeless companion of life here. It's got an attitude like my Marantz 2235b receiver. It says, 'I am going to present you with pleasure'.
Great Review Bob!
Old 23rd February 2010
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

could somebody with burl do me a favour?
just patch DA to DA and run a song through it?
i did it this morning with with UA2192 and SSL Alphalink
i recorded at 44.1 and 88.2, clocked with UA, at 0dbfs and at -9dbfs
i used Christina Aguilera "Beautiful" (of course no mp3)
i would of course send you the other files, if interested
maybe i should do a post, but i´m not sure if i run into legal issues when i post a commercial song
Old 23rd February 2010
  #22
Gear Head
 
Bob Ebeling's Avatar
 

Thanks Adam. It's quite a thrill to hear the ol' bump at 200 again. It's giving me flashbacks. This is so gonna fly over the digital kids heads...or will it? I know it won't fly over their hearts/brains.
Old 23rd February 2010
  #23
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostboy View Post
The Burl is truly the first time I've heard digital roll off like it's coming off a tape machine.

That's pretty much the way I characterized the adc way back I first reviewed it here. It was the first straight-to-digital session I'd ever done where I thought to myself, "I don't miss the tape machine."

I've been all tape for the last year or so, but recently retired both machines in favor of an all-tube / Burl rig.

My daw now sounds better than tape...


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 23rd February 2010
  #24
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DONNX View Post
Is this transformer based like the A/D?

I'm looking in that pictured unit and there's no iron in there; the DOA's in the DAC live where the trafo's live in the ADC.


Gregory Scott - ubk
Old 23rd February 2010
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostboy View Post
Thanks Adam. It's quite a thrill to hear the ol' bump at 200 again. It's giving me flashbacks. This is so gonna fly over the digital kids heads...or will it? I know it won't fly over their hearts/brains.
I'm still a fetus myself, [have always been plugged into the Matrix] but I get your meaning having been around engineers printing 2-tracks to "man" recorders.

The Bomber-Drops-Bombs. That's its job.

I can't wait to preview this righteously inspiring device.
Old 23rd February 2010
  #26
Gear Head
 
Bob Ebeling's Avatar
 

Yes. It punches you in the chest so nicely.

Greg, I'm on the same tip. Have been regressing and progressing. My 2-buss right now is just a pair of Tube Tech CL1b's feeding a pair of Pulse EQP-1A3.

I 100% agree though, and it was the first realization that popped in my head. I don't need the 1/2" with these.
Old 12th May 2010
  #27
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
Just got to check out the BURL B2. Not much time for a detailed review right now (still wiping up water), but it is absolutely awesome. Clarity is great, it sounds wider, deeper and more dynamic than other converters I have in the studio. Do yourself a favor and try one out if you can and be prepared to get your wallet out. thumbsupthumbsup
Old 12th May 2010
  #28
Lives for gear
 
RKrizman's Avatar
 

I'm not sure I get it. So you have this great sound coming through your monitors from the Burl, but your mix itself will not have those qualities when heard elsewhere. So aren't you just kidding yourself?

Unless you run it through the Burl as an effects device. Is that the idea? So you'd send your mix out through the Burl D/A then back into PT through,...what?,....then monitor the output of Protools through....?

How are you guys actually using this thing?


-R
Old 12th May 2010
  #29
Lives for gear
 
PlugHead's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman View Post
I'm not sure I get it. So you have this great sound coming through your monitors from the Burl, but your mix itself will not have those qualities when heard elsewhere. So aren't you just kidding yourself?

Unless you run it through the Burl as an effects device. Is that the idea? So you'd send your mix out through the Burl D/A then back into PT through,...what?,....then monitor the output of Protools through....?

How are you guys actually using this thing?


-R
What he said ^^^

Unless you're using it to run your analog mixdown (2 buss) thru, what good is listening back to rolled off highs and 'tape-like' sounds going to do for your mixes? It's not like that chocolaty goodness will affect the mix except for your observation of it?

Puzzled...
Old 12th May 2010
  #30
High End Moderator
 
mwagener's Avatar
I am talking about the A/D converter. From Nuendo I come out with 24 channels (12 stereo busses) via the Euphonix MA 703 into the SSL AWS 900 for summing 24 analog channels to the SSL Stereo bus. From there I go into a bunch of outboard gear: CraneSong STC-8 > Massive Passive > API 5500 > Chandler Zener > Chandler Curve Bender, etc. as needed, and then back into Nuendo via the BURL B2 then digital into the CraneSong HEDD. So yes, the A/D converter does make a big difference and it will be on my mix and not only in the monitors.

Sorry, I should have mentioned that I was talking about the B2 A/D
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