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Crane Song Hedd vs MH ULN2 vs Forssell Mada-2 Digital Converters
Old 11th September 2010
  #1
Gear Head
 

Crane Song Hedd vs MH ULN2 vs Forssell Mada-2

Hi folks,

I own Metric Halo's ULN2 +DSP interface.
Looking for an update in depth and clarity and fullness I finally picked out these two devices:
1) Crane Song Hedd
2) Forssell Mada-2

How do they compare to ULN2's ?
Any enlightening notions or sound files?

Best regards
Old 11th September 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 
ISedlacek's Avatar
As we have compared them several times (and also others did), while HEDD is a decent converter, Forssell MADA-2 is in quite a different sound class ... Maybe Mr.Thermos and Prikosnovenie who also had these two side by side (as far as I know) can comment ? MADA-2 is in the league of the very best and top "boutique" converters available today
Old 11th September 2010
  #3
What about the Metric Halo ULN-8? Is it close to a Forssell or is it more in the same league as the HEDD?
Old 11th September 2010
  #4
Gear Head
 

ISedlacek,

thanks for sharing your insights.
Well, I haven't seen much on the Forssell device ...
Old 11th September 2010
  #5
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thermos's Avatar
The Forssell MADA smokes the Hedd in every way. Some may like the processing of the Hedd, but I was not a fan personally. Sounded like a plugin to me. The converters were good but the Forssell converters are EXCELLENT. I'm done looking forever.

Never tried the ULN-8. Heard its awesome.
Old 12th September 2010
  #6
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GYang's Avatar
Although I very much praise Crane Song gears, HEDD converters are already not comparable in class with Forssell.
HEDD is excellent digital processor and very decent converter, but I would put in the same sonic class as indeed very good Apogee X series.
ULN2 is at least equal if not better, I didn't expect from MH to make such excellent sounding converters ( ballpark of Lavry Blue/Black, Apogee X, Lynx Aurora, Prism Orpheus and Benchmark).
MADA2 is very serious converter that changed my perception on the best of bests, like Lavry Gold and older designs like Prism or DCS.
It has the best balance of high resolution and lack of sterile or somehow 'edgy' highs that might be heard on very good monitors even with most respected converters.
If MADA8 ever materialize in same quality as MADA2 it will be the first new converters to force me selling my Apogees and Lavrys, as they will provide that 'next step' of existing multichannel conversion that is already very, very good.
Old 12th September 2010
  #7
Gear Head
 

Thanks for your answers, folks.

Dear GYang,

Thank you for clarifying things.
It seems there's no more choice but picking up the Forssell
and starting recording good music.

Cheers
Old 12th September 2010
  #8
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Aisle 6's Avatar
There is a thread on the Forssell in the mastering forum. I was at the shootout where the Forssell was stacked up against Lavry Gold, Cranesong HEDD and Euphonics Pacific Microsonics.

It goes without saying that all these converters where great. However, the Cranesong was outclassed by all other converters and the other 3 contenders all sounded fantastic and had their own things going on that would make any one of them desirable. My personal favourite was the Forssell.
Old 12th September 2010
  #9
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666666's Avatar
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong and perhaps clarify...

It appears that the Forssell AD converter box does not have a word clock input jack. Can this unit be run on an external clock, or? I am concerned about possible limitations when incorporating the Forssell into various DAW situations with other converters running at the same time where you may wish or need to use a different clock on the system. Maybe I'm just overlooking something here, digital audio implementation is not my strong point. The HEDD, for instance, does have a word clock input and output and can be easily run off an external clock if so desired... I've used the HEDD in many different situations, using both internal and external clock, never had any conflicts.

So, in sum, for those who are familiar with the Forssell AD converter box, can you describe any potential limitations regarding clocking please... if any. Can this unit be easily run off an external clock in all situations (via AES/EBU perhaps?), or...? I'd likely wish to use it along with other converters at the same time while tracking etc... as well as in a mastering chain, etc.

Thanks. And I apologize for my digital ignorance.
Old 12th September 2010
  #10
Gear Head
 

Dear Aisle 6,

It makes my choice clear,
I'll take the Forssell's.

Thanks
Old 12th September 2010
  #11
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong and perhaps clarify...

It appears that the Forssell AD converter box does not have a word clock input jack.
MADA-2 has both word clock in and out (apart from AES/SPDIF/analogue XLR I/O).
Old 12th September 2010
  #12
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666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ISedlacek View Post
MADA-2 has both word clock in and out (apart from AES/SPDIF/analogue XLR I/O).
Thanks Ivo.

I was confused. I see now that you're talking about a MADA-2. But I had been looking at the MADC-2 which is the only AD currently shown at the Forssell website. And in the specs for the MADC-2, it does not list or state anything about a word clock input. Unless I somehow missed it which is not impossible.

So, please educate me here, according to the Forssell website, there is only a MADC-2 available. So what's up with the MADA-2 you speak of, is this also available, or perhaps discontinued, etc?

Bottom line, based on all the good reviews, I'd be interested in investigating whatever AD boxes Forssell currently offers, especially if they have a word clock input, but the only one I see at the site right now is the MADC-2, and no word clock input specified.

Thanks!
Old 12th September 2010
  #13
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxroach View Post
Thanks for your answers, folks.

Dear GYang,

Thank you for clarifying things.
It seems there's no more choice but picking up the Forssell
and starting recording good music.

Cheers
Choice is dictated by budget, so if you can do it without sacrifying other important purchases take Forssell.
For less money Apogee or Lavry Black will do excellent job (I use them daily).
I don't think that Forssell is absolute must have, but currently it simply represent real high-end within reachable price point.
Old 12th September 2010
  #14
Gear Head
 

Hi all...

Our website is being updated as we speak. It should be completed with a week or two. The new website will have new pages for our ADCs, DACs, and the MADA-2. There will be updated photos as well as downloads for manuals and test data for each of the new products. Sorry we are so far behind on getting the site updated. It's been very busy around here.

All of our ADCs now have WC sync inputs as well as WC out.

regards,
Fred Forssell
Old 12th September 2010
  #15
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666666's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred View Post
Hi all...

Our website is being updated as we speak. It should be completed with a week or two. The new website will have new pages for our ADCs, DACs, and the MADA-2. There will be updated photos as well as downloads for manuals and test data for each of the new products. Sorry we are so far behind on getting the site updated. It's been very busy around here.

All of our ADCs now have WC sync inputs as well as WC out.

regards,
Fred Forssell
Excellent!!! Look forward to checking it all out!!!

Thank you, sir!
Old 12th September 2010
  #16
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Aisle 6's Avatar
Hi Fred.
Congrats on building a great converter with an affordable price tag. You are setting the bar for others to follow. No compromise. thumbsup
Old 13th September 2010
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
KROK's Avatar
Check out the Hedd's performance when its clocked by a Mytek 8X192. heh
Old 13th September 2010
  #18
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KROK View Post
Check out the Hedd's performance when its clocked by a Mytek 8X192. heh

Does Mytek improve HEDD?
Or HEDD clocked by Mytek represents next 'hidden secret' revealed?

Of course it must be joke thumbsup
Old 13th September 2010
  #19
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666666's Avatar
Regarding clocks... slightly off topic question... is the goal to clock ANY given converter off the very BEST performing clock you can get your hands on, OR is this an issue where some converters sound better with certain clocks, and other converters sound better with other clocks, etc?

If indeed the goal is to run your converters off the best performing clock possible, then please list some of the best clocks out there.

I know Apogee makes a stand-alone clock unit (the Big Ben)... are there other units like this available that are "better"?

If indeed the goal is to simply have the "best" clock in front of all converters, then this should be an easy deal.... just get a unit that contains "the best" clock, and have it drive all digital gear in the studio.

Or am I missing something?

Please excuse my digital ignorance. I make all such decisions using my ears, but when it comes to digital stuff, sometimes I need a little guidance as to WHAT I should be experimenting with. Needless to say, I'd like to get the best performance out of my converters as possible.

Old 14th September 2010
  #20
Is there anyone who tried both the Forssell and the Metric Halo ULN-8 units?
Old 14th September 2010
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

What about the omission of metering on the Forssell. Does anyone see that as a problem?

K
Old 14th September 2010
  #22
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikumotoallstars View Post
What about the omission of metering on the Forssell. Does anyone see that as a problem?

K
I don't miss this feature at all. Over LED is perfectly enough. If I need detailed metering information, I would not look at converter but there are so many DAW software meters or specialised HW meters available.
Old 14th September 2010
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikumotoallstars View Post
What about the omission of metering on the Forssell. Does anyone see that as a problem?K
No. Metering can and should be done on the DAW or the recorder. Since the ADC is a digital output device, it's magnitude can be transmitted to another device with 100% accuracy. Also you may have a few of them, better to meter at the destination where they are all collected.
Old 14th September 2010
  #24
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Adebar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skriabin View Post
Is there anyone who tried both the Forssell and the Metric Halo ULN-8 units?
I have - and sell - both. The ULN-8, as the Sonic Studio Model 305, can sound close to the Forssell. Together with the linear power supply from Michael Zähl und Christian Zimmerli for the Model 305 / ULN-8 even a little closer.

But I still prefer the Forssell for its realism in the mids and the overall character which keeps the music flowing. I guess the ULN-8 is - together with the Zähl power supply - the best sounding FireWire Interface you can get. And its summing bus of the Console mixer may be the best digital summing available.
Old 14th September 2010
  #25
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skriabin View Post
Is there anyone who tried both the Forssell and the Metric Halo ULN-8 units?
I was looking for multichannel converters upgrade and tried ULN-8.
ULN-8 offers indeed very good quality, transparency and resolution.
There were rumours about coming Forssells 8ch ADDA and I would better wait for it.
Head to head, for its sonics, Forssell is clear winner, but ULN-8 has many other features (that I actually don't need).
Old 14th September 2010
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 666666 View Post
Regarding clocks... slightly off topic question... is the goal to clock ANY given converter off the very BEST performing clock you can get your hands on, OR is this an issue where some converters sound better with certain clocks, and other converters sound better with other clocks, etc?

If indeed the goal is to run your converters off the best performing clock possible, then please list some of the best clocks out there.
In the vast majority of cases, the best clock is the one included with the converters....unless you are in the business of making/selling clocks or your studio cannot avoid using a separate master clock to sync lots of digital devices.

Refer here for the evidence: Does Your Studio Need A Digital Master Clock?

Sean
Old 14th September 2010
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
bakerman's Avatar
 

How would a 2 channel DAD AX24 compare to the Forssell?
Old 14th September 2010
  #28
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thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikumotoallstars View Post
What about the omission of metering on the Forssell. Does anyone see that as a problem?

K
Don't miss it. I use Daw meters, works fine for me. FWIW, I run the ADC in the red a lot, and I like the inclusion of the over Led if I'm trying to track down distortion.

And to Bakerman, ISedlacek had a DAD 2 channel and much preferred the Forssell.
Old 14th September 2010
  #29
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ISedlacek's Avatar
Well, DAD is not exactly meant to be just 2 channel ... it is basically multichannel device ... But anyway - I used to have it and it sounded great but after I got Forssell AD DA - this was yet another sound class. DAD has a tiny bit extended bass and the highs do not sound as pristine clean, detailed and natural like Forssell.
Old 15th September 2010
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
bakerman's Avatar
 

interesting...I'm looking for an awesome 2 channel converter to print my mixes with.
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