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Burl Bomber vs Forssell Mada
Old 12th July 2011
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Burl Bomber vs Forssell Mada

Hello,
I'd like to buy a new 2 channel converter (I have digi 192), for my mixes and I'm thinking about Burl Bomber and Forssell mada. For AD DA the price is similar.

What do you suggest?
Did you compare them?

thanx
Old 12th July 2011
  #2
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I'm curious as well. The Burls were used at a studio I used to work at and they do sound great, but the Forssell seems tempting from the reviews. I'm hoping to demo the Forssell by weeks end.
Old 12th July 2011
  #3
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Marcocet's Avatar
Very different products. I have not used the Forsell converters but he makes absolutely amazing, pristine sounding equipment. The Burl, while also sounding amazing, has a dramatically overbuilt analog front end including transformers to emulate classic technology. Essentially it's got the best parts of the best tape machines built into it. The Forsell is far more stripped down.

They're both certainly worthy options, and as opposed to my normal suggestion of "don't buy anything without trying it at home" these you may be able to just pick one. What kind of job are you looking for your converter to do?
Old 12th July 2011
  #4
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chet.d's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcocet View Post
What kind of job are you looking for your converter to do?
Exactly.

Quality & a pleasant kind of thickness & clarity in an AD -
Burl or Jcf.
Quality & Clarity in an AD -
Forssell.

In either case I'd be inclined to think Forssell for DA.
Imo.
Old 12th July 2011
  #5
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all i know is that i would never ever buy an AD converter that advertises a coloured sound. at the given price tag.... i mean if being able to afford that burl one probable has a ton of tube preamps, comps etc....so why would anyone with that kind of budged need a transistor "enhancement" sound. id much rather strap a pair of v72s across my mix buss when colour is needed.
why in the world would i want a "coloured" converter?i just dont get the concept. its almost absurd to me. áctually, its a complete marvel to me....but i guess some people will actually buy it. and btw...why in the world would i spend this kind of cash with a company thats complettely new and has not reputation? no thanks. i have seen to many gearslutz hypes ending up in the classifieds.
Old 12th July 2011
  #6
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VT-MHE's Avatar
I agree i think a converter should only be a mirror of the source to digital. however with the new technology its gives and affords everyone options and flexibility. everyone may have a different sound in their head and goals they want to achieve. so i can see why someone would want to color their sound at the conversion stage. that may be a signature to their sound and goals the same as the designer. everyone doesn't want pristine clean copy conversion. for those who like tape like the permanent sound and color at the conversion process. and yes burl is a new company but the designer is not and has created a classic very well known converter. His designs and quality is what his track record is based off of. not his new company. the only qualm you could have about the company is the customer service, not knowing if its any good or not. Dan lavry made designs and products for apogee. when he opened up on his own with db technologies he made a name for himself based on his quality, when it was changed to larvy tech no one questioned his new company or name, those familiar with his designs and work knew what they were getting because of and work and rep as a designer. i understand it all..... different tools for different people for different goals. to each his/her own...
Old 12th July 2011
  #7
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abechap024's Avatar
 

Thinking of things as "adding color" could be a little short sighted. Even the "transparent" circuity adds something. Transparent is still a color.

Thinking about circuits just as coloring pencils can sometimes be short sighted because often times its about keeping what you have, rather than adding something to what you had to begin with.

That being said, I have never used either of these so I have nothing to add.
Old 13th July 2011
  #8
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chet.d's Avatar
 

Descriptions are a slippery slope.

I can't say I really hear color with Burl A/D. Though like already said, everything has a sound by design.
I just like what the B2 does at the A/D stage.
Old 13th July 2011
  #9
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Marcocet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chet.d View Post
Descriptions are a slippery slope.

I can't say I really hear color with Burl A/D. Though like already said, everything has a sound by design.
I just like what the B2 does at the A/D stage.
Absolutely true. I retract my earlier comments: Try them both!!
Old 21st July 2011
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Unfortunately I don't have the possibility to test them.
Has someone compared them?

Thank you
Old 21st July 2011
  #11
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Black Lion Audio has converters between $1,000 and $2,000. The design concept is similar to Burl's.
Old 21st July 2011
  #12
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Adebar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by abechap024 View Post

Transparent is still a color.
Transparent just means same IN same OUT.
I wouldn't regard that as color.
Old 21st July 2011
  #13
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massimo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post
Transparent just means same IN same OUT.
I wouldn't regard that as color.
Exactly.
A dirty/greasy window glass or mirror is not "subjectively dirty". It IS dirty.
A perfectly clean, transparent glass IS transparent. In the sense that what you see through it is identical to what you would see if it did not exist.
Then maybe for some reason you like dirty/coloured, which is perfectly ok and desireable with a lot of equipment. But that's another matter

best regards
Massimo
Old 21st July 2011
  #14
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Remy Leloup's Avatar
It's a question that is so difficult to answer .... at this level of excellence , it's just a matter of taste not matter of quality ...

But as far as I am concerned as a future high end converters buyer , I would say that the basic task of a great conv is TRANSPARENCY period...

If I want a " colour " I can add that needed colour AFTER with outboards can I ????

So first of all purest clarity , and Forssell seems to be the one for that , I am currently hesitate between Forssell , Apogee Symphony or IZ ADA ( radar satisfied owner ) decisions decisions ....
Old 22nd July 2011
  #15
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remy Leloup View Post
It's a question that is so difficult to answer .... at this level of excellence , it's just a matter of taste not matter of quality ...

But as far as I am concerned as a future high end converters buyer , I would say that the basic task of a great conv is TRANSPARENCY period...

If I want a " colour " I can add that needed colour AFTER with outboards can I ????

So first of all purest clarity , and Forssell seems to be the one for that , I am currently hesitate between Forssell , Apogee Symphony or IZ ADA ( radar satisfied owner ) decisions decisions ....
Funny, people used to describe the Radar converters with similar adjectives as the Burl... if you are happy with the Radars, then you'll be happy with Burl, IMHO.

And, as someone here said, descriptions are a slippery slope-

I've owned Prism, Apogee, Digidesign and now Burl- Want me to tell you which one I think sounds the BEST (and what does "best" sound like?)

If you get the question, then you get the point.

-andrews
Old 22nd July 2011
  #16
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toneguru's Avatar
If I ever get my own studio someday and I am running digital I figure that I will have more than one brand of converter. Maybe even a Forsell and a Burl. Sounds like a great combo.

I don't care where I get my sounds from. If the Burl imparts a great analog vibe I'm sure it can help speed up a session that needs just a wee more attitude in the tone. Likewise with the Forsell speeding things up that need a wee bit more clarity. I think its cool as long as they both sound great.

I don't get it when I hear, the converter has to be transparent, the mic must be transparent, get more vibe from a tube pre or 1272, the EQ must be transparent or a Pultec, the compressor must be where you get your... well you get the point.

Regardless of all this if we have great ears and know our gear well we will prevail.

- Cheers
Old 22nd July 2011
  #17
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Empire Prod's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by S75 View Post
Hello,
I'd like to buy a new 2 channel converter (I have digi 192), for my mixes and I'm thinking about Burl Bomber and Forssell mada. For AD DA the price is similar.

What do you suggest?
Did you compare them?

thanx
I had both for a week. Bought the Forssell.
Old 22nd July 2011
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Remy Leloup's Avatar
@ Dirty Halo

Pleased to give you some fun Dude

Man you got it all ...Prism , Apogee , Burl WOW !!!!

My point of view is Buy Once Buy right , that's the reason why I like people who
share their experiences and descriptions funny or not ...

Then I met another Forssell converters lover here in this forum and I'll check it out for sure before buying their brand new MADA 8 , ears are my only judge

Now if I could yes I would take IZ ADA in a second but it's pricey and It 's always fine to know what could be the best alternative .
Old 22nd July 2011
  #19
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Dirty Halo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remy Leloup View Post
@ Dirty Halo

Pleased to give you some fun Dude

Man you got it all ...Prism , Apogee , Burl WOW !!!!

My point of view is Buy Once Buy right , that's the reason why I like people who
share their experiences and descriptions funny or not ...

Then I met another Forssell converters lover here in this forum and I'll check it out for sure before buying their brand new MADA 8 , ears are my only judge

Now if I could yes I would take IZ ADA in a second but it's pricey and It 's always fine to know what could be the best alternative .

To clarify, I've owned those various converters at one time or another (changing for studio changes, changing configurations, etc.)

The other part of this conversation that I feel is missing is the CONTEXT of our converters...

For example, when I was working with my SSL 4000E console and all my outboard, etc., the Prism ADA-8XR was the right converter for me, it seemd to compliment the sound of all the other gear in the path (or perhaps, didn't get in the way of the sound)... when I moved to an SSL X-desk, that same Prism sounded TOO sterile and the Burl ended up getting me back to a richer sound.

Both great converters. And my opinion, firmly grounded in how they were being used.

-andrews
Old 23rd July 2011
  #20
Which DAC and ADC chips are used in the Forssell MADA-2?
Old 23rd July 2011
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skriabin View Post
Which DAC and ADC chips are used in the Forssell MADA-2?
Does it matter?
Old 24th July 2011
  #22
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thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt View Post
Does it matter?
Nope. I got to hear 2 of Fred's DAC designs. One that used a very old (and more costly) burr brown chipset and one with a newer DAC chip. The newer DAC chip design was better, but it wasn't a super earth shattering difference. They were both the best DAC I'd ever heard. The design is more than 90% of it and the converter the last bit.
Old 24th July 2011
  #23
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Adebar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
The design is more than 90% of it and the converter the last bit.
Good point!
Old 25th July 2011
  #24
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thermos View Post
The design is more than 90% of it and the converter the last bit.
Agree. So I'm very curious to see the internal design of it. Anyone care to post its internal picture, either MADA or MDAC?
Old 25th July 2011
  #25
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
all i know is that i would never ever buy an AD converter that advertises a coloured sound. at the given price tag.... i mean if being able to afford that burl one probable has a ton of tube preamps, comps etc....so why would anyone with that kind of budged need a transistor "enhancement" sound. id much rather strap a pair of v72s across my mix buss when colour is needed.
why in the world would i want a "coloured" converter?i just dont get the concept. its almost absurd to me. áctually, its a complete marvel to me....but i guess some people will actually buy it. and btw...why in the world would i spend this kind of cash with a company thats complettely new and has not reputation? no thanks. i have seen to many gearslutz hypes ending up in the classifieds.
What if the Burl gives you the sound you were looking for? Everything we know for the last 30 years went out the window. All the "should be´s" went along with it. We´re in a complete transitional period in audio. What´s " the right thing to do" is no way decided.
Old 25th July 2011
  #26
Gear Head
 
willyk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by salomonander View Post
all i know is that i would never ever buy an AD converter that advertises a coloured sound. at the given price tag.... i mean if being able to afford that burl one probable has a ton of tube preamps, comps etc....so why would anyone with that kind of budged need a transistor "enhancement" sound. id much rather strap a pair of v72s across my mix buss when colour is needed.
why in the world would i want a "coloured" converter?i just dont get the concept. its almost absurd to me. áctually, its a complete marvel to me....but i guess some people will actually buy it. and btw...why in the world would i spend this kind of cash with a company thats complettely new and has not reputation? no thanks. i have seen to many gearslutz hypes ending up in the classifieds.
Hello. As a representative of Burl Audio, we do not advertise our converters as being "colored". We will tell you that our converters sound more musical and sound more natural than any other converter. You can add color by hitting the converter hard, like a tape machine, but that's only if you want to.

But in all honesty, these discussions (and my response) are helpful only to a point. We'll be the first ones to tell you, you have to hear it. All that matters is how it actually sounds...
Old 28th January 2014
  #27
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cinealta's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by willyk View Post
As a representative of Burl Audio...You can add color by hitting the converter hard, like a tape machine, but that's only if you want to. But in all honesty, these discussions (and my response) are helpful only to a point...All that matters is how it actually sounds...
How it *sounds* is not what matters in a converter. Converters should be transparent and sound exactly like the source material you're putting into them. How else would you know what your tracks actually sound lile? I'm sure it sounds great, it's got input transformers which artificially color the sound, as you yourself admit. Why do you think folks use so much analog outboard when working with digital? Adding artificial color sounds good (essentially modifying the signal with EQ, harmonics and distortion). We're concerned with how *accurate* it is. That's the test of a great converter.
Old 28th January 2014
  #28
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I compared the Burl and the Forssell AD side by side (own the Forssell and tested the Burl). Imho both are exellent converters. Maybe the Forssell is a smidge more accurate but I love the subtle (if you don't hit the tramsformer too hard) "colour" that the Burl adds (in very musical and natural way). So for mastering I slightly prefer the Forssell but for recording the Burl (in it's "cleanest" setting).

And I like both AD converters much better than e.g. Mytek 8x196, Lavy Blue, Lynx Aurora, Apogee AD16x or ULN-8...

I think there is no converter - AD or DA, that is 100% accurate to the source so every converter has a (subtle) "sound".
Old 29th January 2014
  #29
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thermos's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzjoe View Post
I compared the Burl and the Forssell AD side by side (own the Forssell and tested the Burl). Imho both are exellent converters. Maybe the Forssell is a smidge more accurate but I love the subtle (if you don't hit the tramsformer too hard) "colour" that the Burl adds (in very musical and natural way). So for mastering I slightly prefer the Forssell but for recording the Burl (in it's "cleanest" setting).

And I like both AD converters much better than e.g. Mytek 8x196, Lavy Blue, Lynx Aurora, Apogee AD16x or ULN-8...

I think there is no converter - AD or DA, that is 100% accurate to the source so every converter has a (subtle) "sound".
Agreed, anything that makes a sound has a sound.

I would love to have a pair of Burls for tracking, still rocking the MADA (the original) and LOVE it. I use it for tracking too, it makes everything easier.
Old 29th January 2014
  #30
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Woodwindy's Avatar
I do a video demo of the B2 ADC and the Symphony here:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4ykZImD...m-upload_owner
24/48 files downloadable here:https://www.dropbox.com/sh/baaw51vu4om1ryl/jSzLZPfa_U
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