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API A2D Audio Interfaces
Old 18th June 2006
  #31
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echorec's Avatar
 

Yes, there is a clock in every converter.
Old 18th June 2006
  #32
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thx i know it is kind of a dumb question but wanted to make sure.
Old 3rd July 2006
  #33
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Benmrx's Avatar
 

any more opinions on the converters in this box?

anyone compared this with a rosetta?
Old 4th July 2006
  #34
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lemix's Avatar
OK,
Let me start off by saying that I too have the A2D on order.
Now..(and I'm ready to get flamed for this) why does everybody asking for A/B comparisons, opinions on "converter quality", etc ?
Beat the hell out of me. Go borrow/rent it and see if it fits your criteria !
We all know that lower priced converters have to compromise in some aspect. Also any new designs will perform better than AD's from the early ages of designs.
I don't have anything fancy to mix through..BUT..don't we always mix via monitoring the destination's output through a known playback chain ??
So..if any decent new AD converter sounds a tad heavy on one end of the spectrum or the opposite..don't we just compensate in our mixing decisions ??
Someone please explain this constant requests for blind A/B/C comparison requests for me..I'm just an older engineer.
BTW..currenty using the STUDER D-19 20bit , 48 Khz max AD for my mixes. To my ears it sounds more real than the Digi 96 ADs..which we use for tracking.
Also have some old 16 bit Spectrals, and that TC Finalizer thing. Not so pleasant..

take care all
Old 4th July 2006
  #35
Gear Maniac
 
Kalite Marka's Avatar
 

It is interesting to see that most people are asking about the A/D converters on this unit rather than trying to find out “how the A2d mic pres stack up compared to other API mic pres (such as 3124)”.
Personally I would jump on the unit if the pres are the same signature API sound.
If so $1700 is a bargain and A/D converter is an extra-added bonus (which I wouldn’t expect too much from).
Old 4th July 2006
  #36
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalite Marka
It is interesting to see that most people are asking about the A/D converters on this unit rather than trying to find out “how the A2d mic pres stack up compared to other API mic pres (such as 3124)”.
Personally I would jump on the unit if the pres are the same signature API sound.
If so $1700 is a bargain and A/D converter is an extra-added bonus (which I wouldn’t expect too much from).
You are spot on, the converters are a bonus good or not so good.
I haven't heard the 3124 but the A2D has the same preamp specs other than the amount of pres in the box and the additional 2:1 button. To my ears the A2D sounds wonderful, with a heap of head room. The good thing about the AD section is that it has an extra gain control on the output stage.

Nick
Old 4th July 2006
  #37
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Benmrx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalite Marka
It is interesting to see that most people are asking about the A/D converters on this unit rather than trying to find out “how the A2d mic pres stack up compared to other API mic pres (such as 3124)”.
Personally I would jump on the unit if the pres are the same signature API sound.
If so $1700 is a bargain and A/D converter is an extra-added bonus (which I wouldn’t expect too much from).

Well, in my case, it's because (I think) the preamps are pretty much the 'ol API standbye pre's, nothing too new here, but the A/D section is obviously new.
Old 5th July 2006
  #38
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lemix's Avatar
Right,
The preamps are the same 312's according to API literature.
FWIW, I have a shiny brand new unit sitting right in front of me on loan from my gear supplier. My first visual impressions are very positive; it has some decent weight to it, comes with QC inspection sheet and it is made in the USA.
I'll be hooking it up Friday @ the studio to run some converter tests.
Will talk later...
Old 6th July 2006
  #39
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Benmrx's Avatar
 



cool, can't wait to hear what you think of 'em
Old 8th July 2006
  #40
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lemix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benmrx

cool, can't wait to hear what you think of 'em
As promised..
>these observations are based on a quick, not too scientific listening test and should only represent this user's personal opinion !<
OK, we all know what an API 312 should sound like, and spending $1700 is really only the question if one needs a two channel version of it.
My situation is somewhat different, as we have a few different flavors of decent/good mic preamps already, and I rent in the lunchbox as needed.
The AD converter was my main interest, just to have a modern day 24bit/192 capable unit on hand.
Had about an hour before my gig yesterday, so hooked up the A2D in an exact same calibration/monitoring/listening situation as my 10 years old Studer D-19, 20bit/48 Khz max capable box to compare.
This is the rundown of the setup;
Chose a sparse 16 or so tracks PT HD session of mainly acoustic instruments and voices. Brought it up on the board. My typically used mixing chain goes like this:
Console 2 mix out @ 0dB >Studer AD balanced in, calibrated to = -14DBFS > AES to Wavelab workstations digital IOcard AES in > AES out > Benchmark DAC-1 > balanced analog out > board's two track monitor #1 in, calibrated to 0dB.
Straightforward and simple, I've been mixing this way for 10 years.
Then..built a short, good quality patchcord (FXLR>1/4" TRS / Canair, Neutrik) to feed the API AD in.
This input was fed from the second two mix out from the console and calibrated identically.
Now...this is what I've noticed immediately:
The Studer chain sounded really close, if not identical to the analog out of the board. There is only one switch to press to hear A/B.
On the API chain...stereo image narrowed in about 10-25 % !!
Also..low mid frequencies had an extra lift, compared to the source and the D-19 ! This was very noticable on the lower string of the acoustic GTR.
In addition ... to have identical digital level delivered ..the API's digital input gains were almost maxed out ! My Studer sits at mid scale.
Listening was via our Genelecs/NS 10s/ JBLs and cans.

So..for me in search for another modern day 192/24 capable converter..the A2D isn't the right tool..
Going back to my dealer with a sincere thank you, for letting me try it.
Next is...Benchmark ADC-1 !

Sorry for making a short story long..
take care all,
andrew
Old 8th July 2006
  #41
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lemix
As promised..
>these observations are based on a quick, not too scientific listening test and should only represent this user's personal opinion !<
OK, we all know what an API 312 should sound like, and spending $1700 is really only the question if one needs a two channel version of it.
My situation is somewhat different, as we have a few different flavors of decent/good mic preamps already, and I rent in the lunchbox as needed.
The AD converter was my main interest, just to have a modern day 24bit/192 capable unit on hand.
Had about an hour before my gig yesterday, so hooked up the A2D in an exact same calibration/monitoring/listening situation as my 10 years old Studer D-19, 20bit/48 Khz max capable box to compare.
This is the rundown of the setup;
Chose a sparse 16 or so tracks PT HD session of mainly acoustic instruments and voices. Brought it up on the board. My typically used mixing chain goes like this:
Console 2 mix out @ 0dB >Studer AD balanced in, calibrated to = -14DBFS > AES to Wavelab workstations digital IOcard AES in > AES out > Benchmark DAC-1 > balanced analog out > board's two track monitor #1 in, calibrated to 0dB.
Straightforward and simple, I've been mixing this way for 10 years.
Then..built a short, good quality patchcord (FXLR>1/4" TRS / Canair, Neutrik) to feed the API AD in.
This input was fed from the second two mix out from the console and calibrated identically.
Now...this is what I've noticed immediately:
The Studer chain sounded really close, if not identical to the analog out of the board. There is only one switch to press to hear A/B.
On the API chain...stereo image narrowed in about 10-25 % !!
Also..low mid frequencies had an extra lift, compared to the source and the D-19 ! This was very noticable on the lower string of the acoustic GTR.
In addition ... to have identical digital level delivered ..the API's digital input gains were almost maxed out ! My Studer sits at mid scale.
Listening was via our Genelecs/NS 10s/ JBLs and cans.

So..for me in search for another modern day 192/24 capable converter..the A2D isn't the right tool..
Going back to my dealer with a sincere thank you, for letting me try it.
Next is...Benchmark ADC-1 !

Sorry for making a short story long..
take care all,
andrew
Did you try running individual instruments through the unit? The converter has character, and really excels in a tracking scenario...
Old 8th July 2006
  #42
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lemix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont
Did you try running individual instruments through the unit? The converter has character, and really excels in a tracking scenario...
No Tony..I didn't.
If I had extra dough and in desperate need for a tracking converter, I would need to check 16 channel units out first! Think of the New Mytek or similar..
We are currently have to do with 24 channels of Digi 96 and another 8 of Fostex D2424.
I know...
Too bad for the A2D, she looks and feels solid !
I love the weight, look , the sexy blue light on the switches..and most importantly the 2:1 transformer padding on it !! Plugged a bass in to try it quickly, and there is definitely a cool new option in there thumbsup

later,
Old 10th July 2006
  #43
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Benmrx's Avatar
 

Thanks for the review lemix, although it wasn't quite what I was wanting to hear. I was hoping to use this unit as the A/D with my masterlink for mixdown.
Old 10th July 2006
  #44
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lemix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benmrx
Thanks for the review lemix, although it wasn't quite what I was wanting to hear. I was hoping to use this unit as the A/D with my masterlink for mixdown.
Hey..I did start my post with :
>these observations are based on a quick, not too scientific listening test and should only represent this user's personal opinion !<
I was also very hyped up and ready to pay for it.
As Tony has mentioned, it is likely a great tracking converter, but in my case that would have to be at least an 8 channel one !
You do have a few choices for good mixing converters under $ 2K though..


all the best,
Old 11th July 2006
  #45
Gear Head
 
Sukks2bu's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lemix
Hey..I did start my post with :
>these observations are based on a quick, not too scientific listening test and should only represent this user's personal opinion !<
I was also very hyped up and ready to pay for it.
As Tony has mentioned, it is likely a great tracking converter, but in my case that would have to be at least an 8 channel one !
You do have a few choices for good mixing converters under $ 2K though..


all the best,

I was there for the ear test Lemix speaks of. My first impresion was also a 20% claps to mono. It took about 10 seconds to realise this was not what we were after in a high end mixing converter. His studer was much closer to a "true" representation of the mix. I was a little disapointed, but as stated earlier, it is a two channel mic pre with free converters.
Old 11th July 2006
  #46
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Benmrx's Avatar
 

Oh I agree that even if the converters aren't the best of the best that this is still a pretty killer deal. I just don't have that much need for a pair of preamps, although I'm sure a pair of 312's would come in handy......The quad eight sidecar that currently lives here will someday leave, and I do need to build up my mic preamp selection for when that day comes.

And money is tight at the moment. I just spent a nice chunk of change getting some work done on the power supply for my 2" machine, and also purchased an air conditioner for the control room yesturday. So I'm always lookin' for the "deals"

I will be stoked to read some more user reviews on the converter in this thing, and most likely when the time comes I'll audition it along with some other units.

Than again, I did see a nice looking 1/2" Otari 2 track on craigslist.

Thanks again for the reviews on this piece, even if they were quick and un-scientific
Old 11th July 2006
  #47
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Finally got my A2D working with my digital side of PT HD (analogue fine). The A2D will not work with my Yamaha 01V96, but when I disconnected the mixer the A2D worked....could be a clocking problem, just don't know, never happened before with any other device and I need the 01V96 for playback.
I ran a mic into channel 1 of the A2D and straight into the 192 IO with two tracks selected in PT, one analogue and the other digital, recorded a vocal.
Result........the digital recording was very low on gain, if I added more gain the meter would go into red. This unit needs to have more head room on the digital side. It sounded OK.
I think I'll send it back and get the Lunch box with 2 x 512c pres.

Nick
Old 11th July 2006
  #48
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superburtm's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aearth
Finally got my A2D working with my digital side of PT HD (analogue fine). The A2D will not work with my Yamaha 01V96, but when I disconnected the mixer the A2D worked....could be a clocking problem, just don't know, never happened before with any other device and I need the 01V96 for playback.
I ran a mic into channel 1 of the A2D and straight into the 192 IO with two tracks selected in PT, one analogue and the other digital, recorded a vocal.
Result........the digital recording was very low on gain, if I added more gain the meter would go into red. This unit needs to have more head room on the digital side. It sounded OK.
I think I'll send it back and get the Lunch box with 2 x 512c pres.

Nick

By the sound of these reviews I'm glad I didn't buy one of these babies...Yeh go for the lunchbox manthumbsup
Old 11th July 2006
  #49
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Alexi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalite Marka
It is interesting to see that most people are asking about the A/D converters on this unit rather than trying to find out “how the A2d mic pres stack up compared to other API mic pres (such as 3124)”.
Personally I would jump on the unit if the pres are the same signature API sound.
If so $1700 is a bargain and A/D converter is an extra-added bonus (which I wouldn’t expect too much from).


does the unit really cost 1700$? I read a different price on tonys homepage.
Old 11th July 2006
  #50
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lemix's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aearth
Result........the digital recording was very low on gain, if I added more gain the meter would go into red. This unit needs to have more head room on the digital side. It sounded OK.
Nick
This was exactly my test result !
Inserting balanced analog audio into the AD input, requires almost full out gain setting to output - 14DBFS ! I am operating at this calibration for mixing.
Old 13th July 2006
  #51
Gear Addict
 
SUGARCULT666's Avatar
 

I had exactly the same issues... I have just purchased an a2d (running into the spdif on my 002) and notice while tracking vox you have to crank both the mic pre and the digital control into red to get a decent signal in tools... I had to slap a heap of compression on the vox to get it up to a normal level... Although it sounds good I'm not getting enough guts out of the converter ... Semi worried about this here!!! I tried this on two seperate singers same issue... Not sure what to do.
Old 13th July 2006
  #52
Gear Maniac
 
orcasound's Avatar
 

A2d Converter vs Mic Pre

Nice hearing all of these comments regarading the A2D. I already have enough "neve-y" mic pres -so I will be selling my Portico 5012 - to pick up (I think...) the A2D.
Just to clarify - I can use this box as a regualr mic pre.... avoiding the converters..correct?
And the gain or lack thereof issues... are all related to the converters... correct ?
So if I am just using as a mic pre and patch into my bay... then I shouldn't have these gain issues - right ?

thanks
Old 13th July 2006
  #53
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AdamJay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexi
does the unit really cost 1700$? I read a different price on tonys homepage.

you did. his page says $1695. heh
Old 13th July 2006
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orcasound
Nice hearing all of these comments regarading the A2D. I already have enough "neve-y" mic pres -so I will be selling my Portico 5012 - to pick up (I think...) the A2D.
Just to clarify - I can use this box as a regualr mic pre.... avoiding the converters..correct?
And the gain or lack thereof issues... are all related to the converters... correct ?
So if I am just using as a mic pre and patch into my bay... then I shouldn't have these gain issues - right ?

thanks
The pres sound great and there is heaps of gain.

Nick
Old 14th July 2006
  #55
Gear Addict
 
SUGARCULT666's Avatar
 

The pres have enough gain, but the converters don't have enough head room, I don't know if i'm doing something wrong here but I tried using the PAD and the 2:1 setting also which only effected the pre section as you would expect.
Old 21st July 2006
  #56
Gear Addict
 
SUGARCULT666's Avatar
 

Ok I played around a bit more and realized that the converters arn't actually clipping when they are in the red you can actually turn them way up which I was reluctant to do in the first place as I thought it would distort... About to track some vox for my bands next demo through it with an sm7b.... Sounds cool as **** already just testing with the sm7 through the a2d sounds awesome!!! Sorry for the scare people... You can check out some of the past demos i've done below.

www.myspace.com/lastyearshero

recorded these demos on an mbox by the way. Not that great... I'll let you know when i've finished recording the vox through the a2d/002... i'll have the demos up for listening! maybe 2 weeks time.

Real!

Mike
Old 23rd July 2006
  #57
Gear Head
 

they aren't actually clipping when they're in the red?

oh really......
Old 24th July 2006
  #58
Gear Addict
 
SUGARCULT666's Avatar
 

Yeah thought that was wierd too... The knob on the conversion side is attenuation not gain... I don't know why there arn't more posts about the a2d on here I thought it would be intense since it's a new api product and all and I know how much everyone here loves api... I wanna know what other people think of it LETS HERE IT SLUTZ!!! stike
Old 24th July 2006
  #59
Gear Maniac
 
API Sez...'s Avatar
The horse speaks

Here is the official word from Jeff Bork, Director of Engineering –

“The A and B Digital Input level pots are passive cut only circuits, providing the cleanest, straight wire path possible into the converters.
When you’ve set the A and B Digital level controls so the Digital Meters hit 0, the converters are at full bits, so any other level discrepancy must be external to the A2D.”


We all know the excuse is ‘I didn’t read the manual’, but the level pots and meters really give you the maximum amount of level control for maximum digital output.

The following is from the A2D manual;

LEVEL:
There are two digital input level controls. The range of the pot is infinity to unity. (Meaning - NO gain)
They are completely independent of each other, and are fed from their respective Analog A or B gain stage. If you are feeding the Digital section with a calibrated level, the inputs at unity will deliver the same calibrated level to the A/D converter.


METERS:
Range is infinity to unity. The meters have a fast attack peak reading
characteristic with a 0dBFS full scale range. The LED's are yellow at -12 and -9 and red at -6, -3 and 0 to allow plenty of headroom warning as the input limit of the A/D section is approached.

BTW - the manual is available to anyone as a pdf on the API website.
Hope this helps.
Old 24th July 2006
  #60
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lemix's Avatar
API Sez...,
Your presence and detailed explanation is very highly appreciated ! thumbsup
However, I still don't quite grab the concept of the input operating sensitivity of the AD converter section.
Please allow me to use my simple terms of non-scientific observation, as I am definitely not a circuit design engineer, just a working mixer for the last couple of decades or so..
>> Feeding the exact same balanced audio signal of my console's 2mix outs , sets my usual AD converter's gain position mid scale. On the A2D..to achieve MY required digital level (-14 DBFS) on the destination recorder AES in port>> the "pads" needs to be almost fully open.
In other words, the mixing console would have to be driven almost into distortion if I'd choose to select -12/-10 DBFS as my digital reference level. I know that is quite unusual..but definitely not a far out possibility. Like in the mastering setup.

thank you with kind regards,
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