The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
LAVRY 4496 2ch. A/D or Apogee BIG BEN ???
Old 15th June 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
LAVRY 4496 2ch. A/D or Apogee BIG BEN ???

OK, I know they are 2 entirely different things (1 an A/D converter, and the other a clock), but I'm wondering which one will give the best performance to my studio setup.

My final source for mixdown is an Alesis Masterlink. Yeah, I know the converters are dog doodoo on the Alesis. So my question is, will the Big Ben bring the Masterlink's converters up to par with the Lavry 2 channel A/D ? They are both pretty much in the same price range, but what I like about the Big Ben is that it will improve both the A/D and D/A of ALL of my coverters in my set-up.

My new setup will be 1 Apogee AD8000 and 3 old school Digi 888-24s connected to a PT Mix 5 card system. The 32 channels of analog outs will be routed into a Trident Series 80 analog console, and the 2 ch. summing outs of the Trident will be going into the Masterlink.

So, do you think I will benefit more from the Lavry in front of the Masterlink, or from the Big Ben clock ? My gut tells me the Big Ben will probably be the best choice, especially because I am using 3 of the Digi 888 units. I know a few other producers (1 who records major label stuff), and they still use TDM PT systems with the 888-24 interfaces routed into great analog desks. This 1 in particular told me he was totally blown away with what the Big Ben did for the D/A in particular. He said it makes those old 888s sound just as good as an AD8000 SE.

So I'm wondering if it will do the same for the Alesis Masterlink ? By the way, my final mixes will probably be to an Ampex ATR- 102 1/2" tape machine anyway, so I want to use the Masterlink just to know if I'm in the ball park for the mastering engineer before I rent the tape machine and lug it over to my studio. I could also likely rent the Lavry converters for a few days for final mixdown from the same friend who has the Ampex machine, so I'd have that option if I want some mixes to be 96khz digital.

Just wanted to see what you guys think. The Big Ben seems like the biggest bang for the buck considering my setup. If anyone has used it with a Masterlink I'd like to know if it improved the sound of that unit as much as it seems to do for everything else. I hear even ****ty 15 year old CD players with digital ins & outs sound WAY better with the Big Ben.
Old 15th June 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
thermos's Avatar
A big ben won't make your masterlink sound like a lavry I'm guessing, because the analog stages are probably nowhere near as good on the masterlink.

I think Jim Williams does a masterlink mod thats supposed to be good.
Old 15th June 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 

The Lavry has a clock output that is quite as good as the Big Ben. Use that as master. In addition it will be two really good AD channels. My choice is simple.

Gunnar
Old 15th June 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691
I hear even ****ty 15 year old CD players with digital ins & outs sound WAY better with the Big Ben.
Look, I am not saying people are not hearing it, only that it goes contrary to scientific evidence.

Even if a clock output would be 100% accurate out from the BB it does not help. The clock has to travel down a cable. It has to be received by that sloppy CD players circuits. It has to be synced by the circuits inside the CD player. Those circuits has to convert the signal to a usable clock frequency inside the CD player, generally something like 256 times the sampling frequency. All this is done using black-art stuff called phase-locked loops and similar.

Now, tell me with a straight face that the ****ty CD player has circuits that are capable of doing this with quality.

Secondly, if this was really true, how come the BB web site is not full of repeatable measurements of the reduction in jitter over a large selection of typical audio interfaces? It is actually simple to measure using not very expensive equipment. Personally I call it marketing. Start with a good product, make it great by marketing.

Gunar
Old 15th June 2006
  #5
Registered User
 

I have the Apogee AD-16x (has the Big Ben), the Lavry 4496, and a 192 in the same system...I prefer the lavry as the master clock.
Old 15th June 2006
  #6
They are approx the same quality. But they are completely different in the features each one has...some people will prefer one over the other.

Big Ben has multiple clock outputs and can do multiple sample rates simultaneously

Lavry is slightly more expensive but comes with two channel A/D included with clock, but only one single clock output

I think it comes down to features and what is needed most in your studio, because they are both at a high end level.
Old 16th June 2006
  #7
Lives for gear
OK, but can the Lavry clock be used like the Big Ben to replace the clock in my AD8000 and my 3 888-24 interfaces ?

My main interest in the BB is that it will make especially the D/A converters of my whole rig sound better. Are you guys saying this is not true ?

Can the Lavry clock be set to replace the clocks in my other units just like the Big Ben ?

I'm confused now.
Old 16th June 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
 
ImJohn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691
Can the Lavry clock be set to replace the clocks in my other units <edit> ?
Yes, you can take the word clock output from a Lavry Blue series clock and distribute it to several other devices that have word clock inputs.

If it's only a few other devices that are within several feet of each other you can distribute the clock signal using just wordclock cables, T connectors and terminators. That's what I do with my beautiful Lavry Blue converters and Lynx AES16 setup.

If you have a lot of devices that are a ways away from each other you might need to get a word clock distribution unit that would take the Lavry clock as an input and give you 6 or so isolated outputs. (Lucid makes one that is only a few hundered dollars.)

Best of luck!
Old 16th June 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 

A clock is not an AD. No way in the world just adding a clock to an ML is going to approach the quality of a dedicated Lavry Blue converter. I've tried this kind of thing with other midlevel converters, using excellent independent clocks. Doesn't compare to using the good conversion in the first place.

The sound quality of Lavry AD (and DA) is wonderful, with just about any clock.

Steve
Old 16th June 2006
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImJohn
If it's only a few other devices that are within several feet of each other you can distribute the clock signal using just wordclock cables, T connectors and terminators. That's what I do with my beautiful Lavry Blue converters and Lynx AES16 setup.
have you used any other Lynx cards or the Aurora side by side with the Lavry and if so how do they compare?

Steve
Old 16th June 2006
  #11
Lives for gear
Hey John !

Man, thanks for your post! I have 1 AD8000, and 3 888-24 interfaces all on top of each other in a rack -- so no problem with too much distance. The Lavry I would put right above the AD-8000, and the Master Link no more than 2 feet from the Lavry.

Remember, my four 8 channel D/A units have their total 32 outputs going in to a Trident 80 series console, so no digital summing there.

And the main 2 outs of the console will be going into to the Lavry, which then connects digitally to the masterlink (with a good sheilded cable, of course).

My question is, while mixing down from the console into the Lavry and using it's A/D converters, can the Lavry clock still control the D/A of the other 4 interfaces simultaneously and imrpove the sound quality there as well, like the Big Ben does ? I'm trying to find this out because some of my songs may end up being mixed digitally for the digital sound, and others on the 1/2" machine. I'm going for a lot of diverse flava on this record, both sonically and stylistically.

If it can do this, then I will most definitely buy it.
Old 16th June 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Sui_City's Avatar
 

Sage, (i stand corrected, but,)

yes it will improve the performance of the D/As in your rig, because AFAIK, the clocks inside those units control both A/D and D/A.

The one problem that comes to mind, (we've got 3 888|24s), is that i think the 888|24s can only take 256x (Superclock) and not 1x Wordclock on the wordclock input. This means that you can run the AES/EBU output from the Lavry into the next interface, and use the AES signal to clock the other 3 interfaces, but the AES/EBu clocking does not yield as good a result as wordclock, particularly if the AES signal is carrying audio.

If i am wrong, please somebody clarify for me, because i have not been able to get my 888|24s to accept 1x.
Old 16th June 2006
  #13
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris A
I have the Apogee AD-16x (has the Big Ben), the Lavry 4496, and a 192 in the same system...I prefer the lavry as the master clock.
question: have a DA16X and 2X Digi192s + an Isochrone clock. upon 1st listen i preferred the sound of the units clocked to Isochrone, but after recording and comparing to the original analog source it was my impression that 192s and DA16X clocked to DA16X sounded very close to the original. not so when clocked to Isochrone, though the sound seemed 'clearer'.

so my question is, have you tried recording with 16X and Lavry clocks and comparing to the analog source? i'm working on a mobile rig, so i'm considering Lavry or HEDD (2 channels ADA). would like to get the one that's closest to the original source. thank you.
Old 16th June 2006
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
ethan_c's Avatar
 

I'm not sure if this has been said but even with only a 2ch. Lavry A/D you get the M-Sync clock. And yes, the clock on the Lavry is MUCH better than the Apogee ________ (anything)
Old 16th June 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
 
electric's Avatar
 

fwiw-
i have lavry 2channel blue ad, apogee ad16 on A-D end and da16, and da12 on DA. (always clocked by lavry).

lavry is a big step up from apogee ad16 in my opinion(havent heard ad16x) as far as "accuracy" and "detail". night and day. the apogee becomes more of a coloring tool. sounds better for some applications.

the lavry's are pretty dam accurate for the $$$. check it out. i am sure if not satified the dealer would let you return it.

electric
Old 16th June 2006
  #16
Lives for gear
OK, yes I understand that the Lavry is a better unit, even the clock.

But can somone still answer the question of whether or not the Lavry can perform these 2 tasks SIMULTANEOUSLY:

1) serve as the master clock for my Apogee AD8000 and 3 Digi 888-24 I/O units

and

2) serve as the main A/D converter from my console's main outs to the Masterlink ???? In other words, can it do both of these things at the same time successfully ??

If it can, then I will be buying one within the next week. I know I could ask a sales guy, but I prefer to post here and ask real users how they use it and what kind of results are they getting!


Sage
Old 16th June 2006
  #17
Registered User
 

I don't see why not...do the t-connector thing to distribute the clock, then choose a digital i/o on one of the other interfaces to connect the lavry digital i/o to...connect the lavry analog inputs to the output of your console and make sure in your hardware set-up you have the corresponding i/o connected to the lavry set to digital...set clock source to word clock.
Old 17th June 2006
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691

But can somone still answer the question of whether or not the Lavry can perform these 2 tasks SIMULTANEOUSLY:

1) serve as the master clock for my Apogee AD8000 and 3 Digi 888-24 I/O units



Yes!!



Quote:

2) serve as the main A/D converter from my console's main outs to the Masterlink ???? In other words, can it do both of these things at the same time successfully ??


Another yes. When you buy a Lavry Blue stereo A/D converter, it comes standard with the clock....if it didn't the A/D wouldn't work properly. The clock itself is called the M-sync. It's two little cards that go inside the Lavry 4496 enclosure. The Msync has a BNC wordclock output that will clock whatever you send it to (good suggestions from John above). The stereo A/D converter operates independently of the clock (although everything MUST be at the same sample rate, I mentioned that above as being one advantage of the Big Ben which you may or may not need -example: A/D is @ 44.1khz sampling rate, so is the clock, and so must be the rest of your system that is clocked off the Lavry Msync).
Old 17th June 2006
  #19
Lives for gear
Thanks Nathan!

After that explanation, I finally understand.

The only catch is that if I want the Lavry clock to improve the sound of especially my 888-24s D/A, then the A/D of the Lavry on the front end of the Masterlink will have to be at 44.1khz sample rate.

So thus, I would not have the option of my final 2 track digital mixes being at 96khz, and that trade-off might be more significant than the improved D/A resolution of my other units feeding the console.

Ahh, decisions, decisions!

Considering that it's still Lavry A/D conversion at 44.1 khz, would it really be all that much better at 96khz ? Coming off the Trident console, would the lower sample rate make all that big of a deal in the final product ? Any seasoned pros out there with an opinion on this ?

I hear that some top producers are still using 44.1khz as the sample rate for final mixes anyway, because they feel this is still the biggest consumer format and they want to make it sound the best at that sample rate. So the lower resolution actually makes them work the analog console harder to "get that sound", which they feel is a better approach than relying on the mastering engineer to do a sample rate conversion in post. Some (and I'm talking about TOP level people) feel that ANY additional computer based sample rate conversion degrades the audio quality, and that you should get it right at 44.1khz with some great converters that sound great even at that resolution.

I know this is almost a topic for a new thread, but some feedback on this issue would be appreciated. I may end up getting both the Lavry and the Big Ben, if I decide that I should not lose the ability to make final mixes at 96khz sample rate. After all, the final 2 track mixes are BY FAR the most important phase of any CD making effort -- it's what the public gets to hear and decide if they want to buy!

Sage
Old 17th June 2006
  #20
Don't sweat 96k vs 44.1 for your final mixes. 24/44.1 is fine. You'd have to have a really good sample rate converter anyway....IMO it's not worth it. There are a large handful of other things that are going to make much more of an impact than regular res vs hi res (like the tone of the room, and the guitar amp, and the humidity....). And I'm a guy who records and mixes to tape. Trust me, it's not a big deal with a high quality converter.
Old 17th June 2006
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691
Considering that it's still Lavry A/D conversion at 44.1 khz, would it really be all that much better at 96khz ?
You can listen:
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/52593-44-vs-96-theory-practice.html

There is an audible difference with Lavry at 44.1 vs 96. And at 48. I will not record anything through any converter at 44.1k, just gives up too much.

Quote:
So the lower resolution actually makes them work the analog console harder to "get that sound"
Cannot get a sound that is not there in the first place. There simply is audio missing and distorted at those low rates. Not the way I want to record...

Steve
Old 17th June 2006
  #22
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I'm sure that a much better A to D converter will make a better sounding final product. This is a no-brainer the first time you try to boost the high-end on a track using a plug-in.

I'm just not sure that a flattering sounding clock will have much effect outside of the room where it's being employed.
Old 18th June 2006
  #23
Lives for gear
OK, many differing opinions on this subject as usual on this board.

I'll probably end up getting both units -- the Big Ben to clock all my other interfaces to, and the Lavry as the 2 ch. converter that recieves my console's outs at 96khz into the masterlink. It seems that, at least for now, there is no better digital way than this to make the final 2 track mixes. Why not record at 96khz if you can -- that's my logic. Yeah, we're still listening to 44.1 CDs now but the 96khz generation is coming probably sooner than we think.

And I'll still probably record a seperate set of all the song mixes on 1/2" analog tape, then let the mastering engineer decide between digital and analog on different songs.

Once I'm finished mixing, I'll probably sell the BB and keep the Lavry I'm sure!



Sage
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump