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Best AD/DA converters Digital Converters
Old 14th August 2014
  #121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mixtree Audio View Post
I don't need any science to confirm that my ears prefer the sound of my Metric Halo converters clocked by my Burl B2 ADC.
What are you referring to; monitoring from your DAC, tracking, or doing an AD/DA loop? If you're hearing an improvement that you care about, aren't you interested in knowing if it's actually recording differently with the different clock settings, or if you're simply introducing some sort of jitter to your monitor DAC that you find pleasing, but has no effect on your finished product other than making your monitoring a little less accurate?

Most DAC's eliminate jittery signals by re-clocking whatever digital signal they receive, which means the slight differences you hear in clocks from your monitor DAC do not necessarily represent what is being recorded. The science becomes even more important if you hear a big improvement because if I were you I'd be interested in knowing if that improvement will be heard outside of my studio on other playback systems.
Old 14th August 2014
  #122
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matyas's Avatar
 

I've never heard a great external clock make a mediocre converter sound better. But I've definitely heard a bad external clock make a good system sound worse.

EDIT: I wish to clarify that I do not believe that external clocks should have a significant positive effect on the sound of a properly-designed converter. The situation I am describing above involved multiple digital devices needing synchronization - exactly the situation for which word clock is required. I do subscribe to the belief that a well-designed device should behave best when clocked to itself. My point above described a situation where this was not the case, to deleterious results.

Last edited by matyas; 15th August 2014 at 03:41 AM.. Reason: Clarification
Old 14th August 2014
  #123
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Plush's Avatar
A Gearslutz Fact proliferated in this thread.
Old 15th August 2014
  #124
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burns46824's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
I have seen in numerous threads how Anelop converters tend to sound better with 10M. It would be good to see if it also sounds different/better if its clocked to another master clock. I actually think that the 10M does modify/improve its sound. But I wonder if other clocks can do something similar.
I am going to have to run a test for us if and when I get an Orion 32...
Old 18th October 2014
  #125
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Lucin Niega's Avatar
 

So, back to the topic...

Anyone compare Radar Ultra Nyquist to Prism-8XR or Forssell?
Old 18th October 2014
  #126
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shelterr's Avatar
 

Based on the clips on Radar's site, I thought the Classic 96 sounded much better than the Ultra Nyquist. Unfortunately I've never been able to compare them to my Prism but I have a very hard time believing they would be an upgrade. That being said, if I find a convertor that is better than the Prism, I won't hesitate to upgrade. The main options left appear to be Radar and DAD and I'd love to hear them both. DAD has offered to send me a demo unit and I intend to take them up on it when the time is right.
Old 18th October 2014
  #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
A Gearslutz Fact proliferated in this thread.
Go on...

Did I miss something hilarious...?

Edit:
Nvm.

Caught it. Good work.
Old 18th October 2014
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelterr View Post
Listen man, I'm SORRY I never bought any gear from you and I'm SORRY the gear that I reccomend to people doesn't generate any sales for you. If I buy an Apogee Symphony from you at full retail can we kiss and make up? Maybe give me a "Booty Engineer" discount?

But seriously, the OP asked for the opinion of a working professional who had knowledge of the gear. I am that guy. I make records using this gear every day. I do not SELL gear for a living and my opinion is based on lots of very geeky testing, real world results, and backed up with hard earned money.

I have nothing to gain by telling anyone this info. It took years of my life and tens of thousands of dollars to figure out and I can't figure out why someone like Doc Mixwell would be so upset.

I know I'm certainly NOT upset these days! Since getting the Prism ADA-8XR mixing goes significantly faster, I work less late nights, clients are more satisfied, and I make more money in less time. This isn't some paid Prism testimonial. It's the reality of my life and anyone who knows me could vouch for it.
WTF?

He's even got a goofy name [doc mixwell].

Ya don't need to agree..
But his points absolutely have merit.

Maybe pay attention. Dude knows what he's sayin.


Stuff yer shoes
Old 18th October 2014
  #129
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shelterr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosleepPDX View Post
WTF?

He's even got a goofy name [doc mixwell].

Ya don't need to agree..
But his points absolutely have merit.

Maybe pay attention. Dude knows what he's sayin.


Stuff yer shoes
Huh?
Old 18th October 2014
  #130
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Lucin Niega's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shelterr View Post
Based on the clips on Radar's site, I thought the Classic 96 sounded much better than the Ultra Nyquist.
I've seen a couple posts from others that came to the same conclusion. I listened as well but preferred the Ultra Nyquist.

I would love to hear the DAD AX32. I think I read that the converters are different from the AX24. Can anyone verify that?
Old 18th June 2015
  #131
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spigon View Post
I will be getting a Weiss ADC2 sometime this month or early next month. If you like to know more about them let me know.

Did you ever get the Weiss ADC2? If so, how's the ADC vs. others you have tried?

I here the HAPI is supposed to have one of the best ADC. Even better than the MADA-2a. But of course everyone has their personal favs.
Old 20th June 2015
  #132
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GYang's Avatar
Depends.
Some times Apogees clocked by Big Ben sounds nicer (does it mean anything??) than my faved dcs.
Big thumb up for Forssell converters that easily replaced Lavry Gold.
Actually I do not hear too much difference between upper end modern converters in terms that any is 'better'. There are very subtle nuances of difference, but really much less important that many other elements in production.
IMO no need to look for better converters any more.
Pick any of top end 10-15 models and you are there. Lynx Aurora is already there, as well.
Old 20th June 2015
  #133
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang View Post
Depends.
Some times Apogees clocked by Big Ben sounds nicer (does it mean anything??) than my faved dcs.
Big thumb up for Forssell converters that easily replaced Lavry Gold.
Actually I do not hear too much difference between upper end modern converters in terms that any is 'better'. There are very subtle nuances of difference, but really much less important that many other elements in production.
IMO no need to look for better converters any more.
Pick any of top end 10-15 models and you are there. Lynx Aurora is already there, as well.
I Agreed GYang!

To me, it's either the MADA-2a or a Prism ADA-8XR but the ADA-8Xr is a bit $$$. However, I'm kinda leaning on having a JCF Latte in the house for that "vibe".

Have you ever heard the Latte?

Blue Sky
Old 20th June 2015
  #134
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Sky View Post
However, I'm kinda leaning on having a JCF Latte in the house for that "vibe".

Have you ever heard the Latte?

Blue Sky
No actually didn't try it.
Maybe I am missing something on conversion front, but I really put my attention to instruments, performance skills and arrangements (to degree depending on me) as I feel that no real advancement is going on with converters in the last several years.
Old 22nd June 2015
  #135
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Sky View Post
Did you ever get the Weiss ADC2? If so, how's the ADC vs. others you have tried?

I here the HAPI is supposed to have one of the best ADC. Even better than the MADA-2a. But of course everyone has their personal favs.
The Weiss by far is my favorite AD convertor. I was trying to sell it to help pay for my father's surgery but now I have it paid off so luckily I no longer have the need to sell it. As far as how it compares to the MADA-2a or the Hapi is as follows, FYI this is my opinion on the matter:

The biggest weakness of the MADA-2a is found in it's AD converter. The DA on the MADA-2a is phenomenal. In a contest best the ADC-2 and MADA-2a the ADC wins hands down on AD conversion and extra feature. This comes at the cost of not having a DA section to work with though. If you need 8 channels of AD and DA for around the price of one Weiss ADC-2 new. I would recommend the JCF AD8 into a Forssell MDAC-8. Total price minus tax would be 9095 USD. This would give you unparalleled 8channel PCM conversion up to 192khz unless you should decide to invest in 4 Weiss ADC and DAC's which would get crazy expensive.

As for the Hapi. It is not as good as a Weiss combo either but it extremely close we are talking about within a 5% tolerance to my ears. However you get much more channels of conversion with options to go up to DSD256. If you are in need for DSD256 or in need or more channels I would go with the Hapi. Otherwise if you only need 8 channel up to 192khz for a good price point I'd recommend the combo above.

So my listing is multi-expandable channels with DSD possibility Hapi/Horus, 8 channels up to 192khz JCF AD8 into a Forssell MDAC-8, absolute with no regards to price 192khz 2 channel AD/DA Weiss ADC-2 into a Weiss DAC1 Mk3.
Old 22nd June 2015
  #136
Gear Nut
 

Agreed about the Weiss ADC-2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spigon View Post
The Weiss by far is my favorite AD convertor. I was trying to sell it to help pay for my father's surgery but now I have it paid off so luckily I no longer have the need to sell it.
Agreed about the Weiss ADC-2.
When I bought mine a couple of years ago, it was mainly with the intention of using it for a couple of months, half a year maybe, to digitise a number of very sensitive, unique legacy tapes, and then sell it again. I even postponed dental work to put up the dough.
But comparing the Weiss with any of the — very respectable — candidates to replace it at a more affordable price point, I realised that I would never be able to part with it, for as long as I would need an ADC. At all.
Old 23rd June 2015
  #137
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funka's Avatar
Spigon, what converters do you have at hand right now?
Old 23rd June 2015
  #138
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Analogue Mastering's Avatar
I'm very impressed with the BURL B2 Bomber ADC, So impressed that I need to get the DAC as well.
Old 24th June 2015
  #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funka View Post
Spigon, what converters do you have at hand right now?
Right now I currently only have the Weiss converters, DAD, and some old Lynx-Two converter. I have auditioned the mada-2a and Prism ADA-XR in my own studio. And have heard the JCF AD8, Hapi, and Lavry Gold from fellow collogues. Each have their pro's and con's of course.
Old 24th June 2015
  #140
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funka's Avatar
Ok, thanks.
Any chance that you could have a Forssell DAC from a friend of yours?
As I'd like a listen to a Forssell DAC/ Weiss ADC converter loop...
Would you make a converter loop with the DAD DAC and the Weiss ADC ?
Old 4th July 2015
  #141
Here for the gear
Hi all. This is my first post and I am a total noob. I have the MXl 990, Steinberg UR22, and Adobe Audition and Waves Plug ins, and a M-audio AV40. That's my entire set up with a kick ass computer. Anyways, I like to know what would happen if I don't use a AD/DA converter? I mean, what problems will I come across, what am I missing out, how will it affect the quality of my recordings? I use my set up for rap vocals recording to instrumentals. I'm very novice at everything so please bear with me if I come across asking stupid questions. I been visiting the forums for the last 6 months but I never posted anything so I have been doing a lot of reading here and there and everywhere else. I also looked into AD converters and the prices ranges from the 200 dollars for a Behringer to 4 thousand dollars. I plan to upgrade to a Audio Technica AT4050, Avalon 737, and a AD/DA converter. Maybe a Focusrite REDNET 1 or a LYNX Aurora 8 channel USB. I'm pretty familiar with high end gear, but I need to save money for a long time to get it. LOL

BTW, I have a Focusrite Platinum VoiceMaster PRO coming in the mail this week! I choose it over the ART VOICE CHANNEL. Random, I know. Oh yeah, I also have a ART TUBE MP. Oh yeah, I also have a Behringer MDX 2100 COMPOSER. In my opinion, it sucks and weak sounding so I upgraded to the VOICEMASTER PRO. I did have a Behringer mixer like 10 years ago, and I never had a problem with it.

Anyways, yeah, do I need a AD/DA converter cause I'm all about achieving a great sound going in.....and can I get a cheap one .....like under a grand, like a used RME for 600 bucks.

The BIG QUESTION is this: Will not using a standalone AD converter affect the quality of my vocal recording? If I use one, will it improve the quality of my vocal recording? Thanks a bunch!
Old 4th July 2015
  #142
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A pair of Lucid 88192s with an antelope clock should put you at $7k and you won't be disappointed. The Lucids are highly underrated. Very versatile from tracking to mastering. And you can even plug in clients cheaper gear to them. They have very input/output option imaginable. Might also try a benchmark 16 channel AD converter and a Lucid 88192, depending on your application (tracking/mixing). For mastering I would use the former setup of two 88192s.
Old 4th July 2015
  #143
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thahappycamper View Post
Hi all. This is my first post and I am a total noob. I have the MXl 990, Steinberg UR22, and Adobe Audition and Waves Plug ins, and a M-audio AV40. That's my entire set up with a kick ass computer. Anyways, I like to know what would happen if I don't use a AD/DA converter? I mean, what problems will I come across, what am I missing out, how will it affect the quality of my recordings? I use my set up for rap vocals recording to instrumentals. I'm very novice at everything so please bear with me if I come across asking stupid questions. I been visiting the forums for the last 6 months but I never posted anything so I have been doing a lot of reading here and there and everywhere else. I also looked into AD converters and the prices ranges from the 200 dollars for a Behringer to 4 thousand dollars. I plan to upgrade to a Audio Technica AT4050, Avalon 737, and a AD/DA converter. Maybe a Focusrite REDNET 1 or a LYNX Aurora 8 channel USB. I'm pretty familiar with high end gear, but I need to save money for a long time to get it. LOL

BTW, I have a Focusrite Platinum VoiceMaster PRO coming in the mail this week! I choose it over the ART VOICE CHANNEL. Random, I know. Oh yeah, I also have a ART TUBE MP. Oh yeah, I also have a Behringer MDX 2100 COMPOSER. In my opinion, it sucks and weak sounding so I upgraded to the VOICEMASTER PRO. I did have a Behringer mixer like 10 years ago, and I never had a problem with it.

Anyways, yeah, do I need a AD/DA converter cause I'm all about achieving a great sound going in.....and can I get a cheap one .....like under a grand, like a used RME for 600 bucks.

The BIG QUESTION is this: Will not using a standalone AD converter affect the quality of my vocal recording? If I use one, will it improve the quality of my vocal recording? Thanks a bunch!
The Steinberg UR22 is an AD/DA converter. Now you just need to clock it externally because reasons Antelope Audio Isochrone 10M | Sweetwater.com
Old 4th July 2015
  #144
Gear Nut
 

Prism ADA8's - standard!
Old 4th July 2015
  #145
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thahappycamper View Post
what would happen if I don't use a AD/DA converter? I mean, what problems will I come across, what am I missing out, how will it affect the quality of my recordings?
You Steinberg UR22 is an AD/DA converter correct? That's what you are using now. Without an AD you can't record into your computer (like vocals, guitars, etc.,) and without the DA you can't mix and hear any music.

Quote:
I plan to upgrade Avalon 737
Check out the Warm Audio TB12. It's only like $550 or so and sounds great with like many different sonic options. Warm also has a killer eq and a compressor to boot.

Here's a video AB'ing the TB12 next to the Avalon 737

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55kBsPzMDi0

Quote:
The BIG QUESTION is this: Will not using a standalone AD converter affect the quality of my vocal recording? If I use one, will it improve the quality of my vocal recording? Thanks a bunch!
I currently have the Steinberg UR28M and it is a decent little converter plus pres. However I plan on upgrading to either the Forssell MADA-2a or the Burl B2 ADC and DAC. I'm also considering the Benchmark DAC2. However for the money, the Mytek 8x192 on the used market is a great piece as well as the Mytek Stereo192 DSD DAC.

I might pick up the Mytek 192 Stereo or the DAC2 and then and the Burl B2 ADC on the front end.

Blue Sky
Old 5th August 2015
  #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shelterr View Post
...In tracking applications, Prism ADA-8XR tracks sit effortlessly as they stack up and are much easier to mix than with other converters I have owned. In comparison, Lavry Blues sound squishy and the Burl sound dry and cluttered up in the lows and low mids when tracks begin to stack up. Also, the Burl clock is the worst of the bunch. I find that people in the high end forum that are very satisfied with their Burl's seem to be using a high end external clock (like the Antelope 10m). I know my Burl's sounded much better when clocked to my Prism.

In mastering applications, the Prism ADA-8XR is also the best sounding unit of all of the above listed options.

It is higher headroom than the Lavry Gold by quite a bit. Also, the Lavry Gold has quite a bit more midrange than the Prism and the low end isn't as full range.

The ADA-8XR is pretty similar to the Prism AD-2 but there are notable differences. The XR is wider sounding and has a more modern sounding clock than the AD-2. The AD-2 is more center focused and robust harmonically than the XR, but the XR sounds more weightless, wider, and has a bouncier low end. The AD-2 is a bit hard sounding and absorbs harmonics in the center the more you push it, where the XR repels sound out to the sides as you push it and it leaves more room in the center.

Quick impressions of a few of the others listed, the Forssell sounded very crunchy and unnatural to me. The Antelope Eclipse was great in terms of headroom but sounded too hifi and didn't recreate harmonics and guitar correctly. Shiny and tall, but gutless and lacking aggression that was present in the program material. The JCF latte was musical but compressed heavily when pushed. The Prism Orpheus is actually a very impressive mastering convertor but is missing a TINY bit of the high fidelity sound of the Prism ADA-8XR. I really do like it though and would strongly recommend it for tracking and mastering.
My feelings are totally the opposite...

I couldn't stand the Prism Orpheus especially on El. Gtrs. Sold it for Forssell MADA-2a cos the Prism always sounded Sharp/Spiky with unpleasent highmids.

One exception is when used with vintage tubes pres infront on Ac. gtr...
IMO, you should always use tubes infront of Prism to round of the "digit push" and you get very pleasant and detailed track.

Orpheus sounded "softer" when clocked to UA2192 but still not as good as tracking all kind of Gtrs with UA2192. You can listen to it for hours. It is a pure heaven.

Mada-2a sounds nothing unpleasent in ANY way!

Have been eye-ing on JCF for a long time but it's such a hard to get "in touch" with it...
Old 5th August 2015
  #147
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shelterr's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simma Lugnt View Post
My feelings are totally the opposite...

I couldn't stand the Prism Orpheus especially on El. Gtrs. Sold it for Forssell MADA-2a cos the Prism always sounded Sharp/Spiky with unpleasent highmids.

One exception is when used with vintage tubes pres infront on Ac. gtr...
IMO, you should always use tubes infront of Prism to round of the "digit push" and you get very pleasant and detailed track.

Orpheus sounded "softer" when clocked to UA2192 but still not as good as tracking all kind of Gtrs with UA2192. You can listen to it for hours. It is a pure heaven.

Mada-2a sounds nothing unpleasent in ANY way!

Have been eye-ing on JCF for a long time but it's such a hard to get "in touch" with it...
It sounds like you just enjoy softer conversion. The idea that someone couldn't "stand" the Prism Orpheus for electric guitar tracking is more a reflection of that persons taste than anything to do with the convertor. I master mixes for people who track and print mixes through the Orpheus and their tracks exhibit none of these qualities you attribute to the Orpheus. I'm not saying it's the perfect convertor (I use and prefer the Prism ADA-8XR) but in my opinion the Prism Orpheus does not sound the way you describe it.
Old 5th August 2015
  #148
Try out the JCF Audio AD8
Old 6th August 2015
  #149
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Plush's Avatar
Dumping on Orpheus is only the result of hearing your source mix truthfully.
Old 6th August 2015
  #150
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Gretschman's Avatar
 

If money is no object , then buy several brands.
That's what I did anyway.
My last purchase was an
Aurora 16 and a HAPI 16 A/D with 8 D/A
But I also have 10 channels of Crane Song A/D and 6 D/A , and 2 of UAD 2192

As far as what sounds the best ?

They all sound good.

I just use different ones on what makes sense at the time.

GYang said it very well , most top converters sound close enough that only an anal retentive nerd would dispute the differences .

In order to demand more out of a converter you would have to be very specific about what your needing from one , and why that converter can achieve what the others cannot give you.

Last edited by Gretschman; 6th August 2015 at 03:06 PM..
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