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Has Anyone Tried the JCF Latte and The Burl B2 Side by Side? Digital Converters
Old 19th September 2014
  #1
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Has Anyone Tried the JCF Latte and The Burl B2 Side by Side?

If so, what's your take

Thanks!

SEA
Old 20th September 2014
  #2
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Weepit's Avatar
 

Sorry, only top and bottom.

Test them yourself already my man.
Old 25th September 2014
  #3
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Haven't test them myself, just wondered if others have and their thoughts between the two units.
Old 25th September 2014
  #4
I have,
[for gearstoolz..my below review is derived while correctly using this equipment...]

The Latte AD is more transparent than the Burl AD, as it does not have any input transformers, only a simple buffer amplifier,
to my ears the JCF AD converters sounds exactly like the input, while the burl imparts a subtle but colorful sheen to the source, similar to using a high quality mic preamp or a high quality tape recorder, etc

But the Latte AD for capture, I can not detect the console or other sources changing tone, or sound through this AD. Very pure and "correct". I tested the result through a number of DA, every time it never mattered what "clean" DA I used, I could not detect a difference.

Only when you listen to DA on the Latte is MUCH more colored, and you will detect a major difference. The Audio sounds like its coming from a master tape recorder. It has an extremely ear pleasing sound. It doesn't have "too much info" it has just the right amount of info, if you ask me. It is more pleasing because of what you are NOT hearing.

Anyway, the Burl DA sounds much more modern and in your face compared to the "golden old'y" sound of the JCF. The Latte's DMT section can do more things, [Mic/Digital/Tape Repro] so its worth the extra bucks compared to buying both AD/DA Bombers just for converters.


peace
a.j.b
Old 25th September 2014
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell View Post
I have,
[for gearstoolz..my below review is derived while correctly using this equipment...]

The Latte AD is more transparent than the Burl AD, as it does not have any input transformers, only a simple buffer amplifier,
to my ears the JCF AD converters sounds exactly like the input, while the burl imparts a subtle but colorful sheen to the source, similar to using a high quality mic preamp or a high quality tape recorder, etc

But the Latte AD for capture, I can not detect the console or other sources changing tone, or sound through this AD. Very pure and "correct". I tested the result through a number of DA, every time it never mattered what "clean" DA I used, I could not detect a difference.

Only when you listen to DA on the Latte is MUCH more colored, and you will detect a major difference. The Audio sounds like its coming from a master tape recorder. It has an extremely ear pleasing sound. It doesn't have "too much info" it has just the right amount of info, if you ask me. It is more pleasing because of what you are NOT hearing.

Anyway, the Burl DA sounds much more modern and in your face compared to the "golden old'y" sound of the JCF. The Latte's DMT section can do more things, [Mic/Digital/Tape Repro] so its worth the extra bucks compared to buying both AD/DA Bombers just for converters.


peace
a.j.b
Thanks Doc! The Latte has 2 mic pres correct? How are they compared to other pres like the Rupert Neve Designs 511 Portico or the API 512c (if you have tried any of them.)

Currently I have the Focusrite LS 56 with their 10 modeling pres and would try the pres with the Latte or some other DAC like the Lynx Hilo.
Old 25th September 2014
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by SEA View Post
Thanks Doc! The Latte has 2 mic pres correct? How are they compared to other pres like the Rupert Neve Designs 511 Portico or the API 512c (if you have tried any of them.)

Currently I have the Focusrite LS 56 with their 10 modeling pres and would try the pres with the Latte or some other DAC like the Lynx Hilo.
Yes, the Latte's mic amps are the same electronics as the DAC
it can be used only one way at a time, it is a switchable line block,
They are very colored, they sound identical to how I described the DA
the tonal approach is somewhere in between a Great River MP1NV and a Chandler TG2, not as modern as the Rupert Neve Preamp, it has a vintage style sound,
Old 25th September 2014
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell View Post
Yes, the Latte's mic amps are the same electronics as the DAC
it can be used only one way at a time, it is a switchable line block,
They are very colored, they sound identical to how I described the DA
the tonal approach is somewhere in between a Great River MP1NV and a Chandler TG2, not as modern as the Rupert Neve Preamp, it has a vintage style sound,
Sounds like it would be a good edition to the 10 liquid pres in the LS 56!
Nice to have choices!
Old 3rd February 2015
  #8
Gear Addict
 

I have my JCF Latte up and running now next to my Burl Mothership. Both beautiful sounds. PM me if you want details or have specific questions.

I am moving my studio, but by March I will have Josh's AD8 and DA8V up and running as well.
Old 4th February 2015
  #9
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What's the point of a forum if threads are answered in PM's? Inquiring minds want to know. spill the beans
Old 4th February 2015
  #10
Gear Addict
 

@ Lipps : When I was researching JCF converters I only found one (awesome) person who would reply to PM's with deets on their experience but he didn't have Burls. so I really wanted to make sure this thread had a pointer to me. Because I think I'll be using the JCF's for a long long time!

I worked for years with an Ampex ATR102, Studer A827 and Pro Tools (Mix Plus, HD, HD Accel and now HDX). On the converter front I have extensive experience with 888's (ugh! the reason i bought the studer in 2002), 192's (meh), Apogee AD/DA16X (ok), Symphony (too hyped for me), Crane Song HEDD (good, but not must have) and for years, Lavry Gold AD122 MK III (controversial but useful tool!). I had the good fortune to track and/or mixed projects with Alanis, New Order, David Gray, DJ Shadow with Radiohead, John Cale, Ice Cube, etc. The point being that my opinions were formed under the gun, in the heat of battle -- with record label people yelling at each other (and sometimes me) while invoices went unpaid for 100 days (wait, that's irrelevant .

I've always missed the Ampex. There was a 3D quality and smoothness I got out of them consistently. Sure, it mattered what tape I was running, but even beyond that, there was a tone from the machine I loved. So ... the hype around the JCF was very appealing and once I got into building my new room, I decided to check them out.

I can confirm that the JCF Latte is a wonderful sounding tool and it has a "quality" that I can relate to my long gone ATR. Depth. Size. I dunno, I don't sell these things for a living so I don't have the silver tongue for it. But I have A/B'd them (in the course of usage, not double blind clinical trials) and they have something special. It's subtle. It's not like turning on a UAD plugin and going woah. It's audiophile stuff -- the thing where you feel it on the back of your neck, not right between the eyes.

I am looking forward to getting to know the AD8/PEP and DA8V next month when I move.

The Burls are also great, but entirely different tools. They are more like super HD I/O's. They do what I always wanted my Symphony's to do. Which is color in a way that's flattering but not overtiring. They do have to be used correctly -- they are capable of producing sound that isn't as flattering. This is a distinction with the JCF so far -- the JCF doesn't easily go into unflattering territory. Compared to the Burls, the Latte sounds lush. Compared to the Latte, the Burl sounds clear.

Of course, you've gathered by now that these tools take inverse approaches to the problem.

The JCF Latte AD is uncolored, it goes unnoticed. The Latte DA sounds rich and all that.

The Burl AD is colored, has a definite tone. The Burl DA sounds like a transparent high end digital converter.

BTW, I love both of these's manufacturers creativity and approach to the problems. There is a lot of the "creator's personality" in these pieces. They each have a measure of impracticality (like tape did). So if you are happy with your Orion with a fancy clock, that's definitely a smoother road to travel.
Old 4th February 2015
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyespinoza View Post
@ Lipps : When I was researching JCF converters I only found one (awesome) person who would reply to PM's with deets on their experience but he didn't have Burls. so I really wanted to make sure this thread had a pointer to me. Because I think I'll be using the JCF's for a long long time!

I worked for years with an Ampex ATR102, Studer A827 and Pro Tools (Mix Plus, HD, HD Accel and now HDX). On the converter front I have extensive experience with 888's (ugh! the reason i bought the studer in 2002), 192's (meh), Apogee AD/DA16X (ok), Symphony (too hyped for me), Crane Song HEDD (good, but not must have) and for years, Lavry Gold AD122 MK III (controversial but useful tool!). I had the good fortune to track and/or mixed projects with Alanis, New Order, David Gray, DJ Shadow with Radiohead, John Cale, Ice Cube, etc. The point being that my opinions were formed under the gun, in the heat of battle -- with record label people yelling at each other (and sometimes me) while invoices went unpaid for 100 days (wait, that's irrelevant .

I've always missed the Ampex. There was a 3D quality and smoothness I got out of them consistently. Sure, it mattered what tape I was running, but even beyond that, there was a tone from the machine I loved. So ... the hype around the JCF was very appealing and once I got into building my new room, I decided to check them out.

I can confirm that the JCF Latte is a wonderful sounding tool and it has a "quality" that I can relate to my long gone ATR. Depth. Size. I dunno, I don't sell these things for a living so I don't have the silver tongue for it. But I have A/B'd them (in the course of usage, not double blind clinical trials) and they have something special. It's subtle. It's not like turning on a UAD plugin and going woah. It's audiophile stuff -- the thing where you feel it on the back of your neck, not right between the eyes.

I am looking forward to getting to know the AD8/PEP and DA8V next month when I move.

The Burls are also great, but entirely different tools. They are more like super HD I/O's. They do what I always wanted my Symphony's to do. Which is color in a way that's flattering but not overtiring. They do have to be used correctly -- they are capable of producing sound that isn't as flattering. This is a distinction with the JCF so far -- the JCF doesn't easily go into unflattering territory. Compared to the Burls, the Latte sounds lush. Compared to the Latte, the Burl sounds clear.

Of course, you've gathered by now that these tools take inverse approaches to the problem.

The JCF Latte AD is uncolored, it goes unnoticed. The Latte DA sounds rich and all that.

The Burl AD is colored, has a definite tone. The Burl DA sounds like a transparent high end digital converter.

BTW, I love both of these's manufacturers creativity and approach to the problems. There is a lot of the "creator's personality" in these pieces. They each have a measure of impracticality (like tape did). So if you are happy with your Orion with a fancy clock, that's definitely a smoother road to travel.
Great review Tony! I appreciate your input!

I'd love to try out the Latte one day.

Last edited by SEA; 25th May 2015 at 12:48 AM..
Old 4th February 2015
  #12
Gear Addict
 

Cool! I've heard good things and btw, I do run an Antelope 10M. (Sorry to leave that out!)
Old 5th February 2015
  #13
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Lipps's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyespinoza View Post
@ Lipps : When I was researching JCF converters I only found one (awesome) person who would reply to PM's with deets on their experience but he didn't have Burls. so I really wanted to make sure this thread had a pointer to me. Because I think I'll be using the JCF's for a long long time!

I worked for years with an Ampex ATR102, Studer A827 and Pro Tools (Mix Plus, HD, HD Accel and now HDX). On the converter front I have extensive experience with 888's (ugh! the reason i bought the studer in 2002), 192's (meh), Apogee AD/DA16X (ok), Symphony (too hyped for me), Crane Song HEDD (good, but not must have) and for years, Lavry Gold AD122 MK III (controversial but useful tool!). I had the good fortune to track and/or mixed projects with Alanis, New Order, David Gray, DJ Shadow with Radiohead, John Cale, Ice Cube, etc. The point being that my opinions were formed under the gun, in the heat of battle -- with record label people yelling at each other (and sometimes me) while invoices went unpaid for 100 days (wait, that's irrelevant .

I've always missed the Ampex. There was a 3D quality and smoothness I got out of them consistently. Sure, it mattered what tape I was running, but even beyond that, there was a tone from the machine I loved. So ... the hype around the JCF was very appealing and once I got into building my new room, I decided to check them out.

I can confirm that the JCF Latte is a wonderful sounding tool and it has a "quality" that I can relate to my long gone ATR. Depth. Size. I dunno, I don't sell these things for a living so I don't have the silver tongue for it. But I have A/B'd them (in the course of usage, not double blind clinical trials) and they have something special. It's subtle. It's not like turning on a UAD plugin and going woah. It's audiophile stuff -- the thing where you feel it on the back of your neck, not right between the eyes.

I am looking forward to getting to know the AD8/PEP and DA8V next month when I move.

The Burls are also great, but entirely different tools. They are more like super HD I/O's. They do what I always wanted my Symphony's to do. Which is color in a way that's flattering but not overtiring. They do have to be used correctly -- they are capable of producing sound that isn't as flattering. This is a distinction with the JCF so far -- the JCF doesn't easily go into unflattering territory. Compared to the Burls, the Latte sounds lush. Compared to the Latte, the Burl sounds clear.

Of course, you've gathered by now that these tools take inverse approaches to the problem.

The JCF Latte AD is uncolored, it goes unnoticed. The Latte DA sounds rich and all that.

The Burl AD is colored, has a definite tone. The Burl DA sounds like a transparent high end digital converter.

BTW, I love both of these's manufacturers creativity and approach to the problems. There is a lot of the "creator's personality" in these pieces. They each have a measure of impracticality (like tape did). So if you are happy with your Orion with a fancy clock, that's definitely a smoother road to travel.
Sweet! thanks for taking the time
Old 5th February 2015
  #14
Mister Espinoza,

thank you very much for the useful and great review !
One question, have you also experience with Forssell (Forssell MADA-2 - AD/DA)

Thanks in advance!

R.
Old 5th February 2015
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

This makes me wonder how the Latte AD compares to the 2192 AD which
I've chosen as a feed to my Mothership DA because of it's clarity.
Old 5th February 2015
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weepit View Post
Sorry, only top and bottom.

Test them yourself already my man.
Why even post...this is a forum called Gearslutz.
Old 5th February 2015
  #17
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolf Ebitsch View Post
Mister Espinoza,

thank you very much for the useful and great review !
One question, have you also experience with Forssell (Forssell MADA-2 - AD/DA)

Thanks in advance!

R.
Nope. Never heard the Forssell converters.

The Latte is a lot more than a converter. I use it as a mic pre as well. It has a tone -- more like an instrument (think of guitar pickups that you play to by ear, or the analog filters in a synth) than a technological piece of the signal chain (which is more what the Burl is like).
Old 22nd December 2015
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyespinoza View Post
Nope. Never heard the Forssell converters.

The Latte is a lot more than a converter. I use it as a mic pre as well. It has a tone -- more like an instrument (think of guitar pickups that you play to by ear, or the analog filters in a synth) than a technological piece of the signal chain (which is more what the Burl is like).
Hello Tony,

Wonder if you got your hands on AD8 and DA8-V??

I'm between AD8 nad Latte and would be greatful for your input.
Old 22nd December 2015
  #19
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Hmmm, i think this one looks better then the other one...

...
Attached Thumbnails
Has Anyone Tried the JCF Latte and The Burl B2 Side by Side?-jcf-ad8.jpg   Has Anyone Tried the JCF Latte and The Burl B2 Side by Side?-jcflatte_guts.jpg   Has Anyone Tried the JCF Latte and The Burl B2 Side by Side?-burl-b2bomberadc.jpg  
Old 22nd December 2015
  #20
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This JCF DA8-V is just sick!!!

!!!
Attached Thumbnails
Has Anyone Tried the JCF Latte and The Burl B2 Side by Side?-jcf-da8.jpg  
Old 23rd December 2015
  #21
Registered User
 

I think Doc Mixwell once said the DA8V sounded just like it looks That alone made me research prices for kidneys
Old 23rd December 2015
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Demulling View Post
I think Doc Mixwell once said the DA8V sounded just like it looks That alone made me research prices for kidneys
When I first saw the box with the hood popped, I swear I could hear it through the picture!

We promptly got on the Phone with JCF Audio within minutes. We were all like, NO F#K'n WAY!!!!

Insane machine fellas,

One of the greatest things, if you like THICK but CLEAR audio. That's my weakness,

This machine has the most weight and punch I have ever heard coming from the computer. It is a SERIOUSLY different sound from ANY other DA converter I've heard.

We call it the D/B converter. Digital to Better.

....You might need to sell more than kidneys to get this type of weight in your chain.
Old 15th February 2016
  #23
Gear Head
 

Any feedback on the difference between the Latte's DMT/DA section vs the DA8-V?
Old 15th February 2016
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by mc2600 View Post
Any feedback on the difference between the Latte's DMT/DA section vs the DA8-V?
The DA8v is based on the ampex 351 tube-transformer sound, which gives the sound a "weight" like no others I've tried. Gotta be from the giant Output Transformers. The Bottom end is gigantic and feels like it extended for a mile. It is Very, "tubey/thick/heavy" and punchy sounding. Varying levels will saturate signals but its always very "godlike". It adds a lot of balls and dense heft. It enhances the overtones and provides something "beautiful" sounding, to my ears. A golden Tube sound that enhances signals. It turns your computer into a Vintage Tube Recorder on Playback.

The Latte's DMT is based on the Ampex 440 transistor-discrete-transformer tape reproduce circuitry. Custom Cinemags surround 4 transistors. It's "effect" is essentially emulating the "reach" and pristine plackback sound of a vintage master tape recorder. A lot of the magic with this is what you DONT hear, but also the lower octave is extended and the depth is unreal. It is extremely colored sounding however, and the top end reminds me of listening to my vinyl collection at home. Comfortable. Correct. Ear pleasing. Listening to the "computer" from this box is life changing.

Hope this reply is of assistance

peace
a.j.b
Old 15th February 2016
  #25
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Doc, i noticed the latte doesn't have a clock i/o, do u know why he left it out?
Old 15th February 2016
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by deuc647 View Post
Doc, i noticed the latte doesn't have a clock i/o, do u know why he left it out?
From the Manual [on clocking]

1. Q: How come no fancy PLL's

A: Multi-stage PLL's do a wonderful job of attenuating time base problems from the outside world. We at JCF Audio believe that all of the hype surrounding well-designed, more complex, more expensive multi-stage PLL's is true and they will do exactly what is said and proved of them time and time again. We at JCF audio also believe that this is not important in this unit. The simple 1 stage device that is part of the CS8416 AES receiver is absolutely adequate.

2. Q: How come no word clock connections

A: Doing a good job with WC inputs is difficult and for the application just didn't seem useful enough to implement. The addition of WC inputs to the device would also further complicate an already complex, user definable clocking setup. In addition, we hope to avoid it's being placed in a rack along with some popular clocking products. WC outputs, while much easier to derive, didn't seem useful either. If a Latte or Lattes need to be chained such as that they all receive the same AES clock source, please contact JCF Audio and we will give you some tips as to how one may accomplish that task.
Old 15th February 2016
  #27
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Thanks, now if i only had 5k laying around
Old 17th February 2016
  #28
Why would one want a colored da? Why would you not want you da to reproduce faithfully ?

Maybe I am being an idiot but if the da is colored won't that affect tracking/ mix/ master decisions even though the sonic imprint is not actually printed or present in the actual audio?

I'm trying to understand these da's. Thanks to anyone who has answers
Old 17th February 2016
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseUTB View Post
Why would one want a colored da? Why would you not want you da to reproduce faithfully ?

Maybe I am being an idiot but if the da is colored won't that affect tracking/ mix/ master decisions even though the sonic imprint is not actually printed or present in the actual audio?

I'm trying to understand these da's. Thanks to anyone who has answers
Mostly for summing, or for outboard processing. Fatten up things as they hit your summing box or compressors/eq to add flavor that might be lacking otherwise.
Old 17th February 2016
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaseUTB View Post
Why would one want a colored da? Why would you not want you da to reproduce faithfully ?

Maybe I am being an idiot but if the da is colored won't that affect tracking/ mix/ master decisions even though the sonic imprint is not actually printed or present in the actual audio?

I'm trying to understand these da's. Thanks to anyone who has answers
The way that converter works is pretty strange(unique) it has a really clean AD>pres and the DA has the tape electronics on it, so the way you get the tape sound is that it has internal routing that routes the DA output thru the electronics and back thru the AD and to AES/SPIDF. I hope i explained it correctly, if not im sure Doc will be be able to correct me if im wrong.
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