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Dedicated mastering Converters? What will I gian? Consoles
Old 31st July 2014
  #31
Craneslut
 
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When testing new DACs last year, time and again the Weiss DAC1-mk3 was better, to my ear, than the few other high-end DACs I had on hand. I Actually didn't want to like it as it was so much more expensive than the Bricasti (one of those on hand to test) but it wasn't nearly as subtle as I had hoped it to be.

Sometimes you pay a lot for a little bit of improvement. It's up to you to determine whether or not it's worth it.
Old 31st July 2014
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post
While I'd like to believe this, it's not really true. The viscous problems introduced by clocking issues are *very* relevant. They are really hard to find and the damage they introduce is irreversible. In 2014, clocking is still a particularly difficult task (= expensive). The clock is probably the last issue, afaik, this is the most expensive part.

An EQ cannot reverse non-linearity.
The question to ask here is how non-linear are high end converters today? between a Burl DA, a Lavry DA , a Benchmark DA and a Mytek Da.. how much PRACTICAL difference is there in this?
Old 31st July 2014
  #33
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the question how do they differ frequencywise... nearly nothing in my experiences. so why use equing?
if they are differences between converters they are unlinear; THD over freq and gain, clock, jitter...
these few measurements that are normally published are telling nearly nothing regarding the differences.
for example, if two converters shows similar resultats in THD at 1K it not means they are also similar at all freq and all gains.
who tells you whats a 'practical difference'?

in my experiences differences between converters are significant like differences in different preampdesigns (everybody is raving about...).
the harshness and reduced resolution of space (raeumlichkeit) from an RME interface or the smearing in time domain from an orion you simply cant fix after conversation...

the more quality sourcematerial you use for tests and the more natural sounds are in it (acoustic instruments in real rooms) the more significant are these differences if your monitoring is on par.
one converter can sound nice, tight and upfront on EDM but awfull unnaturally on a stringquartett.
Old 31st July 2014
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_caithness View Post
The question to ask here is how non-linear are high end converters today? between a Burl DA, a Lavry DA , a Benchmark DA and a Mytek Da.. how much PRACTICAL difference is there in this?

It's probably very low within the high end sector. But as JP__ pointed out, there is a musical difference between the RME and HEDD AD converter.

Here's a small experiment with the matter:
jitter_1

Nothing catastrophic really, but definitely audible. My point really was that the high price for high fidelity AD/DA relates to clocking.
Old 31st July 2014
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP__ View Post

in my experiences differences between converters are significant like differences in different preampdesigns (everybody is raving about...).
For sure,

I was really addressing OP. It doesn't sound like new expensive converters is what he needs really...

I have a whole bunch of ADs here.. Lucid, Prism Sound, RME, TC Electronic for example, but I find 99.9/100 the Lucid is what I'm after so it pretty much is hard wired, I'm not sure how many MEs will be flicking between converters often in sessions, unless they have something with an intentional tonal stamp as an effect (like a Burl for transformer niceness, or some older stuff for a bit of grit).
Old 31st July 2014
  #36
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Nope and then again, new converter just means room (eq) adjustments :D or didn't TS invest in acoustics and monitoring yet?
Converters are NOT thát important, also think about inconsistency between chain converter (DA and AD) and monitoring converter (DA) one would at least like these to be the same and don't cancel eachothers characteristics out.... Otherwise weird mix decissions make print
Old 31st July 2014
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post

An EQ cannot reverse non-linearity.
Absolutely..

antelope has a great reputation for clocking.. have not read anything about the clocking on this device personally, but fwiw I imagine its not junk.
Old 31st July 2014
  #38
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polybonk's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by FabienTDR View Post
While I'd like to believe this, it's not really true. The viscous problems introduced by clocking issues are *very* relevant. They are really hard to find and the damage they introduce is irreversible. In 2014, clocking is still a particularly difficult task (= expensive). The clock is probably the last issue, afaik, this is the most expensive part.

An EQ cannot reverse non-linearity.
Sorry I don't think you understand my point at all.

In a blind test between high end conversion. The subtle differences between the top choices will be fairly insignificant compared to say a touch of high shelf on a top tier eq.

People tend to go on and on about the differences in detail/image/transient etc etc when shooting out X vs Y top end converters. Like its some kind of massive difference. Its pretty damn subtle to most ears.

Im saying if it came to blind testing on files the Eq will win. Half a dB is far less subtle than between AAA converters.

That should give some perspective to people who have never gone out and shot out conversion. Often the way convertor shootouts are written about you would think the differences are like Vari Mu vs Solid state compressors or something like that. Like it has a massive influence on the master and you should have an array of converters for differing genres.

Personally I could care less as long as I have a really good converter.

These days the important things to consider when picking a converter IMO are:

Are you going to clip it?

If yes then tests are in order to hear those differences and how they interact in your chain as this is the point of most difference from what I have personally auditioned.

Then also consider:

I/O and routing options
Driver stability and compatibility
Headroom configuration and how it will interact with your gear
Latency and its impact on how you work
quality of the Headphone amp (if you plan to use headphones)
Quality of the output attenuation if you are needing it for monitoring
build quality
warranty length
serviceability if something goes wrong
price
pedigree of the company


So to the original poster, put me squarely in the camp of "you will get more results from other hardware if you have a top end converter already"
Old 1st August 2014
  #39
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Is the Orion a "Top End" Converter?

That's really my ultimate question. Is the Orion considered a "high end" converter? If you needed to print something and the orion is ready to go, but there's a lavry to the side that you'd need to hook up first. Would you go out of your say to hook up the Lavry (blue or black) or would you be just fine with the Orion 32?

I haven't really heard any of the other converters and will not be able to without buying one. My Mastering chain (if you can call it that) is extremely simple. It's the summing through the board itself and it's compressor, lightly touched, just before I master ITB with Ozone 5.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #40
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funka's Avatar
Quote:
When testing new DACs last year, time and again the Weiss DAC1-mk3 was better, to my ear, than the few other high-end DACs I had on hand.
Hi,
As you have some Forssell ADCs, I imagine you already compared the Weiss DAC to Forssell DAC? If yes, you confirm the Weiss is still your preference?
Old 2nd August 2014
  #41
Craneslut
 
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Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by funka View Post
Hi,
As you have some Forssell ADCs, I imagine you already compared the Weiss DAC to Forssell DAC? If yes, you confirm the Weiss is still your preference?
Yes, I think the Weiss is quite a bit better than the Forssell. As much as I love Fred's ADC, the DAC isn't there yet, imo.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #42
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Ok, thanks for your input.
In fact, I am finding the opposite (I only tried the first ADC version, not the new a one)...and I have not tried the Weiss DAC too...
Old 2nd August 2014
  #43
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Giuseppe Zaccaria's Avatar
 

adc

Quote:
Originally Posted by smoovemode View Post
That's really my ultimate question. Is the Orion considered a "high end" converter? If you needed to print something and the orion is ready to go, but there's a lavry to the side that you'd need to hook up first. Would you go out of your say to hook up the Lavry (blue or black) or would you be just fine with the Orion 32?

I haven't really heard any of the other converters and will not be able to without buying one. My Mastering chain (if you can call it that) is extremely simple. It's the summing through the board itself and it's compressor, lightly touched, just before I master ITB with Ozone 5.


lavry blue ad...no doubt
but you'd defenitely try it first,,why can't you demo it?
Old 4th August 2014
  #44
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoovemode View Post
Is the Orion considered a "high end" converter?
Not mastering grade. High end multichannel audio interface would be as far as I'd go.
Quote:
If you needed to print something and the orion is ready to go, but there's a lavry to the side that you'd need to hook up first. Would you go out of your say to hook up the Lavry (blue or black) or would you be just fine with the Orion 32?
Hands down I would rather use a Lavry Black as a monitoring DAC or recording ADC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smoovemode View Post
I guess that's my point. Some people say that the Orion 32 converters are of "Prosumer" quality. But, If you guys say it's good enough to "hang with the big dogs", thats' good enough for me.
There have been enough comments from people who were underwhelmed by the sound of the Orion. That's not to say it's a bad sounding unit. Not at all. For people who think anything with an Antelope logo must be amazing it was a bit of a wakeup call though. The conversion & build quality is at a similar level as say the Apollo or UFX. Not as nice as a Symphony and definitely up to the level of mastering grade units like the Lavry Black, Lynx Hilo, Forssell etc. It would be grand if you could get 32 channels of conversion at that level for the Orion price tag, but not realistic in the slightest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smoovemode View Post
I KNOW my mixing needs to improve. But, after spending all the time getting the mix right will I get a "better print" from a converter that was "made" for mastering?
Based on your comments so far, a converter upgrade is really not the answer to what you're after. What you're looking for is solved upstream. The style of music you're doing and result you're after may be better achieved mixing ITB rather than using that Focusrite board. Maybe, maybe not. Worth looking into though. Personally I'd rather mix ITB then hit a nice analog mastering chain with the Hilo at each end.

That said, if you have nice enough monitors (say at least $4k invested) and your room is nicely treated I would definitely recommend a Lynx Hilo. Why? Because you'll get a monitoring DAC, ADC to print to, and headphone amp which are all absolutely killer and extremely transparent. It won't solve your problems, but it'll improve things and you'll enjoy the upgrade. Having a headphone DAC & amp that you can trust to that level can be an asset for helping you problem solve and improve your skills. You'll always wonder what you're missing until you take the plunge, so if it's one less thing you waste time thinking about and second guessing on a regular basis then that's valuable too.

Although older, the Lavry Blacks are great units offering the best price to performance mark of anything Lavry ever made IMO and I'd still prefer them over the majority of what's out there. I moved to Hilo two years ago though and never looked back or considered buying anything else since.

As someone else suggested earlier though, take this opportunity to post a clip of one of your tracks and see if you get any helpful suggestions. It's likely that you will.
Old 5th August 2014
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aszacca View Post
lavry blue ad...no doubt
but you'd defenitely try it first,,why can't you demo it?
No one carries any in stock out here. I'd have to order it from someone who I can send it back to.
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