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Apogee AD16x vs API A2D vs Focusrite LS56
Old 3rd January 2015
Lives for gear
wesarvin's Avatar

Apogee AD16x vs API A2D vs Focusrite LS56

So, I haven't posted on Gearslutz in a few years, but recently did a gear upgrade and couldn't help but to post the results. Mods, if this doesn't belong here, please move to the appropriate forum. In the Dropbox folder are three takes and a picture of the setup.

Audio is from a session, played through monitors, and recorded with a pair of KSM32's at mix location. From there it went:

1. LS56 running internal clock and 312 emulation, harmonics set to zero.
2. A2D using its converters and clock, spdif to LS56
3. Analog outs of A2D into the AD16x running its clock ADAT into LS56.

All clips were gain matched the best I could, then peak normalized to -1dB in ProTools.

I was startled at the difference in noise floor, high-end clarity, and distortion. If you want to really see a difference, pipe the clips through a limiter doing about 6dB of reduction and even my wife could notice.

Old 3rd January 2015
Lives for gear
wesarvin's Avatar

Here are mp3's, one set without processing, the other with an L1.
Attached Files

LS56--L1.mp3 (353.8 KB, 580 views)

A2D.mp3 (353.8 KB, 620 views)

AD16x--L1.mp3 (353.8 KB, 713 views)

LS56.mp3 (353.8 KB, 692 views)

A2D--L1.mp3 (353.8 KB, 641 views)

AD16x.mp3 (353.8 KB, 620 views)

Old 7th January 2015
Lives for gear
wesarvin's Avatar

So I pardon the room noise and crude technique, but I was looking for something quick, consistent (I even sat in the same place of the room so as not to change acoustics), and somewhat accurate (even though it was a VERY crude and distortion-smashed example with the L1).

Maybe I should have made it a blind test...

To make sure my ears aren't playing tricks on me, what do you notice as differences between clips?
Old 4th February 2015
Here for the gear
KaH!'s Avatar
Apogee AD-16 x sounds best.

When recording the clip was the Soft Limit activated on the AD-16x.
Old 8th February 2015
Lives for gear
wesarvin's Avatar

Nope, soft limit was bypassed.

The LS56 was running the 312 emulation, but I noticed the same fuzziness when run flat too.
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