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Apollo x or Burl b2
Old 16th January 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Apollo x or Burl b2

Hey I have a small private studio I have been building up this last year. I record hard rock music. Pretty much mono tracks only. Guitars & vocals. So I don’t need a lot of i/o. Right now I use an mkI Apollo twin. So here’s my question would it be smarter to buy the new Apollo x or add the Burl b2 to my current Apollo? Mainly wondering if the conversion is that much better between the 2. Possibly other benefits you guys might think of. No I don’t mix or anything like that. I just want the best signal I can get into my daw. Thanks!
Old 16th January 2019
  #2
Here for the gear
Coming from a UA fanboy, I don’t feel like you could go wrong with an Apollo X. The converters in the Apollo are fantastic and then consider the Unison preamps and dsp chips to run more plugins... no-brainer to me, but I’m just not hip to $2000 ADCs. They must be ****ing amazing to warrant that sort of price, but for a small studio, is it necessary? Do you have that kind of money to invest in a small bump in your conversion quality? I’m personally getting ready to add another Apollo to my rig.
Old 17th January 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Yeah I am def willing to invest if it’s going to sound a lot better. Like I said we only record guitars and vocals here. Maybe that’s overkill to get a $2500 Burl I dunno. I really like the Apollo stuff. I even feel like my mkI twin sounds good! Maybe until I put it up against a Burl or x. Maybe I’ll just get the x. Def has to be a nice upgrade plus all the other features it offers is nice. Of course for that kind of money I could add a Shelford Channel or something. Or build like 6 capis! Haha. The options never end. Thanks for your input though!
Old 15th September 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 

I only record 2 channels at once, and currently use an Apollo Twin MKII Quad.

Upgraded outboard preamps and compressors and want to have better conversion and line inputs that can bypass the Twins preamps.

Option A) keep the twin as my interface and run a Burl B2 ADC via optical

Option B) sell the Twin and buy an Apollo x6 - more inputs than I need, but if the AD is awesome like the Burl, and a better DA than the Twin, it may be worth it (more processing power plugins as well).

Since I really only need 2 inputs at once, not sure what’s the best approach.
Old 17th September 2019
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikoo69 View Post
I only record 2 channels at once, and currently use an Apollo Twin MKII Quad.

Upgraded outboard preamps and compressors and want to have better conversion and line inputs that can bypass the Twins preamps.

Option A) keep the twin as my interface and run a Burl B2 ADC via optical

Option B) sell the Twin and buy an Apollo x6 - more inputs than I need, but if the AD is awesome like the Burl, and a better DA than the Twin, it may be worth it (more processing power plugins as well).

Since I really only need 2 inputs at once, not sure what’s the best approach.
I have the Twin MKII and an X6. The AD/DA on X6 is a step up for sure. But I can't say if it's in Burl territory (not used one), but from my understanding of AD/DA quality (even though I'm a UAD fanboy), I would probably go with the Burl or another high-end 2 channel AD/DA option.
Old 17th September 2019
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikoo69 View Post
I only record 2 channels at once, and currently use an Apollo Twin MKII Quad.

Upgraded outboard preamps and compressors and want to have better conversion and line inputs that can bypass the Twins preamps.

Option A) keep the twin as my interface and run a Burl B2 ADC via optical

Option B) sell the Twin and buy an Apollo x6 - more inputs than I need, but if the AD is awesome like the Burl, and a better DA than the Twin, it may be worth it (more processing power plugins as well).

Since I really only need 2 inputs at once, not sure what’s the best approach.
The Apollo x6 has better/newer ADC chips than the Burl B2. Specs on the B2's are closer to the Apollo Twin's ADC chip specs. That said, chip specs aren't everything, implementation matters. The Apollo x6 is super transparent, the Burl B2 isn't. It isn't supposed to be, it's euphonic. People like the Burl B2 because it isn't transparent, it adds some analog color, mainly because it has transformers in it.

I have to wonder if anyone can actually hear the difference between -112dB THD+N and -110dB THD+N anyway. They seem not to be able to in blind tests. The sound of the Burl B2's transformers is something you can hear for sure. Depends on if you want transparent or colored.
Old 8th October 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Bought a B2 ADC and will be grabbing an Apollo X6 as well - so I’ll try it out first hand and see if the Burl stays.
Old 12th October 2019
  #8
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The Burl ADC is absolutely staying. Wow. I expected a less noticeable difference but it’s pretty big. The Apollo has a clean and open sound and seems very good. As soon as I switched to the Burl, I was blown away. Best way I can describe it is it that the sound goes from cold and digital to warm and organic.
Old 12th October 2019
  #9
Here for the gear
 

@ mikoo69 , I run a burl ADC as well. I agree, it will blow you away when comparing it sonically to Apollo. At the moment, I’m on the fence and trying to decide if I should upgrade to X series, or just invest in a Dangerous Convert 8. Currently, I’m running a BF Apollo and wondering if the converters would be better on the convert over the x series.
Old 13th October 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
 

The convert-8 can be used as an interface for tracking and connecting the Burl?

I plan to run the Burl ADC into an Apollo X8 - so Apollo conversion for monitoring, but Burl conversion for tracking...and then 4 extra apollo unison preamps if I ever need to track more than 2 mics at once (in my studio I do mostly overdubs so typically only 2 tracks so the Burl ADC is perfect)
Old 23rd November 2019
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikoo69 View Post
The convert-8 can be used as an interface for tracking and connecting the Burl?

I plan to run the Burl ADC into an Apollo X8 - so Apollo conversion for monitoring, but Burl conversion for tracking...and then 4 extra apollo unison preamps if I ever need to track more than 2 mics at once (in my studio I do mostly overdubs so typically only 2 tracks so the Burl ADC is perfect)
Bump. How’s it working out? Im considering upgrading to the x series from mk2, or burl ad. Or both perhaps.
Old 23rd November 2019
  #12
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amazing. Burl into Apollo X8. Tracking 2 mics at once through the Burl is wonderful, and mixing on the X8 is perfect. The Burl made more of a difference than I imagined it would.
Old 26th November 2019
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikoo69 View Post
amazing. Burl into Apollo X8. Tracking 2 mics at once through the Burl is wonderful, and mixing on the X8 is perfect. The Burl made more of a difference than I imagined it would.
Awesome thanks for the feedback. So do you think that some hardware on the mix bus would add the weight and authority the Burl creates? Or is the actual capture that much deeper? I'm really trying to wrap my head around how much of the difference it would bring.

I'm scaling down my hardware just a bit, not that it's insane but I find a work better with less choices, and more space. Also sold my Apollo mk2's which I had no prob with but felt like its was a good time to upgrade. Hoping it's worth the trouble of redoing the patch bay haha...

I mainly do 2 tracks at a time too, besides drums, which isn't a main focus in my place. The idea of an X6 and the Burl is really appealing to me since tracking at mix bus print would be touching it. But the X8 and just some hw could keep me feeling good too... I digress, talking out loud here.
Old 16th May 2020
  #14
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B2 conversion far Superior

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
The Apollo x6 has better/newer ADC chips than the Burl B2. Specs on the B2's are closer to the Apollo Twin's ADC chip specs. That said, chip specs aren't everything, implementation matters. The Apollo x6 is super transparent, the Burl B2 isn't. It isn't supposed to be, it's euphonic. People like the Burl B2 because it isn't transparent, it adds some analog color, mainly because it has transformers in it.

I have to wonder if anyone can actually hear the difference between -112dB THD+N and -110dB THD+N anyway. They seem not to be able to in blind tests. The sound of the Burl B2's transformers is something you can hear for sure. Depends on if you want transparent or colored.
You’re right about specs not being everything. In my experience, if you’re going into a summing box or console, the difference between the sound you get returning back into the daw after hitting the B2 Bomber is worlds better than the sound you get returning to the daw thru the X6.
It’s not only the sweet transformers, but the sound is hifi in comparison. I bought a B2 after owning the tascam DA 3000, and that also sounded better than going back in thru the X6 interface. If* you feel you’re losing something getting back into the daw, a dedicated ADC will make a big difference.
Old 16th May 2020
  #15
Lives for gear
 

The Burl AD is amazing. I’ve spent lots of time a/bing to the Apollo converters and it’s a clear winner.
Old 30th May 2020
  #16
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikoo69 View Post
amazing. Burl into Apollo X8. Tracking 2 mics at once through the Burl is wonderful, and mixing on the X8 is perfect. The Burl made more of a difference than I imagined it would.
Can you explain how you are hooking everything up? I’m looking to do something similar.
Old 30th May 2020
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkb911T View Post
Can you explain how you are hooking everything up? I’m looking to do something similar.
Sure. The Burl B2 Bomber ADC is the final stop in my analog chain (Mic > Comp > EQ). I only record two channels at once 95% of the time, so the B2 handles that conversion.

It's connected to the Apollo X8 via a Spdif cable and a BNC wordlock cable (spdif out of Burl into Spdif In of X8 / WC out of Burl into WC in of X8).

Burl and Apollo both set to 96K. Burl on -18. Apollo set to "Wordclock", making the Burl the Master Clock.

I just purchased a Crane Song Avocet IIA for monitoring, as a DAC, so that will connect to the SPDIF out of the Apollo X8 (mirror monitor outs to spdif setting). The Avocet doesn't have a wordclock input, but if it did, I would send a second BNC cable from the second wordclock output of the Burl to the DAC. Not needed with the Avocet as it uses its internal clock only.

IF I ever need to record more than 2 mics at once, I can apparently still utilize the X8 unison preamps and line inputs to to receive more input channels, and have the X8 converter the extra tracks...I haven't experimented with this yet, and not sure if there would be any perceptible delay using both converters...not a problem if I want to add a couple of room mics, though if I'm recording a drumset, I'm not sure how that would work out (phase, latency, alginment, etc)...If I ever use my setup to record drums, I'll experiment, and perhaps bypass the Burl completely and just use the X8 line inputs...but like I said, 99% of the time I'm overdubbing with 2 microphones, and having Burl conversion is a amazing.
Old 3rd June 2020
  #18
Here for the gear
I am looking to acquire a new 2-channel converter to connect to the master of my SSL X-Desk and to my Apollo 8. I hesitated between the Dangerous Convert AD + and the Burl B2 ADC. I am very surprised that the Burl is above the Apollo X8, it is a converter that is almost 10 years old !! Could you tell us what makes the Burl better, please? Aside from the transformers that give more presence in the low-mid, does it bring more definition and clarity? Maybe it has better stability in the clock? I am very curious...
Old 3rd June 2020
  #19
Lives for gear
 

From my understanding, it’s less important how new the AD chip is, and more important all the analog circuitry in and out of the converter. The Burl is Euphonic. To my ear, the Apollo converters are a bit clinical sounding. So when I track through the Burl, that digital edge isn’t present at all. When a/bing it’s a small difference and I spent a couple of weeks thinking it’s not worth the cost for such a small difference. Then I realized that as tracks build up, that 5% difference becomes multiplied exponentially.

Now I just want to find a way to get 4-8 channels of Burl AD into my Apollo so I can use Luna. Seems RME makes some DD units that can convert AES to ADAT; it’s an investment so for now I think I’ll just track 2 channels at a time, and use the Apollo line imputes and conversion for any extra sources...though I really want to have Burl across the front end
Old 3rd June 2020
  #20
Here for the gear
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikoo69 View Post
From my understanding, it’s less important how new the AD chip is, and more important all the analog circuitry in and out of the converter. The Burl is Euphonic. To my ear, the Apollo converters are a bit clinical sounding. So when I track through the Burl, that digital edge isn’t present at all. When a/bing it’s a small difference and I spent a couple of weeks thinking it’s not worth the cost for such a small difference. Then I realized that as tracks build up, that 5% difference becomes multiplied exponentially.

Now I just want to find a way to get 4-8 channels of Burl AD into my Apollo so I can use Luna. Seems RME makes some DD units that can convert AES to ADAT; it’s an investment so for now I think I’ll just track 2 channels at a time, and use the Apollo line imputes and conversion for any extra sources...though I really want to have Burl across the front end

Ok I'll take the Burl ! And the Convert ad+ costs 800€ more here in France.
I think the RME ADI-4DD only converts 4 channels AES to ADAT. I don't think you can record more than 2 channels at the same time with the Burl and the RME ...
In LUNA you cannot select S-pdif when you want to record a track??
Old 4th June 2020
  #21
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Yes I use spdif in Luna but spdif is only 2 channels.
Old 20th June 2020
  #22
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Is the signal quality effected at all by the interface if you are going spidf from the Burl B2? If you are going spidf to a Digi 003 or an Apollox8 does it make any difference since the signal is already converted and just going digital from the burl to the DAW?
I'm using a 003 with my BURL B2 and it sounds great but I've never heard it into another interface via SPIDF. I'm Using the Spidf out on the 003 to Drawmer mc3.1 and since I can't compare this set up I'm just wondering if I'm missing some quality.
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