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New Dangerous Music “CONVERT-AD+” Analog-to-Digital Converter unveiled
Old 15th November 2017
  #1
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New Dangerous Music “CONVERT-AD+” Analog-to-Digital Converter unveiled

New Dangerous Music “CONVERT-AD+” Analog-to-Digital Converter unveiled-convert-ad-plus-front_reflecton.jpg
New Dangerous Music “CONVERT-AD+” Analog-to-Digital Converter unveiled!

Building on their legacy of award-winning monitoring and mastering D to A converters, the CONVERT-AD+ is the culmination of the company’s technical advances over the past 15 years, as always, addressing both the sonic demands, practical needs of professional audio engineers and to put the soul back into music. The design and implementation of this unique converter realize the highest levels of quality and embrace the company’s credo, Sacrifice Nothing. The CONVERT-AD+ is set for release in November 2017, with a street price of $2,599. US.

“It has always been our plan to create a complete round-trip system for tracking, mixing and mastering,” says Bob Muller, founder of Dangerous Music. “To reach that goal I asked our design team to develop a very special A to D converter to capture a performance at the tracking level, the essence of a mix, and the final master in the spirit of all our gear – sacrifice nothing to price-point and make the best sounding and most authentic A to D we have ever heard. I also wanted to shake up the existing A/D paradigm and give AD+ a creative edge – a flexible, switchable sonic tool that sounds cool and is as relevant on a vocal track as it is on a master. This is Chris Muth’s specialty, and in my opinion he wrecked shop.”

After beta testing the new AD+, engineer Chris Godbey, Timbaland's right-hand man since 2008 stated, “I need to do far fewer tricks in the mix to smooth out high frequencies, and the low end is fantastic. This thing is remarkable. I need to be on the list to get one of my own as soon as possible”

Premier Los Angeles mastering engineer Mike Wells gave his reaction after working with the new CONVERT-AD+, “My immediate impressions of this box? Pristine excellence. Pure musicality. Unique features that smote other A-D converters.”

Grammy nominated producer, music director, and bassist, André “Dre” Bowman, praised the new AD +, “Shout out to the Dangerous team—you guys really created something special. This thing sounds amazing- I can hear where everything is supposed to sit, and the features on it are incredible.”

The new CONVERT-AD+ offers 5 unique innovations in the world of stereo A/D:

1.) Dual stereo analog inputs with front panel selection.
2.) “Clip Guard” for removing clipping indication at your destination meters resulting in no rejections for CD Masters, Mastered for iTunes, and Spotify.
3.) Meter Zooming technology to see the top 10dB of dynamic activity for a fine-resolution look at the zone that matters most when mixing and mastering.
4.) X-FORMER insert button engages some of Chris Muth’s sonic wizardry via a pair of custom- implemented HAMMOND™ transformers.
5.) EMPHASIS adds a custom shelving EQ/Compressor circuit to induce 2nd order harmonic distortion to blend in a bit of mid-warmth and sparkle.

Technical overview CONVERT-AD+

• Dual Stereo Analog inputs with front panel toggle selection
• 44.1 to 192K sample rate selection with Lock indicator
• Selectable Calibration for -14, -16, and -18 dBFS
• Unique “Clip Guard” for removing clipping indication from digital prints for CD Masters, Mastered for iTunes, Spotify
• Extensive Metering control with 10dB Zoom Mode, Peak Over Average, Peak Hold, Over indicators, and more
• X-FORMER integrates a pair of customized HAMMOND transformers
• EMPHASIS shelving EQ/Compressor induces 2nd order harmonic distortion with engaged transformers
• Word Clock: Internal, External or Master settings
• Dual Stereo AES outputs
• ADAT, SPDIF Optical, and SPDIF coax RCA outputs
• Word Clock In/Out
• USB connection for Mac or Windows
• 3-Pin IEC auto-switching AC Power, 120V (US), 240V (Europe)

The new Dangerous CONVERT-AD+ (…pronounced KHAN-vert - AD Plus) is expected to be available through dealers worldwide in November 2017; the street price is 3099€ incl. 19% VAT.

Digital-to-analog conversion has been an integral part of the Dangerous Music legacy since 2002, when the Dangerous MONITOR® set the standard for mastering engineers worldwide. Since then the company’s D/As have been utilized in its products like the D-BOX, DAC-ST, SOURCE, and culminating in the CONVERT-2 and CONVERT-8 next generation reference D to A converters. With this legacy firmly established, the company sought to craft the ultimate Analog-to-Digital (A/D) converter. Painstakingly designed without compromise, adhering only to the core philosophies of “transparent, yet musical” that have come to define the Dangerous Music sound, the CONVERT-AD+ is profoundly detailed, to capture the users’ sound with an unrestricted, potent low-end, and an un-hyped clarity that holds true from the midrange through the open top end.

Visit the CONVERT-AD+ product webpage: CONVERT-AD+ - Dangerous Music
Attached Thumbnails
New Dangerous Music “CONVERT-AD+” Analog-to-Digital Converter unveiled-convert-ad-plus-front_reflecton.jpg   New Dangerous Music “CONVERT-AD+” Analog-to-Digital Converter unveiled-convert-ad-plus-rear.jpg  
Old 13th December 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Press Desk View Post
The design and implementation of this unique converter realize the highest levels of quality and embrace the company’s credo, Sacrifice Nothing.
I've just installed a review unit in my control room and it sounds spectacular!

Recording a sixteen channel analogue mix really shows the difference that the AD+ makes - the low-end definition, the mid-range depth, the upper mid-range transient clarity, the smooth yet super-defined transient response and the stereo panorama. WOW!

This unit is definitely not leaving my control room.


Cheers
Fred
Sound On Sound contributor
Old 14th December 2017
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frenzy View Post
I've just installed a review unit in my control room and it sounds spectacular!
Looking forward to trying this out.

Can you share what you think of the Emphasis and Transformer circuits? Curious about both!
Old 14th December 2017
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldspeckledhen View Post
Looking forward to trying this out.

Can you share what you think of the Emphasis and Transformer circuits? Curious about both!
I'd say the X-Former Insert tightens up the low-end just a tiny bit, making it sound more controlled, cohesive and defined. It lowers the low-end by 1/2dB or so but at the same time adds overtones an octave up.
With the Emphasis fully counter-clockwise the effect is ever so slight - which is perfect. Sounds like it's level dependent and more audible when pushing the levels, but still subtle.

Adding Emphasis makes the sound open up just a little bit. Like Chris Muth has written in the manual, it acts as a kind of shelving filter kicking in at 3kHz and up, but at the same time act as a compressor/saturation for the top-end - again ever so slight.

Switching the X-Former with Emphasis - at 12 O'clock or more - in and out, is like adding just a bit of "fresh air".

I can imagine that the X-Former Insert is one of those processors that you notice when you've worked a mix or master into it, and then disable it.

My other transformer-balanced outboard adds more flavor and color if you like, whereas the X-Former Insert shall more be seen as a helping hand or "bettermaker" - if the music content allows it.

I don't know if this description makes sense, but if I have to explain in just a few words, it would be "tightens up the low-end just a tiny bit and adds a bit of fresh air to the mix". :-)

It's not by far as audible as the X-Former Saturation in the Dangerous 2-Bus+.


Cheers
Fred
Sound On Sound contributor

PS. Using the Emphasis knob is quite addictive. :-)
Old 14th December 2017
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frenzy View Post
I don't know if this description makes sense, but if I have to explain in just a few words, it would be "tightens up the low-end just a tiny bit and adds a bit of fresh air to the mix". :-)

Definitely makes sense - appreciate the detailed description. I already have a lot of coloration in the chain but having the option of one final layer of “polish” or tightening is always welcome. Can’t wait to give it a go.

Thanks again for the review!
Old 14th December 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldspeckledhen View Post
Definitely makes sense - appreciate the detailed description. I already have a lot of coloration in the chain but having the option of one final layer of “polish” or tightening is always welcome. Can’t wait to give it a go.
Yes, that's exactly what it is, a final layer of polish.

But most of all, it's a fantastic AD-converter - the low-end punch, the mid-range depth, the transient integrity, oh my....! :-)

This time Chris Muth has outdone himself.


Cheers
Fred
Old 17th December 2017
  #7
Gear Addict
 
firubbi's Avatar
i like the idea of 2nd analog input
Old 19th December 2017
  #8
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Avantmidi's Avatar
Great news. I OWN a 2bus+ and actually only use the x-former when tracking thru iT. IT really adds allot of harmonic distortion when turned up.

Seems the adc+ is more Hedd like from your findings.

How is Clip Guard Working? Thanks
Old 19th December 2017
  #9
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b0se's Avatar
Want! Wish they made an ADDA unit.
Old 20th December 2017
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avantmidi View Post
I OWN a 2bus+ and actually only use the x-former when tracking thru iT. IT really adds allot of harmonic distortion when turned up.
Yes, it can add a lot of harmonic distortion, the X-Former process in the Convert-AD+ is much more subtle - yet quite addictive. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avantmidi View Post
Seems the adc+ is more Hedd like from your findings.
Haven't used the HEDD in a long time, but its digital processing is of course more versatile, but the X-Former in the AD+ offers analogue processing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avantmidi View Post
How is Clip Guard Working? Thanks
It does nothing on the sound, it's just preventing the digital overs from showing up as overs in the DAW - I guess it lowers the digital output just a little bit.

Personally, I've never fancied the sound of overloaded A-D converters, maybe I've always had the wrongs models to do it, but the Convert AD+ seem to be able to cope with quite some excessive input levels before crapping out - depending on the program material of course.

So, for users eager to record hot levels, the Convert AD+ seem to be able to do it quite well.


Cheers
Fred
Sound On Sound contributor
Old 20th December 2017
  #11
Gear Addict
 
Avantmidi's Avatar
Thanks allot for sharing your impressions of the review unit. Musikstore in the EU is offering it for €2600 ish.
Tempting. I will wait for some audio and video examples though to get a little more informed about how it actually sounds.
My Apollo 16 MK2 ADC's are very good but I'm hoping this will be an upgrade of my whole rig. And I just have GAS off course.

My Chain now is:

Apollo 16 MK2 -> 2BUS+ -> Apollo 16 analog in. Clocked internally by Apollo 16 MK2

I'm planning this

Apollo 16 MK2 -> 2BUS+ -> ADC+ -> AES Apollo in. Clocked by the ADC+
Old 17th January 2018
  #12
Gear Addict
 
Avantmidi's Avatar
Any more users? Demo’s? Reviews? Hopefully Namm Will Bring more content. Still on the fence here.
Old 17th January 2018
  #13
Gear Nut
bump.

same here. would like to do the "safe" thing and listen to some samples or more reviews. very impatient though.
Old 21st January 2018
  #14
Gear Addict
 
Avantmidi's Avatar
Hmm. Musikstore.de upped their prices.
Now Its 3k+ in Europe
Too bad. 2600 euro’s was a steep but OK price. 3k is just to steep for me I suppose.
Old 21st January 2018
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avantmidi View Post
Hmm. Musikstore.de upped their prices.
Now Its 3k+ in Europe
Too bad. 2600 euro’s was a steep but OK price. 3k is just to steep for me I suppose.
Yeah it's too expensive here, I'll have a friend help me purchase/ship mine from the US like I have done in the past.

It's about 2200€ with the current conversion rate I think, far more reasonable.

Waiting for some proper demos though, I'd like to use it to go back into the Ensemble Thunderbolt coming out of the mix buss chain.
Old 22nd January 2018
  #16
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Avantmidi's Avatar
One thing that is not clear to me is:

Are the transformer on/off and emphasis 2 different circuits? In the YT video’s there are different explinations. Can you use Emphasis without the transformer engaged? I also can’t find a manual online yet.
Old 22nd January 2018
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avantmidi View Post
Are the transformer on/off and emphasis 2 different circuits? In the YT video’s there are different explinations. Can you use Emphasis without the transformer engaged? I also can’t find a manual online yet.
I know, it's not that clear in the product information.

I've just finished writing an article about the Convert-AD+ for Sound On Sound magazine that will be published in a couple of months.

So, I checked that among a lot of other technical stuff with designer Chris Muth.

The Emphasis circuitry is a parallel analogue process prior to the signal entering the input transformers.

No, you can't engage the Emphasis without engaging the input transformers.

Having tested and worked with the Convert-AD+ for a month now, when you want to add "analogue polish" engaging both the Emphasis and transformers does just the trick. They work together is a really nice way.

If you're planning to buy a mastering-grade A-D converter, the Convert-AD+ should be on your list of converters to test.


Cheers
Fred
Sound On Sound contributor
Old 23rd January 2018
  #18
Gear Addict
 
Avantmidi's Avatar
Thank you. I found the manual on their website. It’s All clear now. I think I need one..But 3k+ in euro’s is to steep.
If the original €2600 ish price will Not return i’m Out. Conversion from US dollars is now €2200. I know without duities and taxes but still it feels like butrape
Old 23rd January 2018
  #19
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avantmidi View Post
Thank you. I found the manual on their website. It’s All clear now. I think I need one..But 3k+ in euro’s is to steep.
If the original €2600 ish price will Not return i’m Out.
There's a B-stock Convert-AD+ available at Thomann for about €2400 ex VAT. 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee, no questions asked. Three years warranty, no questions asked.

Snatch it before somebody else does. ;-)


Cheers
Fred
Sound On Sound contributor
Old 30th January 2018
  #20
Gear Nut
Here is mixing-mastering engineer Luca Pretolesi giving his feedback on the AD+ . You can actually hear it in action. FYI the link is only available for a week I think.

Fly On The Wall
Old 31st January 2018
  #21
Gear Addict
 
Avantmidi's Avatar
The video for me shows how marginal the differences are between the 2 compared converters. Even with the xformer engaged. It raises the question for me once more after dwelling on the web searching for the next piece of expansive hw gear: Is it really gonna make my productions sound beter? Summing with the 2BUSS+ makes a Clear difference in vibe and image for me. I guess it’s All about 0.X% at this stage. Hope to hear more sound examples soon. I’m still interested, just not as impressed as Luca I guess.
“Wow the class, the manual is in plastic all togheter” goes the obvious endorsement step to far for me.
Old 31st January 2018
  #22
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avantmidi View Post
The video for me shows how marginal the differences are between the 2 compared converters. Even with the xformer engaged. It raises the question for me once more after dwelling on the web searching for the next piece of expansive hw gear: Is it really gonna make my productions sound better?
Only you can decide. But you shouldn't base it on a Vimeo video with lossy encoded audio. Listening to the codec gargle in the background, when he speaks, makes me wonder at what bitrate the sound has been encoded.

And remember that he's auditioning the Convert-AD+ with a dance track.

I too, have trouble hearing much difference in this video, but owning the Convert-AD+, his first impressions make perfect sense to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avantmidi View Post
Summing with the 2BUSS+ makes a Clear difference in vibe and image for me. I guess it’s All about 0.X% at this stage. Hope to hear more sound examples soon. I’m still interested, just not as impressed as Luca I guess.
You need to try it out yourself before making a judgement - in your own setup and with your own music and mixes.

I feed the output of my Dangerous Mixer to the Convert-AD+, and the combo is fantastic sounding to me. From one Dangerous gear user to another, what will happen is that - if your mixes are up for it - you will get an extended low-end reaching deep down, and it's punchy too. Your stereo panorama will become slightly wider and more defined. The mid-range depth will become greater. And the transients, they just sits so well together.

Take my word for it, you really need to try out the Convert-AD+, before ruling it out as marginally different compared to other converters.


Cheers
Fred
Sound On Sound contributor
Old 31st January 2018
  #23
Gear Nut
Yeah, it is hard to tell in this video, but he is comparing 2 very good converters so at the end of the day i think the differences are probably not "deal-breakers" in terms of production . This is really a mastering tool, or high class tracking tool.
I am in the same boat as @ Avantmidi , trying to decide which miracle piece of gear is going to improve my production-mixing-mastering gigg and I think I might leave the AD+ for after I buy the Black Box HG2 and upgrade my 2BUS LT to 2BUS + . These 2 pieces of gear will definitely have a bigger impact on my mixes / productions .
I definitely think it clips beter than the Fossel , or clips great in general. I mean he was only pushing the volume and was getting -3db RMS and I did not hear any distortion so that;s definately a good sign .
[RIGHT][/RIGHT @ frenzy it would be amazing if we could all be able to test and "try before buy" but the reality is no dealer is willing to do it - at least yet. I even tried renting it thinking that I will end up keeping it, but with no success in Canada.

Oh and as far as the endorsement, yeah, he is endorsed, but at the same time he does genuinely love the gear. I've watched a lot of his videos and he is always using Dangerous stuff. It's hard not to, I am also a huge fan and have a lot of their stuff Monitor St, Dac ST, 2BUs LT and I am sure the AD+ is not going to disappoint , but unless I try it and hear it for myself I will have to put it on hold until I get the other ones first.

Also @ frenzy did you end up getting it at a lower price because of the review or did you pay the full price? Just curious.
Old 31st January 2018
  #24
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ovibis View Post
Yeah, it is hard to tell in this video, but he is comparing 2 very good converters so at the end of the day i think the differences are probably not "deal-breakers" in terms of production . This is really a mastering tool, or high class tracking tool.
I agree. He's comparing two of the best converters on the market. Apples or oranges, make your pick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ovibis View Post
I definitely think it clips beter than the Fossel , or clips great in general. I mean he was only pushing the volume and was getting -3db RMS and I did not hear any distortion so that;s definately a good sign.
It does handle excessive levels really well, and there's a good reason for that. The analogue front end has more headroom available, so when clipping eventually becomes audible, at least it's not analogue clipping.

If I'm not misinformed, the Forssell A-D converter samples at a higher sample rate, and then sample rate convert to the chosen sample rate. Maybe that's one of the reasons why it doesn't handle excessive levels quite as well as the Convert-AD+.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ovibis View Post
it would be amazing if we could all be able to test and "try before buy" but the reality is no dealer is willing to do it - at least yet. I even tried renting it thinking that I will end up keeping it, but with no success in Canada.
Okay, in Europe we have big Internet stores that offer 30 day money back guarantee, no questions asked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ovibis View Post
I've watched a lot of his videos and he is always using Dangerous stuff. It's hard not to, I am also a huge fan and have a lot of their stuff Monitor St, Dac ST, 2BUs LT and I am sure the AD+ is not going to disappoint , but unless I try it and hear it for myself I will have to put it on hold until I get the other ones first.
It's Dangerous Music and the units are designed by Chris Muth. Nothing leaves the factory until he's 100% satisfied. I think their slogan is spot on - Transparent yet musical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ovibis View Post
Also @ frenzy did you end up getting it at a lower price because of the review or did you pay the full price? Just curious.
I wish! No, I paid full price. Worth every penny.


Cheers
Fred
Sound On Sound contributor
Old 31st January 2018
  #25
Gear Nut
Quote:
Okay, in Europe we have big Internet stores that offer 30 day money back guarantee, no questions asked.
hmm i havent really thought of that , but i'm gonna look into it.
Old 1st February 2018
  #26
Gear Addict
 
Avantmidi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by frenzy View Post
Only you can decide. But you shouldn't base it on a Vimeo video with lossy encoded audio. Listening to the codec gargle in the background, when he speaks, makes me wonder at what bitrate the sound has been encoded.

And remember that he's auditioning the Convert-AD+ with a dance track.

I too, have trouble hearing much difference in this video, but owning the Convert-AD+, his first impressions make perfect sense to me.



You need to try it out yourself before making a judgement - in your own setup and with your own music and mixes.

I feed the output of my Dangerous Mixer to the Convert-AD+, and the combo is fantastic sounding to me. From one Dangerous gear user to another, what will happen is that - if your mixes are up for it - you will get an extended low-end reaching deep down, and it's punchy too. Your stereo panorama will become slightly wider and more defined. The mid-range depth will become greater. And the transients, they just sits so well together.

Take my word for it, you really need to try out the Convert-AD+, before ruling it out as marginally different compared to other converters.


Cheers
Fred
Sound On Sound contributor
I will try it myself. In my own studio. With my 8351's drivin by the AES out of my Apollo 16. Clocked to the AD+. Then probably I am down with it and it will not leave my rack. The combination of the Apollo 16MK2, 2BUS+ and the AD+ is just too damn appealing. I'm thinking of selling my Matrixbrute and Deepmind rack for this. Then go stricktly iPAd Pro App based with a midi controller into the 2BUs+->AD+ chain for tracking. The stereo expansion input on the 2Bus+ is ideal for this using the 3 color circuits on the master out to taste. This way you can remain the 16 analog channel inputs connected to the 16 outputs of your converter. So an ideal tracking and summing setup in 1. In my head this is a very effective, flexible, clean and top notch sounding workflow. Ofcourse once this expansive AD converter is in the rack my quest for analog synths will arise again and I will convince myself that I only really need one good flagship HW synth: A Waldorf Quantum or the to be announced new Dave Smith flagship synth... Primarily making Dance and electronical music here. Love collecting HQ studio gear as much as producing funky grooves with it

Last edited by Avantmidi; 1st February 2018 at 04:37 PM..
Old 7th February 2018
  #27
Gear Nut
hey @ frenzy what was your AD converter prior to the Convert AD+ ?
Old 8th February 2018
  #28
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ovibis View Post
hey @ frenzy what was your AD converter prior to the Convert AD+ ?
Crookwood MultiDAD - an excellent sounding ADC and DAC. Transparent and musical. Love it!

Given the sound quality, the modular setup makes it a quite price-worthy multi-channel converter with affordable ADC and DAC cards. You chose between a mixture of inputs and outputs depending on your needs, a total of 32 channels when fully equipped.

However, the Convert-AD+ is yet another step up in clarity in my setup, but with a higher price tag per channel.


Cheers
Fred
Sound On Sound contributor
Old 14th February 2018
  #29
Gear Addict
 
Avantmidi's Avatar
@ frenzy : Would you be so kind to upload some ITB / Trough the AD+ with color examples?
Still very interested here. Thank you in advance!
Old 20th February 2018
  #30
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by frenzy View Post
You need to try it out yourself before making a judgement - in your own setup and with your own music and mixes.

I feed the output of my Dangerous Mixer to the Convert-AD+, and the combo is fantastic sounding to me. From one Dangerous gear user to another, what will happen is that - if your mixes are up for it - you will get an extended low-end reaching deep down, and it's punchy too. Your stereo panorama will become slightly wider and more defined. The mid-range depth will become greater. And the transients, they just sits so well together.

Take my word for it, you really need to try out the Convert-AD+, before ruling it out as marginally different compared to other converters.


Cheers
Fred
Sound On Sound contributor
I have an AD+ coming in, I have been wanting a high quality AD for some time now and Sweetwater had a demo unit that I was able to snag. I expect it will be head and shoulders above anything in my current setup, but I have a question about setting the meter calibration.

Fab Dupont mentioned in his Youtube video about the AD+ that Apollo is -16 dbFS, but I have not found any reference for the Solaris. I know the Solaris metering can be set to match an Avocett, but how do you set your meters, or is that not relevant for your setup with the Solaris?
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