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there is no "PURE" way to A/B compare, but what about active splits? Audio Interfaces
Old 3rd May 2012
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfahb44 View Post
Sure there is. Comparing pre's is easy.


Step 1. Get a guitar amp
Step 2. Mic it up
Step 3. Record dry DI signal
Step 4. Reamp
Step 5. Unplug from preamp A, plug into preamp B, match the levels.



EXACTLY! That's what I've been thinking. Is there any reason for this not to work?
Also...Is there a way to ensure that the levels are exactly the same volume besides manually adjusting (like a plugin or something)?
Old 4th May 2012
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alarc004 View Post
EXACTLY! That's what I've been thinking. Is there any reason for this not to work?
Also...Is there a way to ensure that the levels are exactly the same volume besides manually adjusting (like a plugin or something)?
RMS normalizing is what I do. But listening too. With identical programme material is a matter of a click.

Re-amping is certainly one of the best ways to go. Or maybe someone will say that the speaker will not perform in exactly the same way every next time

I completely agree though that all technical aspects should be looked at if you want a fair technical comparison. Saying this, depending on the gear in a real life situation we are not going to put the mics in exactly the same place, aren't we? I often compare mics by simply talking in them.
Old 24th December 2018
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
I did not...

I compared the Vovox and the cheap cable this evening on a Denon 7000 headphone connected to an Antelope Orion. The difference is certainly not huge, but still rather clear. Listen a few time to the opening and notice that the notes in the right hand in the passage from 0:04 to 0:06 have so much more tonal richness. With the Cheopo cable you don't even notice the shift of tonal balance at 0:06. These differences may appear to be minor, but when you listen a few times they can really become very obvious.
Old 18th January 2019
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas_G View Post
The difference is certainly not huge, but still rather clear.
Are you sure that you would still hear Vovox cables as better sounding in a blind test ?

I don't have got any longer these low price and short life duration cables from Pure Sound brand. Pure Sound cables that I just found on the net seem very different from the ones I used in 2010 and they are much more expensive: 90$ for 15 feet length!
I remade this test with the same gear except for a Fireface UFX replacing the Steinberg MR816X (which I sold) and a pair of 5m length Sommer Galileo cables replacing the Pure Sound cables. The price ratio between such a Sommer cable and a Vovox one is still large enough (> 3) for rising question about whether it is justified. Unlike in the previous test, no gain correction was needed.
Attached Files
File Type: zip key.zip (181 Bytes, 9 views)

A.wav (7.87 MB, 529 views)

B.wav (7.87 MB, 526 views)


Last edited by didier.brest; 18th January 2019 at 10:46 PM..
Old 18th January 2019
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
Are you sure that you would still hear Vovox cables as better sounding in a blind test ?

I don't have got any longer these low price and short life duration cables from Pure Sound brand. Pure Sound cables that I just found on the net seem very different from the ones I used in 2010 and they are much more expensive: 90$ for 15 feet length!
I remade this test with the same gear except for a Fireface UFX replacing the Steinberg MR816X (which I sold) and a pair of 5m length Sommer Galileo cables replacing the Pure Sound cables. The price ratio between such a Sommer cable and a Vovox one is still large enough (> 3) for rising question about whether it is justified. Unlike in the previous test, no gain correction was needed.
I am now reading this on my phone, and this weekend is filled with recordings, but I will listen after the weekend. I could clearly hear the difference with the cheapo cable, but with another very good cable the difference may be less pronounced. I will report back.
Old 21st January 2019
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didier.brest View Post
Are you sure that you would still hear Vovox cables as better sounding in a blind test ?

I don't have got any longer these low price and short life duration cables from Pure Sound brand. Pure Sound cables that I just found on the net seem very different from the ones I used in 2010 and they are much more expensive: 90$ for 15 feet length!
I remade this test with the same gear except for a Fireface UFX replacing the Steinberg MR816X (which I sold) and a pair of 5m length Sommer Galileo cables replacing the Pure Sound cables. The price ratio between such a Sommer cable and a Vovox one is still large enough (> 3) for rising question about whether it is justified. Unlike in the previous test, no gain correction was needed.
Hi Didier,

I just got time to listen to these two samples. It was a nice listen! I didn't download the key yet in order to not get biased.

Version A is more forward in the upper register where the right hand of the pianist is active. That gives a somewhat more into-your-face character, and it obscures a bit the lower and real high frequencies.

Version B appeals more to me here, because it has a more even tonal balance. It seems just about right over the whole frequency range and that makes the piano feel at ease. The ambience merits as well.

Let me stress, that this is my preference with these mics, this mic placement and this piano. When these variables shift, there is good chance that I might prefer the cable of A. It depends on the circumstances. Only when I would feel that I prefer the cable of version B on many occasions, I would consider buying it.

I am quite curious to know which is which. maybe you can PM me the result?
Old 21st January 2019
  #67
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ronmac's Avatar
I just listened to both files and can perceive no difference (with the exception of some very brief changes on the left channel). Not trusting my ears, I did a null test with Izotope Insight recording a histogram. There was some variation, but no greater than -78.1912 db instantaneous deviation in the left channel, with no measurable variation on the right channel.

Am I missing something, or are my ears and metering method suspect?

Last edited by ronmac; 21st January 2019 at 02:09 PM..
Old 21st January 2019
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
I just listened to both files and can perceive no difference. Not trusting my ears, I did a null test with Izotope Insight recording a histogram. There was some variation, but no greater than -78.1912 db instantaneous deviation.

Am I missing something, or are my ears and metering method suspect?
Hi Ron, I would never say that your ears are the problem. Your ears are just as important as mine. If there isn't a clear difference to your ears, you are absolutely right in not bothering with these two cables.

For me the difference is not minute, but I did listen on a very transparent Antelope Orion feeding my Denon HD 7000 headphones. There the difference was and is very obvious to me, and substantial enough for me to be interested.

I just listened on two Adam A5X speakers and then it is still audible for me, but much less pronounced. I maybe wouldn't bother...

Then, I also listened on my DIY large speaker system (incorporating the huge old-design AMT tweeter) and there the difference was just as pronounced as on my headphones. The influences of DAC's. preamps and cables is often not as large as some would want us to believe, but on good equipment they can be heard, and they may or may not be relevant to your ears.

There is probably also an important factor in how your ears were trained. If you spend your life listening to pop music you wil have other clues to look for (hear into) than when you listen to acoustical jazz or classical music. But even two classical music lovers can have different scopes. For one to hear the structure of the music is vital, and for the other the sound as it is (der Klang) is the most important aspect. I admit that I have always been a sort of "Klang-fetischicht".
Old 21st January 2019
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
I just listened to both files and can perceive no difference (with the exception of some very brief changes on the left channel). Not trusting my ears, I did a null test with Izotope Insight recording a histogram. There was some variation, but no greater than -78.1912 db instantaneous deviation in the left channel, with no measurable variation on the right channel.

Am I missing something, or are my ears and metering method suspect?

On the null-test, to be honest, I don't know the answer. It seems a very legitimate proof of the absence of differences, and I would be inclined to see it as a rather compelling evidence.

However, if you look at the lists that Didier carefully prepared with the null-tests on ADDA converters, the outcome doesn’t entirely convince me. The Horus is high on the list and that correlates with my own findings, and there are a few other converters that seem to fit in the list, but there are also some strange outcomes that do not seem to fit in my experience, nor in that of my colleagues.

Then there is the question of where the threshold lies on your dB scale. Is it -40 dB, is it -100 dB? I have no answer.

The difference between this A and B is for me interesting enough and recognizable enough that I can hear it in a random test. For me that is the key factor, but for many others it can be proof of my believing in fairies…
Old 21st January 2019
  #70
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I like B better, it seems more 'integrated' and there's better stereo width, I can hear more clearly what each hand is doing..... but if they are identical cables, that would simply prove I'm a fool for self-persuasion

Not a big difference however, and one that got apparently smaller with repeated comparison listens.....
Old 22nd January 2019
  #71
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whippoorwill's Avatar
I heard a distinctly brighter and pokier midrange, like an annoying resonance on the A sample that's not on the B. The B also seems to have better defined bass and be overall nicer. Furthermore you can see on scopes a distinct peak at approx 500-600hz when nulled, and a steadily rising noise difference between them. Despite the low level in nulling this really seems to come through on listening.

Furthermore, if I tried to EQ A to lose a bit of that peakiness, I would either have to use digital EQ or analog EQ and the result would be either digital EQ problems or it would have to be run through an eq, the eq amplifier, more cables and another AD stage.

A friend of mine, Attila Faravelli, does cassette and tape recording. In digitising his mono nagra recordings he did a comparison between copper and silver cabling (1ft in length) into an RME ADI-2 Pro. They will not null easily because they are from tapes with some W&F.
Attached Files
File Type: aif silver.aif (4.40 MB, 21 views) File Type: aif copper.aif (4.40 MB, 21 views)
Old 22nd January 2019
  #72
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippoorwill View Post
.

Furthermore, if I tried to EQ A to lose a bit of that peakiness, I would either have to use digital EQ or analog EQ and the result would be either digital EQ problems or it would have to be run through an eq, the eq amplifier, more cables and another AD stage.
What are the problems with digital eq
Old 22nd January 2019
  #73
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whippoorwill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
What are the problems with digital eq
Any EQ is going to be a fairly blunt instrument and digital eq's are limited by programming knowledge of electronics or audio theory. And electronics are a poor analog of reality.

The best EQs I know are: moving mics, changing the recording chain, changing instruments, changing room. Parts 3&4 are often not quickly changed during a session.
Old 22nd January 2019
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whippoorwill View Post
I heard a distinctly brighter and pokier midrange, like an annoying resonance on the A sample that's not on the B. The B also seems to have better defined bass and be overall nicer. Furthermore you can see on scopes a distinct peak at approx 500-600hz when nulled, and a steadily rising noise difference between them. Despite the low level in nulling this really seems to come through on listening.

Furthermore, if I tried to EQ A to lose a bit of that peakiness, I would either have to use digital EQ or analog EQ and the result would be either digital EQ problems or it would have to be run through an eq, the eq amplifier, more cables and another AD stage.

A friend of mine, Attila Faravelli, does cassette and tape recording. In digitising his mono nagra recordings he did a comparison between copper and silver cabling (1ft in length) into an RME ADI-2 Pro. They will not null easily because they are from tapes with some W&F.
Funny. Although we are not allowed to, we seem to hear the same fairies. What a coincidence....
Old 22nd January 2019
  #75
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whippoorwill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas_G View Post
Funny. Although we are not allowed to, we seem to hear the same fairies. What a coincidence....
Yes!
It would be interesting if people would take a listen to the copper/silver samples I posted above, the difference is really not inconsequential here.
Old 22nd January 2019
  #76
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didier.brest's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas_G View Post
Version B appeals more to me here, because it has a more even tonal balance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
I just listened to both files and can perceive no difference (with the exception of some very brief changes on the left channel).
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
I like B better, it seems more 'integrated' and there's better stereo width, I can hear more clearly what each hand is doing.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippoorwill View Post
I heard a distinctly brighter and pokier midrange, like an annoying resonance on the A sample that's not on the B. The B also seems to have better defined bass and be overall nicer.
Password for key.zip send by PM.
Old 24th January 2019
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whippoorwill View Post
I heard a distinctly brighter and pokier midrange, like an annoying resonance on the A sample that's not on the B. The B also seems to have better defined bass and be overall nicer. Furthermore you can see on scopes a distinct peak at approx 500-600hz when nulled, and a steadily rising noise difference between them. Despite the low level in nulling this really seems to come through on listening.

Furthermore, if I tried to EQ A to lose a bit of that peakiness, I would either have to use digital EQ or analog EQ and the result would be either digital EQ problems or it would have to be run through an eq, the eq amplifier, more cables and another AD stage.

A friend of mine, Attila Faravelli, does cassette and tape recording. In digitising his mono nagra recordings he did a comparison between copper and silver cabling (1ft in length) into an RME ADI-2 Pro. They will not null easily because they are from tapes with some W&F.
Hi Whippoorwill, I finally found time to listen to your Copper and Silver files. The difference is huge indeed. The silver has a very pronounced presence boost that makes details come out much clearer, but it is not yet clear to me which one I would prefer when recording music. The presence boost can make music too shrill and there is a relaxed and well integrated character to the copper cable that may work better for some music than the extra detail of the silver cable. I guess, one would have to decide in a comparison on some music recordings.
Old 24th January 2019
  #78
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whippoorwill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas_G View Post
Hi Whippoorwill, I finally found time to listen to your Copper and Silver files. The difference is huge indeed. The silver has a very pronounced presence boost that makes details come out much clearer, but it is not yet clear to me which one I would prefer when recording music. The presence boost can make music too shrill and there is a relaxed and well integrated character to the copper cable that may work better for some music than the extra detail of the silver cable. I guess, one would have to decide in a comparison on some music recordings.
Yes! Very much agreed. Here it avoids the flattening of the dense textures of the objet sonore, which is very difficult to escape in field recording- they’re so often dense, flat and muddy. In music it could bring out something ugly in a voice or instrument or it could capture something nicely.

There is no universal better, just different flavours.

My friend who did the test often prefers copper and sometimes uses a mixture i.e silver from mics to preamp and to tape, copper to AD. Receiving devices don’t necessarily react in a linear way to this stuff. Most ADs handle high frequencies in ugly ways, some preamps too.

I like this form of thinking though, to eek out different colours and textures from sound gently, once all else is in place.
Old 26th January 2019
  #79
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whippoorwill's Avatar
for fans of active listening I have a new AB test for you people in a thread I started, I hope the cross-posting is acceptable.
Cassette on location with AD comparison
Old 26th January 2019
  #80
Years ago Lynn Fuston put out a set of CD's comparing mic preamps. To do this a buffer circuit was built to gain match the DUT's. The buffer was made out of OP275 Butler opamps and some el caps.

Everything sounded like the buffer circuit. Differences were washed out. Then early Pro Tools editing finished off the rest.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
To do this a buffer circuit was built to gain match the DUT's.
(...)
Everything sounded like the buffer circuit. Differences were washed out. Then early Pro Tools editing finished off the rest.
No such thing here.

Same gear for left and right channels:

Microphone (MK 21) ---> cable (Monster) ---> active splitter (LA Audio) ---> 2 different cables (Vovox and Sommer) ---> 2 preamp inputs of Fireface UFX with the same gain setting ---> Wavelab (editing: cut the beginning and the end at the same times for Vovox and Sommer tracks and fade out)

Why the splitter would make Voxox and Sommer signals sound the same ? (If it is what you are suggesting.) I could understand rather the contrary because the disparity of the splitter channels might have a stronger audio impact than the cables being different.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #82
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I'm confused by this thread.

It starts off as a perfectly legit discussion about active splitters.

Then it suddenly morphs into yet another 'cable wars' thread.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
I'm confused by this thread.

It starts off as a perfectly legit discussion about active splitters.

Then it suddenly morphs into yet another 'cable wars' thread.
There are millions of Starwars fans out there, so there might be a few Cablewars fans on this forum too...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #84
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didier.brest's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lehmann View Post
I'm confused by this thread.
It is about comparing A and B gear by means of an active microphone splitter. It originated from the objection against passive splitters that they don't achieve perfect isolation of their outputs (see first post and discussion in this thread from post 14 to post 31)). A and B may be anything in a recording chain, especially microphone cables (there is also this test for blind comparison) and preamps.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #85
Sonic evaluations require more time than a snapshot A/B/X decision can allow. You have to live with it for some time before the decision is made. Otherwise you are forced into a quick decision = the SamAshGuitarCenterFullCompassSweetwater two-step.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Sonic evaluations require more time than a snapshot A/B/X decision can allow. You have to live with it for some time before the decision is made. Otherwise you are forced into a quick decision = the SamAshGuitarCenterFullCompassSweetwater two-step.
Totally agree. Otherwise it is like choosing your fiancee by looking on a photo with a line-up of miss-world contestants. Fair chance you would end up with the wrong one...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #87
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucas_G View Post
Otherwise it is like choosing your fiancee by looking on a photo with a line-up of miss-world contestants. Fair chance you would end up with the wrong one...
Having worked a Miss World gig, there's probably no such thing as a 'wrong' choice.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #88
Maybe for one night, but good enough to take home to meet mom?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Maybe for one night, but good enough to take home to meet mom?
I knew that my analogy would not fall on deaf ears...
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