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Lunatec V3 / Lavry AD11...or Sound Devices usbpre2 Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 9th September 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 

Lunatec V3 / Lavry AD11...or Sound Devices usbpre2

Hi,

Since last year, I'm in charge (concerts and recordings) of a very beautiful Chapel in my home town and I've recording project there in the future: solo oboe/english horn, classical guitar, clarinet, violin... for CD releases and/or concerts live recording.

My setup in my studio is: Brauner/Line audio QM12i --- DavBG1 --- Merging Sphynx/Mykerinos --- Pyramix 7. I'm recording with XY/AB setup and a lot in MS
I really like my studio setup but I really don't want to unplug everything, put the gears in racks, break my back each time I need to record outside.

I have a MacBook pro with Toslink in/out and I've made a lot a researches all over the net to find what could be the best gear for my application - classical recording -

The ideal gear must have a Toslink out/USB, beautiful AD conversion and MS if possible.

So far my solutions/(or no solutions) are:
- packing all my gears and record with the same setup I have in the studio
PRO: high quality recording
CONS: very heavy and time consuming

- buying a Lavry AD10 or Mytek ADC96, plug it into the computer via Toslink and using my DavBG1 as preamp.
PRO: not really expensive (Mytek) and high quality
CONS: will need a DA (perhaps not in my budget...)

- going to the "all in a box" recording gears, I can use them with the Dav or with the inside preamp:
Lunatec V3 (MS and Toslink !!)
Lavry AD11
in another league Sound Devices USBPre2 (ADDA, Monitoring, USB, Toslink etc...)

What are your thoughts on that ???
Another question, is the SD UsbPre2 overall quality really less interesting than Lavry and Lunatec, I mean mainly the AD conversion ?

Thanks a lot for helping me on that.

Benoit.
Old 9th September 2011
  #2
Lives for gear
Why not hire a Sound Devices or Nagra recorder?
Makes more sense to me on location
They are bullet proof
Lap tops are like a fussy mare.
Old 9th September 2011
  #3
Gear Head
 

Thanks for your answer, I thought about that but I will record during many separate days and many time without a real planning.... because of the Chapel occupation.
Old 9th September 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
Buy a solid state recorder then.
Old 9th September 2011
  #5
Gear Head
 

Ok, which one you like the most ?

But also, for serious project I really want to record directly with Pyramix, means to have a computer.
Old 9th September 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
Cant you ingest files into Pyramix?
I love the SD 702, a recording brick.
Unfazed by location.
Old 9th September 2011
  #7
Gear Head
 

yes, I have this idea in my head that it takes plenty of time to do the transfer.... but sure it's possible !

Do you have any idea of the differences in term of quality between the Sound Devices USBPre2 and the SD 702. A lot of people and SD company claim that it's the exact same quality (preamp and ADDA) but the price is really not the same.
Old 9th September 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benoit ALBERT View Post
yes, I have this idea in my head that it takes plenty of time to do the transfer.... but sure it's possible !
How long does it take to copy an hour 24/44.1 file, about one GB in size via Firewire. 10 seconds, 30 seconds?

SD 702 is a solid, high quality recorder, besides you can record straight to external Firewire HD and connect that to Pyramix DAW: no need for transfers. Then the memory card would work as backup.
Old 9th September 2011
  #9
Gear Head
 

Ok Petrus, you're right, no doubt that the firewire is fast. In fact the "all in a box" gears are something I'm a little bit afraid of... I feel trapped in a way. I really want to use my Dav BG1, I like this preamp a lot.

Any ideas about quality differences between SD USBPRE2, SD 702, Lunatec V3 and Lavry AD11 (I'm talking about the AD converter especially and also the mic preamp)
Old 9th September 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benoit ALBERT View Post
In fact the "all in a box" gears are something I'm a little bit afraid of... I feel trapped in a way.
There is more reason to be afraid of systems cobbled together form many parts, especially when one of them is relatively unreliable (PC ) and there is a tangle of wires waiting to be pulled loose by accident, AC power might be lost etc. Something like SD702 can not really be more simple (in a pro way, that is...) and reliable.

What comes to quality there is no need to worry that some other combination would give better mic-pres or ADC than SD7xx series recorders. It is simply good enough for everything.
Old 9th September 2011
  #11
Gear Head
 

Yes you're absolutely right about the risks of using a PC + wires etc...

I'm stubbed but can I use an external preamp with the SD 702 ?
Old 9th September 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
You can use what you desire
Analogue or digits
I use mine alone with high o/p small diaphragm condensers and even classic ribbons (PGS).
Where space permits I use my Sonosax SX6 mixer and its excellent mic pre amps.
Ingestion is speedy
Battery life, being a solid state device, is lengthy.
I endorse it wholely.
Old 9th September 2011
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benoit ALBERT View Post
I'm stubbed but can I use an external preamp with the SD 702 ?
Yes, mic in, line in, digital in.

The only difference you would notice using a separate mic-pre (if it is good enough) is another box, powering problems and more wires again...
Old 9th September 2011
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Sheikyearbouti's Avatar
Hi Benoit,

Are you strictly talking about 2ch recording? As well, could someone put some light on the SD 702 - does it allow more than 2 tracks to be recorded simultaneously? Say you use the mic pre inputs + the digital ins?

If this is the case you will be limited to 2ch. Are you sure that you are never going to need a spot or two?

I have a V3 and IMHO the AD is absolutely stellar. Of course one can always be more slutty, but I have never felt the need for better AD. And yes, I have tested the pre's going into Prism and other high end AD's.
The preamp is great too with 70dB of super clean gain and IMO great sound.

Than when I go for 2ch recording I use my Macbook Pro (sorry, but it is not a PC as someone suggested) and I have NEVER had a problem. The Lunatec has multiple simultaneous outs - both analogue and digital. I usually get a copy from the SPDIF and go into an M-Audio Microtrack for backup (yes, it is a piece of you know what but for this purpose is just fine).

My point is that in the future the V3 could be used in combination with your DAV to build a more complex configuration (not that the 702 can't) and if there is a difference in the sound quality, than it is worth considering it.

Now here it comes the question: is there any difference in the quality of the pre's and the AD between both devices. I am afraid that I can't answer this question as I have never used the 702. My guess is that the Grace will be faster and more detailed and the 702 (where the 702 will be closer to the DAV). But this is only a guess.
As well, is it worth saving 500$ and going for the Grace if the 702 is after all as Petrus said it: 'can not really be more simple (in a pro way, that is...) and reliable.'

BTW, the V3 has a nice analogue dither.
Old 9th September 2011
  #15
Gear Head
 

Hi Nikolay,

Thanks a lot for your very interesting answer. I've just listened to your audio samples on your website and I really like the sound a lot. I can ear that you know what you are doing and I really like the natural acoustics, this is a very intimate way of listening music. I'm a professional classical guitar player (sound recording is my passion) and I took a real pleasure listening to the samples (the guitarist is amazing !), just wanted to say that !

Back to the gears now ! I watching the Lunatec V3 since a long time, never tried it but I read a lot about it and I have the feeling that it could be the right solution for me. I also love the MS setup and the Lunatec has the decoder. I have also a Sony D50 I really like and I want to have the possibility of recording live concert in MS directly into the D50 via Toslink.

Do you plug the Lunatec V3 via Toslink in your MacBook pro ?
What are you using for monitoring ?

Benoit.
Old 9th September 2011
  #16
Lives for gear
 
elswhrco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benoit ALBERT View Post
Do you have any idea of the differences in term of quality between the Sound Devices USBPre2 and the SD 702.
I asked Sound Devices directly, and they told me that the pre-amp and AD are essentially the same on both the USBPre2 and the SD702.
Old 9th September 2011
  #17
Gear Head
 

Thanks Douglas, That's really interesting because it means that both USBPRE2 and 702 share the same very good audio quality while the Usbpre2 is less than half the price...

Is there someone here who have both units and can confirm that statement ? audio samples perhaps ?
Old 9th September 2011
  #18
Lives for gear
 
elswhrco's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benoit ALBERT View Post
Thanks Douglas, That's really interesting because it means that both USBPRE2 and 702 share the same very good audio quality while the Usbpre2 is less than half the price...

Is there someone here who have both units and can confirm that statement ? audio samples perhaps ?
I think there's no reason to believe it is not the case, as the pre-amps and AD are surely not the most expensive parts of the SD702.
Old 9th September 2011
  #19
Lives for gear
What is wrong with 2 ch?
A mixer can always be employed
Is live mixing dead ?
Are we machines?
Music is performance.
Not automation.
Old 10th September 2011
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Sheikyearbouti's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo 46 View Post
What is wrong with 2 ch?
A mixer can always be employed
Is live mixing dead ?
Are we machines?
Music is performance.
Not automation.
Hey Rodger, my deep respect for what you are saying. But I personally don't have neither the guts, nor the skills to take such decisions on the spot. Especially with something which is destined to be released as a record. And than I can't see anything which will stop you to record automation during the tracking. This is still a live performance. But it is just a safer bet to be able to come back to it in the post.

And no, music is not dead. I do make such performances when I don't work on classical projects. I actually meet a lot of people at my age who love music and are looking for this life-live part of it.
As an example, last week I recorded panning "automation" for a some vocals tracked in a very nice wooden hall by moving a near-coincident pair in rhythm with the drums of the song (some extra cable handling and shock mounts were needed!). This actually sounds pretty cool heh
Old 10th September 2011
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Sheikyearbouti's Avatar
Hi Benoit,

Thank you for the kind words. Unfortunately I have never tried the optical in on the mac. But you know that it is a mini jack both for the in and for the phones out. The later is horrible, as I am sure you already know. So this is +1 for the Sound Devices.
I usually connect the V3 either to a RME FF400 or for bigger projects I go into Prism Orpheus. But with the RME + V3 (AES or SPDIF) I have never felt the need to use other converters than the one in the V3. Of course one can always reach higher levels of sluttiness and pay 5k for a pair of ADC alone heh

Cheers
Nik
Old 10th September 2011
  #22
Gear Head
 

Ok, I undersand your setup, I've read that the RME Fireface is a nice transparent box for connecting digital devices to a computer. Seems you're more than happy with it.

Last month I talked with the Lavry Tech Support and the guy there (he was really nice and helpful) said that he would go with the Toslink plug instead of the USB into a MacBook Pro. He said that Toslink is a sound dedicated data transfer protocol but not the usb where other computer devices can interfere (mouse, keyboard, external hard drive). Interesting idea.

Concerning my researches I'm still wondering if the SD USB Pre2 is in the same league as the 702, the Lunatec V3 or the Lavry AD11.
Old 10th September 2011
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Sheikyearbouti's Avatar
One thing that I thought of is that in order to activate the MS mode on the V3 you will have to open the box and move a jumper. It takes not more than a minute but you need a screwdriver to do it. Same if you want to change the filters form passive to active (6dB to 12dB per octave).
Old 10th September 2011
  #24
Gear Addict
 
Bibster's Avatar
 

Why not do MS decoding in Post? True, a bit hard to monitor, but a simple DIY thing could arrange that. For simple monitoring, that is!!
Old 10th September 2011
  #25
Gear Addict
 
Bibster's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benoit ALBERT View Post
He said that Toslink is a sound dedicated data transfer protocol but not the usb where other computer devices can interfere (mouse, keyboard, external hard drive). Interesting idea.
Well... both are guaranteed to deliver the data... Maybe not 'in time' but who cares, as A/D has been done, and we're not syncing to nothing...
Old 10th September 2011
  #26
Gear Head
 

Un toulousain !!! Salut...

Yes you're right I can record the "raw" MS with the Sony D50 without decoding and import the files in Pyramix in MS tracks.

I saw that Avenson is building MS encode and decode box, but it's another box to buy and to carry.

More people are using the USBPre2 I'm sure. Some comparison with Lunatec AD and preamp ?
Old 10th September 2011
  #27
Lives for gear
Sound Devices do this , encoded /unencoded
Why choose an electric shaver device?
They are plastic domestic devices,with Toslink 3.5mm inputs...
You would import them into Pyramix ?
Its not just data, its music.
Recorders need field proof, balanced connectors.
Old 11th September 2011
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Boschen's Avatar
 

I also use a V3 and it simply rocks.
It has a suite of digital and analog outs, including spdif, an optional toslink, AES, and balanced analog out, all simultaneous.
I use the spdif digital out into my MBP digital toslink input via a Co2.
The V3 conversion is fabulous. Changing jumpers is a breeze on this unit; 4 screws gives up it's gutz. If my MBP could handle it (it can't), the V3 will put out a 192khz sample rate. And by god, this is clean gain, and tons of it--- 70db. Oh yeah, the V3 also has a dedicated MS matrix feature, and two flavors of HPF that you can jigger the slope on--jumpers again.
For an all in one pre/converter, the V3 really is hard to beat.
Old 12th September 2011
  #29
Gear Head
 

Thanks Boschen, I feel that the Lunatec could be a very good option.

In the same price we have Lunatec V3, Sound Devices 702 and Lavry AD11. Sound Devices 702 is much more than a preamp/converter combo, I know.

As I dont have the opportunity to try those 3 units, I'll have to guess I suppose....
Old 12th September 2011
  #30
Gear Head
 

Few weeks ago I saw some Lunatec V3 on ebay at a very nice price (750 $) but without the toslink out. Is the CO2 really transparent ...?
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