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Burl Audio B2 ADC

Burl Audio B2 Bomber ADC

4.9 4.9 out of 5, based on 3 Reviews

The Burl B2 is amazing, like cleaning the glass with Windex. More clarity and punch. Easy to use.


16th March 2012

Burl Audio B2 Bomber ADC by drgregorio

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Burl Audio B2 ADC

I began using the Burl B2 ADC about five years ago in a mixing mastering studio and just got my own for my home studio where I do overdubs and mixing. I use a Pro tools hd2 with 192 and found the addition of the Burl is like cleaning the windows with Windex, clarity, punch I never had before. I use it to track through a Manley tube pre and it makes everything sound better, musicians are amazed how their gear sounds, especially electric bass and guitar. I find that tracking these instruments direct through the B2 makes the amp sims more responsive as they get a punchier and clearer signal to process.

It was very easy to hook up as it has few controls and helps me controls the output of mixes with a volume attenuator on the front so I can get a little more or less on my master without having to go back and tweak the pro tools master.

The B2 helps me get my mixes out of pro tools as I send the mixes out of the 192 to the Manley pre to the burl and then via AES back into pro tools. The mixes sound more balanced and punchier, more clarity and separation and a clear stereo field. I highly recommend this piece of gear for home studios especially where you don't need a lot of channels of A to D conversion. I leave it connected to the Manley and it gets used everyday for tracking or mixing.

Rich Williams, the designer of this product also designed many of the converters and pres at Universal Audio and is an audio God that has created a particular sound that is very pleasing to me in all his gear. I have a bunch of UA stuff and now will begin collecting more Burl pres and hopefully a mothership, his multi channel AD-DA unit.

  • 1
27th October 2013

Burl Audio B2 Bomber ADC by Deleted User

Burl Audio B2 ADC

Making tracks with the BURL B2 Bomber ADC (see footnote number 1).

This is the future, the way that computers and technology music and bits and pieces all come together, from the basement to the attic.

It’s a performance piece, a one man show, based dreams and inspirations, paths I paddled for nearly 57 years. The raconteuring the Tom Sawyering the Tom Thompsonning there’s no end.

We make up rules and protocols and little procedures. Then out with the harps and bongos, the bass drum beater to the round wound bass strings, got the neck replaced under warranty, thank you George and Leo, it felt good to bang it up, and the new neck’s a Butte. Let’s do again carefully.

More of these chicanes. No close-miking, or dubbing please, just special guests and close friends, and archival clips of those who rest in peace, played directly into my 1982 Hitachi television set. A tad annoying 4 sum U see in the way we use technology.

Of course you've heard of TED talks, mine will be TEL talks, words and music, and the old pot belly. Stove. Top. Stovetop. TEL. I’m telling you. You and me, not the CBC, not even on podcast, just in the room, in the boathouse, the black box theatre of reality, the circus tent.

So it's popular now, a three character name, like PSY. TEL's just a lumberjack his Absolute Smithsonian, so gentle and direct, each mic element tracked separately, coming out that column, the discretely stacked Harbeths, or bused or stacked separate Tweed amps. Yup, it’s about computers and technology, coming together, stuff, stuff. Yes D to A, reel to reel, A to D, AD then DA. All together, with little cuts and detours. That's the stuff!

Okay, B2, mon beau pitou, cool your jets B4 we go off topic.

It's never too late to run it through tubes or tweed, like taking your best Martin for a paddle in your canoe. Take it along. Leave the case in the car. Take it you will be careful. No tippy tippy.

Even if you play acoustic -- I mean acoustic, not plugged into a scratchy pickup. Acoustic captured in the room by the Josephson big lantern (C700A), run through discrete FET amps powered by 48V DC phantom, then piped into a twin pair pair of CAPI VP26 clones, racked into a singleton (and independently placed) five pound cheese-block (Atlas Pro Sound Revolver 500 series 2 slot rack), and then warmed up by BURL B2 ADC’s transformers B4 being turned into zeroes and ones, and back again to the room when it back. No mixing desks, just a pair of dual signal paths. Very very discrete.

I'm in no hurry, been woodshedding for over forty years. I try not to copy people's riffs, and I think by now it's real. And it gets even better.

It's in the preparation. I don't hire anything or anyone -- that is equipment or recording engineers. I own it. I have never taken grants or scholarships or taken up memberships.

We record as high quality as we can, we never edit, we simply roll tape like a surveillance tape -- oh yeah, I deliberately bought another laptop with no CD slot -- the CD be gone like the buggy whip. But there’s USB 2.0 slots galore into numerous old laptops (via SPDIF on my Sound Devices USBPre 2). I suppose I could also connect the output to an external tape drive, but there are limits. You can't buy the store.

But my Lord, such possibilities -- direct to flash on laptops and tablets
Then my way of really playing back the twin channel mono, the stuff just jumps out of the speakers -- almost the same as when sound was created (dual mono loudspeakers, stacked on their sides, and fed discrete signals). It’s astonishing!.

As a joke, I could even do sound on sound, played back into the room then add more sounds -- but sorry, I’m not into the electronic mix bus. Folks by now, you should know that's not how I roll.

I know the difference between real and recorded, of course, acoustic guitars versus the B2 Bomb. Even an end to end Santa Cruz triple threat is possible.

It's here. It's available. Now.

Start with Santa Cruz Number 1, a Santa Cruz guitar in a good room, with good singer or not, into one splendid Santa Cruz Number 2, the Josephson C700A with absolutely no manipulation, only a bit of experiments with gain levels and mic placement. We own it, we use, the play it back. Oh yeah, it's an incremental option, Santa Cruz Number Three, the BURL B2 Bomber ADC -- since the DAC in my handy Sound Devices USBPre 2 ain't exactly slumming!

Half the time I record something I listen to it on iTunes...so that's why more BURL B2Bomber ADCs are sold -- than BURL B2 Bomber DACs. You would need to have a hit record out, to afford everything I'm talking about. But in the meantime, I've got the rig, at least two channels that would rival any fly dude. What? That's rich coming from an audio industry outsider!

I also have a fifteen year old Rega Jupiter CD player that has a separate DA Converter -- we just use that since we're artists who just roll tape. So I can listen to the digital file laid down by my BURL B2 Bomber ADC and play it through an historical British Rega Jupiter (hi-fi CD DC separate box) to see what I would hear if I were to burn a CD, but the files are already in a computer. I could hear it somewhere else in the house if I were to put it on the cloud, or a server. But for me, I have it, the Bomb, the BURL B2 Bomber ADC, if I really start working and cranking through iterations of a song I have done -- each take will get better -- and a song or spoken word piece or idea will emerge.

By the way, for about five grand, plus loads of taxes and shipping, you can have both the BURL B2 Bomber ADC and the BURL B2 Bomber DAC, about the cost of a super-sweet mic, or wickedly sensitive guitar. That's economy.

When you're in the writing process -- for a laugh -- we send some WAV file to the iTune app, and then fling out an MP3. Opening the file in the same house. But while we're at it, why not zip an email to an overseas friend to prove we still have a roof over heads.

We can run our playbacks from the auxiliary-out RCA-females firmly screwed to the case of my Sound Devices USBPre 2 , through an adapter to the running to one of my guitar amp. Or come back to earth, through ordinary laptop speakers, or amazing BB Playbook, or BB Q10 mobile devices, without any wire and cable (they're all run on WiFi).

More possibilities. A pair of Harbeth LS35a acquired in Hong Kong 1996, played through a 30 something Quad 33 Control Unit with Quad 405 Current Dumping power amp. BIG ADVANTAGE -- The B2 Bomber has the same gun-metal finish as the thirty year old Quad hi-fi gear.

Confession and surprise! I ignored someone's recommendation. I did not like the shade of blue in that competing ADDA unit -- so I bought this. Also this has some transformers in the signal path which I am sure blue-case gear doesn't have. Can't hurt either way. I'm sure you can play electric guitar through either one. Let's move along.

Conclusion. It's Green. It looks outstanding in a 3U road case. I also installed a 2U Raindirk four-channel mic amp so that the stuff looks green. Hopefully there is enough room in the 3U case with the 1U B2 and the 2U Mic Pre * 4 (by Raindirk). If it cooks I guess I'll be forced to take another California road trip to straighten out the B2 b4 I blow a head gasket on my eight year old car that runs on hard 2 find 93 octane.

TEL's back story: he likes taking my sailboat in choppy waters, fulsomely participate in encampments, seminars and workshops where people have a go at songwriting, theatrical improvisation. I've studied clown. As in bouffant and Borat. I have been known to do somewhat risky stunts, like driving on frozen lakes, fast-paced road trips to California and back, for the sake of employment, or in the last case, picking up a puppy I named...can't say his name...but if you're still with me, recording my own musical performances, is only one layer of the onion. Back to topic, B2 ADC is very good, and fits into my kit. It's real.

Is there any point in owning this if you don't make commercialized music? It's the end point of your chain -- now that you have it -- you can do anything with that file. Check the price of an Otari or Revox. You're still going to need a digital copy. Make it now, you can even warm it up through some tubes if you're into that. Some tweed or whatever old hi-fi you have laying around your basement.

PS: I'm almost finished my second reading Sheila Heti's "How Should a Person Be?" This is how sound should be. With a Burl B2 Bomber, and other good kit, there's no difference, no apparent boundary between the analogue and digital worlds. Sorry Nakamichi (cassette) or Stella (reel 2 reel), I was very busy, we never had a date. But I speak passable French thanks to that reel to reel my French teacher carted from class to class. But that's telling my age! Enough. C'est assez. Good job! BURL.


Footnotes.

1. The BURL B2 Bomber plugs into the AC mains. It is a 1U rackmountable analogue to digital converter that shares the same kinds of design concepts as those found in high-end microphone preamplifiers. It is entirely up to you to justify why you would use it, but in my case, I believe that a richer digital audio file will be recorded. It fits in with many combinations of gear, and ideas about how to do sound.

10th February 2015

Burl Audio B2 Bomber ADC by Calaubin

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Burl Audio B2 ADC

Super beautiful converter. This is one of a few converters that can sound pretty different dependend on how you use it. While I agree that you might not want to have this as your only option in a mastering studio or in a mixbus situation I still believe that the Burl is one of the most flexible units. It can sound musical clean and open in a tracking situation when run conservatively or big and colored when pushed but IME it never softens the transients too much. It is absolutely not slow/soft like a Neve mic pre or fuzzy like a Studer tape machine, nor warm like tube based gear, it is just like a Burl. Subtle color, great stereo image and fantastic punch makes it the perfect converter for tracking to me. My recordings sound more modern and open since I switched from a Digi 192 to this, not more vintage and I am happy about that since I have other gear for that. Only problem: You need a mothership for large sessions. My advice is to listen to it and decide for yourself and dont be scared of the transformers. You might love it.

 
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