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Old 14th July 2019
Here for the gear

Hey there! I have a few questions about this test... There are a lot of great sounding converters that are showing "middle of the pack" performance based on the current available test data. The other thing I'm noticing is the generational leap from UAD Apollo to the Apollo X units, actually has the Apollo X units performing (according to this methodology of testing) in a worse manner.

We all know for a fact that specs don't always tell the entire story when it comes to sonics, and in addition to that, at the highest end of conversion much of the differences become subjective, because none of them are painting an ugly sonic picture!

What measurable factors, manufacturing/design choices would lead to a worse performing result from this specific measurement, but an over all more sonically pleasing (albeit personal preference) converter?

Here's an example, I currently own a Red 8 series, and as it's well known the conversion quality of these units does not measure up with the likes of a Hilo. With that being said I had the Hilo for a period of time and I also own the Dangerous AD+ and a modified Lucid 88192. I personally preferred the D/A of the 8 Pre over the Hilo, now I'm sure many will tell me I'm insane, however; there was simply something to it that worked better for my ears, when clocked to the Dangerous unit, it further cleans up the stereo image to me. This by no means is in anyway saying the Hilo is a sub par unit, it is indeed fantastic by all rights. Another example would be Burl units, they are designed to shape the sound that passes in and out of them.

With that in mind, both the Hilo and the 8 Pre use Parallel Summing of conversion, yet show a significant difference in this particular test. It's just confusing to me when part of why people are buying converters is how they clip when pushed to hard, at what point do the "specs" stop being the prevailing factor of an "excellent" converter?