What is bettter the D-BOX DAC or the AVID 16x16 HD I/O DAC?
I usually use AES/EBU I/O to connect my AVID 16x16 I/O to my d-box allowing me to use the Digital to analog converter on the d-box. However there is an option on the d-box to use analog outputs. So I hook the XLR cables up in the right places, and I listened to the difference. I just can't get a grip on it. Is the AVID 16x16 I/O (you know the $5,000 one) DAC better OR is the D-BOX DAC better? Or is this as the worn out cliche goes "splitting hairs?"
Furthermore can the human ear even tell the difference? I first thought after switching to the AVID DAC that it was better then I went back to the D-BOX DAC and thought well actually THIS is better. Now I'm so confused I don't know what to think. HELP!
What I mean is that they both have really nice DA conversion and you should let your ears decide which is better. I have my UA Apollo hooked up via SPDIF and Analog so I can go back and forth if I wanted (among other reasons). You have the ability to use either box for conversion and which is the better one is a subjective evaluation.
You say you don't know what to think....so don't think. Listen instead. Which one sounds better and enables you:
!. to make better mix decisions
2. to enjoy your music more.
I would do an A/B yourself and see what you think. As to the differences the converter on the DBOX is good and for some can be a better solution than their own interface. But if you're using the AVID HD boxes, those are meant to be premium converters and would be your better choice. The converter in the DBOX isn't an afterthought by any means, but it's not the primary or even secondary design goal. But again connect them both and decide for yourself :-)
Whichever method you use will not have any bearing on the Dbox.
As long as when you are tracking, you have the SUM output pressed, the Dbox will not add any latency, because it's still staying analog. So whatever small amount of latency you have from the Omni (or not) will not change.
It only adds latency when you are monitoring the final mix after you have taken the Sum output back into the Omni for your final mixdown, and are coming back into the Dbox for monitoring (with the DAW button if you are using the Dbox converter, or the Analog button if you are using the Omni converters).
Because in this case, an extra step of A/D and D/A conversion is happening.