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2011 16 in/out AD DA Converters

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by audiokid, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Man, I hate to dive into a new converter right now because I have a feeling something new is coming. I've been holding off on investing but its coming down to the wire for me.

    Anyone have any suggestion, choices? Lynx Aurora vs Apogee?

    What interface would you choose as well?
  2. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    I'm about to spend some money on this. I think I'm at the point now the Fireface 800 is starting to be the limiting factor for me - and I am starting to get enough outboard recording that it would make a great compact hub for that application so I could move it to B, but one forgets the luxury of the FF - I get permanent use out of 26 ins for a great price. The other reason I want to do this is to be able to move to analog summing, which i know you'll approve of, but I think 16 channels may not quite be enough, so I'm looking at some kind of 8+16 solution - but its gonna be pricy.

    I've also been looking at the Aurora 16, the Crane Song Spider, and am starting to read a little about Apogee Symphony. I totally agree with you, there doesn't seem to be quite as much on the market as you would think and it feels like something new may come along.

    I'm going to take my time on this one; I'm contemplating selling my Massive Passive although I dearly love it and going for the Spider, running ADAT into an Apogee Ensemble and then Firewire onto my G5. My alternative is a very big desk running into the Aurora 16 but I'm not then sure how I would process the ADAT. I'd have the Fireface for additional routing but the more I look at it, the more I feel like the Fireface represents such an excellent setup for me, I'm quite unsure where to go from there.
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Sounds like you are in a very similar situation to me. Its hard to believe there is such limited choices. Converters are in the top 3. > source> preamps> converters> interface> DAW ... and only so few choices for our requirements. Hybrid is settling in but costly.
    With the arrival of Pro Tools 9, I'm anticipating it will engage more choices for all of us. Something is brewing.
  4. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Could it be the advent of Light Peak will change the market? I for one am hoping this will finally bring very low latency at a decent cost, however I don't have a clue if this could be true, just dreaming!
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Three recording system are going on in my head, two of which are completed and the converter is the set back.

    I have the new StudioLive 24.4.2 and all I can say is right on. If I was thinking about buying a new project studio, buying a FF800 , pre's .. screw that! Buy a StudioLive and you are done. This this is a monster in comparison and you don't need near the investment for all the plug-in crap and confusion. Its all in this beast. 3200.00 and you have 24 tracks with better sounding pre's than the FF800, eq's, comps, effects and on and on. Remote or Stationary, done. It even comes with software.

    Then, to step it up, which I am so sold on... is the modular hybrid DAW system combining various boutique products as I grow. If I was to look at console, it would have to be serious analog. What are you thinking? This seems to locked in on one direction at a big cost and risk factor of becoming dated.
  6. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    I'm undecided. At the moment I've got 17 really good preamps plus 4 from the RME FF800. However I can only get 10 of them into the RME line inputs simultaneously (plus an 11th via a Sansamp bass DI) so I then use the Ramsa desk (very similar to the Studiolive except it probably doesn't sound as good) for another 16 pre's via ADAT to the FF800. So I'll use those for scratch tracks, plus toms if for some bizarre reason I actually need 10 channels in tracking.

    So what I want to do is remove the 10-track limitation by augmenting myself up to a minimum of 16, which I could then use the Fireface to take me to 27. And simultaneously raise the standard of my conversion and playback.

    So I need A/D/A, and perhaps some analog summing/mixing capability which might also have more inline EQs or effects.

    Possible setups would be:

    Analogue mixing, summing, and extra bits: Cranesong Spider, Mixdream, or Midas, SSL, Toft, TL or A&H mixing desk.

    A/D/A - Apogee AD-16X, or Lynx Aurora 16, are the two names I know.

    Theres other stuff around like the Prism Orpheus, Mytek. Or there is the option to totally change approach, for example start recording via a desk to HD24, transfer to the computer for editing, and then transfer back out to the HD24 and analog sum back from there and burn down via a 2-track converter like the Cranesong HEDD.

    Given that this represents a large sideways swipe in our approach we're not sure yet how to go about testing this. Adding piece by piece could end up meaning we miss a trick like the latter option but I think the procedure will probably be to get the Apogee and Lynx and A/B them, then drop the chosen unit in side-by-side with the FF800, get a feel for it all and then try to evaluate the summing and playback side of things.
  7. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    IZ radar is where I would go.... Best sounding ADC I have heard. I like my cranesong a lot, but I would trade it for RADAR.
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I've got maybe 4500.00 that I will dump into a new converter. The Lavry Blacks are my high end 2 track AD DA so I am good there. Just need a quality 16 in/out and I'm good to go. I will most likely sell one of my RME FF800 .

    iZ Technology Corporation | ADA A/D & D/A Converters

    Thanks for sharing Radar, its been a few years since I looked at there system. I think we actually advertised them here in 2001. How much for the converters Link555?
  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I've seen a couple of studios employing Alesis HD24XRs for multiple ADC and DAC with ADAT I/O. As a bulk converter, they are difficult to beat at the price if you can still find one.

    I sometimes run 16 out of the 24 channels of one of my HD24XRs into the ADAT I/O of an FF800 as a very effective ADC expander when there are lots of external pre-amp outputs to deal with, and this route also works particularly well for 8 extra channels at 88.2/96KHz.
  10. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    I have seen used radar units go from $3000 on craiglist, the new stuff is so configurable so I believe you should be able to get a ADA unit in your price range.
  11. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    I do the same thing Boswell with my old mackie SDR into my Lynx L22 (I have the ADAT fiber option). It gives me 16 more channels at 48kHz.
  12. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    From what I saw, $10,000 for the ADA units. A used RADAR looks like a good idea and a possible 'third way' for me; keeping an eye out. I'll be spending $10k on this if I sell the Massive Passive but thats to include analog summing and AD channels.
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Jeemy, have you done anything yet?
  14. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    No.....watching the RADAR A/D/A prices sway, and moving house. Started on Monday to evaluate all my gear and start pulling away piles to sell - got £7k worth so far thats getting little use, plus I think the Massive Passive will go if I can get a decent price - but the Manley stranglehold on pricing seems to drop while they push Langevin, so if I can't recoup plus, then it will stay.

    Should give me about £10k to work with. Very much leaning towards Spider for 8 A's and Fireface becoming 10 B's. When you phrase it like that its a hell of a jump. 24 RADAR verters can be got for as little as £1200 so its easily evaluatable with no risk now. Some of budget will sensibly go towards better acoustic treatment including a possible move to another area of the building for a larger CR.
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Wow, very impressive and well worth watching this. More and more I learn how important excellent power supply means to "Pro Audio".

    Link555 , are you seeing this used in Vancouver? How much are they selling for?

  16. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    SSL XLogic Alpha-Link vs Lynx Aurora 16

    According to some GS the SSL XLogic Alpha-Link Solid State Logic | Post & Film is the better choice than the Aurora 16 now. Under $3000 includes the interface and 24 IO.

    Looks slightly budget to me though but a great deal.
  17. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    It's so hard to know at GS what is schill, what is repeated unkown hyperbole, and what is fact. At least it is a high end reputable company.
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Spot on there. What else is there? Who was the other ADA you mentioned yesterday John?
  19. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I think you are going in a different direction than I. I'm looking as much for redundant hard drive backup as I am great ADC/DAC. That is probably why RADAR looks so nice to me and that it can function very smoothly with a DAW and quality board. If I thought the conversion in the JoeCo was even as good as the HD24XR I'd look harder at that but I don't think it is. I've only done five "studio" recordings in the last year, all of which turned out great, but most of my work is live concerts. I just have to have that 100% guarantee that the waveforms are hitting the hard disk as accurately and flawlessly as possible. I don't get paid enough per gig to spend a week cleaning repairing and blending.

    Now, that does not mean I am not avidly following your quest because your results (and Jeemy and Rainer and Max and Bob and Dave) could easily affect how I decide to guide my upgrades. My goal is a bulletproof but compact system with redundant capabilities and phenomenal audio quality.

    My current system works very very well and I get great results with it, but half of it is aging gear so it is always important to keep up with current technology and theory. Being in Billings is about as bad as being north of Vancouver. At least you aren't up in Ft McMurray. While I build a budget and a game plan I'm sort of fiscally living vicariously through you big guy!
  20. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I hear ya. The ADI-8 QS is still looking like the best for me. Counting down here.

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