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AD/DA Perfection

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Mindsender, Jun 18, 2001.

  1. Mindsender

    Mindsender Guest

    "Perfection".. that's just to get Fletcher's adrenaline going.
    Question is, I read all kind of artiles on Apogee being the Father of conversion, yet see you guys seem to deal with other brands more (or maybe I haven't been here long enough)
    I'm looking at the PSX-100. I'm looking at buying (trying) an Avalon 2022 & M5 with the PSX-100 and M149 as a front end to... Yamaha's aw4416. If I like front end, I can always move up to better recording gear (and probably still prefer this to what would be in most boards, or computer cards. Right? Any suggestions.
    The aw4416 has a MY8 AES optional card.(I'm only looking to record 1 track at a time) How do I bo into the recorder with the Apogee, and send the mixed signal back out to the apogee DA, so that I'm monitoring its higher level conversion, instead of the DA's on the AW4416? Do I need two cards, or is this all taken care of internally on a single feed?
    I'm reading info on all sorts of other options like Fairlite Merlin, Steinberg Cubebase & Nuendo.. God it's confusing. I figure that even if I got higher end recording, I'd still want the best conversion, mike pre? Would someone like to talk some sense into me? I'd really appreciate skipping a lifetime of experience to find out what you guys know (I know the corners are soft, and there are a lot of opinions, but you know what I mean) I'm 53, love this stuff, and really could use a handle on this hot pan before I get burned. Thanks Paul
  2. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member


    Yes, definitely concentrate on your front end first (mics,pres,A/D). If you are going AES in into the Digital recorder you are benefiting not just from the A/D, but from the very stable Apogee low jitter clock. Its going to sound the same with a good front end no matter what digital recorder you have, again providing the conditions before it are the same.

    As far as the D/A on the PSX is should be fully independent of the A/D. Hopefully the card on your recorder has an AES out also so you can just go AES in on the PSX to D/A out. Pretty hassle free. Good Luck! :cool:

    Nathan Eldred
    Atlas Pro Audio, Inc.
  3. Mindsender

    Mindsender Guest

    Nathan, thanks once again. You're in danger of getting a reputation for "reliable."
    The a/d and d/a are independent, but I am advised to use the "coaxial" ins and outs. First this will prevent me having to take up one of the two slots in the AW4416, and from buying a big cable rig to interface with the Sub-D out of that card.
    Also, according to Eric Gibson of Apogee, the "Wide Eye" cables they make make a big difference. There are coaxials on both machines. I was skeptical, because the original Sony Philips coaxial standard was 20 bit, but both companies assure that has been changed and the coaxial is 24 bit. On a short run of 3 to 6 feet, are there any disadvantages to going the coaxial route. Would you use coaxial into a masterlink for mixdown? I suppose it must be fine but trying to avoid weak links.
    Also, to cable the apogee clock for mix-down, would I bnc to aw4416, then bnc out of it to masterlink?
    PS Have I slowed down enough y-e----t?
  4. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member


    Don't worry about the whole coax digital thing for now. If it interferes with the convenience of your recorder, just wait a while until you can get something else. Your quality factor will be quantifiable and qualifiable with the improved front end. Like you mentioned, keep the runs short. You can use your machine as a WC jumper, but it would be optimum to use a WC distribution unit with all BNC WC cables being the same exact length (in effect the aardvark 1 WC in multi WC out), but again if it is not in budget for now, you will still be doing fine. Sounds like you are on the right track and really thinking things through. Good Luck, feel free to call or email if I can be of more help. :cool:

    Nathan Eldred
    Atlas Pro Audio, Inc.
  5. samara

    samara Guest

    You may also want to take a look at the Lucid converters and clocks. Clocks are very stable and their converters are pleasingly transparent... a great "bang for the buck"....

    Samara Krugman
    Mercenary Audio
    "this is not a problem"
  6. Faeflora

    Faeflora Guest

    Are you sure that you need better conversion? That Yamaha piece you have is pretty new. The newer the digital gear the more likely it is (this is how i hear it, if you disagree then :p) that it could likely have a better converter design, even if it is a stock converter. The Yamaha is like 1 year old right? The Apogee converter is like 3 or 4 years old right?


    That Yamaha piece and the apogee converters are found in most big music stores. Perhaps you could persuade some ignorant scheming salesscud to do a little a/b test for you so you could hear whether or not it's worth it.

    ^#$% the "low jitter clock" etc. The DBX 386 has "advanced type IV conversion" too but that doesn't mean wahoooie neccesarily either. Remember, the Marketing team LIES. :cool:
  7. Faeflora

    Faeflora Guest

    I have some stuff to add:

    Yes, in digital recording, the front end and the conversion is everything. Unless your DAW has abominable internal processing or does something funky, what you record into your DAW is what you'll hear when you play it back, no added nicities or detractions.

    Conversion is important, but generally, you'll get a less audible increase in sonic appeal with a more expensive converter than with a more expensive microphone or preamp.

    To state pointedly:

    a $1500 converter

    will net

    a LESS NOTICIBLE increase in "good sound quality"


    a $1500 microphone

    will net.

    Or in your situation:

    It will sound better to record with the

    stock Yamaha converters with a

    Neumann U87 or Soundelux somethingorother

    than it will to record with the

    Apogee PSX-100 or Rosetta with a

    Rode NT2 or Shure KSM32.

    Also, if you are only going to be recording one track at a time, why do you need a stereo mic preamp? The Avalon M5 is the same as the 2022, just one channel. I think.

    My reccomendation is to stick with your Yamaha converters. Buy a good mic. Buy a good preamp. Buy a good compressor. Buy a good eq.

    And you're set.

    Here's some equipment reccomendations if you're going mono:

    Mic of your liking. Listen around :).

    Brent Averill 1272
    John Hardy M1

    Well, you can skimp monetarily here and still get good results with the:
    FMR? Real Nice Compressor ($200)

    Fletcher and co. tout the Speck EQ as being "good" and it's like, $600?

    Yes, if your signal path is crappy at some point it crappifies your signal. But I just doubt that the Yamaha converters would really crappify that much unless they're the O2R converters or somethin.

    Hope I helped you out.
  8. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Originally posted by Faeflora:
    Conversion is important, but generally, you'll get a less audible increase in sonic appeal with a more expensive converter than with a more expensive microphone or preamp.

    Agreed, but it seems that the original poster has the budget for the Mic,Pre and conversion. You advised the guy to skimp on everything except for the mic and pre, which is VERY important, but the compression quality and A/D are not any less valid. I agree with the mic recommendation...U99 or the BLUE Kiwi would be my first choice, both within the same price range.

    But speaking of bang for the buck, is the BLUE "Mouse", it is cardiod only but has that same in-your-face classic vocal sound with some incredible discrete/Class A build quality. See it here:
    Mac support

    By the way the Kiwi is going more after an extended KK67 sound than a CK12 sound. The poster stated that he wanted the good D/A so the the PSX-100 is the best choice. If he is using it just for monitoring I would say the Rosetta with the Lucid D/A. If it will be used to go to the two bus compressor, definitely go with the PSX. Compression wasn't mentioned, but yes the RNC is an incredible gang-bang for the buck. I personally would save up for a pair of distressors or a pair of UA 1176 (or one of each), but that's just me. Either way I don't think a Neve-type pre would be a good first choice for general purpose. Something more in the way of a Great River, UA 2-610 or Manley 40db would be more general purpose for my tastes. He can build his palette based on each previous choice. YOMV

    Nathan Eldred
    Atlas Pro Audio, Inc.

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