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Ho Hum AD/DA Questions Genex? Any reviews? Opinions

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by stedel, Oct 24, 2001.

  1. stedel

    stedel Guest

    Hi.Doing the rounds surveying gear etc to set up my own tracking studio. Just wondering. I've not come across any reviews of these units, they seem really well built. Although they're not purple
    (see post on Julian's Lust for Gear topic)they also appear to have more than half an hours worth of future proofing re sample rates. Any info? Comparisons? Users? Would appreciate any comments.
  2. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    Just got the Genex A/D and D/A units in to test them against our Apogee AD8000s and a PSX100SE.

    I plan to do a shootout next Wednesday and will let you all know.

  3. stedel

    stedel Guest

    Hi Jon. Thanks for your response. I sent you a private message, but I guess that kinda defeats the role of a forum (yeah I know, duh!!!)Anyway, it would be great to hear the results, your opinions etc. The importance of converters used, opinions etc. may seem less glamorous than some of the sexy mic pre's, but they are critical to the whole process. I've always been impressed with the degree of control and physical access in the Apogee 8000. I like tactile -hands on equipment.The panel design of the new Apogee's to me are not as elegant in this regard, again your thoughts on this re the Genex's would be appreciated.
    Kind regards
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Jon should be back from his UK trip, he is a A/B nut and LOVES shootouts between different makes of gear...

    So Jon Genex or the Apogee D16 series??

  5. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    Hi, yes I'm back from the UK...with a touch of the flu.

    Gathered together this evening was Richard Broomfield of Mille et Un Sons (distributor of Genex and Apogee in France), Martial Marc, head tech here, engineer Aymeric Castaing, Oliver Blain of SSL France, and I.

    We compared only the D/A, not the A/D, in the shootout this evening between the Genex and the AD8000. Both units received the same external clock source, a PSX100SE, via the Nanosyncs. We listened to a few different 24-bit and 16-bit Pro Tools sources, in stereo and mono.

    A good bit of time was spent by Martial getting the output & monitoring levels EXACTLY equal between them.

    What I can confirm straight off is that the two units sound a bit different.

    More details tomorrow on which converter we prefered on which sources. Also, the two boxes offer a very different set of features.

  6. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    Sorry for the delay; I've been down with a nasty flu.

    Martial and I re-listened to the two boxes again today, which confirmed our group impressions of last week, namely that both converters are pretty good, but the Genex is a bit more open and detailed, and a tiny bit scooped-out in the low-mids, compared to the AD8000. We are talking about 1dB differences here, but they do exist. Which do I prefer...hard to say...they are different.

    Just for example, when listening to the last Bizkit and Xzibit CDs out of PT via the two converters today, the snares sounded pretty different...more high-mid crack with the Genex and more mid/low-mid meat with the AD8000. The Genex was more detailed, clear and hyped. The Apogee was less defined but more natural-sounding. I couldn't really decide which I prefered.

    We compared the A/D today as well by recording vox to U47 to Neve 1073 to 2" analog tape monitored off the play head directly to both converters to PT.

    A/B/Cing 2" tape vs AD8000 vs Genex...the Genex was slightly more forward in the high-mids than the tape. The Apogee was slightly darker than the tape.

    One thing I noticed was that the Apogees reacted much better when we switched clock sources on the Nanosyncs between Internal and Word (a PSX100SE). The Genexes didn't follow well; they frequently had to be either played-with on the front panel or shut off and back on to deal with changes of clock or sample rate. The Apogees just switched over right away, without problem.

    We compared all combinations of A/D and D/A, and the best two to our ears were (surprise) all AD8000 or all Genex.

    One major advantage of the Genex boxes is that they are quiet. If there's a fan in them, I sure can't hear it. Yet, they run cooler than the AD8000, possibly because there is less packed into each chassis (A/D and D/A are two separate 2U units). The AD8000s, in comparison, throw out a lot of fan noise and run hot; they have to be enclosed in an isorack to be acceptable in the control room, and you need to either leave 1U of space between them or have a temperature-controlled rack.

    Any other questions, just ask!

  7. stedel

    stedel Guest

    Hi Jon. Thanks for the info. Any chance of an analysis of a sound apart from LimpBiskit?
    Maybe you could clarify. You now own both the Apogee and the Genex? Or just the one brand? It would be great to hear what you think of these units after a month or so. I don't know whether you handle a varied music base, your initial impressions are good, but settling down with the relations after they move in is another! Mind if I check in with you say early December? I have to make decisions re converters late January.In the meantime I'm doing a lot's of questioning, and listening, and personal experience/feedback from users of the unit - such as yourself - is invaluable. Many thanks. Kind regards. Stedel.
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    "Any chance of an analysis of a sound apart from LimpBiskit?"

    Jon's review is full of usefull descriptive comparison!
  9. stedel

    stedel Guest

    Hi. Oops. No offense. I like Limp Biskit. I band I hate? Now that's a hard one.Let me think...I know
    Racey. Do you remember them? Julian I thought I'd been making it clear how grateful I am to anybody responding to any query I have. So let me underline it. I am getting fantastic information from people, including yourself,it means a lot to me. Who knows one day I might even be able to give some back. Apologies accepted? I hope so.
    Oh yeah Bardot are up there. Haven't heard of Bardot? They're the Australian version of Popstars.That's right. From the same continent that gave you Neighbours.Be scared!!!!!!!!
  10. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

  11. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Just curious... why was the content of this thread edited and/or censored? Much of the beauty of this site is the no holds barred give and take. No one said anything about anyone's mama - the discourse stayed on a healthy level. Being able to take a little criticism, and to learn how to express it constructively, are valuable life skills. The content of this thread was mature and reasonable. Stedel and Julian also seem quite mature and reasonable - no need to rewrite (or "dewrite") history.
  12. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    Hi Stedel,

    I had to give back the Genex boxes, so alas, no long-term reviews will be forthcoming now unless I buy one. I think they are great, but we already have a few AD8000 boxes and that will be enough for now. Music-wise, I've tracked or mixed pop, rap/metal, jazz, new soul, R&B, and rap records so far this year. I listened to the latest Xzibit and Bizkit albums because they are, for me, good examples of modern commercial rap and rock mixes. Since I often mix or master that kind of music, that's what I listened to.

    As far as I am concerned, the choice of music mattered little because the most valuable comparison made was the vocal tracked to 2" then to each unit to see which one most faithfully reproduced the 2" source.

  13. stedel

    stedel Guest

    Hi Littledog. A good point about the forums. However some stuff that goes on isn't particularly constructive - accidental or otherwise.In this post, as you can see, it's created a syntactical gliche. So let me just repond to your comments.
    God, if "Henchman" reads what I'm about to say I'm gonna get flamed and accused of wanting to be some sort of "bum chum" of Julians. Nonetheless, keeping with the "rear-end" simile's here's my "bottom" line:
    1.I'm new to this forum.People don't know me from a bar of soap.That they take the time and respond to my queries is absolutley appreciated. I have received really practical and valuable information which is helping me with some thorny issues and decisions. This post is a good example, and I'll be responding further to Jon's findings (see below).
    2. I found out about this forum through Julian's promotion of it on another site. The reason I checked it out was because of Julian's infectious (and appreciated) enthusiasm for the issues, equipment, and topics discussed. Julian himself has given me some really great information and opinions, many of which I've taken on board. Some I'm still following with interest.
    3.It's not as though this is the first time I've inadvertantly raised somebody's hackles. I mean I was born in Glasgow for God's sake. Unless I MEAN to offend somebody (told you I was born in Glasgow!) then if there's a misunderstanding I apologise.
    4. So let's clean the heads, re calibrate the input levels and get trackin'!
    BTW, this has reminded me of something I was involved in.Look out for a post soon. The key word is Freud - you might find it fun!!!
  14. stedel

    stedel Guest

    Hi Jon. Thanks for your comments. I was particularly interested in your comparisons. As chance would have it these two units are the two that I am mainly interested in.It's amazing that we can discuss difference in sound between these things - I mean in theory are they not supposed to be neutral? The range of music that you deal with is also very relevant to the stuff I'm currently and will be involved in. Except with maybe a bit more Country and Western and Bee Gees thrown in. (OK you can stop reading now if you like!)The main attraction of the Genex's was the 96kHz stuff - but I'm beginning to reappraise my concern in this area.It's very tempting for someone like me, coming from analog going to digital to think that's the way to go. But then it's going to be three times as expensive.And because at the moment its transitional technology, it's likely to be three times as painful.I'm beginning to think this way:
    a.Wait and do nothing till ProTools releases a higher kHz product -rumours abound and that could be a while (let alone how much it's gonna cost). Meanwhile that could be an awful lot of grass that's going to be growing under my feet.
    b.You know, it's actually the effect that tape has on sound that people like - not so much its accuracy and "truthfulness".
    c.With so many people such as yourself using the Apogee's, together with the new contenders, such as the Sony EQ, Fatso, etc.we may find that the new 96kHz and above technology does indeed sound "thin" to our needs.Its supposed to give you more warmth and anolog characteristics.But then the Morris 1000 was supposed to be an advance on the Morris Mini!!!Who knows the defficencies in the current set ups may in the future be the things people miss.
    Finally, my main concern is managing the dynamics of grunge/Hip Hop and dance/Pop type stuff and swinging to a Patsy Cline
    sweetness and intimacy - often in the same track!
    Your comments re the Apogees are most useful in respect to this. "Sounds darker"...hmm I like it!!
    So many thanks. I'll probably go for the Apogee's.(apart from anything else I like the purple colour), but I'll hustle my local dealer into letting me do an A/B comparison between the two_ONE FINAL THING.I will be getting something like a Lucid clock unit or a NanoSync.The NanoSync is more purplish in colour, and as you may know I think purple sounds better.Once the Genex's settled down, how did they cope with the NanoSync?
    Kind regards
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