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ISA 428 Converter option

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by Eriksmusicproduction, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. Eriksmusicproduction

    Eriksmusicproduction Active Member

    I know this has been talked about before but I can't really find a definitave answer.

    Anyone know how the converters stack up against dedicated converters like apogee and mytek? I know the clock jitter specs are much better in the mytek compared to the focusrite.

    I am currently running the 428 through the converters in a tascam fw1884. Would the 428 converters be much of an upgrade from the tascams or should I fork out the money and get something like the myteks?

  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I would have to guess they would be better. I just ordered a 428 for my studio so we will see. I just got the Apogee Rosetta 200 and the converters are so much better sounding than my 1884.

    I plan on getting a second 428 so I can have 8 Focurite in and 2 apogee and not use the pre's on the tascam anymore, just use it as a controller.
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member


    The converters in the 428 are actually quite nice. IMO, they are at least as good as many of the Apogee products available. (Though I'm an admitted non-fan of Apogee.)

    You won't need 2 428s though to get 8 channels of conversion. They have 8 channels built in- 4 from the pre and 4 inputs.

    IMO, these pres/converter combo are one of the better values out there today. They sound good, you can change the sound a little (with the variable z) and they're made pretty darn well.

    They are on my short list to purchase, but other things are first. A studio buddy of mine has them though and I try to borrow them when ever I can.

  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Good to here you like them. Above I meant I wanted 8 pre's and Digtal ins and outs. So just plug the 4 outs of the second unit into the 4 extra ins and unit 1 and you get 8 pres 8 ins and 8 outs. Plus the great Focusrite sound (if thats your cup of tea)
  5. Eriksmusicproduction

    Eriksmusicproduction Active Member

    Thanks guy's for your help.

    So it sounds like the focusrite converters would be in the same ballpark as the mytek's? Quite a deal for 8 channels of conversion.
  6. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I just got a 428 Demo today to audition. Man I like this pre a lot. I have used it for Bass, Clean Guitars so far and it sounds great.

    I also have a Presonus ADL600 and a Avalon 737. I dont like the other as much for insturments, But they will shine with vocals. I am also getting a neve Portico next week to check out. I know for sure I will be keeping the 428. I will be cutting drums with the 428 this weekend and vocals next tuesday. I will give a report then on all of them.
  7. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    I just have a quick question about this unit. Does it tranfer all 8 ins via adat and is it lightpipe? Maybe a stupid question but I don't feel like talking to sweetwater for an hour just to get a simple question answered. Also I read where it has adatx2, why is that? Thanks in advance for your help.
  8. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    ADAT and Lightpipe are one in the same.

    Yes, it does transmit all 8 channels via ADAT format and it has 2 ADAT outs so that you can run it in S/MUX mode to get up to 24bit/96kHz sampling rates over standard lightpipe.

    Not a stupid question, if you don't ask, you won't know... :D

    BTW - who are you working with at Sweetwater that takes 1 hour to ask a question? I recommend Craig Wilson (ext 1374). Of course, they do like it when they get to sell you something rather than being just a place to get questions answered.

  9. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    holy crap!

    Craig Wilson is my audio sales guy at sweetwater too.

    I have ordered most of my gear through him. The last item I ordered with him was my monitors. Tapco S5s wth Tapco 10s sub. I originally wanted the Yamaha Mp5 or what ever they are called and he recommended the tapco set-up instead. He didnt like the yamahas. The tapco sound great IMO, though.
  10. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    I work with paul allen, I think he just keeps me talking forever cause I'm pretty damn close to making the jump to entry level pthd. I've probably talked to him 4 times in 8 months and once was probably an hour and a half, I would have to say an hour per phone call is a bit of a stretch but I'd bet we talk for a good 30 mins every time I call.
  11. VirDIS

    VirDIS Guest

    The Focusrite ISA-428 is a great choice with the AD Card! The sound is a little colored but not in a bad way. The clocking is good too.

    With the AD option you don't need to purchase another ISA-428, you could go for a Sebatron or Millennia HV-**. Just the 4 x A to D is worth it. The limiting works well also!

    AES is the ticket for 192kHz BTW. :cool:


  12. J-MADD

    J-MADD Active Member

    I have a 428 without the ad converter. I run it into my DAW with xlr cables through the preamp. would there be any reason for me to have the AD converter?

  13. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    What are you using for an AD converter?

    IOW, what are you plugging the outputs of the 428 in to?

  14. J-MADD

    J-MADD Active Member

    I am running into the XLR inputs of a KORG 32XD recorder. I turn the gain all the way down on the inputs from the Korg to minimize any effect of the built in pre-amps. I would then guess that the A/D conversion occurs after the pre-amps built into the machine. The Korg does accept SPDIF input and I wonder would that improve the sound enough to warrant the $600 A/D converter for the 428.

  15. Eriksmusicproduction

    Eriksmusicproduction Active Member

    Hey pixelhead if your there!

    Just wondering if you tried the fw1884 sync'd to the apogee and if it improved the fw1884 conversion or not?

    I'm curious 'caus I might run 8 channels of 428 and use the other fw1884 channels of conversion for the other 8.

    Thanks for your help btw, sorry to ramble.

    ps. have you tried the 428 converters yet?
  16. J-MADD

    J-MADD Active Member

    Another question:

    If you run the 428's A/D converter that has a built in word clock into something (Korg 32XD) that has a wordclock, do you have to purchase another master word clock to get them all on the same time? I honestly don't know anything about digital connections as I have always just used analog XLRs. :oops: Thanks.

  17. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I just got the AD card for the 428 today. I am clocking everything to the Big Ben and I dont here a big diff. on the 1884. I am lightpiping the 428 into the 1884 for 16 ins. I was playing around with using the 428 on drums tonight, it sounds so much better than the tascam. I think I am going to buy a second 428 tomorrow and just use the 1884 as a controller. Which brings me to my next dilema. Do I get the API 4 channel pre and run it into the 4 extra ins on the 428 for a little spice of life instead of the second 428? So many choices not enough money.
  18. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Hey Pixelhead!

    For a different flavor of pres, if you want the API etc - try the old school stuff. I've only heard in it use a couple times, but so far, I've been impressed.

    They're on my short list and if you get a lunchbox or a rack pack, you've got room for APIs, BAs, and Old Schools.

  19. J-MADD

    J-MADD Active Member

    So nobody is sure on the A/D conversion vs. XLR inputs for my situation? I just don't know if the preamps in my DAW are degrading my sound.

  20. Eriksmusicproduction

    Eriksmusicproduction Active Member


    If you are running the 428 into the mic pre's on the korg as well then you are definately degrading the sound. Does the korg not have line in's as well? I would guess it does so you should run the 428 directly to those with a xlr-1/4 cable. I would try that first and then look at converters as they would improve your sound as well, however you should look at the rest of your studio first as you might need other items that would give you more improvement first. such as mics, monitors, etc.

    Running the 428 onto the korg is a bit like playing a PRS guitar into a behringer amp. Your not utilizing the capability. BTW spdif will only give you 2 channels to play with, plus unless I'm wrong aren't the korgs 16bit 44.1k? Seems like such a waste of a high end converter.

    Have you looked into computer daw's?

    Other than that for now I would try the 428 into the line in's, that may give you the improvement your looking for.

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