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The AD/DA Converter Wish List and Why?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by audiokid, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Alright, I know I know... I promise I won't post another converter thread in 2 years; after this one :) Lets make this a refer back on for years to come.

    After months and months of researching, looking for solid comparisons and believable opinions you can imagine the frustration and mystery on what to buy. There seems to be a very biased opinion on a few brands and then its quite sparse. Its hard to know why one particular product is popular or not talked about. Is it the best price, the best sounding, the dark horse or what?
    I'm sure I'm not the only one that will be wondering what AD/DA converter and interface to buy over the next few years, especially now that Pro Tools 9 is here... So, please tell us about your system, what converter and interface you are planning on buying and why?
    Please include what DAW are you using, OS and/or any other info you think will be helpful?

    Cheers!
     
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Millennia Media AD-596 A/D Converter

    Millennia Media AD-596 500 Series, 8 channel A/D converter is something that would be right on for the Remote studios.
    I wonder what it sounds like?

     
  3. BassFuzz

    BassFuzz Active Member

    Love to hear the Burl converters. Right now I'm using Benchmark and Meitner/EMM converters but would love to explore more converter options down the road.
     
  4. stevengamel

    stevengamel Active Member

    Mytek, Prism and Burl are all really great. Unfortunately converters of this caliber are looking really expensive to some of us right now. In this economy I mean.
     
  5. 18 North Entertainment

    18 North Entertainment Active Member

    Crane Song HEDD and Lavry Blue here...I like CLEAN so the first two are excellent for that. +1 on hearing Burl or UA, very curious.

    NATE
     
  6. 18 North Entertainment

    18 North Entertainment Active Member

    oh, sorry...more details...

    Running Pro Tools HD 8.1 on Mac OS 10.6, love tracking and mastering with Crane Song HEDD, Lavry Blue is a bit of a new arrival. Typical chain (for mastering) is Crane Song HEDD --> Smart C2 --> API 2500 --> Crane Song IBIS --> Crane Song STC-8 (yes, I like Crane Song stuff!).

    When evaluating years ago, Crane Song really blew away Apogee (at the time) and Digi002 conversion for HF clarity and imaging. Currently MUCH preferred to Lynx Aurora.

    Planning to buy? Hopefully nothing at the moment.

    NATE
     
  7. sdelsolray

    sdelsolray Active Member

    I only record solo fingerstyle acoustic and classical guitar. I've owned and used Digi001, Digi003, RME ADI-8, Lavry Blue, Lucid AD9624/DA9624 and Lucid 88192 converters. For my uses, the Lucid 88192 works best.
     
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I took the plunge today and bought the RME ADI-8 QS and the HDSPe AES . What an excruciating decision but I'm confident I made the right choice for my application. We can all rest now lol! Thanks everyone for helping me.
     
  9. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    You were agonizing over this more then I was when I bought my Sony DASH 3324S for roughly 220.000 $ net, using todays exchange rate, though.
    LOL...

    Anyway, you bought good stuff...
    :)
     
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Oooh that would have been an exciting investment. I noticed you were selling the Sony DASH 3324S last year. Do you still have it Big-K?

    Yes, it was difficult understanding it all but thanks to you and our group, I have a greater respect and understanding!
    (y)

    Unlike buying pre-amps, graphs, software etc in the past where I pretty much knew why I wanted a particular product, buying new converters and interface... whew... this was very very difficult for me.

    I sense a lot of confusion in this area from a lot of people, including myself. Opinions I read on other forums were largely based on forum shilling, dealers sales pitching and hear say. Little questioning or describing what I am doing as a hybrid musician was found.
    Music is so ITB now that it was impossible to find a deeper sense of why someone was using a converter. There was little mention about DA most of the time. The comments I kept finding over and over were always, X sound better than Y. Almost all the users were not sending DA out to an analog summing system. The DA is where the cream gets filtered and it all gets very confusing if you are following the uninformed.

    Searching the web for 6 months I found only a handful of content that I could relate to. It was either a mastering engineers higher end choice or the general studios that are saying they send some stems OTB for the odd hardware but "questioned" whether analog summing was worth it anymore. Most summing systems are not a benefit so its important to learn why. I have my eyes on the new SPL NEOS so I was thinking about this down the road.
    Comments like that appeared heavy from the people generally recommending Lynx Aurora 16. The more I noticed this, the more I question my goal and the integrity of the comment. What were they converting and what interface were they using? What are they recording and what are their expectations in sound. If I was only using the AD, there are much better converters and no need to invest in the DAC. Anyone is reading this, if you don't go OTB, spend good money on the ADC and be done with it. Don't waste your money on the DAC.

    It was really only RO members that actually helped educate me on the whole process but it took a lot of spread out topics in a variety of related and unrelated questions from our archives to present to see through the fog. I had to learn what I was doing first, dig into old topics that went back 10 years where I left Pro Tools TDM (Alsihad) in the dust and then start over with a new approach and understanding. I also feel there is a new DAW crowd emerging and things are separating so not all the comments were applicable to the new hybrid generation that is doing heavy overdubbing.

    Trying to figure out which system was best suited for a the new hybrid systems coming and the need for additional features I may or may not need was the next question. The fact that I need midi extensively, where latency is a major part of my creative process plus the interface was crucial.
    The higher end 2-bus converters I have for mastering are Lavry so that was easy so it really came down to RME or Lynx in the end.
    The general impression I got from Lynx Aurora's at the end of the day, right across the WWW was it is an excellent nuts and bolts mid level converter made by a company who keeps their price down so the majority can afford them. However, jamming 32 converters in a single rack system on one power supply doesn't sit well with me either. That was the first thing that I began questioning and from there on in, RME kept looking better and better for my overall requirements.

    A few friends in the retail business, who have access to both products told me straight out to go RME hands down. The new RME M series and the ADI-8 QS are superior. I also love TotalMix and the fact that RME is so stable.

    I could go on but that's it in a nut shell. I use RME ADI-8 QS for the hybrid studio, FF 800 for my mobile and Lavry converters for my mastering rig. I will switch out the FF800 for the Prism Orpheus when I can afford it...

    Cheers!
     

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