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Masterlink and TC M one Converters

Hello folks,

I just bought Alesis Masterlink and am thinking about buying TC M one reverb. How would you compare quality of their A/D converters? When I don't use TC as a reverb, would it be a good idea to use it as an outboard converter?

Cheers, Marik


Marik Sat, 10/25/2003 - 06:07

OK, I change my question.
How good is A/D converter in TC M one? Would it be of any benefit to use it with external one under $600, like Lucid, or similar?

Profile picture for user AudioGaff

AudioGaff Sat, 10/25/2003 - 07:41

It is not as easy of an answer as it is as a question. The converters in the TC will be some of the newest generation off the shelf coverters that many other products use. Many converters used in products, including those in many of the higher end products use the same off the shelf converters. It is not the converters as much as it is the whole conversion system. In fact, it is more critical how the coverters are used in context to the analog design of the circuit in which they are used. Converters in effects and many other products that have them built in are there because they have to be there in order for the DSP operations to be done and then converted back to analog for interfacing. The performance of these converters is far greater than those of just a few years ago and can be used for just the digital conversion with acceptable to even very good results.

Stand alone converters are usually better because they are meant and designed to be more critical with tigher tolerences, higher grade components, better quality and more stable clock circuits, and many other things that result in a cleaner, more detailed and better reproduced sound. Stand alone converters also may offer other features that are not available in built in units like effects processors.

So the answer is yes you can use the TC just for the converters. Would the Lucid be better? I don't know? I would expect it to be better. Keep in mind that none of this will mean anything to you if you do not have the ability to hear the differences due to limitations in your signal chain and/or monitoring capability.

The general scuttle-butt on the Masterlink is that the converters are not out right bad, but yet are not up to par with it's hi-res capability.

Marik Mon, 10/27/2003 - 22:06

Thank you AudioGaff,

Actually, this is probably what I was sort of expecting myself, but as it often happens, we need somebody to remind us things which can be found only in one's own experience, unless there are some known defects.

Cheers, Marik :c:

Skeetch Tue, 10/28/2003 - 07:25

I've been considering talking with Audio Upgrades to find out if the Masterlink converters can be upgraded for a reasonable cost. Might be worth investigating if it can be done without breaking the bank.

audiovalley Wed, 10/29/2003 - 15:35

For the last 3 weeks we have been renting an apogee psx-100 as the front end for our masterlink and are blown away with the difference. We have auditioned the lucids and are going with them, but I wanted to try out the apogees. The d/a is by far the worst of the two built in converters in the alesis.
The clarity we got from the apogee d/a and the lucid d/a allowed us to hear details in our mixes we could not hear before and have allowed us to do much better work .
Cdr 's burned on the masterlink using the external converters sound much better on my home system too. The improvement is not lost when dropping down from 24 bit to 16 cd.
The lucid a/d and d/a converters sound killer for the money. I'm not a big fan of the soft limit ( just my personal tastes) and i thought the lucids were better bang for the buck.

hope this helps,