AD & DA convertors

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Turner, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. Turner

    Turner Guest

    Hi everyone,

    I'm happy for now with my mic - preamp - compressor choice
    ( Neumann going though Tubetech gear ).
    I was just wondering if I can ameliorate the AD and DA conversion.
    Right now I have protools 828 20 bit and a 828 MOTU 24bit.
    Will an RME HDSP series Fireface 800 or Apogee make a lot of difference as far as detail and dynamics is concerned ?
    Thanks for your replies. 8)
  2. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    I have a motu 828 mkii and I got a 2 ch apogee rosetta going in via spdif- I was fairly happy with my 828 until a friend brought his rosetta over and I heard the difference- the sound is cleare, the drums tighter and more detailed- everything has more air, is less muddy. When I heard it i just had to have one and got it. By the way, the clock of the rosetta is much better than the motu
  3. rhydian

    rhydian Active Member

    Jan 26, 2005
    Southwell, Nottingham, UK

    If money is an issue, I've been impressed with the Aardvark stuff, esp the q10. The stereo image is really wide and well defined. And there's a virtual mixer to boot
  4. Turner

    Turner Guest

    Thank you maintiger and rhydian for your replies !
    Listening to your recordings, mt, it's a fact they really sound open !
    Btw your remark about the clock issue makes sense to me.
    I sometimes have problems with the MOTU concerning timing,
    especially when using VST plug-ins.
    Never with the Protools interface.
    Anybody allready tried out the RME Fireface 800 ?
    I have the impression that RME wants to copy Apogee as far as looks is concerned, but does their gear sound as good ?
    Thanks !
  5. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    Didn't Aardvark fall off the planet 6 months ago?
  6. rmccam

    rmccam Guest

    We have Apogee Rosetta 800 converters in our main room and Digi 888's in our edit suite. The difference is quite remarkable... I was actually pretty amazed when we upgraded. The Apogees have far better imaging and clarity. To draw a comparison, it's almost like looking at a photo that's slightly out of focus and then seeing it perfectly in focus. Using good converters is like the sonic comparison to that.

    Hope it helps!
  7. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    good analogy- I agree :D
  8. Turner

    Turner Guest

    Thanks for your comparison rmccam !
    Anybody any remarks on RME Fireface opposed to Apogee ?
    Btw are all Apogee converters of the same quality ?
    ( eg Minime to Rosetta ? )
  9. aksel

    aksel Guest

    I don't know about apogee stuff, but I know about RME products...
    It's the better converter I have ever heard ( compared to MOTU / emu / alesis / aardvark / and ... behringer !

    you will be amazed by the dynamics of these ( 115 ~ 117 dB !!! )

    they are very detailled, and clear.
  10. Turner

    Turner Guest

    Thanks for your reaction aksel !
    Anybody had the chance to compare the RME to Apogee ?
    Other AD and DA suggestions ?
  11. ShellTones

    ShellTones Guest

    The Kurzweil Rumor and Mangler are reported to have ADA conversion that is a significant step up from the prosumer stuff. And you get the amazing reverbs/effects to boot.
  12. Turner

    Turner Guest

    Hi Shelltones,

    Thanks for your reply. I didn't know Kurzweil sold converters seperately. I'll check it out.
    I've read on other topics that some people prefer the Apogee
    converters and others like the RME Fireface, but did anybody have the chance to compare the two ?
  13. jamiey

    jamiey Guest

    They don't sell them seperately, they are just part of their effects units. I really like my Kurzweil effects (ksp8) but I wouldn't buy it if I only needed converters.
  14. Arrowfan

    Arrowfan Guest

    I'm also interested in a head to head comparison of Apogee and RME.

    If RME can stand its ground, then its a clear choice.

    RME ADACs are ... only about half the cost as Apogee. They also include nice preamps, and some very slick digital mixing features (every output can be a monitor mix bus, etc).

    My Fireface800 was one of the best buys I've made in a long while. It definitely is better sounding than my MOTUs (896 and 896HD), but not sure about Apogee....
  15. grega60438

    grega60438 Guest

    I have heard a theory that the main difference when you get to decent converters is the clock.
    I would love to hear a comparison of the different converters all using a external clock such as the Big Ben.
    The inputs would also have to be high, so that the built in pres do not come into the test.
    The MOTU 896HD as an example would be a good canidate for this test, because the pre can actually be disabled.
    So if the theory is true, many of us may be able to improve what we already have by getting an external clock.
    Greg Alcorn
    Alcorn Studios
  16. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Actually greg, we tested the apogee first still with he motu clock and it did make a considerable difference as to the clarity of the recording. Then we switched to the rosetta clock instead of the motu and that seemed to tighten up everything, especially the low end and drums. in our experience both the converters and the clock make a noticeable difference in the recording
  17. Arrowfan

    Arrowfan Guest

    So, if we were to get a good external clock (digital timepiece) it should actually improve the sound of certain audio interfaces' A-D conversion??

    Concerning RME... one interesting feature of their new Fireface800 is the clock. It uses some kind of quartz crystal and can resolve to any sample rate from 1 to 196khz. Here's a quote from their site:

    The Fireface 800 is equipped with SteadyClock™, RME's unique sync and clock technology. With this, the device becomes a sync reference for the whole studio. SteadyClock refreshes clock signals, removes jitter, and takes permanent care of optimal conversion quality, thus guarantees a sensational sound quality, completely independent from the reference clock's quality.

    SteadyClock allows the Fireface 800 to control the sample rate freely on its own. The Settings dialog includes a direct choice of the video and audio world's most often used sample rates. Additionally, two faders can be used to set the sample rate freely and in real-time, within the range of +/- 4%.

    Via an insert slot on the back, a Time Code Option (TCO) for synchronizing to LTC and video can be added. Thanks to SteadyClock, the Fireface 800 does not only extract absolute positions, but also a very clean low-jitter word clock.
  18. jimbo_baby84

    jimbo_baby84 Guest

    check out dan lavry's forum on pro sound web. alot of arguing and bitch fighting about what external clocks can and can't do etc.
  19. Turner

    Turner Guest

    Thanks everybody for your contributions to this topic !
    Another thing I might add is that I've heard that the Big Ben clock
    in the Apogee converters is actually different quality-wise than
    the stand-alone Big Ben unit, which should be better.
    Most people agree that the Apogee converters sound better
    than the RME's ( without taking external clocking into account ).
    After all there is a considerable price-difference.
    Cheers !
  20. geckormf

    geckormf Guest


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