DA Converter for Vinyl Mastering (VMS 70) but.. which one ?

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by lxx, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. lxx

    lxx Active Member

    Hi Everybody,

    I have to make a decision concerning DA converters. I have a mastering studio in the netherlands and started cutting vinyl 3 years ago and cutting production lacquers since january.

    My VMS 70 is working fine and in the meantime I also bought a Weiss 102 system.
    In the system is now a 16 bit converter from Weiss without oversampling.
    It is the old one but I want to buy either a Benchmark DAC 1 or a Weiss DAC 1

    I have listened to them both and the differences are minimal but the Weiss is better.

    First I am not sure if you hear these differences on vinyl and the second is the following:

    The Weiss has an internal delay because of the fact that it reads the input, stores it in a buffer and then reads out the buffer and send the signal to the output. At Weiss they told me maybe it is not suitable for disk cutting but Daniel advised me to ask around.

    Does somebody has any experience with this ? I want to set all up like the following. From the 102 digitally in my Lexicon MPX 550 delay and from the delay digitally into the Weiss DAC 1 or Benchmark DAC 1 with feeds the cutteramps analog.
    For the preview motor I want to use the analog output of the old Weiss converter wich is in my system (Analog to the preview motor management).

    However if it is true that the Weiss DAC 1 has an irregular delay (wich has been told me) than there will be 2 problems:
    1 the difference between the preview, 800 ms for 45 and 1080 sec for 33, changes a bit up or down and I think that can result in overlapping grooves or grooves with too much land between wich results in less space on the Lacquer.

    2) There can be a variation in BPM which gives DJ's trouble in mixing.
    Now I cut records with a steady BPM and everything is fine.

    Can somebody give me a good advice because nobody knows it here and they all go from let's say their 102 System (or something else) into a DA converter and then again analog in the Delay (wich means an extra ad/da conversion). Then your converter can be very good but is restricted by the converters of the delay.

    At this moment I am working also the way like this and my clients are all very satisfied with the results until now but I am always open for improvements and intend to make a very good setup here.

    Thanks in advance for your tips.

    At this moment I think about the Weiss DAC 1, the Cranesong HEDD or the Benchmark DAC 1

    I am open for any tips....and thank you all in advance

    (website for cutting and mastering vinyl ....coming soon)
  2. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    If this is true, the things you write about the Weiss DAC 1, then I would avoid using it.
    Isn't the Benchmark DAC 1 up/down sampling even if it gets 44.1 at the input? If it's true then I wouldn't use that one either.
    So that leaves you with one choice. Unless you are ready to consider other alternatives?

    Why this setup? why the Lexicon?
  3. lxx

    lxx Active Member

    Hi Henrik,

    Thanks for your reply. Yes, that from the Weiss is true because Daniel told me that personally but I thought maybe it is so less that it has no influence but you are right better avoid the "risk". About the Benchmark I don't know it but I will mail Benchmark. If there is a delay and it is constant then it is no problem because I can adapt my delay to it.

    Regarding the setup. What do you mean ? Is it wrong the way it is now ? Or is the lexicon mpx 550 bad. You can tell me honestly because I really want to fine tune everything to get the best possible quality. I like to hear your ideas. Now the setup is via a 16 bit (non oversampling Weiss converter) analog into the Lexicon and then in the cutting amp.

    There is an option to leave it as it is or another option is the cranesong HEDD converter or a 20 bit Apogee wich I can buy from somebody (DA1000-20).

    I look forward to your comment.

    Thanks anyway,

  4. jason

    jason Guest

    D2A converters

    There is nothin wrong with the Lexicon MPX,I use one myself for disc cutting,Also the delay in the converter is not going to be a problem because it is probably so minor that it will not be noticed ,It certainley will not give you crashing grooves if you think about it ........it will make the spacings between the grooves bigger.If you are still worried about this you can make up the difference with the preview offsett on your mastering desk.I would suggest going into the delay digitally and then stick the d2a between this and the desk.Regarding which d2a or a2d use your ears this subject can be like cars women and religon.
  5. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    I would say that if were any other converter, the delay wouldn't be a problem but it's a weiss. In all of his other gear, the delay is substantial. I'm not sure what the converter delay is but i'm sure it's a fairly consistent one. Didn't weiss make a D/A module for the 102?
  6. lxx

    lxx Active Member

    Hi Michael,

    Yes, thank you very much. You are right, it's a Weiss and I have everything from Weiss now and during comparing with the other converters the Weiss is absolutely the best. But, Daniel tol me personally, the delay is not constant but changing because it reads out a buffer and everything will be reclocked etc....

    I also have the DA converter of Weiss (V1) in my 102 system, however it is 16 bit, without oversampling but maybe I am thinking too complicated because we are talking about cutting vinyl and then also dance and house music so I am not sure if you can hear it on vinyl when you use another better converter, that's also one of the reasons why I posted this topic.


    p.s. Jason also thanks for your opinion....
  7. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    NYC New York
    Home Page:
    It is variable in the sense that once the buffer is filled, The clockrate will be constant. It's not going to fluxuate while it's playing down, otherwise it would constantly vary the pitch. What he means by variable is that there is a delay time in which it takes to fill the buffer, reclock, then spit back out. This amount of time to do this will be pretty much the same depending on the sample rate of the source. so if your samplerate is 44.1, the delay time for all 44.1 source stuff will be about the same amount of time, give or take a few micro seconds. 96k my have a different delay time than 44.1. Now I would also take a good listen to the converters in the 102, being that you are doing your processing in the 102, you aren't going to get a big performace gain by upsampling at the DAC. The gain will be in the quality of the DAC and Daniels new DAC is of coarse going to sound better. But his old DAC will probably sound damn good and probably rival some of your other options. But again, you will probably have the same issue with his older dac in regards to delay, but maybe not.
  8. lxx

    lxx Active Member

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks again for your post. Yes, I think you are right. The main delay (latency) would be constant and the "extra" one should be very limited regarding the reading of the buffer, re-clocking etc.
    The best way for me to know this is by testing it.

    About the converter in the 102, it is 15 years old and 16 bit without oversampling but it sounds good. Although because innovation in technique the new converters sound a bit warmer into the low frequencies (I think) and also have slightly more defenition.
    This 102 converter has a constant delay (latency) and the new Weiss DAC varies a little because it will be re-clocked everytime internal.

    Luxury "problem" is that I can get the new Weiss DAC 1 against a special price because it is a demo and the mk1. But anyway 44.1 khz is enough for me..........(at the moment).

    Anyway I'll decide today what to do because for monday I have to do some cutting for clients and the weekend is ok for finishing the defenitive setup.

    Thanks, Lex

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