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hi end multi channel converters?
Old 6th March 2003
  #1
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Zep Dude's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
hi end multi channel converters?

I'm wondering about some options that might be used in place of our 192HD converter which is ok but not incredible. Currently I'm using an apogee psx-100SE and a db tech 122ad for critical conversions (strapped to an Aardsync).

I'm wondering about the Benchmark and Apogee ad/da 16 which is supposed to be better than the SE series -according the apogee, anyway. Anyone have any feedback on these and others (I've already tried the panasonic, mytek, prism, hedd, genex)?

Thanks.
Old 6th March 2003
  #2
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Mike Tholen's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I use a RADAR 24 w/S-Nyquist converters...no complaints here.
Old 6th March 2003
  #3
Craneslut
 
Brad Blackwood's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've not played with them, but I've heard good things about the Ed Meitner converters...

And of course, there's always the amazing Crane Song Spider...
Old 6th March 2003
  #4
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🎧 15 years
Again, gotta agree with Brad. I have the Crane Song Spider and it's absolutely phenomenal. Once they implement DAC I can't imagine a better unit. Well, maybe if I could do 192... ;-)
Old 6th March 2003
  #5
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DigitMus's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
One more vote for the Spider. Not only a bunch of great converters, but some pretty dang good mic preamps, and I use it as the studio master clock (distributed through a GENx6). It has made the single biggest improvement in my studio since I went digital.

Scott
Old 6th March 2003
  #6
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NathanEldred's Avatar
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
A fourth vote for the Crane Song, the conversion is top notch. If you don't need the features of the Spider, the Mytek is just as good in the conversion department, but of course that's all it does. I'm getting very large open and natural sounds with it, all the clients that come into the studio are very happy.
Old 6th March 2003
  #7
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Jules's Avatar
Is the Digi 192 really that bad that you are desperate for a replacement?

I thought they were supposed to be good.

I use prism Dream ADA with a Mix + system...
Old 6th March 2003
  #8
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doug_hti's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm Happy with my digi192. I don't feel like there is a compromise.
Old 6th March 2003
  #9
SC
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🎧 15 years
I can just barely use my Digi 192 without puking.
OK, I'm exaggerating a little, but not much.

I used to have a Mix system with an Apogee 8KSE's on the front, and the sound was MUCH, MUCH better. -just more alive and beautiful. I can't specifically say what's wrong with the Digi 192, as there isn't any noticeable "wrongness," but I haven't enjoyed a single recording session since upgrading to HD. Even playback of old sessions sounds worse (obviously the clock) -and yes, I did A-B comparisons to tape.

Still, lots of pros think the digi 192 sounds great, so there you go.

Jules, you know I've been looking for quite some time. I just can't get everything together at once for a shoot-out. Did Prism ever actually come-out with their Digi-interface emulation?

Zeo Dud,
You seem to have done a pretty extensive shoot-out.

Psx-100SE, db tech 122ad, Panasonic, Mytek, Prism, Hedd, Genex....

Are you saying that you did try all of these? If so, what do you prefer in the DB Tech vs the Prism and the Cranesong?

What sample rate did you A-B at?

Why the Aardsync? Do you need that for external sync to code or blackburst? Theoretically, the best converters will have lower jitter running on their internal crystals than synced to even the best external clock, so...

More info, please.
Old 6th March 2003
  #10
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🎧 15 years
Any hope that Crane Song might ever make the Spider 192? 192 and dac would make that the end all be all computer recording unit for me!
Old 6th March 2003
  #11
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Jules's Avatar
" Did Prism ever actually come-out with their Digi-interface emulation?"

Yes, its out. Mike Harris here on gearslutz has something to do with a rig using them in Miami.
Old 6th March 2003
  #12
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Zep Dude's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi Jules, I don't think the 192 is bad (like the 888's). The clocking is waaay improved. However, I'm hearing artifacts I don't like when busing out and back in with more complex sounds (full mixes, stems etc). Single instruments don't exhibit this quite as much. So when I want to send a mix or stem out to analog for a little massive passiving, fatsoing or analog taping I tend to use my apogee SE>db tech combo. Doing this with the 192 does something wierd to the high end (like a sucking in phasey kind of thing). It's subtle but annoying.

Speerchucker, as I've said in many other posts, I've yet to hear a converter (including the db tech 122AD) that does not improve with the aardsync II. I'd be happy to get rid of it and collect my $700 on ebay,and maybe Big Ben will outseat it, but until then, it's always connected -I'm even traveling with it now!

Regarding the converter shoot out, It ended up that they all had their strengths and weaknesses and the only clear winner was the DBtech 122ad MKII. It seems to capture the fluidness of analog and the clarity of digial to a degree I've yet to hear equaled.

In my tests, everything was tied to the Aardsync since this is how I normally would use them. This more or less levels the playing field since all the units are now locked to one of the best clocks available. Then what you find is that depending on the instrument or style of music you play through them, you'll prefer one over the other. The panasonic had awsome clear high end but light bottom. The Prism was near the top of the heap for highs and mids but was a tiny bit loose in the bottom (others could argue it's got "big bottom" which might be good for rock). I also liked the psx100SE in many cases (although the non SE apogee's are not in the same league). I can't fault the Mytek or Genex except that I didn't pick them quite as frequently in blind listening as some of the others. Everything was done at 44.1K and was monitored through the Prism dream8's DA. By the way, the Prism's DA is absolutely outstanding! One interesting note, the Prism sounded slightly better when hooked up as a dedicated pro tools interface than when using the AES connection into the 888/24 (despite the fact that everything was tied to the same clock).

I think that, were everything running on it's own internal clock, the results might have been quite different -and there would have been more clear cut winners and losers. However, for my purposes, this would have been relevant.

I'll have to check out the Spider, although I don't want to pay for 8 more preamps. Has anyone heard the Benchmark or Apogee AD16?

By the way, I've just tried Vanly Truffles Fantasie au Cognac while typing this, WOW!
Old 7th March 2003
  #13
SC
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks for the detailed info, Zepdude.

I was going to check-out the DB-tech (Lavry) blue series, but you are using the 122. How do you deal with the very high latency? Are you just doing mastering? Classical recording?

To add to your master-list:
Pacific Microsonics
DCS 904

Both are extremely high end, with prices to match.
I believe that both of these also have reasonably high latency, but that doesn't seem to be a concern for you so....
--------------------

Jules, I finally found the info on that converter that can (optionally) use it's own internal crystal, sans pll. It's the Lavry DA924.

I guarantee that this converter will have less jtter in crystal-mode than clocked to an Aardsync. unfortunately, it has somehing like 25 ms of delay, and so is useless for recording situations.
Old 7th March 2003
  #14
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
Cool Speer!

Zepster, do you think Aardvark would make my Prisms sound better?

Old 7th March 2003
  #15
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Blackwood
I've not played with them, but I've heard good things about the Ed Meitner converters...

And of course, there's always the amazing Crane Song Spider...
If memory serves me well Ed Meitner designed the 192 convertors.
Old 7th March 2003
  #16
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Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Oopps!!!!



Regards

Roland
Old 7th March 2003
  #17
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NathanEldred's Avatar
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Even so, I'm sure they had to meet a certain price point criteria...I doubt it was anything goes because the 192's would be a lot more $$$.
Old 7th March 2003
  #18
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
One would have to ask Mr. Meitner himself ofcourse ... what exactly he contributed to the 192 ... I don't know ... far all we can guess digi used his technology / experience / research and Ed never came close to the unit before it came out.

But apparently he didn't file a lawsuit against them either for using his name when it did come out either.

Eventide lends it name to a plugin .... does that mean that it sounds exacly the same or that they are as good as their hardware units ... I doubt it. But obviously good enough to give it their name.

One of the most forgotten things in the recording business is that to have a good sound .... you have to have a good source. If the source sucks .... no convertor / mic / pre / eq / whatever in the world is going to make it sound good.

On the other hand ... a good source deserves to be translated in a good recording. And that's where audio equipment should be judged on. Translating GOOD sources.

That said .... given a good source ... the 192 does an excellent job translating that source for me. Up to the 888/24 one could critisize digi on the quality of translation ... I was the first in line to do that. with the 192 they have changed that ... bigtime. And they have become competitive to other high end convertors. Wether Mr Meitner had something to do with that or not ... I frankly couldn't care less.

Wether one likes the 192 or not ... same deal .... couldn't care less either ... but don't say they don't translate the source well ... because for being a transparant , exactly reproducing what you put in there ... I have yet to hear much better. Apogee / Weiss / Prism / whatever .... all offer very good 'translators' ... all with different qualities .... which one you prefer is a matter of taste .... not of translation quality.
Old 7th March 2003
  #19
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
I too recently made the upgrade to HD... Not a fun experience! A new computer, new plugins, the works. The good news now is that everything is running smoothly - finally. My local sales guy convinced me that a lot of work went into the 192s, so I got them. He also told me there was no way to connect my AD8000SE (execpt through AES on the 192) so I sold it. Well, the new box came, and while it sounded better than a 888, I wasn't in canvas anymore. I have since sold my 192, bought a Digital 192 and have an AD16 and DA16 wrapped around it. Not as elegant as my TDM system was, but it works fine and sounds pretty darn good too. I had done a shootout with both converters and we all picked the Apogee stuff. More clarity and stereo spread. Didn't have the crane song available, I heard they are hard to come by. What do they go for anyway?

Kaiser
Old 8th March 2003
  #20
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cashewcupcake's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've got a Lucid 8824 and Mytek black and blue unit. The Lucid is fatter and the Mytek is clearer.
Old 8th March 2003
  #21
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NathanEldred's Avatar
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by faeflora
the Mytek is clearer.
That's what I love about that unit...it's helped reduced to my eq usage from 'fixing' with the Apogee, to 'sweetening' with very minor tweeks here and there because of the clarity. Very beneficial to the way I want to hear things, especially across 32+ "real" tracks.
Old 8th March 2003
  #22
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
I guess diversity is what makes life great, but I am often suprised how differently people hear things. Clarity is what motivated me to buy the Apogee and is what I love about it. Hard to imagine much "fixing" needed. Well, to each his dulcinea...

Speaking of the purple stuff, anyone know when the MiniDac is coming out? I heard it at the NAMM show and would love to get my hands on one...

Kaiser

BTW, Nathan, thanks for the advice on the microphone! You were right, it rocks!
Old 8th March 2003
  #23
Gear Guru
 
NathanEldred's Avatar
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by kaiser
I guess diversity is what makes life great, but I am often suprised how differently people hear things. Clarity is what motivated me to buy the Apogee and is what I love about it. Hard to imagine much "fixing" needed.
That's what I thought at first too after hearing a few different things...for a long time that's all there really was (or was easily accessible on the market) back in '97--'98. The SE is pretty good, but IMO you can get the same or better for less funds. Just my opinion of course.

Quote:
Originally posted by kaiser

BTW, Nathan, thanks for the advice on the microphone! You were right, it rocks!
You're welcome...which mic was that?
Old 8th March 2003
  #24
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
The U195, from a different post... Really sounds great.

Kaiser
Old 9th March 2003
  #25
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Zep Dude's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Jules, in answer to your question several posts ago, I'm sure you'd dig the Aardsync with your Prisms. If this were a little closer the to tests I did 1 1/2 years ago I might be able to recollect any specific differences I head between the Prisms internal and Aardsync controlled wc, but I'll stand by my statement that I've yet to hear a converter that didn't improve with it. Hey, don''t you have the Nanaosyncs?

Kaiser, I've been thinking of doing the Digital 192 with the AD16's like yourself. Glad to hear you're happy. I'll do a trial with them in a few weeks.

Zep
MajesticMusic.com
and now
ormusic.com
Old 9th March 2003
  #26
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cashewcupcake's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by NathanEldred
That's what I love about that unit...it's helped reduced to my eq usage from 'fixing' with the Apogee, to 'sweetening' with very minor tweeks here and there because of the clarity. Very beneficial to the way I want to hear things, especially across 32+ "real" tracks.

One thing I've noticed using analyzers and ears is that the Mytek clips in a VERY different manner than the 8824. When the inputs are overloaded, the 8824 squares off the waves and adds a solid state hard clipping sound, and the more it gets overdriven, the more staticy it becomes.

When I clip the Mytek, I get pops and occasionally 100% static.

The little red overload light on the mytek is very responsive though, which makes things easier.

That's why I need a good stereo limiter.
Old 11th March 2003
  #27
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chap's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'll take the Apogee Trak2. The new Big Ben will eliminate PLLs making for an even more solid clock.
I believe Ed Meitner advised Digi on their PLLs (welcome to the '90s). Originally they claimed Bruce Jackson was involved but the truth prevailed. He simply introduced them to Ed.

Swiss Anagram has also found a way around the PLL
for an unmeasurable amount of jitter. Same with Big Ben. They can't find a machine to measure how little jitter it has.
Old 11th March 2003
  #28
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
chap, you're really giving me gas for that trak2... I have to hear it now.
Old 11th March 2003
  #29
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chap's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
the devil made me do it

Sorry Battle,
I'm not trying to tempt you but...... I got the Trak2 to try (I got it the same day as my SLAM!).
I just wanted to evaluate it in my room where I could listen to it along with a variety of converters. It quickly became apparent to me that the Trak2 was not going back.
Consider this: It has 2 hi quality (better than Millinias) hi fi mic pres with 90db of gain. Hi pass filters as well as countless limiter/saturation combinations and an 8x8 digital matrix,
analog inserts, line ins and all recallable via midi. Add to that, the conversion is astounding and it's a keeper. Between that and the SLAM!, I'm having lot's of fun. Sorry to blather on but I'm digging these pieces. Gotta go and make some money to pay for them!
cheers,
chap
Old 11th March 2003
  #30
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
siiiighhh.... whatever, I *HAVE* eight channels of cranesong A/D, and no two ways about it, it rocks. But jeez... the idea of the SLAM! or Trak2 is extremely tempting. So is the vipre, and PAL.... sigh!! Whatever, I suck at engineering anyway so I'm just going to try and avoid buying anything anytime soon anyway lol
πŸ“ Reply

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