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AD - Lavry black or API A2D
Old 5th February 2009
  #1
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🎧 10 years
AD - Lavry black or API A2D

hello, I'll soon be looking to add two channels of quality ad to use on the close pair for acoustic guitar. money is an issue but I'd need to get some that are a good step up from my mackie 800r. I lean towards Lavry AD10 as I like the mostly transparent quality, not sure if the other modes would be of any use to me. So here is the decision, Lavry AD10 which I believe will be satisfactory, and I can slave the mackie to the Lavry clock(not sure if that will help) OR use mackie clock into api a2d, and for less than $500 addition get two nice api pres, which would be a color I do not have . but the bottom line is, quality conversion is what I need now, so it comes down to the quality and character of the api ad, especially for acoustic guitar. any advice appreciated
Old 5th February 2009
  #2
js1
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🎧 15 years
I can't give you a comparison to the API, but I own the Lavry Black, and it's much more than satisfactory - it's outstanding.

js
Old 22nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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Unknown soldier's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've had both, and the AD10 is a step up from the A2D. Not a huge step, but if want more clarity than the AD10 will be about 10-15% better IMO.
Old 22nd February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I have the A2D, and it's outstanding.

I would think the A2D is a no-brainer if you plan on running makie pres into the Lavry.
It seems like the difference in the ADs would be subtle, but the difference between API pre and Mackie pre is enormous!!
Catch my drift?

BTW, A2D is probably also a superior clock to the Mackie. It's the master in my system. It does NOT play well with others as a slave.
YMMV
Old 23rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundrick ➑️
I have the A2D, and it's outstanding.

I would think the A2D is a no-brainer if you plan on running makie pres into the Lavry.
It seems like the difference in the ADs would be subtle, but the difference between API pre and Mackie pre is enormous!!
Catch my drift?

BTW, A2D is probably also a superior clock to the Mackie. It's the master in my system. It does NOT play well with others as a slave.
YMMV
I agree.
Old 23rd February 2009
  #6
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory ➑️
...so it comes down to the quality and character of the api ad, especially for acoustic guitar.

fwiw, i prefer the a2d to lavry. a2d on acoustic guitar is possibly it's strongest application, both pre and converter.


gregory scott - 'ubk'
.
Old 1st May 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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Fishmed's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
For the money, is the A2D AD quality worth it to route mixes back to the DAW?

I am looking down the road to upgrade my mix AD to go back to my DAW.
I figured for the money of a great AD converter, I might as well get some mic pres to go with it. I like the way the A2D is designed as it would fit my workflow well.

(I assume the A2D is 24 bits; I have not seen it written anywhere.)
Old 1st May 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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KEYBEEETSSS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishmed ➑️
For the money, is the A2D AD quality worth it to route mixes back to the DAW?
Man are u serious?.. (I know U are so don't take that wrong)
But really, its worth it just because of the pres & then u can almost look @ it actually having really good AD as an extra especially for the prices they're going for on ebay these days...
Old 1st May 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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Fishmed's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KEYBEEETSSS ➑️
Man are u serious?.. (I know U are so don't take that wrong)
But really, its worth it just because of the pres & then u can almost look @ it actually having really good AD as an extra especially for the prices they're going for on ebay these days...
Thanks, I know I was looking at it in reverse of the features as my need is to upgrade my AD more so than buying more mic pres, but at this price point, it is a no-brainer to find a good AD built in with a mic pre as long as the quality of the AD converter meets my needs.

I read another thread within my search, and I am feeling very good about the AD on the unit.
Old 1st May 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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KEYBEEETSSS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishmed ➑️
Thanks, I know I was looking at it in reverse of the features as my need is to upgrade my AD more so than buying more mic pres, but at this price point, it is a no-brainer to find a good AD built in with a mic pre as long as the quality of the AD converter meets my needs.

I read another thread within my search, and I am feeling very good about the AD on the unit.
Yeah man do it; I mean, don't take my post as saying that the AD isn't good b/c IT REALLY IS, but I was just making the point that really LOOK @ WHAT UR GETTING; of course the Lavry AD is a smidge better & that is expected to a standpoint, although there are some who feel or just like the API A2D conversion better; so as in all gear, its pretty much about preference; but definitely for what u get in the A2D, I MEAN COME ON!! They don't even need Billy Mays to sell itheh
Old 1st May 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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Andrew Kinsey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think it all comes down to application and budget limitations.

If your application is tracking then the A2D is a good all in one solution that will get you some good pre's and decent enough conversion to get the job done and feel no way about it.

The Lavry AD10 on the other hand is a mastering grade converter. Personally i would much prefer to print whole mixes through Lavry AD then to go through an A2D not just because of the extra clarity and three dimensional sound, but also for the fact that i can push the Lavry AD alot harder than the one in the A2D.

Also there is not a major price difference between an AD10 and a pair of decent pre's compared to the cost of an A2D on its own.

Old 2nd May 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Fishmed's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
How do the Mytek products compare the API or Lavry?
Old 2nd May 2009 | Show parent
  #13
nas
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishmed ➑️
How do the Mytek products compare the API or Lavry?
Not wanting to go off topic too much I can speak for Mytek as I have a Stereo192 ADC and it is a superb converter. I tried that and the Lavry AD10 and preferred the sound of the Mytek. With repect to the OP's question I agree with some of the above posts. If good conversion and a killer mic pre is needed (which it looks like it is) then I would choose the API hands down. Even in a few years as converter technology improves and you may feel you need to upgrade your converters, you still will end up having a great mic pre that will last a long time.
Old 8th May 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KEYBEEETSSS ➑️
of course the Lavry AD is a smidge better
Whaddaya mean "of course"? I'm with UBK; I prefer the a2d to the Lavry. -E
Old 9th May 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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KEYBEEETSSS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hurricaneE ➑️
Whaddaya mean "of course"? I'm with UBK; I prefer the a2d to the Lavry. -E
Well actually I do as well... But just saying that b/c Lavry is known to be 1 of THEE top converters; but, I TOO prefer the A2Dheh
Old 11th May 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by KEYBEEETSSS ➑️
Well actually I do as well... But just saying that b/c Lavry is known to be 1 of THEE top converters; but, I TOO prefer the A2Dheh
Ok what are we talking about here? You guys prefer the A2D conversion for what applications? dense or sparse mixes? electronic or acoustic instrumentation? Pretty compressed or lightly compressed material? Inquiring minds want to know.
Old 11th May 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➑️
fwiw, i prefer the a2d to lavry. a2d on acoustic guitar is possibly it's strongest application, both pre and converter.


gregory scott - 'ubk'
.
very interesting. speaking soley about the a2d conversion, do you prefer it for compressed strummed parts in a mix, or solo fingerstyle guitar, or both?

concerning the api pre, I can imagine it could be nice for a hard strummed track with a bit of vintage vibe, but for a contemporary solo fingerstyle sound I can't see how I'd get great results with it, although I never tried. Very interested in your opinion.
Old 11th May 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Reasonaly dense (not necessarily compressed) rock mixes. -E

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory ➑️
Ok what are we talking about here? You guys prefer the A2D conversion for what applications? dense or sparse mixes? electronic or acoustic instrumentation? Pretty compressed or lightly compressed material? Inquiring minds want to know.
Old 11th May 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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KEYBEEETSSS's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory ➑️
Ok what are we talking about here? You guys prefer the A2D conversion for what applications? dense or sparse mixes? electronic or acoustic instrumentation? Pretty compressed or lightly compressed material? Inquiring minds want to know.
I don't compress mixes... Only individual parts but I run the mix thru the A2D pres(line in) using the 2:1 ratio & that gives me a sense of light compression although it's not but I just like the sound & then run that back thru the converters... I don't do 1 particular genre of music so thatz all I can answer...
Old 11th May 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregory ➑️
very interesting. speaking soley about the a2d conversion, do you prefer it for compressed strummed parts in a mix, or solo fingerstyle guitar, or both?

my preference is not application specific. I prefer the api to the lavry because I don't like the lavry sound, the top end is quintessential 'digital'. but if you ever catch me blaming a lavry converter for anything i do, you have my permission to slap me.


Quote:
concerning the api pre, I can imagine it could be nice for a hard strummed track with a bit of vintage vibe, but for a contemporary solo fingerstyle sound I can't see how I'd get great results with it, although I never tried.

Very interested in your opinion.

my opinion is you should try it before giving credence to your imaginings of what a piece can or can't do.

i'm also of the opinion that you place entirely too much emphasis on the role of gear in the process of capturing music, which is not the same as the process of recording sound. it's one thing to like or not like the sound of a unit, but getting great results with it is quite another. i can get great results with a few hundred bucks worth of stuff, assuming the player and room give me something worth capturing. i'm as into the nuances of tone as anyone, but your notion that gear is good for some 'styles' but not others is alien to me.

if you have the ear for where to place an instrument in a room, and you know which mic to use and where to place it, your job is essentially done. from there you can choose from among a myriad of subtle flavor variations, but make no mistake: pre's and converters are like varieties of sea salt. the steak is the thing, it's what people eat and it's what keeps them coming back to your table.

keep your focus on the steak.


gregory scott - ubk
.
Old 11th May 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
flober1970's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➑️
i'm also of the opinion that you place entirely too much emphasis on the role of gear in the process of capturing music, which is not the same as the process of recording sound.
.
Got an A2D few weeks ago and I love it!

the coloration function is most obvious on snare than any other recordings i made.

I tried an A/B recording test of the converters with a bass, using also the converters of my delta 1010. Well to me and some other friend musician, it is almost impossible to tell the difference, it is so small...

So to me (as an independant musician) investing in a better converter is insignificant...

tutt F
Old 11th May 2009 | Show parent
  #22
nas
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nas's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k ➑️
my opinion is you should try it before giving credence to your imaginings of what a piece can or can't do.

i'm also of the opinion that you place entirely too much emphasis on the role of gear in the process of capturing music, which is not the same as the process of recording sound. it's one thing to like or not like the sound of a unit, but getting great results with it is quite another. i can get great results with a few hundred bucks worth of stuff, assuming the player and room give me something worth capturing. i'm as into the nuances of tone as anyone, but your notion that gear is good for some 'styles' but not others is alien to me.

if you have the ear for where to place an instrument in a room, and you know which mic to use and where to place it, your job is essentially done. from there you can choose from among a myriad of subtle flavor variations, but make no mistake: pre's and converters are like varieties of sea salt. the steak is the thing, it's what people eat and it's what keeps them coming back to your table.

keep your focus on the steak.


gregory scott - ubk
.
Agreed 100% - Excellent post thumbsup
Old 12th May 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
ubk wrote:
Quote:
my preference is not application specific. I prefer the api to the lavry because I don't like the lavry sound, the top end is quintessential 'digital'. but if you ever catch me blaming a lavry converter for anything i do, you have my permission to slap me.
Personally, I find the reference to the "top end" if the AD10 having a "sound" that is "quintessential 'digital' interesting in light of the fact that it stands in direct contradiction to what most people say about it.

I won't argue with the fact that every piece of gear has a "sound;" but more often than not the "sound" is because what comes out sounds different than what goes in. Most people feel that Lavry converters have a very minimal "neutral color" so that the over-all characteristic of the encoded audio "sounds" closer to the unencoded (analog input) than with other converters.

I also won't argue with the idea of using the "sound" of any equipment in the chain as part of the creative process, but the question is- do you want everything to have that sound, or just specific tracks? With a neutral sounding converter, you have options that you don't have with one that is colored.

in gregory's original post he said:
Quote:
but the bottom line is, quality conversion is what I need now, so it comes down to the quality and character of the api ad, especially for acoustic guitar. any advice appreciated
It really is a matter of priority- if you only plan to record acoustic guitar through the AD converter, maybe the API would be a better choice. But as others have said, the MicPre will probably have a greater effect on the recorded "sound" than the converter. To me this raises the question- should I buy an AD converter based on the fact it is in the same box as some good mic pre's, or should I buy an AD based on the fact that I need flexibility to give what I am recording a different "sound" than the one I like on acoustic guitar?

I have seen many, many occasions where the first impression led someone to choose a device with a particular "sound" over a "flatter sounding" unit, but over time found that the device that initially had the less impressive "sound" was more useful in a wider range of recording applications.
Old 12th May 2009 | Show parent
  #24
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yeloocproducer's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
UBK I generally subscribe to your analog celebrations...

But....the lavry black/blue has the most quintessential digital top? I've shot out the blue/ black with many other converters and I really don't hear it that way. If anything the blue has a better representation of low mids and a neutral top.... leaning it more in the analog/ true source sounding A/Ds. The cranesong stuff sounds a bit thicker maybe, as does the UA and of course the BURL... but I don't really hear the top end changing when captured with the Lavry aside from the very slight amount of depth/ transients lost in an analog loop for a sub 5K converter (which exists in all the above named converters). I think the only way you get a truer sound is with pricier converters.

I'm actually interested in the Forsell A/D though... just wrote him about checking one out. If it does what people say it does, seems like a good deal.

Hopefully though... we won't start seeing people with collections of A/D converters for each individual instrument application like the mic pre craze! I prefer my A/D to be transparent and let some nice transformer gear add color if needed.
Old 12th May 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloocproducer ➑️
UBK I generally subscribe to your analog celebrations...

But....the lavry black/blue has the most quintessential digital top? I've shot out the blue/ black with many other converters and I really don't hear it that way. If anything the blue has a better representation of low mids and a neutral top.... leaning it more in the analog/ true source sounding A/Ds. The cranesong stuff sounds a bit thicker maybe, as does the UA and of course the BURL... but I don't really hear the top end changing when captured with the Lavry aside from the very slight amount of depth/ transients lost in an analog loop for a sub 5K converter (which exists in all the above named converters). I think the only way you get a truer sound is with pricier converters.


The Lavry has probably the best top end of converters in that price range.
Old 12th May 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
what it all comes down to for me is how a converter handles the vibe of the source. there are 'clean' converters that, to my ears, keep the vibe; mytek, pacific microsonics, and weiss are the ones I've used that fit this description.

then there are 'clean' converters that put a chill on the tone, i lose something in the heart of the sound. lavry does this to my ears, and i hear it most especially in the very top register, >10k. i would describe it as 'crystalline'. it's not brittle, it's not shrill, it's just a little chilly and a little hard. since this is the opposite of how i like my highs --- i gravitate towards soft, which often means a little smeared as well --- i give them the thumbs down.

i put 'clean' in quotes because nothing i've ever heard is 100% faithful to the source. every piece of gear i've ever patched in does something to the sound, so the questions for me are 'what is it doing' and 'do i like it'. the idea that a 'less colored' converter is de facto more desirable is anathema to me because i will choose a strong color i like over a mild color i dislike, every single time. keep in mind, i also use small 1970's semi-pro desks and reel-to-reels in my private room so i clearly have no fear of slathering every single track with the same deep stain. but i would argue that everyone does the same, it's just a question of which flavors they've chosen.

the a2d is very gently colored, it's like the (manley) langevin of converters. very slightly warm, very slightly hazy up top. i wouldn't hesitate to have every track in a composition bear it's stamp. this is a relatively mild and timid color we're talking about; if you find it pleasing, use it. if you dislike it, don't. everything beyond that analysis is, to my way of thinking, philosophy.


gregory scott - ubk
.
Old 12th May 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Y'know, while I agree with UBK's preference for API over Lavry, I'm surprised to learn we've come to the same conclusion from completely different angles. I've found the Lavrys to have a very smooth top and accentuated (and flattering) low-mids. I woudn't call them "typically" digital, nor would I call them neutral.

The API's do a much better job of translating tape accurately. Now, maybe that's because they're adding tape-like harmonics, I dunno, but the API's just sound a lot closer to what's coming off my machine (MTR-90 MKII). The top end is a lot more articulate (the difference in cymbal depth was astonishing) and transients are crisper.

The Lavrys sounded nice and rich, but not accurate (however, more accurate than my M'link converters, which were modded by Jim Williams, and exhibited some of the same low-mid traits). If I was tracking digitally, the Lavrys would be great on toms, maybe kick, probably vocals, etc. but, having the API, I wouldn't use Lavrys for the mix (which is why I returned the Lavrys and kept the a2d). -E

Quote:
Originally Posted by P Sound ➑️
ubk wrote:
Personally, I find the reference to the "top end" if the AD10 having a "sound" that is "quintessential 'digital' interesting in light of the fact that it stands in direct contradiction to what most people say about it.

I won't argue with the fact that every piece of gear has a "sound;" but more often than not the "sound" is because what comes out sounds different than what goes in. Most people feel that Lavry converters have a very minimal "neutral color" so that the over-all characteristic of the encoded audio "sounds" closer to the unencoded (analog input) than with other converters.

I also won't argue with the idea of using the "sound" of any equipment in the chain as part of the creative process, but the question is- do you want everything to have that sound, or just specific tracks? With a neutral sounding converter, you have options that you don't have with one that is colored.

in gregory's original post he said:
It really is a matter of priority- if you only plan to record acoustic guitar through the AD converter, maybe the API would be a better choice. But as others have said, the MicPre will probably have a greater effect on the recorded "sound" than the converter. To me this raises the question- should I buy an AD converter based on the fact it is in the same box as some good mic pre's, or should I buy an AD based on the fact that I need flexibility to give what I am recording a different "sound" than the one I like on acoustic guitar?

I have seen many, many occasions where the first impression led someone to choose a device with a particular "sound" over a "flatter sounding" unit, but over time found that the device that initially had the less impressive "sound" was more useful in a wider range of recording applications.
Old 12th May 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
My 2 cents, I haven't used Lavry Black. But i have used both Lavry blue and api a2d, i'd say lavry blue is much more versatile than a2d. a2d sounds good with api preamps, but not so good(relatively speaking) with other preamps. But that being said, if you don't have a good preamp, go for api a2d, you will get an excellent preamp and very good converter. In my case, when i was hunting for an ADC, i already had a vintech preamp, so after trying both, i picked up lavry blue.
Abhijit
Old 13th May 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Abhijit, when you were testing the a2d with other preamps, did you feed it via the line inputs on the front?


gregory scott - ubk
.
Old 13th May 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
IIRC, I think I did that so that i can skip the preamps of api a2d.
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