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1st High end ADDA , Lavry or Crane Song
Old 16th June 2006
  #1
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
1st High end ADDA , Lavry or Crane Song

Well the time has come .... to get a High end ADDA so ....

Lavry Blue 4496 with 2 channel AD and 2 channel DA cards

OR

CRANE SONG HEDD 192 Digital Signal Processor


Lavry Analog soft saturation and Digital soft saturation

Vs

Crane Song Triode and Pentode and Tape

...... HELP !
Old 16th June 2006
  #2
Mastering
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SUPADUPA
Well the time has come .... to get a High end ADDA so ....

Lavry Blue 4496 with 2 channel AD and 2 channel DA cards

OR

CRANE SONG HEDD 192 Digital Signal Processor


Lavry Analog soft saturation and Digital soft saturation

Vs

Crane Song Triode and Pentode and Tape

...... HELP !
If you're looking for versatility and a digital processor as well as A/D and D/A, the Cranesong is impossible to beat. There's no processor in the Lavry that has the power of Cranesong's "pentode", and the soft saturator sounds very different from Cranesong's "tape". As for soft saturation, you do miss that a bit in the Cranesong, and I would not advise using the Tape control to "simulate" that as it is not a threshold-based control, it affects the tonality across the board, and then you're committed. Come to think of it, you're committed if you A/D with the soft saturation, too. Boils down to the old conundrum of "do you track with EQ or not?"

As far as high end goes, The Cranesong's A/D and D/A (in the latest revision) are, without question in anyone's mind "superb". I have not personally done the shootout with the Lavry Blue, but I strongly suspect you're going to hear more similarities than differences as the Cranesong is a solid A-grade, and the Lavry Gold is supposed to be the "A+".

The Lavry's analog soft saturation is the effect to go for, anyway. It's supposed to protect you from overs, the digital saturation does not. But nevertheless, recording at a lower level and skipping the saturator is the best bet. You can then use the "tape" or some other process such as a high frequency-sensitive compressor, during the mixdown, and decide exactly how much you need in the context of the entire mix, instead of second guessing during tracking and over or under doing it. That's my take on it.

Or, if you really want to track with the effect of the soft saturation and you want the Cranesong, then why not get a good analog compressor and put it in front of the A/D?

BK
Old 16th June 2006 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
jdjustice's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
There really isn't any product made by Crane Song that I don't love. Dave Hill is a master designer of audio equipment who doesn't cut corners.

The only other concern is the price, with the CS being a bit more expensive ($600-$800 more) than the Lavry 4496 2-Channel A/D/A which is around $2500.00 USD.

On an aside, I have really appreciated the fact that Mr. Bob Katz has been taking the time to post here at GearSlutz. Thank you Mr. Katz for your insight and experience! I always learn something from your postings.


Cheers,
J.D.
Old 16th June 2006 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
think i've read here at GS that the HEDD's DA isn't extremely transparent. can't remember what thread or how i got that impression, but maybe mr.katz could comment on that?

thank you.
Old 16th June 2006 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Head
 
BlueBird's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Triode and Pentode and Tape examples???

Wow, Great to get Mr. Bob Katz insight into this!

Would anyone who owns the Hedd be so kind as to
post some example files of the Triode and Pentode and Tape
sounds?....please

I would love to hear for myself what these do to the sound.

Thanks
Old 16th June 2006 | Show parent
  #6
11413
Guest
I use a cranesong 48k HEDD A/D/A.. the "old" one and it sounds great... one of the cool things about the HEDD (besides the added coloration) is ths different routing modes...

got a problem with latency? track in "analog" mode...

want to play back at 48k and record at 44.1? no prob.. the A/D & D/A can run off totally different clocks...

wicked box.... great for adding that extra 5%
Old 16th June 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
NetworkAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The Lavry is a no frills very solidly built piece.
It is built to work in a battlefield.

Consider your ability to add a 2 ch pre to the chassis, or expand to more ad units later on, if needed. I love the modularuty. If one 2ch unit needs service you just pick it out of the box and send it. Never did have to service it though.

I rank our Lavry almost up there with our Prism.

Have you considered the chassis with just AD and a Lavry Black for the DA?
the black is not that much more than the blue ad and you get a monitor controller and headphoneamp as well as more inputs than just AES.
Old 16th June 2006 | Show parent
  #8
More cowbell!
 
natpub's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Depending on your time frame, I would contact Manley. I am in the AD/DA market now heavily, and if I could esacpe with 2 channels, I would be calling Hutch asap---if you also needed 2 channels of pre, the forthcoming do-dad by Paul Tonelux looks godly, but none of us can get a price yet!

The problem in most of this is even being taken seriously. Post yer bank balance maybe???:P Good luck:-)
Old 16th June 2006 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
GYang's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Hard choice, but hard to make mistake, too.
I use Apogee and Lavry every day.
Lavry Blue is neutral and very natural sounding, like high-end converters should probably sound.I don't think I ever used all this saturation functions, although some engineeres like Lavry Gold specially for that.
I had HEDD and really appreciate (and use) Dave Hill's designs.
HEDD does it jobs as said, but digital effects are what I avoid wherever possible and last thing I wish in my chain is distortion emulator (well, except Vulture), but if you feel that such kind of effect is what you need, HEDD does it.
Old 16th June 2006 | Show parent
  #10
11413
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang
HEDD does it jobs as said, but digital effects are what I avoid wherever possible and last thing I wish in my chain is distortion emulator (well, except Vulture), but if you feel that such kind of effect is what you need, HEDD does it.
i try to view the HEDD process as a "last 5%" thing.. like i would any plug-in... try to squeeze out more than 5% and the gates of hell open up
Old 16th June 2006 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
funka's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Do not forget the UA2192...Just to mention it.
Old 19th June 2006 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks everyone ... I'm looking very closely at the Crane Song HEDD ....

seems like it has that little something else ...
Old 19th June 2006 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
ghoost's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
ummm .... Benchmark anyone ...

certainly stands shoulder to shoulder with anything mentioned here and I believe is a bit less
Old 19th June 2006 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Sui_City's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghoost
ummm .... Benchmark anyone ...

certainly stands shoulder to shoulder with anything mentioned here and I believe is a bit less
not in my experience
Old 20th June 2006 | Show parent
  #15
Mastering
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by raal
think i've read here at GS that the HEDD's DA isn't extremely transparent. can't remember what thread or how i got that impression, but maybe mr.katz could comment on that?

thank you.
The previous HEDD DA was not that good, it was about a B. Then, sometime in the past year, I wish I knew the date, Dave Hill designed a completely new DAC. So we have to talk apples to apples. The new HEDD DAC is superb, at the very least an A, and has to be compared with at least a Benchmark DAC-1, Weiss and Lavry. The new Avocet/Hedd DAC is for me the best DAC in my studio, just a hair more resolved and with a bit more depth than a Benchmark DAC-1. The only thing better would be an A+, and I haven't heard it here yet, but I guess the candidates would be the Lavry, Weiss, and what else?
Old 20th June 2006 | Show parent
  #16
Mastering
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sui_City
not in my experience
wrote, negatively, about the Benchmark.

I disagree. Have you done your comparisons totally fairly, at matched gains, checked polarity, and allowing you to switch from DAC to DAC while playing the music? ---You'll find that most of the so-called differences simply evaporate. The Benchmark DAC is very respectable, with a good power supply, solid bass, purity of tone, definition, space, width, solidity of imaging. There's little if anything to complain about. I now feel the Benchmark is an A- after the Hedd/Avocet DAC edged it out marginally, but that's still far from a "negative", wouldn't you say?

Before I do a DAC comparison everything is set and measured with test tones, so they're matched to 0.1 dB, and the switchbox (at this point), is the Cranesong Avocet, which is an analog switcher with one of the purest discrete routes around.

BK
Old 20th June 2006 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
mahasandi's Avatar
 
93 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I have the Lavry Blue.

and it is wonderful smooth open clear , great if you have your color before or after.
i don't mind going thru it twice.I think an analog deck is the best emulator of saturation!

i have not heard the Hedd but people seem to love it.
Old 20th June 2006 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
ghoost's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
gee thanks Bob .. you saved me the trouble

Took the words right out of my mouth but of course you stated it much more elequently than I ever could have LOL

btw ... I happen to love every peice of gear Dave Hill manufactures. Unfortunatly I don't have every piece :( It doesn't surprise me that it's a bit of a horserace between top end convertors at this point. Much like pre's comp's and eq's ... in the upper end, it now becomes a choice of color if you will. I don't think anybody would disagree, that if one had the option of owning two or more of these select peices as part of your creative arsenal ... that you wold throw one out the window ... no ?
Old 20th June 2006 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
thank you very much for your comments bob. guess it's time for another green pilot light!
Old 20th June 2006 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Adebar's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob katz
wrote, negatively, about the Benchmark.

I disagree. Have you done your comparisons totally fairly, at matched gains, checked polarity, and allowing you to switch from DAC to DAC while playing the music? ---You'll find that most of the so-called differences simply evaporate. The Benchmark DAC is very respectable, with a good power supply, solid bass, purity of tone, definition, space, width, solidity of imaging. There's little if anything to complain about.
BK
IΒ΄m with you Bob, the DAC1 is a really great DA converter. The only thing where i have the impression that there is room for improvement is the volume control.

When I take the fixed analog output of the DAC1 and feed that to a Grace m904 for adjusting monitor level an compare that to the variable analog out of the DAC with the same analog level then i think it sounds more open with the Grace.
Maybe the Grace adds something what i like but I think the Grace is really transparent and the analog output stage is tighter.

I will do the same comparison with EMM Labs Switchman and maybe a SPL Volume2. But that will be in 4 weeks.

Bob,
have you done this kind of comparison with the Avocet and can you confirm my impression about the DAC1Β΄s volume control?
Old 21st June 2006 | Show parent
  #21
Mastering
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar
IΒ΄m with you Bob, the DAC1 is a really great DA converter. The only thing where i have the impression that there is room for improvement is the volume control.

When I take the fixed analog output of the DAC1 and feed that to a Grace m904 for adjusting monitor level an compare that to the variable analog out of the DAC with the same analog level then i think it sounds more open with the Grace.
Maybe the Grace adds something what i like but I think the Grace is really transparent and the analog output stage is tighter.

I will do the same comparison with EMM Labs Switchman and maybe a SPL Volume2. But that will be in 4 weeks.

Bob,
have you done this kind of comparison with the Avocet and can you confirm my impression about the DAC1Β΄s volume control?
I just loaned one of my two DAC-1's to a good friend who's a mix engineer and had been listening to the monitor output of his Soundcraft Ghost. He hooked his Genelec 8040a's to the Benchmark and called me, "I've gotta buy this DAC. Great, solid sound, and my bass is tighter than I had ever thought!

The DAC1's volume control is NOT a precision instrument, it definitely could be replaced, I only use it as a headphone volume. A good do-it-yourself project would be to buy a TKD 1 dB/step pot, and mount it externally to the Benchmark, replacing the internal pot, and while you're at it, adding an input selector switch so you can monitor either analog or digital. Presto, a poor man's Avocet!

When I compared the Benchmark DAC to the Avocet's new DAC I did two things:

1) I hooked only pins 2 and 1 of the Benchmark into pins 2 and 3/1 respectively of the Avocet. This lowers the noise floor a bit.

2) I set the Benchmark to "cal", not variable, so the signal is not going through the front panel pot. Of course, then it goes through the cermet trimpot, oh well.... And then I matched the gains of the Benchmark to the Avocet's DAC with test tones and did careful blind and non-blind listening comparisons.The difference is EXTREMELY subtle.
Old 21st June 2006 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Sui_City's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Bob,

IMHE, the Benchmark does not come close in imaging and depth to the Lavry Blue we tested it against.
Old 21st June 2006 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I have gone from Digi001 to 192 I/O to Rosetta 800 to Lavry Blue. I now use all Lavry Blue converters and find them clearly better converters than all the others (although the 192 I/O and Rosetta 800 are adequate, depending on how much you want to spend).

I also have a HEDD 192. I use the HEDD at the end of the mix bus, with Lavry Blue A/D in front of it and Lavry Blue D/A behind it. The HEDD converters are excellent, but in A/B'ing against Lavry, they don't have the reproducibility of the Lavry's. The HEDD adds a little coloration that you are best not forced to add. For pure converters, the Lavry's are truly exceptional.

So, it depends what you want. I would suggest you go with Lavry Blue as your basic converters; truly exceptional. The HEDD is a great unit, but as stated earlier, it is the last processor on the mix bus that can add a touch extra...........but often you don't use the knobs at all, because even a little does more than you want or need. If you go Lavry Blue, then you can forget about converters and look at adding other gear, including the HEDD, based on your priorities. Top converters build the foundation.
Old 21st June 2006 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Ruphus's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sui_City
Bob,

IMHE, the Benchmark does not come close in imaging and depth to the Lavry Blue we tested it against.
Ditto here.
In comparison to the Lavry I think of the DAC1 as being "porous", as if it had a bit less in the signal. The Lavry is fuller, silkier ... has more substance.
Very subtle difference, but there.

Ruphus
Old 21st June 2006 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Guru
 
matt thomas's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I have never used a lavry, but I have compared the cranesong and the benchmark (D-A only) against each other (hedd to head) in a mastering session.

Its always hard to describe in words and I hate to use such over used expressions as "punchy" and "dynamic" but that is how the benchmark sounded in comparison to the cranesong. The benchmark was the clear winner on the day.

Keep in mind though that this was for mastering a rock song. I am suspicious that the benchmark's "punchiness" and "dynamic-ness" may have been a product of it not being entirely transparent.

narco
Old 21st June 2006 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Ruphus's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My impression has been that the DAC1 appears punchy because it loses a tad in the mid range.

Ruphus
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