Black Lion Audio announces Revolution 2x2 portable audio interface - Page 11 - Gearspace.com
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Black Lion Audio announces Revolution 2x2 portable audio interface
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #301
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanchez ➡️
Audient is all-metal too.
Yes, but the TRS connectors on the Audient are PCB mounted and hence do not feel as solid as on the Black Lion unit where they mounted at the chassis as well. The large potentiometer on Audient is quite wobbly. My impression from this is that the Black Lion might hold up better over time.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #302
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drfonta ➡️

I found the same thing with playback of commercial music and various Logic projects. I could not tell the difference and I A-B compared with my Lyra for a long time with a variety of music. Honestly could not hear a difference. I did not hear any extra noise at all during play back. I had the direct knob all the way to the right so obviously no preamp noise is coming through...
I had the direct nob fully clockwise, no direct signal, only DAW. During normal listening I could not hear any noise, only when I turned up the level a lot (not playing any file). When I listened I had calibrated the levels with a 1000Hz tone and a multi meter and could jump between the two sources with a switch, playing from the two interfaces with two different computers simultaneously.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #303
Here for the gear
 
I might add that the noise in the preamps still is quite low in level. Under most circumstances you would probably not notice it and there are many preamps and interfaces that have similar noise levels. But at hi gain on the preamps you can hear it, which of course might become a problem once you start to add compressors etc and are recording with microphones that have low sensitivity.

Here you have samples. They are recorded with an SE X1R ribbon mic spitted passively with a y - cable into the Revolution and the Audient id14mkii at almost max gain. Recording was done in Reaper on two different laptops. Gain was set with a 1000 Hz tone before the recording. They are also normalised in the daw (I missed gain setting slightly, gain difference between recordings difference was 0.5 dB so both files are normalised).

The sample which is a bit noisy at the end is the Black Lion, the one with lower noise is Audient.
Attached Files

Revolution vs id14mkii preamp x.wav (5.84 MB, 4322 views)

Revolution vs id14mkii preamp y.wav (5.84 MB, 4317 views)

Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #304
Here for the gear
 
Here are two more samples at lower gain recorded with a Schoeps CMC5 - MK2H. You can hear some traffic noise outside at the end of both samples, but not much preamp noise, if any. Gain was set identically with a 1000 Hz tone before the recording.
Attached Files

Revolution vs id14mkii preamp w.wav (7.61 MB, 4251 views)

Revolution vs id14mkii preamp z.wav (7.61 MB, 4222 views)

Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #305
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldjoba ➡️
I had the direct nob fully clockwise, no direct signal, only DAW. During normal listening I could not hear any noise, only when I turned up the level a lot (not playing any file). When I listened I had calibrated the levels with a 1000Hz tone and a multi meter and could jump between the two sources with a switch, playing from the two interfaces with two different computers simultaneously.
Hello there Oldjoba. I'm certainly not doubting you at all. I tried again this morning fully cranked and I could not hear a thing. Ditto with my other two interfaces. I even tried with headphones.

Thanks for the sample files of your recordings. Good stuff.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #306
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drfonta ➡️
Hello there Oldjoba. I'm certainly not doubting you at all. I tried again this morning fully cranked and I could not hear a thing. Ditto with my other two interfaces. I even tried with headphones.
Interesting. Unfortunately I can not repeat my test because I have sent back the Revolution. Of course there is a possibility something was wrong with the unit. Or, since it is powered from USB, perhaps the computer matters? I did not switch those in my tests.

But there will always be a noise floor somewhere. If it is audible or not is depending on operating levels and gain structure in the equipment that is interconnected. If the noise is inaudible it is not likely it will ever be a problem in your particular setup.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #307
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldjoba ➡️
Interesting. Unfortunately I can not repeat my test because I have sent back the Revolution. Of course there is a possibility something was wrong with the unit. Or, since it is powered from USB, perhaps the computer matters? I did not switch those in my tests.

But there will always be a noise floor somewhere. If it is audible or not is depending on operating levels and gain structure in the equipment that is interconnected. If the noise is inaudible it is not likely it will ever be a problem in your particular setup.
I have to say again that I have had no noise issues at all with mine, and I am coming from an Audient ID22, which is supposedly a step up from the ID14. To me the 2x2 is better, and that's probably a very subjective thing.

I don't doubt that you heard something, but BLA, per their own literature (grain of salt I guess) say that they deliberately set out to be better in terms of noise build up than anything in this price range or lower, putting in decoupling etc. They say no other manufacturer does this at this level. Can I hear that? I now doubt it
Per Amir's video on blind listening, we probably hear what we want to hear, it's not black and white.

I'm hanging on to mine for now though, will probably wait to see the next step up in the BLA Revolution line before I consider changing it.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #308
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockshamrover ➡️
I have to say again that I have had no noise issues at all with mine, and I am coming from an Audient ID22, which is supposedly a step up from the ID14. To me the 2x2 is better, and that's probably a very subjective thing.

I don't doubt that you heard something, but BLA, per their own literature (grain of salt I guess) say that they deliberately set out to be better in terms of noise build up than anything in this price range or lower, putting in decoupling etc. They say no other manufacturer does this at this level. Can I hear that? I now doubt it
Per Amir's video on blind listening, we probably hear what we want to hear, it's not black and white.

I'm hanging on to mine for now though, will probably wait to see the next step up in the BLA Revolution line before I consider changing it.
I'm with you. I don't have anything to compare the 2x2 to in real application other than what I have on hand, which is my Lyra 1 and RME Babyface Pro FS, so that's what it is. In the past few years I've had some of the lower priced interfaces, (but none listed here) Steinberg, Presonus, Mackie are ones I remember having, and I wish I still had them to do some comps, but in no way do I think the 2x2 is even close to being in the category of those, again, based on what I can remember when using them. I didn't have any of them for very long as they were generally temporary units I used while traveling etc..(My babyface took care of all that and then some!)

Having said all that, I do believe Amir's measurements to be accurate and definitely something for people to look at if they want the ground truth on what the specs are.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #309
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by drfonta ➡️
I'm with you. I don't have anything to compare the 2x2 to in real application other than what I have on hand, which is my Lyra 1 and RME Babyface Pro FS, so that's what it is. In the past few years I've had some of the lower priced interfaces, (but none listed here) Steinberg, Presonus, Mackie are ones I remember having, and I wish I still had them to do some comps, but in no way do I think the 2x2 is even close to being in the category of those, again, based on what I can remember when using them. I didn't have any of them for very long as they were generally temporary units I used while traveling etc..(My babyface took care of all that and then some!)

Having said all that, I do believe Amir's measurements to be accurate and definitely something for people to look at if they want the ground truth on what the specs are.
Out of curiosity, any comments on the Revolution vs your Babyface Pro FS?
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #310
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by BassSaxMan ➡️
Out of curiosity, any comments on the Revolution vs your Babyface Pro FS?
I haven't A/B'd it fully yet other than to check the pre-amp noise. The babyface is extremely quiet even at full gain, which makes me wonder if it has a noise gate built in? The Revolution pushes noise regardless if anything is plugged in or not pretty much as soon as I reach 10 o'clock or so on the gain knob. Interesting is that I find my Lyra to be just as "noisy" IF I have something plugged in to the instrument jack and the gain cranked up. But again, I doubt I'd ever need that much gain for anything I record so, not a real issue as of yet..

I currently have my Revolution as an aggregate device with my Lyra and did some brief recording yesterday just to check the functionality. I plan to do some acoustic guitar finger picking stuff later this week with the mics going through the Revolution and the internal acoustic gtr pickup going through my mixer and in to the Lyra. 3 separate tracks total so would be a good time to comp that vs the Babyface...Will let you know how they compare.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #311
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raddistribution ➡️
Hi Everyone, here are a few thoughts from the team

Preston Whiting here…I’m the Chief Operations Officer at Black Lion Audio.

First, we would like to thank everyone who’s given the Revolution 2x2 a shot in your studio. Your overwhelmingly positive calls, comments and reviews have been graciously received. Your support means the world to us and we do this for you.

When we decided to release our own interface offering we did so fully recognizing that we audio enthusiasts are spoiled for choice. Having dissected and modified more interfaces than anyone else on the planet, we could not in good conscience follow the general conventions or design patterns we’ve worked so hard to improve throughout our history as a company.

Our obsessive experiments over the last 15 years of modifying interfaces has wired us differently than other pro audio companies. While we fully agree with publishing technical specifications of our products – we are in strong opposition to using numerical data measured by a machine as the ultimate gauge of success.

Our unwavering integrity demands complete transparency in publishing our measured specs. To be frank, we’ve found many of the specs generally touted to reveal the quality of an audio interface to be missing important context or not matter at all. We’ll continue to think outside the box, achieve superior results and quantify new ways of measuring performance that helps us hit the mark. What we won’t do is hold back a phenomenal product because it doesn’t fit neatly into the crowd.

As a final point – I’d advise against being dissuaded from experiencing the Revolution 2x2 based on a review rigidly rooted in test equipment results. We must use our ears to make our audio decisions. We wouldn’t judge a pair of shoes based on how well they fit on our hands.

We were going to leave our response to the review at that but our lead designer Jesus Ortiz was chomping at the bit to approach this from a more “technical perspective.”

The first thing that caught my eye is his graph showing our noise floor. He gave an FFT graph of the noise floor relative to the tone and a few of it's harmonics. The interesting thing about that graph is that the THD without the noise taken from that graph is close to around -114dB. Not bad at all.

Later he mentions that our DAC can't even deliver 16bit transparency. The issue is that using the word "transparency" is very misleading. By transparency one would assume he's talking about quality. In reality I'd guess he's referring to a similar spec that is used in Comm called Equivalent Number of Bits (ENOB). It's basically a "real world" estimate as to how many actual bits of useable range you get if you deduct the bits that are just noise floor. Again, this is noise floor related, although normally SINAD is used. Using this spec without context is a little misleading because he's technically correct in that an ideal ENOB 16b measurement would be for about 98.08 which we're just below. That's pretty common since everything has noise. If he's testing this at 16bit resolutions then to say that we're below the 16b ideal ENOB just means that our interface is not a simulation and contains real devices. For perspective, a SINAD for an ideal ENOB of a 24bit system is about 146dB. No interface hits that. 24bit or not. Going further down, an ideal ENOB for an 18 bit system would have a SINAD of around 110dB. Very few interfaces hit that. Even when weighted. Put differently, a 24bit systems with a SINAD of around 110dB has an effective number of bits of about 18.

When he refers to his ideal output level being 4Vrms while ours is about 3.2Vrms, there's very little context as it's one of the few times he refers to signal in volts. Most of the rest are in decibels. For perspective, the difference with our level and his is under 2 decibels relative to the dBu scale.

Later when he talks about IMD/Noise Floor at max volume, there's no real reference between the devices being compared. "Max volume" is assumed to be the volume know turned all the way clockwise but that's not the same for every device. The reader wouldn't know if one device has 10dB of gain at their output at that setting while another interface may have -6dB of gain. This should be spec'd in some way like the inputs have Equivalent Input Noise where the gain stages are compensated for gain or attenuation. The idea behind it is that if my converter puts out a decent level, but the noise floor is say -96dB, then if I cut 6dB then the noise floor where he's measuring is -102dB. Not an accurate value as one can argue that the noise floor value was manipulated. On the other hand, a noise floor of -110dB fresh out of the converter but that receives 20dB of gain along it's way to the output would then read a noise floor of about -90dB. Again, not completely accurate. This actually goes for many of his noise floor tests. They're all done at the output knob set to max and our unit actually has positive gain at that point which brings up the noise floor. Even the output level is a little misleading because he's testing it at (in our case) 3.2Vrms. This is around +12dBu. While not out of the realm of user levels, it may make more sense to test at a more traditionally used line level of around +4dBu or so. That'd be around 1.228Vrms.

One of the important thing to keep in mind is that we're arguing two different things. He doesn't see our perspective and we don't see his so there's likely to be no agreement from him. One of the things we focused on was internal jitter from the master clock. During the process we saw the difference it made. I'd say "night and day" would be an understatement. The problem is that he specs jitter, but I'm not particularly clear as to what he means. I suspect it's SPDIF which isn't a particularly great jitter source for any device. SPDIF encodes the clock into the stream but the standard process to do this process is usually less than ideal. What's more, there's no detailed distortion or THD measurements without noise so it's hard to distinguish between the two and frankly they're not completely related in terms of sound quality vs pure functionality. Most of his THD related tests are single channel. The fact is that one of the biggest differences we've seen in jitter has to do with the stereo image meaning that correlation should be taken into account. Recently I did a quick preliminary test where I used standard WAV audio files and generated random jitter at different levels. I superimposed the jitter into the digital WAV file and took the distortion measurements. Jittered vs jitter free samples always showed higher distortion but that's not my point. Using different types of jitter and different treatments on the jitter I was able to show that the variations on the same jitter sample embedded onto WAV file showed audible difference in the image, spacing, and placement of the mix, but at the same time, the distortion caused by jitter calculation for every one of the WAV files was exactly the same. The phase response polar plots definitely showed different phase correlation between the two channels.

All this to say that while his measurements are sound and well done, they can't be taken completely as definitive. They're taken as a strictly R&D/QC Engineer perspective which can often times be a rather narrow way of seeing things. On top of that, measurements and interpretations that don't match these specs are often automatically dismissed as irrelevant when in reality we should be concerned as to why these measurements and interpretations that seem beyond the limited industry approved standards do point to other things going on in the system.

And a little context from myself on our design process

our industry is in a never ending loop where interface manufacturers are trying to one up each other on specs as the singular goal and hope that the interface sounds good. We have now spent 15 years making exactly those interfaces sound better.

Our design process is exactly the opposite. We spend countless days obsessing over every single component that goes into our mods and even more so the Revolution 2X2. We listen to every single component and hold double blind listening tests to decide on which circuit implementation and component choices sound best. once we have come to an unanimous decision on what is the the single best combination available, it is then that we measure the specs. Whatever the specs are... they are.

We firmly believe that designing to numbers on a piece of paper and not the sound quality and overall experience is counterintuitive to the artistic process. We believe that designing to a piece of paper results in an interface that looks good on paper and that rarely translates to a tool that professionals prefer. Because of our obsession over sound quality as well as the process that we have honed over 15 years, we are confident that users will be absolutely floored by the way the Revolution 2X2 sounds.
I'm not a super technical guy, just someone who's had tons of gear over the years and found some success on YouTube, but for those regular guys like me, here's my review of the Black Lion Revolution. I don't check GS that often so feel free to comment any feedback on the video.

https://youtu.be/S6EFewO4Diw
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #312
Here for the gear
 
Great reply here @ amirm from Audio Science Review.com,
Black Lion Audio are clearly outclassed here and don’t deserve to sell another unit imv.

Julian Krause does excellent youtube reviews on audio interfaces, with measurements, and he gets,


Audient id14 mkii - 126db dynamic range (30db better than BLA’s Revolution) @ £200


Antelope Audio Zen Go - 124/128db dynamic range (Over 30db better than BLA’s Revolution) @ £450


Tascam US-2x2HR - 111db dynamic range (15db dynamic range better than BLA’s Revolution) @ £133


One question @ amirm , when it comes to the FFT Graph - isn’t it that BLA Revolution 2X2 highest harmonic is -106db compared to MOTU’s M4 -113 db = a 7 db difference not 17db?

and compared to say Topping D30Pro (highest harmonic at -136db) would be like 30db difference?

Last edited by jimid111; 3 weeks ago at 11:18 PM.. Reason: clarification
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #313
Lives for gear
 
Sanchez's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldjoba ➡️
Yes, but the TRS connectors on the Audient are PCB mounted and hence do not feel as solid as on the Black Lion unit where they mounted at the chassis as well. The large potentiometer on Audient is quite wobbly. My impression from this is that the Black Lion might hold up better over time.
Not honestly convinced either box will be supported or get enough of a beating for long enough for this to justify the price difference but....
Old 3 weeks ago
  #314
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Lets be honest. Dynamic range relates to (Signal to Noise Ratio), basically how quite your converters are from self noise to the loudest peak signal before clipping, that's it. Going by Dynamic range measurement's alone doesn't tell you anything about how a converter sounds or its cross talk stereo imaging performance, separation, or depth. It's wise to have the lowest noise floor to have the cleanest signal and high head room as possible, but you can never judge a converter based on measurements esp DR. Take the original Lynx Aurora 16, It has much worse DR and THD+N than some of the modern converters out now. Lynx converters are known to be very transparent clean sounding converters, true to its original source with lots of depth and a very wide stereo field. You still see the original Lynx Aurora still in use today in many major recording studios and mastering rooms that still sound just as good as the late model stuff that's out. The sound and characteristic of converters performance is based around the chip analog design, clocking and power supply. All Manufactures uses the same conversion chips, but the converters can sound different based on the analog input and output stages. Not all Apogees products necessary sounds the same. The Symphony is known to have a softer pillowly top end compared to the lower tier products such as the duet and quartet and ensemble that are much more on the brighter sounding side. I heard slight differences in conversion quality between lower tier, mid to higher end MOTU interfaces due to the differences in analog design path and power supply design that justifies the big prices differences. My more expensive MOTU AVB interface has noticeably more clarity, separation and overall better conversion than my lower end prosumer M4 unit. They both may share the exact Same ES9016 Sabre chip but the two interfaces sound slightly different. The stereo field is more narrow on the M4 and the attack time is much slower. The bass and [bottom end] frequencies on the 828ES are more tighter and punchy that the M4 lacks. That's why you can't go by the chip that's used or by measurements.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #315
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanchez ➡️
Not honestly convinced either box will be supported or get enough of a beating for long enough for this to justify the price difference but....
This for me is key, but only time will tell.

I can only go with my Audient experience, which wasn't good in terms of build quality. Look up the ID22 issues thread to see the level of support those people were offered.

If my 2x2 lasts 4 years, I will be equally as pissed off My hope is that given the build quality and lack of software dependency (class complaint on Mac) that it will still be running 5 years from now.

Hopefully the old saying you get what you pay for", will be the case.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #316
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by acctx ➡️
Tested here, seems like hot garbage and shameless ripoff.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...terface.22141/
This guy doesn't seem to have a clue about how to interpret his measurements.

He says that -134db noise floor is "high", just because he measured other "better" equipment built around specs.

I remember the designer of Little Labs trying to explain him why things are a bit more complicated than this, with no luck.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #317
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanArt ➡️
This guy doesn't seem to have a clue about how to interpret his measurements.

He says that -134db noise floor is "high", just because he measured other "better" equipment built around specs.

I remember the designer of Little Labs trying to explain him why things are a bit more complicated than this, with no luck.
that -134dB noise floor has quite a bit of FFT gain. It's substantially higher than that. A loopback of the APx555B he uses with the same FFT settings shows a noise floor below 150dB - but the actual noise floor is around -122dB.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #318
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanArt ➡️
This guy doesn't seem to have a clue about how to interpret his measurements.

He says that -134db noise floor is "high", just because he measured other "better" equipment built around specs.

I remember the designer of Little Labs trying to explain him why things are a bit more complicated than this, with no luck.
I can't take the irony here.
Old 1 week ago
  #319
Gear Nut
 
So any one done any sound comparisons instead of stat comparisons with this
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #320
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfen ➡️
So any one done any sound comparisons instead of stat comparisons with this
There's some audio clips on the previous few pages.
Old 1 week ago
  #321
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Any opinions on this vs a RME BFP? I just hate the single dial for all control of the RME.
Old 1 week ago
  #322
Gear Nut
 
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #323
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotTheNSA ➡️
That preamp noise performance is... bad...

Also, a CS4272 for $400? Come on, that's just sad. Audient managed to cram a CS43198 D/A and an AK5574 A/D in the ID14 mkII for way, way better performance at a much lower price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjari ➡️
Any opinions on this vs a RME BFP? I just hate the single dial for all control of the RME.
Get the RME. Much better noise performance (and the headphone outs are better performing as well).
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #324
Lives for gear
 
Sanchez's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjari ➡️
Any opinions on this vs a RME BFP? I just hate the single dial for all control of the RME.
I know it's a function of maximising the amount of tech in such a small box but cables out both sides as well as the back makes it a hard sell for my desk too.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #325
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hebjam's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotTheNSA ➡️
Still.... I would like to hear it. If the components are there, I imagine they probably tried and didn’t like the sound as much when tuned for cleanest performance.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #326
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotTheNSA ➡️
After watching that, this interface feels like it's the interface for the American Working Man! Utilizing nice components that make for pretty internals, a solidly built chassis, and knobs that feel good. Like they focused on everything but the audio performance. Couple that with a "made in the U.S.A." (yeah I know it's china) markup and yeah, who is this thing even for?
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #327
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshmelo ➡️
After watching that, this interface feels like it's the interface for the American Working Man! Utilizing nice components that make for pretty internals, a solidly built chassis, and knobs that feel good. Like they focused on everything but the audio performance. Couple that with a "made in the U.S.A." (yeah I know it's china) markup and yeah, who is this thing even for?
Here. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uxvKLfUNv4o
Old 6 days ago | Show parent
  #328
Gear Head
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nashblogger ➡️
Another pair of clueless YT amateurs who have no idea what they're doing, no ears, bad setup, bad everything. I bet if I switched the Revolution to some old Behringer interface without them knowing the review would be exactly the same.
Old 6 days ago
  #329
Here for the gear
 
Hmmm not so good in this review:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...terface.22141/
Old 5 days ago | Show parent
  #330
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 360studios15 ➡️
Lets be honest. Dynamic range relates to (Signal to Noise Ratio), basically how quite your converters are from self noise to the loudest peak signal before clipping, that's it. Going by Dynamic range measurement's alone doesn't tell you anything about how a converter sounds or its cross talk stereo imaging performance, separation, or depth. It's wise to have the lowest noise floor to have the cleanest signal and high head room as possible, but you can never judge a converter based on measurements esp DR. Take the original Lynx Aurora 16, It has much worse DR and THD+N than some of the modern converters out now. Lynx converters are known to be very transparent clean sounding converters, true to its original source with lots of depth and a very wide stereo field. You still see the original Lynx Aurora still in use today in many major recording studios and mastering rooms that still sound just as good as the late model stuff that's out. The sound and characteristic of converters performance is based around the chip analog design, clocking and power supply. All Manufactures uses the same conversion chips, but the converters can sound different based on the analog input and output stages. Not all Apogees products necessary sounds the same. The Symphony is known to have a softer pillowly top end compared to the lower tier products such as the duet and quartet and ensemble that are much more on the brighter sounding side. I heard slight differences in conversion quality between lower tier, mid to higher end MOTU interfaces due to the differences in analog design path and power supply design that justifies the big prices differences. My more expensive MOTU AVB interface has noticeably more clarity, separation and overall better conversion than my lower end prosumer M4 unit. They both may share the exact Same ES9016 Sabre chip but the two interfaces sound slightly different. The stereo field is more narrow on the M4 and the attack time is much slower. The bass and [bottom end] frequencies on the 828ES are more tighter and punchy that the M4 lacks. That's why you can't go by the chip that's used or by measurements.
Wouldn't dynamic range of a ADC/DAC also impact transient response in recording & reproduction?
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