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2009: The Year of the Converter
View Poll Results: Will you purchase new converters in 2009?
Yes, I will or already have
64 Votes - 39.51%
No, I do not need new converters
49 Votes - 30.25%
I’m in the market for new converters, but not in 2009
10 Votes - 6.17%
I’m so F’ing sick of converter threads
39 Votes - 24.07%
Voters: 162. You may not vote on this poll

Old 5th February 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
2009: The Year of the Converter

Well it seems like everyone and they're grandma is talking about converters on GS. I recently purchased my first "real" converters and I've been happy as a clam. I'm guessing their is a huge wave of dudes like myself that have spent the last few years cutting their teeth on low end gear and are now ready to upgrade. Then there are the hardcore dudes who say conversion doesn't matter and whatnot. Let's maybe leave that b.s. out of this thread.tutt

Let's see the numbers. How many of you will be buying (or have already bought) new converters this year? Which is more important to you: Absolute quality or channel count? For most of us, we have to choose a balance.

I chose the Aroura 16 because for my budget and skill level, it seems like the appropriate "next step" for me. I've made decent mixes on my Firepods and on digi 192s, but I need 16 channels (maybe more). It just doesn't make sense for me to invest in a 192+AD Expansion. I'm fine working in Pro Tools, but I can survive on any DAW. I'm surprised that people are still shelling out $4k and up for digi 192s. I know you can get them for less on ebay, but I'm really not a fan of buying used digital gear. What else is there that competes with 192s, AD16X, and Arouras channel-wise?
Old 5th February 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
E.rOk.stA's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I just can't decide whether to go Aurora8 or BLA mod (signature) ....
................................................or an Apogee, or a Lavry, or ...........
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
FeatheredSerpent's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
*Barf* heh
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
ProducerBoy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Just got my UA 2192. Couldn't be happier. It's just what I wanted... until they make one just like it that brews coffee. heh
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
staudio's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I hope 2009 is the year that Apogee releases an 8 channel X series unit with advanced routing mode.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Addict
 
casey_outlaw's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Just bought an 8 channel Lucid earlier this month.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Unknown soldier's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Are converters going to get any better? All the top ones are clean, sure, and may work well for classical music, but anything requiring balls, grit, or something exciting means we are still turd polishing with outboard and plug ins.

The Burl B2 bomber is a step in the right direction for color oriented music (is that a new phrase on GS?) like guitar based stuff. It's just so damn expensive for two channels, and even with it you still have digital tracks that won't stand very well on their own without some tape emulation plug ins or what not.

It's not like you can just record the tracks, turn up the faders, and it sounds good. You gotta spend some time tweaking them to get good, and even then....geez.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknown soldier ➑️
The Burl B2 bomber is a step in the right direction for color oriented music (is that a new phrase on GS?)
That's colored music, thank you. It's represented by that fine old organization, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Music, or NAACM.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
danbronson's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I'm looking for an upgrade from my Firepods. I hate the way they sound (I want completely transparent if I can get it) and I want low (like, unnoticeable while tracking vocals) latency. I also want 12 to 16 channels. Not sure if I want to go PCI or firewire. I definitely want a step or two up but stuff like the Lynx is out of my price range. I could see myself spending $2000 on 16 channels, but preferably more like $1500. Any ideas?
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Guru
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I heard actually that there's a new TV show in the planning stages called "American Converter", since everyone seems to agree that they are going to be the rage in 2009, and that many average users will be buying them just so that they can tell their friends their have one. It sounds to be very exciting, and of course there will be tie-ins with the new iConverter product from Apple.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Addict
 
TheLoud1Please's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by danbronson ➑️
I'm looking for an upgrade from my Firepods. I hate the way they sound (I want completely transparent if I can get it) and I want low (like, unnoticeable while tracking vocals) latency. I also want 12 to 16 channels. Not sure if I want to go PCI or firewire. I definitely want a step or two up but stuff like the Lynx is out of my price range. I could see myself spending $2000 on 16 channels, but preferably more like $1500. Any ideas?
Mackie Onyx 1640 | Sweetwater.com

with a firewire card of course.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
danbronson's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by supernosher ➑️
Mackie Onyx 1640 | Sweetwater.com

with a firewire card of course.
Hey, that looks pretty good (spec-wise anyway haha). I wanted to keep things really simple with just a set of converters (the Echo Audiofire12 appealed to me for example), but I'll give this unit some serious thought.

EDIT: The 1200F actually seems a little more up my alley...
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
DanBronson,

I think you should search for Creamware converters...they meet your channel/price ratio, I don't know if they're made anymore though. I've read that SSL bought the company and turned them into Alphalinks. I've never heard creamware converters myself, just throwing it out there because of the channel price thing.

If you can save the cash, get an Alphalink. Not only do you get 24 ADDA, but you can also route ADAT or AES into it and run it through the box as well. I have heard the Alphalink, I own one, and I love it.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Guru
I'm still using all those eval PCB's from BB, TI, AD, etc. Converter technology changes too fast for me to buy into a finished product as when the converter is released, it's already out of date as it's replacement is being designed.

There are new parts from AKM, a 32 bit DAC chipset. ESS also has new 32 bit chipsets out, these appear to beat out every 24 bit design made. They have a 135 db DNR DAC chip and another similar 32 bit A/D chipset. They make a 2 channel and an 8 channel part. See these at:
WELCOME TO ESS - Clearly the best

Any converter makers considering designing with these?

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Unknown soldier's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams ➑️
I'm still using all those eval PCB's from BB, TI, AD, etc. Converter technology changes too fast for me to buy into a finished product as when the converter is released, it's already out of date as it's replacement is being designed.

There are new parts from AKM, a 32 bit DAC chipset. ESS also has new 32 bit chipsets out, these appear to beat out every 24 bit design made. They have a 135 db DNR DAC chip and another similar 32 bit A/D chipset. They make a 2 channel and an 8 channel part. See these at:
WELCOME TO ESS - Clearly the best

Any converter makers considering designing with these?

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Does that extra dynamic range really matter? Does digital audio need to be more quiet or have more headroom? I think converters are OK in this regard, and need to work more on the tone to sound "pleasing" rather than just be transparent. Just my opinion - I think you would be in a better position to give technical answers than me....
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I can't wait to never upgrade my converters.
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Guru
32 bits are not really practical for audio as there is little info to be encoded that far down. Besides, those extra bits are just noise, no signals in there. The benefits of these designs is the improvement of not only dynamic range, but the reduction and improvement in THD specs, or non linearity. THD is -120 db in these chips. That's an improvement even if you feed these with 16 bit data. Take more dirt away from the converter and you are left with unadulterated music. That's where the improvements lie. They also claim better jitter rejection than BB or AKM can do.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Here for the gear
 
DragonMusic's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Just bought the SSL Alphalink.... NICE man...
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
yes 2009 will be the year of the colored, tube emulation etc. converter here in so much gear and high end. 2010 will be the year for them over in classifieds
Old 5th February 2009 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
cavern's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by danbronson ➑️
Hey, that looks pretty good (spec-wise anyway haha). I wanted to keep things really simple with just a set of converters (the Echo Audiofire12 appealed to me for example), but I'll give this unit some serious thought.

EDIT: The 1200F actually seems a little more up my alley...
i have the 1200f and it's very transparent. i like everything about it including the unbelievable expandability.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Interesting.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
haryy's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams ➑️
32 bits are not really practical for audio as there is little info to be encoded that far down. Besides, those extra bits are just noise, no signals in there. The benefits of these designs is the improvement of not only dynamic range, but the reduction and improvement in THD specs, or non linearity. THD is -120 db in these chips. That's an improvement even if you feed these with 16 bit data. Take more dirt away from the converter and you are left with unadulterated music. That's where the improvements lie. They also claim better jitter rejection than BB or AKM can do.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Is that a matter of headroom only? What about the better presentation of volume changes? What's your opinion on this?
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Guru
I have not heard these parts. Anytime linearity is improved, all other aspects improve along with it. -120 db THD, that's what really matters here. That allows the converter to get closer to the source, to be a transparent transfer.
Then you can worry about other important things, like which mic preamp will get you a gold record, or whether to smoke pot in the control room.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #24
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Which converter sounds best for prog metal?
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
thenewyear's Avatar
2009 may well be the year of the converter but if so I worry about the music...

converter < preamp < mic < room-acoustic < instrument < song < performer < performance

I use the built-in converters on a 1073 DPD for the most part, if it matters.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
about to buy a used hd rig with a 192 16 in 8 out. A big part in my decision to go hd is having 8ch good converter come witih the package. I know they are not the best but they sound good to me. way better than my 002 B.S.
excited about improvement on the converter side and not having to rent one
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknown soldier ➑️
Does that extra dynamic range really matter? Does digital audio need to be more quiet or have more headroom? I think converters are OK in this regard, and need to work more on the tone to sound "pleasing" rather than just be transparent. Just my opinion - I think you would be in a better position to give technical answers than me....

I know what you are saying and agree, but I think that coloration and "pleasing" is best left to preamps and microphones...the interchangeability is much more practical in those components where as [IMHO] the converters should be soully tasked with the translation of what's feeding them to the digital realm.
Old 6th February 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
superburtm's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I am sticking with my Rossetta 800 until I can get MY GRUBBY LITTLE HANDS ON THE JCF AUDIO LATTE...that thing has ****n valves!! Josh is da man
Old 12th February 2009 | Show parent
  #29
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by superburtm ➑️
I am sticking with my Rossetta 800 until I can get MY GRUBBY LITTLE HANDS ON THE JCF AUDIO LATTE...that thing has ****n valves!! Josh is da man
Sorry Bro! No Valves in the Latte. But your right, Josh is the MAN. The JCF-8DAV is the valve DAC which is DAC ONLY, [and the sound of that box has more to do with the massive audio transformers that are in it] That box is $8500. The 8DAV is built from the drawings of the old AMPEX 351 Tube Electronics, whereas the Latte is built on a way different premise with a the AMPEX 440 block.

With the Latte, when you use the Mic amps, you are using the AMPEX 440 Block. When you are using the DAC, you are using the AMPEX 440.
Old 13th February 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
superburtm's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell ➑️
Sorry Bro! No Valves in the Latte. But your right, Josh is the MAN. The JCF-8DAV is the valve DAC which is DAC ONLY, [and the sound of that box has more to do with the massive audio transformers that are in it] That box is $8500. The 8DAV is built from the drawings of the old AMPEX 351 Tube Electronics, whereas the Latte is built on a way different premise with a the AMPEX 440 block.

With the Latte, when you use the Mic amps, you are using the AMPEX 440 Block. When you are using the DAC, you are using the AMPEX 440.

nice..tanks for the clarification. im buddies w/josh..he lent a latte to my assistant for a vocal and it sounded GREAT
πŸ“ Reply

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