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Forssell MADC-2, White Sparrow, Lynx Hilo a/d converters
Old 18th September 2012
  #1
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🎧 5 years
Forssell MADC-2, White Sparrow, Lynx Hilo a/d converters

I am interested in hearing about the differences in sound between these three fairly comparably priced high quality two channel a/d converters.

1. Forssell MADC-2-$2995
2. White Sparrow-$1995
3. Lynx Hilo (just the a/d converter section)-$2500

"The Ultimate Converter DA/AD Loopback Shootout Thread" link seems to be missing and I am not sure what a/d's were on it anyway.

If there are any other sub $5000 two channel a/d converters that compare with the above units please do tell.

If you know of a multi channel a/d unit that compares on the same level with the above converters below $5000 please also give that a mention.

Also please let me know if you think any of these three converters can give some of the current $5000+ a/d two channel units a hard time in justifying their cost as I have heard some people talk about on other threads please state thoughts on that also....

I am a very critical listener and I enjoy splitting hairs or hearing about other peoples own hair splitting adventures. So lets split some audio hair.
Old 19th September 2012
  #2
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🎧 5 years
Is there anybody out there?.......Cmon guys/gals these are three of the most intriguing a/d's on the market and not one word about any of them from any one? Ok so maybe people have not compared all three units side by side but at least maybe users of each unit can tell us what it replaced and why?
Old 20th September 2012
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Hello?

No comments on any of these a/d's?
Old 20th September 2012
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiomind ➑️
I am interested in hearing about the differences in sound between these three fairly comparably priced high quality two channel a/d converters.

1. Forssell MADC-2-$2995
2. White Sparrow-$1995
3. Lynx Hilo (just the a/d converter section)-$2500

"The Ultimate Converter DA/AD Loopback Shootout Thread" link seems to be missing and I am not sure what a/d's were on it anyway.

If there are any other sub $5000 two channel a/d converters that compare with the above units please do tell.

If you know of a multi channel a/d unit that compares on the same level with the above converters below $5000 please also give that a mention.

Also please let me know if you think any of these three converters can give some of the current $5000+ a/d two channel units a hard time in justifying their cost as I have heard some people talk about on other threads please state thoughts on that also....

I am a very critical listener and I enjoy splitting hairs or hearing about other peoples own hair splitting adventures. So lets split some audio hair.
WEISS ADC2 or LAVRY AD122-96MKIII or PRISM DREAM AD-2 ??
+
https://gearspace.com/board/gearslut...white-adc.html
+
Lynx HiLo vs Saffire Pro 24 DSP A/D
-
Burl ADC/DAC vs Forssell MADA-2
=
...Love SSL
Old 1st November 2012
  #5
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🎧 15 years
new Apogee Symphony I/O 2x6 option card, it should be in the mix
Old 2nd November 2012 | Show parent
  #6
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfinder ➑️
new Apogee Symphony I/O 2x6 option card, it should be in the mix
What were your previous converters and how did they compare to the Apogee you just mentioned?

Thanks for your input.
Old 2nd November 2012
  #7
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🎧 15 years
i had a rosetta 200 untill some months ago and i demoed the symphony many times... new apogee line is definitely better than previous and still has a analog color character despite is now more transparent and more refined in the top end.
actually i heard the hilo and i liked a lot. for my taste lynx is more neutral, apogee more warm with big tight bottom and warm high-mids
Old 2nd November 2012
  #8
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🎧 5 years
Blackfinder, did you hear the Lynx Aurora? (or any other popular a/d's such as Lynx one or two sound cards, Digidesign, etc.)

If so how did they compare to Hilo and Symphony?

I have used my friend's Aurora many times any and although I am looking for something better, the Aurora reference could give me a better understanding of what we are dealing with sound wise.
Old 2nd November 2012
  #9
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🎧 15 years
yes, i used and heard almost the common famous interfaces...

if you have a nice monitoring system the differences are all there, not so difficult to hear.
these gears are into another league than mid price best interfaces.

i personally used for 2 months the Aurora, some years ago, and it sounded to me more neutral than Apogee, but i liked apogee just for its color.
aside my taste, i think the Aurora in not the most recent design, and for a 2ch Lynx i would go on HILO.

HILO is probably overall better suited as a neutral AD/DA converter and should translate your mix little bit easily.
as i said the Symphony has its own character, not as "bold", but that is a flavor that i most like.

best Q/P option is the Symphony 2x6, cause you could expand it in the future if more channels needed, or there will be a new connection standard (like recent thunderbolt). apogee has recently lowered the price tags on all Symphony line.

HILO has a great signal monitoring section (out and phones) to menage volume and routing

in mid range price i would be curious to hear (and compare) the apogee quartet with a Symphony.
that quartet packs in so well minded features for the price (1200). if your reference is the Aurora i think most today's released mid price interfaces reached (or surpassed) that sound quality.
Old 2nd November 2012
  #10
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🎧 5 years
Blackfinder, sorry I posted right before I went to sleep and was too tired to describe my situation a little better.

1. I have a highly modified mastering reference A/D that compares to units in the $5000-$10,000 range so I am a very experienced listener with several high end monitor systems. I can hear the differences easily between A/D converters. Although my reference converter is useless as a reference point to us because only I have heard it.

2. I am looking for several different A/D converters going to two different locations and used for different purposes. I want to find the best off the shelf units that don't need to be modded right out of the box to sound decent. I don't care about any features except the sound and word clock in/out to daisy chain for multiple channels if needed.

3.I will describe how the Aurora and the Digidesign HD 192 sound to me to hopefully establish a reference point for you to describe the Hilo and the Symphony. I know both these units have out of date sound.

4. I never use higher than 96K sampling frequency as I am in complete agreement with Lavry white paper that anything above 96k is a less accurate sound.

A. the Aurora- generally a little bright for me but fairly clear compared to sound cards and lesser priced units. Bass is also clear but lacking weight and fullness. If you try to use it a a two channel mastering converter it does not do well with the complexity.

B. Digidesign HD 192- woolly ill defined sound from top to bottom but bass is fairly full and fat. I have used HD 192 on bass guitar, floor toms and low frequency instruments to fill in what the Aurora lacks in the bass department. I would not use the HD 192 for anything other than low frequencies as I feel the sound is that bad.


So really I am at a level where I would never use either the HD 192 or the Aurora but now but they are both an excellent sonic reference point for our purposes. Can you put the Hilo and Symphony it context with Aurora and HD192 as I have described above? Give me the dirt, don't sugar coat your opinions.

Thanks

Last edited by audiomind; 2nd November 2012 at 05:34 PM.. Reason: added a little more to my description of Aurora
Old 2nd November 2012
  #11
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🎧 15 years
i think HILO and Symphony are simply better than 192 I/O and Aurora...i never liked both of them!
for what you said me i think you should like a lot the Symphony...
imagine to put together tight bass of 192 and transparent high of Aurora.
if i could i get HILO for mastering and Symphony to record/mixing.
Old 2nd November 2012
  #12
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🎧 5 years
I should look in to the Symphony, I have not really looked at Apogee in a while since using the PSX-100 many moons ago and my sonic memory has faded a little bit on exactly how the Apogee stuff sounds in comparison to the current stuff availble now.

Supposedly the Symphony has a little more air than the PSX-100 and slightly more refined sound. I remember the PSX-100 being a little crude but it loved rock mixes.

My opinion of the older Apogee sound in general is they are good for tracking if you want some slam and edge, so if the Symphony is anything like the early stuff I would agree, fun to have around as a different flavor for tracking only.

Did the Hilo address the thin bass and slightly bright treble of the Aurora?
Old 2nd November 2012
  #13
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🎧 15 years
yes HILO bass is deeper and tighter than Aurora... as i said the Aurora has released many years ago, for me is not much competitive against today's latest 2ch ADDA conveters

my2cents
Old 2nd November 2012
  #14
nms
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackfinder ➑️
yes HILO bass is deeper and tighter than Aurora... as i said the Aurora has released many years ago, for me is not much competitive against today's latest 2ch ADDA conveters

my2cents
Aurora sounds nothing like the Hilo (comparatively speaking), but still a higher quality of conversion than say a Quartet or other mid range interfaces.

If you want transparent the Hilo is the best of anything I know of below the Antelope Eclipse price tag. If you want a bit of color go for Symphony. I can't weigh in on the Sparrow at all though.
Old 2nd November 2012
  #15
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🎧 5 years
nms,

How did you get unbanned? Are there any conditions on your being able to post? You destroyed quite a few threads and stomped on a bunch of people, I'm curious why you were reinstated.
Old 2nd November 2012
  #16
nms
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1. I was not actually banned and have been around this whole time. Maybe you shouldn't listen to trolls?
2. My beef was only with a few trolls/ ignorant fanboys who showed little ability to have an intelligent discussion.
3. You're off topic and out of line. Have some respect for once and get out of this thread if you have nothing relevant to add.
Old 2nd November 2012
  #17
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🎧 15 years
hey NMS, i'm glad to read it seems we heard same things about HILO and Symphony

which one do you own?
do you know how loud is the symphony fun ?
for me it's a PITA have it right near my ears
Old 2nd November 2012
  #18
nms
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I sold my Lavry & Mytek converters in favor of the Hilo which ended my converter shopping. I love working with it. The interface is fantastic and I get a lot of use out of its digital routing capabilities and easy scene save/switching.
I like hitting one button to mute my monitors and play the mix through my headphones at a preset level then hit one button to swap back. Quick & easy.

I've heard plenty of complaints about the Symphony's fan, but was it in earlier versions? Didn't they provide a fix? I thought I heard something like that.
Old 2nd November 2012
  #19
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🎧 15 years
ok thanks...

another good thing i read to add as "PLUS" about the HILO is its class compliant usb 2.0 feature.
it means you can just connect it with no needed drivers and play for example through an ipad to in/out at max quality using a great piece of soft like AURIA.
can you confirm it NMS?

i dont think Symphony is CCD, so in USB mode you will need a driver, that only allow up to 96k, i think usefull just to know.
Old 2nd November 2012
  #20
nms
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You are correct.

The installer for the driver is only 1.5MB though if you do install it! Ultra lightweight.
Old 3rd November 2012
  #21
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🎧 15 years
NMS, i think that is for windows, on the mac side no driver needed...at least i don't see one in the lynx's download page!

CCD (class compliant driver)would mean truly integrated into OSX like you're using internal audio card.
with all the advantage you can imagine
Old 3rd November 2012 | Show parent
  #22
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
NMS,

Just curious, have you run some signal through the entire Hilo a/d-d/a and listened to what it does to the sound versus the straight signal?

I know the d/a will impart some artifacts on to the signal that won't be there in a recording but I have done a raw signal versus digitized signal before with other a/d-d/a setups and always find it quite interesting to hear what happens to the sound after running through the complete digital chain.

Usually the sound stage shrinks ever so slightly and a very slight softening of the transients or leading edges of sound. If you know what is happening to the sound you can try to choose a recording chain that minimizes the converter sound imprint.

My current frankenreference a/d-d/a set up is so good I actually had to listen for a few minutes before I could pinpoint the differences! The mid level gear should be pretty easy to hear what it does to the sound.
Old 3rd November 2012
  #23
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiomind ➑️
NMS,

Just curious, have you run some signal through the entire Hilo a/d-d/a and listened to what it does to the sound versus the straight signal?
You could say that. That Ultimate Loopback thread you mentioned was mine.

If you want transparent there's no better unit below $6k in my opinion. There's nothing it imparts on the sound that I would compensate for whatsoever. That's why I chose and kept it.
Old 3rd November 2012
  #24
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Wow, sounds like a very very nice unit, thanks for the input.
Old 3rd November 2012
  #25
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🎧 10 years
I cannot comment on any mentioned in this thread, but to add to the list you might consider the new Prism Lyra....
Old 3rd November 2012
  #26
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🎧 5 years
I missed this one as it seems to be quite new. The Lyra 2 has word clock and I would imagine is the same unit as the Lyra 1 with more features, looks to be a contender for sure.

Can you comment on the sound of the Lyra in reference to any other converters you have used?

Thanks....

Last edited by audiomind; 3rd November 2012 at 08:03 PM.. Reason: redundant info
Old 3rd November 2012 | Show parent
  #27
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiomind ➑️
I missed this one as it seems to be quite new. The Lyra 2 has word clock and I would imagine is the same unit as the Lyra 1 with more features, looks to be a contender for sure.

Can you comment on the sound of the Lyra in reference to any other converters you have used?

Thanks....
I haven't heard the Lyra, but I own and use the Orpheus and it is just stunning. The clarity and detail is amazing. The low end is full and the midrange is quite clear.
Old 3rd November 2012
  #28
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If you want the best bang for the buck, go with a used mytek adc96.

if you need all the Hilo features you might want to take a look at the Horus from merging, used Weiss ADC, DAD....

cheers G

Gesendet von meinem GT-I9300 mit Tapatalk
Old 3rd November 2012 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by nnajar ➑️
I haven't heard the Lyra, but I own and use the Orpheus and it is just stunning. The clarity and detail is amazing. The low end is full and the midrange is quite clear.
Quotes are from here:

Lyra USB Audio Interface Home Page

"They are based on the Orpheus audio path and clock circuitry, but in a smaller package for those who don't need eight channels of analogue I/O. There are two models Lyra 1 and Lyra 2.

-based on the new ARM Cortex-based "XCore" processor design which offers class-compliant USB and Ethernet AVB interfacing, plus DSP and local mixing capacity beyond that of the present Orpheus platform.

-Lyra has the same no-compromise analogue front and back ends as its brother Orpheus, with the same fully-balanced-throughout architecture and the same isolation barriers protecting the analogue from digital and computer interference."


Not cheap at 3k compared to the Symphony 2x6 at 2k or the Hilo at $2500, my current short list, but
"Lyra has the same excellent mic amps as Orpheus with software-controlled gain in 1dB steps, switchable phantom power, a 20dB pad - and very low noise and distortion."

Any comments, comparisons between the sound signature of these units would be much appreciated.
One gripe. Why are the Mbox 3 Pro, Apogee Quartet and Metric Halo Lio+4 the only FOUR channel options I can find?
8 premium channels is too many. 2 is too few. Am I the only one?
Old 3rd November 2012
  #30
nms
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Definitely. 4 inputs would be a much nicer format. 2/2 interfaces are of no interest to me whatsoever since I want to at least have a pair to monitor and a pair to feed analog gear. With my Hilo I use an 828mk2 via ADAT for additional I/O. When running off the Hilo's clock it's a mighty underdog. It would be cool to add the smallest Symphony config though instead for additional flavors.

I'm a bit mixed on the Lyra. I think symphony and certainly Hilo are better quality conversion. Hilo is hands down the most transparent of the 3 but symphony & Orpheus each have a sound and a lot of people love it.
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