Not happy even with a lavry a/d.

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john12ax7

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What SR did you guys run the Sparrow at? Wonder if that accounts in party for such differing opinions.

Also a bit surprised to hear about Mytek.  Never used them but would expect it to be one of the better ones?
 

ruairioflaherty

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Whoops said:
;D ;D ;D ;D

Hi friend,
and what would you say about someone that starts a thread saying that he is not happy even with the Lavry A/D???

Well I would say that in that situation then the fault is not in the converter

;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Well, I'd probably agree with him :)

I master records and have all sorts of wonderful colors and flavors in the rack (most of which never get used).  I want conversion to be invisible, and as low distortion as possible.

The Lavry Gold series is fun but the A/D in particular is a kind of effects box.  You can hear it's sound all over modern records and I've heard them in many different rooms on many different mixes and masters.  I'm not a fan of the sound for general use and have never wanted one.

The Prism AD2 comfortably beat the Lavry back in day to my ear and now boxes like the Lynx Hilo bring ridiculous AD value for the money.

We use an old discontinued ARDA chipset and it's great.
 

ruairioflaherty

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john12ax7 said:
What SR did you guys run the Sparrow at? Wonder if that accounts in party for such differing opinions.

Also a bit surprised to hear about Mytek.  Never used them but would expect it to be one of the better ones?

It was the DA that I had, and used it a bunch at 44.1, 48 and 96k.  It was truly awful and unusable in a mastering context.

As for differing opinions it could be better monitoring/acoustics, having better options on hand to compare or perhaps an attachment to the excitement that distortion can bring (at the cost of Lon term engagement IMO). I've spent a lot of time on converter comparisons over the years.

I've never heard a Mytek that I could stand.  I spent hours once chasing an issue on a large PMC rig at the now defunct Universal Mastering studios in LA. The image was strange, the high end annoying and the whole thing had a processed ugly color.  As a Hail Mary I set up my laptop and Prism DAC for playback and immediate everything sounded as it should on a rig I've set up hundreds of times. The Mytek was just baffling.

Again, I'm a mastering engineer obsessed with preserving the quality of peoples mixes so I get that I am fussy.
 

PermO

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;)

From my personal experience, don't hit the Sparrow hard, it will crap out indeed.
Ignore the LEDs on the frontpanel and use Digicheck to set recording levels and keep a fair bit of headroom.

Sweet, just freaking sweet !!!  8)


(If someone is really interested I do have a spare unit in a mobile rig that I could send you)
 

john12ax7

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I've used some converters that sounded subjectively good and in some ways "exciting". Then when measuring them you could see a lot of distortion.  Understandable that this would be undesirable in a mastering setting.

I also decided to go the cleaner route for tracking and mixing,, rationale being have the converter be clean and transparent,  then you can control how much color you want with outboard.
 

JW

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Anybody try IZ Radar converters? (For mastering?) Just curious. I don't master, but I remember trying like three different Apogee units (not recommended) and deciding not to keep buying and trying converters. Everything else I've heard in my studio has been pretty annoying sounding in comparison to IZ. By annoying, I mean less smooth, less realistic, more agro. Apogee has a sound, to me anyway, like you're running the mix through a Mackie board.

Maybe 24/96 24/192 was the wrong format. . . . Ruh roh. Should the world have gone DSD? Like you wonder if God should have chosen dolphins instead of apes. . . .
 

ruairioflaherty

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JW said:
Anybody try IZ Radar converters? (For mastering?) Just curious. I don't master, but I remember trying like three different Apogee units (not recommended) and deciding not to keep buying and trying converters. Everything else I've heard in my studio has been pretty annoying sounding in comparison to IZ. By annoying, I mean less smooth, less realistic, more agro. Apogee has a sound, to me anyway, like you're running the mix through a Mackie board.

I've never heard the Radars but if you are liking them then that's great to hear.

I've never been an Apogee fan but their newer higher end offerings are better than past efforts. I demoed the current flagship Mastering SE version of the Symphony here and it didn't compete with what I currently use. It also had an inexplicable clipping issue above -3dBFS which I could not get to the bottom of (on the DA side from memory).
 

soapfoot

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We're using the new stand-alone Radar Ultra Nyquist converters in our mix room. They replaced a Burl Mothership system loaded with BDA8 cards.

The Radars are... in another league. Mixing is so much easier, that's the biggest takeaway. I hate wine terms, but transients are more natural, less-smeared. Low end is extended but firm. Translation from an already-great room (Northward Acoustics FTB room with ATC SCM110ASL) is somehow even better.

The Burls do this hyper-real thing in the bottom end. To tell the truth, we still love the Burls in our tracking room, but in the mix room we vastly, vastly prefer the Radars. There are five of us who regularly work in there, and all of us (normally quite divergent in our opinions) are completely unanimous.
 

Whoops

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Sorry to disagree with some of you but I have a different opinion and I think it’s relevant for future readers to have different opinions.

I love Apogee converters and I love Apogee sound.
AD8000 is still one of my favorite converters for recording.

I never tried the Lavry Gold, but used extensively the Lavry Blue and Black and I always loved the sound of those.
 

living sounds

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I've got an ancient 1994 16 bit Radar, and even that one sounds better than most converters today.

The buyer for my Prism AD-2 ran into financial problems, so that one is availible again, shoot me a PM if you're interested.

For the DA side I went through a lot of trouble finding something adequate. I think there is something to the notion that delta sigma is detrimental to the sound quality in most cases. So I build a multichannel converter out of discrete 2-channel resistor ladder cards. The reconstruction filter is vital, trying to reach a perfectly even frequency response may also be the reason why many converters sound bad. It's counterintuitive, but minute changes in those filters make very audible differences. In my converter I can choose (and could even design) my own filter. I found one that sounds best to my ears and am finally happy with what I feed my console.
 

gridcurrent

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For the DA side I went through a lot of trouble finding something adequate. I think there is something to the notion that delta sigma is detrimental to the sound quality in most cases.

with you friend.
plenty of excuses but modern? CD's are pretty much worse compared to those of the late 80's.
So I build a multichannel converter out of discrete 2-channel resistor ladder cards. The reconstruction filter is vital, trying to reach a perfectly even frequency response may also be the reason why many converters sound bad. It's counterintuitive, but minute changes in those filters make very audible differences. In my converter I can choose (and could even design) my own filter. I found one that sounds best to my ears and am finally happy with what I feed my console.

assuming you built your own GIC filters ?
I compared most of the filters available in the 80's including Murata, Soshin and the over-hyped Apogee.
Nakamichi built their own, not encapsulated, but laid out on a circuit board; amps were 5534s.
The special filter on the 2 X oversampled PCM 1630 D2A seemed to perform well; 1630 playback was praised by a few mastering gurus.

aware of this document ?
 

living sounds

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with you friend.
plenty of excuses but modern? CD's are pretty much worse compared to those of the late 80's.


assuming you built your own GIC filters ?
I compared most of the filters available in the 80's including Murata, Soshin and the over-hyped Apogee.
Nakamichi built their own, not encapsulated, but laid out on a circuit board; amps were 5534s.
The special filter on the 2 X oversampled PCM 1630 D2A seemed to perform well; 1630 playback was praised by a few mastering gurus.

aware of this document ?

It's a digital filter. Two actually, for both oversampling stages. Linear phase. It filters out aliasing far beyond 24 bit accuracy, the impulse response looks the way it looks with a linear phase filter and you loose a little amplitude at the top end. But music sounds natural, punchy, clear, with amazing depth perception. Microdynamics are intact, none of the haze you get with modern chip DACs.

Auditioning through this DAC mixing/mastering decisions are so much more straight forward. Well, I could go on and on... ;-)
 

Whoops

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I've got an ancient 1994 16 bit Radar, and even that one sounds better than most converters today.

I trully don't believe that at all.
If there's something that is not nice is vintage digital.

Digital converters improved a lot of the years and most converters nowadays are quite good and miles better than anything released before 2000 for sure
 

living sounds

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I trully don't believe that at all.
If there's something that is not nice is vintage digital.

Digital converters improved a lot of the years and most converters nowadays are quite good and miles better than anything released before 2000 for sure
Can't say I agree.

Certain metrics measure a lot better, of course, like noise and certain THD measurements. But some old high(er) end converters sound a lot more real to my ears.

There's something fundamentally wrong with practically everything released today to my ears. Having tried so many converters I think those and the plugins are to blame for the degradation.

Older converters had their problems and few sounded stellar. But today there is a kind of haze over almost all material that just isn't there with the older stuff.
 

Matt Nolan

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Perhaps it is about time that somebody took all these converters and performed careful null tests between them to identify the differences
 
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