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Thread: Do I need new converters?

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    Do I need new converters?

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    Hi!

    I've been wondering about whether I needed to buy new convertors or not for my home studio.
    I presently use those of my RME ff400 and since I wish to have a more dynamic, precise sound, I thought that this part of my gear should be improved.
    I only need two channels, I read a lot about Apogee Rosetta 200 and PSX 100 but those two seem a little bit old and I wanted to know if you guys had other ideas. My budget is 600 - 700.
    I don't know a lot about these things to be honest, and some people already told me that the converters of the FF400 were good enough and that there was no use to spend money on other ones. Yet, I compared them with my friend's Apogee AD8000 and the difference was clear for the both of us. So I'm a little bit lost here...

    Thanks for your opinions!

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    Hi there and welcome to HR!

    RME make really reputable gear. I'm inclined to agree with the others who said the FF was likely good enough.

    Was the comparison in the same studio with the same source material, monitors, etc?
    If not, I'd try to arrange that. There are so many other factors that can cause really noticeable differences.
    The hardest part of comparing preamps, or converters, or anything really, is make all these other things equal.
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    Thanks for your replies!

    What I did was that I recorded some chords played on a synth through my gear and then played exactly the same thing at my friend's who has the AD8000. We have the same synth (Prophet Rev-2) and used the same preset. So the only difference were the converters and the AD8000 sounded really better than the FF400.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moodysky View Post
    Thanks for your replies!

    What I did was that I recorded some chords played on a synth through my gear and then played exactly the same thing at my friend's who has the AD8000. We have the same synth (Prophet Rev-2) and used the same preset. So the only difference were the converters and the AD8000 sounded really better than the FF400.
    Presumably the environment and monitors were different too?
    I think of my ear as being pretty good but I doubt I could blind test converters with all else equal, unless you'd either processed and entire mix track by track for the cumulative effect, or we were talking about bottom or the range and top.

    I'm not necessarily doubting you'll be able to hear a difference but a fair test really needs to be in the same room.
    I'd even go so far as to bring your synth and not rely on his sounding the same.
    If it has built-in record I'd use that, too, so the performance sample is literally identical.
    Last edited by Steenamaroo; 08-27-2019 at 07:13. Reason: typo
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    How good/expensive are your monitors? Unless they are of a rather select range, PMC, Neuman, a few others and at least $1000 each I doubt you could make meaningful comparisons.

    The very few well run converter "shootouts" I have read about make great store about having very precise level matching (like better than 0.1dB!) and the conclusions are usually like... "X" was slightly more "open" than "Y" but "Y" might have had a slightly more extended bass...BUT! A change of musical genre gave a different result!

    Plus, it is just about impossible to do a double blind test by yourself!

    Dave.

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    Ok guys, I'm about to change my mind and keep my money with all the things I've read.
    I have Adam A7x, I love them but they're probably not "good enough" to enlighten differences with other converters.

    Thank you guys for giving me your opinions!

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    Quote Originally Posted by whome View Post
    There no best. Only different.
    Yours are plenty good enough just not identical to others.
    I would not agree. The Adams are very fine monitors, "in their class" but the likes of the Neumann KH310As and the top level PMCs are better in terms of accuracy, bandwidth and max SPL and low distortion.

    But does the OP need to spend >1500 per speaker? No because the room for just one thing probably could not do them justice but unless the monitors ARE beyond reproach, top end converters will be largely pointless.

    Should have added...If two sets of monitors sound differently. ONE of them is wrong! (or both)

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whome View Post
    You have the usual belief of those who go by intuition. My graduate math class proved that you can NOT logically order such things from best to worst.

    You can pick one you prefer. You can use just ONE parameter to say what is best. But overall there is NO best just different.
    Now in reality, as opposed to math class, there may be some that are so terrible bad that you can show they are worse than some others.
    But sorting them according to badness would fail.

    So the question is how bad are the monitors and is "their class" so much worse that you can prove they are not as good as some other.
    I suspect that is it merely preference and Veblen that drives that decision.

    But as you note if the room and other items are not as good then the excellence of the monitors won't help. Weakest link in a chain yada yada.
    Please do not tell me what my "usual" beliefs are Mr Whome because you have not idea (nor of my "unusual" beliefs either!)

    If you care to examine the specifications you will see that the 310As are superior in almost every way to the Adams. They are of course significantly more expensive.

    The testing of loudspeakers used to be done by comparing them with real sounds, both music and noises such as keys rattling. One test that is very revealing of colouration is male speech. Such tests are saddly rarely done these days.

    As for "better". A monitor that can reproduce the sound pressure level of a grand piano at full ffs over its range and without distortion is clearly better than one that cannot. In fact very few such monitors exist in the home studio scene and even the Neumann would probably be at its limit to do it.

    Neumann KH310A

    Dave.

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    Seems like Dave listed somethings that are meaningful and measurable, and framed them in a very reasonable context.
    I'm not mathematician but I'm pretty sure I'd be able to push those into some kind of order.

    Whome...People don't like this sort of thing. Maybe soften your approach a little? It's not the first time someone has brought it up.
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