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Thread: converter specs for all to read

  1. #11
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    how much are 2 lynx one cards then? i thik 2 of those are stilll only 4 channels. i have 8 channels. still isnt competing. if you can afford to pay $1600 for 8 channels you can. but where i pay half of that and use peak limiting to help get hotter signals without the worry of clipping, the delta 1010 is great.

    i have heard better converters. are they better? yes, can i afford them, no. another thing. i havent once had the problem of "why isnt it loud". i imagine the people asking that are the people doing it wrong.

  2. #12
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    I have to agree with Kristian....follow the formula of performance divides by cost and the Delta wins...I needed a card that had stereo ins/outs only and S/PDIF and Midi in/out.....Lynx One and Delta Audiophile were almost identical in features...True, the Lynx One is a step up in quality...Ive even helped talk RuskyK into buying one based on HIS needs....but for MY needs, I needed to pay $149, not over $400.....BUT, you wont here me crying later about why my recordings arent this and why they arent that etc. etc......

  3. #13
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    delta 1010 converters. All that and more

    Hey,

    has anyone seen the new aadvark q10. It looks like a solid beast.
    Man, that unit is spec'd out.

    Ok. Back to the delta 1010. Nobody will argue that they are the best value for money on the market right now.

    As far as converters go, I did a lot of research before getting the delta 1010, and stuff like "clear as a bell", "what goes in comes out", "best soundcard I have ever used", "no ick layer" etc kept coming up.

    Before I go on, most soundcards do use AKM converters, but I believe that the delta 1010 uses AK5383 A-d and 4393 D-a.
    on the box, m-audio claims to print real world results of the whole unit, not the converters, cos the AK4393 converters claim to have a noise floor of -120 dbs.

    I read this thread last night, but could not reply cos I was at a friends, and I wanted to do some tests.

    the test was a 1000hz sine wav a various decibels in soundforge.
    The meters in soundforge and in the delta 1010 control panel were identical at every mark, even to -0.5 dbs. Even at unity, there was no distortion on the sine wav.

    I think the problem sonusman was having was the drivers for the delta 1010 he was using. M-audio has pulled drivers off their webpage more than once and gone back to using old drivers. I had to switch from version 29 back to version 27 because my asio was freaking up, and m-audio had pulled 29 from the board. They recently did that with version 31 as well. As far as I know, v27 is still the most stable.

    That settled, I proceeded to testing the a-d , d-a converters themselves.

    I am running from the delta 1010 through 10 awg cable into an Alesis ra100 amp, into Alesis monitor twos. Not professional, but quite accurate.

    I ran my jv1010(sound module) directly into the Amp, and compared it with running through the delta 1010. I must say that I percieved a difference while playing the demo. I could hear all details clearly in both cases(snares hihats kicks etc) but the jv1010 seemed a phantom bit colored and a litlle less loud.

    So I say that the delta 1010 is all that and more. Why?
    considering that it sounded practically the same even though I was not using full 24 bits( The jv1010 demos peak at about -12 dbs).

    Also considering that I am using $3 cable to the ad and from the d/a,.

    I bet that I wont hear a single difference if I was going through canare cable or moster, and I had a source that peaked closer to zero.


    I read about an a-b comparison between the delta 66 and a lynx one. In my opinion, these are two fantastic cards, but the reviewer thought that the lynxone sounded SLIGHTLY better.
    I am sure the delta 1010 converters are better than the lynx converters simply because they are better than the delta66 and are housed in a breakout box.

    . Sonusman, you said that the audio was not distorting by a "long shot". was the output set at the right level(settable at the back of the box) cos if they are wrong, you will have a signal that is approx 11 decibels hotter going into the amp.That will definitely produce that distortion.

    One last thing. I think the delta 1010 is a professional soundcard.
    Everything better is a dedicated converter and not a soundcard.

    All this is not to say that I won't get the lucid when I can afford it though

    peace everyone.
    My mind is made up. Dont confuse me with facts.

    The kind of girl I want, wants the kind of guy I'm not.

  4. #14
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    o crap!

    "In Use

    Even on initial auditioning with 16-bit playback, the converters of the Delta 1010 sounded noticeably sweeter and more focused at the top end than those of my 20-bit Gina card. Measuring RMS background noise levels at 44.1kHz and 48kHz using Wavelab gave values of 93.4dB at 16-bit, and 109dB at 24-bit. Increasing the sample rate to 96kHz didn't change noise levels at 16-bit, but noise levels at 24-bit increased to about 102dB. This isn't so surprising when you consider that the noise bandwidth has doubled! I should point out that both Wavelab and Sound Forge use the convention that 0dB RMS is the largest possible square wave signal, so a sine wave with a peak level of 0dB will actually measure 3dB RMS. Because of this, the actual signal-to-noise ratios (measured relative to a sine wave at full level) are 3dB smaller than the figures I have quoted. "

    I just saw this on the net. I should have used a square wave not a sine wav. Does this mean that a square wave at zero will be +3 to the delta 1010? I have to go back and test this.


    My mind is made up. Dont confuse me with facts.

    The kind of girl I want, wants the kind of guy I'm not.

  5. #15
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    i dont use specs.

    i dont compress to disk. i just limit peaks.

    but when an completely uncompressed stereo render in vegas cannot be limited a single dB without sounding bad, im believing im getting great levels out of my card.

    " I have heard all I need of it to base it's use for my needs, and it didn't cut it. " - you only used the D/As.

    you're right most of the time, but not always. sorry.

  6. #16
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    Cool

    Im not even gonna attempt to say the Deltas converters are better than the Lynx One's converters.....

  7. #17
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    Originally posted by sonusman


    I did a little mastering job using the Delta 1010 converters for the D/A. I was sorely disappointed because when I took the .wav files home and listened to them on my Lynx One card, I found out that the audio was fully -1dB down from what it could have been, even though it was peaking on the Delta converters!!!

    To explain further.

    While mastering, I was applying the Waves L1 Ultramaximizer to the mix. While I reviewed the metering, I was noticing that the sound started to distort a bit lower then I was accustomed to, but I was HEARING distortion, and regardless of what I seen, I have to go with my ears right? Of course.

    I notice on playing the CD in my truck that the audio is not distorting by a long shot, and I compared the product to stuff I mastered using my Lynx Card as D/A. Guess what, the stuff mastered using the Delta converters was noticeably quiter.

    I get home and transfer the .wav files onto my computer and take a listen. FAR from distorting! In fact, I did a Peak Search using Wavelab and found that I NEVER hit digital 0 once in the mix!!! I look at the metering on the Lynx One meters and it shows that I am peaking at around -1dB at best!

    My oh my........

    I proceed to load up the unmastered .wavs and apply the plug in's I used again, this time using the Lynx One card as the D/A. I couldn't get EXACT settings because I saved those on the other computer and didn't think to copy them to the DATA disk. Anyway, I was still pretty fresh from the session, and was able to replicate the eq curves. Where the big difference existed was in the overall level I was able to achieve before distortion ensued on the Lynx One card.

    The resulting .wav file was much hotter and sounded much more like what I was expecting it too.




    Ed

    Hey Ed, I'm just a humble guitarist turned live engineer so the fine points of digital recording aren't my strong suit, so can you clarify something for me:
    If the 1010's DA converters are distorting before digital zero doesn't that mean that any modern commercial CD played back through the 1010 should distort the converters?

    Also you said that you used the Waves L1 Ultramaximizer, was it set to Analog or Digital? I think that if it is set to Digital that it will pass peaks higher than the specified max.

    I am not disputing that the Lynx's converters are better and have more headroom, I just find it unbelievable that a card that distorts before zero would be released commercially.



    Just looked up the Waves manual, this is what I was talking about;

    "Digital/Analog Domain

    In almost all cases, leave this button in the Analog Domain position.
    When in the Digital Domain position, absolutely no sample will be over the Out Ceiling value. However, after analog conversion, it is possible to have peaks higher than in the digital domain. This is due to very complex digital audio issues involving peaks "between the samples". Almost all quality-made digital-to-analog converters have at least 3 dB headroom to allow for these peaks.

    You would want to use the Analog Domain position is when you wish to have absolute control over any peak that occurs in both the analog and digital domains. Some examples: you wish to accommodate poorly designed DACs; the file will undergo further modification, such as ADPCM data-reduction; or, you wish to have a signal that can be broadcast without further peak controlling. In these cases, brick wall limiting is desired in both domains, and you should put L1 in the Analog Domain mode."
    Last edited by vox; 05-14-2001 at 19:10.

  8. #18
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    I have to absolutely agree that you shouldn't trust specs, there are far to many games marketing departments can play to make things look better than they really are. However, I think its a bit strong saying they are useless. Specs are just a datapoint. One that you have to take with a huge grain of salt. At the very least you can count on one rule: very few companies products exceed their specs. That alone is useful information.

    A part of the reason for my large post was to make the point that there are way to many things that manufacturers shy away from specing. The S/N ratio of most converters is going to be far better than most people can get out of their system. I can't even meet the noise floor of my old Layla converters. 60 cycle hum in my system is at about -86db and I worked very hard to get it that low. Most modern converters have low enough THD that noise from EMI and hum are going to dominate. What I believe you have to worry about are things manufacturers don't talk about.

    Many low cost converter don't even pass simple tests. Sonusman gave one story, although there are those that dispute it, it is typical of the few stories I've read about a handful of "budget" converters. I've heard of other people recording a sine wave swept across the frequency spectrum and found unstable frequency response below 100 Hz (not on a Delta converter). How can this be if they all use the same A/D converters? The answer is simple: there's more in the box than just one component. AN A/D covnerter usualy needs to be fed by an amplifier. The design of a balanced input amplifier with 115db S/N ratio, -100db THD, with no phase shift and flat frequency response is far from trivial. It is full of tradeoffs, often involving cost vs performance.

    One of the most popular components used in many of the 110-120db S/N converters is the CS5396/97 made by Crystal Semiconductor. It costs $27 in quantities of 20 or less. So if the AD converter itself is less than $27 a channel, where's the rest of the cost of those high end converters that run $300 and up per channel? Its in all the stuff around the converter: a jitter free clock references, highly stable PLLs, high quality analog components, and a good quiet power supply. There are literally thousands of places to cut corners or even outright screw up the design of those parts of the system. Don't ever think that just because company A uses one of the same components as company B, their products are of the same quality. If designing were that simple I'd be a millionare many times over.

    Anyway, I think specs are interesting. Obviously, beause I posted a bunch. The responses here have been useful. I especially wanted to thank Sonusman, as I was hoping to get his view on Apogee vs Lucid (I don't know why I didn't just come out and ask).

  9. #19
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    did i say they were better? nope, nowhere did i say that. i said that he hasnt tried them, so making a judgement without trial is not exactly the most trustworthy of decisions.

  10. #20
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    trust specs? heck thats my whole problem...I am inundated with marketing catch phrases and specs...the result...I still haven't bought a thing. I've been living on this forum looking for some conventional wisdom (i.e. people in my situation who are living my dream/nightmare). What about these specs (see below from EGO SYS WAMIRACK website)? Talk about all the features I need for audio, (giga) midi:

    High quality 24 Bit A/D D/A Convertors : 120dB Dynamic Range
    - Analog 4 Inputs & 8 Outputs : +4dBu Balanced/Unbalanced 1/4" (tip ring sleeve) phone jack
    - S/PDIF Digital In & Out (Electrical & Optical) : Up to 24bit resolution.
    - Normal Fs or 256 Fs(Super clock)
    Format Word Clock In & Out for
    External Sync
    - Supports multiple Sample Rate : 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 64kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz
    - Real-time hardware sample rate converter
    - Full Duplex - simultaneous Record / Playback
    - Uses 32 Bit PCI slot : PCI Bus-Mastering support
    - Full LED Display : 8 Audio Signal LED meters
    - Signal to Noise ratio (D/A) : 120dB
    - Frequency Response: 10Hz -22kHz
    - 4 ch Mic pre : provides 4 channels of Mic
    Preamp function with 12V Phantom Power
    supplying. Mic gain is controlled digitally.
    MIDI
    - 4 Port In / 4 Port Out, 64 Channel MIDI Interface
    - SMPTE In & Out : Read & Write all
    formats of SMPTE Incl. 24, 25, 29.97,
    30 Drop and Non-drop
    - SMPTE Desk Viewer & Generator software for Studio use
    - Power On MIDI Thru function
    - Full LED Display : 8 large Activity Indicators
    - Compatible with all Major software
    - Advanced EGO-SYS ASIC technology
    - Microsoft Windows 95/98 MME & DirectSound, ASIO 2.0 Driver, GS I/F (Gigasampler v 1.6), EASI Driver

    --- NOW I know its rookie of me to assume that any of these specs are real but these guys seem to have a lot of drivers on their site showing some real industry support. It seems to fit the budget ($600). Now what??


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