Anyone Using Modern Converters For Rack Units?

Discussion in 'The Rack Space' started by ctreitzell, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    We see a lot of comments about "old", outdated converters being poor and to avoid serial connections. Is anyone using modern converters with their Lexicons, Eventides or any rack units with "avoid" converters?
     
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  2. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    It's better to run parallel with a mixer no matter the converters really, so I can't see the point of doing so.
     
  3. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    please elaborate, if you will...or point me to some links

    I am running parallel with a couple of mixers and a looper
    sounds pretty good!

    Are you saying better converters=?
    zero sound quality improvement?
    better converters shows processing flaws/low res?
    another processing box = possible ground loop issues?

    Give me a use case and some data; even if that data is "it feels better"

    What specific routing have you tried that is "better" and some explanation?

    I'm not trying to push a certain scenario, just curious what and if others have actually tried.
     
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  4. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

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    What are you trying to achieve? And running them in parallel with a mixer is pretty much what they are designed to du anyway. :dunno
    I just don't see the point in wasting money on standalone converters for a marginal gain. Especially if you run it into speakers that chops off anything above 6k anyway :bonk

    Running a pristine analog dry is crucial IMO. And yes that sure does feel better.
    My old H3000 sounds killer as is, I don't want to change a thing! Also one can argue the "outdated" tech of the old converters is part of the "mojo". :)
     
  5. Coalface1971

    Coalface1971 Member

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    What he said.
     
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  6. hydroquebec

    hydroquebec Member

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    Some modern converters are fine. I can run a direct signal into the H8000FW and likely into the Eclipse, as well. I haven't tried the Lexicons yet.

    It might be interesting to go into the H8000FW and create a digital loop inside of it to achieve what you speak of. I use the PCM80's A/D with the PCM91's D/A all the time.

    You could run EVERYTHING through a prism...
     
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  7. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    Knowledge :)
    I am asking a question in the wondering of if there is any benefit...not only from a guitar rig point of view
    Many folks running FRFR these days; when my friend and I set up 8 amps thru AxeFXIII last year, the FRFRs brought qualities that enhanced greatly the cab sounds, including the dry...well, especially the dry...extended high and low end...not all the speakers need to be frequency limited

    My brother is always telling me this, especially he thinks the analog input stage is the mojo in the H3000. I don'y have any Eventide gear....so can't comment on that
     
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  8. Gone Fission

    Gone Fission Member

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    The H3000’s analog design was by David Derr, who is now the head honcho at Empirical Labs. He was surprised when I mentioned to him that Brian Eno really liked the sound of overdriving the H3000’s inputs. That’s some mojo cred right there.
     
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  9. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    I don't know what you mean, are you saying new converters are considered inferior to old ones?

    Direct out of AI and back into AI virtual mixer/DAW as Aux or Rtn? Or guitar into rack FX routed direct into DAW from the H8000? I'm gonna be trying out the digital I/O of both the 80 and 81 for DAW mixing next week. As far as direct recording to DAW from digital sources, I have used CyberTwin spdif in to DAW. IME/O a mic (even a poor quality mic) sounds better to my ears. This isn't talking about D>A converters in this instance, though...

    Yet, in the context of a guitar rig, standalone converters of a modern high quality...what then? I've never tried it....not that I have any tube amps at the mo.

    Does this mean you'd set up a matrix to bring digital outs in and then use the H8000's converters into your amps? Are the H8000 converters modern enough? I guess they are more modern than the PCM's. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this experiment :)

    I'm gonna give this a go with my 80 and 81 after reading you talk about it here on the subforum :-D

    Are Prisms class compliant? My thinking was no computer involved for gtr rig :) I wanted a Prism back when I was researching AIs a couple years back. Tales of driver woes was my reason not to go Prism.
     
  10. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    So you agree with Eno?
    Seriously, I am interested about you guys' actual experiences...
    have you tried other converters...
    and I am kinda more concerned with the D to A in a guitar rig. (I realize that seems contrary to what I just said to @Blix)
    Your example is about A to D. Maybe the first processing sounds great....what about a chain (serial or parallel)?

    What has actually been tried and tested? I'm not in a hurry, just curious.
     
  11. Gone Fission

    Gone Fission Member

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    I have no hands-on experience with the H3000, but Eno isn’t unique in that off-label use, so I would trust it’s a useful way to use them, though maybe not the main way one would choose to use them.
     
  12. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

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    The converters are part of 'the sound' in those old boxes. Of course that part of 'the sound' may not be important to you, and maybe things like minimizing noise and serial latency are what you're after.

    I think the best I can offer is that you should not assume that these devices will sound better with modern converters.
     
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  13. hydroquebec

    hydroquebec Member

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    I think you know the answer to this already, unless I am misreading the question. Plug into any of the more consumer-oriented processors and you'll hear the components in action. I think my first revelation on this was plugging into an SPX. Murder may be a strong word, but my dry signal was severely maimed. Some would call it "their sound".

    I'm talking about a mic'd cabinet's signal going direct into the H8000FW and blending effects in on another set of channels. Guys that send their processors into guitar cabs and talk about 5-6k cutoffs are doing it wrong. Sorry to offend, but stereo, time-based effects should be blended at the board.

    For the price I paid for this thing, they better be good enough! From what I understand in the data points, they are a considerable step up, even from those in the Eclipse.
     
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  14. Coalface1971

    Coalface1971 Member

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    Some good points, Blix.

    It does feel better running an analog dry in parallel with the wet FX. Tis why Bradshaw and the like still build their rigs with mixers.
     
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  15. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    Oh, I see...I never considered a mic'd cab going direct...from my perspective, micing cabs is not in the equation. I'm not asking about recording nor broadcasting (ie thru a PA) to a room larger than the rig will significantly sound its best; I just mean as far as the rig sounds when the listeners ears are in front of it. Solving the reproduction of such sound is another issue :)

    @hydroquebec , you are already doing a form of what I am asking in using your 91 D to A for the 80...My intention is to enquire about more modern converters. What if you patch thru your H8000 instead of the 91? Is the H8000 capable of passing several digital sources parallel? Maybe not

    the post 96kHz converters is more what I have in mind :) within the rig before the wet power amp or mixing board.

    Also, I take no offense at all :-D...I am "doing it wrong" too, using guitar cabs for my wets; even so, they are 100%wet. I am looking forward to adding/replacing with FRFR...I don't get too fussed about phase issues(so far), always seems the more cabs, the better IMO, but I don't want to listen to near fields...I want to hear the gtr rig in the room :)

    just looking for some use cases to consider

    I'm more interested the Cerwin Vega approach in Philip Newell's How To Build A Recording Studio book, where every instrument plays back via it's own speaker.
     
  16. ctreitzell

    ctreitzell Member

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    I don't understand...I didn't say anything about not using a mixer!
    I agree fully, full blown dry is great...and shouldn't be in the equation with w/d/w converters...I am talking about "upping" (or not) to "modern" converters for the wets! dry has nothing to do with that :)
     
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  17. hydroquebec

    hydroquebec Member

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    Yeah, it can pass several in parallel. There might be some posts about using the Eventide as a mixing/routing device that would be super interesting to you. I'll try to find links after responding here.

    Hahaha!! I totally get it. There was this one day when I was with this band and they went do some other stuff and I sat in the control room, looking at the racks. I grabbed a guitar and put the headphones on and was blown away by the fidelity of the effects. Yeah, the amp was in another room, but I heard reverb like I had never heard before. So many dimensions, man. It was the reverb that I had heard on records and stuff. I played with some pretty strong EQs, messing with frequencies I wasn't able to mess with before. So cool.
     
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  18. Coalface1971

    Coalface1971 Member

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    All good, Todd. What are your ears telling you about the converters in your stuff? If you're happy, don't touch 'em. The idea they gets mixed in with the dry, makes the converter quality virtually a moot point, imo.

    Trying to improved something like that, is diminishing returns.
     
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  19. AnalogKid85

    AnalogKid85 Member

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    @ctreitzell I remember Italo telling me a story about when he got to try the Eventide Orville once, not with its own converters, but through some pro studio's converter (a unit costing $10,000+, if I remember right). He said the beauty and the depth of the effects were even greater with that unit handling the conversion....which is crazy, 'cause the Orville and H8000 already have amazing A/D conversion!

    For things that aren't "wine tasting sessions" like that though, I can't see myself ever doing this, and certainly not to pass a dry signal all the way through an FX processor...
     
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  20. uraniumwilly

    uraniumwilly Member

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    I’m going somewhat high end - Aurora converters into my 81 but generally digital i/o from the daw. That said, I’ve worked with different converters: digidesign, Otari, apogee during my pro career, and honestly had to strain to hear the difference, even with the notoriously mediocre first round digidesign rig. I suspect some of that is my ear and some of that is the quality of room and monitors. But I don’t know one musician who has a setup at home that is good enough to hear the difference between high end and medium quality converters.

    It’s always been my understanding that both the analog and digital section of the Eventide units are where D. Derr worked his magic.
     
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