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New interface, or Behringer ADA8000?

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Re: New interface, or Behringer ADA8000?

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:54 am
by Hugh Robjohns
This is all about a definition of what's 'fine' for a specific task, and that's obviously going to vary massively with expectations, experience, and requirements.

There's absolutely no doubt that the ADA8200 -- which replaced the ADA8000 -- represents extremely good value for money because you get a lot of facilities in a very compact space, it does what it says on the box, and it doesn't cost very much. Yay! ;-)

It's also easily demonstrable that the ADA8200 is a worthwhile step up from the ADA8000 in terms of its technical performance and sound quality. And it's technical performance is certainly better than a lot of the semi-pro equipment I cut my teeth on in the 70s and 80s.

So, if you want to use it to feed a bunch of synths into the spare ADAT port of an interface, it'll get the job done very cost-effectively and its limitations won't be revealed to any significant or relevant extent.

However, if you're recording a classical concert and need to run a bunch of high-end mics with 60dB gain into a high-end recording chain it's weaknesses are definitely going to start to show. I don't think anyone would be surprised at that, given the price differential, but headroom, distortion, noise, and jitter artefacts can all become audible* and all fall well short of the technical and audible performance of any high-end preamp.

So, there's 'fine' as in adequate, and there's 'fine' as in exquisite... and they are very different things! ;-)

Budget equipment is what it is -- and is entirely appropriate in a great many situations. But let's not confuse convenience with quality. Headroom, distortion, noise, and jitter may not matter too much in some situations, but they most certainly do in others -- and avoiding those kinds of problems is both difficult and expensive -- and there's no way around that.

*I was surprised to find an ADA8000 in a BBC OB truck a few years back. 'Da Managment' had had one installed because it was cheaper than any other 8-channel mic pre and they needed the extra channels... But it really wasn't difficult in a blind listening test to identify which mics were routed through the ADA and which through the SSL console!

Re: New interface, or Behringer ADA8000?

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:18 am
by cyrano.mac
There's no mystery to ADDA's. Nobody's ever been able to hear it sound differently from, say an Apogee, in a blind listening test.

The ADA8000 is often accused of being a rip-off of an RME unit. That's not really a surprise, as the ADA8000's implementation for the ADDA is a copy of the chip manufacturer's application note. The design itself was handled by RME's engineering division. That includes PSU and board design. Mic pres are the usual, classic suspects. Behringer like.

I don't know who handled the ADA8200. Could be Phonic in Taiwan, as they sold a limited quantity of these under their own label. Presumably to get service data.

That's Behringer's way of operating these days. First couple of production runs are handled by a few trusted parties. If the sales take off, Behringer's massive factories take over.

The known problems with older ADA8000 nearly all reside in the PSU. It's amply powered, but it gets too hot. Especially in 120VAC countries and in racked units. Simple to repair. I've seen a few dozens of those going across my work bench. None of them had an ADDA failure. Only one has a blown buffering opamp. That one's still on my bench. That's a very good score, compared to MOTU, fi.

MOTU's tend to go unreliable when older than 10 years or so. Hard to troubleshoot. And even harder to repair. OTOH, MOTU offers exchange repair for a nominal sum. The last one I sent in, was 175€ to get a refurbished, or even new unit. But that's limited to around 10-12 years. After that, the unit is considered obsolete...

I haven't had any Presonus fail, but we only have three of those in use. Yet, they're all older than ten years...

Let's face it, all ADDA's are equal, cause they all have the same chips (or at least from a few different chip manufacturers). There are differences in the analog part, but they're so minute it's very hard to tell which one is better.

Hec, for the sake of joking about it, I sometimes throw in an old (>20 years) Fostex 16 bit 44.1 KHz converter. Until now, nobody's been able to *reliably* fish that one out in blind tests, even when I announce it's there.

I can, OTOH accept that 24 bit 96 KHz recordings might work better with some plugins, so it's not entirely black and white.

Re: New interface, or Behringer ADA8000?

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:48 am
by Arpangel
Behringer a copy of RME?
I hope not, I had an RME and could definitely hear issues, it was difficult to pin point, but it just didn't sound right, it was an "edgy" sound, something in the high end. But I definitely heard it. If the Behringer doesn't draw my attention to it like that RME then it's done it's job. If I do get the Berry, and I'm still unsure about all this, then it's only going to be handling uncritical inputs, like my cassette 4 track, my cassette machine, a couple of Korg Monotrons, crappy drum machine and a synth. So no ultra high quallity needed.
I'll never use the mic amps, I've got an external preamp for that.

Re: New interface, or Behringer ADA8000?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:26 am
by James Perrett
Arpangel wrote:Behringer a copy of RME?

I think a few Chinese whispers may have altered the story a little...

As I heard it, Mathias Carstens from RME worked for Behringer in their early days but I've not seen anything from RME that does the same thing as the ADA8000.

Re: New interface, or Behringer ADA8000?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:54 am
by Arpangel
James Perrett wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Behringer a copy of RME?

I think a few Chinese whispers may have altered the story a little...

As I heard it, Mathias Carstens from RME worked for Behringer in their early days but I've not seen anything from RME that does the same thing as the ADA8000.

Me neither, but I had an RME UCX.

I'm still unsure whether to stay ITB, it's proving a bit inflexible. But if I do stay, I'll get the ADA82000, Hugh's recommendation of the Audient I can appreciate, but I wouldn't make the most of it to be honestl

Re: New interface, or Behringer ADA8000?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:56 pm
by Matt Houghton
James Perrett wrote:I've not seen anything from RME that does the same thing as the ADA8000.

RME's Octamic D ticked the same boxes. But it ticked more besides, and was a much nicer and more practical design...

Re: New interface, or Behringer ADA8000?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:01 am
by Arpangel
I'm still finding that I have to keep making "workarounds" all the time now, and I have to keep diving behind to see where things are plugged in, not so when I had my mixer set-up.
Also, FX routing is now a major problem, it's not the number of I/O on the interface, it's not being able to use auxs easily, or at all. I like connecting my pedals to auxses, to control levels, I can't use some synths on full output going direct as it overloads the pedals, but I need full output as thats the only way I can get decent feedback effects, it's just all a bit of a faff, I'm going back to my mixer, probably.

Re: New interface, or Behringer ADA8000?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:18 pm
by cyrano.mac
James Perrett wrote:
Arpangel wrote:Behringer a copy of RME?

I think a few Chinese whispers may have altered the story a little...

As I heard it, Mathias Carstens from RME worked for Behringer in their early days but I've not seen anything from RME that does the same thing as the ADA8000.

No Chinese whispers involved. Just some Americans bashing Behringer. The Chinese don't care...