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Cranborne 500R8 AD/DA

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Cranborne 500R8 AD/DA

Postby coreyautobee » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:32 pm

Im very much interested in getting a 500R8 unit, especially considering the analog summing capabilities like so - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQBSdfpA058

Im curious- how does the AD/DA conversion compare to something like say a similar Burl mothership configuration? Given the price the 500R8 has to be lesser AD/DA quality than other dedicated units? Is it negligible? Noticeable really?

It seems like the easiest, cheapest, and most obvious route to integrate hardware is the 500R8, and perhaps too good to be true when compared with other analog/digital configurations? Perhaps theres something Im not understanding here!

Thanks for any insight!
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Re: Cranborne 500R8 AD/DA

Postby James Perrett » Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:25 pm

According to the SOS reviews the convertors are extremely good. It is worth taking a look at Hugh's technical evaluation at the bottom of

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/cr ... 0r8?page=2
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Re: Cranborne 500R8 AD/DA

Postby coreyautobee » Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:17 am

Thanks for the response :)

I did catch that - 'easily on a par with the best standard USB interfaces currently on the market.'

To clarify, what Im asking about is how it compares to the category of things like the Lynx Aurora, Dangerous Music Convert, Burl, etc.

Like surely the conversion on the 500R8 isn't as nice as this tier listed above? Im just curious to know by how much less!
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Re: Cranborne 500R8 AD/DA

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:11 am

coreyautobee wrote:To clarify, what Im asking about is how it compares to the category of things like the Lynx Aurora, Dangerous Music Convert, Burl, etc.

I use the A-weighted AES17 dynamic range figure as a general guide to converter quality as a good number requires excellence in all aspects of the design and implementation, and it seems to correspond closely to my listening perceptions.

The Cranbourne's D-A scored 120.7dB and I listed in the review some of the high-end devices with comparable scores, but to give you a bigger picture the best D-A I've measured to date scored 129dB -- although that is a significant outlier. A more representative high point would be 126.5dB, and the worst 104dB. The Dangerous Music D-box+ scored a surprising 107dB, the Burl B2 114.5dB, and the Lynx Hilo 120.5dB.

On the A-D side, the Cranbourne rated 119.4dB within a field that ranges in my tests between 124dB and 103dB. Again, the Lynx Hilo scored 121.3dB, and the Burl B2 115dB.

D-As normally score a few decibels above the A-Ds, but as a rule, anything scoring around 120dB or better is an exceptionally good high-end converter. Anything above 115dB is good enough for any professional work. Anything below 110dB would have me walking away as even most budget stuff can better that these days.

In other words, the Cranbourne converters are flipping good and not only punch way above their price, but way above a lot of far more expensive stuff too -- which is consistent with the company's whole ethos. Their preamp designs do the same!

Like surely the conversion on the 500R8 isn't as nice as this tier listed above? Im just curious to know by how much less!

In several cases they are significantly better... The company ethos is to prioritise quality while maintaining reasonable prices, and in all of my experiences so far they have achieved that brilliantly.
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Re: Cranborne 500R8 AD/DA

Postby coreyautobee » Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:24 pm

Sheesh! They'll have my money for a 500R8 soon enough. :beamup: Thanks for the insight and response Hugh.

I've been using the Camden 500 for months and love it. Theres a use for it on just about anything.
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Re: Cranborne 500R8 AD/DA

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:49 pm

Im confident that you won't regret it. Those guys really do know what they are doing and how to build great gear in the right way and do it at a realistic price.

I now use an EC2 preamp as my reference comparison, and its rare that I now feel the need to reach for my GML, Focusrite ISA, Sonic Farm, or SSL Preamps.
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