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A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

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Re: A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

Postby Arpangel » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:19 am

All I can say to all this, is that "all" converters have a sound, every interface I've ever owned sounded different, and I could clearly hear those differences. I went from an M-Audio which I loved, to an RME which I didn't like, there clearly was a difference, because I sold it.
I then bought a Focusrite, which was better than the M-Audio, and the RME "for me"
I needed more inputs, so a friend gave me a Motu, which is still here, it's "OK" not quite as nice as the Focusrite, but it's not bad enough to bother about replacing.
As for high end interfaces, I really don't know, but I bet they all have their own sound, and price isn't an indicator that something is going to be better or not "you" just have to listen and see if it's worth spending the extra, and don't take any notice of what others say or the hype.
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Re: A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

Postby ef37a » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:30 am

CS70 wrote:
Jack Ruston wrote:Well it's not that it can't be done, but it is actually a pain.

It's a similar situation for video, only worse as there's a plethora of different formats and ever increasing data amounts due to current practice of heavy post. We were doing a job for a local broadcaster here and they have switched to X.AVC at 100Mpbs - had to buy a new disk just to make sure I had enough working space - my usual 6-7Gb of raw footage per minute of final sequence have tripled overnight! You can do beautiful things in post, however.

And yeah, thank goodness for Dropbox :)

You should both thank your lucky stars (Boom! Boom!) you are not searching the centre of the galaxy for a super massive black hole!

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Re: A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

Postby Jack Ruston » Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:44 pm

I'm trying to make a living out of music production. If the sale of all my gear, unnecessarily extravagent as it apparently is, would yeild enough lucre to buy a big enough telescope, you could count me in tomorrow.
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Re: A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

Postby CS70 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:00 pm

I remembered an interesting post from a few years back, and found it again, so I'll do the unthinkable and link here a post from the other forum :-D

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/geekslu ... isted.html

Besides the list itself, it made me think of how many separate factors affect the result and why published measurements often don't really scratch the surface of what's going on.
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Re: A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

Postby CS70 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:03 pm

ef37a wrote:You should both thank your lucky stars (Boom! Boom!) you are not searching the centre of the galaxy for a super massive black hole!

That box would be drop an never return :mrgreen:
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Re: A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:19 pm

Equipment testing is a fascinating subject. We can certainly measure a lot of things that we can't ~apparently~ hear, and there may well be some things that we can hear but can't measure (reliably).

The well known pro-audio author Dr John Watkinson has suggested that, as the more advanced lossy data-codecs are based around a model of human hearing, they could actually form the basis of a more accurate means of assessing the quality/accuracy of audio equipment, sine they could reflect the things that we actually hear. I believe he was specifically considering loudspeakers when he made this suggestion.

The idea would be to play a very high quality source recording through a lossy codec, and to reduce the coding bit rate step by step until artefacts became audible. The better the loudspeaker (or other equipment), the sooner the artefacts would be revealed... and vice versa.

As for the lost of converters in your link, I usually mention them in my reviews because I get asked to when I meet people at trade shows etc -- just as I'm asked for photos of the insides of the products. And these things can be revealing and informative.

For example, knowing which converter chips has been used gives an indication of the cost -- and therefore quality -- of components used, and if a manufacturer is only prepared to employ a low-cost converter they've probably used low cost/quality components elsewhere too.

Moreover, if the specific converter chip manufacturer claims it has, say, a 118dB dynamic range but the equipment only measures with a 112dB range, that suggests the design/build is compromised in some way as the performance of the converter is not being realised. So what else hasn't been designed very well (it's usually the power supply or the clocking... :-) )

H
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Re: A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

Postby Ariosto » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:37 pm

blinddrew wrote:I'm just wondering how long it takes to back up a reasonable sized project to the cloud at that kind of sample rate? Especially if you're doing the whole project not just mixes and stems.

It does take a long time. Uploading is so slow in comparison to downloading. I have 80-100 MBPS download but only 6MBPS upload. For this reason I never upload complete projects as these are often 1, 2 or 3+ Gigabytes. So I only upload the rendered .wav files but these can be well in excess of 500GB each at 96K sample rate. Two or three files and it amounts to best part of an hour to upload.
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Re: A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:46 pm

Ariosto wrote:Uploading is so slow in comparison to downloading. I have 80-100 MBPS download but only 6MBPS upload.

If you want faster uploads just talk to your broadband supplier and I'm sure they could assist for a small increase in your monthly fee.... I have 66Mbps down and 18Mbps up here.

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Re: A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

Postby ef37a » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:30 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Ariosto wrote:Uploading is so slow in comparison to downloading. I have 80-100 MBPS download but only 6MBPS upload.

If you want faster uploads just talk to your broadband supplier and I'm sure they could assist for a small increase in your monthly fee.... I have 66Mbps down and 18Mbps up here.

H

My download is 20-24M wifi (laptop 1mtr from router) but is 37M on copper. The upload is a very consistent 9M wifi or copper, anyone know why?

I am with Talk Talk who are ******es to deal with but in over 4 years I have have virtually no breaks in service or slow downs.

I am FTTC and the cab is but 50mtrs down the frog. My 9M upload is ten times better than it was on direct landline. Perhaps you would have to go fibre to client to better 9M?

BTW, serves me right trying to be a smart****! I was meaning the petabytes of data the astrophycisists handle!

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Re: A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

Postby Aural Reject » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:50 pm

Standard fibre used to be “40/10” so max 40 down and 10 up. The ‘super fast” stuff was sold at 80/20.

The download speed is amongst other things down to the distance between the cabinet and the router and the quality of the cabling and connections.

The upload is usually tweakable server side and is limited by the ISP so I’d imagine the 9 up is easily achievable by wired and wireless methods (download over WiFi is usually slower than it is over cable).

I’ve got Virgin 350 here....and I actually get 320 ish down over WiFi, 360 cabled and about 26 up over both. It ain’t that cheap though.
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Re: A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:57 pm

ef37a wrote:My download is 20-24M wifi (laptop 1mtr from router) but is 37M on copper. The upload is a very consistent 9M wifi or copper, anyone know why?

If you're asking why the wifi link is slower than a cabled connection, it's because it's wireless! ;-) It's quite normal for a wired connection to be faster than wifi -- although the differences are getting smaller with the latest high-speed connection standards.

There are lots of factors affecting wifi speed. Firstly, there's the specific connection standard your laptop and router are using (802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac.. etc). In general, the older standards are slower. Then there's the router channel and frequency you're using and whether neighbours are sharing the same channel(s) -- interference will slow things down dramatically. And then there's the distance between laptop and wifi router and the number of other devices sitting on your wifi channel at the same time... More of both being slower, of course.

If you have a smart phone you can download various apps that indicate the local channel occupation and signal strengths, which can be very helpful in optimising your wifi channel selection and router placement.

Perhaps you would have to go fibre to client to better 9M?

No. I'm, FTTC as well and I have double that upload speed... (and the cabinet is further away than yours). I suspect the 9Mbps limit is imposed by the provider to manage data bandwidths, rather than being a physical or hardware limitation.
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Re: A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

Postby ef37a » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:15 pm

Hugh, sorry I asked wrongly. It is the consistent 9M (9.2 as a rule) that I was boggled by. I can see wif fi being slower than copper.

The laptop is a rather elderly HP i3 g6 and perhaps a better USB network dongle would help? Not that I am all that bothered, 22M is plenty good enough for my needs and the 9M up a great boon.
I shall have a much later W10 laptop by Christmas anyway, might be faster?

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Re: A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:22 pm

ef37a wrote:Hugh, sorry I asked wrongly. It is the consistent 9M (9.2 as a rule) that I was boggled by.

Ah... well that's just a network management thing -- an arbitrary soft limit imposed by the network providers to manage data throughput.

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Re: A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

Postby Tim Gillett » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:57 pm

Jack Ruston wrote:
Tim Gillett wrote:
Jack Ruston wrote:
hobbyist wrote:How do you measure how 'quality' <<improves (y)our work>> when the vast majority of consumers cant tell and dont care ?

I don't know how many more ways I can say it...The conversion changes the decisions I make - The eq points are different, the compression time constants, reverbs etc. The balance changes. Hugh has explained this too.
Jack, there must be reasons why the different converter changes the eq points, compression time constants, reverbs etc. What would they be? How does it relate to the performance specs of the respective converters?

That's the big question. I don't know. And I don't know if they know, but that they just can't do it at the price point, or if they don't know, and just continue to champion frequency response at 20k, and noise floor, as a way of saying 'look, it's perfect'.

For me that different high end converters would audibly change the eq points or compression time constants or reverb seems highly unlikely. And if there were audible changes I wouldnt expect them to be described in those ways. Hugh what's your take on Jack's claims?
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Re: A-D & D-A converters, budget vs high-end

Postby Jack Ruston » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:10 pm

Oh yeah, now I come to think of it, you're absolutely right. Thank goodness you were here to help me see how wrong I've been. :)
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