ok, i would consider myself moderately technical with my studio knowledge and practices. my room is calibrated to a general operating level.
so knowing that, here is a quick story.
about a year ago i picked up an older mytek 8 channel (max 96k) ADC. it was a good deal, and i just wanted something "better" to use for input then my lynx aurora (which i do like, but i have some complaints).
the mytek right away was better. lowend was tighter and deeper, stereo image felt wider and in general, the mixes printed through the mytek just felt better. so i moved on with life.
a year later i'm starting to have some complaints about some "2buss" things i've been noticing in my chain. after many random, and more esoteric, conversations with Brad Blackwood (who does ALL my mastering and happens to be a good friend) we narrow the field to the make-up gain amp on my SSL 384 buss compressor, and the mytek ADC.
i realized, through some questions from Brad, that i had never calibrated the Mytek. a little embarrassing, but it was time for some testing.
each pair of the mytek was set differently. but 1 and 2 are what i print mixes through 100% of the time.
they were really close to -15dbfs. so i tweaked them a touch and printed a mix not touching the 384.
then i set them to -20dbfs and printed the same mix with all the same settings.
i then repeated this process but this time setting the make-up gain amp on the 384 to unity.
the results blew me away. i figured it would be a slight change and i would just pick which calibration i liked better.
the -20 calibration was dramatically different then -15. i couldn't believe how much better it sounded. the depth of field alone was amazing. transients felt better, stereo image was better, top to bottom spectrum was richer.
the differences between the 384 make up gain amp settings were noticeable but not as extreme as i originally suspected.
moral of the story, spend some time playing with your converter calibration. find a place they sound best to you. well worth the 2 hours i spent testing.