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Author Topic: advice for people starting up an analogue chain..  (Read 2591 times)


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  • Real Full Name: Joseph Caithness
advice for people starting up an analogue chain..
« on: March 17, 2013, 11:50:35 AM »


This will upset audio/gear purists for impossible as ever reasons, but I am not an audio/gear purist, I am an audio engineer.

I recently demo'd a Lynx-One PCI AES in/out I bought for 50 quid (70 dollars I guess) post paid, off ebay.

I wanted to use the AES as you can daisy chain em and therefore have multiple AES on one clock.

I recorded some audio with the Benchmark DAC1 feeding chain, all gear pushed in, but doing nothing, into my Mytek AD96. Various bits and bobs.

I was skeptical, but like, yeah if I can get something for little money which does the job, why not? I am a sole trading businessman looking to make as much money out of the same quality work and service.

To my surprise somewhat, it sounded great, infact on some stuff, better than the benchmark, which compared to source, sounded a little too nice/warmed up.

STOP: we're talking converters, this is subtle. I know Benchmark is good, I am listening through one now.. anyway continue.

So, I have this Cambridge Audio DACMagic plus which I had a few issues with, cool unit in theory, not so much in practice. I thought, hey maybe stick the LYNX DA in the analogue loop, dont use the AD, and keep stuff going through my Mytek? Aight... and that leaves the benchmark, which it's robust and well calibrated controls to be constantly handled when I'm changing monitoring levels.

So not only did I practically (in the literal sense) upgrade my actual mastering rig, I also got the old M Audio Cards and Cambridge and stuck em on ebay, and the money I get for them has secured a deposit on a tour van for my band to tour Europe in August.


What is the moral of the story? the moral is maybe if a converter was great in 2000, it might still be great? maybe audio designs and the price tag attached to them isn't a linear thing? Yes improved specs have been attained, but I can listen to three different theoretically perfect DAs and hear the difference. Who says the old PCI card, which at the time was very high spec and well received, isn't still the bit of gear for you?


If you are one of the billions of people looking to buy something to start an analogue loop, why not grab some older bits off ebay or gumtree/craigslist and do some tests for yourself, instead of getting a bankloan to buy the latest design by the common companies. It's all a matter of context how it actually sounds. I was losing high end, now Im not.. maybe the Lynx is adding it? maybe. Practically? it works!

some ideas.. older Lynx, RME, Lucid, Apogee etc

also some obscure ones like the Nuendo branded RME etc. have a listen

Online mastering, based in Nottingham, UK
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