Thursday, December 20, 2012

More Converter Tests

Converter Tests. This is the most exciting album you've ever heard. Okay, not really. This is a test of converters using a Martin D-28 acoustic guitar into an AKG 460 microphone with a CK-1 capsule. I pulled a tiny bit of 250Hz from all tracks in the 48 kHz tests. Which is kind of dumb of me as I should have treated all the tracks equally but I didn't do that.

Other scientific problems with this test: The room is noisy. Each take is a different performance. The converters are not all set to exactly the same level.
I tested four A/D converters
  1. M-Audio 2626
  2. Apogee Mini-Me
  3. Focusrite Scarlett
  4. MOTU Ultralite (1st generation)
Each of these converters also has built-in microphone preamps. I tested those too.
I tested both 48K and 96K clocks. The file naming, although not as consistent as it should have been, goes like this:
Clock speed (48 kHz or 96 kHz)
Then I tell you whether I used a Neve 1272 preamp or the built-in preamp of the converter.
Then I tell you what the converter was.
Optionally (and only with the MOTU converter) I indicate if the internal clock or the Apogee's clock was used.
If you want to listen without being influenced by what is what then go ahead and play the album. It's only a few minutes long.

Now here is the key (note that number 9 is "Neve (preamp) to Apogee (converter)".)

I managed to forget to test the preamps on the 2626 on their own. Oops. That would have been nice to hear. 
My preliminary conclusion is that I kind of like the M-Audio 2626's converters. I hear that the Apogee is "higher end" but there's something nice about the grit (there's that word again) of the 2626.

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