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  • #76
    Originally posted by Brittanylips

    There's so much stuff out there in the "all-in-one department," there's really no need to cobble stuff together. You can get just what you want! And I'm sure that for many people, the 400f is just what they want. But if you're not happy with its converters (if that's your opinion), you CAN get something else for the price of a 400f + outboard D/A, if that's what floats your boat.
    -PL&B


    The gauntlet has been thrown!
    400f + Lucid D/A: $1300

    Please list comparable interfaces for that price that have the following features:
    - firewire
    - 4 rockin' preamps
    - 8 analog ins
    - 8 analog outs
    - great A/D
    - great D/A
    - All metal housing
    - internal power supply
    - 64 bit DSP

    Good luck!

    - P

    Comment


    • #77
      Pleasant,

      I have to agree with brittanylips in that one shouldn't typically buy a piece of gear only substitute an A/D D/A unit rather than looking at it from a scalability flexibility standpoint and should appreciate the merits of each individual product.

      Having said that, I think trying to list solutions in this manner is neither productive nor relevant to this thread and it's main focus of discussin the 400F. You could come up with any number of mic-pre + A/D D/A solutions to fit the bill here.

      Presonus Mic Pres w/ Audiofire 12
      RME Fireface
      MOTU 896HD

      I could go on... but as I said... I'd much prefer to stay on track and discussing the merits of the 400F

      Comment


      • #78
        <<Which is why multiple opinions from the trenches - feedback from actual users actually using the equipment (God bless the internet!), and evaluations from known and respected reviewers who do not work for the companies they review (God bless the internet!) are so valuable.>>

        Sounds like you really "get" the Pro Review concept!
        N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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        • #79
          iron, if I could throw in my 2 cents here, I think what brittanylips is getting at is that you aren't going to see better quality than the 400F with the Lucid D/A at $1300.

          The counter list you give is good, but I'd take the mackie + lucid combo over any of those easy. I believe it's cheaper than all, and the general consensus of the internet message boards seems to be that the pres are MUCH better in the mackie.

          Hopefully the external D/A isn't even neccessary. Personally, I doubt it will be to these ears. Maybe somewhere down the road, but not now. I guess at the end of the day it's all about how well your mixes translate.

          Comment


          • #80
            I plan to get the 400f, period. It's got the features I need. And it's expandable (e.g., outboard D/A). I'm sure I'll be very happy with the conversion in the unit.

            I was just giving BrittanyLips a hard time -- because she earned it

            OK, back to reading the review.

            - P

            Comment


            • #81
              I felt that I should clarify what I was trying to say... I didn't mean to come across as being snarky or abrasive.

              I think it's fair to say that everyone that's been contributing has been providing good insight on the product and what's in it's arena. Once people start deviating and talking about rigs in combination it becomes a free for all about which rigs sound better and I'm sure we call all agree that sound is a very subjective thing.

              I was just trying to emphasize the fact that most people don't decide to buy a piece of gear because only 1 aspect of it is appealing and instead to look at the product as a whole. That's not to say that we shouldn't use them in combination with other gear we like if we've got that available to us. What I love about this pro review is that we're focused on a product and the those involved in the thread have only drawn in reasonable comparisons and contrasts as opposed to a pissing contest of "i own this and it rocks, ergo that is an inferior product"

              My point was to illustrate that there are many options that meet those requirements once we get over the $1300 price mark all with their own merits. I don't think it would be a stretch to say we'd all have a crapload of gear to our hearts delight if money was no object, but that's not the case for this dabbler/aspiring artist.

              Nonetheless, at least we've kept ourselves entertained until the next segment of the review. So big up to Pleasant and Brittanylips - no hard feelings.

              Cheers.

              Comment


              • #82
                Hello,

                My suggestion for DSP effects is... what about a software emulation of the Onyx EQ? It would be great!!!

                Ivan

                Comment


                • #83
                  <<What I love about this pro review is that we're focused on a product and the those involved in the thread have only drawn in reasonable comparisons and contrasts as opposed to a pissing contest of "i own this and it rocks, ergo that is an inferior product">>

                  +1!

                  <<Nonetheless, at least we've kept ourselves entertained until the next segment of the review.>>

                  Yes, indeed. I've deliberately held off on the next "segment" because as threads often do, this has taken on a life of its own and I feel important subjects are being discussed. I really like the way this review has progressed; it's also giving me a better idea of what to cover in the rest of the review, based on what interests people here.

                  Props to Dan too for the comments, I really think getting the manufacturer involved adds a very useful dimension...as long as companies continue to send us engineers/product managers and not marketing types. He also included enough info about standalone operation that I'm not sure I can add much to that, so thanks for doing my job for me, Dan
                  N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Anderton


                    I'm still not hearing brittle, BTW. I'm beginning to think that if the 400F had been the only interface in the world, then new ones were introduced, people would consider the new ones "muffled." The 400F does have presence, but more and more, I think the "single coil/humbucker" analogy is what's going on here.


                    Well...

                    I sure hope we are talking about P-90's anyway.

                    Seriously though, you gotta know I am not trying to fan flames here.

                    But...

                    I do feel that the singlecoil/humbucker analogy is a bit of a red flag for me. I mean really, there is a huge difference there and to me it says that these dacs truly do have a unique and identifiable sound, and this really is a bit of a concern for me.

                    Craig you have used the word "presence" and to me, between that and the "singlecoil" analogy it could be taken to mean "bright"

                    Which of course does not mean "grainy"!!!

                    So I gotta ask...

                    Craig would you say these dacs are "bright"? Would you think that listening to them for a normal mix session would be any more "fatiguing" than normal?

                    Just to be clear my main concern is not the sound of the dacs for playback, I have a nice monitoring chain with a dac/sound that I love. I am more concerned about the sound of the analog out's on the way too outboard comps and such during a mix.

                    I just feel that for me, and I suspect others here that at this point there is enough concern over the sound of the dacs on this box to warrant a definitive analysis/answer.

                    Soo...

                    I propose a test which I feel is fair and easy enough for you to do. Simply set up a mix in your normal daw that you are "comfortable" with. Then simply do a few rounds of a/b comparison with your normal/"comfortable" monitoring dac and the dac on the 400f. Then please report the differences whatever they may be.

                    I truly hope that we can then finally put this topic to bed, and move on to more of this great review of this very interesting/exciting box.

                    I hope you all understand where I am coming from here. I really want to get a couple of these. The upside is huge to me, really a perfect feature set.

                    But I gotta know...

                    ya' know.

                    next time,
                    jfg

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      <<I hope you all understand where I am coming from here. I really want to get a couple of these. The upside is huge to me, really a perfect feature set. >>

                      I absolutely do understand, and no, doesn't seem to me like you're fanning any flames. The frustration at this end is, of course, that I can't just say to all of you "Well here, just listen."

                      You can attach files to these posts, but they're limited to about 100k. With a 16-bit/44.1kHz WAV file, that means under a second of audio. Not good enough. Perhaps for future reviews HC could allocate some server space for hi-fi audio examples.

                      <<I propose a test which I feel is fair and easy enough for you to do. Simply set up a mix in your normal daw that you are "comfortable" with. Then simply do a few rounds of a/b comparison with your normal/"comfortable" monitoring dac and the dac on the 400f. Then please report the differences whatever they may be.>>

                      Well, that's actually what I've done, moving back and forth between the 400F, the Creamware DA, and the Panasonic DA7 DA. If you listen long enough to the 400F, then it sounds normal, and the others sound a little muffled. If you listen to the others long enough, then they sound normal and the 400F sounds a little bright.

                      Mind you, we're dealing with very small differences here, and subjectively speaking, I prefer clean/sparkly sounds as opposed to "warm" sounds. I always disliked the Miller effect in tubes (internal capacitance that affects highs, and which is present in solid-state devices to some extent), and was pleased when Aphex figured out a way to defeat it.

                      In fact, that would be a more accurate analogy (tube with or without Miller effect) than the humbucker/single coil one, although I felt the latter would be more intuitively understandable.

                      The one thing I should emphasize is that the brightness has more to do with definition and transparency. It's like the frequency response "goes up to 11." To me, "bad" brightness is synonymous with "harshness." I do not hear harshness out of the 400F, nor is it fatiguing. In fact, I have no problems listening to it for hours at a time.

                      In short, one of the variables in all this is that the 400F delivers a high end quality for which I have a predilection. Those of you who really value a "warm" sound might not like the 400F's high end characteristics. Those who'd rather hear a dry guitar through a Class A solid state amp than a tube amp with a transformer will probably love the 400F.

                      Come to think of it, if you think the 400F is "brittle," it wouldn't surprise me if you could get the sound you want by feeding the output through an audio transformer.

                      I also feel that the 400F doesn't influence a mix. In other words, the balance of high to low frequencies is still there; I don't find myself turning down the treble with it. I just feel like I can hear "through" the treble range more, like it somehow has a little more high end "space."

                      Whew...do I qualify to write wine reviews now? "Sharp, with a mild nose, recalling essences of fruit and oak but with a deep, almost comical, finish." I know, I know...don't quit my day job.

                      Does any of this help to convey what I'm hearing? Remember, we're dealing with subtleties here, so the language I use has to be quite nuanced.
                      N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Anderton
                        "Sharp, with a mild nose, recalling essences of fruit and oak but with a deep, almost comical, finish."


                        This really clears up a lot for me! Is Mackie going to use this in their next batch of ads?

                        ~~~~

                        I've been sorta skim-reading this thread and just wanted to add that so far I really love these interactive, in-depth, and ongoing reviews.
                        Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          <<"I do feel that the singlecoil/humbucker analogy is a bit of a red flag for me. I mean really, there is a huge difference there and to me it says that these dacs truly do have a unique and identifiable sound, and this really is a bit of a concern for me.">>

                          Well, "For me" the analogy is cool, I know it can be a hazy way of wording to us, but what is a better alternative?? Its pretty much, "I like them", or "I dont like them", which leaves absolutely nothing, not even a vague comparison, like the pup idea.

                          If you ask Craig to A/B the same mix, using different dac's, and he was to say, "why, yes, they are glassy and harsh", that wouldnt mean the same to you or me, maybe, right?

                          My point is, there is nothing wrong at all with drawing a difficult listening comparison from a tone opinion, that most of us have been familiar with for years, which is the pup & amp design thing... Its not a measured science, but it may help to convey in "words" (words dont have sound) a closer understanding of a product....
                          http://www.myspace.com/guitarlessonsinriversideca

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Anderton
                            Does any of this help to convey what I'm hearing? Remember, we're dealing with subtleties here, so the language I use has to be quite nuanced.


                            Yes it helps alot. Thanks!!!

                            next time,
                            jfg

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              It helped me. My 400F will be here tomorrow, possibly replacing a MOTU Traveler on a dual G5/Logic 7 rig.

                              (SSS reader since the AOL days. Thanks Craig!)
                              Glenn Gutierrez
                              Label | Blog

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Hey Kernel, let us know your thoughts on how the 400F compares to the Traveler!

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