Nid....

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by Pwrmac7600, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. Pwrmac7600

    Pwrmac7600 Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,769
    Likes Received:
    5,902
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Currently running a Digidesign Digi003 interface. Have been using it for a few years now. Prior to this one I was running a old Digi001 interface. Have always been very happy with them.

    With that said, I originally purchased my Digi003 with the intent on sending it out to Black Lion Audio to have them do their signature series mod to it, which from everything I have read over the years, really turns the digi003 interface into a monster interface. I never really got around to doing it though. At a little over 1300 for the mod, i just always seemed to put my money into something else, like amps, guitar, monitors, etc...

    well, a few days ago I stumbled across a seller on reverb selling a digi003 with a signature series mod at a great price, about half what the mod actually costs. So I jumped in. Looking forward to hearing how the upgrades compare to the stock rack.
    should be here early next week!

    For those of you interested, below is the description of what mods are done.

     
  2. KP11520

    KP11520 Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,217
    Likes Received:
    4,916
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    I've seen them used on CL in the past. Especially as the newer revs of PT don't cover their older Digi stuff. I think the 003 is still covered in the latest. (???)

    I guess they're going for around $800 to maybe $1K now? I hope Black Lion's kick a$$ mods still have this out in front of anything else in the $1K range. I can't wait to hear how you like it!

    With all those improvements across everything that affects the signal chain, it's got to be significant!

    And then I see the Focusrite Clarett 8PreX for $1k and wish someone would do a shootout. That Clarett brings a lot of value for $1k. Enough to keep up with a BL 003? Good question. This is going to be fun! Just goes to show you how progressive and how much value BL brought to the game!

    I look forward to your adventure! :thumb: Congratulations!
     
  3. LPSGME

    LPSGME Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    2,987
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Odd you should mention Black Lion mods, as I was just about to write a very long post concerning something I just discovered today regarding the comparative aspects of converters.

    BTW I believe their Digi mod results are some of the best.

    The converter I use [an old MOTU 828 MKII] that has been modified twice by Black Lion. The last mod swapped out some of the IC chips for OPA's that utilize FET circuitry. I also use their Black Lion Micro Clock. I'd say, with it, my MOTU sounds pretty close to a LAVRY Blue, but with a bit less low-end.

    So, I had been thinking of upgrading to either a Prism, Burl, Mytek or Antelope unit and have been listening to converter shootouts; one of which compared these:
    1 Crane Song HEDD192
    2 Lavry Gold
    3 Mytek 8x192
    4 Forssell Technologies MADA-2
    5 Prism Orpheus
    6 Universal Audio 2192

    To see how my converter faired by comparison, I looped and recorded the shootout's reference file through the MOTU.

    I could clearly hear all the differences imparted to the original reference track by the respective converters. From what I've read in discussion groups, people usually refer to the respective clarity, musicality, color, and soundstage differences. As for soundstage differences, I could hear them. But my guess was also that some of the differences were attributable to tonal differences that affected the instruments that were hard panned.

    As I want a converter that will accurately reproduce an inputted file, being I prefer to add color or saturation via outboard gear; my favorite being some V72 and Neve preamps, I set about to find an EQ setting that would resolve any tonal changes imparted by my MOTU. To do that I used LOGIC PRO's "Match EQ" - a plugin that compares the EQ differences between two tracks and supplies an EQ setting to create a match.

    What I ultimately found was that, after applying the Mach EQ, the file as looped and recorded through my MOTU now sounded exactly like the original reference file; and it sounded closer to the original than all the files created by the other converters.
     
  4. Pwrmac7600

    Pwrmac7600 Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,769
    Likes Received:
    5,902
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    definitely interesting!
    I realize the Digi003 is an older unit, but I really like working with it, and being that I am on a much older version of Protools I need to stay with a digidesign unit. That being said, before I purchased I thought "how does this BLA signature mod on a older Digi003 stand up to today's $1000 and under interfaces". Because let's face it, if I could pick up a brand new interface that had the quality of the BLA modded 003, then why not just do that right?
    Well from everything I have read, the BLA modded Digi003 still, in majority opinion, sounds, and performs better than most of todays $1000 and under interfaces. I say $1000 and under because obviously I was able to pick this unit up for under a grand. I have even read alot of comments stating that it holds it's own against Protools HD units.
    So I guess we shall see.

     
  5. LPSGME

    LPSGME Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    2,987
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    I'd venture to think that the modded unit is going to sound as good as converters costing well above $1000. Having a very stable clock itself makes for a big difference. And those OPA Bur Brown chips do sound nice and will contribute much.

    As far as the EQ process I was describing, using a 'match eq', it is really not any different than what people do to tune their rooms [or the combination of their monitors and room acoustics].

    However I don't think I've ever read anyone suggest tuning [EQ'ing] one's converters. And in the instance I described, I didn't use pink noise or a sweep generator, I simply used a small part of the original test track - and that was sufficient to provide a fair sample of frequencies to compare.

    In any case what struck me was how much of a difference inserting a 'match EQ' made towards in removing any perception of difference between the sound of the source IN and its conversion OUT in result of the converters - so much so that the result rivaled or bested the other converters that were sampled.
     
  6. Pwrmac7600

    Pwrmac7600 Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,769
    Likes Received:
    5,902
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Well interface came in this week. Finally got a chance to hook it up today since I had a snow day from work.
    Sounds pretty nice. In my limited time with it so far, I can tell right off the bat the imaging and separation are MUCH improved over stock.
    Just throwing down a basic drum, bass, guitar track showed much more separation and resolution in the separate tracks. where as on stock they kind of seamed smeared.
    So, so far happy with it.
     
  7. LPSGME

    LPSGME Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    2,987
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    With a better clock and those OPI op amps, besides less smearing and better sound stage separation, do you notice any difference in the bass or in the 'texture' of the audio?
     
  8. Pwrmac7600

    Pwrmac7600 Premium Member

    Messages:
    7,769
    Likes Received:
    5,902
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Need a little more time with it. In my setup with the stock digi, I was running the same clock externally that is built into this unit. So as far as clocking goes, it would be the same.
    As for the the low end, and texture. Over all it did seem a little more full in the low end. Not sure if this was just NGD effect, or if I was really hearing it. This weekend I will have more time to really get into setting up a session and see how it goes.
     

Share This Page