Author Topic: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)  (Read 19191 times)

supernova777

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« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 02:33:27 AM by chrisNova777 »

Knez

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2013, 02:24:02 AM »
I personally have a MIX 24 system with one MIX Core and 3 MIX Farm cards. EVERYONE should own one. It's a $30k system you can get for $400 nowdays. It's an epic system for the money with great A/D converters. Sounds professional.

The MIX 24 system also works with all ASIO and Direct I/O compatible apps (Cubase, Logic etc) but you don't get the TDM stuff there, just the pure sound card.

It's probably the best system you can get for your G4 and your wallet ;)
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 07:22:21 AM by Knez »

supernova777

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2013, 04:43:54 AM »
can u explain how one would go about getting one?
which pieces do you need?
alot of people are really unfamilar with these setups considering its a combination of diferent peices of equipment.. what do i need to do that?

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb98/articles/protools.html
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr99/articles/protools.htm
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 04:49:50 AM by chrisNova777 »

Knez

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2013, 07:44:41 AM »
For a 24 MIX or 24 MIX PLUS system you need the following:

*At least one MIX Core PCI card
This is the Core of the system (well, duh?).
Contains six (6) Motorola 56k DSP's and the hardware dongle in order to get Pro Tools TDM running. The basic MIX 24 system only concists of this PCI card.


*Any number of MIX Farm PCI cards (optional)
This is what you use to expand your TDM system.
A MIX PLUS system is a MIX Core and MIX Farm card together.
MIX Farm card is exactly like the MIX Core card, but does NOT contain the Pro Tools dongle, just the six (6) DSP's. You can use up to 11 MIX Farm cards in one MIX 24 system, making a total of 12 cards and 72 DSP's.


*Ribbon cable to connect all the cards with each other (optional)
If you have more than one card, you need this little ribbon cable.
Can be found easily for around $20USD on ebay. There are 2-connector, 5-connector and 10-connector versions of this cable avalible. Buy the 5-connector version directly, even if you only have two cards. Makes is more easy to upgrade the systems with more MIX Farm cards later on.


*An A/D interface
This is what connects you to the analog world. Comes in a 1RU or 2RU case, the 882 and 888.
Both has 8 ins and 8 outs, but the 888 has balanced XLR connections.
There are allso different versions of these. The original 882 and 888 can be used at the most for 48khz and 16bit sound. The 882/20 for 48khz and 20bit sound and the 888/24 for 96khz and 24bit sound. So what you want is the 882/20 or 888/24.

Two of these boxes can be used with every MIX Core or MIX Farm card, for a total of 24 rack boxes, 192 ins and 192 outs if you have 12 cards. Pretty much endless expandability.


*Cables
You need a single or "Y" cable depending on how many A/D boxes you want to use with each card. It's a special digidesign cable and can be found very easily on ebay.

*Software
This is the hardest part. You need at least Pro Tools 4.1, but recommended is of course the last OS9 version, which is 5.1.3. You can use this system with OSX Panther and Pro Tools 6.4.1 if you feel like that too, but the plugins are not compatible, so 5.1.3 is the best option.
TDM plugins are accelerated, but RTAS plugins can be used on the host CPU at the same time as well. It's pretty hard to find this software. I have it and will upload it very soon.


That's pretty much all you need. The cons of this system is that you really need to know what you need since you have allmost endless expandability. The pro's are the expandability, sound and power.

Personally I have a 3 MIX Farms and 1 MIX Core. Connected to the Core card is a 882/20 and that's about it. Don't need any more ins or outs at the moment, but I do need the DSP-power from the Farms for TDM plugins. Everything lives inside my Dual 1.5ghz MDD and runs 9.2.2 and Pro Tools TDM 5.1.3.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2013, 11:49:31 PM by Knez »

supernova777

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2013, 01:37:21 PM »
perfect! i wish digidesign could explain their own products so simply;)

Offline Syntho

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2014, 11:54:37 PM »
I just bought a Mix 24 system. Core card, two farm cards, 888|24, cables, and even some plugins. I believe Digidesign sold this package as a Mix 3 system since it comes with 1 core and 2 farms.

The cards are good and will be relevant for tracking for many years to come. The only thing I'm worried about is the 888|24 and similar interfaces. I'm hearing some terrible things about the quality of the converters...

Offline Knezzen

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2014, 08:53:08 AM »
The only thing I'm worried about is the 888|24 and similar interfaces. I'm hearing some terrible things about the quality of the converters...

No need to worry. They are not transparent in the way they convert your analog audio to digital, but they are truly great. The 888 is pretty much noiseless and it makes pretty much everything you record through it sound great.

People nowdays want audio transparensy. The audio should be uncolored so to speak. The 888 colors sound, and for that reason it's known as a "bad" interface. If you like the colorization (like me and many more) they are great. They color the sound just right (in my opinion) :)

Offline Syntho

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2014, 01:49:19 AM »
Could you elaborate on the coloration effect these interfaces have? I've been running my rig lately and it all sounds good to me. Not too much different from other stuff I've tried.

Offline Knezzen

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2014, 02:34:29 AM »
Could you elaborate on the coloration effect these interfaces have? I've been running my rig lately and it all sounds good to me. Not too much different from other stuff I've tried.

What I mean is that they add something to the sound. Makes it warmer mostly. This is not really a bad thing, but in studios nowdays engineers are trying to make the sound going into the computer sound like it did outside the computer. For that reason the old Digidesign interfaces are not so good.

They add a sertain warmth to the sound, not found on newer HD interfaces, hence they are more "true" to the original input sound or more "transparent" so to say.

I hope you understand what im trying to say. English is not my primary language ;)

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Offline Syntho

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2014, 03:07:39 AM »
Converters always have some special type of LPF that works in conjunction with the sample rate. The higher sample rate = higher quality thing has already been discussed elsewhere but when it comes down to it a higher sample rate is beneficial not because of higher quality necessarily, but because it allows manufacturers to make a LPF that's less steep, which makes it easier and cuts down on cost.

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that the 'warm' sound you mention is due to the Digidesign LPF on the converters not being all that great, or at least it's being rolled back a little more than usual. That would explain the warmness of it.

Offline Knezzen

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2014, 03:20:00 AM »
So it might be. But the LPF should be the same steepness if it should cut the same frequencies, otherwise the gain in sample rate would not make any sence.
I can't really find the english words im looking for, but I hope you understand. If you want to bypass everything under 100hz for instance, the filter would allways be steep. It won't matter if you have 96khz or 48khz sample rate, 100hz is allways 100hz.

Hope you understand what I mean :)

Of course, with the higher bitrate comes more accuracy in the filtering as such, but you should still have the same steepness, just a higher "resolution" of the filtering.

I think that the D/A converters themself are resposible for the added warmness.

Offline Protools5LEGuy

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2014, 09:51:26 AM »
I LOVE how AMIII sounds. I like how Digi 001 converters sound 24 bits bla bla bla. But AMIII at 18 bits sounds more musical to me...It is something really hard to explain, but really fast to listen and notice...
I run the "Be There" from PT5, and "Meant to Be" from TDM PT6 on both sound cards in OS9 and prefer AMIII sound. Digi001 converters sound "cheaper" and lots of users take advantage of rosetas in LE systems. Also lots of AMIII users bought RME ADI 2
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Offline Syntho

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2014, 10:01:37 AM »
I'm guessing that that Audiomedia III card is just a regular PCI soundcard released by Digidesign? It has RCA inputs on it. I'm wondering if there was an interface to go with it or if it's just standard RCA where you can run anything into it.

Offline Knezzen

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2014, 10:05:45 AM »
I'm guessing that that Audiomedia III card is just a regular PCI soundcard released by Digidesign? It has RCA inputs on it. I'm wondering if there was an interface to go with it or if it's just standard RCA where you can run anything into it.

It's a regular sound card. Can be used for system sounds through the regular sound manager, or with music applications through Direct I/O.
I think Digidesign released a alpha/beta ASIO driver for it too.

Offline Protools5LEGuy

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2014, 10:15:14 AM »

It's a regular sound card.
For me is a GOOD one.  ;D

Can be used for system sounds through the regular sound manager, or with music applications through Direct I/O.
I think Digidesign released a alpha/beta ASIO driver for it too.
I thought Steinberg did it...
It has a Motorola 56k for DSP (?) and one Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) chip and a AMCC (PowerPC arch.)

Lots of Digital Performer users had to use AMIII or MOTU hardware at first
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Offline Syntho

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2014, 10:16:55 AM »
I bet those older 16bit 888s don't sound too bad, probably just about the same as those 888|24s. Or am I mistaken?

Offline Protools5LEGuy

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2014, 10:22:21 AM »
I bet those older 16bit 888s don't sound too bad, probably just about the same as those 888|24s. Or am I mistaken?

converters should be different
With protools converters there is always controversy.  Some love the Avid whites ones (16 bits) some hate them. Some producers have warned me to go 888.24 and not 888.16. Some love 882, some hate them. It is know that blues 96k are "bad" and 192 are "acceptable". A question of money and likes I bet.
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Offline Protools5LEGuy

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2014, 10:27:34 AM »
I'm guessing that that Audiomedia III card is just a regular PCI soundcard released by Digidesign? It has RCA inputs on it. I'm wondering if there was an interface to go with it or if it's just standard RCA where you can run anything into it.

Specifications

Product Audiomedia III PCI Dealer Order Code MM008

Supported Sample Rates 11.025, 22.05, 44.1, and 48 kHz

Analog/Digital Specifications 1-bit Delta Sigma, 128x Oversampling

Digital/Analog Specifications 18-bit output

Total Harmonic Distortion 0.008% @ 1kHz

Signal/Noise Ratio 88dB, unweighted, band-limited (22Hz to 22kHz);
90dB, A-weighted

Frequency Response 20Hz - 20kHz

Clock Speed 66 MHz

Audio I/O (Config.) Connectors from top to bottom-
Digital in, Digital out, Analog in (L), Analog in (R), Analog out (L), Analog out (R)
-10 unbalanced I/O

Connector Type RCA

Power Consumption 6.6 watts

Supports TDM : No

Notes:   Audiomedia III is a PCI Digital Audio Card.

    Analog I/O- 4 RCA connectors -10dBV, unbalanced.

    Digital I/O- S/PDIF (2 RCA connectors), IEC 958 format, 24-bit I/O.

    Pro Tools 4.x software only writes 16-bit files to disk. Pro Tools LE 5.x for Mac and Windows, Sound Designer II 2.82 (Mac) and the Windows Wave Driver support 16 & 24-bit files with the Audiomedia III.

    The Audiomedia III supports four channels of input (using both analog and digital inputs simultaneously) when used with Pro Tools LE 5.x software for Mac and Windows.
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Offline Protools5LEGuy

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2014, 10:31:37 AM »

I'm guessing that that Audiomedia III card is just a regular PCI soundcard released by Digidesign? It has RCA inputs on it. I'm wondering if there was an interface to go with it or if it's just standard RCA where you can run anything into it.
You run anything at -10. I bought at the same time a Focusrite Trakmaster as PREamplifier to have two choices along with my H&K Tubeman
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Offline Knezzen

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2014, 10:40:04 AM »
The Project II card has a DSP as well. It's for driving the I/O, making that sound go into your computer with as low latency as possible ;)

Offline Protools5LEGuy

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2014, 10:54:57 AM »
The Project II card has a DSP as well. It's for driving the I/O, making that sound go into your computer with as low latency as possible ;)
I see differences on AMIIIvs001
001 has a motorola XC56301PW80, an ALTERA FLEX (DSP FPGA I think), and a own digidesign chip. Some Esi cristal CS8403A'CS and CS8414
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Offline Protools5LEGuy

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2014, 11:06:58 AM »

AMIII can run old waves plugins (motorola 56k coded) that 001 could not. Also Arboreturn runs in AMIII and not in 001.
 I think AMIII is the first "LE" system. It is almost TDM without TDM power but TDM chips... And the first one to not need 88x, control24 or ADAT bridge.
In 1999 Digi001 changed the music industry (again). 
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Offline Protools5LEGuy

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2014, 11:35:00 AM »
Oh My God! The DIGI 001 pci card form above has been modded! The ecliptek ECX 1427 for the component on Y2 is not a clone of Y1 ecliptek ECX 1548. I  guess is for 44.1 kHz clock...
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Offline IIO

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2014, 07:22:18 PM »
I bet those older 16bit 888s don't sound too bad, probably just about the same as those 888|24s. Or am I mistaken?

they sound totally different, and maybe even better, especially when you clock them from a big ben.

but i think i dont need to explain you why 16 bit recording also has great disadvantages. you might have analog limiters for a bass and ffor micropühones, but do you have a total of 24 channels analog limiters? and if yes, how much noise do they produce? :)
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supernova777

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2015, 12:28:17 PM »
I LOVE how AMIII sounds. I like how Digi 001 converters sound 24 bits bla bla bla. But AMIII at 18 bits sounds more musical to me...It is something really hard to explain, but really fast to listen and notice...
I run the "Be There" from PT5, and "Meant to Be" from TDM PT6 on both sound cards in OS9 and prefer AMIII sound. Digi001 converters sound "cheaper" and lots of users take advantage of rosetas in LE systems. Also lots of AMIII users bought RME ADI 2


one thing to note about RME is they are consistant..they dont pull their products from their product line like tascam and all these other fly by night companies that keep trying to win the audio market lottery by inventing the next big product... changing their product line every 3 months.. and the RME ADI-2 is still for sale in 2015!!! http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ADI2
i saw some articles just now comparing the ADI-2 to a lynx pci product the L22 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lynx-L22-Two-Analog-I-O-192KHz-2-Digital-I-O-96KHz-Card-/371048972093

what other high quality 2 channel DA-AD converters are there?

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan09/articles/daconverters.htm
this article mentions the apogee mini-dac .. when the mini-dac came out much earlier.. like in 2002 or 2003 i think!!
so apogee is another company that sticks with its products?
this video shows it has a firewire port too.. so i think u can power it by firewire to connect it to a g4
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRzE649kAtk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRzE649kAtk</a>
but unlike the the RME ADI-2 it doesnt go both ways.. (A->D, D->A)
so i guess i should have been talking about the rosetta by apogee
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Rosetta200/

but wait
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun03/articles/apogeeminime.asp
this is the thing i was thinking of.... it looks similar but its a different product
i must have got them two confused.
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rstm1h3S-1c" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rstm1h3S-1c</a>

also just saw this option from cambridge audio
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DacMagicPBk
never heard of this one but its only digital to analog aswell similar to the mini-dac

this idea of using higher quality more modern conversion equipment connected to legacy/retro pro tools hardware
it intrigues me, but by doing so, wouldnt you be bypassing the "magic" quirkyness of the old analog filters that defined the type of sound from that hardware?? like u said u preferred the sound of the AMIII to the DIGI001.... u are really talking about the analog converters right.. using both the digi 001 + amIII with digital converters via ADAT + S/PDIF would basically eliminate any of the known character from both of these pt interfaces, right?
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 12:52:30 PM by chrisNova777 »

Offline Protools5LEGuy

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2015, 01:36:05 PM »
Yeah, but the Jitter is there https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jitter

Best converters/price today... Prismsound http://www.prismsound.com/

I compared the outputs of 192 I/O vs Focusrite LS56 vs Presonus Central Station.

To my ears, the LS56 was the better, but Presonus was close. To my ears, the 192 sounded "worst"

But to my master engineer friend, the better was the presonus, them the 192 and last the LS56.

Also tested Motu 828 mk2 vs FS LS56. In a light test, you couldn't notice what was connected.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 01:53:07 PM by Protools5LEGuy »
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Offline RTIInstaller

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2015, 03:37:26 PM »
I didn't see the 1622 mentioned yet?

Mix core cards act the same as Mix farms when used in the second slot.

I also did not see any mention of the midi options. I personal am using the Opcode Studio 4. I got it for $1 on ebay and it is like new. to make this work you will need to have the modem din cable input on your G4, and make sure if you buy one to get the cable otherwise you will have to build your own. I have the schematic for this.

I am using an Apogee Mini Me preamp as my main Mic Line pre connected via digital coax to my 882. This thing rocks. I also use it via USB with my mac book totally plug and play awesome, great built in head phone monitoring, built in comp limiter, and it will run on batterys for field use. 

Speaking of 882's dont buy the old version with the external power supply they die and then you cant get a replacement, get the newer version with the internal supply.

supernova777

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2015, 03:44:36 PM »
hey there RTIInstaller
midi options are discussed in other threads at long lengths if u look on the board index (be sure to check teh "stickied" threads at the top? in the gear section http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php?board=42.0)

Offline DieHard

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #29 on: September 28, 2015, 04:49:16 PM »
Just a quick interjection, there are other factors that will "color" a sound that have nothing to do with the converters.   The op-amp (Operational Amps) are probably the main culprit in the input stage that will lead to a noticeable alteration from the source (perceived as a EQ differences and variations in the harmonics of the original source.

The better the interface, the better the op amps.  "Harsh" sound is usually perceived from a 'low quality" input stage that has already thinned out some frequency ranges (before you even get to the A/D stage).

Another factor, a common misconception, is the someone will say that the interface "colors" the sound and that it is "muddier" when in fact this is just a shitty internal clock (as discussed before in other threads) and is not a colorization at all... it is merely a high jitter ratio on the captured samples and thus the sound is perceived as "thin" or "colored" or "muddy" due to variations in the sample clock crystal (NOT the A/D at all)

Let's also remember, the D/A also has Op amps (separate from the input stage) and if you are monitoring via your interface, some colorization will take place at the output stage.  A test I use on other peoples tracks, is to listen to the tracks back via SPDIF (lightpipe) thru a few interfaces to get a better idea of the sound of the actual tracks.  By doing this, you can at least go digital directly to a few different monitor sources, without added coloring.

I would say that the 'warmth' I heard in old Apogee interfaces were a combination of great Op amps, good converters and a solid external clock.  So when I think back now, the sound wasn't "colored" to sound warmer, it just sounded better because the smearing, and muddiness was not present... so in fact, it was just that it sounded closer to the source, not that it was colored.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 05:01:33 PM by DieHard »

Offline RTIInstaller

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Re: pro tools pci hardware (circa 1996-1998)
« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2015, 05:12:36 PM »
I have an audio alchemy series 2 DAC which is a pretty darn good sounding DAC I connected it to my system via dig coax, I A/B ed the heck out of my system, honestly the difference was very slight versus using the stock analog outputs. I don't even use the DAC now as its just not great enough of an improvement to justify using it.